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2 Stories Of Survival: How Fitness Saved Morgan Wehmer And Elizabeth Aguilera

Vital Stats

When it comes to diseases, lots of syllables often make for a scary diagnosis.

Take melanoma, for instance. Elizabeth Aguilera has it and, according to her doctors, always will. Every two months she meets with a specialist to look for spots on her skin, have them tested, and determine whether to have another surgery. At the tender age of 24, she’s had four already, to remove seven cancerous patches of skin from her stomach 2, leg 3, and hip 2.

“I check myself all the time,” says Elizabeth, a spokesmodel for Oh Yeah! Nutrition. “As long as I keep consistent, and go every two months for the rest of my life, I will be fine. If it advances to a stage 3, or 4, it will get into my lymph nodes and organs. I just have to monitor it.”

Take anorexia–not a disease, but a disorder. Morgan Wehmer, Elizabeth’s sister, has wrestled that dietary demon and lived to tell. She was bullied in high school and took extreme dietary measures because she felt like it was the only thing she could control.

The sisters deal with their dilemmas, with their syllables. They lift each other in hard times. That is what families do.

THE BIG SISTER

Treatment and surgery are intense, and a body needs rest. Elizabeth strives to put in max effort in the weight room, but with regular treatment and surgery, she’s not always able to. She has to be careful, patient, and confident. Each day presents a challenge.

Elizabeth’s efforts inspire her younger sister, Morgan, “On her most horrible days, she’d post the most inspirational things,” says Morgan. “The things that upset her the most, she’d turn into positives for other people. And it was therapeutic for her. It gives me strength should I ever want to complain, give up, or slack off. She’s my other half. How can I slack if Liz would go 110 percent?”

“The sisters deal with their dilemmas, with their syllables. They lift each other in hard times. That is what families do.”

Even before her diagnosis was delivered, Elizabeth was fit, but with her life in the balance, she has taken it to a new level. She took the stage in 2013–in part to mark a check on her bucket list–and finished fourth. But her doctors asked her to take a break in 2014. Her goal to turn pro remains unfulfilled.

That bucket list was lengthy but the sisters have shortened it in the past six months. They worked as models and did photo shoots. Liz has asked photographers not to “edit out” her scars. She wants people to see them. They are markers of his past, and she wants people to know that cancer survivors can still be models.

THE LITTLE SISTER

Morgan Wehmer was suffering from anorexia. She is a tall girl, with long arms and legs, so when she dwindled her body weight down to 113 pounds, she simply looked ill.

In high school, she seemed like a regular kid. She was heavily involved in extracurricular activities, had a boyfriend, and was an athlete. She loved organized dance and sang in the choir. She played softball and ran track. She got good grades and never got into trouble. She was a good kid.

But, high school brought unforeseen torment for Morgan. She was bullied by older, taller, more athletic girls, who called her names. They’d walk behind her and shout “slut” to terrorize young Morgan. That was her first significant freshman experience. “That’s not what you want to happen in that foreign land,” Morgan says. “Girls … there’s never a reason. Girls can just be so, so mean. [Elizabeth] would get into fights with them and protect me.”

The bullying continued for years. Morgan tried to bury the jabs and insults, but their effects manifested in other ways. She and Elizabeth, tight as toddlers, grew apart as they fought through adolescence. When Morgan needed protecting, Liz had her back in the school hallways. When she wasn’t around, the taunts intensified.

When the pressures of dating, studies, incessant bullying, and self-image worries left Morgan reeling, she took control of the one thing she could: food. She started to cut back calories, skipped meals, and found excuses to avoid the dinner table.

“Stop fighting yourself and start fighting for yourself.”

“There was faulty thinking before, and after,” Morgan says. “I feel like I am talking about a different person now. Food was the only thing I could control, but I over controlled it.”

Elizabeth was one of the first people to notice the changes in Morgan. She fought off the mean girls, but anorexia was a more elusive and subtle foe. “Everyone was worried about her,” Liz says. “She was in denial about it.”

THE LIFTER SISTERS

Morgan stewed in her own torment, her thoughts growing more and more negative. Her family broached the subject to little avail. It strained the family, and Morgan saw it. She says something changed in her psyche.

