America's fittest couple

Love + Fitness = Happiness

 

Where do you train?

We're marking our territory...through sweat drops.  Every ounce of perspiration marks a new land of fitness -- and we will include it here on this map.  It's surprising how many places can be conducive to a great workout.  

 

"The Field"

 

Lyuda acquainted herself intimately with this half-acre plot across from Lynn University.  Measuring 600-meters in circumference, "the field" was initially designed as a baseball diamond -- but Lyuda implemented the facility as a running track.  She has run around it over 150,000 times over the course of the past year.

 

Running is one of the best ways to get fitter and shed excess body weight.  You can burn more calories per hour through running than virtually any other workout.  Building enough endurance to run at a fast pace will allow you to skyrocket your fitness because you'll have the capacities to work out harder than you ever dreamed of.  Lyuda's favorite workout is running and she tries to get in at least five intense runs per week.


Harlingen Pro Tennis Tournament

 

Jon made the trip to the Lone Star State earlier in the year to play in a high level competition.  The trip was successful, and not just because of the many matches he played.  Jon was able to locate a supermarket next to his hotel that sold organic food.  He was there every evening, filling up his shopping cart with various produce.

 

Tennis is a great sport because you can play for your entire life.  Jon had the good fortune of learning the sport at a young age and he has latched onto it ever since.  As the top singles player for the Harvard tennis team for two seasons, Jon had the opportunity to compete against great collegiate players across the country.  Jon plays tennis every day and competes in high-level tournaments whenever he has the opportunity.


Sawgrass Mills Mall

  

Lyuda challenged this friendly four-legged creature to a sprinting match on a weekend trip to this mega-shopping oasis.  Lyuda burst out of the gates with ferocity, but for some reason our green friend didn't respond at all to the gunshot.  Winning this race gave Lyuda the confidence she needed to tackle her extensive shopping itinerary.

 

Shopping isn't the pinnacle of the workout sphere, but often times you can find competitive opportunities during a trip to the local mall.  Lyuda managed to do so here, where she found the first willing (or silently acquiescent) competitor to engage in a one-on-one, 100-meter sprint race.  By the time Lyuda reached the finish line, her full-lipped foe hadn't moved one step.  Victory: Lyuda!


Gordon Indoor Track

 

Lyuda and Jon met here on a cold October day back in 2011, where it was love at first sight.  Jon went up to Lyuda point blank in the middle of her workout and asked her out that very same night.  There's only one thing he regrets:  interrupting her intense series of lung-jumps.

 
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Workout Destinations ought to be frequented for the purpose of getting fitter.  Yet as you can see from here, good things come out of working out hard -- and not just the health benefits.  There was a snow storm the evening Lyuda and Jon met, and it was only a tribute to their own commitment to fitness that they were both there that night.  It just goes to show that never missing a workout will work wonders, beyond just a toned physique.


Waseda University

 

The couple made the trek out to Tokyo, Japan, where they stumbled upon this well-known college.  Lyuda made sure her fitness routines weren't compromised, as she made use of the university's outdoor track for running and yoga stretches.  Jon brought out a jump rope so she could finish her workout strong, and she took on the challenge without second thought, completing 500-skips straight before collapsing.

 
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Japanese Colleges aren't ideal for Americans to travel to for daily workouts -- especially given the extensive commute time required.  Yet if you ever do find yourself in the vicinity of Shinjuku Station, don't pass up on an exercise session if you don't have to.  Your nutrition, on the other hand, might need to take a slight hit: the only salads being served in Japan are in the various Seven Elevens positioned at major intersections.  


Western Wall

 

Lyuda and Jon initially visited the Holy Land as tourists, but soon found themselves catapulted into a daily routine of prayer.  The couple was forced to pray separately (men and women are placed in different areas in order to promote focus), but come supper time, the two reunited to discuss their spiritual realizations over a romantic, candle-lit meal.

 
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Praying probably wouldn't be considered by many to be a workout, but the pair made certain that their shucklen (swaying that is customary during prayer in the Jewish tradition) wasn't matched by any other spiritual seeker in the vicinity.  Lyuda and Jon swayed with such ferocity that their "Fuel Bands" indicated caloric expenditure equivalent to that of an intense 45-minute run.


Beren Tennis Center

 

Jon played #1 singles for the Harvard tennis team and was a two-time First Team All-Ivy selection.  During the spring tennis season, the New England weather would usually allow only one or two matches to be played at Harvard's outdoor facility.  The rarity of these fresh-air competitions made them all the more appreciated.

 

 

College Sports are great because talented athletes can enjoy an extended career while continuing to pursue their education.  Sports promote lean, functional muscle – the type of muscle that Jon and Lyuda strive for.  Jon played some epic matches during his time in the top singles spot at Harvard and helped lead the team to a historic season in 2012.  Jon's commitment to healthy eating during his time there helped to shape the food culture at the Beren for years to come.


