Johnny Gargano took to Instagram this week and revealed a look at how he improved his physique for Monday’s return to the ring on WWE RAW.
Monday’s win over Chad Gable was Gargano’s first match since WWE NXT WarGames on December 5, 2021. He was a free agent until returning to WWE last month, and spent most of the time at home, getting to know his new son, and spending time with wife Candice LeRae, who was pregnant for part of the hiatus. Gargano noted on Instagram that when he took off last December, he wanted a “complete mental and physical break from everything” he related to pro wrestling..
After an 18 year career, Gargano stopped “dieting and training,” and said he looked forward to being able to eat and not be judged. He decided he wanted to get to work back in April, and contacted trainer AJ Sims of The Cement Factory. In less than 5 months Gargano was able to get back into shape with the help of Sims, and a diet that has completely changed his life. Gargano says he still has some work to do, but he’s making the best of what he’s got, and he wants fans to know they can achieve the same thing.
You can see Gargano’s full post with photos below:
Long post incoming. I was a little apprehensive to share this at first as I’m very on record of my history with body dysmorphia as I was a chubby kid growing up so posting these pictures is a tad embarrassing (which I’m sure shocks you as 75% of my photos are in little wrestling gear). I’m still far from happy with how I look but maybe in sharing this it can spark something in others and normalize this discussion.
When I left wrestling in December I decided I wanted a complete mental and physical break from everything that I correlated with wrestling. Diet and training goes hand in hand with that to me. It’s unfortunately a cosmetic business and a part of the job. I’ve been “dieting and training” (probably horribly wrong my first 10 years) for my entire wrestling career. That’s almost 18 years. I grew incredibly tired of it and didn’t enjoy it. My inner fat kid missed being able to eat whatever I wanted without counting macros or “planning a cheat day” and then feeling guilty and feeling gross half naked on TV. It was a vicious cycle that gave me a horrible relationship with food. The thing I looked forward to the most being off.. was being able to eat and not being judged.
In the same way I wanted to miss wrestling.. I wanted to miss diet and exercise. In hopes that my passion would reignite and when I was ready to come back I could be completely re-energized and attack this thing with everything I got. To be the best version of myself possible. From December to April.. I ate anything I wanted daily! Me and Candice (pregnant for a few of those months) tore up Uber Eats! It was great! I wanted to go full “Dad Bod” and I did! I trained here and there but with no rhyme or reason. As the months went on though.. it turned out like I hoped.. Food wasn’t special anymore. I missed being dialed in.. and having abs.
So in April I decided I wanted to get to work. I didn’t know where or when I was coming back but I wanted to get ready and I knew it would take time given the damage I did. How my career ended up was out of my control but the thing I could control is the work I put in and how I looked when the time came..
I hit up AJ (@cementfactory) who has had tremendous success with a lot of my colleagues and we divised a plan. I’ve done tons of different diets but the wizardry that AJ pulls off is absolutely unbelievable. I’m eating cookies and burgers and fries and humongous bowls of sugary cereal 2 times a week. I’m never starving like I have been in the past during my TakeOver preps when I’d be on like 1600 calories a day and miserable. It’s truly a gift and has completely changed my life. This is a fully sustainable diet that let’s me stay in shape but also be well fed.
I’m FAR from a finished product and I’m hoping to grow and improve more and more as these months go on. I’m never going to be the biggest guy and I’m positive this post will have trolls that are offended by my existence that say I’m still “too small” but it is what it is and I’m working with what I got and I’m trying to make the best of it. I train extremely hard and my body type unfortunately is what it is. I’m sincerely trying my best to be the best version of myself daily.
This is the result of around 16 weeks of work. Coming back from in my opinion.. the worst I’d looked or felt in 18 years. My message here being.. you can 100% do this too. Wherever you’re at in your life you can always make a change for something more. I know that first step is scary but attack it with everything you got. What you want could only be 5 months away!
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