I grew up in the weight room. I remember working out with my dad and older brother when I was younger, then just lifting with dad through middle school and high school. Even though I loved lifting, I always struggled with my weight.
In 2014, a year after I graduated high school, I decided I wanted to change, so I started reading articles on Bodybuilding.com. I was never satisfied with the programs I found until I ran across Shortcut to Shred.
Watching Dr. Jim Stoppani break down the workout and nutrition in the overview videos just made so much sense. However, I was not physically and mentally ready, and I stopped after only three days.
Fast-forward to January 2016; I was now 255 pounds. This was the heaviest weight I had ever been. I decided to take a picture of myself at that moment and promised to never be that heavy again.
My journey started again, but I was still doing it all wrong. I would spend an hour on the treadmill every night and I was only consuming 1,500 calories a day. I dropped 20 pounds but stalled after only three months.
In August 2016, I was on Facebook one day and scrolled past an advertisement for the Super-Man Challenge. I instantly recognized Jim’s face on the picture, so I clicked the ad which brought me to his Facebook page. I was instantly hooked!
The idea of being held accountable by weekly pictures really sold the challenge to me. I immediately joined, started an account, and bought Pro JYM, Pre JYM, and Post JYM. Until that point, I jumped around to different brands, never satisfied with the taste or feel their supplements gave me.
JYM Supplements changed that. Pro JYM actually tastes good, Pre JYM doesn’t make my skin crawl, and Post JYM is refreshing after a hard workout.
The Super-Man Challenge, however, was a disaster. I learned a lot about working out, but I didn’t try to learn the nutrition. Because of this, I saw no progress in those five weeks.
I learned a difficult lesson: Nutrition is very important when working out. It wasn’t until the Holiday Shred Challenge (HIIT 100) that I actually sat down and dissected Jim’s Dieting 101 article. If you are trying to lean out, you must read this article! I applied it to HIIT 100 and saw amazing results.
Now that I have been tracking macros for close to a year, I feel in tune with my body. I can regulate my carb intake to reach my short-term goals and cut it to lean out.
At the same time I started the Super-Man Challenge, I found the JYM Army group page on Facebook. A page full of people just like me looking to change their lives. I stayed silent for the first couple of months, but I found that interacting with the other members really kept me motivated.
I have made a lot of friends through the JYM Army, and I advise you to post and be active. Ask questions, tell stories, and just have fun. The members are waiting to see your progress and egg you on.
I also suggest finding a partner. Luckily, I was able to convince my future brother-in-law, Miller Stone, to join the JYM Army at the same time I did, and recently my fiancée, Laurel Stone, joined as well. We train together as much as possible and discuss Jim’s recent videos whenever we see each other. It’s great to have that support system and push during a workout.
Recently, I finished the No Limits Challenge and will start Shortcut to Shred using Dieting 101 and Intermittent Fasting next week. In this past year, I have completed Super-Man, HIIT 100, Daily Grind, Six Weeks to Sick Arms, Back and Fourth, SS8, 3 Prong Strong, and the Power Pyramid/Giant challenge (No Limits Challenge).
All of these programs have helped me go from 235 pounds to 200 pounds, and a waist measurement of 44 inches to 36 inches in under a year.
I am extremely proud of the progress I have made so far. There have been many late nights after studying where I have had to push myself to go to the gym. Trust me, it’s worth it.
People recognize the hours you put into the gym, the dedication it takes to stick to your diet, and the confidence you gain. All I can say is go for it. Work hard, study the science, know that it’s OK to fail and learn from it, and stay JYM Army Strong. I believe in you.