In his early 30s, Joey Fisher had already undergone a transformation. At the dawn of what would become a successful music career, Joey, who had struggled with his weight his whole life, wanted to slim down to look better for his fans. His goal was to get skinny, and he did it.

But when a breakup left Joey penniless and stranded thousands of miles from home, he almost gave up on fitness. "I fell off for three or four months," Joey remembers. "I was depressed. I couldn't drag myself to the gym after all that. Just getting out of bed every day was a huge task. That was the lowest point in my life."

One day, Joey realized he had come too far to give it all up. "I had to get real with myself," he says. "I wasn't going to let that kill me. I just did it. I forced myself through it. It was hard, but I did what I had to do, and I got back into the gym. The gym became my release from everything that I had been going through. I didn't realize until I got back in there that the gym was exactly what I needed at that point. It gave me my life back."

That was the moment when Joey's goal changed. He no longer wanted to just be skinny. He wanted to be fit and healthy.

This is Joey's story.

First, Joey Got Skinny. Then He Got Fit.

Age: 32 Height: 5'10" Weight: 305 lbs. Body Fat: 35%

After

Age: 36 Height: 5'10" Weight: 200 lbs. Body Fat: 10%

When did your struggles with your weight begin?

I was always a husky kid. When I was 11 or 12, my mom put me in Weight Watchers. I became more active and started skateboarding. I lost a lot of weight. For the first time in my life, I was a skinny kid.

Why do you think you were always heavy?

My metabolism has always been slow. I pack on weight quickly and easily—I have for my entire life. I never had particularly unhealthy habits. My family ate healthy meals, and I was encouraged to stay active. For whatever reason, I always struggled with my weight.

First, Joey Got Skinny. Then He Got Fit.

How did that affect you as you grew older?

In my early 20s, I was a skinny, skateboarding punk-rock kid. But when I stopped skateboarding, I ate out and drank Mountain Dew every day. That's when I became fat again.

Did you ever try to get in shape?

I would go to the gym to do some weight training and a little cardio for a few weeks at a time and then just fall off. I never followed through and stuck with it.

What was your lifestyle like at that point?

I played in a band for most of my 20s. We were touring, and I was drinking a ton. It was definitely fun, but it didn't do me any favors when it came to getting my health back under control. In my late 20s, I had a breakup, and my habits worsened. It was my first real heartbreak, and I drowned myself in partying and drinking. That's when I started to realize my life didn't have purpose. I was working to support my partying. When I had that realization, I got pretty depressed and took even worse care of myself. That's when I blew up and got really big. I went from 270 pounds to 305.

First, Joey Got Skinny. Then He Got Fit.

What made you finally decide to make a change?

My best friend and I had an EDM group together, just as EDM was starting to take off in the United States. When we signed with a major label, I wanted to be hot. I wanted to appeal to women. I wanted to be attractive. I knew it would make our band more marketable if I were skinny, too. So my first goal was to be skinny, like I'd been when I was younger.

What did your diet look like?

After doing some research online, I decided to keep my diet as clean as possible. My interpretation of clean eating meant keeping things simple and eating whole foods. I started off every day with scrambled eggs, toast, and turkey bacon for breakfast. Then I'd have chicken, brown rice, and mixed vegetables for four meals. Before bed, I'd have a salad with chicken. That was my diet for nine months.

Was it difficult to maintain such a strict diet?

It was hard at first. But after a while, I appreciated that my diet was the same every day. It became something I didn't have to think about. I enjoy having a daily routine, and my meals are part of that routine.

How did you overcome cravings in the beginning?

I didn't have any huge problems with cravings. My one big weakness is Tostitos tortilla chips. That's where moderation came in handy. Instead of eliminating them and fighting my cravings, I made sure not to gorge myself. I stuck to smart portions. When I went grocery shopping, I'd buy a bag for the week. I had a handful or two a day.

Now, things are a little bit different for you?

Yes. After my breakup, everything changed. I went through that period of a few months where I didn't work out at all. Luckily, I didn't gain weight during that time—probably because I wasn't eating. When I got back in the gym, I had new goals. It wasn't just about being skinny anymore. It was about being the best version of myself I could possibly be.

First, Joey Got Skinny. Then He Got Fit.

How do your workouts reflect your new goals?

I do a lot more weight training now. I don't do much cardio anymore, except right at the end of a cutting cycle.

