Trainer Curtis Mann helps people fight disease with exercise
Getting in shape is the best medicine.
- Written byNancy Sokoler Steiner
- Photographed byShane O’Donnell
Curtis Mann was 21 years old when his father, Garey, announced he had cancer. “At that time cancer was something you didn’t talk about,” says Curtis, 59, founder and co-owner of End Results Health & Wellness in Torrance. “My father wouldn’t even say the word. He called it ‘the Big C.’”
It was only six months until Garey passed away, during which Curtis helplessly watched his father’s body decline. Two years later Curtis met an exercise physiologist. “He taught me that exercise and good nutrition were medicine for the human body,” he says. “He inspired me to become a personal trainer.”
Working with clients on fitness, Curtis thought about his father and other relatives who had faced cancer. He knew that diet and exercise not only help prevent disease but also boost the ability to weather serious health conditions. Research shows, for example, that remaining physically active during cancer treatment can boost the body’s ability to withstand the effects of cancer treatments, lessen fatigue and reduce loss of muscle mass.
Curtis decided to create a resource for individuals with medical conditions and chronic diseases. His gym would enable and encourage these people to adopt and maintain an active lifestyle and improve their wellbeing. In 2001 he and partner Dominic Amici opened End Results.
As with many neighborhood gyms, End Results draws an array of clients, from student athletes honing their strength to retirees keeping fit. But with its particular focus, End Results provides a resource for those facing or recovering from cancer, heart disease, fibromyalgia and other health challenges.
Three mornings a week the gym offers its “Fit and Well Worth It” class free of charge for cancer patients and survivors. The class includes strength training, cardiovascular exercises, balancing exercises and stretching. Participants receive a fitness evaluation and instructions on technique before starting the program. More than 700 people have taken “Fit and Well Worth It.”
Based on their experience, most become gym members and personal training clients. “Four years after diagnosis and treatment, I owe much of my sense of well-being to regular exercise,” wrote one grateful participant.
End Results partners with local physicians as well as Torrance Memorial Medical Center and Providence Little Company of Mary Medical Center, which refer patients to the program. Curtis also collaborates and volunteers with local support organi-zations including the Cancer Support Community, American Cancer Society, Susan G. Komen’s Race for a Cure and the American Heart Association.
In April he spearheaded an activity for Torrance Elementary School fourth- and fifth-graders at the American Cancer Society’s Relay for Life event at South High School. Since cancer touches everyone including children, he says, he wants them to understand ways to help prevent it. He hopes they will start healthy habits early in life.
One of three sons, Curtis kept active as a child. He participated in sports from the age of 8 through college, including playing on his high school football, track and baseball teams.
His family moved from Texas to the South Bay when Curtis was 18. He fell in love with the climate and proximity to the ocean. He worked as a fitness manager at 24 Hour Fitness before launching End Results.
“I try to help and reach out to as many people as I possibly can while keeping myself as healthy as I can. That’s my passion and what keeps me going,” says Curtis. “If I can do something to help people who are ill feel better about themselves without adding to their financial stress, then Lord, let me do it. This is my calling.”
CURTIS’ YEAR IN HEALTH
“Train clients from 6 a.m. to around noon, have lunch, then do my personal physical regimen of resistance training three to four days a week, plus at least 35 to 40 minutes of interval training. Train more clients from 4 until around 8 p.m.”
“Daily cardio plus routines focused by muscle group (one day chest and biceps; the next legs; then back and triceps; then shoulders). I like kickboxing and Muay Thai. I also do yoga to increase flexibility and decrease stress. We have a restorative yoga program here on Wednesdays for people with physical challenges.”
“A ketogenic nutrition plan, which emphasizes proteins, complex carbohydrates and healthy fats and avoids simple carbohydrates. Typical meals consist of protein and vegetables (I love Swiss chard). I snack on nuts and fast from 7 p.m. to 5 a.m.”
“Pancakes. They’re like crack to me.”
“Hiking and spending time outdoors.”
“My dad. He kept his three boys active all the time. He taught us how to throw a baseball, how to catch a football. When he was a younger man, he was considered a world-class sprinter.”
Into the woods. Written by Darren Elms