Two years ago, well aware that I had been living with a life limiting Pulmonary condition, I found myself in a place that I somehow never expected to be; in a hospital bed, on IV antibiotics, 30 lbs overweight, struggling to breath on 6-8 liters of Oxygen and probably one bad cold or flu virus away from my own funeral. It was a place I did not intend stay but I soon learned that the only way out of it would be a double lung transplant. Even so, my age, eating and drinking habits and inability to exercise all made the surgery extremely risky. I needed to change.

With my wife’s encouragement, I called the number she found on the web and spoke to the man who eventually turned out to be my deliverance, Rivak Hoffman.

His deep knowledge of exercise science, physiology and nutrition in addition to his reliability, positive attitude and commitment to helping his clients achieve their health related goals combined to make him, for me, an irreplaceable part of my health care support team. Six months after we met, I was 25 lbs lighter, immeasurably stronger and despite needing high levels of supplemental Oxygen to do it, I had achieved a level of conditioning that I had not believed possible. On Christmas Eve, 2015, we received the call from UCSD hospital that they had a pair of healthy lungs for me. I was ready.

Three months later, I’ve recovered from the surgery, regained my life and am in the early stages of training for the Philly Marathon in Nov, 2016. There are many people I can name to whom I owe a debt which I can never repay and who I will be thinking of as I cross that finish line. None, more so than my coach, my teacher, my friend, Rivak Hoffman.

Jack Coughlin
Jack Coughlin
RN

I have lost twenty pounds and attained a first class fitness test score. These are personal achievements that I could not have done on my own. Every workout that I have had with Coach Rivak is challenging and pushes me farther than I would have gone on my own. The weekly fitness program he tailored has me working out three days with him and three other days on my own. My stress level is much lower now along with my blood pressure and cholesterol. Since I signed on with Coach Rivak, I have become a better officer, husband, and father. This is the best investment I have ever made for myself! The short-term fatigue of a workout is temporary, but the long-term physical and mental change is forever. Thanks Coach Rivak.

Major A. Gilbert
USMC

My name is John Michael Cione; I am 40 years old and have played sports my entire life. I never worked out regularly with weights. I was referred to Rivak after I had sustained a severe foot injury. I weighed 178 pounds. I thought I was in reasonably good shape. My first workout was more challenging than I could ever imagined. Undaunted, I changed my eating and drinking habits, trained with Rivak 3 days a week. Now I weigh 150 pounds and in the best shape of my life. My strength, speed and endurance have increased dramatically. I also had to buy a new wardrobe and I even fit in clothes that have been in my closet for 10 years. I found that a consistent workout regimen has greatly reduced my stress levels and enhanced my overall attitude. I credit Rivak and his approach to fitness for positively affecting many facets of my life, which I had not expected. His discipline and guidance were pivotal in keeping me on track. I honestly feel getting involved with Coach Rivak is one the best things I have ever done for my family, my business and myself.

John Cione
Financial Advisor

Rivak has been instrumental in my recovery from injuries, and provided a much more balanced strength and flexibility program. I’m now stronger than before and have a more efficient workout schedule that yields better results. He is experienced and has a thorough knowledge of exercise physiology. My principal exercise activity is ultra-marathon cycling supplemented with racquetball and skiing. Besides technical expertise he also can adapt to changing personal goals, and provide important motivational messages. I’ve tried yoga, Pilates, and traditional physical therapy. Rivak’s sports performance training style easily surpasses all of them!

