Body Transformation: Back To The Basics
WEIGHT 145 lbs
BODY FAT 10%
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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Edit: A LOT has changed since i wrote this lol also i have some typos here and there, so if theres any hate i can hopefully correct it pretty quick
1. BF% is off, i was not sure what my real numbers were so i just guessed quickly.
2. "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." <----I mean to have a "DO NOT NEED TO BE ON POINT" but i missed have missed the not part lol :P
3. Ok two things, i know the before and after age look weird, but in all reality i hit puberty quite early and looked older than i really was since age 14, and the size differences are there, i just could not for the life of me find a better before pic.
4. I know have a different understanding of IIFYM, and have actually come to dislike this term, as many seem to follow it as "Eat what ya want!" But the truth to it still resides, i just don't call it by the acronym anymore, i just say i hit macros or eat food. (And i know i don't have a lot of variety in the above diet, but trust me i eat WAY different everyday) Also my macros are much different that the above now. Protein was way to high at 225 for only weighing what i do.
5. My training regime has changed a bit as well. I still incorporate 5/3/1, but i now basically do Upper/Lower with emphasis on the big compounds, and as well i now do each compound 2x a week.
You're gonna run into haters no matter what...just ignore them and keep pushing thru! Great job and keep up the good work. Remember the only person you have to worry about what they think is you
First off, great transfomation man! Looking good ;)
Secondly, thanks for your Edit.
I'm also transitioning from "clean eating" to a more "IIFYM". Just eat food that is healthy and good for you, hit your targets (what your body needs) and relax/enjoy :)
Anyways congrats and keep up the goor work!
Question. You say 400g or russet potatoes... how many potatoes is that? 2-2.5?
Depends on the potato size. And i weigh my food out using a food scale to make sure i get the exact portions as to track calories and macronutrients to a greater precision, so i end up with exactly 400g.
Now, it's not 400g EVERY TIME. I literally just copied my meal for the day when i wrote the article lol
Upper/Lower with focus on compounds. My goals have changed a bit, wasn't pleased with my numbers to im starting to focus more on strength. Might try to pick up a powerlifting routine soon.
Thanks a lot, man - this was a really inspiring article to read. You're teaching old(er) dogs new tricks haha! I'm also thankful that you're around my height too (I'm about 5'7 1/2). Mind if I ask you a few questions about it later on?
No, i just like poptarts :) I have whatever im in the mood for, or sometimes no carbs post workout. I focus on daily macro's, not so much on meal timing (this issue has been greatly over exaggerated, along with the "Simple v Complex Carbs" debate. In terms of body composition effect, not much of a difference in carbs for healthy individuals.
lol, the man just likes his poptarts! great answer. Poptarts are delicous, I don't eath them anymore, but maybe I will now. Great work though man! And no need for the edit on bf%, it looks like a reasonable estimate.
Impressive transformation, as a teen myself I know how hard it is to shift away from the bro mindset.
Also, it's nice to see you have a realistic take on nutrition unlike so many that swear that anything other than brown rice and chicken will destroy your gains.
Yep, 16! I will say it was rather close to my birthday by like 3 months, but i was in-fact 16 at the time. I've always looked much older than my real age (hit puberty young, starting shaving age 13-14 lol)