Body Transformation: Shawn Caswell Harnessed Gains From Gethin

Shawn's prayers were answered when he found Kris Gethin's Hardcore Trainer. See how this former Marine lost 47 pounds and 26 percent body fat in 12 weeks!
Q

Why I decided to transform

As a former Marine and high school football athlete, I used to be in decent shape. Post-Marine Corps, and after starting a family, my focus on health wilted and I rapidly gained weight, which led to bouts of depression.

Shortly after my first child turned two years old, my weight shot up to 264 pounds. I was forced to buy size 38 pants for the first time. It became difficult to bend over and tie my shoes. I knew something had to change because I didn't recognize the person in the mirror.

How I accomplished my goals

Marines adapt and overcome. It's engrained in our DNA. I looked up training programs online with free nutrition guides and found a saving grace: Kris Gethin's 12-Week Hardcore Daily Trainer. It's more than a training guide with nutrition advice. Gethin's program has a video for every one of the 84 grueling days, with Kris as your virtual personal trainer and training partner. Along with Kris' motivation, wisdom, and intensity is a foolproof nutrition plan to help you get shredded.

Before /// 242 lbs
After /// 195 lbs
AGE 26 / HEIGHT 5'8" / BODY FAT 36%
AGE 29 / HEIGHT 5'9" / BODY FAT 10%

I followed the protocol in every way with only minor slip-ups and achieved fantastic results. I began the program at the end of March 2011 and dropped from 242 pounds and 29 percent body fat to 198 pounds and 13 percent body fat in 84 days.

I utilized many principles Kris teaches and uses himself, like FST and DTP, competed in May 2012, and placed third in men's physique at 5-foot-8 and 174 pounds.

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Supplements that helped me through the journey

Diet plan that guided my transformation

Meal 1: Breakfast
Meal 2
Meal 3
Meal 4
Meal 5: Post-workout
Meal 6
Meal 7
Meal 8: Before bed

Training regimen that kept me on track

I stuck with Gethin's 12-week program for my transformation. Now I use a modified five-day split and switch it up weekly to avoid plateaus and boredom.

Day 1: Legs
  • Barbell Full Squat Barbell Full Squat Barbell Full Squat
    2 warm-up sets
    6 working sets of 12, 12, 10, 10, 8, and 4 reps
  • Leg Press Leg Press Leg Press
    3 sets to failure
  • Dumbbell Lunges Dumbbell Lunges Dumbbell Lunges
    3 sets of 24 reps
  • Superset
  • Leg Extensions Leg Extensions Leg Extensions
    3 sets of 15, 12, and 10 reps
  • Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift
    3 sets of 15, 12, and 10 reps



Day 2: Arms/Core
    Superset
  • Dumbbell Alternate Bicep Curl Dumbbell Alternate Bicep Curl Dumbbell Alternate Bicep Curl
    4 sets of 15, 12, 10, and 8 reps
  • Triceps Pushdown - Rope Attachment Triceps Pushdown - Rope Attachment Triceps Pushdown - Rope Attachment
    4 sets of 15 reps
  • Superset
  • Spider Curl Spider Curl Spider Curl
    3 sets to failure
  • EZ-Bar Skullcrusher EZ-Bar Skullcrusher EZ-Bar Skullcrusher
    3 sets to failure
  • Superset
  • Preacher Curl Preacher Curl Preacher Curl
    3 sets to failure
  • Triceps Overhead Extension with Rope Triceps Overhead Extension with Rope Triceps Overhead Extension with Rope
    3 sets to failure
  • Giantset
  • Hanging Leg Raise Hanging Leg Raise Hanging Leg Raise
    4 sets of 25 reps
  • Seated Barbell Twist Seated Barbell Twist Seated Barbell Twist
    2 sets of 50 reps (each side)
  • Cable Crunch Cable Crunch Cable Crunch
    4 sets of 25 reps



