Husband and wife, Toby and Kylie, are respected members of the St. Louis Fire Department. Toby, a firefighter for 12 years, and Kylie, a paramedic for five years, have trained together for the last year at Project Deliverance.
As first responders, it’s imperative they be in great physical health to perform their jobs. When Kylie needed some extra assistance training for a SWAT team position, she turned to Matt Owen to get her ready for the test. After seeing her success, Toby joined The Project as well.
The last year hasn’t been without it’s challenges for this couple. Their worlds changed forever when Kylie was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). But, it’s been their family here at the gym, that has played a supporting role in her fight against the disease.
Kylie, 1 ½ years at Project Deliverance
275# Back Squat
155# Bench press
Toby, 1 year at Project Deliverance
545# Back squat
335# Bench press
What’s Your Athletic Background?
Kylie: I started playing soccer at a young age and loved street hockey. I was the girl with the big shoulders that would knock everyone over. I guess I was always a bit competitive. I continued playing soccer through high school and ran track.
Toby: I played baseball and other sports when I was a kid. In high school, I lifted weights and threw shot put.
Why Did You Choose Project Deliverance?
Kylie: I had the opportunity to test with my department for a SWAT team paramedic position. The tests included running, push-ups, sit-ups and a pull-up wearing a 40# vest from a dead hang position. At the time, I couldn’t even do a dead hang—which is when I found Project Deliverance. I trained here for six months and was the only female to pass the test.
Toby: I saw what Kylie had accomplished at the gym and wanted to get stronger, so I decided to begin training with Matt (Owner and Trainer at Project Deliverance) myself.
What Is Your Favorite Part of Training?
Kylie: It feels awesome when you smash a PR. Overall, being here and training makes you feel energetic and positive. I always leave here in a better mood than what I came in. Matt has created a phenomenal environment. He’s become a great friend and an important part of our lives.
Toby: My favorite part of training is destroying all of the goals I had set for myself. I originally came here and wanted to get to 440# on deadlift and back squat. I’ve so far exceeded that number and it blows my mind that I’m not even close to done yet.
What Are Your Future Training Goals?
Kylie: About a year ago, I was shocked to be diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). I have some permanent damage from my hips to my toes causing a pins and needles sensation all the time, along with MS fatigue which causes exhaustion.
I have a great support system here at the gym. There are days when it’s difficult to feel like being active, but I push myself to come into the gym. I feel so blessed and so lucky that I am physically able to not only walk, but lift weights and beat my PRs. Today, I hit a 345# deadlift PR which is 50# more than before I was diagnosed. There are definitely more PRs in my future.
Toby: Originally I thought I would train here until I regained the strength and endurance I wanted. Then I would just train myself. But, I found that it’s a family here. You get support from everyone in the gym, not only Matt. I know that without the right programming and this level of coaching, I wouldn’t have made the progress I have this fast, if at all.
Matt Owen, Owner and Trainer at Project Deliverance
How Do You Train To Their Strengths?
Kylie and Toby are both fantastically strong individuals and they love to lift weights. Simply giving them an opportunity to get under the bar and cut loose is the best way I can train to their strengths.
How Do You Train To Their Weaknesses?
Concept 2 Rower, Concept 2 SkiERG, and The Assault Bike. Ha!
What Are Their Future Training Plans?
My plan is to keep them as healthy and as viable in the field as long as possible as Kylie manages her condition and continues to beat the odds. They both need to be strong and capable but also injury free and structurally sound. We will work hard to get them as strong as possible but also to maintain a healthy and injury free body.
Join Project Deliverance for our 10-Year Anniversary Open House on June 24 to meet Kylie and Toby.