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Andrew Owen

This recent college grad decided "enough is enough" and totally dedicated himself to optimal training, diet and supplement practices – and it's worked wonders.

Andrew Owen

Written by Andrew Owen

If I go all the way back to the start of my walk in fitness, it began when I was in the 8th grade. I was always the big chubby kid growing up, but I loved playing sports, so in 8th grade I started my school’s sports lifting program. When I was a sophomore in high school, I finally realized that I was overweight, so I made my first attempt to lose weight. I had no idea what I was doing, but by just eating a lot less and running a lot more, I lost about 35 pounds, going from 205 pounds to 170. 

I stayed about this size until I got to college in 2011, where I discovered all-you-can-eat dining halls and cheap beer. At this point, I was no longer concerned with being in shape for sports; all I cared about was maybe working out my “beach muscles” and partying all weekend. I would sporadically hit the weight room a few times a week to do bench press and curls, but that was it. By the end of my freshman year, I was up to 210 pounds, and again I realized that I was overweight. Over the next two years, I yo-yo dieted, half-starving myself to lose weight and losing most of my muscle, then “bulking” for a couple months and eating whatever I wanted all the time until my weight had ballooned back up to 210-215 pounds again and I was right back where I started.

I got married during my senior year of college (2014), and my wife was also a recreational weight lifter. She was the first one to introduce me to Jim Stoppani, because she had done his Shortcut to Size program. After looking through his program, I realized that he had his own supplement line. His line really caught my attention with the huge serving doses of Pre JYM and Post JYM (compared to the crap I had been taking), as well as his complete transparency on the label and lack of proprietary blends. This got me doing a ton of research on supplements and resulted in me realizing that JYM supplements really blew everything out of the water.

So in April 2015, I finally decided enough was enough. I was going to start a focused and legitimate pursuit of fitness, and I was never going back to 215 pounds and 20+ percent bodyfat. My first step was investing in the JYM supplement line and becoming a member of JimStoppani.com. My first goal was to get below 10% bodyfat and then stay there while I put on muscle. My overall goal was – and still is – to get that classic bodybuilder physique: around 220 pounds and 5%-8% bodyfat. I was in no hurry to cut corners and rush there, though; I knew that there are no shortcuts and that this transformation would take time, so I embraced the journey and decided to “win the day” each and every day.

I started my first Jim Stoppani program in April 2015 – Down and Up Mass with cardioacceleration added in. The results I got in those first 10 weeks were more than I imagined were possible, and they solidified my passion for dedicated fitness and weight training. Between April and now [November 2015], I've done Down and Up Mass, Jim's Giant Program, Shortcut to Shred, Back and Fourth, and half of Shortcut to Size before starting HIIT 100 for the Holiday Shred Challenge.

The awesome thing is, when I started following Jim in April I was about 205 pounds, and today in mid-November I'm also right around 205lb! In these 7-8 months, I’ve cut my bodyfat by 8%-10% but put on many pounds of muscle. My max squat has increased by 80 pounds, my deadlift by 140 pounds and bench press by 45 pounds over this time. The entire time, I have followed Jim’s Dieting 101 nutrition template,and have taken every supplement in the JYM line except for Alpha JYM.

The biggest lifestyle change I made was changing my fitness habits from half-hearted disciplined and dedicated. This meant not kicking back several beers a night any more, and it meant actually having and sticking to macronutrient goals every day. It meant working all of my muscle groups in the gym and actually doing cardio. Throughout my transformation, my wife has been my biggest motivator and the most important key to my success. She has gone on this journey with me and is making quite the transformation for herself as well. I also don’t want to leave out the support and motivation that I find daily from the people on the JYM Army Facebook group.

Going forward, I'm more focused and passionate about this fitness journey than ever. Fitness has become my biggest passion; my two hours in the weight room are the highlight of my day, and I plan on continuing to gain lean muscle and still lose a bit more bodyfat going forward. I want to be a role model for my friends and family, not only by how I look or how in-shape I am, but through my work ethic and refusal to settle for giving anything less than my all out best effort.

I want everyone to know that whether you need to lose 20 or 120 pounds, or you’ve never been as big, fast or strong as you’ve wanted, it is possible to attain your goals, and it all depends on YOU. The things you really care about, you will find time and resources for. It doesn’t take much. It just, most importantly, takes dedication and an unstoppable desire to succeed. No excuses, no explanations. You can meet any goal if you set your mind to it and refuse to quit.

 





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