My Personal Journey to Hell and Back

Written by Jason Ferruggia Topics: Motivation

success-and-failure-sign-300x224Maybe you screwed up last year. You showed signs of weakness or lost your way.

Maybe it was your fault or maybe it wasn’t.

Maybe your dad died or you got fired or divorced.

Thing is, none of that matters now. You don’t have to forget any of the hardships you endured but you do need to leave them behind you.

Sitting around thinking about what was or what could have been does no one any good.

When my step dad, Ed, died a few years ago it seemed like all I could do for the next few weeks was sit around in a deep depression.

I was emotionally crippled until one day my mom told me that, “Ed would never want to see you like this. Life is for the living. Unfortunately, as harsh as it sounds, Ed is gone and isn’t coming back. But you’re here and need to keep living your life. That’s what he would want.”

The next day I got back to Hustlemania, set some new goals and started pursuing them with relentless aggression.

I still keep a picture of Ed next to my bed and look at it every morning. But the sadness is gone. It has to be. Any negative emotion you harbor, be it sadness, jealousy or anger, will only take you further away from living the life you truly want.

Trust me, I know. I had some minor anger issues for many years when I was a lot younger due to certain childhood circumstances. All it ever did was hold me back in life.

Nowadays the anger is gone. Sure, I’m still human and something could piss me off once in a blue moon, but it will take a hell of a lot more than it used to. And in the rare case that it happens I’m over it in literally two minutes.

Because of that I’m happier, healthier and more successful.

2012 is here. It’s a brand new year. It’s a chance to do things your way, to take control of your life, to achieve new goals and live on your own terms.

We all screw up. We all have obstacles to overcome. And no one is lucky enough to escape some sort of tragedy or death in the family that has a deep effect on us.

But we have to keep moving forward. It’s the only choice.

I spent years of my life living in the past. Missing “the good old days” or wishing I had done this or that, full of regret. I can tell you from experience that it’s no way to live.

From the Outhouse to the Penthouse & Back Again

In 1994 I made $200 a week training people.

By 1996 I finally had an athlete to train. But just one.

In 2001 I was booked around the clock, had close to a hundred athletes per day in my training facility and was making more money than I ever dreamed of.

In 2006, after more than a decade running a very successful six figure training business I was told that the building my gym was in was being sold and that we had six months to find a new location. After searching desperately, hiring a lawyer, going through zoning board meetings, and a whole bunch of other nonsense, six months came and went, and I was forced to close down.

It was one of the darkest hours of my life and I owe a great debt of gratitude to Dave Tate and Alwyn Cosgrove for helping me get through it. Luckily my friend, John Alvino, opened his place a few weeks later and we were able to transition a lot of people over there and keep Renegade alive.

However, I had taken a hit. More than half of my clients couldn’t make the drive. Even though my income was cut by 50% I still kept spending money like MC Hammer.

Dinner at Nobu? Call the crew, it’s on me.

Vegas for the weekend? Get the penthouse suite.

Since I no longer had the twelve hour a day commitment of running Renegade on my own I decided to move into New York City for a while. It was something I always wanted to do and seemed like it would be a nice break.

Seven months later, after going out to five star restaurants, bars, clubs and lounges six to seven nights a week I was out of cash… and by out of cash I mean completely broke. You party like a rock star with reckless abandon for 10-12 years straight and it will eventually catch up with you.

I was young and dumb and have no excuses. When younger friends of mine start making good money I always pull them aside and tell them my story and to not be like me.

About this time in 2006 there was an average of ten bucks in my pocket on any given day, just enough to buy gas and bagels. In one of the most humiliating moments of my life I had to call my mom and ask if I could move into her spare room for a while.

Talk about depressed….

How I Turned it All Around

Six years later I’m residing on the beach in Santa Monica, California, running multiple successful businesses, have one of the most visited blogs in all of strength and conditioning, am helping hundreds of thousands of people, doing what I want, the way I want and literally loving every waking second of my existence. My life could honestly not be any better.

Now before some of you tell me to go fuck myself, let me assure you that I only share this with you for no other reason than the fact that I believe, in my little pea brain, that it proves anything is possible.

I have no special skills. I do nothing exceptionally well, naturally. I was a D+ to C- student, at best and got under 900 on my SAT’s. In other words I’m far from the smartest guy in the room.

