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< WELL SERVED H AU TE FAC TO R “THE PATRIOTS AND OTHER TEAMS HAVE ADOPTED THIS BECAUSE IT’S EFFECTIVE AND EFFICIENT FOR A BUSY LIFESTYLE. BUT THE CORE CONCEPT IS UNIVERSAL.” —ANDY BERLER FLEX RATE BMAX founder Andy Berler’s fitness program is the official workout for the New England Patriots cheerleaders, yet this high-intensity energy boost fuels fitness for any age and ability. BY SCOTT GUMMER A ndy Berler has made a career of melding his profession with a passion for athletic achievement. The former tennis and fitness director at Willowbend on Cape Cod recently shifted his focus to launching his BMAX (Berler Maximum Activation Extreme) fitness program, named the “Official Workout Program of the New England Patriots Cheerleaders.” And it’s quickly gaining popularity across the country with men 42 ISSUE ONE | ASPIRE and women of all ages. Raised in Stoughton, Mass., Berler played Division I tennis at Jacksonville University in Florida. Post college, he landed a job as a tennis pro in Lexington in the northwest suburbs of Boston. There, Berler met David Southworth, Founder and CEO of Southworth Development, and at that time, the president of Willowbend. The meeting proved fortuitous. Berler joined Willowbend in 1992 as the club’s first director of tennis, and became the director of fitness in 2009. Over time, he was having trouble getting excited and staying engaged in his own personal fitness regimen. “I couldn’t motivate myself to be in the gym as long ABOVE: Andy Berler takes a playful break from a video shoot in Providence, Rhode Island. RIGHT: Berler and BMAX-trained Patriots cheerleaders during an event at Lululemon. or as much as I was accustomed to,” says Berler. “When I surveyed club members and other people, I found that the contributing factors they were experiencing were largely the same as mine.” Those factors became the impetus and cornerstone of Berler’s BMAX fitness program. “The two main challenges for most everyone are a perceived lack of time and a growing sense of boredom,” he says. “I designed my program to fit easily and conveniently into people’s busy lives— every BMAX workout is just 30 minutes every other day—and to mix things up so you never repeat an exercise in a given workout.” Berler served as his own guinea pig. “I worked to design a program that was more efficient with my time and more effective with my body,” he says. He implemented his ideas into fitness training with Willowbend members, and in 2010 presented BMAX to the New England Patriots Cheerleaders. “When they adopted it, that validated it,” says Berler. Other squads have since signed on, including the Washington Redskins, Cincinnati Bengals, Los Angeles Rams, and University of Southern California; however, Berler’s program is not simply for cheerleaders. “The Patriots and other teams have adopted this because it’s effective and efficient for a busy lifestyle,” says the 50-year-old Berler. “That is what makes the program attractive not only to cheerleaders, but also to busy, active men and women of all ages. Sixty-yearolds do different alternatives to the exercises than 30-year-olds, but the core concept is universal.” Every workout addresses five areas of physical fitness: cardio, flexibility, strength, endurance, and body composition. Each workout consists of a three-minute warm-up and 18 exercises executed for 40 seconds each, followed by 30 seconds of recovery and five minutes of core work. The goal is to achieve maximum activation of multiple muscle fibers at one time—burning calories and shedding fat while building lean muscle—in a way that’s easy and engaging with swift, diverse workouts sans exercise machines. “It’s one thing to get people to sign up, but it’s another to motivate them to stick with it,” adds Berler. As such, he’s available via monthly videos, live online forums, and communicates with members through the BMAX Facebook page. “My goal is simple: to get people on the road to being in the best shape of their lives.”—bmaxstrong.com ASPIRE | ISSUE ONE 43