Bankruptcy, The Closing Of My Gym, And Donuts…


Bankruptcy, Gym and Donuts

The loss of a loved one.

Life-threatening illness.


There are certain life events that are so gut wrenching, so debilitating, that they can crush the health habits of even the most disciplined among us.

For me, it was recently shutting down my gym and filing bankruptcy.

Since I was a kid, all I wanted to do was own a karate school.  Later in life, as I became devoted to fitness training, it seemed natural to blend my two passions into my own business.  In 2004 I opened Metro Martial Arts & Fitness in Columbus, Ohio.  I was living my dream.

But it wasn’t all sunshine and rose petals.  My business was born on heavy debt, and from the very beginning, I was playing catch up.  Year after year of 14 hour days and my failure to adequately cope with the financial pressures eroded most of what I held dear in my life.  I lost touch with friends, destroyed my relationship, and to large, extent lost the passion I once had – especially for the martial arts.

I know I did good work.  The outpouring of support I received from my former clients and students went a long way in reminding me of that.  Computer programmers lost 30 pounds.  College professors fought off osteoporosis.  And many of the hundreds of kids who came through my doors over the years improved their grades, served their community, and protected themselves from school yard bullies.  People came up to me with hugs and told me in no uncertain terms, “You changed my life.”

But as much as I succeeded as a trainer and teacher, I failed as a business owner.

There is no other way to put it when you find yourself sitting in a bankruptcy lawyer’s office.  And I was a complete wreck during the weeks leading up to that moment.  My diet consisted almost exclusively of donuts, coffee, pizza, and beer.  Working out was the farthest thing from my mind.  I didn’t shave and I was lucky if I took a shower every third day.  I was losing my dream and I was letting it effect the very essence of my being.

But there comes a point (maybe when you notice that you smell worse than your dog) that you have to snap out of it.

There comes a time when you have to ask yourself if you really believe all of the motivational bullshit you’ve been spewing to others over the years.  You have to look at yourself in the mirror and remember that you have the choice to not let this event define you.  And then you have to move on.

Below are a few things that helped me through this difficult time.  I hope that others going through the trials of life can find some benefit.


Move. I’m notorious for slamming long slow cardio.  But if 30 minutes of the treadmill trot while watching Oprah is all you can muster at the moment, it’s way better than twisting another bottle cap.  Clean the house, play with the dog, go for a long walk.  Do ANYTHING that will get the blood flowing, even just a little.  For me it was supersets of chin ups and push ups – not max effort mind you – just 5 chin ups and 10 push ups repeated 3 times.  I always felt better afterward.

Put The Fitness Goals On Hold. So you were working on packing on 10 pounds of muscle before the car accident?  Or you were getting ready for your first powerlifting meet before you accepted the certified mail for the foreclosure on your home?  I was experimenting with a new program for losing stomach fat when things fell apart.  Stop.  Just stop.  Your new goal is to come out on the other side of this major life challenge in the best way possible.  Everything else can wait.  It will be there for you on the rebound.

Find The Silver Lining. I played fetch with my beloved golden retriever Coda for an hour yesterday.  I had NEVER done that before – it was damned near impossible with the hours I was putting in.  Everything is a trade off.  And as brutal as it can be at first, once the smoke clears you can start to see that the major life changes often yield some unexpected benefits.

Let It Out. Losing my business was pain like I had never experienced before.  And part of getting through it were the tears and the anger.  Holding it in would have only prolonged this stage and made it difficult to get some forward momentum.  So whether you journal, talk to a close friend, seek professional counseling, or just let loose with a good cry – the release you feel can help clear the path for moving on.

Let It Go. Nearly all of the life events I am referring to involve great loss.  For me the greatest pain came from refusing to acknowledge the loss.  But one small gesture – bagging up all of the t-shirts with my business logo that I had acquired over the years and donating them to a thrift store – gave me much needed finality.  Find what works for you, some gesture or symbol of the end, and then don’t look back.

On a long enough timeline, life will throw us all a few curve balls.  Everyone goes through tough times and if you’ve made it out on the other side, I’d love to hear your story (or just a comment about whatever below)

– Vic

P.S. – I will still be running Gym Junkies and posting new content each week along with John & Rannoch.  I actually am working on 2 new BIG projects for Gym Junkies that I think you guys will absolutely love.  While my gym may be gone, my love for helping you reach your goals is not!

