Youth – “Stronger Than Ever Program” S.T.E.P.

Youth obesity is on the rise. There is an accompanying rise in diabetes, high blood pressure, and other “lifestyle diseases.” Equally as damaging is the bullying, depression, and diminished quality of life that accompanies the increase in weight. Young people have few resources to deal with their obesity on either a physical or emotional level. Parents, who may very well be struggling with their own weight control issues, find it hard to reach out to their kids.

There are a lot of factors that conspire against solutions. Media messages about the ideal body, the ubiquity of fast food, the decline in family dinners, the increase in sedentary behavior as a result of technology, misinformation on diet and exercise all play a part in the confusion. A January 17, 2012 New York Times article talked about the difficulty of developing effective weight control programs for teens and preteens.

Brownstone Fitness brings a unique perspective in this search for solutions to the obesity epidemic. We come at the problem not only from the perspective of personal trainers (with certifications in a number of disciplines) but as life coaches, parents, and as educators with extensive experience with youth ages 12-19.

The benefits of S.T.E.P. include:

  • improved health markers and body composition,
  • increased confidence,
  • improved academic performance,
  • better family relations, and
  • a lifestyle that will add wellness as a focus that will last through adulthood.

We reject the notion that, whether child or adult, it’s your entire fault if you’re struggling with excess weight. Some of our struggles is about getting the right information; and some of it is about learning how to apply that information. These items fit in the “How” category. Equal emphasis is also placed on the “Why.” In this the focus is on things like motivation, values, and self-efficacy – these young people have resources they aren’t aware of to take control of this issue.

The tools used are mental and physical. On the mental side, techniques are used to help with:

  • stress management,
  • visualization and imagery,
  • goal setting, and awareness.

The physical training addresses:

  • strength,
  • coordination,
  • agility,
  • flexibility, and
  • balance.

Bodyweight exercises and drills are where we focus our work, but bands and kettlebells and included where appropriate.

The physical workouts begin with a warm-up that improves movement, dynamic flexibility, and gets the body ready for the rest of the session.  The next phase is core work that targets the muscles of the trunk. Followed by general strength. Depending on condition and goals for the group, the last phase of the session consists of metabolic work that engages the aerobic and anaerobic systems.

Working in small groups is recommended because of the positive impact working with others has on motivation.  Each child is met where they are physically and emotionally, and given a sense of possibility and the tools to meet their goals.

A few months at Brownstone Fitness will help your child be Stronger Than Ever in mind, body, and spirit.

Hans Hageman was a powerful presenter for the issues of nutrition and health for our students. He enlightened them and gave them a wealth of knowledge to review and assess. Hans inspired our young people to reassess diet and health habits and to be more aware of their choices. – David Addams, Executive Director, Oliver Scholars Program


“Dear Yaromil, Hans and Bernadette,

I’m not so sure I ever sent a thank you for all you did for Francesca during her 6 weeks with you and her friends. She LOVED her boot camp classes and really felt empowered by what you said to her and what you taught her during her time with you each week. She really felt stronger after each session, and I love the encouragement she received from all of you. I feel she now knows that she is capable of much more than she thought she ever was – this is huge. Thank you! thank you!

Francesca proudly wears her Brownstone tee shirt and has continued to exercise at home (teaching me and her little sister!). At Francesca’s age, so much is changing, that it’s nice for her to feel so confident!
She has – since leaving you – been able to accomplish hanging off the monkey bars and “walking” across 4 bars hanging by her arms. it’s a first! she could never leave the first bar! a true testament to just how much stronger she has become!” – Pamela A. Guarrera

Families, schools and youth organizations interested in using the S.T.E.P. to strengthen their children’s minds and bodies, please contact Hans at or (866) 992-9172 ext. 803.

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