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Tuesday, Jul 29, 2014
Central Tampa News

Former pro soccer player makes fitness his ministry


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SOUTH TAMPA – J.T. Tapias of South Tampa doesn’t just coach people on their weight-loss journey at his FIT Method 4:13 gym, but on the journey of life itself.

A former pro soccer player, Tapias first got the idea for a style of training he calls his “Baretero technique” – roughly translated, economical – as a young person growing up in Colombia, South America. He observed the body builders not focusing so much on the use of traditional weights as much as using the monkey bars at the park and performing exercises that utilized their own body weight.

“They had amazing physiques,” said Tapias, who is a certified fitness and life coach. Still a newlywed, he is married to AnaMaria.

Tapias, 36, said his motto is “strengthening the mind, body and spirit.” The 4:13 in the name of his business refers to Philippians 4:13, “I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me.”

“Being conscious of the physical side puts everything else in perspective,” he said. “By fine tuning your body, it brings more awareness to why we are here and who your creator is. A lot of people come in here with a vain objective, but sooner or later they realize it’s so much more than that.”

Tapias appeared in “GQ” magazine as part of a fit edition when he was in his 20s. His professional soccer career ended due to a knee injury prematurely at age 24. Now he considers FIT Method 4:13 to be his life calling.

“I can have a 50-year-old soccer mom training next to a 17-year-old high school athlete in the same room and the same workout because there are a million variations of every exercise,” he said. He combines aerobic and cardiovascular training with anaerobic resistance training that rotates through a series of stations.

Whether they measure success by weight loss, inches or belt loopholes, Tapias’ clients are pleased with their results.

Joe Wynn, 43, of South Tampa, said he lost 60 pounds since August by working out with Tapias at the facility.

“I like J.T.,” said Wynn, who was motivated to lose weight for his brother’s wedding. “He’s one of the good people who has taught me to keep good foods in my diet and eat consistently.”

Jamie Broome of Plant City only lost 3 pounds, but went from a size 8 to a size 2. Her body fat percentage went from 35 to 14 percent.

“I was having trouble after a c-section and I wasn’t able to get my abs to engage,” Broome said. “When I work out with him, he busts my butt. He coaches me on what to eat. He knows when I’m off. He truly coaches me through life.”

Bart Azzarelli of New Tampa said he bypassed four belt loops after losing 13 pounds. He gets to the workout center at 5:15 a.m.

“I’m in better shape now than I’ve ever been,” he said. “Everyone keeps telling me you have turned your fat into muscle.”

When he went to meet up with a friend at a restaurant recently, his friend passed right by him because he had changed so much.

“That’s what working out and eating right will do,” Azzarelli said. “It’s a total fitness workout. With J.T.’s training, you know your body is changing.”

Tapias said his workouts are efficient, challenging the body for measurable results.

For more information on FIT Method 4:13, 224 South Blvd., Tampa, visit www.fitmethod413.com or call (813) 842-0302.

Lcone@tampatrib.com

(813) 731-2008

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