I’m also easily distracted, have a short attention span and, for many years of my life, always looked at the glass as half empty.

On top of that I had zero self confidence as a kid.

That’s why I got into strength training. That’s probably why many of us do. I was sick of being smaller and weaker than everyone else and the threat of being pummeled into oblivion constantly looming over my head.

Over the course of many years I not only got bigger and stronger but I developed the self confidence to know that I could do anything I wanted in life. I went from doubting everything I ever did to knowing, without question, that I could dominate.

The strength I gained in the weight room was so much more than physical. It changed me mentally and emotionally and made me the man I am today. It transformed me into someone who isn’t afraid to take on any challenge and knows that victory is the only possible outcome.

That, and that alone, is why I think everyone should do some form of strength training. Until you experience it for yourself you may think it’s all just an act in vanity or silly nonsense, but when you see the change it can make in people like me and the thousands of others I’ve worked with you realize that it’s probably the single greatest thing a person can do for themselves.

Armed with the self confidence the iron bestowed upon me I set out to make some serious changes. The only thing I had going for me naturally was an inhuman work ethic and a burning desire to get better.

I knew there were things I didn’t like about myself and I wanted to change them. I had to get focused and more disciplined… so I did just that.

When I was sitting alone rotting in my mom’s spare bedroom I had a dream of moving to Southern California. I hate cold weather and I hate driving. I wanted to live on the beach in a town where I rarely had to drive anywhere. So setting the goal of living on the beach in Santa Monica was pretty much a no brainer.

Instead of wishing or asking the universe or whatever they do in the Secret I decided that I would make it happen by working my ass off, surrounding myself with the right people and creating a routine of daily success habits.

I set specific goals, gave myself a deadline and promised myself that I would not fail.

Everyone Needs a Support Team

Along the way I got a lot of help and great advice from my friends Craig Ballantyne, Alwyn Cosgrove and Dave Tate. Those three guys have made a huge impact on my career and I would never have achieved the level of success I have in life without them.

My mom was also always there for me in ways I couldn’t even begin to count.

Over the last four and a half years I couldn’t have done a third of what I’ve done without the love and support of the best girl in the world, my partner in crime, business and life, Jen Grasso.

I’m not sure the word “take” is even a part of her vocabulary. She only knows “give,” and asks nothing in return. I couldn’t be more blessed or grateful to have her in my life.

We all need a support system. No one can do it alone. In fact, social support is one of the biggest benefits of The Renegade Strength Club and is why the members achieve their goals faster than those who try to take the solo route.

Cut the Dead Weight

I cut out all the deadbeats in my life and now associate only with positive thinking, hard working winners.

It doesn’t matter how long you’ve known someone or even if they are related to you. If they’re a negative force they’re gone. You need to cut them loose, no matter how hard that may be. I did it. All the other successful people in the world did it. You have to do it.

Shit talkers… gone.

Complainers… gone.

Depressed or depressing people… gone.

Jealous people… gone.

Pessimistic people… gone.

People who are forever broke… gone.

People who doubt your dreams… gone.

People who say, “It must be nice”… gone.

People who always put a negative spin on everything… gone.

People who use the phrases, “I hope,” “I’ll try,” “Hopefully”… gone.

People with a major aversion to risk taking… gone.

Who you spend time and associate with is literally one of the most important decisions you can ever make. You become the sum of the people you surround yourself with.

Any negativity that is around you will, over time, seep into your brain and change the way you look at things and decrease your chances of success.

This, I promise you.

Want to lift heavier weights? Train with stronger people.

Want to make more money? Spend time with rich people.

Want to be a better person? Spend time with good, positive people who are void of jealousy, hatred and bitterness.

It’s a very simple formula yet so many people overlook it.

When you are positive and in the right mind state good things just seem to happen. Opportunities present themselves that wouldn’t otherwise.

That may sound like some weird, existential hokey bullshit but it’s 100% true.

If you’re staying in a job you hate simply for the benefits you need to start spending more time with more successful people. Insurance costs about $400-$500 a month. Do you really think your happiness is worth that? Do you really think that if it honestly meant that much to you that you wouldn’t somehow find a way to make that money back?

