Sergeant Tony's Blog

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UPDATE! 3/19/09

Mar. 19th 2009

Hi Everyone!

So many of you have contacted me for information about Teri Trotter. Here is the latest news from Teri herself!

“I’m home!! I can’t believe it. The surgery is over and it went VERY well. The sentinal node biopsy was negative! That means no cancer in my lymph nodes. There is still more testing being done at the lab that will determine my treatment. We could hear the pathology report from these tests as early as tomorrow. I am sore, obviously, but the pain meds are helping. I go see my plastic surgeon next Tuesday for a follow-up.

I thank God for all of you every day. You all rock!!”

No Teri, YOU ROCK!!

All the best!

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Important News | No Comments »

$5,000 AWARDED! — Special Announcement 3/7/09

Mar. 7th 2009

Greetings All!

Today Sergeant Tony’s $5,000 Combat the Fat Weight Loss Challenge came to an end!

After six months, and with friends and family gathered at Jason’s Deli, our champion was awarded a check for FIVE THOUSAND DOLLARS!

Tawnette Baker won with a weight loss of 20.13%!
Andy Cook was second with a weight loss of 18.17%
Josh Miller came in third with a weight loss of 17.45%

Don Baker, Tawnette’s husband, probably had the second biggest grin in the room. His wife had promised to buy him new speakers for his stereo if she won, he told me!

Congratulations to everyone who participated. If you are a sponsor, contact your Challenger to find out how they did!

I’ve been asked about the next Challenge. I will be taking a few months off. Look for a new and revamped Challenge, maybe in June. Stay tuned!

Thank you everyone! Today was fun and I really enjoyed meeting your friends, family, and sponsors!

All the best,


Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow
USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
4888 Southern Ave
Memphis, TN 38117

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Sergeant Tony’s $5,000 Weight Loss Challenge!

Jul. 22nd 2008


The success of the First Challenge has inspired me to launch the second challenge beginning in September. The first challenge has been one of the most rewarding things I’ve ever been a part of. Lives are being changed!!

To date, the 10 members of the First Challenge have lost over 500 pounds!!!


In September this first six month challenge will end and the winner will receive a check for $5,000!!!


I’m taking applications for the Second Challenge! I’ll conduct interviews during the month and the Second Challengers will be selected in early August with the Challenge officially beginning on September 6.

Do you know someone who should be in this Second Challenge?

Here are the details of the contest:

– The Challenge will be limited to 10 people.
– Men must be 65 pounds or more over their ideal weight; women must be 50 pounds or more over their ideal weight, each knowing that those who are heavier have more to lose and a slight advantage.
– Each Challenger chosen will be required to get their doctor’s okay to participate in the program.
– Entry fee is $1,000. Each Challenger must get at least $500 of that entry fee from at least 5 sponsors: family, friends, co-workers.
– Entry is open to ALL, Boot Campers and non-Boot Campers alike.
– The Second Challenge is a six month program beginning on September 6 and ends on February 28.

Pass the word!! Forward this email to someone who might be interested in this highly successful, life altering, awesome program!!

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$5,000 Weight Loss Challenge Progress Report for 7/18/08

Jul. 18th 2008


The QUEEN still reigns!

Our leader is still Sarah Bowen, AKA “Lady Bug!”

Congratulations Sarah!!!

AND check out the “rise” of Rising Sun!!! Way to go Beverly!!!


1. Lady Bug – down 57 pounds, 24.25%, 6x plus Friday evening!

2. Heavy G – down 74 pounds, 21.59%, 3x

3. Dumplin – down 54.6 pounds, 21.27%, 2x

4. Rising Sun – down 43.2 pounds, 17.3%, 3x

5. Lunchbox – down 63 pounds, 16.04%,

6. Drake – down 47.9 pounds, 15.63%, 5x

7. Puddin Head – down 36.6 pounds, 13.47%

8. Gurkha Woman – down 29 pounds, 11.08%, 3x

9. Houdini – out of town.

10. Bubbalicious – no report

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Important News | No Comments »


Jun. 24th 2008

This is a reprint from an article written by Liz Noelcke and published on

Alcohol & Weight Loss
Can You Have Both?

