In 2004, Jon Hinds, founder of the Monkey Bar Gym chain and one of the leading trainers in the world, started to have extreme and debilitating pain in his hands. Prior to this, he had trained in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu and was the gold medalist at the Pan Am Games. When Jon’s hand pain became so unbearable that he could no longer train the way he wanted to, he knew something had to be done.
Jon took the typical course of action and visited many doctors. They all told him the same thing—he had arthritis at the age of 40. There was no way Jon was going to accept this, so he continued to search for a better answer.
I had wanted to introduce myself to Jon for a long time. I knew his father Bobby, who was the founder of Lifeline USA, a popular line of portable training equipment that I’d used for many years. Jon had invented many of the products himself, and graced the front of every box sold, and I was very impressed with him and his career.
So, one day I called Jon. While we were talking, he told me about his hands. I immediately asked him if he was eating significant amounts of animal protein. At that time Jon was eating the typical “fitness” diet of chicken and vegetables with starches and a piece of fruit thrown in every once in a while. His animal protein intake was significant, large portions two to three times a day.
I told him point blank, “You are eating too much protein—animal protein in particular. Take it out of your diet completely or simply reduce it to only a few times per week, and your hand pain will likely go away.” I explained that the standard “fitness” diet, which most people rely on to maintain their weight and get “enough protein,” is nutrient-poor and does not have the nutrient levels needed for the body to stay healthy and perform well for long periods of time.
I also sent him an advanced copy of The China Study: The Most Comprehensive Study of Nutrition Ever Conducted. The Study was led by T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., and offered startling implications for diet, weight loss and long-term health.
Jon decided to take my advice, as well as to read The China Study, which revealed the relationship between his diet and his health condition. He eliminated animal protein, and within one month, his hand pain completely disappeared and has never returned! (Note: Jon wasn’t eating processed foods at the time, so he didn’t need to give that up as well; for some making the switch, that additional elimination challenge will also be necessary to reduce or eliminate acute or chronic symptoms.)
Jon did not know that his conversation with me would lead him to meeting one of the most influential scholars, researchers and humanitarians in the country— T. Colin Campbell, Ph.D., the author of the book I’d sent him. Campbell would further influence Jon to become a leader in the movement toward eating more plant-based nutrient-rich foods. Under Jon’s guidance, the Monkey Bar Gym franchise (MBG) became the first plant-based gym in the country.
I feel incredibly privileged to have had the opportunity to influence Jon and see the ripples this has created. Over the years we have conducted many events together to educate his members and trainers on the merits of making the switch to a 90% or more plant-based, nutrient-rich, genuinely healthy eating style that is great tasting. This partnership continues to this day as Jon and I spread the word.
But the really important part of Jon’s story is that he made the switch from a nutrient-poor diet (which was high in animal protein, saturated fat and cholesterol, and was focused on manipulating calories to maintain his weight and fitness), to a plant-based nutrient-rich diet. His new way of eating was high in phytochemicals, vitamins, minerals, fiber and water, and contained sufficient calories from appropriate amounts of protein, carbohydrates and fat—from natural plant sources.
This enabled him to maintain his weight and fitness—without having to endure painfully compromised health.
In the spirit of a true master, Jon has become an expert at eating a plant based nutrient rich diet. And because of his dedication and guidance, MBG members are healthier, more disease-resistant and are performing better than ever before. Those who take Jon’s 60-Day Challenge and eat a predominantly plant-based, nutrient-rich diet that is optimized for nutrient density average a 17-pound body fat loss and a 5.4-pound muscle gain—while improving their stability, strength and power. Now those are results I’m sure all of us would love to achieve!
Learn more about Jon’s now contemporary experience about what “plant-based” really means in an event with me later this year.