Work where you want to work.

Live where you want to live.

Do what you want to do.

Not taking a risk is often the biggest risk you can take and will lead to a lifetime of regrets.

What I did to achieve success is nothing. There are people who truly had to endure real hardship and struggles and have gone on to be some of the most successful people on the planet.

Get Your Mind Right

I always thought that rah-rah success talk was corny and clichéd. I downplayed the importance of goal setting and mindset. Because of that nothing in my life was as good as it could have been. Not my training, not my business, not my relationships… nothing.

So as corny or clichéd as you may think it sounds I want everyone to start off the year knowing that literally anything is possible. There is nothing you can’t do if you get your head right and are willing to work your ass off.

But it’s not just working hard. There a plenty of people who do that. It’s all about working smart.

I will be back later in the week with a bullet point checklist of essential steps for world domination, guaranteed to make 2012 your best year ever.

In the meantime remember this-

I’ve had no self confidence.

I’ve been depressed.

I’ve been pessimistic.

I’ve been broke.

I’ve been surrounded with negative people and told I’ll never make it or that I’m a dream believer (I am) and am wasting my time.

I’ve been down and out.

I have no special skills and am far from the smartest, strongest or best looking guy in the world.

If I can find happiness and success you definitely can too.

PS. If you liked this post I’d appreciate you sharing it with anyone you know who might get something out of it.


97 Responses to My Personal Journey to Hell and Back

  1. Rachel January 2, 2012 at 12:02 pm #

    Awesome post, sir. Thank you for the inspiration. :)

  2. Amna January 2, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    I truly enjoyed reading your post and relate to part of it (depression & strength training).

    I, too, was really depressed once upon a time and found my place in the weight room. I truly hated myself, was disgusted by my existence and wished I never saw the light of day. But then I directed my anger and agression in my training and let it all out then and there.

    Like you said, lifting does not just improve your physical appearance, it durely DOES affect you mentally in so many ways, I learned that when I fail picking up heavy weights it’s normal. It’s part of my progress and learning to re-direct my focus.

    Anywho. I am constantly learning to fight through my fears and often do have negative feelings, but I personally think it is OK to doubt yourself sometimes, becasue it’s the time when you re-visit not how far you want to go, it reminds you of how far you’ve come. Personal example of mine…just 6 months ago 75kgs was my Deadlift 1RM max, today I picked 75kgs for 10 times with my 3RM being 90kgs (just about 200lbs)…that at a bodyweight of 50kgs. just a month and a half ago, although successfully pulling 85kgsx3, I failed it TWICE after that…I freaked out, I started having deadlift nightmaters (I know I sound like a psycho now, may be I am!) but I needed to go back and realize how far I have come. Put my mind in the right place and moved on.

    I can talk for ages, I will stop now.

    Bottom line, loved your post. I relate to it. & appreciate you sharing your personal story with us the public.

    • Jason Ferruggia January 4, 2012 at 9:51 am #

      No doubt. Great progress, man! Keep it up in 2012. Th

  3. Mark Mogavero January 2, 2012 at 12:18 pm #

    Great read, Jason! Making positive changes in your life takes hard work, no doubt. Just keep moving forward and making progress on where you want to be, and success is inevitable.

  4. Ben January 2, 2012 at 12:34 pm #

    Phenomenal post Jay and very inspiring! It’s a new year and a fresh start and there’s no better time to change than now. I’m going to print this out and hang it on my wall. I’ve always believed you become what you surround yourself with and it’s great to hear someone as influential as you saying just that. I’m looking forward to the next post. Cheers to 2012

    • Jason Ferruggia January 4, 2012 at 9:52 am #

      Thanks a lot, Ben. Make it the best year ever

  5. Joaquin January 2, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

    Wow, often when you’re down the world looks like a sinking ship and that you’re the only one on there. It’s good to know that you’re not the only who has been there and has moved on. Thanks, it stuff like this that gets me going. As someone who’s in the middle of a personal shit storm of what you’ve just expressed (most of it my own doing of course, no one to blame but me) I have to change my lows to highs and I’ll take your written words to heart. Thanks you.

    • Jason Ferruggia January 4, 2012 at 9:53 am #

      Yeah, man. Been there before. This is the time to make it happen and get out.

