Body Transformation: From Success In The Weight Room To Success In Life

Chris Harrington wasn't always an enterprising young personal trainer. He used to be bullied, and now he's on his way towards becoming a fitness model!

Why I decided to transform

As a young teenager, I was a late bloomer and entered high school at 5'3" at a whopping 95 pounds. I tried out for the football team because I wanted to be one of the cool guys who would be easily accepted and would have a lot of friends. However, I was at a serious disadvantage with my size and could barely endure practices so I ended up quitting.

I was pushed around and bullied nearly every single day since elementary school. I felt my physique was an outward manifestation of the weaknesses I held inside as a small, insecure person. I began weight lifting at home when I was 14 and had no idea what I was doing. I became a video game addict as a way to avoid my insecurities and real issues in life. I began playing games like Call of Duty and World of Warcraft as an escape and would play for entire days after school and over 12 hours on weekends. It became so bad that I would hallucinate that I was playing video games when I would try to sleep.

By junior year of high school, I was tired of running from my fears and joined the local gym and committed to challenging myself to do better, to be better. I inspired a few friends to join with my dedication and consistency and would walk a few miles to the gym every day after school, regardless of the weather. It became my hobby and something I couldn't live without. I looked forward to challenging myself in the gym every day, which reflected on my life as a whole.

I began to challenge myself outside of the gym, as I became more confident and my physique grew. I kept challenging myself and stuck with it. I am now a certified personal trainer, and continue to challenge myself and my physique daily. I continue to learn and grow as an athlete. I've since competed in the Spartan Race for 2012 and 2013 and have notably placed in the top 9 percentile out of 6187 athletes. What started as a fight against insecurities has grown into one of my favorite activities that I cannot live without.

Before /// 110 lbs
After /// 170 lbs
AGE 14 / HEIGHT 5'6" / BODY FAT 15%
AGE 20 / HEIGHT 5'10" / BODY FAT 12%
Post To Fitboard

The values pumping iron teaches you can be applied everywhere in your life. You have to be willing to push through the pain of failure and always get back up no matter how many times you fall down. I love bodybuilding because it makes me feel alive. Rather than just living day to day, I feel like I can conquer the world and have more energy and better health than I ever have in my entire life.

I went from barely passing high school to graduating the top of my class at community college and moving onto a prestigious four-year school (Babson College). I have since become a class senator, residential assistant, and have many other active leadership involvements. I thank bodybuilding for getting me started on the path to success in my everyday life.

Bodybuilding allows me to challenge myself to be better daily. I find that if you cannot push yourself inside the gym, there's no way you can challenge yourself and push yourself in the real world.

Cool Fact

"When I was 17, nobody would hire me so I went and started a lawn care business. Eventually, I got hired to a local retail store that I quit 2 years later to continue expanding my lawn care business which expanded to over 6 cities and towns with 25+ accounts. I later sold the lawn care business. Just goes to show you what hard work can do."

How I accomplished my goals

I was able to accomplish my goals by staying consistent and sticking true to my passions and values. While others got into drugs and alcohol throughout late teenage years, I stuck to my true values of taking care of my health, going to the gym, and monitoring my nutrition.

Whether I was trying to build mass, get lean for a race, or maintain my physique, I always stuck to my goals by putting them in writing. I made clear, defined, measurable, yet achievable goals with a specific deadline that I always stuck to.

Small goals build up and compound over time, so by sticking to the short-term goals, I was able to achieve (and continue to achieve) long term success.

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Supplements that helped me through the journey

With Meal 5

Diet plan that guided my transformation

My meals are usually pretty flexible. I simply follow a specific macronutrient split to reach a specific amount of protein, fats, and carbohydrates each day. I usually try to fill that with a lot of healthy fats (peanut butter, olive oil), lean meats (chicken breast, tuna), and lots of fruit and vegetables (apples, bananas, strawberries, broccoli, green beans, etc).

Meal 1
Meal 2
Meal 3
Meal 4
Meal 5
Meal 6

Training regimen that kept me on track

I rotate volume days with intensity days, so my workouts aren't always the same. I'll sometimes significantly lower the volume on workouts and attempt to hit PRs. I change up my workouts very often because I believe doing the same exercise over and over can reduce your overall results.

I also believe in using mixed rep ranges if hypertrophy is the overall goal. I like to start my workouts with heavy weights and compound movements and end with light isolation exercises for maximum reps in the 20-40 range.

Tuesday: Back/Shoulders
Wednesday: Legs/Calves
Thursday: Chest/Arms
Repeat Friday, Saturday, and Sunday

Rest on Monday

What aspect challenged me the most

Everything was challenging to me when I first started. I was always misinformed and never had a solid base for information. I would follow professional bodybuilder's workout routines and had no clue on how to execute proper nutrition. I was always under eating and overtraining.

I was able to overcome the challenges by spending a lot of spare time reading and educating myself on bodybuilding. I learned how to effectively structure a workout routine, I learned a lot of basic principles to integrate into training routines to allow muscles to grow, I learned about proper supplementation, and I learned how to structure a nutrition plan that suited my body, my needs, and my goals.

My future fitness plans

I plan to continue to motivate and inspire others to live healthy, active lifestyles and to live beyond their means rather than within them. I am planning on becoming one of the most notable fitness trainers on the planet, starting with my online fitness consulting business.

I am striving to build the physique of a fitness model and use my physique as a tool to motivate and inspire people to join the fitness movement. I am blogging about my journey to a fitness model while recording videos and tracking my progress along the way.

I plan on being a notable fitness model with industry exposure in the near future, getting sponsored by clothing lines and supplement companies, and expanding my online fitness coaching.

Suggestions for aspiring transformers

If I had to give a few words of advice, I'd say the following:

Don't compare yourself to others. They have not walked in your shoes nor in your footsteps. Only compare yourself to the person you were yesterday. Stay consistent and stay hungry because results take time. It doesn't happen overnight. Rome wasn't built in a day.

Most importantly, never ever give up. It doesn't matter how much of a disadvantage you may believe you have. It doesn't matter how bad your genetics may be or how many failures or setbacks you've suffered. What matters is that you're going to outwork every single person that tries to tell you that you cannot succeed.

How helped me reach my goals always kept me motivated by allowing me to network with individuals who kept me inspired and pushed me towards my goals on BodySpace. I also found it very beneficial to log my workout routines on the forum where others would hold me accountable, subscribe to my threads, and always be there waiting for me to post my next workout. It kept me motivated because I didn't want to give up when a lot of people were supporting my goals and efforts.

I am now working on my dreams of becoming a fitness model and top coach and personal trainer in the industry. You can check out my online fitness coaching at

Chris's Top 5 Gym Tracks

  1. "No one Left" by Kid Ink
  2. "Walk in the Club" by Kid Ink
  3. "Who Want Some" by T.I.
  4. "Blue" by Gemini
  5. "Believe in Me" by Matt Davey

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