“We need to put you on Blood pressure medication.”

At age 32, during my annual physical, those words cut through me like a long, sharp sword.  I felt like I took reasonable care of myself, played pick-up basketball three to five times per week and had a relatively good diet.  The reality was that I needed to make a change.  My concern was that blood pressure medication was the beginning of a slippery slope that could ultimately put me at risk for a heart attack, stroke, diabetes, etc.

Now, fast forward to present day and I’m 35 years old.  I’m in the best shape of my life as I’m leaner, flexible and stronger than ever before!  Most importantly, I am medication free.

Blood pressure medication was my wake-up call.  As a result, I immediately began to take physical fitness more seriously.  I dropped pick-up basketball and began training four to five days per week at my local gym.  I predominantly did TRX and Insanity videos.  I was losing weight, but was not necessarily getting stronger and more explosive.  I was pleased with my progress, but knew more could be done.

In March 2013 I was introduced to Michael Gaines and the X-Project.  Michael trained my close friends Mary Lou and Jon Fisher.  They raved about their progress and improvement in strength and in overall health.

My first workout with Michael was humbling to say the least.  He put me through a 10-15 minute workout.  Halfway through I was gassed!  Michael’s system focuses on strength, explosiveness and flexibility.  Although I was training four to five days per week for more than a year prior to meeting Michael, I had a ways to go…

For example, when I was first started training with Michael I could barely string together 2-3 pull ups.  Now I can do 12-15 pull ups no problem.  On bench press, my maximum press was 145 lbs.  Now, I can comfortably bench 215 lbs.  Squats, front squats, thrusters, dead lifts, overhead press and double-unders were like a second language to me.  Today, these exercises are a vital and important part of my training and conditioning.

Aside from improvements in strength and physique, Michael has been instrumental with diet education too.  I now start every morning with 30 grams of Protein to jump start my metabolism.  I am conscience of sugar and carb consumption; understanding better now than ever how they impact my body and energy level.

Michael is also a huge advocate of promoting a positive environment where all individuals place a high value on self-worth and personal growth.  X-Project members chronicle their workouts and routinely are encouraged to share with the group personal records and/or accomplishments.  We leave the gym with a sense of pride and self-fulfillment; knowing that we pushed our bodies and minds to a place that we didn’t think was possible.

I look forward to continue training and developing under Michael’s guidance and support.  The X-Project is both time and money well spent.