Bankruptcy, The Closing Of My Gym, And Donuts...
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Bankruptcy, The Closing Of My Gym, And Donuts...
There are certain life events that are so gut wrenching, so debilitating, that they can crush the health habits of even the most disciplined among us. For me, it was recently shutting down my gym and filing bankruptcy.
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  1. Vic, I understand your pain AND have felt your pain. I lost my business in 2004 and filed bankruptcy also. My wife thought it would be the end of life as we knew it. But, like you I knew that I was good at what I did, but had been caught up in the “perfect storm”, loss of my largest client, Enron, and a recent investment that now overloaded me with debt. Bankruptcy allowed me to sell my building, pay off all of my vendors (except the banks) and start over. I was determined to learn from my mistakes. But like you said, YOU have the choice to handle it how you want to. Over the past five years I’ve built a new, award wining business and will soon merge with another business to form one of the most powerful creative firms here. My goal is to always surround myself with honest, passionate, smart and creative people. Only hire someone if they can do something better than you. As you said, it’s never too late to stop a bad habit. I was fortunate enough to have the love and support of a beautiful wife and two wonderful sons. Chin up (no pun), good luck and let me know if I can help in anyway!

  2. F’em A buddy FEMA.
    hang in there and good luck with the new projects.
    Whatever doesnt kill you just pisses you off and drives you further towards your goals.


  3. Keep your head up Vic! When you’re at the bottom.. there’s nowhere to go but up! .. and if shit goes to can always go back to the law field 😉 not that that field is doing any better with the economy..

    • Thanks Lana. I am looking to get work in the legal field. GymJunkies allows me to pursue my passion of health and fitness without taking nearly the time, expense, or emotional energy of owning a storefront business. I think I can go back to law and still put out quality information for GymJunkies – probably a hell of a lot more posts than when I was running my own business. Stay tuned. . .

  4. Once I told you in a mail if you offer a way to donate money (money you earned by tipping and teaching) i would donate a few bucks, i’m pretty sure more people should do it. Being a member is expensive for me but helping a bit is on my hand…

    good luck with every project you start and thanks for your work.


  5. With that large smile onthe top of your page,it’s hard to believe your went through bankruptcy. I did wonder why you weren’t writing blogs for a while, and asking for outsiders to participate . I am truly sorry your dream didnt succeed this time, and can’t wait for your strength and determination we saw in your blogs to resurface and get you back in the game. WIshing you energy to move on and make it next time around , Rosalie
    p.s. Bankruptcy is not an end, but a door to a new beginning. Good luck!

  6. Dear Vic,
    Thank you for posting your comments. Your pain is evident in your letter. It sounds like you’re starting to rebound a bit.

    It’s hard not to take this stuff personally, but remember that this was a business problem. A hard learned lesson about not taking on debt and one I’m personally still learning as a business owner.

    I’ve been doing Jason Ferrugia’s program at the age of 56 and while not seeing hoped for results, cosmetically, I found during the East Coast snowstorms that I was ready for hours of shoveling unlike many guys my age. About two weeks ago driving to work I got severe abdominal pain, surgery and enforced rest of two weeks.

    I think in the long run dealing with these types of problems makes you stronger as long as you don’t regress to drugs, alcohol, pain pills. Nature equipped you with a mind to deal with this stuff.

    If you step back and try to get some perspective there are many people struggling with worse problems, health related issues with breakdowns in mind or body for which there is no cure, immigrants coming to this country with no money, no language skills, unable to practice their former professions, etc. These people are forced to deal incredible challenges and many find eventual success.

    So, my friend, take care of yourself, be true to yourself, be honest with people. You know what you need to do, and you have what it takes.

  7. Hello Vic,

    Well, that post was certainly a surprise – I’m very sorry to hear about the loss of your gym, and filing for bankruptcy.

    I am sure many people who visit your site will wish you all the best, and so do I. It’s great that you can pull something positive out of this (the advice), and it’s nice to know that you secretly approve of the treadmill trot 😉

    Thank you,

    Mike “30 minutes in the gym” K.

    • Now now Mike. . . the treadmill trot is only permissible during times of extreme emotional anguish and only if it replaces the consumption of additional alcoholic beverages. 😉

      In all seriousness, many thanks for your comment.

  8. Vic, thanks for sharing your story. It hit home with me because next week I will move across the country without my husband. We are two weeks into a trial separation and I feel like my world has been shaken to its foundations.

    But, as I was saying to the friend who is kindly letting me live on her couch (how embarrassing!), when everything falls apart, you get the chance to figure out what you want to rebuild in its place. This spring I am going to concentrate on what I want out of life, and what I need to do to get it- I see a lot of pushups and wind sprints in my future.

    Best of luck, and I know you will land on your feet.

  9. Great post. Thank you for being so honest with your faithful readers. I’m really looking forward to the new projects! =)

    • Thanks Mimi! One of the new projects could be revealed very, very soon. The other one starts filming tomorrow. I am excited and fortunate to still have GymJunkies as an outlet for expressing my thoughts on health and fitness. Thanks again.

