Interview with Extreme Weight Loss Program Inventor – Justin Lawrence
May 13, 2014 by Mike Westerdal
Filed under Articles, Athlete Interviews, Health and Fitness, Interviews, Recent Posts, Specialization Training Reviews, Sports Training & Performance, Strength Training
Interview with Justin Lawrence (Extreme Weight Loss Program Inventor.)
Interviewed by CB Reporter Ben Tatar
Justin Lawrence is the inventor of the Extreme Weight Loss program. Justin Lawrence is also a 27 year old strength Coach and also does fitness modeling and bodybuilding on the side. His entire life has revolved around health and fitness. He pursued Law Enforcement for a short period of time but realized it wasn’t for him although he did want a career that was meaningful and had purpose.
He recently decided to create an Extreme Weight Loss project where he would devote himself and many others for ONE YEAR to help transform someone’s life and help them lose 100 lbs!!! It’s been two months and the winner of the challenge/project has already lost 20/100 lbs! Let’s meet Justin Lawrence, the creator of the Extreme Weight Loss Program!
CRITICAL BENCH: Justin, tell Critical Bench readers about yourself!
My name is Justin Lawrence. I am 27 year old part-time Strength Coach and full-time Rec Supervisor at a 14 Million dollar Rec/Aquatic Center on the West Coast of Florida. I like to consider myself a “Fitness Entrepreneur”. I was born in Douglas County Georgia, raised in Ashley Falls, Massachusetts and since 8 I been in the Tampa Bay Area (Minus College).
My parents Rob & Ruth Lawrence have been married for over 30 years and I have older sister, Rael who is 31, and a beautiful girlfriend Paulina.
Ever since I was 8 I knew it was my dream to be a pro athlete. Everything about sports and the glamour of Professional Sports intrigued me, inspired me and motivated me. When the realism hit that I probably wouldn’t have the chance to be a pro athlete, I realized I wanted to train them. So in 2011, I started my own side business to start that venture.
Obviously it started small with just a few personal training clients and working with few local High schools, High school athletes, and college athletes but I felt as in I was headed in the right direction.
CRITICAL BENCH: Tell us about your program “The EXWL Challenge.” How did it emerge? What motivated you to help millions get fit?
Well the only other career I considered and pursued was Law Enforcement. Lot of my friends and all my uncles were in high levels of it and I felt the need to find a meaningful career/purpose in life.
After doing well in the academy with a high B average, I hit a point where my heart wasn’t in it and I felt like that could be a danger to me and others. So I left. I struggled with the idea of Health/Fitness being a selfish career and hard to support a family on.
One day I was sitting at home and turned on my first episode of ABC’s Extreme Weight Loss. I started to get so emotional watching it and I had no idea why, as I never struggled with weight. Then it just hit me.
This was my way to have it all; to pursue a career in what I loved and to have true purpose and meaning, to give back, and change someone’s life forever through my training. I instantly started planning my own version of the show. 4 months of planning, a total of 6 months after I saw that episode the birth of “The EXWL Challenge” was formed!
A 1-year fully sponsored program (Chick-fil-A being one of the main ones) to help the chosen individual lose 100 lbs safely and set them on a new and healthy life path. I gathered as many sponsors as I could to help them through any obstacle possible, eliminating any excuse for success.
Along with challenges to keep them motivated every weigh in (4 weigh-ins, every 3 months, 25 lbs + a weigh-in) I did online application first then invited those qualified individuals to a boot camp to perform basic set of exercises then personal interviews with a panel of 9 judges compiled of local business owners, health and beauty experts, fitness professionals, college students, local politicians and few average Joe’s.
We created a point system, tallied everyone one up, and then made a final decision. 32 year old (33 now) Joe Walsh ended up being the winner. He was the perfect fit. Starting weight 366 lbs. desperate need of a change yet hadn’t had the weight too long. Was athletic in HS so he understood what it took to be and maintain a healthy body, currently diet wasn’t terrible but not good enough to lose weight and didn’t smoke.
