The Get a Grip Total Fitness “Spotlight Series” continues! These amazing individuals are real people, real journeys, and real results. I am SO proud of their dedication, hard work, and all they have accomplished and Jess is no exception.

Jess Palmer is one strong girl! She came to us and from the get go she worked hard. I knew she was going to do awesome after her first session. When people come in with that “READINESS” I know we are going to help them change their life and that we did. But, without her commitment and doing the work it wouldn’t be possible. I was a little concerned as she lives 45 minutes away from our studio, but she makes the drive and it has totally paid of!

We love her and are so happy she has joined our Get a Grip Family. She is a perfect match.

Here is her story in her words…

Growing up I was very active: basketball, volleyball, and running around with other kids in my neighborhood. As an adult, I was not active at all.

From 2006-2014 I did not engage in any form of physical activity – I worked and went to school. Once I finished college I had extra time on my hands, which meant more TV, sitting down, eating and drinking wine at home.  I love me some wine! That was my normal, I was happy (or so I thought). I started to gain weight slowly and eventually I was not happy with the person I was seeing in the mirror. I didn’t like how my clothes were fitting and I sure didn’t like how I looked in a bathing suit. Living in Florida where summer is a season that can last all year is pressure in itself. At the beginning of 2015 I was a size 10 in jeans and pushing into a size 12. I was thinking to myself – “you’re just going to continue gaining weight and getting bigger – what are you going to do?” To top it off my cholesterol was in the 300 – yikes! I knew I needed to make a change. I did not want to continue on the path that I was on.

For my 2015 New Years resolution I decided that I wanted to lose weight and be healthier. Many people make this resolution and unfortunately are not successful. I was on Carrie’s mailing list and received the email for the 21-Day Belly Blast Challenge. I decided to give working out another try – the best decision I had made in a long time. I took the challenge seriously and committed to eating healthy for the next 21 days. The first day of boot camp kicked my rear – I was thinking to myself, “Why do people do this? What did I sign up for? This is insane.” I am glad I kept going! I saw results the first week and was more motivated than ever.  After the challenge was over I decided to join Get a Grip as a member, I was hooked – my new normal. I continued to see results – went from a size 10 to a 2. Yes, I was very happy and excited with all the new clothes I was buying – my bank account not so much.

Next challenge: Clearwater Distance Classic Half Marathon – again, what are you doing?!! I never ran a race of that distance before, so this should be interesting.  I decided to apply myself just as I had done earlier in the year. That first track night my heart wanted to jump out of my chest.  I thought to myself the next 16 weeks were going to be long. I stuck to the training program and kept telling myself “you can do this.” Week after week I got better. I was able to run my first half marathon with gale force winds– a new personal best for me!

Get a Grip has helped me exceed my expectations on reaching my ideal weight goal and helped me get back to being me – the young girl who was very active. GAG motivates me to do more and be a better me. I could not be happier with my results! Not only has GAG help me get into shape but has helped me be a more positive thinker and a believer. No more of: I can’t, this is crazy – I will never achieve my goal; but more of YES, YOU CAN – BELIEVE IN YOURSELF – YOU CAN DO THIS.  With the right mindset and a great team supporting/motivating you – you will achieve your goals at GAG. Surround yourself with like-minded people and watch the transformation/growth/change happen. I am very thankful for making a commitment to Get a Grip – it’s not only a gym but my new family.

Thank you Carrie for all you do!

Jessbefore 300x300 Spotlight Series...Cholesterol Over 300, Lives 45 Minutes Away, & Putting the Weight On.  Jessafter 300x300 Spotlight Series...Cholesterol Over 300, Lives 45 Minutes Away, & Putting the Weight On.

First 2 Pictures: Before Pictures and Last 2 Pictures: are NOW! SO proud of her!

We are looking forward to see what is next for Jess. Kudos! #getagriptotalfitness

share save 256 24 Spotlight Series...Cholesterol Over 300, Lives 45 Minutes Away, & Putting the Weight On.

When I share these spotlight’s on our amazing member stories, they write their own story and choose their own pictures. I don’t lead them, i just tell them, they are awesome and need to share it with others (plus, it could help someone else who may share the same struggles – it’s an easier way to get them to do it as they are all so generous and have kind souls).

It is a win for all. I always learn more about our amazing members, they actually see all they have accomplished (as we tend to always look forward and forget where we started and how much we have done for the good), and they get the opportunity to maybe through their story help someone else start their fitness & health journey. I receive countless emails and phone calls where they had read one of these and it changed their life. Thats a BIG deal.

