A little dad bod is cool, but when James Holliman’s torso started looking like a group of dad bods, he knew it was time to get back to his good old ways.
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James Holliman Transformation Story ►
As a young lad, James Holliman was a jock, both wresting and throwing discus for his high school teams. When he reached college, his interest in physical fitness continued. He became certified as a personal trainer and spent more time than ever in the gym working out with weights.
But like so many others, when Holliman moved on from college, he moved on from fitness, too. Years of taking clients out to eat, lots of business travel, and long hours at his desk took a toll on his body. Before he knew it, he looked in the mirror and saw it: the dreaded dad bod.
| What Made You Want To Transform? |
I had three big reasons. One was the way I looked in the mirror. Whenever I took off my shirt off at the beach or pool, I felt self-conscious. I also noticed that my energy levels were way down, which is bad news when you have three sons who want someone to get down on their knees and play with them. Overall, I felt overweight, tired, and mentally dull.
I was also having problems with high cholesterol. The doctor literally got in my face and told me I needed to get on statins and stay on them for the rest of my life. My father took statins for much of his adult life, which I don’t think was good for his health. I wanted to do all I could to not let that happen to me. I wanted to get in shape and lower my cholesterol the right way, through nutrition and exercise.
The third reason is a roundabout story. I decided to start my own gym. I wanted to provide a more service-oriented model for people like me who had demanding jobs but wanted hands-on support for their own transformations.
When I started building the gym, I was working full time in technology. I put in a lot of super-long hours and ate badly. Some of the personal trainers in my own gym were talking behind my back about how I was in such bad physical shape.
It came to a head when I was trying to help a couple of trainers write programs for interval-training classes. I noticed they didn’t really want to take my advice. I’m sure they looked at my size and didn’t think I knew what I was talking about. I’m a trainer. I like training people. I like helping people reach their goals. But when you don’t look the part, it makes it tough.
So, I had some good reasons to change, and jumped at the challenge to show people what the programs I was offering at my gym could do.
| How Did You Start Your Transformation? |
I started by looking at the past winners of the challenge for inspiration. When I looked at their before-and-after pictures, I thought to myself, “If these guys did it, I can do it.”
I started seeing results midway through the challenge—after I had been doing it for a little over a month. Interestingly, because even though I’d been working out with weights off and on for a long time, I had so much fat on me that I didn’t know what I looked like underneath it all.
Once I started losing the fat, I saw that I had a decent shape. I remember thinking to myself that if I could just focus on getting as lean as possible, I might have a good shot at doing well in the challenge. That’s when I cranked it up.
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