McKinney wins UBC national title

What started as a logical way to meld an aerobic kickboxing with a resistance training class eight years ago has vaulted a Gardnerville martial arts studio toward the forefront of national Ultimate Bodyshaping Champion program.


Gardnerville resident Matt McKinney, 36, took up the UBC program at Northwest Martial Arts in January and - after losing 40 pounds and 5.4 percent of his body fat during the 10-week program - won the UBC national championship.


"I think they take a look at your results on paper and you have to get 'before' and 'after' picture taken, which they base a lot of the judging off of," McKinney said. "I think about 90 percent of it is based on the change they see. They also look at your improvement in the different tests, like how many push-ups you can do and so on."


McKinney's win marks the fourth national title for Northwest Martial Arts members over the past eight years - a number that trails just one out of the 90 facilities that offer the program nationwide.


"I think what sets us apart from the other facilities is that we have a great group of coaches and instructors that make the program fun and friendly," said Nyls Rothfusz, who owns the studio located at the south of the Scolari's and Rite Aid parking lot. "The coaches work hard at keeping the UBC members on track and focused on their goals, while the instructors keep the classes fun and challenging, but are able to modify movements to meet physical limitations of members.


"It's a fantastic atmosphere where people make a lot of friends. We even had one couple meet and get married because of their involvement in UBC.


The UBC program runs the course of 10 weeks and incorporates a nutrition plan, resistance training, cardiovascular workouts, fitness evaluations and team competitions.


"I went to a martial arts convention in 2001 and saw the (UBC) program," Rothfusz said. "I had already been doing our AeroKick classes and one of the instructors had started a resistance training class, but I had never put the two together into any sort of program.


"When I saw the UBC program, I knew it would fit seamlessly into what I was already offering. I didn't expect it to last this long at all."


Or for it to be this successful, for that matter.


"I never thought we'd be starting a program every five weeks with multiple national champions and members receiving the kind of results they have gotten."


McKinney works in ranching, which he said he thought was rigorous enough to keep him in shape.


"I finally came to the conclusion that I needed to add something else to my routine," he said. "It had been 15 years since I had last worked out in a gym, which led to the acquisition of quite a few extra, unwanted pounds."


One of McKinney's friends had been enrolled in the program during the fall and encouraged him to join as well.


"My buddy finished his program and won the local competition by losing 31 pounds," McKinney said. "I used his win as motivation. We worked out together in class, we continually pushed each other and I had to do my best."


McKinney said he was skeptical at first about the class atmosphere, but that his opinion quickly changed after the first few days.


"It's pretty intense," McKinney said. "I played football in high school and did some other things here and there, but this was all-encompassing. It gets you in shape and you feel better overall."


When McKinney was notified of his national win, which comes with the prize of a Florida cruise, he made sure to give his friend a little ribbing.


"I called my wife first thing, but then I had to give my buddy a call to rub it in his face a little," McKinney said with a laugh."


As McKinney's job has expanded into 10- and 12-hour shifts for the summer, he has backed away from the program, but once works slows down he said he'll start it right back up.


"You kind of get hooked on it," he said. "I was stronger (after the program) and was able to see changes in my body that gave me more positive outlook on my life. My wife was very happy to see the changes in my body also.


"I just want to thank UBC and Northwest Martial Arts for making a huge impact on my life."


For more information on the UBC program, contact Northwest Martial Arts at 782-8858.

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