Bill Sheffler
Actuary

Rivak’s cutting edge approach to fitness and nutrition opened up my potential to new levels. For years, I have struggled to establish proper fitness goals. Rivak helped me redirect my focus in the right direction and establish those goals. In the past, I have always thought the answer laid somewhere between bodybuilding and power lifting. Boy I was mistaken. For years, I had neglected cardio, core and interval training, and neglected what I really was looking for. That was a lean athletic body. My favorite activity/sport is surfing, so Rivak trained me like a swimmer. He showed me different exercises college swimmers perform, and integrated them into a high intensity workout 3 days per week, with long relaxing runs on the days in between. In one month I lost 15 pounds, and barely had to change what I was eating… As long as it was in moderation. As a Marine Officer, I am expected to be in premium condition. Yes, I have, at times pushed my body weight limits. With Rivak’s techniques and his ability to clarify what I need for my specific life style, I will never struggle with what I need to do to maintain a high-level of fitness. I have never used a personal trainer before, but I can now say it was a life changing experience and money invested wisely.

Major Todd Lucht
USMC

I’ve been in general fitness training with Rivak Hoffman for about 8 years. I can honestly say it has marked a turning point in my life. This is much more than an intense workout session. Sure, I’ve lost body fat, and built up my endurance and strength. More importantly, I’ve also gained insight into the aging process, and how to combat it. I am in my 60s and have changed from a sedentary person prone to aches and acute tendonitis from participating in casual sports, to a more conditioned man, probably in better shape than I was in college. Thanks to Rivak Hoffman’s training techniques, I have regained youthful agility, balance, coordination and flexibility. What distinguishes Rivak’s approach to training is his professionalism, knowledge, individual attention, and a comprehensive, enthusiastic and guided approach to health and fitness. This is not cookie-cutter body sculpting. Rivak has an impressive resume, but he doesn’t flaunt it. His medical and neurological training coupled with his credentials in fitness training sets him apart and makes him an ideal trainer for clients of all ages and abilities, those with intact musculoskeletal systems as well as those with disabilities or chronic disorders. Most importantly, he approaches his clients as a true professional. He keeps detailed records and monitors progress. He makes sure you get each exercise right and monitors every movement for mistakes that can lead to injury. Make the call! I’m sure glad I did.

James Merritt, MD
Medical Doctor

My doctor had told me to lose weight, but not how successful weight loss is accomplished. It was time to find a personal trainer. My search began on the Internet when miraculously up popped Rivak Hoffman on my computer screen. I had known Rivak when he was working as a Medical Researcher at UC Shiley Eye Center but had not spoken to him for years. I knew he was an honest hardworking individual. He was always driven to do his best, and is a person who never backed down from a challenge. It was at that moment I decided I was going to be his next challenge. If anyone was able to help me through this difficult stage of my life he would. In our initial consultation and fitness assessment, Rivak’s calculations confirmed I was in the “clinically obese” category. We discussed a training program that worked for me, and I began my new lifestyle of combining diet, resistance training and cardiovascular exercise. I have been working with Rivak for 1 year and have lost 45 pounds, decreased my bad cholesterol by 20 points, and best of all am now wearing a size 12 dress! I feel great and my friends say I look wonderful. Thank you Rivak for helping me meet my first weight loss goal!

Candice McIvor
Retired Executive Assistant

Rivak the miracle worker! I was needing to find an exercise specialist/trainer to strengthen my core lower back muscles, shoulders, arms and thigh muscles, which have degenerated from a very rare disease called polymyositis. For 13 years I have watched my once, very slim and fitness body, gradually become ravaged by the destruction of muscle mass, leaving me unable to climb stairs, walk without a cane and always using a wheelchair when outside the home. By chance, I found the link to Rivak’s company. A call and a response from Rivak, was the beginning of an incredible journey to wellness and muscle rejuvenation. Rivak has the medical education, training and experience; in particular, a strong interest in working with challenged people. With a customized program and a commitment to Rivak and myself, the challenge was set and I was ready to see results. Rivak encouraged me to reach for my maximum potential exercise level but he cautioned me to be aware of my physical limitations. Only an experienced exercise trainer, like Rivak, has the ability to design an exercise program to achieve the greatest outcome. My workouts are intense and strenuous at times. That was in 2006. In two years, I have seen a major change in my muscle strength throughout my body.

