Stop. Rewind. Reset!

At Silverback Wellness, LLC., the journey to wellness encompasses mind, body and soul.

By: Jessica Dusek

Start date: 9.18.17
Conclusion date: 12.15.17

Total weight loss: 21 lbs.
Total cumulative inches loss: 18 IN.

“It’s not just a physical thing. It’s mind, body and soul,” explains Holly Duvall of her journey toward her body transformation. The co-publisher and director of operations for Inspire Coastal Bend Magazine sought out a three-month program under the keen guidance of trainer Hershel Shoats of Silverback Wellness, LLC.

As is the case for many of Shoats’ clients, life shifts guided Duvall to make a sincere decision to recommit to her fitness routine and make herself a priority amidst her busy schedule. “They are in there – my legs are twitching,” she laughs of her new muscles. “It’s about getting these muscles moving.”

Shoats’ training approach allows him get into the toughest areas of his clients’ minds. Bodybuilding and Jiu Jitsu have been instrumental in his “short-term pain, long-term gain” mentality. “You have to lose something,” explains Shoats, on the road to wellness and self-empowerment.

Overcoming childhood abuse, trauma and PTSD during his military service, Shoats found himself facing continual obstacles. Turning from opiates to exercise became clarifying. Manually shifting the pattern from self-neglect to self-love has also become key. “You have to get in here and love yourself to death,” he explains. “It’s only your walk. You’re the one that’s got to stand on the podium. Love yourself to put yourself on your own walk.”

For each of us, the day-to-day work routine alongside personal obligations is taxing. Time for workouts can appear slim to null. “I’m a mother. I own a successful business – trying to balance all of it,” Duvall shares. Yet, Duvall’s inspiration to make a pilot program of her new routine helped her achieve changes. She began training three days per week, and later graduated to a high-momentum, five-day-per-week training routine.

However, her goals come with their less-than-enjoyable challenges: “Anything that requires me (to) sit-up, push up or pull up,” Duvall laughs. And it’s not all spandex and tank tops. “He doesn’t want me to lose my motivation and become complacent,” she says. “So I haven’t worked out in a tank top ever since!”

Reaching a milestone in her eighth week of Shoats’ training program, Duvall went down a couple clothing sizes, and lost 6 inches off of her waist. “It makes me feel like I’m more centered and connected,” she explains of the transformation. “It makes me feel like I’m not hiding.”

























So, what has made Duvall and Shoats’ other clients successful?

1. Pattern changes: Duvall wakes up at 4:30 a.m. to begin her workout at 5:30 a.m. (Yes!)  She also plans and eats clean, but rewards herself occasionally with her favorite: pizza. Once a week, and only a couple slices!

2. Showing up:  Accountability to self and trainer. “It’s keeping the perspective of this commitment,” Duvall says. “I need to make this a priority. I can’t look at this as it’s a party and I don’t want to go.”

3. Spirituality:  “I believe our bodies are sacred, and we were created in the image of Christ and we need to value it,” Duvall describes. Enacting that belief has left her feeling more centered and empowered within her own skin.

4. Dedication:  “As I’m seeing results, I’m fulfilling my commitment,” Duvall says. “Hershel has been so motivating, and he holds me accountable. His sacrifice and commitment to me has been just as rewarding.”

5. Gratitude:  Enjoying of the gifts of internal and external progress, Duvall notes, “My physical being is aligning with my mental and spiritual being. (I’m) really experiencing true purpose and feelings of value.”














Duvall concludes, “What Hershel does … is a lot different than any other trainer I’ve worked with. He starts at the bottom of your toes to the top of your fingertips. He balances the circuits and a lot of running. He does go to the core – strength in your core is going to affect your entire body.”

Shoats has been training Duvall at both the Portland Community Center and Lynn’s US Gym in Corpus Christi.

Spray tan provided for Holly by Third Coast Spray Tans & More

More on Hershel Shoats
How weight-training and Brazilian Jiu Jitsu led him on a road to healing

“My nickname was Bitty,” explains Hershel Shoats of being small in his early years. Life was anything but easy. Early on, he felt a sense of helplessness, witnessing abuse of loved ones and being the victim of abuse himself. “Abuse, trauma and beatings was an ordinary thing in my day,” he describes of the pain endured.

Difficulty of learning also affected his self-esteem throughout his youth. His stint in the military furthered his PTSD. After seeking psychological care, he had a breakthrough, and later came across healing modalities by training and practicing the ancient art of Jiu Jitsu.

“I’m one of those trainers that, if I’m in your life, I’m here to make you better.” His dedication to mold clients comes from a place of intensity and survival. Dealing with extremes has fueled Shoats’ ability to overcome unthinkable obstacles on his path. He pushes his clients. “If you haven’t lost anything, you’re not going to finish,” he explains.

He explains that, “Strays are anything that causes stress from getting you to the Promised Land. My bible is your diet. I am the pastor. You stay on the straight and narrow like Jesus told you.”

Shoats’ own transformation is a testament and a platform to keep paying his gifts forward, “Keep moving, and spread as much goodwill,” he says. Shoats’ goodwill has become a purpose going beyond Silverback Wellness, LLC, including incorporating Stranger Danger classes and preventing veteran suicide through his role as regional leader for Mission 22, where he continues to build up others.

Through Jiu Jitsu, he teaches Stranger Danger classes to cheerleaders and youth. “It was made for the small man to defeat the large man,” he says. “It takes your mind and says ‘breathe’ – this is a controllable state.”

Shoats’ Mission 22 work supports veterans who suffer from PTSD and are on suicide watch. “I’m bringing more awareness, because a lot of people didn’t know what PTSD does.” Shoats oversees the Southern chapter, which includes Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, New Mexico and Oklahoma.

“If anything happens with a vet, we try to get them help,” he says. “I’ve been hosting and having events to raise awareness, educate and connect resources to the people who need them most. There is always a way out of the darkness. I want to be a light that can help lead you out, and give you faith that you will be OK.”

To learn more about Hershel Shoats and Silverback Wellness, LLC., please visit