Carl Quiz: Adam Berliner '02


When it comes to getting in shape, most of us could take a few pointers from Adam Berliner ’02. Over the past two years, he’s lost more than 140 pounds with the help of a nutritionist and the LifeStyles program at Carleton’s Recreation Center, which pairs faculty and staff members or alumni with personal trainers.

banana.jpgAs Berliner’s trainer, Thad Caron keeps him on track with a range of physical activities—including the Boot Camp–style exercises that are Caron’s specialty—flavored with encouragement and quips. “Good trainers aren’t there to be judgmental,” Berliner says. “They know how to push you past what you would do on your own.”

He may be in the best shape of his life, but Berliner’s workouts are still far from easy. “Once Thad sees that I’m comfortable, he finds a way to modify an exercise to make it more difficult,” Berliner says. “I may hate Thad during the workout, but I love him afterward when I see the results.”

The Voice asked Berliner to weigh in on the Carl Quiz.

Profession: Assistant professor of mathematics at St. Olaf College

Why work out with a trainer?: On my own, I would stay within the same limits. Thad keeps pushing me to do a little more each time. 

Favorite Thadism: “Somebody’s gotta do it and it’s not me!”

Biggest surprise: My body changed faster than my mind. Sometimes I forget that other people see me as I am now, not as the old me.

clock.jpgTips for weight loss success:

  1. Tailor your daily routine around exercise. Instead of sleeping in, I go to the gym early in the morning.
  2. Don’t try to do it all at once. Start with some physical activity a few times a week. Then go from there.
  3. Track what you eat. I use a free app called MyFitnessPal.
  4. Eat a healthy food that you really love every day.
  5. Have people hold you accountable. My appointments with a nutritionist and a trainer force me to stay on track.

Guilty pleasure: I still eat sweets, but I limit my exposure to them. When I do eat candy or cookies, I only have one instead of a handful.

Why you love Lifestyles: The LifeStyles program shows that Carleton cares not just about knowledge, but also about overall well-being. The Rec center staff is friendly and supportive, and the facility offers lots of workout options. My friends are all jealous.

Weight loss inspiration: The Biggest Loser. I am a big fan of reality TV competition shows, and watching people lose weight on this show over the years slowly convinced me that I could lose weight, too. 

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