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Body Transformation: Power Plan

Three years ago, Gary's life spiraled uncontrollably. His family life was in shambles and his body was deteriorating from the inside out. See how he found the fit freeway!
Name: Gary Brunner
Email: gwbrunner@gmail.com
BodySpace: highiso

Gary Brunner Gary Brunner
AGE 38
HEIGHT
6'0"
WEIGHT
250 lbs
BODY FAT
30%
AGE 40
HEIGHT
6'0"
WEIGHT
190 lbs
BODY FAT
8%

Why I Decided To Transform

In 2009, I was in the middle of a divorce and partially unemployed. Coming home to an empty house without my daughters after seeing them every day since they were babies was beyond tough. When I didn't have my girls, I spent most of my time depressed in front of the TV, eating and drinking whatever I chose.

Seeing firsthand how overweight I was in a picture of myself on a weekend lake trip made me sick. I immediately decided to change. January 1, 2010 was my start date.

The first six months of my weight loss journey consisted of lifting, a little cardio, and watching what I ate. I wasn't counting calories and knew nothing about macronutrients. I lifted weights in 2007 and joined Bodybuilding.com to learn more about bodybuilding. I learned a lot about lifting, but nothing about nutrition and building muscle. This time, I decided to do it the right way. I signed back into my account and researched about fat loss and lean muscle building.

I realized nutrition was 85 percent of the muscle building-fat loss equation and it was the missing piece to my fitness puzzle. The reason I failed years before was crystal clear—I didn't have the slightest idea how to eat healthy, which stalled any gains I could've made. After reading up on nutritional information, I tried nearly every diet in the Nutrition section, vigorously attempting to cut fat.

Fast forward three years and here I am. I have a daily diet that I follow religiously and count calories and macronutrients to the gram. I love what I eat and still have at least one cheat meal per week even during my spring and summer cut. I even drink beer. Do I miss all the garbage I used to eat? Yes. Do I feel better than I did when I was 25? Absolutely!

How I Accomplished My Goals

I ate, drank, and slept bodybuilding. If that's your goal, you can't do anything else. That doesn't mean my life was consumed by it. I spend 50-60 minutes a day in the gym, 5-6 days a week. I no longer do any cardio, except for a few weekly tennis matches and bike rides with my daughters.

I have a wonderfully supportive girlfriend who makes our incredibly delicious dinners. It's quite manageable to do this and still live a normal life. Everything is in moderation, as everything in life should be.

The toughest part of my transformation was educating myself. Soaking up nutritional science was a daunting task. There are many ways to diet and not every plan works for everyone. The plateaus were very tough. How could I win a fight against fat that I carelessly acquired? The extra skin was a concern too. What if it still remained after?

Consistency was key; it's why my body is able to recover so well. My advice to someone who craves a similar transformation would be to do your nutritional research, create a lifting regimen that fits your schedule, and consistently.

I'm proof it can be done at the age of 40. Most people buy a sports car during a mid-life crisis. I chose to put the time in and create a body I should've had in my 20s.

Supplements That Helped Me Through The Journey

After reading about supplements, ingesting tons of reviews, and hearing other's results, I came to the conclusion that less is more. Whole foods are the best way to achieve the body you desire.

The only supplements I found useful are: whey protein, BCAAs, micronized creatine, B-Complex, fish oil, and a pre-workout/N.O. drink.

Pre-workout
Post-workout

Diet Plan That Guided My Transformation

I practice intermittent fasting, which means I fast for 16 hours a day and have an eight-hour feeding window. My first meal of the day is lunch at 2:30 p.m. after my workout, and I finish with a meal by 10:30 p.m.

My calories are usually between 2000-2400, and my average daily macronutrients are 235g proteins, 200g carbs, and 65g fat.

Meal 1
  • coffee

    Coffee w/ 1 tbsp Creamer in each

    2 cups

Meal 2

Training Regimen That Kept Me On Track

I try to hit each muscle group twice per week on a 5-6 day schedule, always lifting to failure in the 6-12 rep range. I'll use a de-load week when I feel rundown. I let my body tell me what it can endure.

Day 1: Chest/Triceps
Day 2: Legs
Day 3: Back/Biceps
Day 4: Chest/Triceps/Abs
Day 5: Shoulders/Abs
Day 6: Legs/Biceps

What Aspect Challenged Me The Most

The most challenging part about the transformation, aside from always being hungry and getting my nutrition squared away, was not being able to have the body I wanted immediately. It took me nearly three years of serious dedication to get where I want to be, and I'm not done yet.

I've dreamt about being in shape from the time I was a teenager. It took hitting rock-bottom to push myself beyond my comfort zone. If you want something bad enough, it's possible to break through all obstacles in order to achieve your goals.

My Future Fitness Plans

I plan to keep living healthy, lifting heavy, and hopefully become an inspiration to others. Most importantly, I'm glad I decided to make life changes so I can see my daughters grow up.

