One fateful day on Twitter, PumpUp was recommended to Matt as one of the ‘best fitness community apps’. Since joining PumpUp, Matt stated that he couldn’t agree more with this superlative. “I have been a frequent gym goer for years, but never really had the focus and determination that I do now until I had the reconstructive knee surgery. I had hit a plateau, and was frustrated, but the awesome community on PumpUp really motivated me to go harder, lift heavier, and clean my diet up,” said Matt.
Prior joining PumpUp, Matt still exercised four days a week, for about an hour and did similar workouts to what he performs right now. This schedule helped Matt to gradually transform his body. In retrospect, however, he admits that his diet was still not at its best at that point in time. “I ate for the most part whatever was there, with no real thought to what was going into my system,” he said. “Fried food and soda was a regular occurrence for me, which definitely did not help.”
In the ten weeks that Matt has been part of the PumpUp community, he’s upped the intensity of his workouts and cleaned up his diet. “I hit the gym 6 to 7 days a week, 2x a day for at least 2 of them, and workouts are much more intense, heavier weight, more explosive lifts, just a different attitude,” he explained. “I don’t eat anything bad anymore, just tons of protein low carbs and a lot of veggies. No soda anymore either,” he laughed. Though his average daily activities have not changed, Matt finds himself approaching life with a renewed vigor. ‘Beastmode’ is aptly his favourite term. “It reminds me to be a monster and dominate every challenge in front of me, and never back down or quit.”
Matt’s struggles do not define him, but have rather influenced him to push even harder. Last year, knee reconstruction surgery was a major obstacle for him because he lost lots of muscle, was in a wheelchair for 2 months, crutches for another month, and gained a lot of weight. “It was difficult and painful to get back into lifting and exercise, but I just focused on making small progress daily,” he admitted. “And before I knew it, was back to my old size and strength. I am bigger, more defined, and WAY more ‘beastmode’ now. That struggle made me better.”
Matt is one of the most supportive members on PumpUp, and he’s regularly involved in the community to both receive motivation and give it back to others four-fold. “PumpUp started as a motivator for me, and it still is. I have met great people there, and continue to use it not just for motivation and inspiration, but for the feeling of community and positive vibes that permeate the app,” he said.
According to Matt, the first step ‘off’ the couch is the most difficult, yet important part for those looking to start or lead a more active lifestyle. “It’s scary, it’s hard, but you will be amazed at what you can accomplish. You have to COMMIT to it. No quitting once you start, and find a support system that will give you a push when you feel stagnant and that will celebrate your successes with you,” he explained.
Both of his children, aged 2 and 6, are the biggest sources of inspiration for Matt. “My 6 year old son tells me every day that I’m his hero and he wants to be like daddy,” he gushed. “I’ll be damned if I’m not going to be the best me I can possibly be, and be the example of what’s possible when we focus and strive towards our goals.” He also professed that the members on PumpUp have helped him tremendously throughout his journey. “Those people are amazing, and their posts, stories, and comments really help me stay focused and get excited to progress and push even harder,” Matt beamed.
“A monstrous 4 scoop protein shake, made with silk almond milk, and a bowl of cottage cheese with fresh pineapple on it. As far as meals go, I eat tons of eggs, chicken, lean beef, veggies, and a lot of water. Nothing too impressive,”he laughed.
“‘It is better to die on your feet, than to live on your knees’. To me this means never stop fighting, and pushing forward. If you fail, fine. But to TRY and to fail is far superior to never trying. The lessons learned in failure make progress that much sweeter.”
More about Matt
“I’m a major nerd! I’m finishing my masters in software engineering, I’m also an artist (tattooed for years in college as a part time job at a shop), and a major goofball. Always laughing and silly. And I love horror movies and stupid jokes!”
If you’re struggling to stay motivated, Matt encourages you to reach out to somebody on PumpUp or to anybody in your life and let them help. “While we manufacture and are responsible for our own motivation, that doesn’t mean that we can’t all use encouragement and a friendly comment,”said Matt. “Take advantage of PumpUp, your fellow gym members, and enjoy the ride. Goals are great, but it is the road we travel to get there that truly teaches us something. Never lose sight of that.
Follow Matt on PumpUp @mattgmi!