AMP-ing up

Joey Commisso helps a student during a pole exercise that is part of his AMP28 fitness course during a class at St. James the Apostle Church.

Looking for a health and fitness plan with an experienced mentor?

Meet Joey Commisso.

Commisso has spent most of his life in fitness training. During his junior and senior years at his Arizona high school, he became a two-time state champion in track and field in 1974 and 1975. His long jump school record of 23 feet 2 1/2 inches still stands.

Today, his AMP28 Program includes a life coaching plan that is helping students to set goals and build on the principles of what he names as “fixing your temple and using your talents.”

Commisso’s program was devised for the mainstream population who are not athletes. The name of the program comes from leading his students through the initial 28 days when the student is trained and awareness is “amplified.”

“At the end of 28 days, which is the first check point, most participants are off their meds, have lost weight, and have more energy,” he said.

ROAD TO FITNESS

In his prime, a young Commisso pursued the best teachers by writing to long jump coaches in other countries to acquire all of the best guidance, training and techniques. His intention was to make the 1980 Summer Olympics, scheduled for Moscow.

The responses he received boosted his confidence and set him on his way to becoming an expert at fitness and conditioning.

However, the 1979 Soviet invasion of Afghanistan spurred President Jimmy Carter to issue an ultimatum on Jan. 20, 1980, that the United States would boycott the Moscow Olympics if Soviet troops did not withdraw from Afghanistan within one month.

The Soviets did not comply, and U.S. athletes stayed away from the Games.

“I lost my drive due to the decision of the United States to not go to the Olympics,” Commisso said. He turned instead toward his music and spent 23 years successful in that endeavor.

In October 2000, Commisso — who moved to this area in 1997 — was in a car accident that severely injured his lower back.

“It devastated my lower body. That is when I began to develop my unbeatable mind,” he said. The basis of his program is helping his students and clients to develop this same unbeatable mind.

Self-motivated from 2000 to 2004, Commisso was determined to see what he could accomplish on his own. He learned and refined the best of breathing, running, eating and moving properly, which propelled him onto his path of excellence.

“I went to all the physical therapists that you could name, including the Pittsburgh Steelers’ therapists,” he said. “Beyond the initial rehabilitation from the accident, it took me four years of experimenting to regain strength and mobility.”

SUSTAINABLE

Commisso said that over the years of personal success and training others, he has formed a reverence for life that he is passing on to others. He offers them a solution by introducing a diet regime is that is “super clean.”

He stipulated that weight-loss is a by- product of the whole-life style of what he has his students and clients focus on – not a weight loss program.

“The key to eating right is eating well, and I encourage eating when hungry and drinking when thirsty” he said.

He believes that whatever habits you choose, they must become what you will continue for a lifetime in order to be truly successful.

“If it’s not sustainable then I dismiss it — it has to be practical. My program offers a serious foundation that my students can build a life on,” he said.

“I recommend that you scale into the eating plan one week at a time so by your second month you should be on the practical eating program 100 percent.”

Bob Lennox is a believer in the program, citing the encouragment and camaraderie that comes with it.

“I am a picky eater, and I am amazed that I learned to eat new things, and like them,” said Lennox, who has lost 18 pounds and is happy at the age of 65 to have gained body strength.

Having lost 52 pounds, Dawn McFall also has bought into Commisso’s program. She has completed a half-marathon and is preparing to run a full one.

Her sister-in-law, Cathy McFall, called Commisso’s personality “an instant attraction,” adding that he “made me want to be healthier. I lost 34 pounds and my energy level is great.”

SPIRITUAL

For Bridget Miller, who had suffered from debilitating migraine headaches, the affiliation with Commisso and his program has been spiritual as well as a physical transformation. She believes that making changes in your life requires a spiritual shift, and the AMP 28 Program has a spiritual component that is his positive message and motivation that the participants can succeed.

“Joey is the channel that brings a healing source that is uplifting and changing lives,” she said. “Joey’s goal is to help you become independently fit and healthy. Fitness is a side effect of what Joey does to help people improve their quality of life.”

Commisso concedes that his program includes a Christian-based spiritual dimension that stems from his own healing success and his path to overcome mental, emotional, and physical struggles to move beyond limitation and pain. In his early phases of self-rehabilitation, he often prayed to have the courage and stamina to face the challenges he worked through after his accident.

He now incorporates what he refers to as the five “allys” of greatness — self-activating spiritually, mentally, emotionally, nutritionally and physically — to create lifelong health and wellness. As part of his philosophy of wholeness teaching, he prays aloud at the end of each class or private session.

“If I had a nickel for every time that someone told me I had a ministry, I’d be rich,” Commisso said of his Christian-based inspirational guidance. He noted that praying at the end of class is optional, but most wish to stay the extra minutes to participate with the perspective that something larger than themselves is important to include when establishing new life-long patterns of successfully living well.

“This work is divine,” he said, “and it was in working through my own health issues that I found the foundation and the whole-health fitness that now allows me to steer others to set new goals for the rest of their lives, no matter what their age or physical condition.”

(Email: ncliving@ncnewsonline.com)

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