Success Story: Leading by Example

Success Story: Leading by Example

Name: Matthew Johnson

Hometown: Maryville, Missouri

Age: 35

Height: 5’11″

Occupation: Northwest Missouri State University Instructor

Weight Before: 198 pounds

Weight After: 180 pounds

Duration: 12 weeks

Matthew Johnson knows health and fitness. A former collegiate baseball and basketball player, Johnson went on to play professional baseball in the Independent Baseball Leagues. Today, he’s a health and physical education instructor at Northwest Missouri State University. Perhaps because of these experiences, Johnson realizes the ongoing commitment necessary to maintain proper conditioning and a healthy lifestyle.

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As a pro baseball player, Johnson tipped the scales at 225 pounds. Upon retirement, his weight actually dropped. Unfortunately, his body composition wasn’t quite the same. One day, Johnson says his wife came up with an idea to rectify this situation. “My wife was interested in losing weight as partners and working together to achieve our goals,” indicates Johnson. The plan sounded appealing. Johnson says his eyes were keenly focused on the future and viewed this as an opportunity to “lose the weight to make it easier on my body as I got older.” With that in mind, Johnson, already well versed in fitness, decided to seek expert help from Hitch Fit personal trainers.

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Under their guidance, the coupled worked together to reach their goals. Johnson says prior to getting a trainer he would spend “five hours a week in the gym just lifting weights.” Those numbers quickly doubled as Johnson says he would “spend an hour each day on [both] cardio and weights, but the weight training was like nothing I had done before…[because] it really concentrated on overall performance with a high intensity workout.” He adds that another difference to this new way of training involved a unique approach to sets and reps. “I was always a lift and rest in between sets without doing any activity” type, explains Johnson. Instead, Johnson says he upped his intensity by “doing cardio or explosive movements between the sets.” He also considerably increased his rep counts, and would often stick to a designated period of time for each set.

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In the kitchen, working alongside his wife, Johnson prepared healthy meals designed to make a difference in the couple’s efforts to change up their body composition. While he was always a healthy eater, Johnson says “the overall change in my diet was probably the most significant factor in changing my body composition.” “I really saw a change in my body fat” explains Johnson who says much of it had to do with a better combination of protein and carbs, while also significantly increasing his vegetable intake.

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In only 12 weeks, Johnson lost 18 pounds. When looking back on the weight loss he says he attributes 50% to diet, 25% to cardio, 20% to weights, and 5% to supplements. Even though he has reached his weight-loss goals he says he’s currently working out “five times a week in the weight room and three days per week [performing] cardio to maintain” his impressive results. In doing so, Johnson, a retired pro athlete and current health and physical education educator, provides an outstanding example of someone who not only teaches students about a healthier lifestyle, but also lives it.

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