Shantel has been with us for a over 3 years. We have watched her evolve on SO many levels. I am unable to convey how proud I am of her. She works hard, encourages others, is committed to making changes for herself and for her family, and I love that she let’s us twist her arm to try new challenges along the way (like Triathlons, Runs, and etc.). She is very tough on herself which is good and bad as we all know. I am determined to continue to remind her of all she has accomplished and to be proud of herself for all her wins! Get a Grip is a better place because of her.

I’m looking forward to 2016 and what we can talk her into next icon smile Spotlight Series: Shantel Cumbie!

Here is her story and by the looks of the photo, I’ d say she has a few successes (well, how about many)…

The front of her shirt said “I survived the Spartan 1000 Challenge” and on the back, it was listed out -

100 Jump Squats

200 Push Ups

300 Full Sit Ups

400 Burpees

My first thought was “WHY?!?” followed by, “What’s a burpee any way?” That was about 3 years ago when I saw Kelly wearing that shirt and I will admit that I was intrigued. She had been talking about this new gym she joined and how amazing it was, so I finally agreed to go to a bootcamp with her. I was really intimidated and just kept praying that I would be able to make it through class without embarrassing myself. I could barely run around my block, so how in the world did I think I could handle bootcamp??  But I did it and I haven’t looked back!

It’s really hard to put into words what GAG has done for me personally. I have always been my own worst enemy when it comes to diet and exercise. Self-doubt would usually cause me to shy away from trying something new. I might set a goal for myself, but I’d never tell anyone else so that if I didn’t reach it, no one would know I had failed. That had always been my mindset before, but not now!

At GAG I want people to know my goals, not just to hold me accountable, but also because I know that they will help me reach them! Carrie goes above and beyond to give us every tool we need to be successful and the other members are always there with support and encouragement and to share their own experiences to help you achieve whatever new goal you’re trying to reach! I think that is the major difference between GAG and other gyms. We have amazing coaches that truly care about you and your success, but we also have amazing members….members that welcome you from day one and encourage you when you’re feeling overwhelmed and push you when they know you can do more! We are each other’s biggest cheerleaders and we are each other’s teammates that we depend on for support and knowledge and humor to get through any situation!

The friendships that are built while bonding over burpees and box jumps and 6am runs in the rain can never be broken! I have accomplished things over the past few years that I would have never even dreamed of attempting before finding GAG!! The support that we get from our coaches and the support we give one another makes this group unstoppable! And I’m proud to be a part of that! I’m proud to look at the other members and see the things they are accomplishing! From 5K’s to Marathons to Triathlons….there is nothing we can’t do! And knowing I have this level of support gives me the courage to challenge myself to try the next thing and to push myself to the next level. I have the confidence to try because I know my GAG family will not let me fail!

I read somewhere that you should always surround yourself with people that challenge you, push you and motivate you. That is exactly what I found when I joined GAG and that’s what I hope to be to other people. I want people to see me and think, “Wow…if she can do it, then so can I!” because it’s true! I want to be that example to my family and my friends and I want to make them proud! I want my son to see me not give up on a goal that I have set so that when the time comes when he wants to quit something, he will choose to keep going. GAG has given that to me and I can never thank Carrie enough for what she does for all of us! 2015 was EPIC! I can’t wait to see this group DOMINATE 2016!!

shantelsawesomeness 184x300 Spotlight Series: Shantel Cumbie!

(As you can see she is one amazing lady – love her!)






share save 256 24 Spotlight Series: Shantel Cumbie!


Team Muffin Top Meltdown & Spare Tire Challenge Winners to be announced…

This was by far the best challenge we have ran to date. More ACTIVE participation then ever! It showed that with a little more effort and work, everyone can make improvements and have HUGE success in their health & fitness.

Before I get to the winners, I want thank all the participants for committing to themselves and in the ladies dept. their team-mates. T.E.A.M. really does equate to…Together Everyone Achieves More! So proud of your commitment, dedication, sharing, supporting others, and for playing! The results were through the roof and the competition was tight. There will be re-matches in the future, I can feel it.

OVER 27 Feet of Inch Lose (with ONLY 3 measuring locations recorded)

OVER 327lbs Weight LOST

189% Improvement of Body Fat

The Winners Are…

The Muffin Top Meltdown TEAM Champions are:


Sherri Lennon, Shelley Tolbert, Kerry Conca, and Samantha Bierhorst

teamdreadthered 300x225 Get a Grips Muffin Top Meltdown & Spare Tire Challenge Winners...

