My girlfriend bought this belt for me for a Christmas present in 1997. It has been with me ever since holding up my pants (and sometimes holding back my body). It was with me when I married the belt girlfriend, 6.5 moves (3 of those across the country), and finally ended here in Knoxville, TN. I have used pretty much every notch on that belt in the 20+ years that we have been together. When I weighed 280 lbs, I was near the long end, and now, at 210 lbs, I am near the tighter end and the tightest notch is my eventual goal. I may not get there soon, but someday I will.
Why the belt? Well, I have heard the word “journey” a lot lately to describe the approach to weight loss and ultimately becoming more healthy. For me, this belt is a record of my journey, and it is not over yet!
I started at New Start Fitness in July 2018, when my wife Erinn dragged me to a 5am class. She had started months earlier and loved the experience, but I knew that the treadmill and weight bench in the spare room was all that I needed….until I went to my first class. I immediately understood why she liked going to NSF and I have found more reasons to continue to go. And believe it or not, the home gym is being used way more than it did in the past!
From the looks of it, NSF is like any other gym, but it is NOT. I can ramble on about the trainers (who are amazing) and the variety of classes (they offer almost everything) or the equipment, but for me, those are not what keeps me coming back at 5am. It is the people. I find inspiration every workout from those that I am working out with and the trainers that are trying their best to burn our calories.
Brooks and Jama Dean have created an environment where inspiration to work as hard as you can and come back for more is everywhere. I am so glad that I found New Start Fitness for this stage of my “fitness journey”!- Dan F.
New Start Fitness has helped me accomplish not only weight loss goals but an overall healthier lifestyle. I always feel welcomed, I feel energized while I'm there, but most importantly encouraged. The people I have met I have built awesome friendships with and it makes working out enjoyable! I love the fact that the instructors are in tune with each individual and know what their limitations are. It is also nice that all exercises can be modified based on your personal ability. Thank you New Start Fitness for helping me reach my goals!!- Aundrea W.
About 18 months ago, I became very unhappy with my weight, appearance, and overall health. I was apprehensive about joining a gym because I had no idea what types of exercises to do or how to use the equipment. I felt uncomfortable, embarrassed, and was afraid of being judged by people in better shape than me working out in the same space. Enter New Start Fitness, Brooks and Jama Dean, and my Fit Fam. There is no room for any of these negative feelings in the NSF culture! The classes at NSF are designed to work for anyone and everyone. NSF has trainers who create workouts that get maximum results and can be modified to meet every person where they're at. The environment is welcoming and supportive - NEVER judgmental. I quickly started to see the benefits of working out at NSF as my body began to alter, my clothes became too big, family and friends began to comment on the change in my appearance, and I became more confident in myself. Since joining New Start Fitness I've lost 20 pounds and gained lots of lean muscle. I can now hike 20 miles in a day and I ran my first 5K last weekend in 37 minutes. I feel confident wearing clothes that show my legs and upper arms because, not to brag, but they look great and I am proud to show them off, which is a huge change in how I see myself. The benefits of joining NSF go beyond just the physical results, which are substantial. The mental, emotional, and psychological effects are also astounding. NSF workouts were key to getting me through the final semesters of graduate school. The exercise cleared my head, allowing me to both think more productively and sleep soundly at night. Additionally, the support and encouragement that I get from my NSF family is more valuable than I can put into words. These people are always there for me and aren't about to let me quit on myself, no matter what. If you told me I would ever love going to the gym, I would've laughed in your face. But I do love it, and I love the results. What are you waiting for?- Abbi S
My entire life I’ve been involved in competitive sports. I’ve always had coaches and trainers to tell me exactly what to do and how to do it. It wasn’t until I graduated college and hung up my jersey that I realized how much I took all of that training for granted. How could I have spent the last 10+ years of my life in the gym, out on the track, and in the weight room and feel so lost walking into a fitness center? I would walk in, get on the treadmill to run for awhile, look at the weight racks, get intimidated by all the boys lingering over there, and leave feeling like I had wasted an hour. I knew how to workout, I just had a hard time putting it all together. Fast forward to January 2019. My friend Brittany kept talking about this gym she was going to. I was interested, but also didn’t want to shell out the money. She convinced me to come to my first free class, and the same day I went home and told my husband I wanted to become an unlimited member!
