| AGE 16
WEIGHT 145 lbs
BODY FAT 10%
| AGE 18
WEIGHT 170 lbs
BODY FAT 8%
During high school, I always wanted to be one of the bigger guys. From the first day of weight training class, I knew it was something I would carry for the rest of my life. The weights carried over into sports and made me a better wrestler throughout all four years in high school.
When my junior year started, I was still skinny and undefined. I couldn't understand it. I worked out constantly, ate pounds of protein, and took all the supplements, but nothing worked. Like many, I didn't exactly get everything right from the beginning. I benched three times per week, rarely trained legs, and didn't know how to deadlift. It was bro training at its best.
But of course, effective training doesn't always equal optimal performance. I never gained the strength or size I wanted, so I started researching science instead of broscience. It took a long time with lots of nutrition experimenting, but I finally figured out the truth and my gains haven't hit a plateau since.
By my senior year, I took a much smarter approach to training and the results were unbelievable. I never thought I would be known as one of the jocks or big guys around school. Yet there I was, giving freshmen advice on how to achieve their goals.
I did more than my fair share of research. I spent hours every day looking up the latest news and information on strength training and nutritional advice. I found lots of answers from the YouTube fitness community, but just like anything, it took time to sift through the broscience.
I found a very well put together program by Jim Wendler called 5/3/1 and use my own adaption of the bodybuilding template. I look at other guys who follow what others say just because they look good, which always seemed ludicrous to me. Just because someone looks good doesn't mean their advice is sound.
Many claims nowadays are rather ridiculous, but many of them seem to catch on quite fast, so it's very important to stay educated and question the research behind claims. Above all, never believe someone from the position of: "This guy told me to do it and he's jacked."
Supplements play an important role to help you achieve the highest point of your physical potential, but they aren't necessary in big quantities. I don't take the latest and greatest because the packaging looks cool. I take very basic supplements.
In my opinion, most products are still untested and unverified to actually be beneficial. I stick with proven products to reach my goals.
I currently follow IIFYM and have never seen better results physically and mentally. I don't believe in clean versus dirty food or that your body can tell the difference between a burger or brown rice and chicken. There is nothing wrong with eating the foods you like as long as you do it in moderation. If you see yourself gaining weight, you are in a caloric surplus.
If you're losing weight, you're in a caloric deficit. My foods vary quite a bit, but I go to school and have a job, so I cook whatever is easy to prepare and store. My current macros are 450 grams carbs, 55 grams fat, and 225 grams protein. These numbers need to be hit on point every day. I make sure to get close, but if I'm a little under or over it's no big deal.
My program began as the typical full body, five-day split, but now I follow the strength program by Jim Wendler. I train four days per week, and take three rest days.
I follow the template directly for my four main lifts, but arranged it to my specific needs for the accessory lifts. To increase accessory lifts, I up the sets or reps every week.
When I hit the maximum volume, I up the weight by 5-10 pounds. I make sure to stretch very well, use the foam roller, and hit my dynamic stretches before and after every workout.
Definitely understanding what is true and untrue in terms of nutrition. I tried eating clean and avoiding unhealthy foods forever. Problem was, I never really knew how much I was eating and my weight and progress fluctuated up and down. Now I understand the concept of macronutrients, caloric deficits, and surplus.
I really want to get my strength gains up and would love to participate in a powerlifting or bodybuilding competition.
Don't trust everything you hear. A lot of information is bull. Look into what you read, find a good program, count your macros, and make sure to enjoy yourself. If you start stressing about working out and nutrition, you most likely need to rethink your strategy.
Thanks to Bodybuilding.com, I was able to approach lifting in a smart manner to reach my goals in the gym and my personal life. I was even able to out-muscle my opponents during my last year of wrestling.
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