Member Spotlight: Tyler Bridegan
By Mekita Rivas, VIDA editor and member
Tyler Bridegan has been a VIDA member for less than a year, but he’s already seeing major results. The 27-year-old attorney has dropped more than 50 lbs and has substantially lowered his body fat percentage — and he’s just getting started! Although Tyler says his fitness always “took a backseat” to his education, after completing grad school, he decided that it was time to make a real lifestyle change. We caught up with him to chat about how VIDA has helped him set and reach his goals, as well as the lessons he’s learned so far on his fitness journey.
When you joined VIDA, what were your initial goals?
My goal was rather broad: get in better shape. However, since working with my trainer, I have been able to formulate my own goals. When I started with VIDA, I was around 285 pounds. As of March 2018, I am down to around 230 pounds and have gotten my body fat to around 22%. My goal going forward is to get my body fat percentage to 15%, all while focusing less on the number on the scale.
How has VIDA helped you achieve those goals?
My trainer, Juan Natal, and the VIDA facilities have been essential to helping me reach my goals. I had always been somewhat skeptical of the value of a personal trainer. But when I joined, I took advantage of the free personal training session and was paired with Juan. I thought I knew my way around the gym enough to be successful because of sports. However, Juan has taught me an incredible amount about workouts and common errors people make when working out various muscle groups. I really would not be where I am if it weren’t for everything he’s taught me.
What do you most enjoy about being a VIDA member?
I really love the environment of VIDA. I work out at the Gallery Place location, and I feel like everyone there is extremely nice. The facility is also great and relatively roomy compared to most gyms — I never feel like I’m trying to navigate a crowd. On the weekends, that location is particularly great because it’s practically empty and you get most of the gym to yourself.
Describe your typical workout routine. How often do you work out and what kind of workouts are you drawn to?
I really do not enjoy cardio. I told Juan this pretty much right away, and he adjusted my workouts accordingly. My workouts always consist of a chest and triceps workout, back and biceps workout, shoulders and core workout, and leg day. I work out four days in a row and then take a rest day. The workouts Juan has taught me primarily consist of high-reps and lower weight, however I change it up from time to time. A major benefit of a trainer is the number of exercises they can teach you. I often take my favorite exercises that Juan teaches me week after week and combine them into my own workout.
What else have you learned on your fitness journey so far?
Losing weight is no easy task. It takes a unique combination of self-determination, resolve, and patience. As a somewhat impatient person, I have to remind myself often that weight loss is a marathon and not a sprint. Rather, as long as I see weight falling off week after week, the actual number of pounds I drop in any given week are not that significant. Although I have already lost in excess of 50 pounds, I keep learning more about losing weight and getting into better shape. I think that’s important to keep in mind because in any weight loss journey, you need to stay vigilant to find what works best for you, your mind, and your body.