— By Liz Noelcke, Staff Writer for

Alcohol and weight loss are enemies, but an occasional drink can have a place in a healthy lifestyle. In fact, many experts note the health benefits of consuming a single drink per day, including a reduced risk for hypertension and high blood pressure. If, however, you are exceeding one drink daily, you might be sabotaging your weight loss plans.

Alcohol is metabolized differently than other foods and beverages. Under normal conditions, your body gets its energy from the calories in carbohydrates, fats and proteins that need to be slowly digested in the stomach—but not when alcohol is present. When alcohol is consumed, it gets special privileges and needs no digestion. The alcohol molecules diffuse through the stomach wall as soon as they arrive and can reach the brain and liver in minutes. This reaction is slightly slowed when there is also food in your system, but as soon as the mixed contents enter the small intestine, the alcohol grabs first place and is absorbed quickly. The alcohol then arrives at the liver for processing. The liver places all of its attention on the alcohol. Therefore, the carbohydrates (glucose) and dietary fats are just changed into body fat, waiting to be carried away for permanent fat storage in the body.

Alcohol is a diuretic, meaning that it causes water loss and dehydration. Along with this water loss you lose important minerals, such as magnesium, potassium, calcium and zinc. These minerals are vital to the maintenance of fluid balance, chemical reactions, and muscle contraction and relaxation.

Alcohol contains 7 calories per gram and offers NO nutritional value. It only adds empty calories to your diet. Why not spend your calorie budget on something healthier?

Alcohol affects your body in other negative ways. Drinking might help induce sleep, but the sleep you get isn’t very deep. Ultimately, as a result, you get less rest. Alcohol can also increase the amount of acid that your stomach produces, causing your stomach lining to become inflamed. Over time, excessive alcohol use can lead to serious health problems, including stomach ulcers, liver disease, and heart troubles.

Alcohol lowers your inhibitions, which is detrimental to your diet plans. Alcohol actually stimulates your appetite. While you might be full from a comparable amount of calories from food, several drinks might not fill you up. On top of that, research shows that if you drink before or during a meal, both your inhibitions and willpower are reduced. In this state, you are more likely to overeat—especially greasy or fried foods—which can add to your waistline. To avoid this, wait to order that drink until you’re done with your meal.

Many foods that accompany drinking (peanuts, pretzels, chips) are salty, which can make you thirsty, encouraging you to drink even more. To avoid overdrinking, sip on a glass of water in between each alcoholic beverage.

Skipping a meal to save your calories for drinks later is a bad idea. Many drinkers know they’ll be having some alcohol later, whether going to a bar, party, or just kicking back at home. Knowing that drinking entails extra calories, it may be tempting to “bank” some calories by skipping a meal or two. This is a bad move. If you come to the bar hungry, you are even more likely to munch on the snacks, and drinking on an empty stomach enhances the negative effects of alcohol. If you’re planning on drinking later, eat a healthy meal first. You’ll feel fuller, which will stop you from overdrinking. If you are worried about a looming night out with friends, include an extra 30 minutes of exercise to balance your calories—instead of skipping a meal.

What are more important, calories or carbs? You might think that drinking liquor is more diet-friendly because it has no carbohydrates, while both wine and beer do contain carbs. But dieters need to watch calories, and liquor only has a few calories less than beer or wine. Plus, it is often mixed with other drinks, adding even more empty calories. Hard liquor contains around 100 calories per shot, so adding a mixer increases calories even more. If you are going to mix liquor with anything, opt for a diet or club soda, instead of fruit juice or regular soda. Sweeter drinks, whether liquor or wine, tend to have more sugar, and therefore more calories. In that respect, dry wines usually have fewer calories than sweet wines.

The list below breaks down the number of calories in typical alcoholic drinks. Compare some of your favorites to make a good choice next time you decide to indulge in a serving of alcohol.

Serving Size

Red wine
5 oz.

White wine
5 oz. 100

5 oz. 130

Light beer
12 oz. 105

Regular beer
12 oz. 140

Dark beer
12 oz. 170

3 oz. 165

3 oz. 205

Long Island iced tea
8 oz. 400

Gin & Tonic
8 oz. 175

Rum & Soda
8 oz. 180

8 oz. 200

Whiskey Sour
4 oz. 200

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Jun. 23rd 2008

Heart Rate Training

All of us want to get the most out of our training, right? That’s especially true if you’re training for a specific race, event, or if you’re just wanting to lower your 5K race times.

