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Photos by Michelle Davies | The Journal Gazette
Trainer Anton Talamantes, right, works with Jamie Bernardin while her husband, Kenny, and her son, Kenny II, watch.
What’s Your Workout?

Local family sets out on workout journey

The Bernardin family of Fort Wayne is starting a 90-day exercise program.
Kenny works on a shuffle step in the workout area of the Bernardin’s home.

Jamie Bernardin says she and her family aren’t going to waste another month. They are not going to spend the time indulging in holiday foods and remaining inactive, waiting for the new year to get healthy.

They are doing it now.

With the help of trainer and MMA fighter Anton Talamantes, the Bernardins – Jamie, 46, Kenny, 45, and Kenny II, 10 – are embarking on a 90-day challenge to get active, eat better and spend more time together.

“It is (the) holidays, and it is a challenge. We’re going to do … Christmas then New Year’s Eve then Valentine’s Day then Easter,” Jamie says. “It’s just a vicious cycle of eating all the time. Somebody always has a birthday. You just have to learn to stop.”

The family got a head start on the program, taking junk food out of the house and weighing in with Talamantes, who has been working with Kenny II for nearly six months.

A fourth-grader at Arlington Elementary, Kenny II wants to wrestle in middle school and has been working to improve his fitness and technique. He says it’s made gym easier and taken four minutes off his mile at school.

“Seeing him practice and how hard he works, I figure I can do it,” Kenny says of his son. “I have high blood pressure and want to get in a healthier physical condition.

The workout: Wrestling-inspired circuit workout

What is it?: The program incorporates principles of wrestling, kickboxing and mixed martial arts, along with bodyweight training and traditional cardio exercise.

Routine: The Bernardins, of Fort Wayne, have a goal to exercise an hour a day, as a family, during the week and will meet with Talamantes once over the weekend.

Gear: Talamantes’ circuit program does not require any equipment, instead relying on body weight for exercises such as pushups, squats and burpees.

“We don’t have to buy anything special,” Jamie says, adding that she does hope to get a nice treadmill with winter looming. “We won’t be able to get out as much.”

Diet: Jamie had previously found success with a low-carb diet, losing 100 pounds twice. It was difficult to maintain, though, as she found herself preparing separate meals.

“It was consuming too much time and taking away from family time,” she says, “and that’s what we’re trying to gain.”

For the 90-day challenge, she says the family will follow a heart-healthy, low-fat diet and go grocery shopping together.

Time management: Like many families, the Bernardins are busy. Jamie and Kenny work full time, and Kenny II has activities after school. Jamie, though, is confident that they’ll adjust.

“As long as we do it as a family, it’s OK,” she says. “We can find an hour somewhere.”

Motivation: Kenny says his family has a history of heart problems, and he is currently on medication for high blood pressure.

“We were older parents, and we need to stay healthier longer,” Jamie says.