Team: #DreadTheRed

Congratulations, Ladies!!!

These 4 ladies:

Over 25 inches Lost (measured in ONLY 3 locations), 28.4lbs. Lost, and 14% Body Fat GONE!

Team: WIN(E) was EXTREMELY close! 

Sheri, Vanessa, Cindy, & Beth


OVERALL WOMEN’S Challenge Winner:

Julie Cook

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Julie Cook – Before Pic

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Julie Cook – After Pic

Julie lost 8 inches, 10.4lbs, and 6.6% Body Fat!

Men’s Spare Tire Winner:

Ian McDonald

ian before 199x300 Get a Grips Muffin Top Meltdown & Spare Tire Challenge Winners...

Ian – Before Pic

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Ian – After Pic

Ian lost 5.75 inches, 10.4lbs, and 2.4 body fat!




November 9th!





share save 256 24 Get a Grips Muffin Top Meltdown & Spare Tire Challenge Winners...

One of our WINNERS to our Get a Grip Total Fitness 90-Day Total Body Transformation Program is…

Raquel Mascali

So far she has completed 3-weeks with us. She is one hard worker. We love her!

Currently she is finishing up our Signature “21-day Belly Blast Program”.

Here is her own words on who she is, where she is, and what she has experienced so far…

My name is Raquel Mascali. I’m 47 years old mother to (Francesca -17 and Erika -26). I am engaged to Dean Gaebel and he has a son (Christian -18) I have been overweight for about 5 years now . I like to exercise but never made the time to make it happen.  I am so excited and thankful that I was one of the winners of the 90-day Transformation. So far I have been in the program for 3 weeks and I feel amazing! Carrie always has us doing something different which I love! I also am enjoying the company of all the women & men attending Get a Grip. My main goal is to eat healthier and exercise on a regular basis but what motivates me the most is wanting to look AWESOME wearing a t-shirt and jeans:)

A big shout out to “Lisa Moore” who choose me to join her in the 90-day Transformation as she was the winner. Also, a big thanks to Ginger King and Samantha Bierhorst for recommending Get a Grip icon smile MEET Raquel! One of the Two Winners of Our 90 Day Transformation...

First week of the 90-day Transformation the meal plan was very challenging for me. This is the first time I ever follow a meal plan. So, the first two days of detox I altered it a bit with some almonds instead of water for a snack. The third day, I added an apple along with the water. I told myself that if I had to cheat I would do it with something healthy. I really like the taste of the green smoothies and love the way it makes me feel. After the three detox days I felt wonderful!! The exercises are great and are challenging. I have noticed my clothes are already feeling looser icon smile MEET Raquel! One of the Two Winners of Our 90 Day Transformation...

Second week, it was challenging following the meal plan again. I have to work on preparing my meals, which I was not very good at BUT again, I made sure to make healthy choices if I didn’t stick to the meal plan. I also have had a coffee here and there at work. The exercises are getting easier, but are still challenging to get all the reps done.

Third week,  I am continuing to work on the same challenges in week 2.

In the next weeks to come I am going to focus on meal planning and talk to Carrie about added more exercises as I am enjoying it!

I forgot to add, I’m drinking more water than I ever had.

Overall this program is teaching me to make better food choices and to make time to get to the gym no matter what is going on in my life. I am excited to see my results in next 3 weeks icon smile MEET Raquel! One of the Two Winners of Our 90 Day Transformation...

Carrie here again…

Raquel is doing so well. She is working on what matters and making better choices even if she doesn’t stay 100% to the plan. That is what it is all about. Doing your best, working on the things that matter, re-committing every day, taking imperfect action, and making it happen working toward her goals!

I’m sure you guys are going to be excited to see her rock her t-shirt & jeans at the end of her 90-days!

Stay tuned, to see her results of the 3 weeks and pics!

Cheer her on, in the commits below…




share save 256 24 MEET Raquel! One of the Two Winners of Our 90 Day Transformation...

This busy working mom, Amy Smith, of Lutz Get a Grip Total Fitness Boot Camp has accomplished SO much and I am always excited to see what is next on her agenda. She works full-time, is a wife and mom, and still finds time to PR at her running races, exceed the distances in her triathlon’s, make time for your training, and enjoy her down time as well. She is amazing! She has this contagious smile and carefree era about her. We all LOVE to run with her, as she manages to run any speed and still talk the entire time. Plus, she finds time to encourage everyone else in their journeys!

