Name: Brett Fitzgerald
Before: January 8, 2006
Weight: 173 lbs
Body Fat: 23%
After: May 28, 2008
Weight: 145 lbs
Body Fat: 9%
Why I Got Started
When I graduated from high school in 1998, I weighed about 120 pounds. I considered myself to be a hard-gainer, but found out that I played so much basketball (30 hours a week at least) that it didn't matter what I ate. While in college in 2001, I found a website about building muscle, skinnyguy.net.
I followed the free advice on the site and by the time I was out of college in 2002, I weighed 175 pounds and had a wrestler's body, although I did get fat in the stomach. I continued to do manual labor jobs and it didn't matter how much beer I drank or how many Oreo cookies I ate right before I went to sleep, I just hovered around 160-165 and didn't get any fatter.
Click Image To Enlarge.Brett Fitzgerald's Barbell Row Progress.
In October 2004, I began working as an independent contractor selling library books and spent most of my time driving, so I was no longer doing manual labor. I was still drinking heavily and eating fast food to save time. I would eat a double cheeseburger, large fries, large soda, and eat the same thing three hours later!
It hit me July 2005 when I was at my uncle's house eating some barbecue. I stood on the scale and was at 190 pounds at 5-foot-7 and a small frame to boot. My fairly muscular cousin who's 6-foot-2 stood on the scale and weighed 180. It hit me BIG time! I have to lose this weight!
Click Image To Enlarge.I Had To Lose The Weight.
How I Did It
I lost some weight by just eating Subway and drinking water or tea. I got down to around 175 by Christmas, but it wasn't good enough for me because I wanted to be lean and at least somewhat muscular or at least toned. Now that I wasn't on a college wage anymore, I decided to purchase the program from skinnyguy.net.
What I found is the book doesn't just teach you about workouts, but it taught about hormones, proper diet, proper lifting form, dealing with adversity, etc. - way more than I'd ever expected to be covered in a book! I also read Body For Life by Bill Phillips, which contains invaluable information as well.
Click Image To Enlarge.I Wanted To Be Lean And Muscular.
As for training, I did cardio 3 times per week for 30-60 minutes each session at least 75 percent of my target heart rate. I prefer the stationary bike to help my knee problems. I lifted weights three times per week for 45-60 minutes each session. I ate six meals a day spaced 3 hours or less apart from each other and followed a 40/30/30 ratio for my daily consumption.
For the diet, 40 percent of all calories came from protein (lean only), 30 from carbs (mostly fibrous carbs - at least 25g of fiber a day), and 30 from fats (Omega 3,6 & 9, as well as unsaturated). I based my daily caloric intake on my lean body mass (body weight - body fat) x 12.
|LEAN BODY MASS CALCULATOR
For example, I was 173 pounds with 23 percent body fat. 173 x (1-.23) = 133 pounds LBM x 12 = 1600 calories a day. On lifting days, I had 2000 because I consume a 400 calorie recovery shake immediately after I'm done lifting weights. NO TRANS FATS EVER! However, I allow myself 1 cheat meal a week for good behavior.
Even if I couldn't get a full meal, I at least made sure that I had some form of protein every 3 hours, whether that is a protein bar or beef jerky - I never missed getting essential protein so that I could try to maintain my muscle mass. Here's the diet math:
- 1600 calories x 40% = 640 calories
- 640 calories / 4 calories per gram of protein = 160g of protein per day
- 160g of protein per day / 6 meals per day = 27g of protein per meal
- 1600 calories x 30% = 480 calories
- 480 calories / 4 calories per gram of carbs = 120g of carbs per day
- 120g of carbs per day / 5 meals per day (I'm using 5 because I don't consume carbs on the last meal before I sleep) = 24g of carbs per meal
- 1600 calories x 30% = 480 calories
- 480 calories / 9 calories per gram of fat = 53g of fat per day
- 53g of fat per day / 6 meals per day = 9g of fat per meal
Most of my day is spent driving, so the diet was difficult for me and I had to be somewhat creative and find foods that wouldn't spoil in the heat/cold, but still tasted well. This is pretty much the diet I started with. As I got further, I was able to "wing it" a little bit better.
On lifting days, I would have 1 serving of Twinlab's Ultra Fuel (100g of carbs/400 calories) immediately after my session, then I would go home and have my post workout meal.
