Why I Got Started
After college my weight started to creep up for a few reasons:
- My lifestyle became less active. Sure, I "went to the gym" but being an Internet entrepreneur relegated most of my time to my computer.
- I was working out and thinking I was eating right, but I wasn't doing either properly. Meaning, I wasn't challenging myself in the gym and what I thought was eating healthy … I really wasn't.
Even though I'm a high-energy guy, I could feel myself getting lethargic, my clothes feeling tighter and honestly, I wasn't loving how I looked in photos.
I knew I needed to make a change and because I'm a "go all in or don't go in at all" type of guy, I wanted to get shredded and also find a program/system that allowed me to not only get into amazing shape but STAY in amazing shape.
How I Did It
It all started with an email to my friend Rob Murgatroyd who transformed himself from sort of average looking to fitness-model ripped. He told me he could virtually coach me through his program Jet Set Body with his wife Kim and if I was willing to work hard, he could get me shredded in 90 days and, more importantly, STAY in amazing shape. It was invaluable to learn from someone who did exactly what I wanted to do.
Here were some of the key points:
- I completely transformed my body in just 90 days and then continued to improve it over the next 90 days after that.
- 4 weight workouts per week focusing on different muscle groups. Reps changed every week and entire exercises changed monthly. The idea is to keep the body off balance and always challenging.
- I re-learned how to lift weights, really focusing on form over big weights and finding "shaky muscles" which indicates I've found a weak spot to improve.
- Cardio was not as much as you might think with 2-3 sessions per week at 20-30 minutes. I often times "replace" these cardio sessions with things I find more fun such as boxing, hockey and special body-weight workouts that make you sweat your butt off.
- Water was an extremely important element. I drank and continue to drink between 1-1.5 gallons per day which, besides keeping me hydrated, eliminates bloat.
- Besides the gym, the biggest thing I needed to change was eating. I wasn't a bad eater before, but I didn't know anything about portion sizes. During the program (and I still do this), I ate about 6 meals per day (2-3 hours a part) focusing big time on "clean" foods in the proper servicing as opposed to processed garbage, and usually I have veggies instead of grains the last two meals per day.
In terms of cheat meals, I eat about 2-3 per week where I ate anything I wanted which I found to be best for me (as opposed to doing one full day where you eat anything you want).
- Accountability was extremely key so I did some things that might sound a little odd but I found to be amazingly effective. One thing was a food log which I still do. Everything I eat gets written down.
Another is spending a little time each day to flex every major body part which helps with definition. The other was sending in photos to Rob & Kim weekly as evidence of progress.
The only supplement I used was Beverly International Ultimate Muscle Protein Powder (vanilla, chocolate and cookies & cream flavors). Serving size for me is 1.5 scoops and I usually make a about 2 shakes per day where I add in the protein powder with water, ice and some kind of fruit like cherries, peaches, strawberries or mangos.
Meal 2: Pre Workout
Upright Barbell Row (close-grip)4 sets of 8-12 reps
Circuit: Repeat 2x
Jumping jacks (with dumbbells)20 sec max reps, 10 sec rest
Circuit: Repeat 2x
Circuit: Repeat 2x
Medicine Ball Bicep Curl (shown with barbell)20 sec max reps, 10 sec rest
Circuit: Perform 1x
Suggestions for Others
1. Find A Freakin' Amazing Coach
If you are looking to make an important transformation, your determination and will is vital … but finding the right help is JUST as critical.
Look, I used to not be one for asking for help. I get it. You might be that way too. When I created The Rise To The Top I asked for little help. When I lost a bunch of weight in high school, I didn't ask for any help. But later on, in both these areas I have asked for help and the results have been astronomical.
2. Make A Quick Decision To Start
No simpler way of putting it. I had to put myself on the line when I emailed Rob. I had to tell him about how I was feeling and how I wasn't happy with my body. That is NOT an easy thing to do!
Rob & Kim asked for a commitment right away and I gave it to him. I didn't think about it for weeks. I didn't dream about it for months. I started on it right away. Within 48 hours after making the commitment I:
- Took embarrassing photos (my "before" photos).
- Joined a gym so I can use all the equipment that was required.
- Went to the store (well…actually Marcie did as the store makes me nervous) to buy new types of food.
- Started logging everything I ate.
One of trickiest parts of any transformation or new project is getting started. The less time you spend thinking and more time acting, the better.
3. View It As A "Project": Find A Beginning, Middle and End
To reduce getting overwhelmed and feel like you aren't in some kind of never-ending race, look for ways to quantify a beginning, middle and end to whatever you are doing. It can be overwhelming, tricky and difficult to get started (if you let it). How do you combat it? I like to view it was a project.
A project that has different phases all have a beginning, middle and end. Even if there REALLY isn't an end, create one. In my case, the end was the 90 day period where I took my photos. And I feel really darn accomplished. Of course, fitness will continue and I will have new 90 day goals. But, think about it this way, what sounds more exciting and possible? Get into really great shape in 90 days and culminate it with a fitness photo shoot. Mentally, I think it makes all the difference.
4. Find Consistent Accountability
Daily, weekly and monthly accountability are massively important. Every day I knew I had to drink 1 gallon of water, get my six meals in and do the workout required (or rest for that day). I knew every Thursday I'd get my butt out of bed, put on a swimsuit and have Marcie shoot photos of me. And I knew my food log was due.
Every month, I knew I'd have a Skype convo with Rob & Kim to see how I was doing, answer questions, etc. This accountability is fantastic. It keeps you on track. It keeps you to your word. And it is consistent enough where I couldn't escape it.
You might be different in terms of frequency to keep you on track, but I'd recommend finding something consistent that you have to report ... whatever it might be.
It will make all the difference between one of those "started but never completed" projects and accomplishing a massive goal.
5. The More You Want Something, The More Effort You Will Put Into It.
Transformations or taking on a massive new project aren't easy … or everyone would be able to do them at a drop of a hat. There will be jerky negabots who rear their ugly heads telling you that you are crazy or you will fail (and you might even think that sometimes).
You will probably have to make changes to your lives that are uncomfortable (and for some, change itself is a massive challenge). You can have the amazing help and accountability you need, but without wanting it bad enough and being willing to put in the work, it will be impossible to complete.
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