The Unconventional Workout That Motivated This Man To Lose Over 40kg!
Jarod Curtis wasn’t always a heavy guy – but after his partner of 6 years cheated on him, he understandably had a hard time getting over it. Whether he was coping with the breakup or trying to recover from a day of dealing with his stressful boss, food became his ultimate form of comfort. Big plates of pasta became a go-to when he wanted to cook, and Chinese take-aways became the norm when he didn’t. His eating habits and lack of motivation to move started piling up. Before he realised it, he was sitting at 150 kilograms.
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“I look back at photos from that time in my life and I can’t believe it,” says Curtis. “And I remember at the time, I didn’t think I was that big.” In June 2007, he got the wake-up call he needed: After climbing a flight of stairs, he couldn’t even make it halfway without working up a sweat. “I had to rest in the middle, and when I got to the top, I was completely out of breath and tired, and I thought to myself, this isn’t right,” he recalls. That same month, Curtis completely ended his relationship, got a new job with a much more stable boss, and invested in a new house – the only thing left that really needed to change was the number on the scale.
So he started slowly. Every day at work during his lunch break, he’d take an hour-long walk along the trails near the office. Then, he tackled his diet. Curtis originally cut his intake down to 5021 kilojoules, but eventually realised that was way too low for someone his age and size. He found a happy medium at 8368 kilojoules. Instead of packing his plate with noodles, he turned to lean chicken and vegetables instead. But his real surge of motivation didn’t hit until he “joined the gym and went all out.” But it took a certain type of workout to catch his eye: “There was a gym I would drive past every day, and they would do tyre flipping right in front of it,” Curtis says.
He wanted in on the action, so he joined the group and went full speed ahead.
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This workout wasn’t a walk in the park: On an average day, Curtis would start by running around the building five times just to warm up. Then the group would move to circuit training. Curtis would alternate among multiple stations for 30 to 45 second intervals, so one minute he was flipping tyres and the next he was doing deadlifts and hang cleans.
“It was really small and there weren’t that many people in the group, but even though I was bigger, it didn’t feel like I was excluded from them,” he says. Plus, each workout was just as fun as they were effective. Knowing he probably went too hard too fast, Curtis felt aches and pains for weeks, and muscles he didn’t even know existed felt sore. The only problem? He was eating more to make up for all the energy he was burning, so while he had dropped about 18 kilograms, the scale stopped budging after a while. Curtis knew his diet was to blame, so he paired up with a trainer from the wellness services offered at his job. She introduced Curtis to the Paleo diet and classic bodybuilding exercises. The combination of the two was exactly what he needed.
Once he really started to see changes in his stomach and chest, he was hooked – and wanted to keep going. He started running more, lifting more, and even dabbled in CrossFit for a few months. When a back injury set him back a few months, all he wanted to do was get back into the weight room.
Now, he’s finally found a balance of cardio and strength training that works for him. Every morning before work, Curtis runs at high-intensity intervals for about 25 minutes. Monday through Saturday, he makes sure to incorporate strength training into his workouts. He prefers to alternate between going light with heavy reps and going heavy with fewer reps. But the real reward for Curtis is finally being able to walk up the stairs without feeling tired – which was his biggest goal from the very beginning. The tired man on the stairs in 2007 is nearly unrecognisable, since Curtis sits at a muscular 109 kilograms now (which you can see in the after photo above).
A bigger change, he would argue, is his body fat percentage. When he started with his daily walks, Curtis was at 33 percent body fat – now he’s at 18.
While it’s taken him about a decade to get to where he is now, it’s taught Curtis the value of consistency and determination, especially when it comes to making such a dramatic lifestyle change.
“Never give up. There were times where I wanted to, but I would look at the results I was getting and it would motivate me again. Just keep doing it,” he says.
Originally published on menshealth.com