Tony Arnold and Katie Randall competed in an eight- week tness challenge from October to December.
Tony Arnold and Katie Randall, an engaged couple from Palm Coast, are no strangers to the fitness world. Arnold is an athletic trainer at Medical Exercise Associates in Daytona Beach, and Randall has been the fitness director of the Serenata Beach Club in south Ponte Vedra Beach for the past 15 years.
But when the couple, which got engaged nearly a year ago, competed in Oxygen Magazine and transformation specialists Chris and Heidi Powell’s America’s Fittest Couple Challenge, there were several moments when they felt like giving up.
Between their jobs and taking care of their three children, whom they share custody of with their respective exes, finding the time for a strenuous workout was a challenge.
But they had each other to lean on.
“The last thing that we wanted to do after working in a gym all day was to go back to the gym to work out,” Randall said. “It’s a nice support system for one another. I mean, we’re like anyone else: We like to eat bad things. We like to be lazy. So, it’s nice. If I don’t feel like going to the gym or doing some- thing, he’s there to support me.”
On Feb. 16, Arnold and Randall were named the winners of the competition, which included around 500 other couples. A public vote selected the top 50, and a panel of judges selected the winner.
The couple entered the challenge by submitting “before” photos of themselves, and then, six days a week for eight-straight weeks, they exercised rigorously and followed a strict meal plan.
The first day of the challenge started on Oct. 28. They didn’t eat any Halloween candy. They took their “after” photos on Christmas morning.
“We definitely wavered a little bit,” Randall said. “But we both knew it was something that we could do, and it was worth putting an effort into.”
Arnold said that while he dropped only four pounds during the eight-week period, his body fat percentage plummeted from 26% to 12%, while his fiancé’s dropped to about 16%.
Arnold added that having the knowledge about how to work out properly was an advantage.
“Just seeing the Facebook group — the people who got hurt because they over-trained — I think having the knowledge of what you should do and shouldn’t do certainly helped,” he said. “Did it make it easier to find the time to do it, though? Absolutely not.”
The prize for winning the challenge: a trip to Arizona to train with the Powells and a trip to Hawaii.
Although they haven’t set a wedding date yet, they plan to make Hawaii their honeymoon destination.