“All of my thoughts about food and what I needed to eat to keep me going…all of that was faulty,” Morgan says. “When I realized I was looking at things in horrible ways, there was this light switch. I can never go back to that.”

What is Anorexia?

Anorexia Nervosa is an eating disorder characterized by a person’s intense fear of gaining weight or becoming fat. People who suffer from the disorder may practice unhealthy behaviors such as extreme calorie restriction, only eating specific foods, or skipping meals frequently. Treatment includes counseling, nutritional rehab and training, and various support therapies.

She began to research nutrition and very slowly gained her weight back. It took two years, and it’s still an ongoing struggle. She wants more muscle. Morgan’s research produced some unplanned results. She fell in love with the study of nutrition and decided to pursue dietetics as a profession, before switching to another health-conscious field, nursing.

“I wanted to do it the right way, the healthy way,” Morgan says. “I ate a lot of healthy foods, basically double what I am eating now. I was doubling up on carbs and healthy fats, along with working out. I used machines, free weights, and bodyweight exercises. I wanted to build muscle, and it took time.”

While Morgan was flipping the script on her education, Elizabeth learned she had melanoma. Thus began an endless series of exams, scans, surgeries, biopsies, and doctor visits. She took monthly flights to Jacksonville for treatment, then flew back to school for coursework, determined to graduate.

“Looking at Morgan now, it’s hard to tell that she was anorexic.”

“I can’t even fathom how I’d feel about having a constant unknown diagnosis,” Morgan says of her sister’s plight. “As these spots appear, she has to get them cultured and then wait weeks for results.”

To make matters worse, Elizabeth’s husband was deployed overseas as a member of the U.S. Navy. She graduated college during his absence and underwent treatment while he was stationed in Japan. Their separation further alienated the struggling older sister, but she had Morgan to lean on. It’s not that their roles reversed. Morgan didn’t become a “big sister.” They simply grew closer, and each time one faltered, the other offered support.

“Everything is about your attitude and fighting for what you want in life,” Elizabeth says. “I wanted to start my life, and [melanoma] put me on hold. It gave me time to start doing more things. I sat down, wrote down things I wanted to do.”

THE THINGS WE HIDE

Looking at Morgan now, it’s hard to tell that she was anorexic. If you don’t notice Elizabeth’s scars and ask her about it, you might not know that she has recurring skin cancer. Just imagine what all the other lifters are going through. How many battle confidence or body-image issues? Who is sick? Who is mentally ill? You can hide a lot of pain under your gym clothes.

What is Melanoma?

Melanoma is a deadly form of skin cancer. Cancerous growths develop when unrepaired DNA damage to skin cells triggers mutations. Skin cells multiply rapidly and form malignant tumors. Causes include ultraviolet radiation from sunshine and tanning beds. Melanoma kills an estimated 9,000 people per year in the United States alone.

Morgan suffered from the mental anguish of anorexia for two years before she started to pull out of it. Even then it took two more years before she felt “over” it. It’s hard to talk about. Subjects like this aren’t exactly locker-room chatter. “It’s sensitive subject matter to talk about, but it’s happening a lot more than people think,” Morgan says. “It’s something that needs to be addressed.”

Magazines and infomercials boast about fat-loss techniques, playing on image fears. Fitness and nutrition make headlines, but profound subjects like disease, disorder, and death get overlooked by our mainstream social conscience. “A lot of people talk about weight loss, which is great, but at the same time there are problems that people don’t talk about every day,” Elizabeth says. “People are still battling disease every day, but it’s good to see that there are people getting through these things.”

NEVER ALONE

The distance between a healthy lifestyle and a debilitating one is not as great as you might think. A doctor’s diagnosis or a bully’s attack can change everything.

The support of a sister, a brother, a friend, or even a stranger can help reverse a slide. “[Morgan] came out of it, graduated high school with honors, and she had a greater sense of health and well being,” Elizabeth says. “It changed her life and her career. Everything she went through happened for a reason. It made her who she is today.”

To work on the items on their bucket list, the lifter sisters created a website, a Facebook page, and spread their message via social media. They use Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, BodySpace, and their website to reach people all over the globe, and not just to people with cancer or eating disorders. They’re out to help anyone who asks.

