A former Division I football player and strength and conditioning coach for a handful of college football programs has taken to training an unlikely demographic.
Brownstown Township resident Lance Latkiewicz no longer trains high-level athletes. He now works with transportation companies and their truck drivers.
Latkiewicz, a 34-year-old Allen Park native, owns On the Regular — a coaching and consulting business working to establish and maintain healthful habits among truck drivers.
“This particular group of people have health statistics that are staggering,” said Latkiewicz, who played at Bowling Green State University in Ohio and has worked with athletes at Ohio State University and the University of Pittsburgh. “They’re often diabetic. They work long hours. They’re sitting all day. Their only food options are usually things from rest stops and gas stations.”
Truck drivers undergo two health screenings each year as required by the Federal Motor Carrier Safety Administration. If a driver has unmanageable diabetes or blood pressure higher than 140/90, their license is suspended, according to the FMCSA. The twice-yearly screenings are paid for by the drivers.
“(Truck drivers) have been on the front lines during (the pandemic) still delivering goods to stores. I love working with and helping them (reach their health goals),” Latkiewicz said.
Latkiewicz, who after working with college football teams took a job as a senior program manager at Fiat Chrysler America that he’s since left, launched the program early this year. He estimated he’s working with 350 drivers and other employees across three companies: CMAC Transportation and Superior Global Logistics, both based in Brownstown Township, and New Boston-based Chapp and Bushy Oil Co.
“We don’t have a lot of people Downriver offering this type of training,” CMAC owner and President Scott Christie said. “Like with anything, business owners are looking to have added benefits for our employees that make them want to come work at our place and not somewhere else.
“There’s a stigma with truckers that they’re not that healthy. Some of that is right and some is wrong. Usually the drivers have high blood pressure or sleep apnea. We’re trying to change the culture a little bit. We want to get our people healthy.”
The companies foot the bill for the program for all of their employees, Latkiewicz said. Each company pays a monthly fee that covers all of its employees, no matter how many actually utilize the service.
Cost for the training and nutrition assistance is about $10 per employee per month, according to Latkiewicz, who is working to add additional clients. Packages range from $500 to $2,500 a month per company.
On the Regular uses a mass texting service to deliver messages to drivers and other employees with suggestions for meals and workouts. Latkiewicz and his team of three trainers also keep in touch with employees and drivers by email. Clients can set up one-on-one training and nutrition plans, too.
CMAC was Latkiewicz’s first client. Christie, who was introduced to Latkiewicz by a mutual friend, said the program has been well received among his employees. About 40 CMAC staffers participated in an On the Regular wellness challenge prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. Christie estimates the group lost a combined 1,000 pounds.
“The cool part about the whole thing is, yes, we’re getting great feedback internally, but I’ll be out in the community and people are talking about what we’re doing with Lance,” Christie said. “We’ve got a lot of people involved. I’m proud of them. We’ve all been through the pandemic, and some people have lost weight and kept it off.”
Clients participate in a series of challenges, including walking competitions and a weekly nutrition challenge. The programs are 12 weeks, with the first six weeks focused on reverse weight loss and the remainder on diet and weight maintenance, Latkiewicz said. Reverse weight loss consists of starting at a set, low-calorie diet and slowly adding calories back into a diet over time. The goal of the program is to sustain the weight loss.
“Six out of seven Americans have lost 30-plus pounds before,” said Latkiewicz, who offers clients 24/7 assistance. “We don’t have a weight-loss problem. We have no idea how to keep weight off long-term. … The program takes folks through a full cycle of sound and proper behaviors of weight loss, then proper weight maintenance leading to a sustainable new weight loss and more freedom with nutrition.”
Latkiewicz works with each client to determine the scope of their program.
He admits the pandemic slowed down the project a bit. Being a new company, he said, it’s necessary to conduct a lot of face-to-face meetings to land new business. With buildings and businesses closed for extended periods of time earlier this year, Latkiewciz found it difficult to make contact with potential clients.
Latkiewicz is confident in his business plan, his services and the business’ ability to grow. He plans to continue to market to trucking customers in the Midwest. Profitability, Latkiewicz said, will be based on scale and On The Regular’s ability to add clients in the near future.
“Due to the systems we have in place we can have one coach service multiple customers, which will create our profit when we have hit scale of around seven to eight customers per trainer,” Latkiewicz said.
“By the second quarter of 2021, I see no reason we won’t be turning a six-figure profit. But what we’re really focused on is helping the employees in this industry who need it and who are ready to make a change.”