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'Finally, I decided to do it': How a TODAY staffer lost 50 pounds in 5 months

TODAY's Yosef Herzog lost 50 pounds in five months. See the transformation that Kathie Lee and Hoda won't stop talking about!
/ Source: TODAY

He's been called the "Magic Mike" of stage managers, and personally singled out for his charm by our very own Kathie Lee and Hoda.

But it wasn't overnight that TODAY's 31-year-old stage manager Yosef Herzog lost 50 pounds and turned into the fitness guru that he is today. It required a lot of hard work, some messy days at the gym and a realization that would forever change the way he looked at food and fitness.

Today, even Men's Health magazine is celebrating his transformation, spotlighting Herzog in the January/February edition as their "Men's Health Guy."

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"I was sick and tired of getting out of breath tying my shoes," Herzog told TODAY.

That, coupled with his inability to climb a flight of stairs, he went out, bought new workout gear, signed up for the gym and never looked back.

"I'd make up a random number to myself like 'I need to lose 20 or 30 pounds,' and I just kept saying it. And then finally, I just decided to do it."

RELATED: Meet Yosef! TODAY's 'Magic Mike' stage manager

Brandon Goodwin / TODAY

His initial evaluation at the gym was brutal — a set of lunges, push-ups and a one-minute plank sent him to the garbage can, vomiting twice before nearly passing out.

The setback didn't affect his mentality, though. Herzog hit the gym without backing down.

"I just went full-throttle. I did three miles every day, seven days a week, which probably isn't healthy, but I was very motivated."

The motivation stemmed from his highly-active sports career in high school and college. Throughout high school, he played basketball and soccer. In college, it was volleyball. But in his 20s, fitness fell to the wayside.

"For a decade, I just didn't go to the gym and ate whatever I wanted, whenever I wanted to. No limits."

RELATED: KLG and Hoda on mission to find love for TODAY stage manager

By the time Herzog hit month three of his new fitness routine, he had already shed 30 pounds. Once that happened, he eliminated a day from his weekly exercise routine, sprinkled in some cross-training and lost another 20 pounds in the two months following.

Over the course of five months, his weight dropped from 231 pounds to 181 pounds, as did his body fat, which decreased from 20 percent to 5 percent. His waist size went from a 38 to a 32. His T-shirts are now all a size medium, where in the past he was regularly purchasing an extra large.

"By the numbers, it was pretty astounding when I sat back and wrote it down. I've always had a larger frame, and I've carried the weight well, I guess, but once it all came off, I had to buy a whole new wardrobe," he said. "I was really able to see the extent of it."

Since February 2015, his weight has stayed consistent at 180 pounds, and he's focused much harder on finding a regimen that works for his body.

RELATED: Working on those abs? 5 tips you can easily incorporate into your day

Yosef Herzog in the Orange Room, behind-the-scenes at TODAY.
Yosef Herzog in the Orange Room, behind-the-scenes at TODAY.

"I guess I'd always call myself a fairly confident person. But being in shape and knowing you can do workouts and exercises that you've never been able to do with a level of confidence — it's nice."

His next big challenge? The United Airlines NYC Half marathon on March 20, 2016.

Yosef Herzog gets kisses from Wrangler, TODAY's puppy with a purpose.
Yosef Herzog gets kisses from Wrangler, TODAY's puppy with a purpose.

"It's a little nerve-wracking, but it's for a good cause. I've been involved with the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society for the past four or five years. Blood cancer runs in my family," he told TODAY. "My grandfather had it, my mother currently has it, so I figured it'd be a great way to overcome another hurdle and another accomplishment under my belt by running a half marathon, and while I'm at it, I can raise money for a good cause."

Want to try his go-to ab workout? Complete this circuit 2-4 times a day with 15 seconds rest in between exercises.


Brandon Goodwin/TODAY

Hold for 1 minute — maintain a straight line from head to heels.

Russian twist

Brandon Goodwin/TODAY

Complete 40 on each side, making sure your head follows your shoulders from side to side.

Reverse crunch + leg extension

Brandon Goodwin/TODAY

Complete 20, keeping hips slow and controlled on the way down.

Sweep + extend

Brandon Goodwin/TODAY

Complete 15, keeping your lower back pressed down into mat.

Scissor kicks

Brandon Goodwin/TODAY

Complete in 45 seconds, focusing on shoulder to opposite knee movement.