REFERENCES

  1. www.skincancer.org/skin-cancer-information/melanoma
  2. www.cancer.org/research/cancerfactsstatistics/cancerfactsfigures2013/index
  3. www.anad.org/get-information/about-eating-disorders/eating-disorders-statistics/
  4. seer.cancer.gov/statfacts/html/melan.html

 

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2 Stories Of Survival: How Fitness Saved Morgan Wehmer And Elizabeth Aguilera

Posted in Bodybuilding, Exercises, Nutrition, Weight lossComments Off on 2 Stories Of Survival: How Fitness Saved Morgan Wehmer And Elizabeth Aguilera

<div id="DPG" webReader="140.298550063"><div class="side-bar" webReader="-17"><div class="c10"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/body-space-member-of-the-month-jordan-metcalfe-vital.jpg"/></div><h3 class="article-title c11">Vital Stats</h3><a href="http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/Jordz121/" target="_blank"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/bodyspace-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c12"/></a><a href="https://www.facebook.com/officialjordanmetcalfe" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Facebook"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/facebook-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c13"/></a><a href="https://www.facebook.com/officialironplayground" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Facebook"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/facebook-pages-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c13"/></a><a href="https://twitter.com/jordzmetcalfe" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Twitter"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/twitter-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c13"/></a><a href="http://instagram.com/jordzmetcalfe" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="Instagram"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/instagram-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c13"/></a><a href="https://www.youtube.com/GymJordz" rel="nofollow" target="_blank" title="YouTube"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2013/youtube-social-icon.png" width="20" height="20" border="0" class="c13"/></a><p><strong>Name:</strong> Jordan Metcalfe<br /><strong>Age:</strong> 22<br /><strong>Weight:</strong> 187 lbs off, 165 lbs contest<br /><strong>Height:</strong> 5'10"<br /><strong>Occupation:</strong> Personal Trainer<br /><strong>Education:</strong> Diploma in Hospitality Management, Bachelor Degree in Business - Double major in Marketing and Advertising, Certified Personal Trainer<br /><strong>Contest History:</strong> IFBB Men's Physique<br /><strong>Athletic Background:</strong> Swimming at a national level in England up to the age of 13. Did nothing really until I started the gym around the age of 17.</p></div><p>BodySpace is home to people from all walks of life, from more than 100 countries, and fitness enthusiasts of all age levels. It is a place where former athletes, first-time weightlifters, and hardened vets merge into a giant news feed of positivity.</p><p>Jordan Metcalfe was a former swimmer who had a lot to learn in the gym. He discovered his ideal lesson plan in 30,000-page library that is Bodybuilding.com. When he found BodySpace, he signed up immediately and used its tools to create a body that's on its way to the IFBB podium!</p><h3 class="article-title">What led you to the decision that you needed to transform?</h3><p>From a very early age I was competing at a national level for swimming. When I decided to move on from the sport I really had nothing to do! I messed around for a few years, but I felt like there was something missing. I had gone from training up to 10 times per week to doing absolutely nothing. I started going to the gym on and off as most young guys do. It was the usual: Go in, lift something way too heavy with form that probably should have killed me, and then leave thinking the gains would come flowing. I was so wrong!</p><p>After a year or so of doing that, I was still a skinny 128 pounds (58 kg). I guess it was a combination of getting bullied at school and just being unhappy with how I looked that got me really committing to a proper lifting routine.</p><h3 class="article-title">What kind of changes have you made since you made that decision?</h3><p>I have totally transformed my physique. Don't get me wrong, I still have a million miles to go, but looking back at how far I have come is my motivation. I started at a skinny 128 pounds and I now weigh a natural 187 pounds (85 kg) at around 9 percent body fat.</p><img class="float-right c14" src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/bodyspace-member-of-the-month-jordan-metcalfe-1.jpg" width="280" height="445" border="0"/><p>"Being able to communicate with people with the same interests is awesome."</p><h3 class="article-title">How did you discover BodySpace?</h3><p>A friend sent me a link to Bodybuilding.com to have a look at the range of supplements because I was looking to get serious with my training, after browsing the website for a bit I came across BodySpace . The whole setup looked awesome, so I signed up right away.</p><h3 class="article-title">How has BodySpace helped you reach your goals?</h3><p>The whole site has helped so much with motivation. Being able to communicate with people with the same interests is awesome. There are some amazing physiques on here, which fuels the passion to constantly improve.</p><h3 class="article-title">Do you stick to one type of training, or do you vary your exercise attacks?</h3><p>Generally I just stick to a single muscle split. No workout will ever be the same. I'm a big believer in keeping the body guessing, whether that's just changing the rep range or adding a totally new exercise. I want to keep shocking the muscle into growth.