So, you go out and buy a heart rate monitor.

Now what?

You strap on the transmitter and look down at your monitor, and low and behold, you’ve got a heart rate! There’s a little flashing heart and some numbers! How exciting! Congratulations, you’re alive! That’s a good thing!

So far, so good, right?

So you go out for a run and you watch the numbers increase on your monitor as you start crankin’ it up! Then you stop running and the numbers go back down.

Well, wasn’t that about as interesting as watching the grass grow?

And for that you paid a hundred bucks.

But you know there’s more to it than that. So you consult the little pamphlet that came with your monitor.

The little pamphlet will give you some instruction about how to interpret the numbers on your monitor and it will say something about your maximum heart rate, or MHR. In order to get the most out of your heart rate monitor, you’ve got to be able to determine your MHR, the pamphlet says. A percentage of your MHR will correspond with certain kinds of training, like recovery runs, tempo runs, and speed runs.

Most of the time the pamphlets tell you to take your age and subtract it from 220. That will be your approximate MHR.

OR, you can do a field test.



If you’re in good shape and have been running for a few months, give the field test a shot. It’s not scary, but it shouldn’t be done by a beginner or anyone with any sort of medical issue.

To do a field test, you’ll need to go to a track or a flat stretch of road or running path where you can do 2 to 3 minute runs.
1. Warm up for 10 minutes at a fairly easy pace, nothing too strenuous.
2. Then do a 2 to 3 minute run at a very good pace.
3. Recover for 1 to 2 minutes.
4. Repeat number 2, but run faster.
5. Recover for 1 to 2 minutes.
6. Do the 2 to 3 minute run for a third, and last time, even faster! Push it really hard for the last 1 to 1.5 minutes! Immediately look at your heart rate monitor! THAT number is your MHR.

Remarkably, you may find that your MHR determined by the formula and your MHR determined by the field test will be pretty close. But for many people there will be a big difference. In my own experience the formula was spot on. But for a friend of mine, the formula and the field test were very different.

Now that you know your MHR, you can use your monitor to ensure that your training is done in the range that you want.

An easy run is 65% to 75% of MHR.
A tempo run is 87% to 92% of MHR.
And your speed work pace is 95% to 100% of MHR.

Good luck all you heart-rate-monitor-strap-wearing-runners!

Wanna go strapless?

Use The Talk Test.

An easy run is one where you can carry on an easy conversation with a running friend.
A tempo run is one where you can carry on a very labored conversation.
A speed pace is one where you can’t have a conversation at all!

What about wearing a heart rate monitor to Boot Camp? GO FOR IT! I’d be very very interested in your results!

– 30 –

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Jun. 18th 2008

A new leader has emerged!

Who will it be NEXT week??


1. Dumplin – down 47.6 pounds, 18.5%, 1x

2. Lady Bug – down 42.2 pounds, 17.9%, 7x plus Gibson 5K

3. Heavy G – down 60.4, 17.6%, 4x

4. Lunchbox – down 56 pounds, 14.2%, 5x

5. Drake – down 39.4 pounds, 12.89%, 5x

6. Puddin Head – down 31.8 pounds, 11.7%, 4x

7. Houdini – down 37 pounds, 11.1%, 5x

8. Gurkha Woman – down 25.4 pounds, 9.7%, 3x

9. Bubbalicious – down 28.6 pounds, 8.1%, 4x

10. Rising Sun – no report

Posted by Tony Ludlow | in Important News | No Comments »


Jun. 12th 2008


These are the results so far, after 3 months of our 6 month $5,000 Weight Loss Challenge!

1. Heavy G – down 63.8, 18.6, 6x plus Friday night

2. Dumplin – down 45.6 pounds, 17.7%, 3x

3. Lady Bug – down 39.8 pounds, 16.9%, 7x plus Harbortown 5K

4. Lunchbox – down 52.2 pounds, 13.2%, 4x

5. Drake – down 40 pounds, 13.05%

6. Puddin Head – down 28.6 pounds, 10.5%

7. Houdini – down 31.6 pounds, 9.5%

7. Rising Sun – down 23.8 pounds, 9.5%, 3x

8. Gurkha Woman – down 24.8 pounds, 9.4%

19. Bubbalicious – no report

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Apr. 4th 2008


Identified by their call signs:

Puddin Head – down 4.71%

Rising Sun … no report today.

