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Ex-NHLers scores big in weight-loss battle

Kelly Chase, former hockey player for the St. Louis Blues , and now a contestant on TV's Battle of the Blades shows some of the Cross Fit workout he does.

Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail/Fred Lum/The Globe and Mail

Battle of the Blades competitor Kelly Chase, 42, slashed 50 pounds in four months this past summer to shape up for the CBC show. The ex-NHL enforcer had spent the previous 20 months recovering from an illness, but his fast and furious workouts prepped him for the challenges of dancing on ice.

My goal

"To get my weight down to [where it was]note>// when I played hockey. After undergoing treatment for a lesion on my brain, I went through 20 months of IV steroid treatments, spent 16 hours a day sleeping and had sore gout-like pain from inflammation in my joints, so I couldn't be active."

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My workout

"Once I was cleared by doctors, I took up CrossFit [an advanced workout developed by a Navy Seal combining weight lifting and gymnastics] my wife owns a gym. I did a casual bike ride for the calorie burn every day, and five times a week I did a series of 20 functional exercises: body weight squats, pull-ups, chin-ups, thrusters, medicine ball toss, box or lateral jumps, and some of the moves are modified to help me build to full range of motion. …

"At the gym, there's a workout of the day up on the board and you see everybody's name and time or reps, so you push yourself based on that. I do a routine called Fight Gone Bad: six circuits of six exercises with one-minute rests between rounds; that takes 20 to 40 minutes."

My lifestyle

"I'm in PR and marketing for St. Louis Blues and flying a lot for the radio broadcasts, but I eat well. I'm a meat eater, although I did the master cleanse [six to 12 daily doses of a detox drink made from water, lemon, maple syrup and cayenne pepper]for 14 days, just to get the steroids out. Then I resumed a high-protein diet to help me keep muscle while I lost weight. I'm not a sweets guy. I'd rather have mashed potatoes or pasta."

My motivation

"I saw myself in the mirror and I was disgusted because I knew how big I got. And my wife looked over at me at said 'Well, is it time?' - in other words, start doing something."

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My anthem

"John Cougar Mellencamp's Small Town."

My challenge

"For me, the social aspect of my life: I have a big family, big dinners and big wines, and socializing is a big part of my culture, so my weakness is too many nights."

The critique

Give the body a rest

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"CrossFit workouts are very intense with power lifts and you compete to push yourself to finish, so Kelly's body needs rest to fully recover from pushing his cardio and muscular systems or he risks diminished results," says Jayce Lee, fitness trainer at Defy Fitness in Toronto. "I advise that he substitute one of his training days with swimming or yoga, giving his body and joints a day off stress to restore energy and adapt to all his functional workouts."

Personalize nutrition

"The high-protein diet matches Kelly's training scheme and goal to shed fat and regain muscle, but Kelly needs to see a naturopath who can assess and prescribe a personal cleanse or nutrition plan if he wants to get rid of body toxins," Mr. Lee says. "He should also limit cleanses to once a year as his immune system and strength is lower, compromising power needed for his workout."

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