  10. awww Vic… sending warm comfort your way >>>>> I, too, understand loss and pain. Things suck and sometimes they suck worse! They do change us, and change is not always a bad thing! I don’t compare my pain to others because it’s always such a personal thing (let’s face it, pain is pain and it hurts!) but here’s a few of the things I’ve endured, come through stronger and have made me who I am today (and not even a psychotic nut case… most days 😉 LOL) Ok… here goes: an abusive childhood, parents killed in a car wreck when I was 17, first husband (not from U.S.) took our 1 yr old to his country for a “visit” and didn’t come back, attempted suicide and spent some time in a psych hospital, filed bankruptcy, second husband died from alcoholism… all of this before I turned 36 yrs old…. and now… the *good* news… I *did* get my son back (and left the SOB), I had a great therapist, I *didn’t * follow my 2nd husband into an early death by alcohol, I’ve been with a lovely man for years, my two grown children are so freakin’ awesome, they’ve gifted me with two beautiful grandchildren, I have money in the bank, an excellent credit score, plus at 51 yrs old I’ve never been in better shape or felt better! Vic, for sure you’ve found your passion, so I’ll be willing to bet that the universe will give back to you as much as you’ve given to others! Thank you for your honesty and for keeping Gym Junkies going! Take care of yourself!

    • Carol, thank you so much for sharing your story. You have certainly endured and it sounds like you are very happy with where you are now. GymJunkies is here to stay and I thank you for your continued readership. Take care.

  11. Hey Vic,

    Sometimes God will pull you back only to catapult you forward to next level of life.

    You have the favor of God on your life. And when people like you (us) go through stuff like this, there’s always a super blessing on the other side.

    You’re an inspiration my friend.

    God Bless,


  12. Wow Vic! I’m so sorry to hear about you losing your gym and about the bankruptcy. To me, losing all of that is probably a lot harder on a person than what I went through with my testicular cancer (since it was found early). I have manage to rebound from a brutal 2009 and have no doubt in my mind that you will kick 2010’s ass.

    I wish you the best and look forward to reading up on your big projects. Good luck Vic!

  13. sorry to hear about the loss of your gym vic
    i wish you all the very best for the future
    take care stay strong
    regards glyn

  14. Vic

    Thanks for your honesty. This post reminded me about the small things that sometimes people overlook. I’d like you to know that I think of you as strong enough to overcome this set back and will be up and doing something (literally anything) soon.

    I know you like Fight Club: Here it is:

    “Only when you have lost everything are you free to do anything.”

    I’ll make sure I keep in touch


    • Thanks Mark, for your comment here as well as the comments you’ve left on my Facebook page. I appreciate your support – always good to have another Fight Club fan in my corner.

  15. Thanks for the inspiring story and thank you for all of the helpful information that you provide. Always keep in mind “Where HE closes a door, HE always opens a window”. Continue to look for that Window to open.

  16. Wow! Thanks for being so transparent and brave. You bless me with your commitment to us, your readers, in many ways. From my own experience: make sure you spend as much time outdoors as possible, and soak up all the sunshine you can. Lead on, Vic!

  17. Hi Vic, I’m so sorry to hear about your gym and your business. I can definitely relate with you as I’m a business owner myself. I have experienced many ups and downs even if I’ve only been in business for 8 months. Like you, I took my stress out with eating but I eventually got over it as I’m sure you will.

    Thank you for being so candid. I know you will find a way to come out of this a better person.

    All the best,


    • Thanks Anna,
      Damn shame pizza and beer don’t make you lean. Lol. I definitely have some recovery work on my hands. . . just in time to get back to testing the next 31 Day Challenge before May! Thanks again.
      ~ Vic

  18. Your vids and texts are very clear and concise. I know what I’m talking about. I’m a translator. I read and translate into French all sorts of texts (excepts novels and poems). I have to put up with different styles.

    Mastering writing and communication is not obvious.
    A lot of people think they can write and communicate, but they are way too wordy. They often take the longest road possible to say what they have to say.

    And Vic, this is NOT your case. Reading your stuff is very agreeable. Always clear and to the point.

    How about selling your exercise vids (like, for $1 or 2$, each, like in iTunes), while offering for free a few basic ones, so people can see how much they are useful?

    Just an idea (now I’ll duck myself down to avoid the stones that will be thrown at me 😉

    • Thanks Oengus. The two big projects I alluded to will hopefully bring in some money. We will always provide excellent free information at GymJunkies, but for those looking for that extra push these new projects are well worth the investment. Many thanks again.

  19. Vic
    As co-owner of a small gym in South Africa, my business partner and I were debating the same thing this weekend. All I can say is hang in there. There are many out there that are feeling your pain. The pain will subside. What does not kill you makes you stronger.

  20. Vic, sorry to hear about your gym closing down. Good luck with everything and thanks for keeping the blog up, I enjoy reading it


    • Thanks Dean. GymJunkies will not only be active, but better than ever! I suddenly have a little more time on my hands to write articles and film videos. 🙂 Thanks again.

