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How Joining a Fraternity Helped a Student Become a Fitness Guru

By: Thomas Leuthner

Growing up Justin Khan considered himself to be the ordinary “chubby and lazy kid,” a kid who, while extremely interested in sports, led a sedentary lifestyle with little interest in physical activity. However, after just two years at Adelphi University after joining a fraternity, he’s transformed himself mentally and physically as he recently became a certified fitness trainer.

“It was like a dream come true, receiving something after working so hard for it,” said the 21-year-old business major.

Justin Khan has transformed his lifestyle and is helping others to do the same through fitness training.

The fraternity scene at any college or university can be stereotyped as one full of parties and even irresponsibility; however, Khan credits his newfound passion for fitness to his fraternity that he joined at age 18.

“I was never able to stay committed to something; I always gave up,” said Khan, who attributed this to a lack of good time management skills as a youngster.

Once Khan arrived on campus, his main focus was extremely far from physical training. He rushed his fraternity during his second semester and got the majority of his exercise from intramural sports. In the fraternity, Khan met someone who would soon become his trainer, and further work with him during the completion of classes in order to receive his certification. Mike Annese--an Adelphi senior and one of Khan’s best friends—would constantly encourage Khan to go to the gym and stay on a strict routine.

Khan was aware that in order to have the capability to train others, he would need to transform his lifestyle first. For the next few months, Khan focused his fitness goals on endurance training, with a goal of completing long walks or bike rides, which amounted to around 8 to 10 miles.

Physical activity was not the only aspect of Khan’s lifestyle that changed, as he would completely revitalize his diet to include whole foods and a gallon of water each day.

At the end of his sophomore year, Khan was on the path to success in this field. He received his certificate in the summer of 2020, becoming an official trainer. Khan then began working under Annese’s personal strength and training company: Annese PT Services.

Khan felt successful after receiving the certificate, but even more successful after training his first client. After one training class, Khan helped his client burn calories while using his training program.

“There is no better feeling than helping someone achieve their goals,” he said.

Khan said he believes that helping others is a very beneficial aspect of success, but before starting to help others, you need to help yourself. Getting himself onto a set schedule of waking up early and doing cardio has helped not only his clients and himself, but his friends as well.

Khan's former roommate Luke Bucci, an Adelphi junior business major, said, “I never enjoyed actually going to the gym until Justin showed me all the benefits it has on my body.”

“Keeping yourself on a set schedule and knowing what you are going to do as soon as you wake up is the best thing you can do,” Khan said. He is a firm believer that a person should always have their schedule for the day already planned. This along with remaining motivated and passionate are the concepts in which Justin believes will help people to be successful.

“The most difficult thing to me up to this day, is managing my time. I have to balance out schoolwork, my fraternity and my job all at the same time,” Khan said.

Khan said he understands that getting where you want to be is not easy, but in the end it will be worth it. “When starting my journey, I never thought I would be where I am today but I am happier than I’ve ever been.”

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