  6. Corma January 2, 2012 at 12:35 pm #

    Great stuff, it takes balls to take responsibility for your life and make those kind of changes but I guess the alternative is unfulfilment and ultimatly a slow death lasting 40 or 50 years! G

  7. Jason January 2, 2012 at 12:59 pm #

    Thanks for sharing. Though your story is not a pleasant one it is nice to hear that people have come through lots to become successful.

    I have enjoyed your posts, training advise and wisdom. Thanks for showing your human side and letting us and our clients know that there is nothing that can hold us back but ourselves.

  8. John Romaniello January 2, 2012 at 1:37 pm #

    Like a motherfuckin BOSS.

    • JC January 2, 2012 at 6:39 pm #


    • Jason Ferruggia January 4, 2012 at 9:54 am #

      Thanks brother! Appreciate you droppin a comment.

    • Jason Ferruggia January 4, 2012 at 9:55 am #

      Thanks, Roman! You’re the man!

  9. Peter January 2, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    Great post. I look forward to the follow up.

  10. Rob January 2, 2012 at 1:50 pm #

    Awesome Jason!

  11. S Truth January 2, 2012 at 1:58 pm #

    Those eliminated people is what makes the world go round, by eliminating them from your life, your heading down the slippery slop to being a very lonely old man!

  12. Chad January 2, 2012 at 2:36 pm #

    Thanks for writing this bro! What an awesome article. Needed to read this to start the year off.

    I’ve made some massive changes in my life in the last couple of years. Taken big risks and am headed down the path I want to be headed down; far from where I was a couple years ago.

    Much appreciated.

    • Jason Ferruggia January 4, 2012 at 9:56 am #

      Thanks, Chad. Best luck to you with everything.

  13. Daniel January 2, 2012 at 2:45 pm #

    Awesome write up Jason. Awesome to read on success stories. I’m slowly working towards my goals. Keep up the solid work! Aloha

  14. Paul January 2, 2012 at 2:57 pm #

    People should learn the difference between being poor or broke. Being poor is a state of mind. Being broke is temporary.

  15. Marcos Torres January 2, 2012 at 3:23 pm #

    Now get Mr. Warrior to make this into a video an we have a party!

  16. Thiago January 2, 2012 at 3:40 pm #

    amazing dude

  17. Josh Hamilton January 2, 2012 at 4:30 pm #

    At 18 years old, I share this very same mindset.

    I consider myself fortunate to have figured it out this early. I know what inspires me. I know what moves me. And I will stop at nothing to accomplish my specific goals. 2012 has already been rife with action steps and expansions in my circle of influence.

    I’m moving to a new city in two days, taking control of my education and remaining a human sponge for learning. Thanks for providing constant motivation.

    I plan on shaking your hand in 2012. Look for the smiling 5’10” Canadian guy who is really meant to be living on the south coast of California.

  18. Sean January 2, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

    Best post of 2012! , lol

    and probably your best one yet Jay;-)

  19. Troy January 2, 2012 at 4:49 pm #

    Jason, Again awesome post. Thank you for sharing your personal story and how you fought through.

    I caught myself in one of your statements. [People who use the phrases, “I hope,” “I’ll try,” “Hopefully”… gone.”] I had thought I had corrected my own mindset, but realized that I’ve left a seed of self-doubt with phrases like those.

    Thanks – I have some pruning to do in my own vocabulary. No more “hope”, “try” or “hopefully”. Do it!

    I am finishing my first training product. I am, period. Bring it!


  20. Tom January 2, 2012 at 5:37 pm #

    Inspirational! Real! Passionate! Awesome post Jay, nothing ever ever replaces hard work, no matter how advanced technology becomes!!

  21. Craig L. January 2, 2012 at 5:41 pm #

    I love this – especially the part about cutting loose the dead weight! Luckily, I do a good job of maintaining a high energy, positive spirit despite the many negative people in my life, but you just put on paper something I think about all of the time.

    The life you have made for yourself is exactly what I hope to one day achieve and I will one day get there – or die trying!

    Thanks for sharing this inspirational story, Jay.

