When Justin Norton first tried boxing workouts, it only lasted a few months.
Then he hopped from gym to gym, trying to find something that would motivate him and jump-start a weight-loss journey.
The Omaha man signed up for 4:45 a.m. classes at one local gym. But instead of going to class, he’d usually sleep in his car.
Three years ago, he decided to give Title Boxing Club, near 144th Street and West Maple Road, a second try. The one-on-one training piqued his interest. The varying workouts and trainers kept him interested and coming back.
“It took me two stints,” said Norton, 30. “The second time around, I’m glad I went back and tried it again.”
Now he’s in the boxing gym four days a week. Norton plans his workouts around his jobs in real estate and consumer lending. The father of three has become a regular at the 5 a.m. classes. He makes the gym a family affair once a week, bringing his 7-year-old daughter to a kids class.
Sign up for the Live Well Nebraska newsletter
Get the latest health headlines and inspiring stories straight to your inbox.
Q: When did you start working out and why?
A: I’ve been here about three years. I had played around with different gyms, but Title kept my interest and made me motivated to go. It’s a lot of one-on-one training. There’s no intimidation. I’ve always struggled with weight loss.
Q: Describe your workouts. How many days per week do you exercise?
A: I go to the 5 a.m. workouts with Jamal (Jackson). He’s part of the reason why I’ve continued to go. His workouts are really good. It’s a 15-minute warmup, eight rounds of boxing and 15 minutes of core work at the end. It’s a lot of cardio, but there’s a lot of different techniques, footwork and variations of punches and movements. On a good week, I’m there four days.
Q: What is your current fitness goal?
A: I lost 60 pounds (in 2018) between working out and dieting. Over the course of (2019), I’ve gained a little back. I’m trying to maintain the weight I got to, and lean and tone up.
Q: What has been your biggest accomplishment?
A: My weight loss. I started in June 2018. I had been working out, but I needed to bring in the diet as well. I combined the diet with the 5 a.m. classes and committed to going every time.
Q: What has been the toughest hurdle and how did you overcome it?
A: Getting up at 5 a.m. for workouts. That was tough. Before I started at Title, I was working out at another gym. That was a 4:45 a.m. class. I would leave the house and tell my wife I was going to work out, but I would sleep in my car because I was tired and didn’t want to go. Now I’m motivated, and it’s easy to get to once I’m out of bed.
Q: What helps you stay on track?
A: (Trainer) Jamal (Jackson) is a big part of that. He calls me out if I’m not there. And my wife and the support of my family. Trying to find time to work out is a struggle with three kids. Working out in the evening is not easy to do.
Q: What is your gym pet peeve?
A: Wearing wet shoes on the gym floor.
Q: What do you do when you aren’t in the gym?
A: I ride a motorcycle. That’s my get-away thing. I also like to golf.
Q: What is the piece of equipment, supplement, clothing, etc. that you can’t live without?
A: Boxing gloves.
Q: What advice would you give to someone who is just starting their fitness journey?
A: Don’t be intimidated by going to the gym, especially a gym like Title where it could be perceived as full of really great boxers. That’s not the case. It’s people who are trying to get fit. You don’t have to be a great boxer with great technique to have a great workout. It’s getting in there and sticking to it.
Gymgoers share what motivates them, pet peeves and their proudest accomplishments
You never know who you might run into at the gym.
There's the man who's exercising as he waits for a heart transplant. Or the woman who's made Jazzercise workouts part of her life for more than 30 years.
Some workouts see moms accompanied by babies. Elsewhere you'll find folks well into their 90s who stick with exercise.
Check out their stories.