The Gunnar Challenge: Get ready to look 'great in 8'


"You have to train each person for their body type," said Peterson.

Even though he trains movie stars and other celebrities, Peterson can relate to the normal Jane and Joe. A self-proclaimed overweight kid, who also had physical disabilities, he turned challenge to triumph.

So beyond pricey personal training, Peterson created the Gunnar Challenge for those who can't pony up big bucks. The slogan is "Great in 8."

Gunnar's online program starts with a detailed nutrition plan, food exchanges, a shopping list, "verbal vitamins" to motivate, and of course, workouts that include pushups and split squats. It's no cake walk, but there are options for newbies and you get a day off.

"You have a support system and it also has an online sort of a chat as a forum, so people can speak with other people about it," said Peterson.

What's nice about programs created by a seasoned pro is that you have the motivation and education of someone with experience. But as the man with the plan will tell you, eight weeks is just the beginning.

"You're not going do this and in eight weeks you're going to say, 'That's it. That's a wrap. I'm done. I'm perfect.' This is your jump off," said Peterson.

Peterson said one woman lost 32 pounds on the challenge, and one man lost 26 pounds. If you're already fit, you can tweak perfection.

"I actually know a woman, Jamie, who's down 12 pounds but she was already tight and taut to start," said Peterson.

The Gunnar Challenge averages $25 a week and starts July 30. Fitness pros Jillian Michaels and Denise Austin also have online programs. Kathy Smith launches one in the fall.

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