</p><h3 class="article-title">What is your favorite muscle group to train, and can you give us a sample workout?</h3><p>This has got to be the back muscle group. Genetically it's probably one of my strong points. There is nothing like a good back pump! I do rear delts on back day because they are a weak point.</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/bodyspace-member-of-the-month-jordan-metcalfe-2.jpg" width="560" height="165" border="0" class="c16"/><div id="meal-plan-table"><ul><li class="rowBgColor c17"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/112/Male/t/112_1.jpg" alt="Heavy Deadlifts" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/112/Male/t/112_2.jpg" alt="Heavy Deadlifts" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('barbell-deadlift')">Heavy Deadlifts</a></strong><br />5 sets of 6-10 reps</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c17"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('seated-cable-rows')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/45/Male/t/45_1.jpg" alt="Seated Cable Row" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('seated-cable-rows')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/45/Male/t/45_2.jpg" alt="Seated Cable Row" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('seated-cable-rows')">Seated Cable Row</a></strong><br />4 sets of 12 reps</span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c17"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('pullups')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/46/Male/t/46_1.jpg" alt="Pull-Ups" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('pullups')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/46/Male/t/46_2.jpg" alt="Pull-Ups" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('pullups')">Pull-Ups</a></strong><br />2 sets of 10 of each grip reps (Wide grip, medium grip, narrow grip)</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c17"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('one-arm-dumbbell-row')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/13/Male/t/13_1.jpg" alt="Single-Arm Dumbbell Row" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('one-arm-dumbbell-row')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/13/Male/t/13_2.jpg" alt="Single-Arm Dumbbell Row" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('one-arm-dumbbell-row')">Single-Arm Dumbbell Row</a></strong><br />3 sets of 10 reps</span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c17"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('leverage-high-row')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/892/Male/t/892_1.jpg" alt="Hammer Strength Pull-Down" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('leverage-high-row')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/892/Male/t/892_2.jpg" alt="Hammer Strength Pull-Down" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('leverage-high-row')">Hammer Strength Pull-Down</a></strong><br />4 sets of 8 reps</span></li>
<li class="rowBorderColor c17"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('bent-arm-barbell-pullover')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/49/Male/t/49_1.jpg" alt="Pull-Over" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('bent-arm-barbell-pullover')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/49/Male/t/49_2.jpg" alt="Pull-Over" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('bent-arm-barbell-pullover')">Pull-Over</a></strong><br />3 sets of 15 reps</span></li>
<li class="rowBgColor c17"><span class="mpt-images"><a href="javascript:pop('cable-rear-delt-fly')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/867/Male/t/867_1.jpg" alt="Rear Delt Cable Flyes" width="53" height="53"/></a> <a href="javascript:pop('cable-rear-delt-fly')"><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/exercises/exerciseImages/sequences/867/Male/t/867_2.jpg" alt="Rear Delt Cable Flyes" width="53" height="53"/></a></span> <span class="mpt-content content"><strong><a href="javascript:pop('cable-rear-delt-fly')">Rear Delt Cable Flyes</a></strong><br />4 sets of 15 reps</span></li>
</ul><br /></div><br /><h3 class="article-title">You've been on BodySpace for a few years. How do you stay motivated for the long term?</h3><p>Really I think it's just my love and passion for the sport, and also the lifestyle that comes with bodybuilding. I never really suffer from low levels of motivation.</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/bodyspace-member-of-the-month-jordan-metcalfe-3.jpg" width="560" height="387" border="0" class="c16"/><h3 class="article-title">What training mistakes did you make when you first started?</h3><p>I don't think there is enough space in this article to name them all! The main ones consisted of lifting too heavy, with horrible form, practicing terrible nutrition, and really just a general lack of understanding when it came to gaining quality strength and muscular development.</p><h3 class="article-title">What are your favorite supplements?</h3><p>I love a good pre-workout. I am taking <a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/store/top-secret-nutrition/pump-igniter.html">Top Secret Nutrition Pump Igniter</a> at the moment —that stuff is insane! Also I'm a big fan of BCAAs, especially when prepping. In my on-season I pop the things like freaking Tic Tacs. They're good for preventing that dreaded muscle catabolism.</p><h3 class="article-title">What had the biggest impact on your muscle growth and recovery?</h3><p>Really, I believe it's a combination of everything. To get the best results, every aspect needs to be in check: eight hours of sleep every night, good nutrition, hard and varied training, supplements, massage, stretching, etc. They all have such an important role in the muscle building and recovery process. When you get to a top level, each aspect becomes even more important. Slacking off in one area will commonly slow your progress right down.