Body Transformation: From Scrawny To Swole

Gavin Schmitt looked like a beanpole during in his middle teens, which didn’t impress his peers or the young ladies. He squared up his diet--and look at him now!

Why I decided to transform

I decided to start going to the gym and taking fitness more seriously after I tore my ACL, MCL, and meniscus twice—once when I was 15 and then again when I was 16—playing basketball. Two surgeries later, I could no longer play basketball, so I knew I had to try something else.

Growing up in an athletic family, I decided to take on fitness and started getting myself to the gym 5-6 times a week. I had lifted before, but not as seriously. I was always taller than a lot of kids growing up, which was nice, but I didn't like being scrawny and knew that I would change that one day.

I bought dumbbells and began bench pressing in the garage after my knee surgery. I remember crutching downstairs to the garage and starting to lift with my upper body before I could even walk again on my knee. I watched videos on lifting and followed some magazine routines. I also got help from my mom, who had ten years of experience with being a personal trainer.

After months of working out in the garage, I decided it was time to start going to the gym; now you can find me there 4-6 times a week. It has helped me to keep busy and become more disciplined with everything in my life.

Lifting is also a great stress reliever when things aren't going your way. For the past year I've felt healthier, and am always working toward a new goal no matter how far along I come.

Before /// 150 lbs
After /// 180 lbs
AGE 16 / HEIGHT 6'1" / BODY FAT 6%
AGE 19 / HEIGHT 6'1" / BODY FAT 7%
Post To Fitboard

How I accomplished my goals

The thing that helped me really accomplish my goals was getting my diet in order. Once I started eating more calorie-dense foods that were high in nutrients, I really started to see changes. Having a high metabolism, I have always had to eat more than recommended to see any weight or strength gains at all. I also have to constantly switch my workout routines and rep ranges to keep my body guessing.

One person that really inspires me is Steve Cook. Steve and I are both from Boise, and I like how genuine and hardworking he is. I have always looked up to him, and follow his advice in many areas of fitness. I watch his Swoldiernation videos, and agreed with him on how the physique should look.

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Supplements that helped me through the journey

I have tried a lot of supplements out there, but here are my favorite brands and what I see the best results with.

With Meal 1
Pre-workout
Post-workout
Before Bed

Diet plan that guided my transformation

Note: I make sure to drink at least one gallon of water throughout the day.

Meal 1
Meal 2
Meal 3
Meal 4
Meal 5
Pre-workout
Post-workout
  • whey Whey Protein

    1 scoop

  • Pixie Sticks Pixie Sticks

    3 sticks (fast-digesting carb)

Meal 6
Before Bed

Training regimen that kept me on track

I am always changing my training routine. I have always lifted slow and controlled instead of fast and out of control. I feel like it works everything better, and it's easier on your body in the long run. I switch up my routine every 4-8 weeks, varying my rep ranges from 6-8 all the way up to 12-15.

Some months I will lift every body part once a week and others I will hit everything twice a week. It helps me put on lean muscle and not raise my body fat.

My favorite workout routine I have done is Arnold's 8-week Blueprint Trainer.

Day 1: Chest, Back & Abs
Follow rep ranges below unless listed otherwise.
30 reps is a warm-up set.

Superset
    • Chin-Up Chin-Up Chin-Up (Wide-grip)
      4 sets to failure
      45 seconds rest
Superset
Day 2: Shoulders, Arms & Abs
Follow rep ranges below unless listed otherwise.
30 reps is a warm-up set.

Superset
Superset
    • Barbell Curl Barbell Curl Barbell Curl
      5 sets of 30, 12, 10, 8, 6 reps
      45 seconds rest
Superset
Superset
Superset
Day 3: Legs
Arnold performed a max-effort squat when he really wanted to push the limits. Judge how you're feeling and if things are going well, work up to a max-effort squat every couple weeks.

Technique Max Effort
Pick one exercise and see what you can do for a 1-rep max. To get there, work up to the weight with the following rep pyramid, taking ample rest between each set: 20, 15, 10, 8, 5, 3, 1, 1, 1-rep max.

Superset
Superset
Day 4: Chest, Back & Abs
Follow rep ranges below unless listed otherwise.
30 reps is a warm-up set.

Superset
    • Chin-Up Chin-Up Chin-Up (Wide-grip)
      4 sets to failure
      45 seconds rest
Superset
Day 5: Shoulders, Arms & Abs
Follow rep ranges below unless listed otherwise.
30 reps is a warm-up set.

Superset
Superset
    • Barbell Curl Barbell Curl Barbell Curl
      5 sets of 30, 12, 10, 8, 6 reps
      45 seconds rest
Superset
Superset
Superset
Day 6: Legs
Arnold performed a max-effort squat when he really wanted to push the limits. Judge how you're feeling and if things are going well, work up to a max-effort squat every couple weeks.

Technique Max Effort
Pick one exercise and see what you can do for a 1-rep max. To get there, work up to the weight with the following rep pyramid, taking ample rest between each set: 20, 15, 10, 8, 5, 3, 1, 1, 1-rep max.

Superset
Superset
Day 7: Rest

What aspect challenged me the most

"As of right now I am starting to prep for my first men's physique show, in December. I have a feeling I will love it and will want to keep competing."

My diet plan was the part that challenged me the most. Always having a healthy meal ready to eat multiple times a day was the hardest part for me. I found the way to get through plateaus was to plan out my nutrition and workouts before the start of every week.

My future fitness plans

As of right now I am starting to prep for my first men's physique show, in December. I have a feeling I will love it and will want to keep competing. I plan to always make fitness a priority in my life, though, wherever I end up.

Suggestions for aspiring transformers

  • Always plan out your next move. I see the best results when I know what I am doing next with my nutrition and training.
  • Don't try to look exactly like someone else; work on seeing what great thing you can make out of yourself instead.
  • Study up. Know exactly how each muscle is being affected by every exercise, what supplements are doing once they hit your stomach, and how carbs, proteins, and fats individually help your body.
  • Don't let injuries hold you back. I have had knee surgeries, rotator cuff issues, stomach problems, and much more. Figure out how to work around them and still achieve your results instead of giving up.

How Bodybuilding.com helped me reach my goals

I rely on Bodybuilding.com for everything. I visit the site every day to read new articles, order my supplements, or find a new workout plan. I also go down to the Bodybuilding.com store here in Boise, and track some of my workouts through the BodySpace app.

What music pumps you up to exercise?

Eminem
"Cinderella Man"
Fort Minor
"Remember the Name"
Calvin Harris
"Summer"
Wiz Khalifa
"Work Hard, Play Hard"




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