Do these 4 exercises and you’ll be in the best shape of your life

James Julian
5 min readNov 23, 2022

I am a tall, genetically lean person. Prior to the whole COVID mess, I was working my butt off at the gym trying to gain weight.

This has been the story of my fitness life.

Being very slim is not typically seen as an advantage for guys, and my 160-pound weight was not cutting it for me.

My goal in my late 30s in the lead-up to the pandemic was modest: hit 170 pounds. I was starting at around 160 and I got to 167 before everything fell apart.

With the world (including gyms) shut down, I first lost weight, then gained a lot in the wrong way.

I drank alcohol heavily during that entire period and, with the gym closed, didn’t move around enough.

In the lead-up to last Christmas, I slipped a disc in my back for a second time.

Now I had alcohol use disorder AND a sedentary lifestyle.

In the week between Christmas and New Year’s, I wound up weighing myself for some reason.

I stepped on the scale and immediately and loudly exclaimed, “THAT CAN’T BE RIGHT?!”

My mom, who was visiting for the holidays, chuckled in the kitchen.

But it was right.

I had blown past my 170-pound goal all the way to 175 pounds, but for all the wrong reasons.