Posted by on Jul 9, 2012

Member Spotlight

Today we feature j0n, one of the strongest men we’ve ever met. He’s a Brazilian Jiu Jitzu blue belt AND has a five-plate squat? Whaaaaat? If you have anyone you’d like to nominate for a Fitocracy Member Spotlight, simply contact usersJenYxvx or lexyloowho. You can also email!

Username: j0n 

How did you get started in fitness and training?
I got started in fitness as a powerlifter when I was 11 years old. I would see my uncles work out and powerlift, wanting to be like them I would just mimic what they did while watching them. When I turned 13 they actually started training me. By the end of my 8th grade year I was benching 225lbs. I continued this all the way though high school. I have standing records for squatting and deadlifting at my HS.

I was a very athletic kid growing up, always played 3 sports in school. Freshmen year to HS I was a varsity player in any sport I chose. My 2 best were baseball and football. I ended up going to a d3 school to play football where I got hurt very badly my freshmen year. I tore my shoulder to the point where skin was all that held my arm to my body. I could not lift anything for almost 4 years. Being in an italian/filipino family food is paramount. I ate my way to 500+lbs. I was told I was going to die if I did not start losing weight. I started doing MMA/BJJ at first until my shoulder was 100%. Then I resumed my powerlifting.

That is me at 500lbs. This was a few months before I decided to make a change.

My first grappling competition meeting Joe Lauzon for the first time. I was around 400 here.

This was the morning I stepped on the scale and I weighed 250. The day I finally realized I got my life back.

1 year into lifting again after I hit 250.. I was probably 290 here.

Finally hit a 5 plate squat again after shoulder injury, 2nd greatest day of my newly won life.

How did you find the Fitocracy? How has it changed your workouts?
A friend of mine who went to the same HS as I did invited me to the site. She also started doing BJJ and said I would love this. Bar meeting a few people here my workouts have not changed. I’ve always lifted with a lot of intensity. I believe in pain while lifting. If your muscles do not hurt when you are done with your set, you did not do enough. I’ve met some amazing people along the way. It’s increased my drive to succeed.

What are things you’ve learned through trial and error? What areas do you hope to learn more about? 
I’ve learned that you can train a lot harder than what you think is your best. You limit yourself. Learning is an everyday process.

Currently, where would you say your weakness lies? Where do you excel? 
Cardio. I hate it. I excel in lifting heavy things.

What motivates you? 
To be as strong as I possibly can. I want to squat 1000lbs.

Are you using any supplements or special dietary changes to achieve your goals? 
I use a lot of supplements, my supplement budget is what some people pay for a monthly car payment.

If you could give advice to someone starting off, what would you tell them? 
Best thing you can do is ease into it. You will not be strong right off the bat, in fact you will be pretty damn weak. Do not compare yourself to people who’ve been lifting for years, you will NEVER match up in the beginning.

Being sore *DOMS* is not a reason to skip the gym the next day. Cowboy up and go into the gym. Drink lots of water, stretch every night, and love every moment of it.

What’s your ‘secret weapon’, the thing that pushes you or you feel gives you an edge? 
I have a wealth of knowledge ingrained into me by a family of powerlifters. I have a few pro bodybuilder friends, and an amazing jits team that supports me. My secret weapon for me is truly my unwillingness to let anything stop me from what I truly want. I will push myself until I hit a wall.. smash through it and move forward.

What has the overall impact of Fitocracy been in your life? 
Well, I’ve gotten some amazing friends I talk to off the site on a regular basis. I check it constantly, and I found a group that understands my protein farts!

One thing I want people to take away from my story is… 
Do not let any physical limitation stop you. You can pretty much do anything you truly want. Whatever your goal is, you will need to make sacrifices to achieve it. It will not come over night and no matter what you do. DO not give up. Push yourself in every aspect of your life

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