How this man beat a diagnosis that he wouldn't live past 30 – and got ripped

New Yorker Alex Solomin became a fitness coach after years of obesity brought on by gaming and junk food

Alex Solomin, fitness coach, flexing for the camera
(Image credit: Future)

A man who was told by doctors he "wouldn’t live past 30" due to his weight, is now a professional fitness coach. 

Alex from New York once weighed 365lbs and would play video games for up to 16 hours a day, living off a diet of junk food. He also used to avoid mirrors as he was ashamed of his size. He told YouTube channel Truly: "It was so easy to play video games for six hours a day, pick up the phone and order whatever my heart desired. I would just sit there and eat." He suffered from self-esteem and confidence issues, and everyday activities like carrying groceries round a shop became difficult. 

Alex's wake-up call was a sobering visit to his doctor, who had a harrowing diagnosis. "I went to the doctor, and he told me: 'If you keep going down the same path, you won’t live to be past 30'. It was literally do, or die." 

Alex began doing "whatever it took to lose weight", and lost over 100lbs, getting down to a healthy 230lbs and packing on muscle. Most recently, Alex quit his regular career to be an online fitness coach. He said: “I know how hard it is to lose weight, I feel it’s important to help people live the life they deserve.”

Watch Alex's inspiring weight loss story here:

Alex now works out six times a week to maintain his appearance and fitness levels for his coaching business. He can be seen in the video doing lots of resistance training to build muscle, such as pull-ups and dumbbell exercises. Pull-ups in particular are a fantastic resistance training exercise, working your biceps, shoulders, delts and core. 

Pull-ups can be a difficult exercise to master, but the key is to progress gradually with lateral pull-downs and assisted pull-ups. You can check out our guide on how to do pull-ups and dips for a more comprehensive breakdown. 

A lot of people may associate losing weight with jogs or bike rides, but resistance training is a great way to improve your physique and safeguard your heart health. A study by Iowa State University found lifting weights for less than an hour a week may reduce your risk for a heart attack or stroke by as much as 70 percent! In addition, resistance training also increases your base metabolic rate, helping you burn fat faster day-to-day.

Of course, hand-in-hand with diet is exercise. Alex recommends finding ways to eat the foods you enjoy while maintaining a balanced diet. Simple swaps are a good way to get started: for example, instead of dousing your meats or fish in vegetable oil before frying or roasting it, try cooking with an air fryer or one of the best health grills for a lower-calorie way to enjoy the same meal.

Matt Evans
Matt Evans

Matt Evans is an experienced health and fitness journalist and Channel Editor at Fit&Well. He's previously written for titles like Men's Health and Red Bull, and covers all things exercise and nutrition on the Fit&Well website. Matt originally discovered exercise through martial arts: he holds a black belt in Karate and remains a keen kickboxer and runner. His top fitness tip? Stretch.