I wanted someone who was going to do it for themselves but yet again the love of your life is an acceptable reason for change. His 6 year old Daughter Maddy, who suffers from her own medical condition, would be enough to keep him fighting on his weak days.
Joe also lost his mother and father by High school so hardship and struggle is not something unfamiliar to him. I know he was the right fit and so far my gut hasn’t been wrong.
My goal was to start gradual but very consistent and functional. I want to create independence by the end of this year so when our time was up together he was fully equipped to continue his healthy lifestyle. We are currently about 3 months in, 2 days away from our official weigh-in.
We have seen great changes and are RIGHT on pace. Currently we train 6 days a week, with lot of low impact core and plyometric exercises with a nice mix of cardio, resistance and strength training.
Doing my best to get a wide-variety of exercise and to avoid muscle memory and limit our plateaus, making them as least frustrating as possible. We are shedding weight but developing muscle and turning fat into muscle so after the 100 lb weight loss, so Joe isn’t just a walking layer of extra skin.
Regardless Joe does talk about getting a skin tightening surgery, but as his main trainer I want to give him the option to not have to get that done. Let me know if you want more detail of actual training and diet! You can find more details at the facebook link below.
https://www.facebook.com/events/1382704885285313/ (Additional Videos and Pics, no specific Link for videos)
CRITICAL BENCH: It’s very admirable what you’re doing. What sports do you play?
I’ve played almost every sport competitively except Basketball. My first sport/love was Hockey. I played Right Wing and Goalie in Middle school and High school (Roller & Ice). I started running in High School too, more so distance. I played Hockey with my two best friends and one got into terrible automobile accident and almost died. For years he was limited and couldn’t play.
It wasn’t the same without him next season so I stopped playing and started focusing on other sports. I ended up running track in College (400M) at a small school in Washington State. I got bored just running though, so I bounced around to few different sports in my 20’s until I finally found my niche’ again.
I played Semi-Pro Soccer for almost two years (goalkeeper) and semi pro football for 4. I even gave MMA a try, getting into the cage after only 3 months of actual formal training (boxed friends a lot growing up).
Finally I realized I need to find a hobby/sport that would go along with the progression of my career or actually making money. Physique Bodybuilding starting getting big right around 2011-2012 so unfortunately it was a tough time to jump into it, but I had the dedication and previous training.
After my first show I was hooked and I have done 3 since my start in 2013. For little cross training and cardio I started playing hockey again and am a starting goalie in the TCHL. I also delve occasionally into charity events where I male model, fitness modeling and acting to help build my resume.
CRITICAL BENCH: What are your future goals?
Future goals are to have a lucrative full time job of training only. I want to get my first TV spot as a celeb or extreme weight loss trainer. If I can go back to school and finish my degree I would like to get my NSCA (C.S.C.S) and also become Strength Coach in the NFL or NCAA. Earning my IFBB Physique Pro Card is also a long-term goal of mine as well.
CRITICAL BENCH: Well, Justin, I’m sure your weight loss program/show will continue to help millions of people become in their best shape. Is there anything else you would like to say?
To promote a newly growing (senior based) sport at my job called Pickleball, Jeff Baker (current friend and fellow employee at the time) played for over 24 hours straight in 2011 and 2012 to set a new world record. If was not honored by Guinness like we hoped but World Record Academy did end up honoring it.
Click Here to Learn More About The World Record Academy. Also lot of people ask, but I got the nickname Justin “ironman” Lawrence not based off the superhero, but because of my whole athletic career I never was the best or most naturally gifted but always the toughest and hardest working. I also kept the nickname after getting my iron tear tattoos; it kind of summed it all up for me.
(Video of a workout/challenge I offered to my clients/viewers)
To Connect with Justin, visit his facebook fan page at https://www.facebook.com/exwlchallenge