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Post 9 – “Back” In the Gym with Dylan Coladonato

19 Nov

Dylan Coladonato, a 20 year old junior at Rowan University, has been lifting seriously for the past four years. A natural student of lifting, Coladonato is by the books when it comes to his form and technique.

Coladonato’s attention to detail, work ethic and desire make personal gains is evident when following him around the Rowan Rec Center. Listening to his knowledge about back exercises is fascinating. You can actually hear the passion he has for lifting in his voice.

This video presents Coladonato’s typical back workout along with some helpful tips including the benefits of staying hydrated.


Post 8 – In Between Sets With Joe Fontana

9 Nov

Joe Fontana, a 20 year old junior at Rowan University, knows a thing or two about lifting. An athlete all his life, Fontana made the leap from wrestling to body building his freshman year of college.

Fontana spoke with me exclusively about what motivates him to go to the gym, what his diet consists of, and why he prefers his gym in South Jersey as opposed to his gym in North Jersey.

At one time, Fontana was no different than anyone else who wanted to get into lifting. His advice and personal account can help YOU change your life just like he changed his.

(Joe Fontana when he isn’t flexing / Photo taken by Tyler Mulvey)

Post 5: Working out with John and Kimmi

20 Oct

When it comes to health and fitness, two well known trainers in the South Jersey area are John Tyson and Kimmi Sterner. Tyson is the Rowan University Intramural Manager and Supervisor as well as a certified personal trainer. Sterner is also a personal trainer, as well as a turbo kick, YogaFit, and Spin instructor at Rowan University. When it comes to lifting and staying active, these two know the tips of trade. Both recently sat down with me to tell me what they know about health and fitness in South Jersey.

Courtesy of John Tyson

Kimmi Sterner
Courtesy of Kimmi Sterner

Tyler: Thanks you two for talking with me today!

John: No problem!

Kimmi: Of course!

T: So tell me, at what age did you start to get into fitness? 

J: I was about fifteen years old.

K: When I was a senior in high school I began expressing an interest in fitness. Nothing too serious, I just really wanted to start doing yoga.

T: So you both were in high school at the time. What made you interested in fitness? 

J: I had starting gaining weight after I quit sports in sixth grade. I joined a summer basketball league and lost about 20 pounds over the summer. Aside from feeling and looking better, when I got back to school it brought me a lot of good attention that I was not used to. This was something that boosted my self esteem while allowing me to get into a healthy lifestyle. 

K: My senior year of high school I was severely depressed- it was bad. I started looking for other ways to solve the issue other than medication. That is when I started taking yoga, joining the gym, and beginning to find what it is that makes me happy.

T: Kimmi, since those days in high school you have come a long way. You are now well decorated in certifications. How many do you have?

K: As of now I have certifications for YogaFit, Turbokick, PiYo, Hip Hop Hustle, Spinning, AFAA Primary Group Exercise, and ACE Personal Training.

T: John you also are certified in personal training. Describe the process to me. 

J: First, research which CPT license you want and how much it costs to take the test. For example, there is ACSM, NASM, ACE, etc. They all have different prices and have different topics. Purchase whatever study materials you feel are necessary for you to learn the most and take the most out of. There are flash cards and all types of different books that go into more detail with some of the topics for each one of the tests. Study for a good 12 to 24 weeks so that you have enough time to actually learn and not rush the material. Sign up for a test date and testing center. The last thing you do is actually take the test. If you follow this process then you should have no worries.

T: I imagine it is a gratifying feeling to train someone. Can you explain the feeling to me?

K: The feeling I get when I train someone is indescribable. No matter what kind of mood I’m in, training a client never fails to put me in a better one. I’m lucky enough to get the chance to change a life every single day. Being a trainer isn’t just about fitness- it’s therapy for people. Each time I train a client I am reassured that this is exactly what I am supposed to be doing with my life.

J: Exactly. The feeling I get when I am training someone is somewhat comparable to the feeling of giving someone a gift on Christmas. It just feels good to see that person want and anticipate something so much, and I am the one to help give that gift to them and bring a smile to their face. It is an amazing feeling.

T: Can you give my readers some advice on how to stay healthy in South Jersey? 

K: Wake up early, work harder than anyone you know, and before you go to bed at night feel confident that you did something that day for yourself that made you feel healthy and energized. Oh…and don’t funnel beers every night.

J: The journey of living a healthy lifestyle is something you have to do for yourself. When you do it for others the feeling will not be intrinsic and you will not enjoy it as much. Don’t rush into making a lifestyle change. It is a process that takes time and if you do it the right way it will be something that becomes habitual and enjoyable.

T: Along the same lines of advice, what do you tell your clients when they first start out? 

J: I tell my clients that whatever you give into this program is what you will get out of it. If you don’t give it 100 percent, you cannot expect to get 100 percent of the results back. I tell them to always stay positive. If they don’t see the results they want immediately and if they continue to give it their all, they will get to where they want to be at the right time.

K: I tell them that what they are doing is amazing! However, there’s a difference between being interested in getting in shape and being committed to it. I tell them that they’ll find out which one they are when they are faced with an obstacle or set back. I tell them this because they will either keep pushing through because it’s important to them, or they’ll give up. It’s my job to get them to commit.

T: What is one mistake people tend to make when starting out?

J: Definitely running too much. A lot of people think cardio is the immediate answer to all problems when it actually is the smallest part of making physical changes and lifestyle changes. Strength training and nutrition is a lot more crucial to maintaining a healthy lifestyle. If you run too much, all you do is eat away your muscle and contribute to your body fat instead of decreasing it. It honestly is a double edged sword.

K: People starting out tend to do exactly what society says is “right.” What people don’t realize is everyone is different and honestly, getting in shape is pretty easy- the key is to find something you like to do. When embarking on the journey to get fit everyone automatically assumes they have to suffer. The truth is, if you do the things that you don’t like doing, you’ll give up a lot quicker than if you find something you like to do.

T: Thank you both for spending time with me today and teaching not only my readers, but myself so much about what you do and why you do it. You gave a lot of  great advice and I can’t wait to apply it to my life. How can my readers get in touch with you if they are interested in you becoming their trainer in South Jersey? 

J: They can visit my website. (If the link does not work, copy and paste “” into your browser.) My email is linked there to contact me, my certifications are on there, and also some information about health and fitness.

K: Go to the Rowan Recreation Center main office! Fill out a form and just request Kimmi