The School of Hard Gains

Men's Health South Africa|January 2020

The School of Hard Gains
You’ve heard the story plenty times before: skinny lad, picked on at school simply because of how small he is. The bigger boys target him, and label him “wimp”.
Thaaqib Daniels

Jaco Smit was that kid; but in true triumph-of-the-underdog style, he didn’t let the bullying get him down. Years later, he returned to the classroom – not as a scrawny teen, but as a strong and confident teacher his learners could look up to. He lost 8kg; but more importantly, he transformed his previously out-of-shape body into solid muscle along the way. This is his story.


“At school I was always the small guy, the scrawny boy who was picked on and bullied, time and time again. But I never fought back. This went on all through primary school and high school. I first stepped into a gym while I was at university. My main goal was to get as big as possible – I wanted to lose the image of the small, skinny kid, and to become the guy people didn’t want to mess with. I didn’t want to be the target anymore. It took a while for me to adjust to training because I had never done anything like that before, but I knew it would benefit me if I gave it my all.”

THE LESSON: Take a step outside your comfort zone; you’ll be amazed at what you’re capable of.



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January 2020