</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/bodyspace-member-of-the-month-jordan-metcalfe-4.jpg" width="560" height="415" border="0" class="c16"/><h3 class="article-title">What type of music do you listen to in the gym?</h3><p>You might all call me weird, but I don't like to listen to music when working out, whatever is playing in the gym background is fine for me. I have a training partner so I prefer to talk to him, and have him verbally push and motivate me through a set. I find that works best. I have never really understood how people work out together but have their headphones in the whole time. At the end of the day it's whatever works best for that person.</p><h3 class="article-title">You have some serious muscle. Any tips for amassing such a frame?</h3><p>Make sure you have a goal. Once you have it set out clearly, list all the things you must focus on to achieve it. Every aspect must be covered: nutrition, rest, supplementation, and everything else. Focus on keeping workouts fresh and different. I never really do the same workout twice.</p><img class="float-left c18" src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/bodyspace-member-of-the-month-jordan-metcalfe-5.jpg" width="223" height="407" border="0"/><p>"Building your dream physique is bloody hard and it's something you can't really half-ass."</p><p>I'm not going to sugar-coat it. Building your dream physique is bloody hard and it's something you can't really half-ass. It's all or nothing. That's how I look at it, anyway. My dad has always said to me if a job is worth doing then it's worth doing it well. The same principle should be applied to your goals. If it's worth achieving, then do it with 100 percent of your effort.</p><h3 class="article-title">What would it mean to you to win your IFBB pro card?</h3><p>Winning my IFBB pro card would honestly be a dream come true! Being able to take my passion to the international stage would be incredible! So many of the guys I look up to are IFBB Pros. Being able to join them would just be unreal. Bring on that pro card!</p><h3 class="article-title">What is your favorite way to spend a rest day?</h3><p>Honestly, I hate rest days! If it wasn't an essential part of the muscle building process I wouldn't take one. So basically I spend it wishing I was at the gym. Sad, I know.</p><h3 class="article-title">Someone will read this feature and consider joining BodySpace. Why should that person become a part of the largest fitness social network?</h3><p>It's just an awesome environment. There are thousands of people all as crazy as me when it comes down to fitness! Why wouldn't you join?</p><img src="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/images/2014/bodyspace-member-of-the-month-jordan-metcalfe-6.jpg" width="277" height="333" border="0" class="float-right c20"/><h3 class="article-title">Is there anything you would like to say to your fellow BodySpace members? Have any of them made a special impact on your life?</h3><p>Honestly everyone who I have come across on BodySpace has been amazing. I would just like to thank everyone for motivating me and also supporting me through my journey.</p><h3 class="article-title">Bodybuilders have school, day-jobs and families, and still dedicate hours in the gym each week. How do you strike a balance?</h3><p>Ha! Yeah sometimes it can get tough, but in that situation you have just got to think how bad you want it. I used to work from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., then go straight to the university for night classes from 5-8 p.m., then go to the gym for two hours after that. 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BodySpace is a place of sharing, where people can support and express their appreciation for one another. Members like Nadal make sure this structure is getting stronger all the time.</p></div></div><div class="c23" webReader="6.0152284264"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/bodyspace-member-of-the-month-jwethall.html"><img src="images/2013/bodyspace-member-of-the-month-jeremy-djinovic-smallbox.jpg" alt="" width="200" height="114"/></a><div class="c22" webReader="8.02030456853"><h4 class="c21"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/bodyspace-member-of-the-month-jwethall.html">BodySpace Member Of The Month: Jwethall</a></h4><p style="display: inline;" class="webReader-styled">
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John Lee has been a member of BodySpace longer than most. He lived the life before it was trendy. Meet the strongest cat in the jungle.</p></div></div><br class="c24"/></div><div class="padded-content article-content mod-about-the-author" id="article-about-author" webReader="36.6347031963"><h4 class="article-section-header">About The Author</h4><div class="ata-left-column" webReader="5.86982248521"><div class="ata-author-name"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/bodyspace.htm">BodySpace Member Of The Month</a></div><div class="author-gradient-button"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/bodyspace.htm">VIEW AUTHOR PAGE</a></div><p class="ata-author-summary">BodySpace Members of the Month are chosen because they know how to use all the features of BodySpace to their advantage...</p></div><div class="ata-right-column"><div class="ata-author-image-frame"><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/bodyspace.htm"><img src="images/2013/writer-bodyspace-of-the-month-sig-new.jpg" alt=""/></a></div><div class="ata-view-all-articles-link"><ul class="bb-chevron-list bold-type"><li><a href="http://www.bodybuilding.com/fun/bodyspace.htm#articles" class="bold-type">View All Articles By This Author</a></li>
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BodySpace Member Of The Month: Jordan Metcalfe

