Marine veteran loses 45 pounds with virtual training

January 23, 2021

What if I told you that you could lose a substantial amount of weight, learn how to diet correctly and improve your health dramatically without ever stepping foot in the gym or working face-to-face with a trainer? That’s exactly what Lt. Col. Matthew Capodanno did shortly after retiring from the Marine Corps with our virtual body transformation. He lost 43 pounds in 12 weeks, and completely changed his body and his lifestyle.

During his 21 years in the military, Matthew learned to maintain his weight and compensate for two major injuries to pass his fitness tests and perform his duties. His first injury came in Iraq in 2003. While flying over enemy territory, his helicopter stopped working 150 feet in the air and came crashing down to earth. Although he escaped death and sustained fractures to his back and tailbone, he recovered and redeployed. The second injury happened in 2004 when a mortar round landed in his tent and shrapnel shattered his right leg, leaving a dime-sized hole all the way through his shinbone, but again he recovered and returned to duty.

Despite these serious injuries, Matthew continued to maintain his fitness level throughout his career. The last couple years in the military, he definitely felt things slipping. “I began to notice it was a little harder to stay in shape with age and injuries creeping up on me,” he said.

When he retired in 2019, and the structure and requirements of staying fit provided by a military lifestyle came to an end, he quickly learned civilian life would present entirely different health challenges.

After retirement, the daily stresses of life in the Marine Corps, being responsible for people and passing annual fitness tests were no more, and he found the relaxation that comes with less responsibility can sometimes cause people to get complacent.

“I started eating a little more, became a little less active and started gaining some pounds, and then COVID hit and I gained even more weight,” he said. That’s when he and his wife Julie realized they needed to do something before it got out of control. 

Matthew called me in October and signed up for the program. Since he lives in Virginia, we did it virtually. We started by teaching him to eat correctly, with more frequent small meals, drinking a gallon of water a day and making sure he included enough quality protein in his diet. We also monitored progress with his workouts and cardio, and made weekly changes to trick his body into getting results in the form of weight loss as well as increased muscular strength and endurance. We did all of this without ever seeing each other in person and without Matthew going to the gym, as all workouts were done at home or outside.

Matthew did an incredible job. He lost an average of 3 1/2 pounds per week for the entire three months, and it wasn’t long before he began to notice major changes in the way he felt and performed during his workouts. By the time he finished the program, he had lost 43 pounds and completely transformed his body. His wife Julie also followed our program, and she too lost more than 40 pounds. Best of all, they have maintained their results throughout the holidays and continue losing weight.

As people notice the dramatic changes both Matthew and Julie made in their physical appearance, Matthew’s response is always the same. “We weren’t on a diet; we changed our lifestyle because we wanted to be healthy,” he said, and there is no doubt they more than achieved their goals. When asked what advice he would give to someone who is thinking about making changes to get healthy, Matthew said, “You have to have the willpower to make the change. Nobody can give that to you. It’s got to come from yourself.” I couldn’t agree more.

Matthew’s results prove that you don’t need a fancy gym to get results. You just have to find a program that can give you the guidance and knowledge needed to make your body respond, and you too can transform your body and lifestyle.


  • 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

Subscribe to the Daily Newsletter