"Catch"

 

To celebrate Lyuda’s birthday in 2013, the duo made an appearance at this trendy Miami restaurant.  Jon and Lyuda fought heavy traffic into the city that night so they could see and be seen by the South Beach Elite.  Midway through the main course, the couple noticed their water glasses were “magically” refilling themselves, until they realized the culprit was a leaky ceiling.

 

Extreme Sodium Consumption wouldn’t be recommended by your cardiologist, but at this Miami Beach hot-spot “Catch” (a sister venue to the hip destination in New York City), the chefs seemed to have perfected the recipe for high blood pressure.  Waking up the next morning with severe water retention, the couple hit the beach for an extended session of sprints and plyometrics.  Two hours later, Lyuda and Jon had purged the excess salt from sweating.


Cliff Walk

 

The couple visited Newport, Rhode Island on a picture-perfect summer day.  The impressive mansions of the Gilded Age, coupled with the Ocean State’s rocky shoreline, was a magnificent sight to behold.  Lyuda worked on her agility by circumventing the various plots of poison ivy, a known scrouge of the trail.

 
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Walking certainly won’t burn as many calories as an intense run, but a brisk stroll can be fun -- especially when you’re soaking in idyllic surroundings.  If you find yourself in a scenic environment, start exploring the landscape by going on a power walk – you can see the sights and tone your legs alongside.  Multi-tasking at its finest.


The Donkey Show

 

Lyuda and Jon attended this celebrated Cambridge production at the recommendation of Jon’s dramatic arts adviser (Jon minored in the field at Harvard).  One flamboyant cast member cajoled Lyuda into taking a short motorcycle ride before the start of the show.  Her absence gave two of the other male actors -- draped in nothing but sparkling lycra briefs -- a short window of time to grind up on an unsuspecting, vulnerable Jon.

 
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Theatre Going is a great activity because you can appreciate the arts while at the same time working on your fitness.  Aim to attend interactive productions because improving your physique will only come through actively moving your body.  Audience members at the “Donkey Show” are on their feet throughout, dancing to 1970’s music alongside the cast – a unique experience of entertainment-turned-Zumba that is a staple of the Cambridge nightlife.   


"The Island"

 

Lyuda and Jon lived most of 2013 in West Palm Beach, Florida, and during that time they were invited to several high-brow social gatherings with Palm Beach Island’s elite.  While Jon dressed simply in a classic button-down, Lyuda made sure to turn heads with her seductive strapless dress.  Many well-know intellectuals were in attendance, yet upon Lyuda's entrance, their sophisticated conversations seemed to stall as a different (less refined) part of the brain took over.

 
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Elite Social Gatherings aren’t places for peak fitness acquisition.  For some reason, it’s often those with the most resources at their disposal – wealth, knowledge, and time – that adhere to the least disciplined physical regimens.  Regardless, the nights that Lyuda and Jon attended these parties they had completed a full schedule of exercise.  Never let your social life get in the way of your daily workout.


Prentice Cup

 

Jon played in the top singles spot for the United States team in the Prentice Cup, a biennial competition and the oldest international amateur athletic event in the world.  The top six players from Yale and Harvard face off against the top six from Cambridge and Oxford, and the event is held on the traditional surface of grass.  With Jon at the helm, the Harvard-Yale squad dominated the English side, sending them back to the “old country” with more baggage (psychological…the Cup stayed on U.S. soil) than they arrived.

 

 

 

Prestigious Sports Events can serve as motivation to improve your fitness levels because you’ll likely be motivated to etch your name on the winning side in the history books.  The U.S. team met six days before the competition to prepare, and Jon made sure that he and the squad didn’t squander the time.  The Yale trio showed up particularly out of shape, and the team was forced to allocate the bulk of their weekly monetary allowance (initially intended for inter-team social events with the Oxbridge side) to hiring an outside fitness coach to get them in shape.  The decision proved to be the right one, as the U.S. team emerged victorious in all of the third sets played.


The Cover Girl Issue

 

Lyuda was selected from an applicant pool of thousands to model in the annual “Boca Magazine Cover Girl Issue.”  The selection prompted Lyuda to follow an even more rigorous exercise schedule, which leaned her body down immensely.  She was determined to achieve top physical form, and when it was all done, nobody could deny that she had.  The shots were released this past August and the hard work paid off: Lyuda looked fantastic!

 

Photo Shoots can supplement your fitness routines because you’ll likely be on your feet and moving.  Ideally, you want to reach peak fitness levels before the shoot, but in any case you can elevate your heart rate by moving from one snapshot position to the next...as quickly as possible.  Work up a sweat if you can.  When you assume your stance for the money-shot pose, maintain a slight bend of the knee and feel the burn in the quadriceps.  Getting fitter during the shoot might catapult you in the direction of an even better one -- maybe even the cover of the Sports Illustrated swimsuit issue, who knows.  When it comes to your fitness, aim high.


