Work ’em Cowboy

Local fitness trainer “Cowboy Ryan” introduces Berthoud to unique workout program

By May Soricelli
The Surveyor

Fitness trainer "Cowboy" Ryan Ehmann closes out an exercise class with a hoot and a holler on June 11. Ehmann has had success both locally and nationally with his unique fitness program, which he designed as a way to prepare for rodeos.  John Gardner / The Surveyor

Fitness trainer “Cowboy” Ryan Ehmann closes out an exercise class with a hoot and a holler on June 11. Ehmann has had success both locally and nationally with his unique fitness program, which he designed as a way to prepare for rodeos.
John Gardner / The Surveyor

“It’s not the events that shape your life, it’s what you do with those events,” said personal trainer Ryan “Cowboy” Ehmann. Twice in Ehmann’s life he found himself in situations that threatened his life, dreams, goals and accomplishments. The first major set-back took him two long years to recover from. The second event became a catalyst that Ehmann used to push him into changing his life and helping others.

Ever since that moment of determination Ehmann has been an unstoppable force, pursuing health and wellness and sharing his discoveries with the multitude of people wanting to make their life better. From rodeo king, to entrepreneur, to Shark Tank contestant, to personal trainer, Ehmann has helped change lives with his unique approach to fitness. Now the success stories are happening throughout Berthoud.

In 2000, when Ehmann was only 28 years old he was told that he needed to retire from his career in the rodeo due to his incurable chronic back pain. He went from being a top-rider in the rodeo to not riding at all. His muscles quickly became atrophied.

“I was physically and mentally in the worst possible place a person can be,” said Ehmann.

The turning point for him was when a friend gave him a cassette tape of life coach Tony Robbins. Some of the wisdom Ehmann took from his teachings were thoughts like “It’s not the events in your life that shape your life, it’s what you decide to do with your life because of those events”, said Ehmann.

“Well what can I do with this event in my life?” he asked.

Immediately he decided to attend the Kenneth Cooper Institute in Texas, in order to understand his body and how he could heal it − and ultimately help others. For one week he received fitness training from some of the top personal trainers.

Cowboy Ryan keeps the energy up throughout the workout at Brookside Gardens on June 11. John Gardner / The Surveyor

Cowboy Ryan keeps the energy up throughout the workout at Brookside Gardens on June 11.
John Gardner / The Surveyor

Within two days he got the answers he was looking for about his chronic back pain; he had an imbalance of muscle. He also learned about the proper foods to eat and how to correctly work out, and most importantly heart-rate monitoring.

Heart-rate monitoring stood out to Ehmann because of the fact that he learned that many people work out too hard, pushing past the point where they are in a good heart-rate range. He discovered that when this happens a person actually burns lean muscle as well as fat, which requires more work to earn back later.

In 2003 he joined a Gold’s Gym where he began designing a workout program for himself that was cautious of his injured back while pursuing results. He put his own program together using the training he’d received.

After the first month he felt better than he ever had. He claims he was shredding fat rapidly and his back was actually feeling good.He went from 18 percent body fat to 4.3 percent body fat in less than three months, and cured his chronic back pain.

“Instead of dreading working out I was actually excited. I really got hooked on working out,” said Ehmann.

Then, because of his passion for helping people he became a trainer at Gold’s gym.

Being in the best shape of his life, Ehmann went back to the rodeo in 2004 and that same year won the National Championship for Fox Sports.

The return to his career was short lived when, in 2006, he got injured badly during a competition and ended up in the hospital. Once again, he was left with a question: why did this happen?

He realized that the last time he had a career ending moment he wasted two years of his life and didn’t want to do it again. He reminded himself, “It’s not the events that shape your life, it’s what you do with those events.”

“Is there a different or bigger purpose for me than the rodeo?” he asked. The answer for him was yes. He knew that there were millions of people out there that he could help.

In 2006 he moved to Colorado and opened a private training office in Loveland and trained over 13,000 people using his “Lose 12 inches in 12 workouts” method.

“People can see what I have overcome and think they can get help from me to do it in their own life, people who have tried everything. The thing is that, the pain to stay where you’re at has to be greater than the pain it will take to change,” said Ehmann.

In 2013 Ehmann appeared on ABC’s “Shark Tank” and showed the panel his lively cowboy-themed workouts and the success he was having, with the hope of reaching more people. After being on “Shark Tank” last year he has had a lot of success with people visiting his website, lose12inches.com and selling his own workout videos. He now has a contract with QVC to distribute a new line of workout videos which will reach their 100 million viewers.

At the beginning of 2014 Ehmann began hosting “boot camps” in Mead, Berthoud and Loveland to show people how quickly they can lose weight and build muscle with his workout. These boot camps are hosted three times per week in 30-minute sessions. Berthoud’s Brookside Garden’s barn is one of the focal places for these boot camps. These workouts are known for their energetic and fun atmosphere. With a lot of “Yee-Haw’s” and “Woo-hoo’s” this cardio-based workout features all of “Cowboy” Ryan’s trademark moves, like the Rodeo Abs, or Horseshoe Abs. And the first lesson is always free of charge. His goal is to teach people to work out efficiently.

Suzy Bullett, of Berthoud, was his first client in town. He recalls her saying at her first session “that’s fun, I forgot I was working out.” He now has 30-40 total people in his boot camps.

“He really does an amazing job, he’s got a great personality,” said Bullet.

Bullet states she’s tried other programs with no success and decided she would give this program one month, and she quickly saw progress.

“I’ve lost 26 pounds since starting three months ago, and 65 inches lost totaled over 15 different points. Ehmann measures his clients at 15 different points across the body in order to track weight loss. The inches lost is then totaled.

Bullet noticed that people who say they hate exercise love this workout because it’s a lot of fun and motivating.

“This is really taking Berthoud by storm,” said Bullet.

Ehmann is excited to be a part of a new program for Berthoud school teachers. “After being a teacher I know how stressful that is. Stress builds toxins which teach the body to store fat,” Ehmann said.

This fall he will be doing an after school training program with the teachers at Berthoud Elementary.

Ehmann’s future goal is to open his own gym, and as he continues to grow his numbers in Berthoud he will consider opening it up here in town by the end of the year. His desire is to have a national headquarters for Cowboy Rodeo workouts, to have a foundation at home where he can refine his skills. He believes that because of Berthoud’s tight-knit community he can have an even bigger impact on the lives of people here.