Todd and Irina are the definition of a power couple.  Todd started training with Josh in 2011 after he had herniated two disks in his lower back.  At the time, his main goal was to become pain-free and return to everyday activities that he enjoys.  Once he accomplished this goal, and Josh helped to put him back together, his goals shifted to that of exercising properly and getting fit.  He continued to train with Josh for many years in the general fitness realm until his goals took a turn to that of more lofty ambitions; climb to the top of all 50 high points in all 50 states of the US with his wife Irina.


Todd and Irina discovered a deep passion for hiking and mountain climbing not long after Todd was able to resume normal activities.  They have hiked all over the United States and they realized that they should turn their passion into a huge long term goal.  Irina started training with Jonathan at LNFS in 2015 to support their 50 high point goal, work on her strength and endurance, and to look and feel better.  Todd continues to work with Josh on fitness and corrective exercise to support his goals of carrying heavy loads up mountains and making sure his back stays pain-free.  For the first time in his life, his back no longer bothers him.


To date, Todd and Irina have made it to the top of 43 high points from Hawaii to Maine and climbed up to altitudes of 14,500 feet!  The highlight so far has been summiting Mt. Whitney in California.  It was a three-day trip up and down and each night was spent at a camp at 12,000 feet.  They look forward to going back this summer and trying to summit in 24 hours.  


Since the start of their high points program, Todd and Irina have been doing some kind of physical activity 6 days per week.  Their favorites include hiking, climbing, cardio, swimming and strength training.  Under the supervision of Josh and Jonathan, they have also made huge changes in their nutrition plans and tailor their intake around fueling their bodies for their climbs and aid in quicker recovery.  They actually plan their non-work weeks around their workouts to ensure they don’t miss a session!  Because of this dedication and consistency, they have been able to accomplish things that were previously way outside of their comfort zones and their growing confidence has enabled them to venture out to try new things.


Nutrition has proved to be the most difficult things for them to control since they are always on the go.  They have perfected planning ahead and making consistent choices even when they are on a trip to climb a mountain.  


Their future goals include making it to the summit of all 50 high points, then they hope to create even more ambitious goals to stay healthy, strong, and look great.  They can’t imagine stopping and not seeing Josh and Jonathan every week.  


Most of their motivation is self-driven to live their lives to the fullest.  They never want to get to the point where they can’t do the things they love because they are physically unable to do so.  They also find motivation in one another and keep each other accountable.  But, a big reason they say they keep working so hard is because their trainers motivate them every week in a different way.  They say it’s truly a gift that their trainers have.  


Trainer’s Note:


Todd and Irina are some of the most passionate clients that we have here at LNFS.  They make huge sacrifices for their training programs by driving all the way from South Charlotte two times a week to train with their respective trainers.  I admire their dedication and their drive to not stop until they have reached their goals.  It’s not uncommon for them to hop on a plane on Friday afternoon, fly across the country, drive for miles in a rental car, climb a mountain, drive miles back to the airport, and then fly home all in one weekend and then show up on Monday afternoon for training.  They inspire me and motivate me to be the best I can at my job so I don’t let them down when it comes to living out their dream of reaching all 50 high points.  I can’t wait to see where the rest of the year takes this amazing couple!

By: Josh Soper, Personal Trainer,  BS, CSCS, Pn1, and Co-owner at Lake Norman Fitness Specialists