Beverly Weurding
Retired Hospital Administrator

I was referred to Rivak via a fellow cyclist and I am happy to say my life has never been the same. Prior to working with Rivak, I had reached a point in my life that no matter how often or how hard I exercised I was not making any progress. My cycle times were not improving and I was getting just as exhausted cycling the same distance. Rivak’s insight, experience, and knowledge of physical training and diet continually impress me. His assessments and recommendations for training routines are 100% on the mark. Rivak is totally committed to his clients and his dedication has produced amazing results. I have dropped weight, reduced waist size, gained muscle, and increased my endurance. At 46 years old I am amazed at what Rivak has helped me achieve physically. Rivak has been key to my physical aspirations as well as playing an integral part to my mental well-being. Pros: Gets things done quickly and efficiently! Cons: You wish you can train with him every day, but he advises moderation to avoid burn out.

Richard Graff
Architect

Rivak at Somagenesis provides intelligent, customized, and thoughtful workouts that draw upon his considerable medical background. He is 100% attentive during the workout and makes the workout fly by while educating on the why’s and wherefores of what each exercise does for the body. He is careful to explain how to avoid injuries during workouts, and can work around previous injuries or limitations. Rivak advocates for a healthy diet and works closely with his clients on this. Following his plan is transformational!

Loretta McNeely
Executive Assistant

I’ve been working for 4+ years with Rivak.  He’s been a huge motivator and he’s helped me lose weight, eat better and get fit.  He’s customized a program for me and that’s probably the most important thing.  You see, I travel almost weekly and he’s helped me find a way to “fit in” a workout program.  He keeps me accountable, even when I’m not seeing him every single day.  If you’re serious about getting into shape, call Somagenesis.  If you aren’t sure, stay on the couch and buy some bigger jeans.

Anne Riley
VP

In the past four years of working with Rivak I have found a man more dedicated to me than I was to myself!  He will keep you accountable to what you say you want but can’t seem to achieve on your own. With the variety of workouts and nutritional advice I am physically and mentally stronger. I am 50 and feel 30!

He is tough and into getting you results. If you are serious about yourself he is the Man!

Alisa Ludwig
Occupational Therapist

Been working with Rivak for almost 2 years. He is persistent man and a dedicated professional that keeps me on track….EVEN DURING the toughest of times. He always follows up on my commitments I make to him and holds me accountable….Although I would like to punch him the mouth sometimes, I don’t know what I would do (or what I would look like) with him. Anyone would be lucky to have him on their team.

Mark Gladden
CEO

Working with Rivak as my personal fitness trainer has been the best personal health decision I have made in decades. He developed a tailored program for me based on my health goals and physical condition (including a detailed review of lab results from my last physical) and keeps me focused on actions required to meet my health and fitness goals. In one year I lost 6 inches from my waist and saw huge strength and cardio/endurance gains. Reliable, knowledgeable, focused and enthusiastic, he’s an amazing personal trainer.

Kevan Bradshaw
Senior Partner Assurance

Rivak’s works out are outstanding. He always encourages us to challenge ourselves and make us go one step further. All of us have improved a lot since we started working out with him. Excellent professional and person!

Sergio Rivera
RF Engineer

Rivak is an outstanding trainer and a great person. I have worked with him for over three years–started while pregnant. I was in fantastic shape when I gave birth, labor went very smoothly and pushing was easy. A week after my daughter was born, I actually weighed a few pounds less than when I became pregnant. I have stayed with him, because I see results. I become a lot weaker without him around to push me. He also knows just how to hard to push a person to challenge then without making them want to give up. He has a significant amount of medical knowledge, which, as a physician myself, I greatly appreciate. His professionalism and knowledge truly enhance the workout experience. Did I mention he comes to the house too? Talk about convenience! No excuses to avoid the workout. No equipment at home? No problem! I am continually amazed at how tough Rivak can make a workout in a small amount of space with minimum equipment. I find his rates to be reasonable as well.

Tamara Scalise, MD
Medical Doctor

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