Suggestions For Aspiring Transformers

  • Make realistic long and short-term goals.
  • Don't be discouraged when you fail. Just work harder to overcome. It works.
  • Do your nutritional research. Without proper nutrition, your goals won't be met.
  • Create a balanced diet and track your calories and macronutrients. If you eat it, log it.
  • Create a lifting routine that fits your schedule and stick to it.
  • Schedule a cheat meal once a week.
  • I've wanted to quit many times over the past three years because changes were painfully slow. You'll experience the same at some point. The only thing you can do is work harder, eat smarter, and overcome.

How Bodybuilding.com Helped Me Reach My Goals

There's a wealth of information on Bodybuilding.com that offers a full range of diets and lifting techniques. You'll never be able to read it all. Find BodySpace members who inspire you, find out what works for them, and follow nutritional and workout logs created by successful members. Pick the physique you want and build it.

You Could Be Our Next Transformation Of The Week


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Have you made a dramatic change either by gaining muscle of by losing all the weight you have been hoping for?

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Comments

Showing 1 - 25 of 74 Comments

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RobinOlds

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RobinOlds

Great Job, Man! I started of IF recently too. Cutting down now, but I will keep your diet in mind for the future. All foods I enjoy with a good macro ratio. Keep it up!

Oct 11, 2012 6:29pm | report
  • Body Stats
  • ht: 19'10"
  • wt: 238.2 lbs
  • bf: 20.0%
Skullster

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Skullster

Awesome job and congrats on being featured!

Oct 11, 2012 8:07pm | report
highiso

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highiso

Thx Skullster, you're transformation will be epic, stick with it man, I can't wait to see you featured here!!!

Oct 12, 2012 10:07am | report
Maech

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Maech

You've got meal 1, two cups of coffee.
I assume this would be 'Breakfast'.

Also do you get agitated not eating till midday?

Oct 11, 2012 9:21pm | report
highiso

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highiso

Yes 2 cups of coffee every morning. Fasting gets easier by the 2nd-3rd week. I only got agitated when I first started this transformation. Getting over the addiction of sugar and just plain bad foods took some time. Mind over matter and good old will power FTW!

Oct 12, 2012 10:10am | report
MIKESTER3

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MIKESTER3

VERY INSPIRATION TO ME KEEP UP THE GOOD WORK

Oct 11, 2012 10:21pm | report
Jezza84

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Jezza84

Well done champ. Absolutely amazing job. Very inspirational. Keep up the good work.

Oct 11, 2012 11:12pm | report
afterdusk

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afterdusk

Congratulations ! considering 3 years is a short to get spectacular results like this

Oct 11, 2012 11:36pm | report
highiso

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highiso

The keys are, spot on nutrition and 5-6 days a week hitting the iron.

Oct 12, 2012 10:11am | report
Joedzilla

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Joedzilla

Amazing good work.

Oct 12, 2012 7:19am | report
  • Body Stats
  • ht: 14'6"
  • wt: 174.16 lbs
  • bf: 11.0%
balancelife1

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balancelife1

Gary, you are an inspiration! You are spot on with nutrition knowledge being the cornerstone of your success.
Your persistance, dedication and tenacity are traits to imitate. The tranformation photos say it all, but my favorite is the final one is with your girlfriend and beautiful little girls. Health = Happiness! Congratulation on achievingyour goals!

Article Rated:
Oct 12, 2012 8:06am | report
highiso

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highiso

Thx! Nutrition is really almost everything!

Oct 12, 2012 10:12am | report
MCOnyec

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MCOnyec

Great Job! Keep up the awesome work. Congrats on the feature!!

Oct 12, 2012 9:19am | report
Petes0281

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Petes0281

Wow now that is inspiring! Good job

Oct 12, 2012 10:01am | report
ChickenPauk

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ChickenPauk

Keep killing it!!

Oct 12, 2012 10:26am | report
Qotu79

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Qotu79

Wow. It looks like you transformed yourself using a chisel. Can I borrow it? LOL. Very nice work and thanks for sharing your story.

Oct 12, 2012 10:34am | report
Babakg

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Babakg

Mad props on the transformation! btw, how long do you normally rest between sets?

Oct 12, 2012 11:10am | report
highiso

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highiso

I tend to do a lot of super-setting, Usually 60 seconds or less and no longer than 90.

Oct 15, 2012 7:30am | report
Rebamomma135165

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Rebamomma135165

Congrats! Very inspiring story.

Oct 12, 2012 11:56am | report
DonovansKSU

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DonovansKSU

AWESOME transformation!! Nice job buddy!

Oct 12, 2012 12:14pm | report
Nothingface81

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Nothingface81

Amazing job man keep it up. did you have excess skin, if so what did you do about it?

Oct 12, 2012 12:14pm | report
highiso

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highiso

Thanks! My skin has taken close to 3 years to return to normal.

Oct 15, 2012 7:32am | report
64PUMP

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64PUMP

Very inspiring!!!! Great work my friend!!!!

Oct 12, 2012 12:35pm | report
Marv2375

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Marv2375

Awesome! Sounds exactly like the story of my life!

Oct 12, 2012 12:48pm | report
Dannythedub

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Dannythedub

Serious transformation! Congrats. Did you have any loose skin or stretch marks when you lost the weight?

Oct 12, 2012 12:48pm | report
Showing 1 - 25 of 74 Comments

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