Being apart of New Start has been the best decision. Honestly, I think the reason I love it so much is because it reminds me of that feeling of “team” I had in all my years playing sports. We support each other, encourage and cheer for each other, and keep each other accountable like teammates. Our trainers are like good coaches. They push us to do things we don’t feel like doing or don’t think are possible. It’s a cheesy comparison, but true! I’m really thankful for this gym and this community of people.
For me, working out is about showing up for myself. On the good days, on the bad days, and every day in between. It’s about working hard at every class so when I leave, I know I gave it my all. I can go home and be a better mom and a better wife.
It’s not about punishing my body or even losing weight. It’s about loving my body, honoring what it does for me, and trying to be the best version of myself I can be.
When I first started at New Start in May of this year, I didn’t know very much about lifting weights and I could barely do a push up.
New Start has been such a shining light to my week. I always walk in and see smiling faces and encouragement. The trainers don’t let you give up on yourself and always remind us our minds quit before our bodies do.
The pictures are 4 months apart. I feel so much stronger. I love the progress I’ve made - but I’m not stopping here!
March 28 and August 10. While doing wall sits today, all I could think about was the first Brooks Dean class that I took I think in late January. The finisher was minutes and minutes of wall sits (which seemed like hours). I didn’t dare use a weight and kept having to stand to take a break. Today, not only did I not stand during the first 2 sets (the third was garbage but I blame the preceding jump squats and pulse squats for that), I kept a 35 lb weight in place the entire time.
I couldn’t find a picture of me doing wall sits that day but I found one from March 28. And the one from today.
Three and a half months between the pictures.
Not only am I using a 35lb plate, I am actually smiling!!! And happen to be wearing the same shirt!
Thank you Brooks, all the trainers and friends at @newstartfitnessknoxville for encouraging and pushing me. I can’t wait to see where I am 3 months from today!
Growing up I was always fairly athletic, I played soccer for 8 years, played field hockey, was always on a rec kickball league. Then I had kids, after my first baby it was fairly easy to lose the weight by constantly cutting calories and thinking I needed to starve myself, but that quickly comes back. When I got pregnant the second time I gained 60 pounds and worked so hard to get that off by running miles and miles a day not eating properly, and once again it came back. I finally took my first class at New Start Fitness with no intention of sticking around because I thought I knew what I was doing at the gym.... 10 months later, I am still here. The environment that Brooks and Jama have created is unlike any other. You can do classes from barre, to yoga, to hiit. to weights. They have something for everyone. Brooks has the most energy even when you don't think you want it at 5am! He never gets offended when you're "mad" at him, because he knows he has pushed you to do something you were capable of the whole time. The friendships I have made are unbelievable, they help hold you accountable and keep you encouraged and motivated at the same time. I would never go anywhere else, it is truly the best gym in Knoxville!- Erin H
I started New Start Fitness the summer of 2018. I needed to take control of my health.
I noticed I started pulling at my shirts more than normal. I couldn't leave my house with out asking my husband "Do I look fat?". One day, while asking my husband that very question I noticed my daughter look up at both of us. It was a smack in the face. I thought to myself oh my goodness I'm teaching her body shaming is ok, I am teaching her to not love her self, and I am teaching her you are not beautiful if you aren't a certain size!! HOW TERRIBLE!
It was the smack in the face I needed. Right after that night I joined New Start Fitness. My first class I couldn't even do a lunge, but I refused to quit on me and my daughter! New Start has changed my life. I joined more than a gym I joined an amazing community that inspires,supports and motivates me to be the best me possible!
Over a year later, I can do lunges, I am obsessed with lifting weights, and I do not ask my husband that question any more. Now I am teaching my daughter to love herself no matter what and hard work pays off!!
January 2, 2019 I took my first class at New Start Fitness and it has been a journey ever since! Brooks use to always fuss and say “you never come workout with me”, “you never come to my gym” “when you coming to New Start” blah blah blah! 😂 Well I finally listened and this has been one of the best decisions I have made. I still have my days where I don’t want to workout or I eat 3 cookies (👀 it’s called balance😂) but I still put forth the effort to go workout. Except for December the holiday break got the best of me lol. But I am stronger, more confident, happier, healthier and I feel damn good!! 😏💪🏽 So thank you New Start Fitness Fam y’all the best! ☺️🤗😝
New Start Fitness has given me a new outlook on fitness. I have found that I enjoy working out and look forward to each class. I do it 1st for myself to feel better and 2nd for my family so I am healthy for them. When I'm at NSF I am happy, motivated and energized. I forget for that hour of class the stress of the day. I have built my confidence and made a whole new group of friends. Personally I have lost almost 20lbs but toned my shape to the point I for into a size I haven't seen in over 13years. NSF is the least intimidating gym with the most warm and friendly atmosphere. I can go on and on about why I think everyone should join NSF.- Allison W.
