One of my favorite motivational quotes is, “Every Setback is a Setup for a Comeback”…
You could say that this quote has defined the way I’ve lived my life. I found bodybuilding after a 4-month battle with mononucleosis at age 12 caused me to lose over 40 pounds. I trained and ate and grew bigger and better than ever. By age 21 that sickly kid had become a pro bodybuilder.
They said I wasn’t tall enough or wide enough to do well in bodybuilding, but I was runner-up at the Mr. Olympia contest for three years in a row before becoming the first Arnold Classic Champion.
My bodybuilding career came to a sudden and unexpected end in 1998 when I herniated two disks in my neck while training, and was paralyzed on one side for three months. I lost my endorsement contract with Weider, I lost my gym in New Jersey, and my wife divorced me. I was even forced to file for personal bankruptcy and had to move in with my parents. Some men might have felt like all hope was lost at that point. But I had a dream while I was recovering from my injury to start what would be the greatest supplement company in the industry.
In 1999, I started Gaspari Nutrition with just a couple basic products. My mom’s basement was the office, the garage was my warehouse, and the entire staff of the company was – me! It was a ton of work, but I loved the challenge of going to gyms and contests and spreading the word about my company. I knew that if I worked hard and came out with innovative, effective products, Gaspari Nutrition would succeed. As luck would have it, in 2001, my mom’s home burned down, and with it; all my inventory. By that point, it didn’t matter. I had to keep going.
By 2006, Gaspari Nutrition was a powerhouse in the industry; with a group of products that became legendary: Halodrol, Superpump250, Novedex, PlasmaJet, and SizeOn. A few years later and we were being sold in over 50 countries. My dream had come true. The dream soon turned into a nightmare in 2011 as my second wife and I separated and divorced. She had been heavily involved in our sales, so this had a deep impact. I was also dealing with frivolous lawsuits from jealous competitors. All this caused me to lose focus, and to lost my ‘pulse’ on the market and the industry. Sales went down, and debts piled up. Eventually, I was forced to file Chapter 11 as my only chance to save the company I had worked so hard to build. To salvage it, I had to become a minority shareholder as another company bought Gaspari Nutrition. Things still didn’t improve, and it seemed like maybe the company might not survive after all.
Then along came Jared Wheat, CEO of Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals. We had known one another for years and I felt a real trust with him. Together, in May of this year, we bought back the company. Jared knew the key to all of Gaspari Nutrition’s success was my passion and drive. I had to be in charge again to develop innovative new products and be the face of my company. The first exciting new development was the launch of the Legacy Series, updated versions of Halodrol™, SuperPump™ 250, and PlasmaJet™ with advanced new ingredients and delivery systems that didn’t exist a decade ago.
More recently we have added some amazing flavor profiles for many of our newer products. Our newest and in my opinion, best tasting protein we have ever created is our Precision Protein. With flavors like Blueberry Muffin, Cinnamon Cereal Crunch and our triple layer Neapolitan Ice Cream, people are going crazy for them. New to market is also our Hyper Amino™ is exactly what the name says it is – Amino Acids that drive insane energy. This comes in some unique flavors; Southern Sweet Tea, Gummy Candy and Rainbow Italian Ice.
But sometimes, it’s not all about the taste and label. It’s what’s inside that counts. Embedded Enzyme Technology or ETT, is a patent pending technology that functions within a phospholipid matrix that releases Leucine and other amino acids early in the muscle synthesis process. While other methods randomly hydrolyze the protein, EET is engineered to selectively release Leucine peptides producing an increase in muscle synthesis and growth.
That’s just the tip of iceberg as to what Gaspari Nutrition has in store for you. Giving up is something that just isn’t in my nature. I always knew the secret to overcoming any obstacle was to get right back up and keep fighting for what you love and what you believe in. I’m so excited about the future of Gaspari Nutrition with our new partner Hi-Tech Pharmaceuticals. Watch for our new products. We are going to change the supplement industry forever!