BodySpace Member Of The Month: Jwethall

Jeremy has worked with DNA mapping and cloning, but his greatest biological success is his own body. He knows he needs heavy weights, and he feeds that need.

Name: Jeremy Djinovic
BodySpace handle: jwethall
Age: 30
Height: 5'8"
Weight: 230 lbs, 205 lbs contest
Occupation: Lab Tech
Education: B.S. Biology
Athletic Background: Wrestling, Grappling, Boxing

The things you do dictate who you will become. The direction you travel on the grand scale of health and fitness is determined by your effort, your plan, and certainly your nutrition.

Jeremy Djinovic, known on BodySpace as jwethall, knows these things. He's been through the breakdowns, injuries, illnesses, and returns to glory. He uses his brain to test and re-test his body. He reads, researches, practices, and urges you to do the same.

Nothing is more important than the health of your body. Be excellent, get stacked, and be honest, even if that means you get attacked by trolls. Jeremy has been, but it certainly hasn't stopped him from lifting and living the fit lifestyle. Read our interview with August's BodySpace Member of the Month!

What led you to the decision that you needed to get in shape?

Last year I tried prepping for my first bodybuilding show with a trainer that ended up destroying my metabolism. I was eating meat and vegetables six times per day and doing three hours of cardio for two months. During my prep I got my thyroid tested and discovered I had low-grade hypothyroidism. I brought this information to said trainer, but he said medication wouldn't do anything but burn off all my gains and I just needed to keep pushing.

I started taking synthroid anyway, and sure enough the fat started coming off. Unfortunately it was already too late and I missed my show date. I tried to go back to eating clean carbs like sweet potato, rice, and oatmeal, but no matter what I ate I just started layering on fat.

To make matters worse, I ended up separating my ribs from my costal cartilage doing chest supported T-bar rows with five plates and couldn't train for three months. Frustrated, in pain, and depressed, I gave into bad habits. I started eating junk food and resumed smoking after quitting eight months earlier.

My self-realization moment hit me in December that year when I realized I was turning 30 in March. It was time to get my shit together. I didn't want to enter my thirties as a fat, unmotivated smoker; I wanted to be a ripped, lean, and huge competitive bodybuilder. This had been my dream for years and this year I was going to do it.

What is the fitness community like in Utah?

There are definitely a lot of fit people in this state. I believe the last survey I looked at had Utah pegged at No. 3 for most active—we even beat Colorado somehow. I do my best to be friendly and affable to people, and I know I come off as pretty intimidating so I understand when they want to run the other way.

People are overall just people; some are cool and some very ignorant and judgmental. You can't control how people act; you can only control how you react. That being said, I've met some pretty incredible people at the gym.

How did you discover BodySpace?

I can't remember; it was so long ago. I think I heard about it on Facebook, maybe. Or maybe I was shopping on and noticed it. Either way, I'm glad I did. BodySpace is a great way to stay motivated and keep yourself accountable.

How important are research, reading, and studies to your physical goals?

How much time you got? I'm a freaking science nerd; research and reading are my bag, baby. I owe everything I know about bodybuilding and especially nutrition to sticking my nose in books and doing relentless self-experimentation. That's how everyone should do it, because everyone's body responds differently to different training styles and diet plans.

There are also a lot of "gurus" out there who are, in a word, dangerous. You really have to watch out in this industry. Someone once told my wife, "If your trainer doesn't include a fuel source in your diet, either fats or carbohydrates, kick them in the nuts and fire them immediately." I couldn't agree more.

How has BodySpace helped you reach your goals?

I get a lot of motivation from other members and it gives me a place to yak about bodybuilding and nutrition.

Male bodybuilders receive negative feedback for being vain or meatheads. Do you have to battle that negativity or give a rip?

Oh of course! And that's because I am a meathead. I live for bodybuilding and lifting in the gym. This is my love and my passion. The gym is my church, my body my temple, and the iron my gospel. People can say whatever they want, but a lot those people are the very same cats who end up hitting me up for training and nutrition advice. And I'm always happy to oblige.

Life is too short to get angry about little things like human ignorance. I have my goals, my dreams, and my vision of what I want for myself and that's all that matters. "Everybody pities the weak; jealousy you have to earn," right?

Who is your favorite person on BodySpace?

Pauline Nordin. She is the most hardcore fitness personality on this site.

What is your favorite muscle group to train and can you give us a sample workout?

I love love love to train back. Back day is the best day of the week; legs is a close second. My training varies depending on my goals; sometimes I work it on its own day, sometimes I combine it with chest.

It depends on if I'm cutting or trying to add some lean mass. But here's a sample back workout for adding some thickness:

Now this looks pretty standard, but I stick with the classics. The most important part is how you execute the exercise; focusing on strong contractions, good form and proper time under tension. I like to go as heavy as I can. I don't find high volume to be effective for my body, so I kick up the intensity and go heavy. That being said, I don't go heavier than I can handle with good form.

You've been on BodySpace for a few years How do you stay motivated for the long term?

I have an awesome wife who supports me and pushes me to be my best. She's competes in bikini and is actually the reason I'm competing in my first show this August. My mom and my little bro are also great support systems and have always supported me. I'm also a pretty self-motivated man. I try not to let external forces drive me; I have my own internal motivation motor driving me.

I feel that true, lasting drive, comes from within. It comes from the good and bad experiences we have, the things we desire the most, and the people we love or have loved. When you can tap into a reservoir like that, you can push yourself through anything.

Have you done any of the daily trainers? What's your favorite?

