Best Decision I’ve Ever Made

JUSTIN SOWARDS – Personal Trainer

I first met Justin Sowards on January 30, 2016. Our first meeting was a training consultation organized by my wife; she is too nice to say it, but she was probably tired of her overweight, inactive husband. After living an active lifestyle into my early 30’s, I had been mostly sedentary for a few years. Combined with my love of fast food and Coca-Cola, my body looked and felt like something that was a lost cause. I was skeptical that I could ever summon the discipline or the will to reverse the damage that I had done to myself, but I agreed to meet with Justin. It turned out to be one of the best decisions that I’ve made in a long time.

During our first meeting, Justin provided me with a baseline InBody analysis; I weighed in at 209 lbs and 30% body fat. I was appalled with myself, but Justin didn’t even blink. He immediately provided me with a recommended nutrition plan and assured me that he had a workout plan that would get in me in shape. His plan was simple but effective: we would use resistance training to build lean muscle mass and burn fat. The plan would be customized to my fitness level and gradually increase in intensity as I could do more. Even though I didn’t know Justin, I could tell that he knew more about personal fitness and nutrition than most people know about their own professions. It was obvious that he was a guy who walked the walk and could therefore talk a talk that I could trust. I had never really lifted weights – even when I was active – but Justin’s obvious competence and confidence in his business inspired me to try.

Our first workout was on February 1, 2016. Justin told me that we would do three rounds of circuit training, with 7 different exercises per round. He told me that a person of average health could complete the three rounds in about 30 minutes. I completed two rounds in 30 minutes and ended up on the floor about to pass out as Justin calmly provided me with a cold water bottle. I was embarrassed, but Justin was very positive and encouraging.

I returned for my second workout with Justin on February 3, 2016. This time, I made it through the three rounds of circuits in about 45 minutes. Justin was pleased and told me that we would learn some simple core exercises to finish my workout. After doing very few core reps on a bench at the core pit, I could not sit up under my own power. Instead, I just rolled off the bench onto the gym floor and laid down for a minute before finally getting to my feet. Even though it was apparent that I was well below “average” health, Justin remained positive and upbeat. He assured me things would get better. He was right

Over the course of the next 14 weeks, I went from barely surviving the elementary circuit and core work to knocking out six one-hour resistance training sessions per week. In addition, I was doing a 40-minute core routine and a 35-minute cardio routine four times a week. The process to improvement was gradual, but Justin always seemed to find the right balance between pushing me to my limits without pushing me too far. He did an excellent job of teaching me the proper form for each resistance exercise, and he kept the workouts from getting boring by always introducing new exercises and routines. Justin helped me progress from weights that were embarrassingly low to decent strength in a short amount of time without injury. If he can accomplish that with me, he can accomplish that with anyone.

Justin also provided me with recommended nutritional guidelines that provided me with energy and prevented me from feeling hungry as I lost weight. I learned quickly that if I simply listened to Justin and followed his guidelines inside and outside of the gym, the results would come very quickly. By May 19, 2016, I weighed 170 pounds with less than 15% body fat. My strength had increased to the point that I was no longer embarrassed to enter the free weight area of the gym. Justin had provided me with the guidelines and process to develop a sustainable and healthy lifestyle. I no longer dreaded going to the gym – instead, I look forward to it.

I have so much respect for Justin’s knowledge of physical fitness and nutrition. I also now consider Justin as my friend. If you want the very best in a personal trainer, you will find it with Justin Sowards. He is the real deal.

Chris Thompson