’98 alum helps Donny Osmond win ‘Dancing with the Stars’

UW-L alum Adam Gentz trained Donny Osmond for dancing with the stars. Contributed photo.

UW-L alum Adam Gentz trained Donny Osmond for dancing with the stars. Contributed photo.

Training with the stars.
’98 alum helps Donny Osmond win ‘Dancing with the Stars.’

Courtesy of Terry Rindfleisch of the La Crosse?Tribune.

Adam Gentz knew Donny Osmond would win the Dancing With The Stars competition Nov. 24 after he trained the former teen pop star for the show.

Gentz, a UW-La Crosse graduate from Remsen, Iowa, said he trained Osmond like a professional athlete, and the 51-year-old singer was in great shape for the TV show.

“I would have been shocked if anyone else had won the competition,” Gentz said. “I told everybody Donny was going to win before the show started, but people looked at me funny.

“He has a great work ethic, and I knew with his training and natural showmanship he would get the most votes,” he said.

Gentz said he used the knowledge from his UW-L education to work with Osmond on core strength, speed, agility and explosive foot work for the show.

“I trained him like a big-time athlete using high-performance functional training like we used on football players at UW-L,” Gentz said. “I was a motivational tool, and he was 100 percent on board with it.”

Gentz received his master’s degree in human performance from UW-L in 1998. “I thought La Crosse was one of the best experiences of my life,” he said.

After graduation, Gentz became head athletic trainer at Green Valley High School in Las Vegas. He worked as a personal trainer on the side and starting training Gamal Aziz, now president of MGM Grand Hotel in Las Vegas.

Gentz started his own fitness business after gaining other hotel executives as clients, including Don Marrandino who runs the Flamingo Hotel, where Osmond and his sister, Marie, opened their Vegas show a year ago.

“Don liked how he looked and felt after working with me, so he wanted me to hook up with Donny Osmond to keep him in shape for all the Flamingo shows,” Gentz said.

Gentz became Osmond’s regular trainer and stepped up his training for Dancing With the Stars. He said Osmond, who is 5-foot, 9 inches tall, lost about 10 pounds and his body fat decreased from 17 percent to 12 percent during training.

Gentz now runs a state-of-the-art sports performance center, Strength Center Las Vegas. He said he will continue to be Osmond’s trainer because Donny and Marie recently extended their Vegas show for another two years.

“I didn’t expect to be a personal trainer for gaming executives and Vegas celebrities, but it’s been a lot of fun,” Gentz said.

Find out more about UW-L’s human performance program at Human Performance and the UW-L human performance laboratory at
Human Performance Laboratory.