Alumnus Chris Powell, the host of ABC’s hit TV series “Extreme Weight Loss,” spoke Friday at fitness presentations at the Sun Devil Fitness Complex on the Tempe campus and in the La Sala Ballroom at the West campus.
Powell said he hopes people who attended the event learned something about improving their lifestyles.
“The theme of the whole speech is wellness and fitness,” he said. “I really want people to understand the true secret behind transformation that I learned over the last few years.”
The presentations were part of a partnership between Powell and Sun Devil Fitness as they unveiled the new school-wide program titled “Commit to Be Fit Challenge”.
In the presentation, Powell spoke more about the new Commit to Be Fit challenge, his time and experience at ASU, his show and his advice on diet and exercising.
Powell, who spoke with the media before the event, said he was excited to be back at ASU and that this was a full circle for him.
“It’s pretty nostalgic,” he said. “I’m walking around here, and all these memories are coming back to me.”
Powell graduated from ASU in 2000 with a degree in exercise science with concentrations in biomechanics and physiology. He said the last time he visited campus was eight years ago, and a lot has changed since then.
“These were some of the best years of my life, especially since this is my first time walking back to SRC,” he said. “This was my daily regime. I had so much fun here and I met so many amazing lifelong friends. It’s just awesome.”
Powell said his program has three important steps: Confess, reassess and recommit.
“It’s about keeping your promises. It’s about integrity. It’s about dignity, and it’s about falling without failing and believing in yourself,” he said. “We can start to create these programs that offer the tools and guidance to the people and then we are going to see transformation all over the place.”
Powell said he was impressed with the Tempe complex’s expansion. He called the new expansion beautiful and said it would change students’ lives.
“This is the largest university in America, and it’s so nice that they can accommodate the needs of the students now and offer them this amazingly healthy fitness lifestyle,” he said.
Tamra Garstka, director of campus recreation at Tempe’s Sun Devil Fitness Center, said the University wanted to find someone who would celebrate the expansion of the Sun Devil Fitness Complex. The fitness center worked with students to choose the guest speaker.
“We got together with some students and started throwing some names out there,” she said. “One of names that came out was Chris Powell. The student that was in charge of going after the speakers contacted Chris Powell’s agent and they came back quickly and said he would love to come to ASU.”
Garstka said they were excited at the opportunity to work with Powell for the event.
“We felt that it fit well with our Well Devils initiative and how we are moving forward with two different programs with our celebration of our expansion,” she said.
Garstka said the first program is the Commit to Be Fit challenge, an eight-week program where 50 students who were selected by the University get personal training, nutrition counseling, group fitness, mindfulness and cooking classes.
The second program is the Cardio challenge, a University-wide event where all four campuses compete to see which one would log the most minutes on new cardio machines.
Exercise and wellness graduate student Sarah Bryant said she was excited when she heard that Chris Powell was coming to speak at the Sun Devil Fitness Complex.
Bryant said that she was on cloud nine when she met Powell in person. She said she is happy to be following in Powell’s footsteps and is excited to be in the field she is.
“It almost came back in full circle,” she said. “It’s kind of like, ‘OK, the education is there, and we now know what works, and he’s proving it out there in everyday life.’”
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