  22. Ben January 2, 2012 at 5:53 pm #

    Great Stuff Jason…Everyone I know should be reading this. Thanks for being real

  23. Christian Lange January 2, 2012 at 7:10 pm #

    Dear Jason,

    thank you for this. In 2009 I quit a good manager job I hate to get moore focussed on my inventions I made in my free-time. In the end of 2008, after 10 years without training, I took my old bars and weights and sprinting on the Track once a week. Today, at 42 years, I’m stronger than I was 20 years ago and I’m quite fast on the track. It was very helpful getting back in training to have positive energy for my new and own job around my inventions. This year will be great because in the next weeks production of my invention will start. I got support from positive people believing in my ideas and all is going in the right direction. In this moment I’m out of cash but this is not a big problem because in the very next time things will change. Thank you again for your positive comments.

    • Jason Ferruggia January 4, 2012 at 9:58 am #

      I love it! Great, stuff, Christian. Kill it!

  24. Jonathan January 2, 2012 at 7:46 pm #

    “The strength I gained in the weight room was so much more than physical.” Right on brother! Great post.

  25. Malcolm January 2, 2012 at 9:11 pm #

    Awesome post! just the type of thing I’m going through right now, and just the type of thing I needed to read Thanks Jason

  26. Bob January 2, 2012 at 10:03 pm #

    Dear Jason,
    Thank you for a very heartfelt post. I passed it to a friend who was recently released from
    prison. I hope he accepts it in a positive spirit. Thanks again.

  27. darNell January 3, 2012 at 12:47 am #

    thx for posting! everything I’ve been thinking, but couldn’t articulate as well.

  28. David Walker January 3, 2012 at 2:01 am #

    not just strength training – life training. best writing yet, jason. absolutely love it. gonna pass this one all around.

  29. Alex January 3, 2012 at 2:32 am #

    Wont go into much detail, cause it is deeply personal, but i also had my long journey into hell and back..
    After being a young man who had it all untill my 20’s (went to the best college and university) i had the urge to see what life was really about so i went deep into the rabbit hole (partying was my midlle name) i got to know the best and the worst in this life, good people, bad people, generosity and anger, i enjoyed every feeling this world has to offer.. (i have no regrets).
    I lived fast and at 30 years old i was in the hospital with a tube stuck deep inside my chest, on oxygen 24-7 and hoping i wouldnt have to lose one lung.. that really opened my eyes to what life is really about and made me hold on to this world..
    I came back, got better, eliminated every addiction, every bad habit, every bad influence and finally discovered that it’s all about the simple things..
    I got back to the iron game after 10 years (altough my doctors say i cant) i workout, i swim, i stretch, i go for long rides on my bike, and i’m happier than ever, i really feel like a kid again..
    The only thing i crave now is that freakin’ last set of deads !! man, you just cant beat that feeling.. gettin to your limit and still put another 2 plates on the bar, the acomplishment of knowing that when you put your mind to it you really can do anything, this confidence really spreads into everything else in life.
    Thanks for bringing this kind of subject into the light, thanks for being as you are and for keeping yourself and others motivated, thanks for keeping it interesting !!

    • Jason Ferruggia January 4, 2012 at 10:00 am #

      Damn. Thanks for sharing that story. Great to hear.

  30. Eric Cressey January 3, 2012 at 4:31 am #

    Great post, Jay. Congrats on turning things around!

  31. Melissa Roberts January 3, 2012 at 6:31 am #

    This post is beyond awesome!! A true testament to what hard work, passion and that never give up attitude can do for ANYONE and EVERYONE. Thanks for sharing some powerful thoughts Jason!

  32. Michael Boyle January 3, 2012 at 7:03 am #

    Great post Jay. So true. Everyone should write their goals today. I finally did it two years ago and it’s been a great two years.

    • Jason Ferruggia January 4, 2012 at 10:02 am #

      Thanks, Mike! Appreciate you dropping by. Glad to hear about your own experiences.

  33. Robert January 3, 2012 at 7:06 am #

    This is a great post. Very well written, very inspirational. Thank you.

  34. Dean Coulson January 3, 2012 at 7:52 am #

    Excellent post, exactly what I am doing this minute, taking steps to get the life I want.

    Keep doing your thing Jay. Awesome!

