Body Transformation: Wrestling With Obesity

Daniel grew up to be a huge man, but set out to change. He hit the treadmill, hit the road and a car hit him. See how Daniel recovered from his accident and his past.
Name: Daniel Michno
BodySpace: Michno208

Daniel Michno Daniel Michno
AGE 19
375 lbs
AGE: 23
205 lbs

Why I Got Started

Well, my whole life I have struggled with being significantly overweight and obese. When I was in the third grade I weighed more than 200 lbs, in the 6th over 270, by the 8th grade I weighed over 300 lbs, and as a senior in high school I weighed more than 350 lbs.

In the spring of 2007 though, I faced a new threat. The doctors told me that I was 375 lbs. I remember the doctor looking me in the eyes when he said, "You're going to die young. You aren't going to live to see your kids grow up, you'll be lucky to live over 40."

I remember hearing him say those words and thought, "I'm not ready to die." I was sick and tired of being overweight, so I started pushing.

Daniel was told he'd lose his life because he was obese. He took back the body he let slip into decay. None of us have expiration dates.

How I Did It

One day I woke up and decided to do something. The first time I walked into the gym, I remember all the looks I got as I waddled up to the treadmill. It took me 16 minutes to run a mile. Everyone looked at me like I was pathetic. I felt pathetic, but I wouldn't give up. Being disciplined became more than just an idea, but a lifestyle. Over the course of a year, everyone was shocked at what I had done.

I had lost over 100 lbs! It was never a cake walk, but I never gave up. I would wake up daily and go run on the basketball court at Capital, or hop on the treadmill at the gym. But after a year, I hit a plateau, and at 265lbs, I just couldn't lose any more weight. I looked decent, but I just wasn't satisfied.

I picked up Strong Man training, cross training, biking, and swimming, but nothing seemed to really take me to the next level. Then one day, I met Mitch Coats. I had already heard of him because I wanted to start training with Kettlebells, and he was one of the only guys in Idaho who did any sort of training with them.

I went to his gym, and he was very cool. He taught me the snatch, the clean and press, and the two arm swings. He then followed it up by asking, "Have you ever considered training Jiu Jitsu?" I didn't even know what it was… I told him I used to wrestle, and he had me throw on a gi.

I got on the mat with a little guy named Anthony. I laughed and asked, "How much can you bench?" He simply replied, "Don't worry about it" then Mitch said go.

It was about 5 seconds before that little guy had his legs around my neck and began to choke me out. I was furious and didn't want to tap out because of my pride, but I was turning beat red because I couldn't breathe. I was forced to tap… It was an extremely humbling experience, and I had to come back. Mitch told me to buy a gi, and the rest is history. I started training Jiu Jitsu at 265 lbs, and it kicked my butt. I would go home satisfied because it was very fun, but spent because it took all my energy. I started to become tougher mentally and physically than I had ever been before. But then, I hit another bump in the road.

I wanted to compete in a triathlon, so I was biking, training, and running more than ever before. Until one unfortunate day, I was biking down Fairview, and was hit by a car. The doctors said I had the Trio Tear. That is, I had torn the ACL, the MCL, and the Meniscus. They didn't think I would ever be able to run the same, and competing in the future didn't look like it was ever going to happen. But I didn't lose hope, and I never gave up.

I started doing physical therapy as soon as I could, I trained hard, but I trained smart. I knew what my limits were, and I wasn't an idiot about it. Over the course of 9 months - and it was a very long 9 months - I had nearly fully recovered. I wasn't at the same strength that I was, but I was running, jumping, biking, swimming, and training kettlebells. It was time to put the puzzle completely back together again, so I called Mitch.

I stepped back on the mat. It was a slow start, but I have surpassed where my ability was, and I now compete at 205lbs. For anyone trying to lose weight I would say just keep pushing, you're closer to your goal than you realize. Nothing is impossible, just believe.


