Workout Routines

Transformation Tuesday: The super-strong to super-lean workout plan

A competitive powerlifter and strongman, Johnny Kalaj was tired of looking so bulky. Now he's down 50 pounds—and still as strong as ever. Here's how he pulled it off.

Transformation Tuesday: The super-strong to super-lean workout plan
Duration 20
Exercises 5
Equipment Yes

One morning, Johnny Kalaj woke up and hated the way he looked. The thing is, he didn’t necessarily gain all of his excess weight by accident.

As a competitive powerlifter and strongman, Kalaj wanted to put on as much absolute body mass as possible to gain leverage for big, heavy lifts. Eventually, though, that extra mass started to get to him. Kalaj decided to experiment to see if he could drop excess weight while maintaining his strength.

In this week’s Transformation Tuesday interview, Kalaj opens up about how heavy he let himself get, the key to his turnaround, and his advice for anyone getting started on a fitness journey—regardless of their goals.

Follow Kalaj on Instagram (@power_by_johnny). And if you've got an interesting transformation story, we want to hear it—follow and DM Mike Simone on Instagram (@mike_simone).

Check out one of Kalaj’s strongman workouts below:

Transformation Tuesday The super-strong to super-lean plan

Exercise 1.

Deadlift You'll need: Barbell How to
Deadlift  thumbnail
3 sets
Max with 100-200 lbs. of band tension reps
90-120 sec. rest

Exercise 2.

Good Morning You'll need: Resistance Band How to
Good Morning thumbnail
3 sets
6 reps
90-120 sec. rest

Exercise 3.

Glute-ham raise How to
Glute-ham raise thumbnail
3 sets
Failure reps
90-120 sec. rest

Exercise 4.

Reverse Hyperextension You'll need: No Equipment How to
exercise image placeholder
3 sets
25 reps
90-120 sec. rest

Exercise 5.

Sled pull and push How to
Sled pull and push thumbnail
4 sets
60 yds. each reps
90-120 sec. rest