  35. Nestor Ahumada January 3, 2012 at 7:55 am #

    Made my eyes teary…filled my spirit , GOD bless you Jay

  36. Nate Miyaki January 3, 2012 at 8:27 am #

    Great post my brother. Reminds me of the Bruce Lee quote: “Each man binds himself; the fetters are ignorance, laziness, preoccupation with self, and fear.” Thanks for your advice and motivation to improve in all areas.

  37. Robbie January 3, 2012 at 8:55 am #

    You are an inspiration to us all Jay.

    Keep doing what you do. You are a winner and nobody can take that from you.

    Have a great 2012!

  38. Susan McMann January 3, 2012 at 9:09 am #

    Great motivation! Thanks for sharing.

  39. Ronald Haas Jr. January 3, 2012 at 10:35 am #

    Great article and I can totally relate to set backs. This past year has been recovering from a neck and lumbar fusion, which has kept me out of the gym.

    I remember before I got hurt at work that the gym was my release of all the negative energy and with all the politics’s with attorney’s and doctor’s and the worst part the medication.Yes I have been diligent to keep the pain med’s to a minimum.

    I want to thank Niel Rishoi my partner in life for all the support and for using Jason’s advice for me to get through all this.Jason’s advice has saved my ass in so many way’s.

    Thank You
    Ron Haas Jr.

    • Jason Ferruggia January 4, 2012 at 10:02 am #

      Thanks for sharing, Ron. You’ll be back, better than ever.

  40. Abdiel Rodriguez January 3, 2012 at 12:15 pm #

    Your best post ever! Thanks!

  41. Rafael January 3, 2012 at 1:21 pm #

    “Cut the dead weight” AWESOME POST…I will send everyone to it…for sure a must read!

  42. Ariel Couceiro January 3, 2012 at 1:44 pm #

    Hi Jason, this is very inspiring!, Thanks for sharing with us.

  43. zach even - esh January 3, 2012 at 8:27 pm #

    I am REALLY psyched 4 u, brutha. I remember the days of squeezing in a few exchanges via AOL Instant Messenger while you ate, lifted and checked e mails during your lunch, the only time you had free during your 11-12 hr days.

    I remember NYC…. ha ha, that was FUN!

    I remember buying your equipment from your bro’s house…..

    I remember the days between them as well.

    I remember when you brought Jen to the gym during my first seminar and you told me about “this cool chick I’m dating….” ha ha

    I saw your eyes and KNEW you would open another gym, even though you said it’s highly unlikely…. I KNEW U just needed a lil’ rest….

    I love ya, dude, I am really happy 4 u, my man, it only gets better :)


    • Jason Ferruggia January 4, 2012 at 10:05 am #

      Ha! Thanks so much, my brother! Means a lot coming from you. I really appreciate it. And it does definitely keep getting better. Much love, homie.

  44. FON January 4, 2012 at 8:15 pm #

    This is just what I needed to see, after suffering from major depression and suicidal thoughts, and basically thinking there was nothing to live for, my training and diet have literally saved my life and give me focus when I feel disconnected.

    I have to say shut up to all the haters who tell me my focus on what makes me feel good is too intense. Trying to tell me I should be happy because I am fit already. Now as I move forward with my career, I just need the courage to ignore the fast money, and go where I know growth is possible and I will learn the most to enrich me in the years to go.

  45. Mike T Nelson January 5, 2012 at 9:20 am #

    Awesome stuff man. Way to stay determined and not just WISH your life was better; you took massive action and MADE it happen. Excellent work.

    You pointed out the biggest lesson I have learned over the past couple years “State before skills.” You have to be in the right state of mind to make it happen.

    Your state is the most important thing. If your state is not right, find a way (as you did) to fix it.

    Don’t like your current situation? Figure out a way to be positive about what is coming and THEN go do the work to make it happen.

    Sitting around pissing and moaning every hour of the day. Working while you are still pissed about it is not much better either.

    We can control our state. It is not predetermined. We decide, every day, every hour, every second. We are in control, for better or worse.

    Time to make it happen and great work to lead from the front.

    Congrats to you on all of your success and all the people you have helped.