Day 1: Shoulders, Back, and Calves
1
Superset
Standing Military Press
4 sets, 8-12 reps
Side Lateral Raise
4 sets, 8-12 reps
2
Superset
Bent Over Two-Dumbbell Row
4 sets, 8-12 reps
Seated One-arm Cable Pulley Rows
4 sets, 8-12 reps
3
Superset
Face Pull
4 sets, 8-12 reps
Barbell Shrug
4 sets, 12-15 reps
4
Upright Barbell Row
4 sets, 8-12 reps
5
Seated Calf Raise
4 sets, 15 reps
6
Donkey Calf Raises
4 sets, 15 reps
7
Standing Calf Raise
4 sets, 15 reps
Day 2: Biceps, Triceps, and Core
1
Superset
Barbell Curl
4 sets, 8-12 reps
Triceps Pushdown - Rope Attachment
4 sets, 8-12 reps
2
Superset
Hammer Curls
4 sets, 8-12 reps
Dip Machine
4 sets, 8-15 reps
3
Superset
Cable Preacher Curl
4 sets, 8-12 reps
Lying Triceps Press
4 sets, 8-12 reps
4
Superset
Incline Dumbbell Curl
4 sets, 8-12 reps
Seated Triceps Press
4 sets, 8-12 reps
5
Flat Bench Lying Leg Raise
4 sets, 8-15 reps
6
Scissor Kick
4 sets, 8-15 reps
7
One-Arm High-Pulley Cable Side Bends
4 sets, 8-15 reps
Day 3: Legs
1
Barbell Squat
4 sets, 8-10 reps
2
Leg Press
4 sets, 8-12 reps
3
Leg Extensions
4 sets, 12-15 reps
4
Lying Leg Curls
4 sets, 12-15 reps
5
Hack Squat
4 sets, 8-12 reps
Day 4: Back, Shoulders, and Traps
1
Superset
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
4 sets, 8-12 reps
Seated Cable Rows
v-bar attachment
4 sets, 8-12 reps
2
Superset
Seated Cable Rows
wide-grip
4 sets, 8-12 reps
T-Bar Row
4 sets, 8-12 reps
3
Superset
Pullups
4 sets, 8-15 reps
Bent Over Barbell Row
4 sets, 8-15 reps
4
Superset
Face Pull
4 sets, 12-15 reps
Seated Side Lateral Raise
4 sets, 12-15 reps
5
Front Dumbbell Raise
4 sets, 12-15 reps
Day 5: Chest and Core
1
Superset
Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip
4 sets, 8-10 reps
Flat Bench Cable Flyes
4 sets, 8-12 reps
2
Superset
Incline Dumbbell Press
4 sets, 8-12 reps
Cable Crossover
4 sets, 8-12 reps
3
Superset
Incline Dumbbell Flyes
4 sets, 10-12 reps
Machine Bench Press
4 sets, 10-12 reps
4
Butterfly
single-arm
4 sets, 12-15 reps
5
Flat Bench Lying Leg Raise
4 sets, 8-15 reps
6
Crunches
4 sets, 8-15 reps
7
One-Arm High-Pulley Cable Side Bends
4 sets, 8-15 reps

Has your diet changed, too?

I made friends with Jeffrey Su, the owner at First Callout Fitness. He's been writing my meal plans for a while now and is amazing with nutrition. Now that I'm a trainer, I refer a lot of my clients to him for help with their diets.

What does your diet look like now?

Meal 1
Egg Whites
300 g
Oats
75 g
Blueberries
50 g
Avocado
30 g
Meal 2
Chicken
300 g
Jasmine Rice
175 g
Spinach
2-3 handfuls
Meal 3
Ground Turkey (99% lean)
200 g
Sweet Potato
200 g
Spinach
2-3 handfuls
Olive Oil
10 g
Meal 4
Ground Beef (95% lean)
200 g
Avocado
40 g
English Muffins (whole-grain)
1
Meal 5
Greek Yogurt (fat-free)
200 g
Granola
30 g
Banana
100 g

How has fitness changed your life?

It's changed everything. I used to be a musician and a tattoo artist. Now I'm well on my way to making a living by continuing with my fitness goals. I currently work as a trainer at Rise Above Fitness in Huntington Beach. I'm an athlete for Nutraceutical Innovations and The Iron Union. I do fitness modeling and provide online coaching.

What are your goals now?

I just hit a plateau and haven't been growing the way I want to, so I created a new workout program that's based on dropsets to shock my muscles into growing. It's been amazing. I'm growing like crazy. I may compete for the first time this spring.

About the Author

Christina Marfice

Christina Marfice

Christina is a recovering news reporter and freelance writer based in Boise, Idaho.

View all articles by this author

Transformation