Coach, Business Owner, Husband, first in family: Jay Ashman
I chose First In to have accountability. I will keep working with them because of the excellence in service, the genuine care for their community and the undeniable fact I am at my lightest weight since college, 220. I am healthier, I am in better shape, I am keeping my strength and I love working with them.”
Tell us a little bit about yourself...
I am Jay Ashman, 45 years old, gym owner and strength coach at Kansas City Barbell in downtown KCMO.
I am a former Superleague rugby player, now I help coach at Liberty HS in Liberty, MO. I am a former strongman, occasional powerlifter, and I just lift and look pretty now.
I am married to an incredible woman, Sarah, we have two pups named Lily and Groot.
What brought you to the First In Family initially?
I knew about First In for a while, truth be told. I was FB friends with Jonathan, we chatted here and there, but I have known another member of the FIN team, Joshua longer. He was at our wedding, so that can tell you a little something about us. When Joshua was on the way to leaving his prior employer, we chatted on the phone. I was happy for him, for a myriad of reasons, most of all because he was going to be working to build a company up with his good friend, Jonathan.
In the midst of all of this, Jonathan and I were chatting more often, and became good friends.
I wanted to not coach my own diet anymore because when I have a coach, I nail it. I want the accountability and the outside unbiased eye. I want the coach to say to me, “no need to experiment with insanity (the old me creeps up a lot), let’s stick to what works”. Jonathan does that.
I chose First In to have accountability.
I will keep working with them because of the excellence in service, the genuine care for their community – and not just numbers on a website bragging about how many “clients” are pushed through the system – and the undeniable fact I am at my lightest weight since college, 220.
I am healthier, I am in better shape, I am keeping my strength – actually getting stronger in a lot of areas – and I love working with them.
Tell us a little bit about your background and history with food.
From 18 years old on, eating EVERYTHING was the task. I wanted to mass up, and in those years I put the pedal to the medal to get size on.
I went up to 300 pounds for a pro football workout, competed in Strongman, played Superleague rugby weighing 270, and my biggest struggle wasn’t gaining or losing weight, it was mentally accepting I needed to lose weight, be healthy, and end the goal of being a mammoth. I had nothing more to prove, and yet it was hard to accept.
What was the turning point in your life when you realized you needed to make a change?
When I was 41 and went through A-fib and congestive heart failure.
I won’t bore you with the details, recovery process, fear, and feelings of mortality, but this was a do or die moment for me.
Despite making changes to my health, I didn’t go 100% all in until recently when I decided to end the cycle of uncertainty with my goals once and for all.
What was the journey like and what changes did you make?
Changing my training to be more well-rounded and diversified.
Adding more bodyweight work and conditioning was humbling but needed.
Accepting that I was still going to be “big” but without the extra bulk, and accepting it didn’t matter if I was “big”, what mattered was how I felt.
How do you feel after making those changes?
How I feel now from the old me is a 180. I can’t explain it.
I swore when I stopped playing rugby I wouldn’t run again, now I am scheduling hill sprints and sprints in my training.
I am also getting stronger again despite losing enough weight to feed a family of 4 for a week.
What did your friends/family think of your transformation?
My friends are supportive but, tbh, I don’t care if they are or aren’t. This is my journey and if they don’t like it, tough shit. That is on them.
Were you active or did you workout during your journey?
That is a given. I own a gym, I live to train, it is my lifeblood and passion. I will train until the day I drop dead.
What does being First In mean to you?
I just love the community, the people, the care, and the feedback.
I coach for a living and I value communication and prompt feedback. Jonathan nails it with me and I couldn’t be happier.
They care and it shows because the owner is actually coaching, not just sitting back acting like a guru
What’s next for you and where do you see this journey taking you in the future?
I will stick with First In for a long time and we will see what we can chisel out of my physique with food.
What was the biggest challenge or change when you started with First In and how did you overcome it?
Zero challenge, I am a hard charger.
This isn’t my first rodeo into goals and structure.
I thrive on it
What are your top 5 "secrets" for success?
1- Be honest.
2- Be patient.
3- Ask questions.
4- Don’t be afraid to mess up.
5- It’s just food, not a religion.
any advice for someone thinking about getting started?
Simple, the ultimate form of self-care is taking care of your health and body in a way that best serves you and your future.
Hiring a coach is self-love, accountability, and vulnerability. It’s a relationship built on trust, mutual trust.
You can trust this team, I assure you!
ARE YOU READY TO BE FIRST IN?
Contact us for more info:
ARE YOU READY TO BE FIRST IN?
Contact us for more info:
Testimonials were given freely and service members did not receive any preferential treatment, discount, or other benefit due to the nature of their service, rank, or position and in no way are the views or beliefs of any branch of the armed forces or uniformed services.