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Art of Strength Norwalk, Connecticut – Rock Star of the Month

This month’s Rock Star is Judy Copeland!



Judy began her Punch Gym journey by training with Stefanie one-on-one, twice a week, over a year ago. Here, Stefanie recounts Judy’s success –

For the first few weeks, Judy couldn’t get past step 2 of the Turkish get-up. She couldn’t elevate. We practiced a lot, but instead of trying to just do the Turkish get-up over and over again, we worked on the get-up sit-up, planks, overhead press, windmill, and swing –- all the things to strengthen core muscles. Within a few weeks, Judy was able to lift herself off the ground and complete step 3 of the Turkish get-up. We started with a chalkboard eraser in her hand. Now, she’s holding 10 pounds or more.

Judy still could not perform the last part of the TGU, the push off the back foot to stand up without assistance. She had to grab my hand and pull herself up. It was no surprise then, when she had trouble on the Bandit Loop lunge as well and couldn’t do it without assistance. So, we began to practice this, too, again, not by doing it over and over again, but by strengthening the muscles she needed to perform the task. Judy did the loop lunge for weeks with my assistance, holding onto my hands. Eventually, I took one hand away, and after a few more weeks, Judy was able to do the lunge completely on her own.

We worked on squats the same way. At first with both hands holding the loop, then one hand, until she was able to do a deep squat on her own, holding a kettlebell. This was one thing Judy definitely thought she would never be able to do, but she did it and did it very well.

None of this happened overnight. It took a course of 60 personal training sessions, and Judy’s persistence, determination, eagerness, and her will to go outside of her comfort zone.

Consistency and patience lead to progress. Judy couldn’t hold a low plank for more than 10 seconds on her first day. Now, she can do it for 60 seconds. The goal of her training was to get her strong enough and ready to participate in classes at Punch. She is now doing classes and holding her own. For Judy, it’s about getting better and being better.

Focus on your journey, and you’ll get better with each workout.

Here’s what Judy said about her Punch Gym experience:

How long have you been training at Punch?
I think it has been around a year and a half. In the beginning I was so out of shape that I needed several months of personal training before I was able to join a class. I have taken several long breaks to travel but when I come back I’m able to catch up quickly.

How has this type of training changed your life?
Exercise has finally become a consistent part of my weekly routine. Before Punch. I had lots of starts and stops and never stuck with something long enough to see results.

Would you recommend this type of training to your friends and family?
Yes. Lots of people have heard of kettlebells but not too many have used them. I find it very satisfying when I ‘graduate’ to a new color bell and have tangible evidence of my progress.

How does this compare to your previous workout regimen?
In recent years my workouts consisted only of long walks once or twice a week and only in warm weather, plus spurts of cardio on a Stairmaster or stationary bike. Many years ago I went to a conventional gym but never liked waiting for the machines to be available.

What are the results you’ve seen?
My knees which were damaged by Lyme disease hardly ever bother me anymore. I also have better posture, am more toned all over and have functional strength. I can carry heavy suitcases up several flights of stairs when necessary and can still pick up my 10 year old granddaughter with ease.

Any other comments you’d like to submit.
One of my favorite times of the day is when I am driving home from class and can feel my core tight and engaged from a good workout.

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