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Justin Kambouroglou

This Philly native turned his life around with intense training and proper nutrition. His next goal: to help others do the same.

Justin Kambouroglou

You can let a humble background hold you back and define you, or you can defy odds and succeed in spite of it. JYM Army member Justin Kambouroglou chose the latter.

Kambouroglou ("Kamb" for short) was born in Philadelphia in 1990, the oldest of three boys in his family. He doesn't dwell on his past, but what little he mentions about it tells you all you need to know without spilling too many ugly details. When he was 16, his dad was in jail and his mother was into "bad things," he says. "My childhood was dark and very unfitting for any child, but it made me stronger."

Fortunately, his godparents picked up the slack, taking him in and providing a much more suitable family setting. In this environment, he was taught the value of hard work. There were rules to follow and chores to do around the house. This is where Justin Kamb learned to be accountable, a lesson that would come in handy a couple years later when he looked in the mirror and was unhappy with what he saw.

Justin became overweight the same way most people do: He was young; he had a serious girlfriend (Kylie, his future wife) and the two of them enjoyed sitting around watching movies and going out to dinner. Sound familiar?

In 2008, he moved out of his godparents home and into Kylie's parents' basement. He was instantly treated like family, something you don't take for granted when you come from where Justin came from. He was a newlywed, he was happy and he was comfortable. But he was also growing heavier and heavier, as his lifestyle of big meals and little exercise continued. At his heaviest, he weighed 296 pounds at 6'0" tall.

"My mother-in-law, Laurie Milnes, was also heavy," says Justin. "Basically, everyone in the house could stand to lose some weight. So the journey began."

It was 2012 and Milnes was the first in the family to see success through exercise and a healthier diet. She began running on a regular basis and lost 50 pounds in a short period of time. This inspired Justin, so he ran with Milnes every day after work and lost around 40 pounds himself, getting down to 255.

Shortly thereafter, he started lifting weights and his results snowballed. "I would never step in the gym," says Justin. "I was afraid that I would be made fun of. But one day I sucked it up and joined my mother-in-law in the gym : and a monster was born! I've never felt a stronger bond or a greater will to push more than I found with the iron – it was therapy, a release. It's like I'm on another planet when I'm in the gym."

Through various training programs online, Justin hit the weights hard and lost some serious body fat, slashing his weight to 230 pounds. He made fantastic progress, down nearly 70 pounds since starting regular exercise and a cleaner diet. But he still wasn't satisfied. Everyone hits a sticking point at some point and Justin's was at 230.

I'm very humbled to say that what pushed Justin past this plateau – in addition to his own supreme dedication and will to succeed – were my training programs and JYM Supplement Science products. "No matter how hard I tried, I couldn't shake 230 – that is, until I came across Pre JYM, which introduced me to Jim Stoppani," says Justin. "I joined Jim's website, added Post JYM to my plan and picked my first ever training program of his, HIIT 100s, and killed it. I learned so much from Jim and his articles."

Here's the thing about Justin: He doesn't reach a goal and then sit back and relax. He sets new goals. He keeps pushing ahead and learning all he can about training, nutrition and supplementation. After completing HIIT 100s, he did Super Shredded 8, then Shortcut to Shred. He followed my Dieting101 guidelines, too. This got him down to 208 pounds at a lean 10% body fat. All of this in only about a year and a half since starting to run with his mother-in-law!

But he wasn't done. He added Shred JYM to his supplement regimen and cardioacceleration to his workouts and got even leaner – 190 pounds and 8% body fat. So you know what he did next? He set a new goal: mass-gaining. He did my Six Weeks to Sick Arms program and went back up to 205 pounds. But this time he was a bigger, leaner 205.

Justin's incredible story of physical (and mental) transformation confirms everything I believe in: that through hard work in the gym, disciplined nutrition and education, you can do whatever you want. "The JYM brand is everything I stand for – support, honesty, family and a band of brothers and sisters with an unbreakable bond," says Justin.

Justin is a true success story. Now 24 years old, he lives in Chichester, Pennsylvania, with his wife Kylie and their newborn son Titan. He currently works as a caregiver for people with mental disabilities and his career goal for the future is to work in the fitness industry.

"Jim says, 'Make your career your passion and you'll never work a day in your life,'" says Justin. "That's my main goal, as fitness is my passion. I hope to touch as many people as I can and help them destroy their goals!"

As he works toward a full-time fitness career, Justin is already helping to change people's lives through social media. In the limited time he has outside of work, training and helping out with a baby at home, he answers others' questions online, serving as a great role model for turning your life around with exercise and diet. You can find Justin on Twitter (@jkamb90), Instagram (JKAMB) and Facebook (Justin Kamb).

Keys to Success

If you're looking for advice on how to transform your body, who better to learn from than someone who's lost over 100 pounds of body fat and totally changed his life? I recently asked Justin to share some of his keys to fitness success with other JYM Army members. Here's what he had to say:

"Stay consistent and drop the excuses at the door. I have a wife, a newborn, bills and a house. My wife and I both work full time, yet I find time to do HIIT cardio every morning and lift every night."

"Supplement properly. It's true that food is king, but the right supplements at the correct times yield unreal results. People ask me, 'How do you afford all your supplements?' Well, that's easy: Fitness is what I live for. I don't party, I don't drink and I don't go out on the town."

"Last but not least, hold yourself accountable. Don't blame others for your poor eating habits and lack of gym consistency."

"Trust in JYM. I use the full JYM product line, including Pre, Post, Shred, Vita and Pro JYM. I drink a Pro JYM shake every morning (30 minutes before breakfast), then one scoop pre-workout, two scoops post-workout and one scoop at bedtime."

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