  21. Vic,

    I’m sorry to hear about the gym closing. As the owner of a martial arts and fitness facility, I understand how tough it is.

    I am the sole provider for my wife and our two young children, a huge burden, but one I am happy to take on. Between my business and working a full-time job, I have no free time and am almost always stressed.

    With all of the stress and obligations I have taken on, I am constantly seeking inspiration. You have been one of those sources of inspiration for me. To see you weather this storm and come out stronger on the other side gives me, and I’m sure many others, more hope and strength to keep fighting.

    Keep up the great work, Vic. Thank you for everything you have done so far.


    • Thanks Chris. I worked full time and ran my business for the first three years I was open. Then I moved to a new large facility and the day job had to go. I know what it’s like burning the candle at both ends. Best of luck to you.

  22. Hi Vic:
    Sorry to hear about your business. I work in the financial arena and unfortunately am seeing a lot of failures in business. You are not alone but your a smart guy and will come out of this. Your blog is great. As a CPA, I didn’t have to time to work out but your candid comments have got me started. I always look forward to your email. If I can help you in any way, let me know.

    • Thanks Howard. And good to hear you are starting to work out! My passion still lies in helping people reach their health and fitness goals and I am fortunate to have the readers of GymJunkies afford me this outlet. Thanks again.

  23. Hey Vic

    I’m so sorry that things didn’t work out this time. I feel like I know you in the candid way that you speak to us through here. And through that familiarity I know you dont deserve this. But yeah, life throws the curve balls and what doesnt kill us, makes us stronger! I know you are destined to go on to bigger and better things. Move on my friend and grab the future with open arms. Life is too short to dwell on material wealth anyhow. I lost my dear Mum recently and I know I would give 1000 businesses to have her back! Hope that puts things in perspective a bit as I know you spent xmas with your Mum, and so did I…………..anyway……..

    I guess whast I’m trying to say is that you’re fit and healthy and able to realise your next dream. GO FOR IT!! Don’t let the bastards grind you down!!!

    All the best

    Tusc (Anna) xx

    • Thanks Tusc. And my condolences for your recent loss. You are so right – I would go bankrupt 1000 times for an extra day with my Mom.

      I promise to not let the bastards grind me down! Take care.

  24. Thanks for sharing your story. I wish you much luck for the future, I have enjoyed reading your postings since 2008. I feel much of what you’re going through, my wife and I just filed for divorce yesterday after 4 months of separation and painful, unsuccessful therapy. I understand what you mean about finding the motivation to do even basic things such as shower, I have had the same attitude since my difficulties started. I also understand the difficulties of being in business, I started my company 6 years ago and it’s definitely been up and down, but always very challenging and time consuming. Fortunately, for now anyways, things with the business appear stable, that has certainly helped ease things a bit with the divorce.

    Good luck, keep your chin up!

  25. Thanks for all your posts and hard work. I found many inspirations in your writing.

    Remember, it’s not the dog in the fight, it’s the fight in the dog.

  26. Vic, you’ve been an inspiration! You’ve been coaxing me to look at what I’ve been doing and given me some real, concrete information. I’m so sorry that this dream didn’t come to fruition for you. I do hope (since I’ve just done some reading on bankruptcy) that you looked at a lot of other options first.
    From what you’ve said though, I’m sure you will do what it takes to turn this downturn into the next step for you. “When you’re going through hell, keep going” (W.Churchill).

    Now about those shirts…I’ve been trying to earn one and you gave them away!!? Darn!! I’m sure a lot of us would have bought them (not for $2,000.00 apiece though ;-). Please stay on the web, I know I’m rooting for you and I’m not alone.

    WA state

  27. Hi Vic,

    It’s Joseph Arangio from Allentown, PA.

    Actually I interviewed your associate several weeks ago regarding an article that I am writing on the best fitness blogs. GymJunkies is one of the greatest out there.

    Your post was honest and heartfelt. Thank you for being so transparent.

    Many fitness experts with less integrity may have tried to spin this difficult situation.

    I have been following you for some time now. It’s obvious that you are bright, talented, and passionate about teaching others how to incorporate smart training, nutrition, and recovery strategies into their lives.

    No doubt you were born to spread the word about healthy living. While the closing of your facility may be painful right now, it’s necessary to help you focus on your online business.

    Sure you can train 6 or even 60 clients per day at your facility… but can you train 600 or 6,000 or even 60,000 clients daily?

    No way.

    But through your website you can work less, make more and help an unlimited number of clients with your knowledge.

    I think you’ll discover that bankruptcy was the best thing that ever happened to you.

    Now you are free from the 14-hour-days–being a slave to your facility… stressed out and unhappy.

    Take a week off to regroup and then focus on going vertical in your online business.

    If I can help in any way, please let me know.

    No doubt, you will succeed!



