After battling obesity and other health issues for years, Arthur Boorman finally bottomed out. Literally.
Boorman, a Brooklyn resident and special education teacher at Severna Park High School, was working with a student at the youngster's home about two years ago, when the chair that he was sitting on collapsed under his 5-foot-6, 340-pound frame.
yoga a try, and one day, while doing an Internet search on the subject, Boorman stumbled across something called YRG.
Created by former world champion professional wrestler Diamond Dallas Page, YRG - "Yoga for Regular Guys" - is a workout program that combines traditional yoga poses with calisthenics and isometric exercises.
Severely overweight and disabled, Boorman purchased the YRG DVD. He started doing the exercises while leaning on chairs and sitting on his bed because he couldn't stand on his own.
Following an eating plan designed for him by Page, in addition to doing the workout, Boorman lost 130 pounds and 17 inches on his waist in nine months. Not only was he walking again minus the canes, he was running.
Today, he weighs 156 pounds, bringing his total weight loss to 184 pounds.
Boorman, 48, now teaches YRG classes five times a week, in Fells Point, Arnold and Pasadena.
"I said to my wife one night, 'I'm not a person anymore. I'm becoming furniture. People have to move me around,'" said Boorman, recalling a conversation from when he was at his heaviest. "I couldn't drive because of my legs. My wife had to drive me to work, and then pick me up and drive me home. Every day, my wife had to wrap me and strap me and assemble me so I could hobble out with 30 pounds of braces and 20 pounds of canes. [Page] gave me my life back."
A visit to Page's Web site, diamonddallaspage.com, reveals testimonials from others who also lost significant amounts of weight doing YRG.
So what makes YRG so effective, and how is it different from regular yoga?
The key, says Page, is that YRG elevates the heart rate and gets people into their fat-burning zone. He urges those who do YRG to train wearing a heart monitor.
"Yoga doesn't pay enough attention to upper body," Page said over the phone from Los Angeles. "I do. YRG is that engaging of the muscles that creates isometric pause. That jacks the heart rate right up. What I love about YRG is that you can see the results by looking at your wrist and getting a true heart rate.
"With YRG, you never have to do any other cardio. YRG will not only keep you in that cardio zone, but it will give you energy, flexibility and stability."
Another distinction between YRG and yoga is that YRG is more physically based than spiritually based.
"There is no spiritual mumbo-jumbo in my class. There is no humming or chanting," said Page, who nonetheless says he wants to be referred to as a fitness guru. "Not that it's bad, but it's just not me. I start my class by saying, 'If you're new and you came for the yoga where you reach your arms to the heavens and the universe smiles back at you, you might be in the wrong class.'"
While women also do YRG - "Yoga for Regular Gals" - his target audience is men who, in Page's words, "wouldn't be caught dead doing yoga."
He can relate. "I was one of them for the first 42 years of my life," said Page, who has led U.S. troops through YRG workouts during visits to Iraq and Afghanistan.
Page, 52, who didn't become a wrestler until he was 35, was one of wrestling's top stars during the industry's boom in the late '90s. When he was 42, he ruptured two vertebrae in his lower back and was told by doctors that he would never wrestle again.
Yoga with attitude
A former pro wrestler's 'regular guys' exercise regimen helped an Anne Arundel man lose 184 pounds
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