The Southernmost Point

 

The couple made the trip down to the Florida Keys in the early summer and had the time of their lives.  They stayed active throughout the trip, running in the mornings on the beach, snorkeling in the ocean, and winding down the days with sunset yoga.  Lyuda and Jon never experienced such a high level of humidity – not even in South Florida – yet the oppressive conditions only helped to facilitate great workouts (especially the runs).

 
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Vacationing is conducive to improving fitness levels only if you’re determined to do so.  Many people equate vacation time with “leisure,” which in their minds means sitting around all day and being lazy.  Always remember that vacation time is free time.  With many commitments on their plates, Lyuda and Jon understand that free time must not go wasted -- meaning it should be used for working out hard.  When the couple returned home after the trip, the active days had added up – they had each lost several pounds.


Leverett House

 

Jon and the Harvard tennis team captured the Ivy League title back in 2012.  As part of the evening's celebrations, the Ivy trophy – “Albie” – was brought back to Leverett House (one of the Harvard dorms), during which time the team celebrated the victory.  Lyuda, like the good girlfriend she is, made sure to join in the festivities.

 
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Ivy League Titles don’t increase fitness levels themselves, but they usually signify that a high level of physical development has been reached.  Jon and the Harvard team powered through one of the toughest Ivy Leagues in history, taking down Dartmouth in the final home match of the season to claim the title outright.  The wildly successful season (the team finished with a 23-3 mark) was a tribute to the players’ hard work in the gym and on the running track.


Bourbon Street

 

Jon and Lyuda visited New Orleans in late December back in 2012, yet the essence of the city – rooted in a vibrant nightlife, restaurant, and drinking culture – didn’t seem to engulf the couple fully.  The duo rarely eats out and virtually never drinks.  So what did they do instead?  Went to visit a few graveyards.

 

Nightlife doesn’t promote top physical form because if you’re going to sleep late and drunk, you probably won’t be waking up early the next day for an intense workout.  If you want to master your body, you need to lead a disciplined lifestyle.  Getting fit only comes with sacrifice, so forget the bottomless martinis and start getting up early for an intense morning run.  It's better for your fitness -- and healthier overall -- to live during the day, not night.  


Balboa Park

 

Jon made the trip out to San Diego to compete in the National Men’s Hardcourts – an annual event held at the historical Balboa Racquet Club.  Jon had a memorable tournament, finishing in third place while soaking in the dry, California heat.  Coming from the oppressive humidity in Florida, Jon was able to fully appreciate the pleasant West Coast conditions.

 

Temperate Climates aren’t preferred if you’re looking to get lean because it’s the hottest and most humid environments that will promote maximum physical growth.  Escaping soul-crushing temperatures to workout in cooler climates is of occasional use as a window into how much these oppressive temperatures are actually helping your fitness.  If you haven’t already, invest in an inexpensive condominium in the Sunshine State and head down south in the heart of summer.  After thirty minutes of running outdoors, you’ll understand immediately what “pain” really feels like.            


Splash Mountain

 

The couple took a three hour road-trip from South Florida to Orlando so they could experience Disney World’s Magic Kingdom.  After an organic dinner at home, they jumped in the car and arrived in time for the “twilight hours” – offered from 10pm to 1am.  With the crowds having left for the day, Lyuda and Jon were able to experience the majority of the rides without any wait time.

 
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Theme Parks normally don’t increase fitness levels, but in this particular instance, Lyuda and Jon were able to enjoy the Magic Kingdom while upping their cardiovascular endurance.  With the park empty at that late hour, the pair sprinted through pre-ride hallways that normally would have been filled to capacity with screaming children and fannypack-sporters on the wrong side of forty.  By the time they made it to the ride vessel, their heart rates had reached well over 160 beats per minute.


Alfred A. Ring Tennis Complex

 

In 2012, Jon and the Harvard team received an automatic bid into the NCAA tournament.  The matches were held at the University of Florida, and after a first round win against Virginia Tech, the Crimson squad faced off against the hometown team.  It was a competitive match, but with a fully stacked roster of international players (barely eligible for NCAA participation based upon past professional playing experience), the Gators ended up taking the victory to reach the “Sweet Sixteen.”

 

The NCAA Tennis Tournament is a high level athletic competition, and while it is technically an “amateur” event, many of the players that compete there would likely qualify for a professional tennis ranking.  A large majority of the players that make it into this prestigious event are fit, at least by any conventional standard -- yet it’s only the fittest of the 64 teams that make it into the final rounds.  This just goes to show that there’s always a higher level when it comes to fitness, no matter how in-shape you are.   

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