At 40 Years Young, Dedicated Dad Matt, Conquered Old Demons To Get The Superhero Physique Of His Dreams

1. What were the series of moments that led to your “trigger” moment to begin your journey with RNT?

I weighed roughly 300lbs in my teens and with some hard work I successfully lost 100lbs. But, I never fully achieved the peak condition or the body of my dreams. I grew up feeling like a chubby kid despite winning several MVP awards, championships and All-Star games on youth tackle football teams.

I love comic books and I used to secretly wish I could have the same physique as Batman or Wolverine or Deadpool. I must have been 8 or 9 years old when I tried doing 100 crunches before bed one night and furiously wondered why I didn’t have six pack abs the next day!

Pretty soon after that, my father abandoned our family, leaving us all devastated. My dreams of having a strong physique was not realised, instead I was a 300 lb teenager, no longer an athlete but a drummer in a punk band, addicted to alcohol and various illegal and legal substances.

During the next 10 years I worked hard to improve myself but still never had the body of my dreams, which was frustrating. I had made some progress but I was stuck. While I was better off than before, with everyone around me congratulating me for being sober and losing weight, I still didn’t have the body that met my ideals.

I studied and became a personal trainer in a gym to try to figure out what they knew that I didn’t. I got strong and could deadlift 525lbs! But I still didn’t look like a comic book superhero.

I studied nutrition, medicine and anything that might prove relevant. But I was still stuck. My wife likes to joke that I tried keto when it was only known for treating epilepsy. I tried paleo before anyone had heard of it. I became proficient in extended fasting and even went 21 days without food once. But I still didn’t look like Batman.

2. What were your biggest problems before starting RNT?

Prior to starting to work with RNT Fitness, I would go hardcore on whatever workout or diet plan I had bought into at the time but never with a long term plan.

With my colourful past and years of abusing my body, I’d injure myself frequently and fall off the plan I was on. I would basically yo-yo diet, gaining back whatever weight I’d lost and would try to justify it as cutting and bulking.

I never managed to cut to a level I was happy but instead tried so hard, I’d crash and rebound. I’d wind up feeling like I failed again. That depressing feeling would often lead me into a cycle of overeating and self-loathing.

Ironically, I actually help people with this sort of trauma in my social work career and have studied extensively in college. However my own solution was elusive. Not seeing the forest for the trees is how I think of it in retrospect. I had collected all the pieces but couldn’t fit them together into a finished puzzle.

3. What has the process been like, and the biggest challenges and obstacles?

I am actually colour blind and working with my coach was like having a really good teacher nearby who I could call upon to give me a hint as to what colour I was really looking at.

With his expertise on my side, I was able to decipher the missing colours and finally finish the puzzle!

I freaking LOOK like BATMAN now! My biggest challenges and obstacles were finding the right balance of activity and satiety on reduced calories.

I love being active and spend many hours weekly playing my drums, riding my longboard, playing basketball and boxing. I love these activities so much, they’d cause me to be overly hungry at times and I’d need my RNT coach to serve me some humble pie for dessert.

My coach would remind me that my activity level is a double edged sword and that I needed to stick with the plan during The Process Phase and even more so through THE GRIND!

Through the process of giving up control to a coach, just trusting in the process and seeing such great results, I ended up hiring an NBA shooting coach to help me take my enjoyment of playing basketball to a new level!

Riding my longboard has become easier and therefore even more fun, as my coach helped me strengthen old injuries. Even running now feels effortless where it used to leave me with painful knees for days.

I’d sometimes have to walk up the stairs sideways due to Osgood-Schlatter Disease after too much boarding or a heavy leg day. Now I’m pain free and convinced I’m going to learn to dunk since I can now play basketball all day without pain!

I’ve become more social too. I’ve opened myself up again where I spent a lot of time closed off to the world with headphones in, sunglasses on and a scowl on my face as I was working too hard to lose weight or angry about the scale weight that morning.

Now I have neighbours asking me to teach some shooting skills to their grandkids, random strangers approaching me for conversations and I have the confidence to engage in full conversations with anybody. It’s allowing me to take my business to the next level.

5. What almost kept you from joining?

What nearly kept me from joining RNT was fear. I knew there would be nowhere to hide if I joined RNT, no excuses and no looking back. I knew there were pieces of me that were holding me back and I was afraid of letting go of things that provided me comfort.

Over dependence on caffeine, cannabis and alcohol in my past would have to be addressed. I knew I’d have to face all my demons, either one by one or all at once.

To make it harder, my wife’s family is a big, Irish-Canadian, beer loving party! I didn’t want to have to give up beer entirely but rather learn to control myself around it. I’ve come to a similar place with using cannabis for prayer and devotion or drumming sessions. Coffee now seems like a part of a meal rather than an addiction ruling my life and disrupting my sleep. I’m FREE!

4. How has the physical been the vehicle?

Wow, this physical being the vehicle thing is FOR REAL!

The amount of self-control and dedication it takes to get into this shape and then to have the mindset to keep this for life has changed me in so many ways!

