Elev8 Wellness now open on Lyndale

Open since June, Elev8 Wellness is already considering an expansion on Lyndale Avenue.

The center relocated from 50th & Penn and offers nutrition coaching, personal training, group fitness and a running club. The Facebook page shows a petite woman in her 60s lifting 300 pounds.

Lead Coach Jonathan Watters said he’s hired and developed hundreds of fitness professionals over the years while working at BallyTotal Fitness and Life Time Fitness.

To further understand the process of weight loss, Watters intentionally gained more than 120 pounds over the course of about three years — then lost 60 pounds in about five months.

Watters said he’s seen it over and over again. People start at a new fitness center, kill it for three weeks, fizzle for three weeks and then disappear.

To avoid that pattern, Watters said he evaluates the entirety of someone’s week, along with their professional and personal demands, to build a regimen they can stick with. He cited an obesity study that challenged participants to simply take their tennis shoes on and off when they awoke each morning. If they succeeded for seven consecutive days, they added a morning task of opening and shutting the door. The process was designed to create a positive feedback loop in the brain that would gradually set achievable fitness goals.

“The trick is to change each variable as little as possible, the sum total over time adding up to dramatic change,” he said.

Watters said he uses unique ways to shake people out of their routines. One method is the “coffee challenge,” which suggests asking for a 10 percent discount at a coffeehouse.

“There are a whole lot of things you can do that are doable, but uncomfortable, that help to transform the way the mind encounters the world,” he said.