John R. – My Fitness journey back from knee surgery – thanks to my son!!


In 2007, John R. crushed his knee in a dirt bike incident.  Not able to do everything he wanted to do, John gained 50 lbs over 6 years.  Last year, after 4 surgeries, the knee had finally healed enough to get back into a fitness routine.  But the ultimate motivator for John was his 19-year old son.  “My son had joined the Navy and I wanted him to start with a strong, lean body.  We joined the gym together.  I got back to the gym for my son!”

John and his son joined The ZOO Hillsboro in February 2013 and began working out together 4-5 times per week.  Some days one of them would not want to work out, but the other would encourage them on.  When his son left for the Navy in June, he was 20 lbs stronger and John had shed those 50 lbs!


Have you had other benefits from your fitness routine?

I have more energy and I’m more active and I’m in a better mood.  We have a new 2-month old baby and the energy from exercising makes it easier to wake up with in the middle of the night and tend to him.  My wife is happy about that!


Why do you like The ZOO Hillsboro?

It’s a place to work out and relax and enjoy working out.  It’s close to my house.  It’s a friendly gym with a diverse group of people.  There isn’t all that groaning that you get at the muscle building gyms.  It’s more relaxing here.  I like being back at the gym, having a little time to myself, peace and quiet.  It helps get my day going.  It’s relaxing, doing my own thing.


What are your fitness goals?

I want to get to 200 lbs.  There is the possibility of a knee replacement in my future and I want to push the surgery off as far as possible!!!  A lower stronger weight takes the pressure off my knees.


What is your workout routine?

My son and I started doing 20-minutes of cardio followed by 30-40 minutes of weights, working out different muscle groups.  Now I work out 5-6 days a week, with 60-90 minutes of weights.  On 3-4 days I do 30-minutes of cardio, the other days I do 30-minutes of abs.


What else do you do to keep fit and healthy?

I use My Fitness Pal to track the calories I am consuming and expending.  I have changed my diet and eat healthier, less processed foods, and I stay away from the trans fats.


What advice would you give others?

I’ve learned 3 things which might be helpful to others:

Take a photograph of yourself at the start of your fitness journey!  And then take a photograph every 2-4 weeks.  As your body changes, it’s hard to remember what you used to feel like and look like.  With the photographs, you have proof of how far you’ve come.

With every 5lbs you lose, change something in your routine.

At some point in your journey, you may hit a plateau.  Don’t worry about it, keep going.  You may not lose any additional weight for a while, but you will notice that your clothes are fitting differently and you are feeling better.  Weight is not everything.  Regardless of what the scale says, you’re still getting results.   Keep on going.  The weight will begin to come off again.  Just keep going!