At 87 pounds lost, and the journey continues

November 13, 2021

James Ell had been feeling tired and depressed about his overall health. His weight had ballooned to 335 pounds, and there were many days where felt so bad he didn’t have enough energy to play with his kids after a long day at work. James knew he needed to make a change, but like most people, he had no clue where to start until a chance meeting with an old friend changed his life.

James’s friend, Joe Anderson, had previously lost more than 80 pounds with our 12-week body transformation program and was a walking billboard of success because people who had not seen him in a while didn’t recognize him anymore.

“I had seen other success stories of clients that worked with Antonio’s Training, but when I saw Joe, I couldn’t believe how good he looked and how he was able to get off his medication. I figured if he could do it, I could too,” James said. So he called me, signed up for a transformation and promised that he would be my next success story.

The program was quite a change from what James was used to, but with each week, he realized that he was improving his stamina and was capable of harder workloads. “At first I found it difficult to complete my workouts or even do eight minutes of cardio, but soon we began to add new exercises and do much longer cardio sessions, and that made me want to go back for more because I could see constant improvement,” James said. But that was just the tip of the iceberg. There were many more benefits James was experiencing that motivated him to work even harder.

In addition to the physical changes, there were several positive mental results as well. “The first couple weeks I noticed a dramatic difference in my energy levels, drive and especially the energy with my kids. One night I came home from a long day at work and sang to them before bed, and it was then that I realized I was starting to feel like my old self again and there was no way I was going to stop.”

After his first transformation, James lost 54 pounds and had transformed both physically and mentally, but he was now even more motivated to continue. “I felt absolutely phenomenal, with more drive and energy than I ever remembered. My personal self-esteem changed dramatically as well, and I couldn’t wait to start a second transformation.” So we gave him a couple weeks off to recharge his battery and then scheduled him for round two.

James began his second transformation and attacked it with even more energy and commitment than his first. He was now able to do workouts and exercises that would have once been impossible, and he began to progress at a rate rarely seen in people his size. He could now do push-ups, mountain climbers, lunges or just about anything we threw at him. He went from struggling to get in eight minutes of cardio to being able to do an hour nonstop. 

By the time James completed his second transformation, he had lost an additional 26 pounds and was now 80 pounds lighter than when he started. Although his results would satisfy most, James signed up for a third round and is now in the middle of his final transformation. He has lost a total of 87 pounds and would like to lose more than 100 pounds total in the next six weeks.

When I asked James what advice he would offer for anyone who would like to change their lives and get in shape, he said, “I felt I didn’t have the time, money or drive to get in shape, but the reality is we all have challenges in life. The bottom line is, it's about priorities and what's most important to you. I was just tired of feeling bad, so I decided to make a change.” And what an amazing journey it’s been so far, but we are not finished yet. Stay posted for James’ final results. They will be sure to inspire others to take the same journey and change their lives as well.


  • Chris Antonio is a personal trainer and former world-class weightlifter. He has been lifting for more than 20 years and has trained a wide variety of clients ranging from All-American athletes to the average person trying to get into shape. To send a question to the Ask the Trainer column, email Chris at or check out

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