I tried Dorian Yates Blood and Guts trainer. I liked his approach but I still like a little more volume than one working set. I usually still go for at least three sets, and on legs day 4 or 5 sets.

So you're a scientist? What is your area of expertise?

I studied molecular biology and graduated cum laude with a BS in Biology. I spent a lot of time working with DNA, cloning, and protein expression/purification. It was a total blast! I love tinkering with the blueprints of life. I've actually started to set up my own DIY bio lab as sort of a hobby in my spare time. Ironically I currently work in a chemistry lab doing quality control testing.

What are your favorite supplements?

I love a good pre-workout! C4 by Cellucor is my current favorite. Any cheap creatine monohydrate is a must; I use brand. I also use Dymatize chocolate whey protein isolate 30 min post-workout with either Dymatize Flud waxy maize, or I just mix two scoops in with my oatmeal. Delicious!

Do you think the fitness industry is growing in the right direction? Would you change anything?

As a bodybuilder I'm not sure how to answer that question. Back in the 80s, guys like Arnold were celebrated as ideal fitness personalities. Now it seems like the athletic frame is more en vogue. CrossFit is becoming huge and bodybuilding is falling farther away from the mainstream. That being said, the Internet has made it a lot easier to connect today's bodybuilder to bodybuilding shows and events as well as the athletes who compete in them.

For example, I watch's coverage of the Arnold and Olympia every year—so please keep doing it! I'm happy that parachute pants and spandex have been retired for cargo shorts and tanks tops, though.

You have some serious muscle. Any tips for amassing such a frame?

Eat lots of food and lift heavy weight. That really is it. The better quality of food you eat, the less fat you'll accumulate and the less you'll have to lose later. This is something I've learned in the last year! This winter I plan on adding some more mass, hopefully to my arms and my chest, and I'm sticking with clean food and slowly bringing up the carbs over a period of months.

I'm a naturally chubby guy and I tend to hold more subcutaneous water, so even eating an caloric excess of clean food will make me puff up a bit, but a little fat and water I can shed pretty quick. A lot of fat is much more of a pain in the butt.

The Forum ruled long before BodySpace. How has it affected you?

It gave me lots of negative rep points ... stupid trolls. I stay off the forums.

Someone will read this feature and consider joining BodySpace. Why should that person become a part of the largest fitness social network?

BodySpace is a great way to track your progress and connect with like minded people. I've met some great individuals on this site, and actually had the pleasure of sharing a workout with one of them when he came down here to show his daughter around to a couple universities. And we had a killer workout. I've also been able to help some people with their diet and training through messaging and blogs.

Is there anything you would like to say to your fellow BodySpace members? Have any of them made a special impact on your life?

Yes actually. I've been inspired by a few members on this site:

  • Big Frank: I share his fear of smallness and appreciated being able to relate to a big guy who actually set his fear aside and got shredded.
  • Joe Solinski: His shape and his lean muscularity are classic … and the dude is totally rock n roll.
  • Larry Nolan and Nadia Lopez: A great couple and a great couple of people. I actually ended up friending both of them on Facebook.

As for my fellow BodySpace members, I do have a simple message: Don't let other people decide what's best for you, not in your diet, not in your training, not in your life. Tyler Durden was wrong; you are a unique little snowflake. Everybody's body responds different to different approaches, so experiment with yourself and never give up on your goals.

We first noticed you in the comments at the ends of articles. Do you think that web function helps give readers a voice?

Oh definitely, and I've got a big fat mouth so that might be more to your detriment haha!

Please describe your personal gym. Is it sufficient?

I work out at Gold's gym. If a gym has a squat rack, a deadlift station, and a good set of dumbbells that go up to at least 125 pounds, it is sufficient.

How do you feel about newbs?

Well, everybody has to start somewhere; we were all newbs at one point right? But let me save you newbies some time:

  1. Your diet makes your physique, and your training complements your diet.
  2. It doesn't matter what kind of protein I use … see point 1.
  3. When you say you've tried everything, you've most likely tried one thing. Bodybuilding is a series of trials and epic failures. Keep trying.
  4. Squat, deadlift and heavy pressing; these be thy commandments.
  5. Have a question? Have Google? Read, plan, implement, document. Keep a journal of everything you experiment with and you'll know what works and what doesn't.
  6. Don't be afraid to try unconventional methods and defy the so-called experts. Remember, we're all just people and nobody is infallible. Do what works for you, just make sure it works!
Bodybuilders have school, day-jobs and families, and still dedicate hours in the gym each week. How do you strike a balance? What happens when you get tired?

I am lucky that I finally found a job where I'm salaried and make my own schedule, because before that it was hectic! I was up at 5 a.m. to do cardio, then off to work by 7 a.m., out at 4 p.m, home long enough to kiss my wife and head to the gym, then back home to eat and meal prep for the next day. Now I have the time to do all that and even squeeze in a nap!

Do you consider weightlifting fun, or is it all just work?

This sounds really sad as I type it, but lifting is probably the most fun I have. Of course right now I'm prepping for a show so I don't really do anything else besides eat and make food. But I've always loved to lift. My time in the gym is my time, and I enjoy every minute of it ... except cardio. I bloody hate cardio.

If we could change anything about this website, what would it be?

Keep running articles with bigger guys!

How can your fans find you on other social media?

For now it's just BodySpace. Eventually I'll start a professional FB page.

Jwethall's Top 5 Gym Tracks

  1. "Immortal" by Clutch
  2. "Rosenrot" by Rammstein
  3. "Ghost Fields" by Murder By Death
  4. "If it Jiggles It's Fat" by Austrian Death Machine
  5. "Hail and Farewell to Britain" by Type O Negative