NSF has been a total game changer in my life. A year ago I was almost 70 pounds heavier and to be real honest I was so nervous about trying my first class. It took one class and I was hooked. NSF is not intimidating and so welcoming. No matter your fitness level EVERYTHING can be modified to suit your needs. NSF offers many variety of classes to meet all fitness levels. Another thing that's important to me is all trainers are encouraging and get to know each person as an individual. I have made so many new friends that are not only great to workout with but fun to be with outside the gym as well. If you haven't tried NSF you are missing out!- Stacy B
I seriously cannot say enough good things about New Start Fitness! I joined at the beginning of the year. I was in terrible shape and worried about being able to actually do the things in class, but one of the big things everyone at NSF will tell you is “Everything can be modified!” The trainers give you options and encourage you to go at your level! I have always hated exercising, but now I do 4-5 classes a week. I honestly look forward to coming in and working out with everyone because the environment is so great! Everyone is always building each other up and pushing you to keep going. I also love that you have to sign up for classes on the MindBody app because it makes me plan out when I am going to go and I have to commit to being there. I have lost 25 lbs since joining, but I have gained confidence, strength, and a #fitfamily that is going to help me continue working on my goals! Come try it!- Danielle W.
Two years. I had no idea I would be stepping into a gym that would help get me to the best version of me. (Or that would get me to keep coming back). I had a friend once tell me, “the first few weeks are nothing... it’s usually the 3-6 month range where people fall off and don’t continue.” That gave me more motivation than I thought and I refused to quit. Two years later and I’m happier, healthier, more confident, and have this amazing community of people journeying with me, and friendships that mean so much. There are still days where my food intake is crap (and I usually regret it) but finding that balance has been a lot easier than I thought it ever would be. I still struggle (hello month of May) but I won’t quit this lifestyle or these goals. So thankful for #TeamDean Brooks Dean and Jama Warwick Dean for this dream they had that became a reality.
Have I mentioned your first class is free? Or that ANYBODY can start at ANY POINT and work at their own level? Or that our trainers are AMAZING and truly care about you? JOIN ME. What are you waiting for?
I’ve always wanted to be fit but never stuck with ANYTHING. I look at the photo on the right and can’t even believe it’s me.
Ever since I can remember, I’ve always been insecure about my weight. But I’ve really struggled since 2011 when I started college. I had my son in 2015 and could not shed that extra baby weight. It didn’t matter what I did. I tried everything.
I have officially dropped below my pre pregnancy weight by 15 pounds! I have SO much more energy throughout the day and no longer have that mid afternoon crash.
If you want to make a lifestyle change, I encourage you to try New Start Fitness. Not only has it given me the push to get into shape, but it has changed me as a person completely. If I can do it, you can too!
Earlier this year she found herself winded just walking from her car into work and she was “tired of being tired”. So in April 2018, Starla decided to try New Start Fitness and has been consistently coming ever since. She wants everyone to know “NSF isn’t just ’another gym’ it’s a family of individuals who push you to your limit (or what you think is your limit) then they push you even farther!” Starla has made many non-scale victories that include: muscle gain her arms, box jumps, and moving quicker while playing volleyball. When we asked Starla what helps when she gets frustrated or discouraged, she replied “the people at the gym”. She was becoming discouraged with the scale and she felt she was “seeing” the results. She says the people at the gym saw the change and they encouraged her to keep going. The pictures tell it all! We asked Starla what she would say to someone who is afraid or scared to start #NSFKnox, her answer was simple “If you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got so why not change that”.
It’s been a year. A year full of laughter, tears, dancing, giving up, and trying once again. A year full of encouragement given from numerous individuals. I was honestly baffled to see the change. Thankful for my @newstartfitnessknoxville fam. If it’s not clear, they change lives and don’t let you give up. They help you choose you and let your progress be progress without judgmental expectations.
What does this 3 inch strip of leather represent? Routine butt kickings and constant encouragement from my fitfam.
I have a ratchet belt that is adjusted by cutting off portions of the leather. The belt has been a little too big lately and I took the plunge and cut it.
Also thanks to the numerous folks I get to do life with at New Start Fitness for encouraging and pushing me too.