Body Transformation: Preacher Of Consistency

He gets up at 3:30 a.m., 365 days a year, and immediately opens his Bible. This is a life that allowed Bruce Coleman to bury his demons and get huge!
Name: Bruce Coleman
BodySpace: MrTuffbody

Bruce Coleman Bruce Coleman
AGE 39
227 lbs
AGE 48
193 lbs

Why I Got Started

I had a false start in 2003 when the Body-For-Life contests were just getting started. I call it a false start because I never completed the 12-week contest. I would go on to spend the next five years being totally inconsistent with working out. Meanwhile, my weight gain continued to creep up as I got more and more out of control. This all changed when I turned 44 in 2007.

My 44th birthday card had a cartoon character of your Average Joe on the front. Joe had a 6-pack of beer strapped over his stomach. My friend had crossed out Joe's name and penciled in my name so the card read "Bruce's first attempt at 6-pack abs." At that moment, I realized that like that cartoon character I was going about what I wanted all wrong.

I wanted to be fit, healthy, and live well all my days. But I was a pack-a-day cigarette smoker for more than 20 years and I had an alcohol problem that was getting worse. I earned the nickname "Drunk Boy" along with the reputation for working hard and partying even harder.

I was still functional, but that was becoming increasingly more difficult as the years passed. Especially at the end, were I would frequently drink rum by the fifth at least every Friday, Saturday, and sometimes Wednesday night too. These all-night binges would leave me terribly hung over the next day.

I would often black out and not even remember what I did the night before. It was beginning to take a toll. I had tried many times, using many different ways, to quit smoking and drinking. I once quit for six months. On other attempts, I would only last a few days, others only a few hours.

For years, I struggled with these addictions. This birthday card marked the day it all changed for me, forever. Leading up to this lasting change, I realized there was a distinct pattern that kept repeating itself in my life. I would successfully quit for some period of time, I would feel proud and good about the achievement, and then I would relapse and feel nothing but shame and disgust. To get rid of those guilty feelings I would drink even more. I would go on until things got so bad again that I had to make a change. It would take a few years sometimes to reach this point. Sometimes it only took a few months. And then the whole cycle would start again.

I'm a USMC, an Airborne Ranger, and a Green Beret. Weakness just doesn't fit my personality. Yet, it was only by accepting my inability to change my lifetime dependency on nicotine and alcohol that actually lead to my freedom. All it took was one prayer. I just acknowledged to God and myself that these habits were too big for me; that if I was going to be free, God would have to do it for me.

I asked God to free me. I believed that He would, and He did. And what God did for me, He can do for you also. It doesn't matter how big your tormenter is, nothing is too big for God. Absolutely nothing is bigger than the Almighty God! And just like it says in John 8:36: "So if the Son makes you free, you will be free indeed."

Bruce traded partying for fitness and the Word of God.

How I Did It

It's not age that makes most of us old. It's old habits coming home to roost. It's the harvest of the bad habits we've been sowing from our youth that makes us old before our time.

The age of 40 isn't over the hill. It's merely the first harvest of the lifestyle you've been living. The Bible says: "Do not be deceived: God cannot be mocked. A man reaps what he sows." -- Galatians 6:7.

The good news is that you can move back to the vim and vigor of your younger years if you are willing to change your habits.

The first thing I determined was to stop sowing bad habits, and start sowing good ones. That is the single purpose of what I've come to call my morning ritual.

I start early. Currently, I'm up at 3:30 a.m. every morning. It wasn't quite that early when I first started, but my basic routine hasn't changed in more than four years. First thing I do is read the Bible. I use a daily Bible reading divided into 365 daily readings. This makes it easy.

Before I started my morning ritual I was just like most people who claim to believe the Bible, yet never read it. Not any more. I've read the Bible from cover to cover four times now, and I plan to continue this practice forever. It is just that beneficial.

After Bible reading, I spend a few moments in prayer. Like clockwork, its Bible reading, prayer, personal hygiene, and then exercise. The secret is to make it non-negotiable. I waste no time allowing myself to entertain any excuses such as I'm tired, I don't feel like it, I'm sore, 'blah, blah, blah.' I get up and get busy with my daily grind, period.