  28. First, if it wasn’t for your guidance, I would have never gotten down to 10.5% bodyfat while staying strong. You’ve changed my ideas of training and diet without ever meeting me. So, to read of your plight pains me bro, no joke.

    Second, if we’ve ever learned anything from Job’s Biblical story, it’s that when we fall hard, there is the opportunity to come back to a higher level than we would have ever pushed ourselves.

    When a person is blessed, opportunity hunts you down. As a cancer survivor myself, I can attest to this.

    Blessings to you my friend, and keep playing fetch for long hours with that dog of yours,

  29. Vic- I have so enjoyed your newsletters – you are a very good motivator. I will be praying for you and this will be a new chapter in your life to look forward to. I hope you keep up with the newsletter because you are a good teacher. Thanks so much for the stories about your Coda!
    Good Luck! Donna

  30. Vic
    That’s a painful story and it was sad to read. I can honestly say that you have changed my life through this website and I’m sure I’m not alone there. I’m very grateful to you and wish you the best of luck getting through this.

  31. Sending lots of love your way and a huge HUG. Loss of any kind is always difficult… just as with those of us who have struggled with weight loss and claiming back our body… it is the ‘journey’ through the trials and tribulations that make us better people and allow us to enjoy the JOYS of life even greater. Nobody ever said this life was going to be easy. We have to have those ‘down days’ in order to really appreciate the good days. There are lessons to be learned in every facet of our life… some days it is hard to graps that anything ‘good’ could come out of our ‘pain and loss’ but sometimes it even takes years before we realize the true “PLAN” that was in store for us from the beginning. I do and will continue to ‘treasure’ my gym junkies T-SHIRT… I wear it proudly as it reminds me of exactly what I am able to accomplish by just wanting to make a change in my quest for a better body and a healthier lifestyle. YOU, VIC MAGARY help me to accomplish that knowledge… do you know how much that has encouraged me daily through my own personal quest to lead by example and help others in their own private journey. No, life is never easy.. there are always bumps along the way.. but to learn to accept life as it is and to quest to keep improving it… THAT is a lesson all on its own. I know CODA is enjoying your ‘down time’ that you are able to spend with him… just as my kids were glad all those wonderful years I stayed home and was available to them. Remember the old saying my friend,” one door closes and another one opens ” I am proof of that… I know there are many wonderful things just waiting for you as you ‘open your next door’. Sending love and hugs your way…. and huge THANK YOU VIC MAGARY for allowing me to be a part of your GYM JUNKIES…!!! and all that you have shared and brought to my life… I can’t even put into words..
    xoLisa 🙂

    I look forward to your latest ‘adventure’ and hopefully being a part of that one as well.!

  32. Sorry to hear about your gym! Like everyone else I want to thank you for your help on my weight loss journey through your blog, and especially the Shredded Challenge last May! All the best for the future!!

  33. So sorry to hear about your loss, Vic. I really admire that you’re so upfront and honest about both your successes AND your failures, and take responsibility for all. I know that you’ll make the best out of this situation, and come out even stronger because of it.

    Take care!

    ~Liz Hastings

  34. I like you had a couple of businesses that failed. but I tried again and again. Not to compare ourselves to Benjamin Franklin, who before becoming president failed over and over but still kept on trying. You help a lot of people to be better then they were and now ypu are going through some hard times, but I know you are resilient. It is OK to be sullen for a while but remember “tough times last a while, tough people last forever”. Hope you can work this out and remember that there is still a lot of us that even though we depend on you for motivation care about you and your success. God bless.

  35. Hey Vic, your have a vision which you put into action and you changed the world…now, that says a lot about you.
    “Hard work spotlight the character of people; some turn up their sleeves, some turn up their noses, and some don’t turn up at all.” Sam Ewig

  36. I haven’t got much to add, just a few words of wisdom from Marc Allen, a business man I very much admire:
    “Within every adversity is an equal or greater benefit, within every problem is an opportunity, even in the knocks of life you can find the greatest of gifts”

  37. Actually there are also a couple of books that might help you out in future ventures, as they have helped out hundreds and thousands of people:

    E-Myth Revisited by Michael Gerber
    Visionary Business by Marc Allen

  38. Vic, I am so sorry to hear of your loss. After reading all the posts, I certainly hope you are fully aware of your value. Your dream is not over, you can and will recover it if that is what you desire. You have helped so many people learn such important lessons; you’ve given all of us the gift of health, of hope, of perseverence. Take a break, take a breath, play some more with Coda, then jump into your next project with tenacity and know you have all of our support.

    “Thro’ greatest struggles, the great emerge…and then they shine.”

