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Matt DeLuca

This Air Force and JYM Army member rebuilt his physique while deployed to Afghanistan with the Full-Split Training System.

Matt DeLuca

Written by Matt DeLuca

As a kid and even throughout my 20s, I was the tall, skinny, athletic type, having never really stepped into the weight room or done anything outside of sports. I joined the U.S. Air Force right out of high school at 149 pounds. As far as physical fitness went, I could run fast and do plenty of sit-ups and push-ups, the tried-and-true fitness components of being in the military.

In November 2010, my wife and I each lost a parent in their 50s in a span of just 18 months. Alison had just had our fourth child, and I was getting ready to head off to Korea on a 12-month deployment. These major life events caused us to start exploring different types of training. We bounced around from different programs and supplements over the next four years, but we lacked consistency, direction, and specific goals for ourselves.

Success with JYM Products and JimStoppani.com Programs

It was the summer of 2015 when I came across Pre JYM. At that point, our fitness goals were pretty simple — to live the best and healthiest lives we could for our family and provide a great example for our kids. We loved how much Pre JYM enhanced our workouts, and we began to educate ourselves on what the rest of the JYM system was all about.

That fall, I packed the OG — Orange Mango Pre JYM — in my ruck and headed out for a six-month deployment to Afghanistan. During the first half of my deployment, I went from 196 pounds to 212 pounds after completing my first-ever Jim Stoppani program, Shortcut to Size.

At that time, I hovered around 16% body fat and was shocked at how much lean muscle I put on in just a few months. My main lifts increased in excess of 30% during that time.

I was hooked, dedicating any free moment I could to educating myself on Jim’s science-backed training and nutrition philosophies. This was also a healthy distraction during my first deployment to a combat zone.

As I approached the end of my time, I decided to complete Super Shredded 8. I wanted to shock my family (especially my beautiful wife) with an amazing physique when I returned home to Germany that April. While maintaining most of my muscle mass, I cut down to 198 pounds and 12% body fat. All of a sudden, I had abs!

From there, I’ve had tremendous results doing many of Jim’s challenges, especially the 2019 and 2020 New Year’s Challenges. Both of these challenges were less than two months long each and somehow, I was chosen as the runner-up for 2020!

Over the last four years, I’ve completed Shortcut to Size, SS8, and almost every program in the Train With Jim series. I’m a huge fan of Jim’s Full-Split Training System — it got me in the best shape of my life at age 38!

Throughout the process, I used Dieting 101 as my nutrition foundation, using carb cycling full-time the last few years with great results.

As far as supplements go, I still use the full JYM product line, adding Vitamin D for the long European winters and glucosamine for joint health.

Motivation to Keep Going

I can point to a number of motivators that have kept me going over the last several years. Intrinsically, staying physically, mentally, and emotionally fit for my family is a top priority. Jim’s challenges are also a huge motivator. Putting in an incredible amount of work and getting results is an amazing feeling and something I thrive on.

My partner in crime, my wife Alison, has undergone an incredible transformation of her own and provides that extra push to ensure we stay accountable and on track. It’s amazing to share the same passion.

In addition to my wife, my sister Kim and her wife Sara are die-hard JYM Army members. JYM Supplement Science has changed their lives as well. This impact has drawn us closer, even though we live an ocean apart.

The JYM Army is also a tremendous support community of like-minded, fitness-driven people. I draw so much inspiration and motivation seeing people’s successes and openness to share their failures when they’re struggling.

The biggest change I made was striking a healthy training and nutrition balance while being consistent and accountable. We can be nearly perfect when it comes to training and nutrition, but if we don’t have a support structure to lean on when things go off course we’re more likely to fail.

Achieving these goals doesn’t come without overcoming obstacles. This fall is my family’s 7th move as we head to Germany for our next tour. While we love the military life, constantly starting over and settling into a new place can be hard when it comes to staying fit.

There are also those injuries that pop up as we get older. Through education, I’ve been able to train smarter and allow those bumps and bruises to heal.

My friends and family have been unbelievably supportive. Those closest to me understand how much work it takes and were so proud when I was chosen as runner-up for the 2020 New Year’s Challenge. It’s a moment I’ll never forget!

Words of Wisdom from the JYM Army

When it comes to advice, I can’t stress education and goal-setting enough! Understanding not just the “how” but the “why” will enhance your experience and results. Setting short- and long-term goals will provide the roadmap to the results you seek.

What works for someone else may not be the formula for you, and certainly don’t judge anyone’s progress (or physique) against your own. Compete against yourself every day.

JYM Supplement Science products coupled with Dr. Jim Stoppani’s training and nutrition programs/advice provide everything you need to be successful and crush your goals! Just understand that you can only capitalize on it if you bring the blood, sweat, and tears on a consistent basis. There’s no brand or community that will support you like Jim and the JYM Army! 

Where do I go from here? Five years ago, the combination of my athletic background and finding Jim provided the spark for me to pursue and complete my bachelor’s degree in exercise science, as well as certifying through NASM as a personal trainer.

After I retire from my 23+ year career in the U.S. Air Force, I plan to coach, teach, and train, both as a personal trainer and teacher.

I’m a JYM Army guy for life and plan to train and teach as long as I can, helping as many people as I can! From the bottom of my heart thanks for everything you do, Team JYM!  #JYM Army Strong


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