a kid, Jeffrey Gross says, “I sucked at team sports. I was the last one
picked.” So he turned to gymnastics and later, as an adult, weight
training. The workouts pumped more than Gross’ muscles—they helped give
his HIV a working over.
“In the early ’90s, I developed AIDS and
fell to 89 pounds,” the 5'6", 140-pound stud reports. “I had to leave
work—I hit bottom.” Once his protease-inhibitor combo kicked in, Gross
got back into fitness, believing it would boost his immune system.
Indeed, the workouts “caused an increase in T cells and a decline in my
viral load,” he says. “That only happens with an aggressive workout,”
he adds, “but even less ambitious regimens can help you feel good about
yourself and balance mind, body and spirit.” Gross now runs BYOB (Build
Your Own Body; BYOBJeff@aol.com) and designs fitness programs for
HIVers at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center. “It’s something I
can give back to the community,” he says.
All this exercise fits
Gross to a (muscle) T. With 1,000 T cells and an undetectable viral
load, he’s managed to deflate his belly lipoaccumulation—notoriously
hard to reverse because it settles around the internal organs. “It took
me six and a half years,” he says, “but I’ve reduced that
lipoaccumulation by 90%.” No sweat.
promotes “the three Ps” for safe, successful workouts: Proper form (do
the exercise correctly), proper clothing (wear stuff you can move in
and supportive, comfortable shoes) and proper nutrition (smaller, more
frequent meals and eight daily glasses of H2O).