| AGE 26
WEIGHT 230 lbs
BODY FAT 24%
| AGE 26
WEIGHT 170 lbs
BODY FAT 7%
Why I Decided To Transform
The shape I was in before I started my transformation was without a doubt the worst physical shape I had ever been in. I wasn't always in bad shape though. I played football in high school. When I first got into college I was always exercising. I loved it.
It wasn't until within a few years into college that I dislocated my knee in a flag football game. A short time afterwards I had my knee checked out and discovered that I had a torn ACL with some cartilage damage.
I had two options: leave the knee as it is and resort to non-active lifestyle or get it surgically repaired so that I could keep living an active lifestyle. I opted for surgery, went through physical therapy, and went out on my own.
I struggled to get fully recovered on my own. I kept trying to push myself. In my mind, I thought the harder I tried the quicker I'd get better. I was completely wrong about that because I kept reinjuring my knee, taking time off to let it heal, heading back to the gym, reinjuring it again, and taking more time off. Rarely seeing the gym eventually led to me never going. Then I became accustomed to living a sedentary lifestyle.
In the fall of 2011, I became completely fed up and disgusted with what I looked like. I felt like all my muscle had turned into fat and I was losing respect for myself with each passing day. I was almost to the point of needing an entire new wardrobe, which I'm glad I avoided because that would have been demoralizing.
Over the years, I had many failed attempts to get back in shape, which I blamed mostly for my bum knee. This time I had to put all the excuses behind me because I knew if I didn't change now I would be in even worse shape later.
I had no reason to feel sorry for myself. This problem was my problem and I had to solve it.
How I Accomplished My Goals
In my opinion, the biggest thing that helped me have a great transformation was training at a gym. You will get faster results with better quality workouts. I tried those home workout videos, but could never stick with it. It just wasn't enjoyable to me, so I was never consistent with it.
I renewed my gym membership at Snap Fitness out of Starkville, Mississippi and committed myself to go at least four times a week, every single week. After just a few weeks of working out I noticed that my diet was drastically affecting my training, so I began eating a much cleaner diet with more fruits and vegetables and cut out carbs in the latter parts of the day.
Once I got my strength and stamina up from weight training, I began incorporating 30-45 minute cardio sessions 3-5 times a week. I had established a well-rounded weekly routine to follow.
The hardest part for me, as I'm sure is for many, was to stick with it after the first few weeks. I'm not going to sugar coat it, those first few weeks back in the gym were excruciating. I had to fight through muscle fatigue, soreness, weakness in my leg because of my knee, and the frustrations of not being able to jog even a quarter mile because of the pain in my knee.
The thought of quitting did enter my mind, but I knew the reason I was so out of shape was because of the other times I gave up on the gym. I just had to keep showing up and put in the work because I knew that my body would adapt and overcome with time and consistency.
I sincerely could not have done this without the use of Bodybuilding.com and BodySpace. The information and motivation I received from the site and its users was priceless.
After a few months of doing my own routine I lost 20 pounds, but I wasn't completely satisfied. I had been researching the different free training plans that Bodybuilding.com has and I stumbled upon the Hardcore 12-Week Daily Video Trainer with Kris Gethin.
Get with the program today!
I watched several of the videos the first time I checked it out. I liked how the workouts were structured and how Kris goes through the workouts with you. Seeing Kris put himself through the workouts made it so much more impactful than other training plans. You can envision yourself going through the same workouts with the same intensity.
Even if you don't want to do the training routine I recommend, at least watch the videos because Kris shares practically everything you need to know to achieve an incredible transformation. He puts it all out there for you. You just have to commit and be willing to put forth the effort.
I'm proud to say at the end of the 12-week program I lost an addition 39 pounds which brought me to a total weight loss of 59 pounds in six months. I got myself into the best shape I've ever been in. Now I feel like I can take on any challenge that life has to offer.
Supplements That Helped Me Through The Journey
Having a supplement plan is not essential, but it may help fill in the gaps where your diet may be lacking and can also help improve athletic performance and recovery.
Glutamine is the one supplement that I recommend you shouldn't do without, particularly for those who are just starting out or if it's been a while since you last trained. It helps out tremendously to prevent soreness. No more excuses for skipping the gym because you couldn't get out of bed!
Diet Plan That Guided My Transformation
Making the right food choices will provide your body with proper nutrients and fuel quality to build muscle and burn fat. The food you should be eating consists of: fruits, vegetables, lean meats, good complex carbohydrates, and healthy fats. Eating the right foods should not be a diet. It should be a lifestyle choice.
