Justin Savich turned a teenage passion into a 12-week weight loss program that has helped many people change their lives. The Pure Fat Loss Challenge represents his generosity, entrepreneurship, and affinity for health. It is what makes him a perfect candidate for this week’s Life in the Spotlight.
“Part of my story, I think, is when I showed up after high school and saw a lot of my friends were going to college, because their parents wanted them to or because they wanted to party or because they thought it was the next step,” Savich said. “I was like, ‘Man, that’s a lot of time, work, money, commitment, sacrifice.’ Unless I had been set on a certain job that I needed a certain degree for, I didn’t want to do that route.”
Instead Savich made a career out of something he was already doing: helping his friends with their health goals.
He had always been the go to ear to learn about fitness advice and his high school friends took that advice in and outside of the gym.
“I loved helping people and I loved working out. It clicked one day and I said, ‘I can help people work out. I can go get certified as a personal trainer.’ So I did that,” he claimed.
Savich got a job with Powerhouse Gym in Merrillville. He pursued licenses and certifications that would make him a great advisor and within a year, he was the best at his facility, and running the Nutrition program. By 2000 he was self-employed, working full time as a personal trainer.
He continued to see new friends, acquaintances, and clients struggle with weight fluctuation, just as he. himself went through a period of relaxed dedication and weight gain. However people knew he had the answers and the tips, thus motivating himself to get back into the game.
The Pure Fat Loss Challenge was born of this communal drive.
It took a few years but Savich found a way to share his physical fitness strategies and success with the people around him. He developed a program using his personal experiences and acquired knowledge. The goal of the program is to lose only fat instead of the 40 percent muscle lost in calorie counting or other exercise programs. Weight has a harder time returning to the lean bodies Savich has trained in the gym, he explained.
The 12-week program was supposed to be a one-time deal. Ninety-eight people attended the free course, half of them friends of Savich’s. At the end of it, they were all asking when the next program would start.
“The thing that got me, there were about 50 people that I heard use the phrase, ‘This changed my life,’” he said. “I’ve got something so awesome here, that shows some value, that so many people need. I saw people crying at the end, talking about what it meant to them. I continued to do it and take it to the next level.”
Savich has clocked over 1,500 hours on the project over the three years it has been running, just on preparing classes and learning more about the industry. He continues to educate himself with classes and seminars. The Challenge hits on so many points that people need, not just on the biological aspects of weight fluctuation, but on how the mental, spiritual, and personality perspectives can affect things. Overall, it has matured with its participants, he said.
“In my heart, I truly believe that, give me another five years, we’ll have another building,” he said. “ [I’m] getting this to a stage where I can franchise this, this will develop a system that is the greatest program in the United States. It sounds crazy, but there’s nothing else that’s like this.”
The Challenge takes up a lot of energy when it is in season, but is actually Savich’s second job. At 19 he became interested in being a Financial Advisor. It allows him to help people in yet another way, and pays for the development of the Pure Fat Loss Challenge. He owns a practice called the Wealth Planning Group, where he can provide insurance, tax management, estate conservation, and other financial strategies to his clients.
It has taught Savich a lot about running a business and how to provide for his family of four.
“We all have gifts, talents, abilities that God gives us. I believe our gift back is what we do with those,” he said. “I don’t care if I make money from [The Pure Fat Loss Challenge] or if I lose sleep or whatever. There’s someone that really needs help doing this. And I’ve got a way to help.”