  39. Hi Vic,

    So sorry to hear of your recent travails. I declared BK in the late 80’s and the worst part of it was equating financial failure with personal feelings of being a failure. I wasn’t and the BK was not all my doing. I recovered and have done well over the last 20+ years…sort of. I currently have one house in a short sale position, haven’t pd the mortgage in almost a year and the 2nd is hounding me too. Fortunately I am immune to their tactics since I don’t equate my being with money or other material things. My martial arts school is hanging on…but sometimes I am paralyzed with inaction. 2 years ago I bought a fitness club for the same reasons you did and closed it 6 months later…probably the best thing i could have done BUT the financial fall out has been devastating. Luckily I kept the martial arts part of it and the FIT parts of it and moved into a tiny facility that just serves my needs. And I still had to ask the current landlord for relief recently. I have a ton of students on reduced pay and no pay programs but most of the bills are getting paid on time still.

    And I often feel like throwing in the towel. Today I will put in about 14 hours and 80 for the week. But it is what it is…and what I have done for a long long time.

    I don’t have any answers…I am looking for some other ways to generate $$$ and I will keep you posted.

    I highly recommend yoga and tai chi as ways to stay centered and healthy…I do both about 5 times a week and it seems to help keep things in perspective.

    I am not my money, I am not my things
    I am a child of the divine
    I am an important and vital part of the universe.
    The world is a better place because of the work I do, and the work I do on myself.


    “Teaching Focus Inspiring Transformation”

  40. Vic, as I have already told you, in the short time I have known you it is easy to see that you are good person. My daughter thinks the world of you and will never forget you as a person and a teacher. I hope you have many more things go right for you, and one day it will just be something in the rearview mirror. Good luck in whatever you do in the future and please keep us informed and keep in touch. PS. Felicia thinks so much of you she wants to invite you to her birthday party. Talk to you Later John F.

  41. So sorry to hear about your situation. I can’t even imagine. I’m glad to hear your staying positive, and continuing to deliver content. It’s a tragedy that truly contributing value doesn’t necessarily make “good business” in today’s world.

    • Thanks Dave. Yes, I agree – value alone does not equate to good business. Procedures must be in place for generating new clients, retaining your current clients, and keeping everything in between running smooth. It’s real easy to have things snowball out of control if those procedures are not in place at the very start – and that’s what lead to the end of my business. Quality services and products are certainly important, but that alone will not sustain a business.

  42. So sorry to hear about the unfortunately circumstances, Vic.
    I just wanted to say that your site, and the no-bullshit messages you give have helped me so much when I’ve struggled through stessful life events. Wish you the best, I’m certain things will pick up well. Thanks for keeping your site up, all of your subscribers appreciate it, including me.

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts and attitudes, Vic. Sometimes just thinking about what you’ve said is enough to get me off my butt. Keep at it.

    Hugs from us all.

    • Thanks Jess. It’s knowing that I have helped that keeps me going. GymJunkies is not only sticking around – it is going to be better than ever!
      Hugs back at you,

  43. Dan Kennedy on Bankruptcy(he say’s it better than I can)

    Is there a “dirty little secret” behind many wealthy entrepreneurs success stories? Yes, but probably not any that would instantly pop to most people’s minds. Some people think it’s luck, who they knew, rich relatives, or disreputable behavior such as somehow taking advantage of others,climbing to wealth by stepping on others. It is none of those things. It is a past bankruptcy. Or at least a huge failure and wipe-out and near-bankruptcy experience. …

    The incredible commonality among successful entrepreneurs is having been broke or formerly gone through bankruptcy. There are reasons. For one thing, entrepreneurial success and wealth creation, as well as wealth attraction, require a willingness to risk and experience failure and emotional resiliency to recover from it quickly, decisively,passionately and persistently. Hardly anybody gets to success via a straight line.

    As the owner of a fitness business I understand the ride you have been on. When I read DK’s take on bankruptcy it really lightened the load. I hope it does the same for you.

    And I think the “Donuts” headline may be one of the greatest ever written.

    Never let go.

    • Thanks Dave,
      I’ve been reading Dan Kennedy’s stuff for years. In fact much of my marketing for my gym came from him or one of his many disciples. And the marketing usually was successful – when I did it. Consistency in my marketing was a bigger problem for me than not understanding what to do.

      That being said, I had forgot about his take on bankruptcy and appreciate you quoting it here. Of all of the quotes people have left, I find this one most meaningful.
      Thanks again,

  44. Vic,

    I enjoy your web site, have learned a lot from the information you’ve shared, and have a lot of respect and admiration for you.

    I’m sorry to hear that the gym business didn’t work out. More than once I’ve wished that I lived in your area so that I could train with you.

    Keep your chin up and with your intelligence and drive, I’m sure you will find success.

    • Thanks John.
      My gym is closed, but my desire to train clients is not. I’ve had several requests from past clients to train them privately out of my home. And once I get back on my feet, I will probably do just that. I guess what I’m saying is that if you find yourself in Columbus, Ohio look me up and we’ll put you through some training in my back yard!
      Thanks again,

  45. Hey Vic,
    I totally understand the pain you are going through.
    However keep up the good work you r doing.
    Best wishes for your future projects.

