I have always been an active person. I played sports all through school. That said, I was always little. My senior year of high school, I played football — I was 6’1 and 130 pounds. I have struggled to gain weight for what seems like my whole life. Nothing worked, so I gave up. I ate whatever I wanted and it didn’t matter to me because I knew I couldn’t gain weight.
But I wasn’t feeling healthy. Not that I was overweight or anything like that, but I for sure wasn’t eating healthy. People said all that eating would eventually catch up to me the older I got. They were wrong in one way, because I still hadn’t gained any weight, even in my late 30s. But they were right in another way — I had become “skinny fat.”
One day in early April 2016, I was scrolling through Facebook and saw the Jim Stoppani page. I started reading and watching videos. The first video I saw was about Pre JYM. I was very intrigued, so I kept reading and watching all the videos I could find.
I had a plan to do the Sick Arms Challenge, so I decided to message Jim and get his advice. I never thought he would ever message me back, but to my surprise, he did! My questions were basically, “What do I need to do to gain weight? And what supplements should I be taking?”
His response has always stayed with me: He told me I had to take in more calories than my body was burning off. I needed to start there. Supplements could not be the foundation. They should be used to “supplement” my training and nutrition!
That meant more to me than he will ever know. I was in shock at first. For one, he took the time to answer my question. Second, he didn’t push his supplements on me. I thought, “This guy is the real deal.” At that moment, I felt I was finally headed in the right direction.
I started by cleaning up my diet a little. It wasn’t perfect, but I was trying. I was really enjoying the Sick Arms Challenge, too. I started out with 12-inch arms and gained one inch by the end of the challenge! My diet still wasn’t perfect because I had never focused on nutrition and really didn’t know how.
A little while later, I found the JYM Army Facebook page. I wasn’t sure what it was about, but I decided to join. Thankfully, Justin Kamb approved me. It has truly changed everything I thought I knew about fitness. I followed the page every day and tried to educate myself as much as possible. The JYM Army offers so much great information and there are so many great people to connect with.
I was still a little stuck on nutrition, though. That has always seemed to be the hardest part for me. I decided to reached out to JYM Army member Kevin Kennard for help. (This was also during the time I decided to do the Super-Man Challenge.) Kevin never once hesitated to help me. He spent a lot of time helping me figure out my macros and educating me on various nutrition components.
I didn’t realize that that connection would evolve into a friendship! I hope to meet him in person someday, and other JYM members like Steffen Gumpert, Will Kucharek, and so many others. The support I’ve received from the JYM Army has truly been a blessing to me!
So far, I have done Shortcut to Size, Shortcut to Shred, and three challenges: the Super-Man Challenge, Holiday Shred Challenge, and the New Year’s Challenge. I am currently working on my fourth challenge — the Summer Shred Challenge (SS8).
Along with the challenges and diet plan, I take all of the JYM supplements: Pre JYM, Pro JYM and Post JYM, Vita JYM, Shred JYM, ZMA JYM, Omega JYM and Alpha JYM. I also use the information provided in Jim’s Dieting 101 article.
In my “before” picture, I was 6’1 and around 168 pounds. In the “after” picture, I was at my one-year transformation: 40 years old and right at 183 pounds. I’m now in the best shape of my life!
My goal is to get to 200 pounds and have 15-inch biceps by the end of 2017. One day, I’d also like to have the opportunity to meet Jim and the JYM team, along with some JYM Army members.
I will continue to be 100 percent committed to Jim Stoppani’s programs, JYM Supplement Science and the JYM Army! Thank you, Jim Stoppani, for giving me the opportunity to tell my story.
I would also like to thank my wife and kids for supporting me through all of this. They are my motivation. I’d also like to thank my buddies and JYM Army members Curtis Woodard and Jesse Brooks — they motivate me and push me to do my best.