This 5 year natural transformation is truly amazing when you consider not just the strength and size improvements made by Jesse but also the hurdles and obstacles he has had to overcome to do this. Jesse shares for the first time publicly, his long struggles with clinical depression and anxiety.
Getting out of bed and to work could be a challenge for Jesse on many days. The thought of getting to the gym to workout seemed like being asked to climb a mountain. That is, until he found refuge in the gym. The walls of they gym provided a freedom from tormenting thoughts that allowed him to not only grow his body, but his outlook on life as well.
As many who have watched this channel have witnessed however, the journey was quickly interrupted by a near fatal car accident. Jesse sustained head trauma that took him away from training all together and greatly limited his ability to exert high effort when he finally returned to the gym. During this time, the habitual improvements he made were gone and he once again found it very hard to be consistent with any workout, let alone one advised to him by Coach Cavaliere. The trauma also made the depressive thoughts he silently carried around with him, even more persistent and pervasive.
Jesse's chronic sadness made eating difficult. He often times found himself having to force feed himself in order to provide enough calories to attempt to build muscle. Maintaining an appetite was a struggle. Given how skinny he was to start this was something that made it almost impossible for him to gain muscle at a rate that perhaps others his age would experience. Without enough high quality nutrients, and calories in general, Jesse was finding it almost impossible to support any of the time he spent working out in the form of new muscle gains.
Little by little, under the guidance of a professional strength coach, Jesse started seeing significant strength and muscle gains. All the while that his compound lifts like the squat, bench, deadlift, overhead press and weighted pullups were improving, he was also working on building up his size through the appropriate accessory exercises.
Essentially, Jesse was following a hybrid strength and powerlifting program like BEAXST that was taking him to all new levels of muscle development and size. His confidence was growing and his gains kept coming.
Through love, support and the outreach by many in the AX community Jesse has been able to find acceptance and peace. In this space he has been able to appreciate the journey of fitness and its value far beyond the building of muscle. It has helped him bridge the gap of silence that prevented him from expressing what he had been dealing with for so many years.
Now he hopes his video and story will do the same for you if you find yourself in a similar position as he did.
The transformation of Jesse is one of my proudest moments as a strength and conditioning coach. Watching him transform not only his body, his strength and his size but his confidence and most of all his acceptance and love of himself has been one of the most rewarding things to watch. Jesse is like a son to me in many ways. As expected, you will run into the situations where your words or advice may not be followed or listened to. But ultimately, when push comes to shove and the rubber hits the road, the willingness to turn to others for guidance and knowledge winds up producing the most direct path to results.
I would love it if you are reading this if you could leave Jesse some love in the comments below.
If you or someone else suffers from depression, please reach out. Allow someone to help you. It's no longer a stigma but rather becoming the norm in this day of heightened pressures and expectations through social media.
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