Day 3: Rest
Day 4: Chest
  • Incline Cable Flye Incline Cable Flye Incline Cable Flye
    4 sets of 15 reps
  • Incline Dumbbell Flyes Incline Dumbbell Flyes Incline Dumbbell Flyes
    4 sets of 15, 12, 10, and 8 reps
  • Flat Bench Cable Flyes Flat Bench Cable Flyes Flat Bench Cable Flyes
    4 sets of 15 reps
  • Dumbbell Bench Press Dumbbell Bench Press Dumbbell Bench Press
    4 sets of 15, 12, 10, and 8 reps
  • Smith Machine Decline Press Smith Machine Decline Press Smith Machine Decline Press
    3 sets to failure



Day 5: Back/core
  • Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
    2 warm-up sets
  • Straight-Arm Pulldown Straight-Arm Pulldown Straight-Arm Pulldown
    4 sets of 12 reps
  • Barbell Deadlift Barbell Deadlift Barbell Deadlift
    4 sets of 12, 10, 8, and 6 reps
  • Superset
  • Pullups Pullups Pullups
    3 sets to failure
  • Seated Cable Rows Seated Cable Rows Seated Cable Rows
    3 sets of 12 reps
  • Superset
  • Pullups Pullups Pullups
    3 sets to failure
  • Reverse Grip Bent-Over Rows Reverse Grip Bent-Over Rows Reverse Grip Bent-Over Rows
    3 sets of 10-12 reps
  • Giantset
  • Hanging Leg Raise Hanging Leg Raise Hanging Leg Raise
    4 sets of 25 reps
  • Seated Barbell Twist Seated Barbell Twist Seated Barbell Twist
    2 sets of 50 reps (each side)
  • Cable Crunch Cable Crunch Cable Crunch
    4 sets of 25 reps



Day 6: Rest
Day 7: Shoulders/core
  • Seated Dumbbell Press Seated Dumbbell Press Seated Dumbbell Press
    4 sets of 15, 12, 10, and 8 reps
  • Seated Side Lateral Raise Seated Side Lateral Raise Seated Side Lateral Raise
    4 sets of 15, 12, 10, and 8 reps
  • Front Dumbbell Raise Front Dumbbell Raise Front Dumbbell Raise
    3 sets of 12-15 reps
  • Standing Barbell Press Behind Neck Standing Barbell Press Behind Neck Standing Barbell Press Behind Neck
    3 sets of 12 reps
  • Cable Rear Delt Fly Cable Rear Delt Fly Cable Rear Delt Fly
    3 sets of 20 reps
  • Giantset
  • Hanging Leg Raise Hanging Leg Raise Hanging Leg Raise
    4 sets of 25 reps
  • Seated Barbell Twist Seated Barbell Twist Seated Barbell Twist
    2 sets of 50 reps (each side)
  • Cable Crunch Cable Crunch Cable Crunch
    4 sets of 25 reps


What aspect challenged me the most

Nutrition was the toughest part. My family wouldn't eat what I did, so I had to put out extra money weekly for specific nutrition needs to eat clean while everyone else ate lasagna or pizza.

My future fitness plans

I'd like to complete my personal training certification and take the NPC stage in bodybuilding this year.

Suggestions for aspiring transformers

It's a marathon, not a sprint. Don't look for the easy way or the miracle pill. You have to change your lifestyle and modify your plan to fit your life. The fitness life is bountiful.

How Bodybuilding.com helped me reach my goals

Kris Gethin's 12-Week Trainer was a godsend. I doubt I would've stuck to another plan. Kris made it fun, became myfriend, and got meamped for the next day (even after leg day).

Shawn's Top 5 Gym Tracks

  1. "Swallowing Razorblades" by Parkway Drive
  2. "Try 'N Hold Me Back" by Rob Bailey & The Hustle Standard
  3. "Guns For Show, Knives For A Pro" by Parkway Drive
  4. "Forever" by As I Lay Dying
  5. "Sucker Punch" by Free The Fallen