  46. Vic,

    Your first tip is the one I do when I get too stressed out, and sometimes when I get mad, too. Yep, I move, and it’s usually to clean the house or go for a walk. If I’m really stressed or mad, I’ve been known to do both. It’s amazing how much it really does help, and, of course, it does the body good. 😉

    I hope things get better for you real soon.

  47. Hey Vic,

    I’m so sorry to hear about your business loss and just wanted to let you know that you have absolutely changed the way i work out and view fitness. I’m all the way in australia and feel so blessed to have found your website, it sucks you lost out on this one but at the end of the day life is tough. You’ve done amazing things for so many people already and your honesty and integrity will see you move through this to success. I hate quotes and all that shit so i’m just gonna say thank you for all the hard work you’ve done and for opening my eyes and mind to a new way of working out.
    You rule

    God Bless dude

    • Thanks Tony. At any given time in my business I would have between 150 – 200 clients between the kids karate, fitness kickboxing, circuit class, and private training. But I never could have influenced someone from Australia without the internet and GymJunkies.

      I appreciate your readership. Thank you.

  48. Hi Vic,

    I really want to compliment you on your strength to come out and make this public. You know that we’ll be here for you to offer you our support. Your blog has remarkable content that you are happy to give for free and is inspirational for all of us. You have my utmost respect!

    I am struggling with some bullimia and have made good progress. However, reading about your situation has made me realise that there ate others out there who, despite being honest, kind, helpful and generous, have been dealt with predicaments that they scarcely deserve and have not brought upon themselves. What right do I have for feeling sorry for myself? You have really given me a sense if perspective and helped me be thankful for the fortunate state I’m in. Be strong!

  49. Well dude, shitty…wish I could say something to make it better…or could have helped. Actually, there isnt even much I could say that hasnt been said…

    But I can say with all honesty, No…u did not help me lose weight, that was easy. I started that 40lbs before I met You did open my eyes about food and fitness (even tho i was a gym rat for years prior) and I respected your attitude and the fact that your site was not a pump and dump supplement site like the other ones out there.

    You showed me the manmakers, the burpees, and were always there when I needed a good pep talk during the challenge. Without your feedback it would have been wasted.

    You showed me something I had all along and didnt know. You actually helped me make the leap to this mayhem as a job. You taught me how to ‘not give a shit’ what others thought at the gym.

    Vic, I am broke too…and I wish I could help financially. We’re warriors, dont give up…ever. I will do all I can to help drive traffic here and will get back on the ball.

    I just needed to say THANKS…not for a weight loss, but for making e realize I had it…we all have it….



    • Damn right, BEEEEAST! The doors are locked on my storefront, but they are always open at GymJunkies. I’m not giving up, just switching focus. I’ll have to go back to a 9 to 5 for sure, but even with that I will have much more time to dedicate to this site than when my biz was open.

      I will miss that damn warehouse style gym though. . . gonna have to make me some renegade work out in the park videos like you! Stay tuned. . . And many thanks for your support for so long.

  50. My sympathy, Vic. You’re a great guy and I’ve learned from you. You wrote really important things in this post, from “Stop” to get a counselor to keep moving. For the first time in my life, I’ve gone through a process where I could just listen to me. I lost my job undeservedly. I’ve spent the last couple years working out, becoming a Spin instructor, training a rescue dog, and doing what I want. I know that some friends and relatives have been uncomfortable with my long pause but I’ve worked out more backlogged mental blockage and pain than most people would believe can exist in one person’s life (and isn’t that true for all of us?). I say all of this to endorse what you’re writing here: you have to feel and deal with your suffering before you can move on. You have the tools to do that and, like you always do, you’re sharing your tools. Peace!

    • Thanks Marilyn; for your kind words and sharing your experience. That first week after I shut down was brutal. I did the clean up and moving this weekend and locked the door for good yesterday. Tomorrow will be exactly two weeks since I shut down. And I have to tell you. . . yesterday (and today) I felt great. A little anxious about getting a job, but no regrets about shutting down at all. It’s time to move forward. Thanks again.

  51. This is an incredible post. Great advice.
    It’s okay to grieve. We all have to do it. It’s okay to feel like a failure, to mope around and to eat cheetos for a week.
    But you’re right. We have to snap the heck out of it. And it’s a matter of choosing to take the steps that you’ve listed here. What the body does, my friends, the mind will follow!

  52. I felt so sad when I read this.

    You and gym junkies really improved my life. I found this place about a year ago and it is fucking great. Really.

    I often thought to myself that if I ever went to the USA your gym would be a place I would visit.

    Good luck man with your new projects, I really hope it works out for you.