They write their own stories (which you will read below) and I want to make sure you understand as it doesn’t come across below, that she has accomplished so much! I am SO proud of her and Get a Grip would not be the same without her.

Enjoy her story…

There comes a time in a woman’s life when her clothes just don’t fit comfortably anymore.  Actually, I guess it’s safe to say that typically happens a few times in a woman’s life.  That was the case for me.  I am a three time lifetime Weight Watchers member.  I reached lifetime status during my college years, after the birth of my son, and in my late 30’s.  I raved about Weight Watchers and I believed that the program taught me how to eat properly, but I kept falling back into my old patterns.  Michele Musto was one of the regular attenders, but she stopped going to the meetings and I couldn’t imagine why.  I saw her at Publix one day and she mentioned that she had been going to Get A Grip.  I hated exercising alone and was kind of bored with the boxed meals and one point hot dogs, so I thought about giving it a try.

My 40th birthday approached and like many people, I evaluated what was going well in my life, and what needed a new twist.  I was ready for something different, so I made the call to check out Get A Grip.  I started with the 21 Day Belly Blast and quickly learned how to eat with proper nutrition. I was relieved that the Run Club connected me with new friends to run with, because my training had been sporadic without a training partner.  The chalkboard inside the studio inspired me to sign up for races with my new friends.  I quickly realized that the strength training, plyometrics, foam rolling, and yoga all helped to make me a stronger, injury free runner.  My pace got faster and 8 months later, I achieved my goal of running a half marathon in under 2 hours.

With the 2014 New Year, it was time to work towards something different, so I signed up for the triathlon training program.  I am thankful to Carrie & Russ for teaching me how to swim freestyle with proper form.  I gradually gained endurance and signed up for St. Anthony’s Olympic Distance Triathlon. This is one where elite athletes from across the world come to race.  The day of the race came and I nervously thought “What have I gotten myself into?” when I saw the swim course.  My saving grace was the Get a Grip cheer squad- friends from the studio who provided heartfelt support and encouragement. They were my rock that day and it meant so much to have the people who had become my second family there to help me achieve another big goal.

Our ambitions kept getting loftier as we continued to encourage each other.  Last fall several of us travelled together to Augusta, GA to compete in our first Half Ironman.  I know that swimming 1.2 miles, biking 56 miles and running a half marathon- all on the same day- is something that I never would have attempted without the support of the Get A Grip training group and cheer squad.  The lesson I learned about “swimming buoy to buoy” during those triathlons is something that gives me strength to get through life’s challenges.

With the 2015 New Year upon us, several of us attended Disney’s Marathon Weekend to celebrate Chrissy Rowe’s 10 years of being cancer free. I beat my original 26.2 mile time by 30 minutes and once again enjoyed the accomplishment with some very special Get A Grip friends.

Our most recent adventure was the Ragnar Relay Race.  We trained together throughout the fall and winter, and in February two teams of 12 Get A Grip members travelled to Miami and ran the 196 mile relay to Key West.  I fulfilled my dream of running the Seven Mile Bridge, and several of us enjoyed a sunset cruise together in the Conch Republic.

This place where I had come to exercise and lose a little bit of weight became more than I ever dreamed it would be.  It is an understatement to say that it is “more than just a gym.”  I look forward to our boot camp and track workouts at the end of my workdays, and I regularly set my alarm clock to wake up earlier than my workdays to run or bike with my Get A Grip friends on the weekends.   I only need to be a lifetime member of Get A Grip once, because it has truly changed my life once and for all. I know how to eat for health, I have an excellent support system, and I understand the “whys” behind how to exercise and fuel properly.  Carrie Kukuda is a coach like no other and I am so grateful to have her and the Get A Grip team in my life.

Amyhalfmarathon 199x300 Spotlight Series: Busy Working Mom Conquers Running PR and Half Ironman...Amy Smith!

One of Amy’s proudest moments. Her PR in her Half Marathon.

St. Anthonys swim 300x300 Spotlight Series: Busy Working Mom Conquers Running PR and Half Ironman...Amy Smith!

Another one of Amy’s proudest moments…conquering St. Anthony’s Swim!

Looking forward to seeing what’s next on her Agenda! Congratulations, Amy!


share save 256 24 Spotlight Series: Busy Working Mom Conquers Running PR and Half Ironman...Amy Smith!
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