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This article is sponsored by our good friends at Daman’s Strength Training. If you are interested in learning more about strength training or attending one of their Boot Camps, we highly recommend you contact them for more information.

Rick Daman, owner of Daman Strength Training in Monaca, has become one of the most prominent voices on the health, wellness, and personal fitness scene right here in Beaver County. Rick is extremely positive, encouraging, and knowledgeable, and impacts the lives of those he coaches.

This is the third installment in our monthly fitness education partnership with Daman Strength Training. We hope this partnership helps our readers learn to lead a healthier lifestyle now and in the future.

In this edition, Rick and I wanted to profile a few select women who are turning back the clocks on the aging process with their incredible work ethic, determination, and motivation. The goal of this article is to show that ordinary people can do extraordinary things if they put their mind to it. These women are all over 40 years of age and are loyal, hard-working members of Daman Strength Training. We talked to other women at HerBraveTaste.com to find out how they try to prevent the aging process.

I got a chance to speak with six women who Rick and his coaches absolutely love. And what I found out is that the love is mutual. These women are truly dedicated to and believe in the programs at DST. Their lives have changed for the better because of the work they’ve put in. Let’s meet some of the women and hear more about their journey.

Jodi Edmiston

Jodi Edmiston will be 48 in July. She started in May of 2014, so she’s been with DST for about a year. She went on to say, “I have the utmost respect for all the coaches at DST. Their positive encouragement has kept me going back week after week. The coaches help me with challenges that I’m not sure I can do myself. They believe in my abilities and help me see what I’m capable of doing. Even though I’m a little older than the average member, they help me focus on what I can do, not what I can’t. They also give me great nutrition advice.”

Jodi isn’t the only person in her family who trains at DST. It’s ‘all in the family’ for the Edmiston’s. “I have a son who also trains at DST, and yes we train together.”

Jodi started training at DST at the age of 46. And she couldn’t be happier with the results she’s seen so far. “Health and how we feel is more important to me and my family than how we look. There is a trickle-down effect because of what I do as a wife and mother. I know my family is healthier thanks to the nutrition advice I was given by the coaches. Since I started DST I have lost body fat, and yes, I look and feel stronger. This has helped greatly with joint discomfort, mental fatigue, and of course confidence. I have a lot I want to do in the next 50 years so I need to be in great shape.”

Wendy Spratt

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Our next testimonial is from Wendy Spratt. A lot of our readers can probably relate to Wendy. She’s a 49 year-old, mother of four, who also works full-time. She started at DST in the Strong & Sexy Boot Camp program in December 2012. She started by going two times a week. Like Jodi, she also has a son who trains at DST. She and her son share something in common: they have undergone a physical transformation from their time training at DST. Wendy saw the benefits her son was reaping from his training, so she decided to get on board, too. “Knowing how good it was for him sold me on getting in on it, so I jumped at the chance when boot camp was offered,” she said.

When Rick and I write the educational pieces for the readers of YBC, I get a chance to hear from a lot of his clientele about their experiences at DST. A common theme among all his members is that they heap tons of praise on Rick and his coaches. Wendy is no exception.

“Rick has a great staff of coaches and it all starts with his great approach and attitude. He knows we can do anything we want to and encourages us every step along the way. He pushes us to move up to higher weight kettle bells and sandbags as we get better and stronger. He walks the walk every day of his life.”

Wendy specifically mentioned Mary Futato since Mary is the one Wendy has worked out with the most. Mary teaches many of the sessions Wendy has been involved in. Wendy said that Mary constantly challenges them with new and interesting workouts. She said, “Mary cares about every single one of us and would do anything for us. You can contact her literally any time of the day or night with a question or issue and she will be glad to do anything she can, and Rick is no different!”

A year later, Wendy is 25 pounds lighter. Not only has she lost weight, but she’s also added muscle. She wore a bikini last summer for the first time in 16 years. Her stamina is up, and she even received a 40 pound kettle bell for her birthday.

Wendy added, “Paying a little bit more for the program motivated me to be sure I was doing everything I could outside of boot camp itself to get the most out of it.  My whole family eats much healthier and is open to trying new things.  We eat a lot of quinoa, whole grains, fresh fruits and vegetables and lean meats. I try new, healthy recipes all the time.

Finally, Wendy has forged many new relationships along her journey with DST. She’s bonded with coaches and classmates throughout the trials and tribulations.

“I can’t forget to mention the friendships I’ve made with so many great women. We support each other in camp and out and push each other to do more.”

Brenda Dhayer

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Another loyal disciple of Daman Strength Training is Brenda Dhayer. Brenda is 43 and started at DST in February 2013. She’s trained with every coach at DST over the past two years, and she can’t say enough about them. “The coaching staff at DST is exceptional! Every coach, every workout is geared toward helping us find our potential, pushing us to new limits, and providing support. The coaches also provide us with nutritional tips for leading a healthy life. They’re constantly paying close attention to detail in the workouts to make sure we are doing them correctly or to fix them. The coaches are always available for questions or concerns.”