BodySpace is home to people from all walks of life, from more than 100 countries, and fitness enthusiasts of all age levels. It is a place where former athletes, first-time weightlifters, and hardened vets merge into a giant news feed of positivity.

Jordan Metcalfe was a former swimmer who had a lot to learn in the gym. He discovered his ideal lesson plan in 30,000-page library that is Bodybuilding.com. When he found BodySpace, he signed up immediately and used its tools to create a body that’s on its way to the IFBB podium!

What led you to the decision that you needed to transform?

From a very early age I was competing at a national level for swimming. When I decided to move on from the sport I really had nothing to do! I messed around for a few years, but I felt like there was something missing. I had gone from training up to 10 times per week to doing absolutely nothing. I started going to the gym on and off as most young guys do. It was the usual: Go in, lift something way too heavy with form that probably should have killed me, and then leave thinking the gains would come flowing. I was so wrong!

After a year or so of doing that, I was still a skinny 128 pounds (58 kg). I guess it was a combination of getting bullied at school and just being unhappy with how I looked that got me really committing to a proper lifting routine.

What kind of changes have you made since you made that decision?

I have totally transformed my physique. Don’t get me wrong, I still have a million miles to go, but looking back at how far I have come is my motivation. I started at a skinny 128 pounds and I now weigh a natural 187 pounds (85 kg) at around 9 percent body fat.

“Being able to communicate with people with the same interests is awesome.”

How did you discover BodySpace?

A friend sent me a link to Bodybuilding.com to have a look at the range of supplements because I was looking to get serious with my training, after browsing the website for a bit I came across BodySpace . The whole setup looked awesome, so I signed up right away.

How has BodySpace helped you reach your goals?

The whole site has helped so much with motivation. Being able to communicate with people with the same interests is awesome. There are some amazing physiques on here, which fuels the passion to constantly improve.

Do you stick to one type of training, or do you vary your exercise attacks?

Generally I just stick to a single muscle split. No workout will ever be the same. I’m a big believer in keeping the body guessing, whether that’s just changing the rep range or adding a totally new exercise. I want to keep shocking the muscle into growth.

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

This has got to be the back muscle group. Genetically it’s probably one of my strong points. There is nothing like a good back pump! I do rear delts on back day because they are a weak point.

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

Really I think it’s just my love and passion for the sport, and also the lifestyle that comes with bodybuilding. I never really suffer from low levels of motivation.

What training mistakes did you make when you first started?

I don’t think there is enough space in this article to name them all! The main ones consisted of lifting too heavy, with horrible form, practicing terrible nutrition, and really just a general lack of understanding when it came to gaining quality strength and muscular development.

What are your favorite supplements?

I love a good pre-workout. I am taking Top Secret Nutrition Pump Igniter at the moment —that stuff is insane! Also I’m a big fan of BCAAs, especially when prepping. In my on-season I pop the things like freaking Tic Tacs. They’re good for preventing that dreaded muscle catabolism.