    Rock on
    Mike T Nelson PhD(c)

  46. David January 5, 2012 at 4:00 pm #

    Your the man Jason, I recently got contacted by an old friend from school I have known since I was 9, at school I was a bit of a no hoper and as I got older got mixed in with the wrong crowd. This same friend is a nice guy, but he smokes, drinks and gambles pretty much everyday. I let people like this in my life go, I don’t have as many friends as I used to, but I don’t need them. I’ve found internal peace and happiness. I quit smoking, quit binge drinking, quit going out chasing skirt all weekend wasting my money. I’m now focused, in great shape and health and have goals and aspirations I am working towards. I love the part of this article about cutting the dead weight, because its so true. I read this article at the righht time because i was going to “do the right thing” and call this no hoper back, but now after reading this, i no longer feel guilty. That guys going to go have to find another “drinking buddy” for this weekend, cuz I’ve realised, that’s all a lot of those people are, they’re not friends, there just people you go out and get drunk with. My health and goals are my main priority now, and the people i spend time with are directly related to this.
    Thanks for the good site mate,
    Take care,
    Melbourne, Australia

    • Jason Ferruggia January 24, 2012 at 6:46 pm #

      Good stuff, David. I like where your heads at.

  47. Dwayne January 5, 2012 at 7:14 pm #

    I can’t remember who said it, but it went something like “The mountain in which a successful person stands on, is made up of all their past failures”

  48. Conor January 6, 2012 at 12:50 pm #

    Great article!!
    Your story is very inspiring! I’m going to do my best to take some of your advice and implement it into my own life. Thank you

  49. JMJ January 6, 2012 at 4:57 pm #

    Bravo. Great way to start 2012. Thanks for this.

  50. Alex January 6, 2012 at 5:18 pm #

    you got a very good point there Seb..
    I think that the choice is eliminating bad people, not good people who are just going thru a bad moment.

  51. scott thomas January 6, 2012 at 7:55 pm #

    you’re awesome dude. i have a serious anger issue. can you please tell me how you eliminated your anger? thank you.

    • scott thomas January 7, 2012 at 10:56 am #

      hey, maybe you’ve stumbled upon a new career path … life coach?? may work well alone or combined with strength/conditioning coach, especially out here in california! i’ll be your first client!!

    • Jason Ferruggia January 24, 2012 at 6:42 pm #

      I just kind of got over it. There wasn’t one thing really. It was just a combination of many lifestyle changes and a different way of looking at life. Meditation, reading the right books, eliminating negativity, etc. It takes work, believe me.

  52. Mayank Katyal January 9, 2012 at 1:23 am #

    Simply Superb…NO Words..makes me introspect..thanks a ton for this article.Wish you a superlife ahead..

  53. Rob Gascoyne January 9, 2012 at 4:57 am #

    “I always thought that rah-rah success talk was corny and clichéd.” It is.

    But this wasn’t. You’ve done what all the other success bloggers can’t seem to manage. Show the path while keeping the story understated and real.

    I’m converted. Look forward to your next article:)

  54. Chuck January 9, 2012 at 4:21 pm #

    Not everyone is meant to succeed or be happy, just the way it is. You’re post is so accurate because you are who you’re around, for sure. Quality advice, good stuff.

  55. Nick January 11, 2012 at 3:04 am #

    Great post Jason, thanks!

    All the very best for 2012

  56. Keeon January 23, 2012 at 10:01 am #

    This is a very inspirational post. I like the 2001 year you had. My goal is to have one like that in 2012. With hard work, good decision making and dedication I know it’s a done deal.

  57. Jason Ferruggia January 24, 2012 at 6:41 pm #

    Here’s the key point that I hope everyone reads…

    NOBODY ever saw me negative or depressed nor will they ever. That’s rule #1 in life. People don’t want to be around negative or depressed people. If you have those feelings keep them to your damn self and get over it somehow, someway.

    Always project a happy, positive image and soon enough things will turn around. Never let people see you down or it will soon become an inescapable reality.

    • Alex January 25, 2012 at 2:31 am #

      That is some solid piece of advice Jason !!
      My area is psychology and let me say that you are totally right..