This was the hardest part for me. My diet didn't progress anywhere near as fast as my training. First of all, my goal is to be lean all the time. I train the way I train, and eat the way I eat, because this is the way I want to look. This is not a sport to me. This is life, and life doesn't have an off-season.

My training has been a steady progression, but my diet has been more of an evolution. It began with the simple realization that you can't make up for a poor diet with any type or amount of training.

This realization led me to eliminating fast food. After fast food, I got rid of soda. I switched to diet soda for a while, but finally just cut all soda out completely. Then, I went on a sugar elimination kick.

Funny thing about sugar is they put it in everything. After sugar, I looked to get rid of all artificial sweeteners.

At this point, I was eating pretty clean and it got me to within 10 pounds of my goal weight. Then I plateaued for months while I tried no carb, low carb, carb cycling, and lots of other stuff.

All this led to my next big realization: At the end of the week, it doesn't matter how clean your diet was; whether you lose, gain, or stay the same will be determined by how many calories your body burned minus how many calories you consumed.

To lose, you have to burn more than you take in. Most people assume that means you have to do more cardio. I think that's a crazy reason for doing cardio. I do believe we need to do cardio for conditioning, but to burn calories? How many calories do you think you are burning during that hour-long session on the treadmill? Maybe you burn 500-600 calories. There are more calories than that in a Happy Meal.

To me, it just makes more sense to create a calorie deficit by not eating the Happy Meal rather than spending hours every week going nowhere doing cardio. Please don't think I'm saying a calorie is a calorie. All calories count the same, but nutritionally not all calories are the same. They call it clean when it is nutritious and junk when it is void of any nutritional value.

If you want to be healthy, you have to restrict the junk and get plenty of the clean. And if you eat more than your body is burning, it has to store the excess as fat. Even if you are eating the healthiest stuff on the planet, eat more than your body can use, and you will put on fat.

My current diet is pretty extreme and I really hope I'm not adding to all the confusion. I know how intimidating it can be to look at some diet plans and see just how different they are from what you eat on day-to-day basis. Don't expect to get there all at once. Make one small change, then another, and then another.

It takes a bit of time, but that is how you will get your diet to where you want it to be. This Ava Cowan video sums up my diet philosophy in less than four minutes.

Meal 1
Meal 2
Meal 3
Meal 4: Post-Workout
Meal 5


Over 40 Transformations: Bruce Coleman - Walking Drills

Watch The Video - 03:31

I train six days per week. My current routine is focused on improving my upper body. I use the same general warm-up each day. I start with standing dynamic flexibility drills that are very similar to the walking drills in my video.

Then I finish up my warm-up with a Ropa Dope 10 Spot.

Day 1: Heavy Chest/Back/Arms/Calves
Day 2: Sprint 8
Day 3: Medium Chest/Back/Arms/Calves
Day 4: Sprint 8
Day 5: Light Chest/Back/Arms/Calves
Day 6: Sprint 8
Day 7: Rest

Suggestions For Others

The Biggest Loser is a reality show, not real life. Unless you are going to move to a micro-managed fat farm in TV land, what you see on that show is about as real as a giant Easter bunny that lays chocolate eggs. Rapid weight loss is usually followed by weight gain that exceeds the initial weight loss.

The reason why losing weight slower is so much more likely to be permanent is because a loss of 1-to-2 pounds per week requires the development of a healthy lifestyle. It is the maintainable healthy lifestyle, not the crash weight loss, which is the key for long-term success.

Don't be afraid or discouraged by the slow process. It's completely necessary. Your lifestyle choices today will determine if tomorrow you are stronger or weaker, happier or unhappier.

Start with making one small positive change, and eliminating the biggest negative habit festering in your life. Consistently continue this process of increasing your positives while decreasing your negatives and you will be transformed.

Here's my transformation formula that is guaranteed to work: Consistent effort + time = transformation. Focus on the consistent effort, that is the daily grind, and the rest will happen automatically. It doesn't matter how many times you've tried and failed in the past. All can be overcome. Sincerely ask God, believe that He will enable you to do it, and you will get it done. Do it now.

My Website:

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