What had the biggest impact on your muscle growth and recovery?

Really, I believe it’s a combination of everything. To get the best results, every aspect needs to be in check: eight hours of sleep every night, good nutrition, hard and varied training, supplements, massage, stretching, etc. They all have such an important role in the muscle building and recovery process. When you get to a top level, each aspect becomes even more important. Slacking off in one area will commonly slow your progress right down.

What type of music do you listen to in the gym?

You might all call me weird, but I don’t like to listen to music when working out, whatever is playing in the gym background is fine for me. I have a training partner so I prefer to talk to him, and have him verbally push and motivate me through a set. I find that works best. I have never really understood how people work out together but have their headphones in the whole time. At the end of the day it’s whatever works best for that person.

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

Make sure you have a goal. Once you have it set out clearly, list all the things you must focus on to achieve it. Every aspect must be covered: nutrition, rest, supplementation, and everything else. Focus on keeping workouts fresh and different. I never really do the same workout twice.

“Building your dream physique is bloody hard and it’s something you can’t really half-ass.”

I’m not going to sugar-coat it. Building your dream physique is bloody hard and it’s something you can’t really half-ass. It’s all or nothing. That’s how I look at it, anyway. My dad has always said to me if a job is worth doing then it’s worth doing it well. The same principle should be applied to your goals. If it’s worth achieving, then do it with 100 percent of your effort.

What would it mean to you to win your IFBB pro card?

Winning my IFBB pro card would honestly be a dream come true! Being able to take my passion to the international stage would be incredible! So many of the guys I look up to are IFBB Pros. Being able to join them would just be unreal. Bring on that pro card!

What is your favorite way to spend a rest day?

Honestly, I hate rest days! If it wasn’t an essential part of the muscle building process I wouldn’t take one. So basically I spend it wishing I was at the gym. Sad, I know.

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

It’s just an awesome environment. There are thousands of people all as crazy as me when it comes down to fitness! Why wouldn’t you join?

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

Honestly everyone who I have come across on BodySpace has been amazing. I would just like to thank everyone for motivating me and also supporting me through my journey.

Bodybuilders have school, day-jobs and families, and still dedicate hours in the gym each week. How do you strike a balance?

Ha! Yeah sometimes it can get tough, but in that situation you have just got to think how bad you want it. I used to work from 6:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., then go straight to the university for night classes from 5-8 p.m., then go to the gym for two hours after that. I would get home at around 10:30 p.m., prep all my meals, pack them all up, get my stuff ready for the next day, and then do it all again. I think if you want something bad enough you will do anything to achieve it.

Recommended For You

BodySpace Member Of The Month: Nadal Shaabneh

BodySpace is a place of sharing, where people can support and express their appreciation for one another. Members like Nadal make sure this structure is getting stronger all the time.

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.

BodySpace Member Of The Month: JungleCat, John Lee

John Lee has been a member of BodySpace longer than most. He lived the life before it was trendy. Meet the strongest cat in the jungle.


About The Author

BodySpace Members of the Month are chosen because they know how to use all the features of BodySpace to their advantage…

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BodySpace Member Of The Month: Jordan Metcalfe

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Paige Hathaway

1 hour 30 minutes ago

We may not know what each day has in store for us. We could be gone tomorrow. Any minute could truly be our last goodbye. But we do have this moment. This time. Today. Right now. It takes way more effort to shell out hate then it does to allow love to flow freely in our lives. After all, it's what we were born to do.

No one was born to hate, we are naturally born to love. When's the last time you gave someone a compliment? Or magnified their strengths and not their weaknesses.. Do you remember when you said hello or smiled at a complete stranger? You do know that one kind gesture can change someone's entire day. Just because you're alive and here.. doesn't mean you can't be an angel in disguise.

Paige Hathaway

5 hours 33 minutes ago

Hey 👋🏼 San Antonio, Texas
THIS 👉🏼Saturday August 26th from 12:00PM -3:00 PM. Come meet me @rocksdiscount Boulevard location and hangout with the Rock's crew. Tons of giveaways, live DJ, food, and much more. Very excited to meet everyone! 💥

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