  58. Jason Ferruggia January 24, 2012 at 6:43 pm #

    Great to hear it Rich

  59. Tommy Perreault June 3, 2012 at 10:57 am #


    I really appreciate your transparency and openness in your post, very motivating and Im looking forward to part 2

  60. Lenora June 4, 2012 at 7:03 pm #


    I am a health nut, fitness trainer, RN and mother of five children. I pretty much hop around FB and look for positive people who are passionate in what they believe in. I have to say your words have moved me, if you didn’t make it as “the world’s greatest strength coach” then you could have been one hell of a writer! I live and breath everything in this piece you have written, but always nice to get a kick in the ass every once in awhile. Thank you, I will be checking in more frequently that’s for sure!

  61. Padraic Wood June 7, 2012 at 4:59 pm #

    Jay, this might be my favorite post of yours (although I haven’t read the new Inner Circle stuff yet). It’s always timely. Man, I don’t know how you do it but you really cut to the core and inspire a whole lot of people. Congratulations on your success and recent marriage. I look forward to coming out and training with you guys on the West Coast.

  62. Rob King August 5, 2012 at 10:27 am #


    Incredible post man.

    Thank you for your all you have done and continue to do.


  63. ben jakeman August 5, 2012 at 10:58 am #

    Inspirational stuff as always Jason,

    We get over it and makes us stronger in the longrun.

    I have never had so much energy since starting the renegade diet and feeling the healthiest strongest and most confident ive ever been.

    Recommend it to everyone and have I inspired and keep getting people into resistance training. You will never turn back, its addictive.

    Thankyou for inspiring me even more.

  64. Greg August 5, 2012 at 12:13 pm #

    Another great one. Especially cutting out the negative people! Hardest thing to do! I just back into Muay thai and now will start lifting again because you’re right-there is a something special that happens to your mind/body under the bar that translates not in looks but in presence and it’s cathartic and confidence-building. Congrats on your rise.

  65. Justin August 13, 2012 at 2:28 am #

    Hey Jason, thanks for sharing this post.

    I’ve followed your blog for a few years and even the strength and muscle building info has helped me overcome many life hurdles. This post takes it to a whole new level.

    As a fitness pro myself, who loves training young guys to build muscle and get lean to increase their confidence, I’ve decided to take things to the next level so I can also go ‘from hell and back’.

    That’s why I’ve joined the KBL mastermind last month, and now I’m busting my balls to travel to California (I’m living in Cyprus) next month to achieve one of my most important goals – to shake your hand and thank you in person for inspiring and helping me.

    Thanks again Jason, and you’ve helped and inspired me (and probably thousands of other guys) maybe even more than you know.


  66. Vix- Miss Fitness Life August 13, 2012 at 4:14 pm #

    Killer Post Jason- thanks so much for sharing.

    Its really inpsiring to hear the story behind your success, and of course the success you have brought to others.

  67. Joel January 28, 2013 at 3:29 pm #

    Wow, awesome honesty man! Might be considered “gone” from your life, haha. I regrettably slacked and did poorly in school and never thought about the negative consequences it had on my confidence later in life. Thanks for the story, positive motivation, and twitter tips. Much respect.


  68. Liz Connor March 3, 2013 at 5:07 pm #

    I am interested in the possitive comments. good reminders. I totally believe “to stay out of people’s storms and stay in your own peace”
    I am a female that has done many things I have been told I can not do. I have been a single mother. I have been well off and at the poverty level again. “Bouncing back is the key as life happens”

    I have built houses. I currently have a new house for sale in a booming economy (here in our region) I used to do it for a living but choose a simpler life and now do it on the side. I have also passed it on to my 3 (adult ) children. I encountered every stero-type comment working in a male dominated industry. But wouldn’t change it for a minute. When the “doubting downers” and “know it alls” make negative comments or offer unsolicited comments or “HELP” all I ask them is “How many times have you done this?

    Good to hear the path to success. Also the reality of “human” emotions and pitfalls that we sometimes fall into.

    Keep thinking the way you are!

  69. Chris July 10, 2013 at 12:13 pm #


    You are the f-ing man dude. This article came to me at the right time. Just got into a negative funk in my life, and I was taking it out on others and moping and shit. Right before I read this, I decided to change that. This helped me a lot. I had cut out a lot of people in my life, and yes it’s a bitch and lonely, but it was necessary. My climb out of this hole is just the start. Keep up the great work!

  70. glen chaytor January 12, 2014 at 8:43 pm #

    jason ferruggia has changed my life in multible ways…thank you…