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When you think of a professional gamer, we’re willing to bet the first thing that comes to mind isn’t muscles. In fact, it may just be the opposite. But the long-standing stereotypes associated with serious gaming definitely don’t apply to Josh Lujan, who goes by Xaryu on Twitch.
Lujan, whose claim to gaming fame is his World of Warcraft prowess, became the first WoW streamer to join pro esports organization TSM in February. He has more than 240,000 followers on Twitch who flock to watch him play, but he’s made it a point over the years to infuse his platform with a healthy dose of fitness.
His motivation to break the norm stems from the fact that, despite always having been competitive and interested in health and wellness, he let his own fitness level take a back seat to gaming for nearly a decade. He got his first taste of WoW at age 12, and it became his top priority from then on. He trained sporadically until he realized he needed to make some changes for his own good.
“At 20, I was around 100 pounds [at 5’8”]. I looked at myself in the mirror and I just…I was getting sick all the time,” Lujan told M&F. “I wasn’t feeling right. I was like, ‘Wait a minute. Who am I, what am I doing here? [Being active] has always been a part of me. I can’t just put this on the back burner.’”
In the years since, Lujan, now 26, has put on close to 50 pounds of muscle, all thanks to doing his own research on diet and nutrition and figuring it out through trial and error.
His before-and-after photos speak for themselves:
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Me around 20 years old… – When people tell me I have 'good genetics'… haha friends, I was 105-110 lbs when I began to train. I had NO muscle. – People often assume that I had easy time getting to where I'm at… guys… I was the skinny gamer that couldn't put on weight for the life of me — I just didn't let me genetics get in my way. – It took me years to build this. After carving away myths of the fitness industry and putting my head down to train, I finally figured out a system that worked for me… – In the XARYU Bodyweight Program I take you guys through every single exercise I do week to week, with progressions on how to advance from any level. – No more guess-work. Let's start training. Link in bio or head on over to XARYU.TV for my program. Ps. Use code STAYSTRONG for 20% off 😉 – #meat20 #meat20challenge #hardgainer #skinnytofit #skinnytostrong
It’s become his mission to “make gaming a healthier space,” and he’s pushed the message even more during Covid-19 quarantine. Typically a gym rat, Lujan would stream one workout a week on Twitch before the coronavirus pandemic made going to the gym impossible. Ever since gyms first closed, he and his girlfriend have been streaming daily workouts that can be done at home.
“If the gym is closed and I can’t do overhead press, I ask ‘What can I replace in my current routine?’ And I can do a handstand pushup,” he explains. “So I created a whole program that’s only using your body weight, and the inspiration is how I was already training in the gym. But each exercise translated to the body-weight equivalent.”
Lujan has put his years of trial and error into a trio of e-books, including a workout plan and a nutrition guide, that anyone can use to work toward their goals.
We tapped the pro gamer for his workout and diet tips, and how he inspires followers to find balance in their own lives. Plus, get a sample workout from his Xaryu Bodyweight Program.
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