Post Workout:


Meal 1:

Meal 2:

Meal 3:

Meal 4:

Meal 5:

Meal 6:


My workouts now are vigorous; when I was 375 the treadmill worked just fine, but now that I am coming down, it takes a bit more. My sessions usually take me about an hour and a half to two hours. I do Crossfit like sessions… similar but different. I do a grip of hard lifts, heavy, but controlled.

I'm not going to sprint through this, but you want to keep your heart rate up. Slow and controlled is key though, if you can't lift the weight, drop your pride, and drop the weight.

Day 1: Full Body 1

Warm-Up: Barbell Complex: 4 sets of 6 reps each exercise*

Working Sets:

Day 2: Full Body 2

Warm-Up: Barbell Complex: 4 sets of 6 reps each exercise

Working Sets:

Day 3: Circuit Training

Repeat 10x, 1 min rest

Circuit: Repeat 6x, No rest

Circuit: Repeat 4x, No rest

Day 4: Active Rest

Usually I will go for a 45 min jog/run or swim for about an hour.

Day 5: Go Hard or Go Home






Day 6: Jiu-Jitsu
  • Jiu-Jitsu


    2-3 hours intense training
Day 7: Rest

*Most the lifts I stated above are pretty basic; the only one that is different is the Barbell Complex. This is the best superset warm up I've ever done. You don't want to go heavy with this! It is a warm up, I usually keep it around 100 - 115lbs.

What you do is 6 Straight Leg Dead Lift, 6 Bent Over Rows, 6 Hang Cleans, 6 Front Squat, 6 Push Press, 6 Back Squat, & 6 clapping push-ups. That whole thing is 1 set, it is hard even light, in fact the very first time I did it I only used 60lbs. If you can't do the whole thing without stopping, lower the weight.

Drop your pride and perform it correctly, and you'll be amazed at the results. You do 4 sets of 6 with a 60 second breather between each set.

Barbell Complex Warm-up:

Suggestions For Others

Never Give Up! I have had to overcome so many obstacles on this incredible journey, and I am thankful for every one of them. Nothing great worth having in this life comes easy, it takes work and determination, but it's worth it. We all have those days where we wake up, and don't feel like going to work, but we still do it. In the same light, there are days where going to the gym doesn't sound like fun at all, but sometimes you just have to ignore how you feel, and just get the job done.

When I go to the gym, I don't just think about putting up some massive weight, getting jacked, going to a club, impressing some girl, or anything like that. I walk in there, and I take a second and think about how far I've come, how good life is because of the physical ability that I have gained, and how much more I would like to do in the fitness realm. I want to be able to teach my kids one day the importance of being discipline, and setting goals, what kind of example would I be if I gave up on my goals, or threw in the towel every time I had an excuse not to go to the gym.

Anyone who is serious about athletics would tell you that it is all about mastering the little things; because success in the little things is what equips you to be able to accomplish great things. So why is it that people tend to try to just jump in and expect to be able to do great things without any preparation, practice, or training? If you eat correctly and workout, you can reach any fitness goal, it just takes time.

So many people go out and start pushing toward a goal, then get discouraged when they don't see results overnight. It takes time… If it were easy, everyone would run a 4 minute mile. If it were easy, everyone would have a 50 inch vertical jump. We could go on with that all day long, but the thing is, it's not supposed to be easy; if it were easy, you wouldn't appreciate it.

Nothing really worth having in life comes for free; it's going to cost you something. Rather it is time, money, effort, etc. whatever the list goes on. The key is endurance, how hard are you willing to press? Find something that motivates you, and reach for it. Nothing is impossible if you can believe.

My name is Dan Michno, and I thank you for taking the time to hear my story.


I would like to give a special thanks to a few people. First of all to my best friend, Mark Francey. We are practically brothers and he has seen me through everything. To Mitch Coats a great friend and mentor, To Pavel I've read a bunch of his books, and a lot of my training ideas come from him. To a Kat Walthall, for putting a smile back on my face and encouraging me to keep pushing. To my family, church, and friends who have helped along the way I say thank you.

To everyone reading this, thank you for reading my story. Nothing is impossible if you can believe.

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