JYM Army Profile: Mike Penning

Written by Mike Penning

My fitness journey started with a small wager with some work partners who wanted to return to our annual convention weighing less than we weighed that year.

It was a wakeup call for me to take my life back. I’ve been making excuses since I got married 18 years ago to get in shape. But as I had reached 41 years of age, it was time for me to get off my butt and get in shape for myself and my family.

I originally started out with just a goal of losing 50 pounds. Nothing too specific as far as measurements or body-fat percentage; I just wanted to lose weight and go from there.

When I first started, I just walked for the first couple months. I took things slow to get my body acclimated to doing activity. After a couple months of staying dedicated to walking and hiking, my wife let me use a 90-day free pass she won to Anytime Fitness. This is when things started to take off.

I researched multiple articles and watched lots of YouTube videos on lifting and working out.  I tried various types of workouts and made up my own routines. It was going okay, but I wasn’t seeing the results I wanted to see.

That’s when I ran across Jim Stoppani in some online articles. I started reading and watching his videos and fell in love with his knowledge of fitness and doing things the right way. He just stood out from all the other fitness leaders online.

My first program that I followed was Down and Up Mass Full Split. I started that back in November of 2018. Now, I am two weeks into his New Year, New You program for 2019. I have only used his products since November as well.

I take Pre JYMPro JYMPost JYM, and just now started taking Alpha JYM. I don’t follow a specific meal plan, but I’ve taken the information from Jim’s Dieting 101 article and have applied it to my life. I just make better choices with food and make sure I am putting the right foods into my body.

I started out weighing 303 pounds at 6’3” and wearing 2XL shirts and size 46-waist pants.  Currently, I weigh 228 pounds, wear a size XL shirt, and I now fit into size 36-waist pants! This all happened with just under a year of work.

My biggest motivation is my family. I knew that if I kept living the same way I had been, I would start seeing more health problems and eventually an early death. They are my true motivation. I only have about six more years with my son and a couple more years with my daughter at home and want to be able to do things that are active with them while they are still living with us.

The biggest change was just creating a routine of working out and making better food choices. I cut out fast food, soda, and a lot of sugar from my life.

I would say the biggest keys to success is surround yourself with people who will support you and lift you up and keep you motivated more than anything. Make a plan and stick with it.

The JYM Army is one of my biggest supports, along with some of my Anytime Fitness family members. Once I found them, my life changed. They keep me going by seeing all their success stories. I know that I need to drag my butt to the gym because I know they are, too!!

The toughest obstacle I had to overcome was the willpower to stay away from certain foods. I was the kind of person who would just eat junk and eat as much as I could.

I have had to train myself to substitute with other foods that I have grown to enjoy. I still cheat every now and then, but I think we all need to in order to keep our sanity.

The biggest satisfaction is seeing the looks of others as you walk into the room or gym. I have had so many people come up to me and ask what I have done to get to where I am. I just look at them and say “Dr. Jim Stoppani, baby!!”

I have been able to get three of my friends to follow his programs and sign up for subscriptions, just from what I have accomplished. His system works and the JYM Army is proof of that.

The biggest piece of advice for anyone is just educate yourself and find something that fits what you want. Not everything is going to work for you, so find something that works and stick with it. Surround yourself with a support group or system and just be you. I am committed to make this a lifestyle for the rest of my life and keep on helping others in the JYM Army to stay motivated as well.

Start your own success story with proven programs like Down and Up Mass Full Split by becoming a member of JimStoppani.com.