Nearly a decade after its humble origins in a California garage gym, CrossFit has become a full-fledged fitness revolution. With its combination of Olympic weightlifting, gymnastics, and grueling high-intensity interval workouts—or WODs, as they're known—CrossFit has rightly earned a reputation  for close-knit gym communities, re-introducing uncommon exercises to the fitness mainstream, and spawning whole new training philosophies.

It's also earned a reputation for getting people in the best shape of their lives. We've found seven guys who went from "chubby" and "pudgy"—their words, not ours—to being "stronger than I ever was" and in "best shape of my life." Here are their success stories—and the workouts, inspiration, and advice they used to make it happen.