Lady Bug – down 6.78%

Gurkha Woman – down 4.2%

Dumplin – down 6.46%

Houdini – down 6.64%

Drake – down 5.6%

Lunchbox – down 5.96%

Bubbalicious – down 7.03%

Heavy G – down 9.92%

Way to go everyone! As you can see, Heavy G is still in the lead at 9.92% down, followed in second place by Bubbalicious at 7.03% down, and coming in third this week at 6.78% down is Lady Bug! Awesome job guys!

Here’s how to determine if what you’re doing is working:

Are your numbers going down?

Are they going down at a rate of at least 2 pounds per week? (More than that is quite possible at this stage in your weight loss journey.)

Tips for success:

1) eat less (duh)

2) work out more (mo duh!)

3) don’t eat after 8 PM

4) drink more water

5) eat slowly

6) don’t eat while watching TV

7) eat more protein

8) eat foods that are nutritionally dense

9) workout with intensity and purpose

Don’t forget your one hour of cardio this weekend!

Have a GREAT weekend everyone!

Sergeant Tony

Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow
USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
5358 Denwood
Memphis, TN 38120

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Apr. 1st 2008

Hello All!

How ’bout them TIGERS???

The last time we were in the Final Four I was an undergrad sitting in class with Keith Lee and Andre Turner! Well, I at least SAW them on campus! (How many of you remember the chat of “DOOM!!!” from those days?)

I’ve got THREE things for you on this Sunday evening.


USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP will participate in an expo at the Agricenter this Saturday, the 5th. It’s called “A Healthy You” and it’ll be full of health, wellness, and fitness companies, vendors, and services. The expo is FREE and goes from 10 AM to 6 PM. Make plans to stop by and say hello! Bring your slacker friends!



Our 10 Combat Challengers have completed their first of six months on the road to a new life and new lifestyle! All have lost weight and are doing really well! Say a word of encouragement to them!

Identified by their call signs, you can see their progress below:

Puddin Head – down 4.05%

Rising Sun – down 1.9%

Lady Bug – down 5.78%

Gurkha Woman – down 3.05%

Dumplin – down 5.10%

Houdini – down 5.97%

Drake – down 5.4%

Lunchbox – down 4.33%

Bubbalicious – down 4.06%

Heavy G – down 7.7%

Congratulations to all of you Combat Challengers!



My friend Tom Farrar was a great guy and an excellent CPA. Former Air Force vet and a numbers genius, but an overweight, hyper-type-A personality that concerned me from the time day I met him. I worried that Tom was a walking time bomb … a heart attack just waiting to happen. Tom was my CPA and I badgered him, sweetly invited him, tried to shame him, and attempted to humiliate him over the years in an effort to get him to take care of himself and get in shape. I tried everything to get Tom’s attention and help him. “Tom, you need to come to Boot Camp … I promise not to kill you.” Tom would always laugh it off and promise me that he’d come “one of these days.”

Tom’s days ended last April.

He never came to Boot Camp. He never let me help him.

Tom walked out to pick up his morning paper last year, had a heart attack, and died in his front yard.

Since last year, in honor of my friend Tom, I’ve made April our “Bring a Friend to Boot Camp Month!”

You can bring a friend to Boot Camp during April for a FREE DAY! No strings attached.

What’s in it for you?

The Boot Camper who brings the most friends in April will get $100l!! US Legal Tender. Not 100 Dollars in Boot Camp Bucks!

Here are the only rules:

1. Your visiting friends must be prospects for membership, so no out of town visitors will count toward your total number of friends for the contest.

2. Repeat visitors don’t count beyond their first visit – so you can’t bring your friend Bob 15 times during April and count it as 15 friends!

In addition, your friends can join USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP for only $90 in April! Only your friends and family can take advantage of this deal. New recruits taking advantage of this special discount MUST have a sponsoring friend who IS a Boot Camper in good standing. It’s for our friends and family only.

See you all on the Quarterdeck this week!

Sergeant Tony

Sergeant Major Tony Ludlow
USMC Fitness BOOT CAMP, Commanding
5358 Denwood
Memphis, TN 38120

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