Training Regimen That Kept Me On Track
Whether your goal is to lose weight, build muscle, or tone up, you should have a primary focus on strength training. That goes for men and women. Strength training builds muscle. Muscle is more metabolically active than fat. The more muscle you have the more efficiently your body can burn fat.
When I first started, I had to work my way into that first month slowly and then progress the workouts. If it's been a while for you, or you're a beginner, I recommend two exercises per muscle group (three for legs) with no cardio during the first 3-6 weeks.
Always be sure to go through a proper warm-up (add in some warm-up sets if needed) to increase blood flow and target muscle groups which helps prevent the chance of injury. It also maximizes work potential for the involved muscles to perform the desired exercise(s).
Rest time between working sets should be around 1-2 minutes.
2 sets with added weight for 8-15 reps
Exercise Ball Crunch (Weighted)3 sets of 8-15 reps
What is moderate intensity for cardio? An easy way to judge for yourself: if you can comfortably have a conversation or be able to drink water while you're exercising, then you should be at a moderate intensity. If you cannot talk or drink while you're exercising, then the intensity is high.
What about intensity for strength training? If you want improvement, you should always train with high intensity. Always be sure to use proper form and technique while being able to control the weight from start to end during all exercises.
Proper form and technique ensures that you isolating the muscle(s) you're targeting. This helps to prevent injury. If you want to know whether you're performing an exercise correctly or not, check out the Bodybuilding.com exercise database.
What Aspect Challenged Me The Most
When you're coming back from an old injury or have been inactive for a long period of time, you need to take it slow at first. Don't push yourself too hard in the beginning because the body needs time to adapt. This used to be my problem, but I learned from it.
Do some short, less-intense workouts at the beginning. When your strength and stamina has noticeably improved, then you can increase the difficulty and intensity.
After a few months of my own routine, I felt like I was ready to take on a new challenge, so I started the Hardcore 12-Week Daily Video Trainer with Kris Gethin. There were two things that I was worried about before I started the plan and that was being able to stick to the recommended diet and cardio.
I just kept telling myself that anyone can do this as long as they try. I remember being halfway through the program and felt like slacking, but then I reflected on the days and weeks that already passed.
I thought to myself, "Well, I've already gone this far, and those days seem like a cakewalk compared to where I am now, so I'll just keep going all out because I may be asking myself the same question a few weeks from now." I knew that I didn't want to quit because I didn't want to find myself asking, "What if?"
In the end, I not only achieved my fitness goals, but I surpassed them. It didn't come down to how strong I was, how fast, or how far I could run.
It was pure willpower and determination to live an active healthy lifestyle. It's something that anybody can tap into. You just have to want it bad enough!
My Future Fitness Plans
I want to help fight the obesity epidemic that plagues modern day society, which is ever so prevalent in my home state of Mississippi. I decided to pursue a career in fitness. This journey has made me love and appreciate fitness more than I ever.
It's amazing how fitness can change the way you look, think, and feel. Fitness is a vital component to achieve total body wellness and I want to help people who want to be helped.
I've already taken a first step towards my fitness career by becoming a personal trainer and I plan to continue training hard with aspirations to enter a local bodybuilding competition in 2013.
Suggestions for Aspiring Transformers
- Seek motivation and inspiration every day.
- Join BodySpace if you haven't already and add some short-term goals.
- Either bookmark or set BodySpace as your browser's home page.
- Go around to local gyms and see if there are any upcoming fitness related challenges or competitions and sign up! If you can't find anything local find something online.
- Share your goals with family and friends and establish accountability.
- Seek help if you need it.
- Get a reliable workout partner. If they're not reliable, don't allow their actions to depict who you are. You're on a mission. Go out and get the job done no matter what.
- Surround yourself with like-minded people. People who have the same fitness goals and aspirations as you do.
- Don't let anyone say you can't just because they can't.
- If it is important to you, you will find a way. If not, you will find an excuse.
- Educate yourself on how our bodies utilize food as fuel. The better you understand it, the easier it is to transform your body.
How Bodybuilding.com Helped Me Reach My Goals
Bodybuilding.com has been a huge contributor to my fitness achievements. I was able to connect with like-minded people through BodySpace, seek information, and find motivation through articles, training programs, and videos.
Bodybuilding.com will always be my first resort for fitness-related information.
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