    • Thanks David. I am very excited about the new projects (one could be revealed very soon) and the fact that I still have GymJunkies as an outlet form passion for health and fitness. If anything, you will see MORE information from me at GymJunkies. . . now that I have a little free time on my hands. 🙂 Thanks again.

  53. If you haven’t seen it yet, you should watch Conan’s last tonight show episode.

    You’ll be back, and you be faster…stronger…better…

    Best of luck Vic.

    • I have seen Conan’s last episode! And I feel exactly the way he did – no regrets, and happy to have had the best job in the world! Yes, the daily business stuff was a grind and eventually lead to the undoing. But there was nothing like seeing someone light up when they saw the scale drop 6 pounds in a week or when a kid tied his black belt for the first time. Thanks, Yash.

  54. I’m sorry to hear your loss vic, I have to admit your training techniques were much more advanced than I realized at first.

    Whatever your future plans are I wish the very best for you.

    Take care, and good luck.

  55. Sorry to hear about your gym Vic, this is my first time posting on your site. I wish it could have been under a happier subject.

    Everything happens for a reason, sounds corny but I have come to realize this with my own life. One thing that I have found is that there is more to physical training than just the physical aspects. Its very much a state of mind we develop – to go on when we think we can’t.

    As a business owner with my wife I know exactly the sacrifices we make without even sometimes realizing where our business is really taking us.

    You are much more than the physical walls of your gym Vic, let the past go, it cannot be changed and deserves none of your energy.

    Be grateful for what you do have and not sorry for what you don’t. I mean that in a very sincere way.

    I wish you all the best Vic – take care,


  56. Thank you so much for sharing your situation. Best of luck to you as well and feel free to email me directly if I can be of any help with those push ups and sprints. Thanks again.

  57. Hey Vic, I just want to say thank you for sharing your situation. It must have been rough to post. I am with you though; I just lost my grandma to cancer and lost my job as well. Your post reminded me that it is important to keep a positive outlook even though everything just fell apart right before us. Good luck and stay strong. Thanks again.

  58. Vic, I am days late on getting to this blog post and I’m not sure that you’re still reading the comments, but I wanted to tell you that I have totally been in your situation and have come out of it all the better because of it. You only learn from failure and any business venture you start in the future will be better because of it.

    It took me about 2 years to figure that out, so I thought I’d share. Kudos to you for being brave enough to be honest with your readers on what’s going on in your life.

  59. Hey Vic,

    I’ve been reading your post and watching the vids you’ve posted (unfortunately didn’t get to workout as much as I would’ve loved to)..and am really sorry to hear your situation. I know you are a survivor and will get through this rough patch..just keep the faith…like you have been instructing so many of us.
    Cheers & all the best.

  60. Dammit
    This article was opened here since you posted but just today I read it and fits like a glove.
    Did you write for me? lol

    Thanks dude, made my day.

  61. wow Vic, my heart goes out to you. I could not believe what I was reading – Thank you for all of the knowledge you’ve shared on these pages. You’ve definitely changed the way I think of exercising and I appreciate the insights you’ve shared into the way you view life. I don’t know what the answer to this one is, but perhaps just take a break, and go again – and I think you can… I simply refuse to believe that such a seemingly genuinely nice guy, dedicated and hard working cannot rise above this. Wishing you nothing but the best.

  62. Vic,

    Wow, sorry to hear about your loss. I’m at 145 pounds now (up from 130 4 months ago), and I’m getting stronger… all thanks to the help of your website.

    I don’t know what to say (I’ve never been through any pain near what you have gone through, nor have I known anyone close that has gone through your suffering), but I pray that you will have the strength and willpower to pull through and emerge successful.

    I’m sure your next venture will be even more awesome and more successful than ever.

    Best of luck, and don’t stop being awesome!


  63. hey Vic

    remember that not getting what you want is sometimes a wonderful stroke of luck.
    everything that happens in this life should teach us a good lesson. we’d be idiots to ignore it (the experience).
    now you have one more experience you can share with your fellow Americans and maybe if you tackle it right, you can provide priceless help to those who are near you, to those who’ve been sent your way. (silver lining, eh? (yes, i’m canadian))
    Sometimes tough times get us closer to reality, some wonderful person, or to a place of no ego.

    I’m struggling to quit smoking. I’m struggling to teach myself financial discipline(after being in debt and not being able to get out of it no matter how small for over 10 years). I’m struggling to make exercise and healthy eating a CONSTANT part of my life (could never drop those last 10 lbs that became the last 25 lbs ).
    and while I’m still not victorious, I’m learning so many new ways in how to deal with life, I’m meeting so many great people.

    on a bad day, I’ll admit that I’m not where I want to be, but at least I’m not where I used to be. and that’s an indication of progress and brighter days ahead.
    after all, smooth seas do not make skillful sailors.

    Stay strong Vic
    I’ll keep you in my prayers



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