Like Wendy Spratt and Jodi Edmiston, Brenda also has children who train at DST. Her daughter, Brittany, joins the boot camp classes when she is home from college. Her youngest daughter, Alexis, is also part of the DST family. Brenda told me becoming a member at DST was the best decision she ever made for herself, and now she is prouder than ever to see her girls taking an active approach to exercise.

Every summer, Daman Strength Training holds an annual ‘strongman competition’ charity fundraiser. Here, Brenda was able to showcase the fruits of her labor on the streets of Monaca. “Being able to compete and flip 650 pound tires with male and female competitors, ranging from high school to adults was a wonderful feeling. Again, age is just a number.”

Brenda also cited a familial feeling among the members and coaches at DST. “Everyone is so supportive of each other at the gym. Lifelong friendships are forming and I consider members ‘my family.’ I am proud to be a member of Daman Strength Training.”

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Heidi Devlin

Heidi Devlin is 50 years old, and has been a client of Daman’s for two years. As she gets older, she realizes that her body is inevitably changing. Heidi cites her training at DST as giving her a ‘head start’ in limiting the effect of the aging process that eventually takes place in all of us. Her body has become strong and flexible.

Heidi told me the coaches are extremely knowledgeable, and know when you need to add weight in order to make gains in strength and body composition. “Complacency does not exist at DST. This has made me less likely to suffer injury, keeps my bone density high, keeps my hormone levels in check, and gives me confidence,” Heidi said.

Heidi is another member who talked about how influential the coaches at DST have been throughout her development. “The coaches make you accountable to be consistent in workouts. In a lifetime quest for fitness it has taken me this long to realize that the key is consistent workouts at an intensity level that will actually make a difference. For me to be consistent the workout needs to keep my interest, it needs to be challenging and dynamic, and that’s what Daman Strength Training offers.”

Amy Gemma

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Amy Gemma is another member who seen dramatic and significant changes from her time at DST. Amy is 45 years old, and she’s been with DST for almost two years. When Amy started the program, she was overweight, but she felt like it was normal because she was getting older. She was never the most physically fit person, and didn’t believe she could be. Enter Rick Daman.

Rick and his coaches adapted her workouts and the amount of weight she lifted to accommodate her needs. Coach Mary Futato encouraged her to complete the sets, and with a little encouragement, Amy was on her way to becoming stronger and healthier. Amy was so disciplined in her approach that missing class was not an option. She told me she didn’t want to let herself or her classmates down if she missed.

Amy added, “I’m not the fastest and I don’t lift heavy. I’m doing this for me. I’m not in competition with anyone. The ladies encourage each other to get through a set especially when you feel like quitting. It’s also nice to see definition & my body feels “tight.” And it happens fast! I have 9 & 11 year old boys and it feels terrific when I hear them say ‘my mom goes to boot camp.’ The house cleaning, errand running, & work can wait…I can’t!”

Pam Barnes

Last but not least, Pam Barnes is another two year veteran of DST. Barnes is 52, and is having a blast training with the coaches and other members every week. “Rick and his staff are amazing coaches. They have a genuine care for your personal goals and success. They help keep you accountable to it.”

Pam gave me an example of a time when she was away on vacation, but Rick went the extra mile to check on one of his members. What you are about to read is definitely rare, and it’s what makes DST a special place to train.

“One time I was on vacation, so I wasn’t at boot camp for the week. I got a call on Thursday from Rick Daman to check on me and to make sure I was ok. He was concerned because I hadn’t been to boot camp. Who does that? Answer: Rick does.”

Pam said that is just one of the many personal outreaches he or his coaches will do to make sure you are well, and to keep you motivated to your training and nutrition. Another one of those personal touches are the videos Rick makes for his members.

“He does these personalized videos which are serious, funny, and motivating at the same time. He’ll be shopping at the store and doing a video of himself while sharing news of good nutritional or non-nutritional products.”

Pam also cited Mary Futato as extremely motivational and sincere in that she cares about the women in the boot camp program. “She’s super tough but has a kind heart,” said Pam. “She always demonstrates the right way to do things.”

“When I joined DST, I was at an all-time low as it related to my health and well-being. I turned 50 in December of 2012 and looked in the mirror one day and said ‘What the heck happened to me?’ I was always a slender person but age certainly took its toll on me.  In April of 2013 my daughter invited me to join DST. I didn’t think it would be for me because of the type of training. I had the perception I was too old and too weak to do something like this. Boy was I wrong! This strength training program has been exceptionally empowering for my body, mind, and soul!  I have gained self-esteem, confidence, and the courage to do more. I’m even running in my first half marathon! Not to mention a group of friends that I simply love as my family. And yes, the bonus of a stronger body than I had in my 20s and I am stronger and slimmer than I started. I’m still on my journey but very proud with my results.  Health, fitness, and DST is a daily part of my life. I’m going to live strong!”

Want more information about the Strength Training Programs and Women’s Boot Camps that Daman’s Strength Training offers?

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Marc is a lifelong resident of Beaver County. A 2001 graduate of Center High School and 2005 graduate of Point Park University, Marc is employed by the Pennsylvania Cyber Charter School and officiates high school and college football. Follow Marc on Twitter, Snapchat, and Instagram @marcgrando