Asa kid, Jeffrey Gross says, “I sucked at team sports. I was the last onepicked.” So he turned to gymnastics and later, as an adult, weighttraining. The workouts pumped more than Gross’ muscles—they helped givehis HIV a working over.
“In the early ’90s, I developed AIDS andfell to 89 pounds,” the 5'6", 140-pound stud reports. “I had to leavework—I hit bottom.” Once his protease-inhibitor combo kicked in, Grossgot back into fitness, believing it would boost his immune system.Indeed, the workouts “caused an increase in T cells and a decline in myviral load,” he says. “That only happens with an aggressive workout,”he adds, “but even less ambitious regimens can help you feel good aboutyourself and balance mind, body and spirit.” Gross now runs BYOB (BuildYour Own Body; BYOBJeff@aol.com) and designs fitness programs forHIVers at Chicago’s Rush University Medical Center. “It’s something Ican give back to the community,” he says.
All this exercise fitsGross to a (muscle) T. With 1,000 T cells and an undetectable viralload, he’s managed to deflate his belly lipoaccumulation—notoriouslyhard to reverse because it settles around the internal organs. “It tookme six and a half years,” he says, “but I’ve reduced thatlipoaccumulation by 90%.” No sweat.
Grosspromotes “the three Ps” for safe, successful workouts: Proper form (dothe exercise correctly), proper clothing (wear stuff you can move inand supportive, comfortable shoes) and proper nutrition (smaller, morefrequent meals and eight daily glasses of H2O).
OK, you didn't win any summer swimsuit competitions. Now, let HIVer and pro trainer Jeffrey Gross buff you into fall