My name is Swati Malik and I have been a member of the X-Project Group for just about over a year now.  What has the X-Project, more importantly my coach, Michael Gaines, done for me?

Let me give a little background information about myself.  I am 35, a wife of 14 years, and a mom of two boys, ages 7 and 5.  When I was 16, I had surgery on my lower lumbar due to a herniated disc, which had bothered me on and off ever since.  When I say bothered, I mean debilitating to the point of not being able to take a step, or get myself out of bed , or even be able to put clothes on, without being in excruciating pain.  18 years later, there was no change.  There would be times in the year that the pain would creep up and it totally sucked and I was full of fear.

Now, I was never a big girl.  Actually on the contrary, I was super skinny, but had a hard time post children to bounce back to super skinny.  I finally had it and I got on this regiment of counting calories and exercising five days straight.  By counting calories, I’m talking about 1000 or less and when I say exercise, it was group classes(kickboxing, zumba, body pump, etc etc) at the local gym near my office.  It worked!  I was super skinny and looked fabulous.  One big thing, NOT SUSTAINABLE.  After 6 months, I started gaining some back and it was so difficult to get it back down.  Not to mention, the back pain was still there!  This went on for four years!

Let’s forward to when I meet Michael Gaines, from the X-Project.  I immediately tell him about my back problem, which led to all my fears for my back.  I had no idea what to expect from a personal coach.  He listened and understood my fears.  He slowly integrated me in our WODs (workout of the days), which entailed weight lifting!!!!  Weight lifting?????  Immediate thought – OMG – I can not become bulky!!!!  What a misconception that was on my part and on so so so so many females.  I immediately (three months) saw changes in my body that were wonderful.  Within 6 to 9 months, I noticed my back stopped bothering me, I was looking leaner, but the best part was that I was so strong.

Here is a change you can see in just a two month time span:

WHAT A DIFFERENCE!!!!  And listen up – I am able to deadlift 180 lbs, do handstand push ups, do pull-ups, do toes to bar, do overhead squats!  I hold the record in our studio for the most double unders for a female.  This is the same me, who a year ago, was having one of the most severe back pains imaginable, who couldn’t maintain the skinny, who thought she had to limit her calories.  Guess what????  I can eat so much food it’s crazy even to me.  I am so strong which is unbelievable to see.  And, I am skinny!!!

This is me 6 months after joining X-Project:


This is me working out at the end of May (a little less than a year of joining X-Project) in a fitness competition within the X-Project: (I ranked third place out of 9 females and ranked overall sixth out of a total of 20 males and females)  I can not believe how much I have achieved with my body.  It is an incredible journey that I will always continue to enjoy and embrace.  All the thanks goes to Michael Gaines!


WE DO FUN STUFF TOO – but which I recognize as achievements.

Single Arm Hand Stand:


Yoga:  Head stand with no wall support:


This is me one year after joining the X-Project:



Thank you Michael Gaines!  Thank you for being a wonderful guidance to my strength, my abilities, my confidence,  and many a time, my therapist!