Name: Chad Jackson
Why I decided to transform
I was a competitive soccer player throughout my youth and into college. When my soccer career ended, I stayed in decent shape until I had kids and traveled for a high-stress job. I had no time for exercise and let myself go.
My dad's health deteriorated the past two years and his doctor told my brother and me that we need to take care of ourselves, which got me thinking. I wanted to ensure that I could maintain my health for the rest of my life.
I used the Dymatize Elite Ambition Challenge on Bodybuilding.com to kickstart my healthy actions and won the competition.
How I accomplished my goals
After my victory, I didn't want to slip back into my old ways. I had gallbladder issues in August 2012 and had it removed. As a result, I didn't work out for six weeks, lost the size I put on, and had to restart. Eventually, my strength came back and I made good gains that motivated me to continue in the gym. I woke up every day at 4:30 a.m. and prepared my meals in advance.
A goal on my bucket list was to compete in my 40s, so entered I the Branch Warren Classic in Houston, Texas, in July 2013 with only five weeks to prepare. I recorded my 4-week journey daily on Bodybuilding.com. I entered the master's physique 35 and older division and took second place.
Chad used to be a chaplain for the Houston Dynamo, an MLS
franchise, and is still friends with many of the
professional soccer players today!
I was surprised by my finish because it was my first contest and most of the athletes were experienced. After the show, one of the coaches said my second-place finish qualified me for a national show to try to win my pro card.
The best part about the competition was the camaraderie with the athletes. I made lots of friends during the show. A few people came up to me and said they had followed my journal on Bodybuilding.com.
I competed again at the Texas State Championships in October 2013 and took third place in the class C open division.
What aspect challenged me the most
I was in the final week of preparation for the Dymatize Elite Ambition Challenge and my dad went into the hospital. I prepared as best as possible but had to adapt to the changes. Learning to adapt, getting back up, and continuing on is crucial to success.
My future fitness plans
I plan to compete in a national show in July 2014 and get my masters physique pro card. It proved that anything is possible if you focus on a goal. I want to help as many people as possible to transform.
I've posted a daily journal on Bodybuilding.com for people to see what I do every day. The most rewarding part about the ride has been the people who reach out to me every day and say that I inspire them.
Suggestions for aspiring transformers
Have a goal with a deadline. The Bodybuilding.com contest was the spark that got me going. Your why has to be stronger than your how. Find someone you want to look like also. I had a picture of David Kimmerle on my Pinterest for inspiration.
How Bodybuilding.com helped me reach my goals
I followed a workout from Derek Charlebois for the Dymatize Elite Challenge and hired him as a coach during my last weeks of preparation for the Branch Warren Classic. I learned from people on BodySpace who walked in my shoes and was inspired by them.
I went from 200 to 8,100 BodySpace friends in six weeks during my contest prep. It was very humbling.
Chad's Top 5 Gym Tracks
- "Faint" by Linkin Park
- "Somewhere I Belong" by Linkin Park
- "Clubbed To Death" by Rob Dougan
- "Vox Populi" by 30 Seconds To Mars
- "Limelight" by Rush