In his heyday, Jason Tucker never missed a step. He loved sports, competition, and above all, pushing to be his very best. If he wasn't playing football with grueling two-a-day workouts, Jason closely watched his dietary intake to make weight and trained hard in the weight room to compete in high school wrestling. Even after high school, he went on to join the Navy and completed the deep sea diver program.
For a time, Jason seemed unstoppable.
But weight gain does not discriminate. At age 29, Jason finally saw what a carefree life in college and years of complacency could do to his once-chiseled physique.
It was in that moment that Jason made a promise to compete on his 31st birthday, and set out to revive the vigor of his youth.
Having been active all your life, was it pretty easy to switch back into "work mode" when you decided to transform?
When I played sports in my younger days, football introduced me to the lifting lifestyle, and wrestling showed me the discipline and sacrifices that had to be made in life and diet in order for me to compete. Those perspectives, plus my experiences from my time in the Navy, helped me develop an iron will that allowed me to get back into the swing of things rather quickly.
Weight: 245 lbs.
Body Fat: 26%
Weight: 201 lbs.
Body Fat: 8%
After seeing that I'd seriously let myself go after college, I became embarrassed by my lack of discipline, I knew I had to make a lifestyle change then and there—not only for myself, but to be a positive role model for others.
I already had the discipline lying dormant in me, so starting was easy. It just turned into a battle of consistency. For weight loss, there are no secrets. The "secret" is hard work and doing the work, even if it feels so hard that you feel like quitting. Without action and pushing through the tough times, you'll never be able to fully realize what you're capable of.
Setting a goal like competing on my 31st birthday really helped turn a mere thought into a dream goal that I had to act on. Since it'd been a while, I also hired a nutritionist and trainer to help me get to work.
Did you run into any trouble during your transformation?
There were definitely a lot of sacrifices I had to make, especially since I set a goal with a deadline. I had to give up a little bit of my social life, turning people down for hanging out or casually grabbing a beer with a buddy. I put that life behind me in favor of meeting my goal, no matter what.
I recommend that you do what makes you happy in the long run, and for me, those sacrifices were well worth meeting my own goal and proving that I could do it.
Those are powerful words. What can you tell someone to motivate them "to keep going?"
Give yourself a solid deadline for added accountability. If you have to, bring others into the mix, because when you quit by yourself, you're only letting yourself down. When you have others to answer to, you're letting others down. That can be even more motivating.
Once you've made a goal, treat it as if your life depends on its success—and for some people with serious medical conditions, this can be true.
If you're unsure about where to start, Bodybuilding.com is a great resource for all things training, nutrition, and motivation. Seriously. It really served as a baseline for all my questions when I entered the sport. There are always a ton of good articles and advice from the BodySpace members who've been competing for years.
What's next for you?
I plan on continuing to compete—gotta dream big! I aim to go after a national show and earn my pro card some day.
Is there anyone you want to thank?
I want to give a special thanks to my coach Pete Ciccone, IFBB pro, from 619 Muscle in San Diego, California, as well as IFBB men's physique pro, Axel Alvarez.
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Training regimen that kept me on track
My philosophy on my workouts is to stick with the basics, because if it worked for the legends, then it will work for me as well.
Note that I do cardio five days a week, usually spending 45 minutes on the stair machine.