I get goose bumps when I meet new clients who decide to become focused and take the plunge to becoming stronger and healthier. Today we honor Jackson. We became a team this past March. Since day one he's been motivated and committed to improving his overall wellness. I remember him saying, "something needs to give in my life and I need to get healthy." He's been going strong ever since. One thing that stands out most is his passion to learn correct exercise technique. He has a google doc that he keeps on hand during workouts to keep accurate notes and he also takes notes on how to incorporate any new movements into his workouts at home. After all, hard work pays dividends and it shows on him. The best part of his story is that in a couple of weeks, Jackson will become a father. A father that is twenty-five pounds lighter and possesses the strength to rock out handstands, pull ups, and kettlebell swings like a boss. No "Dad Bod" for this fella. I interviewed Jackson and this is what he said: What are your hobbies? My main hobbies include traveling with my wife, hiking/backpacking, soccer, eating guacamole, reading, and hunting for great movies. What made you take the leap of faith in improving your overall health and strength? In March 2017, I found myself at a bit of a personal crossroads. I had been struggling with depression for years and felt myself retreating more easily and frequently throughout each day. This, combined with my wife's upcoming due date in August (our first), caused me to really consider what changes I needed to make in order to mentally and emotionally prepare for fatherhood. I had tried many times in the past to institute some kind of training regimen, but none stuck with me. I reached out to Matt hoping that he would help me establish structure and routine in addition to expanding my overall understanding of fitness and health. Regarding nutrition, what has been your greatest challenge? My greatest challenge before starting with Matt was portion control and an imbalanced diet. Veggies have become my best friend. Day to day, I still have to focus on limiting my carb intake. Chips and salsa are usually the main culprit. How do you manage your time and workouts? I typically train with Matt once a week and spend the rest of the week focusing on the exercises and techniques that we practice together. My goal is always to demonstrate improvement in one or two new exercises the next time I train with Matt. Depending on my daily schedule, I will either exercise during my lunch break at work or in the evening. My day-to-day responsibilities change, but I focus on making that exercise time a priority. Habits are powerful, and the grind of the first few months is now paying dividends. Even on days when I'm tired and/or feeling lazy, I rely on now-set habits to get me out the door. What's your favorite exercise and why? I have loved doing pull-ups and pull-up variations on the bar and rings. When I started training with Matt, I could barely hit one pull up. Pull-ups are such a humbling exercise and I have really prioritized this movement in my training regimen. I can now do a set of 9-10 at a time and have really enjoyed improving at something that was at first nearly impossible for me.
In order to see results, you need to make your workouts a top three priority in your life. Reflect on the last time you failed to workout or fell off the horse nutritionally. How can we work together to prevent this from happening again?
Pictured is Jackson working one arm push up regressions. He's full of grit and will own this movement some day.