Marine’s weight loss journey inspires him to open gym

When Ryan Carpenter prepares his workouts, he’s always thinking one step ahead. The gunslingers, pushups, and lunges will all make sense at the end.

“I try to get them to flow into each other so we’re building toward one goal,” said Carpenter, with the saying “trust the process” behind him.

Each day after finishing his full-time job, Carpenter comes to his kettlebell gym. He opened it back in July inside a Jiu Jitsu facility in South Glens Falls. Carpenter wanted to share with others how working with a cast iron ball with a handle changed his life.

“You want to make sure you take your time and you don’t race through,” said Carpenter, as he demonstrates a get-up.

After serving in the Marines from 1993 to 1997, Carpenter found himself drinking a lot. It wasn’t until 2012 that he managed to get sober by replacing one addiction with another. Sugar and sweets took his weight from 223 pounds to 335 pounds.

“It was once an impossible dream,” Carpenter said. “I always dreamed of being skinny again and being in shape. I just had to work.”

The work started with 10 minutes of walking on a treadmill. As the weight began to come off, Carpenter kept pushing harder. Using the lessons instilled in him from the Marine Corp, he continue to make progress, which just took off once he discovered kettlebells.

The kettlebell combines core strength, balance, flexibility and coordination. The workouts resulted in huge gains, physically and mentally for Carpenter. Then, the passing of his father and brother in 2017 and 2018 inspired him to become an instructor.

“To see them grow, to see them pick up the movements, and that ‘aha’ moment, when they get that first get-up, that’s probably the best,” Carpenter said.

The pandemic shutdown the kettlebell gym he was attending, but that also opened a door for him. Carpenter brought most of the gym’s equipment, which led to him starting Simple Strength & Conditioning this summer.

Today at 47-years-old, he is in control of his weight and health. His dire to help people grows stronger each and every day, one rep at a time.

“The clients that I have here, they help me just as much as I help them,” Carpenter said. “I love my community. I love the people that I teach. I try to provide a good time and get them stronger and healthier.”

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