I have always struggled with money. I don’t remember thinking about money before my father left. After that, I had to grow up fast, get a job and contribute. Through college I worked 4 different jobs to make ends meet.

My wife and I both have great jobs now but I’ve never really felt in control financially. The skills I was learning and implementing through the RNT journey has helped me to better plan and execute financially.

I have started investing in stocks and bonds! I started my own clothing brand, Hellcat Clothing Company, and opened an Online Store! Within a month I was already producing kick ass boardsports apparel and shipping them out the door! I used the profits of these sales to fund the photoshoot to immortalise my RNT Checkpoint so it wouldn’t detract from my family’s budgetary requirements or my teen daughters’ growing wardrobes. Yet again finding that balance!

I even have ideas for more business projects and have begun writing a book called “Tiger Stripes” by Matt the Cat. (I’ll save the story of my name for another time!).

Another true statement about me is I went through a handful of years in the recent past where my mental health had fallen into disarray. I have struggled with anger all my life and looking back, I think body dysmorphia and unrealistic expectations were the root causes.

My parents got me into boxing, Karate and drumming as ways to control my anger and learn discipline. They were good management strategies but could not address the root of my mental dysfunction.

As a young father these issues and my mental state spiralled out of control and I sought the help of a psychiatrist. He diagnosed me as Bipolar with ADHD. As I have an aunt with similar conditions, I took his advice (pills) and wound up in a worse place mentally.

After that, I used only Cannabis to manage my symptoms and had a prescription for it for many years.

Cannabis was also the only thing I preferred to use for travel anxiety also, which developed in my adult years. I thought it was better than Ativan or Xanax my friends or colleagues would take to go on vacation. However, this line of thinking led me to be arrested in a country where it’s not legal and also put me in danger while trying to obtain it when on vacation. I knew I needed to change this behaviour but the experiences with prescription medications left me without a plan to change.

Another struggle all my life has been jealousy. Not over material things like money, fame, cars and houses. I was always jealous of athletes, movie stars and really anybody who had the type of physique I wanted for myself. Seeing ordinary people achieve extraordinary physiques with RNT was the piece that finally made me jump all in!

These weren’t million dollar athletes with every genetic and professional advantage. These weren’t air brushed cover models or steroid enhanced bodybuilders. Just regular people like me. I KNEW then, I could DO THIS! And I DID IT!!

I now no longer need cannabis, nor any sort of medication. I no longer suffer from anxiety or rage. I am no longer Bipolar nor do I suffer from ADHD. In working with my coach, I have re-written the stories in my head about my old injuries holding me back. About the person I used to be and the circumstances from which I escaped. I now see myself as the hero of my own story.

I needed a Yoda to my Skywalker. A Ras-al-Gul to my Bruce Wayne. I look in the mirror and absolutely love what I see smiling back at me! This is the MAN I used to dream of becoming as a young BOY. I no longer feel envy when I see other people in peak condition. Now it’s like a nod of respect to one another. Like an acknowledgement of what it took to get there. A secret society of super-heroes! I am in control of everything in my life that used to keep me stuck. I am FREE from the past and the MUCK!

I’ve opened my home gym doors to old high school friends who need guidance and want help regaining their strength! Two of my old buddies have each lost over 50lbs with my help. I try to mimic my coach’s balance of no-nonsense and compassion. “A good Coach will tell you what you NEED to hear, not what you WANT to hear.”

My 13 year old daughter lifts weights with me now and she too has revamped her physique and is thrilled about it! Not only has the physical been the vehicle, it has transformed me into a vessel for helping others! My checkpoint photoshoot serves as my gospel to inspire others to follow.

With all the above said, the changes I have made with RNT’s guidance have had the most impact on my family - my lovely wife and two beautiful daughters. Having finally escaped my mental prison and the demons that lived there, I am finally fully present with my family. I clean and do the dishes more often. I engage my kids’ minds more often and am teaching them to play the guitar.

I’m no longer concerned about my body weight in the morning because I’m in control of it. I’m no longer struggling with menu choices or overindulging at parties because I am in full control. I’m more patient as I’m not struggling with myself as I used to. I am more financially mature and better prepared for the future. I’m a better father; a better husband, son, brother and friend.

I’m the Best Matt the Cat I have ever been, in every single way and I intend to stay this way… in the shape of my life… for LIFE!!!

Fed up of conflicting information?

You can start learning right now and benefit from all our expertise for free. The knowledge you need to get on the right path with your whole life transformation is one click away.

Start Learning Now


Look your best, feel your best, and achieve life-long results with our unique and proven Five-Phase Transformation Journey.

Sign Up

Are you ready to transform your body in 2024?

Take our scorecard to find out if RNT is a fit in under 10 minutes.

Take The Free Quiz

Read Chapter One For Free

Start reading our Amazon best-selling book today and apply our five-phase methodology to feel, look and perform at your best.

Start Reading Now

Are you ready to start your transformation journey in 2024?

Enquire Now