I think a person should always have a "yes" list of protein, carbs, and fat. Simply choose foods from that list and be creative with your meals. For example:
- Extra lean ground beef (at least 93% lean)
- Extra lean ground turkey breast (I've even seen 99% ground turkey breast)
- Venison (deer - most cuts)
- Buffalo/Bison (most cuts and ground meat are very lean)
- Turkey breast
- Chicken breast
- Fish (virutally all fish are super lean and super healthy)
- Fat-free cheese (Kraft and Borden make fat-free sliced and shredded cheese)
- Whey protein
- Cottage cheese/casein protein (casein is the powdered form of cottage cheese)
- I don't recommend pork; maybe only if you're going to eat an extra lean pork loin
- Vegetables (virtually all vegetables are just fine; many are low in calories and high in fiber)
- Fruits (fresh only, but check the GI ratings, some are very low, but some such as dates and cherries are very high)
- Beans (any bean)
- Whole wheat breads (Sometimes, you can look for high-fiber breads; I eat one made by Mrs. Baird's that has 6g of fiber per slice)
- Brown rice (brown rice is preferred, most white rices digest VERY quickly)
- Basmati rice or Uncle Ben's rice (the 2 slowest-digesting rices on the planet)
- Dry oats/oatmeal (no sugar versions)
- Pasta (whole wheat is preferred, but there's nothing wrong with normal pasta)
- Udo's 3-6-9 Oil Blend
- Flaxseed oil
- Extra virgin olive oil
- Chili oil
- Sesame oil
- Sesame chili oil
- Sunflower oil
- Fish oil
- Nuts (virtually any nut is fine)
- Fish (most fish have a great amount of omega-3 fatty acids)
- I don't add canola oil; it's a highly processed oil. Try to avoid processed foods
Click Image To Enlarge.Brett Fitzgerald.
Basically, I never do the same session for longer than 6 weeks; I always switch it up to avoid a plateau. For the most part, I separate everything as pushing (chest, shoulders, and triceps), pulling (biceps and back), abs and legs.
Due to my traveling lifestyle, sometimes, I was only able to lift twice per week, but I did my best to follow it as outlined. I never have a cardio day before a leg day because I want my legs to be 100% for that day, so I always have a "rest" day before leg day.
Fat Loss Workout Weeks 1-3:
Fat Loss Workout Weeks 4-9:
Use heavy weights. Tempo 3/0/1 (3 second negative, 0 second hold, 1 second press). 5 minute warm-up on stationary bike. 3 minutes rest between sets. Burnout set immediately after 4th work set & superset immediately after burnout set.
Session 1: Chest, Shoulders & Triceps
- Bench Press (flat), barbell - 4 work sets (10-12 reps, 8-10 reps, 6-8 reps, & 4-6 reps) + 1 burnout set (6-12 reps)
- Superset after burnout set - Flyes (flat), dumbbells - 8-12 reps
- Bench Dips - 4 work sets to failure (increase body weight if over 12 reps on any set)
- Shoulder Press (seated), dumbbells - 4 work sets (10-12 reps, 8-10 reps, 6-8 reps, & 4-6 reps) + 1 burnout set (6-12 reps)
- Superset after burnout set - Lateral raises (standing), dumbbells - 8-12 reps
Click Here For A Printable Log Of Session 1: Chest, Shoulders & Triceps.
Session 2: Legs
- Calf Raises (standing), stripsets to failure
- Squats, barbell - 4 work sets (10-12 reps, 8-10 reps, 6-8 reps, & 4-6 reps) + 1 burnout set (6-12 reps)
- Superset after burnout set - Leg Press, machine - 8-12 reps
- Hamstring Curl (lying), machine - 4 work sets (12 reps, 10 reps, 8 reps, & 6 reps)
Click Here For A Printable Log Of Session 2: Legs.
Session 3: Back, Biceps & Abs
- Pull-ups, (close-grip underhand) - 4 work sets to failure (increase body weight if over 12 reps on any set)
- Bent Over Rows, barbell (overhand grip) - 4 work sets (10-12 reps, 8-10 reps, 6-8 reps, & 4-6 reps) + 1 burnout set (6-12 reps)
- Bicep Curls (standing), EZ barbell - 3 work sets (10-12 reps, 8-10 reps, & 6-8 reps)
- Bicep Curls (incline), dumbbells - 3 work sets (10-12 reps, 8-10 reps, & 6-8 reps)
- Situps (flat) - 4 work sets (to failure), 60 seconds rest between each set
Click Here For A Printable Log Of Session 3: Back, Biceps & Abs.
- Cardio - 3 sessions, 45 minutes at 75% of max (week 4)
- Cardio - 3 sessions, 50 minutes at 75% of max (week 5)
- Cardio - 3 sessions, 55 minutes at 75% of max (week 6)
- Cardio - 3 sessions, 60 minutes at 75% of max (weeks 7-9)
Fat Loss Workout Weeks 10-12:
Fat Loss Workout Weeks 13-14:
Break from diet & training. Basically the same diet, but I had 1 cheat meal per day instead of per week.
Repeat cycle but keep cardio difficult. Always try to increase the speed, angle, resistance, etc. of your machine to challenge yourself.
Suggestions For Others
Something that really helped me in the beginning was when I took a photo of myself and found a photo of Matthew McConaughey (who, at that time, was voted best body in Hollywood).
I taped them side by side on the mirror I used every morning to shave, brush my teeth, etc. This served as a daily reminder of who I was and who I want to be. I think having an ideal goal body in mind and a daily visual is a great motivator.
Click Image To Enlarge.Having An Ideal Goal Body In
Mind Is A Great Motivator.
Don't listen to negative people and do your best to surround yourself with positive people. Most people in the gym offer bad advice - it's easy to tell because you see the same people in the gym year after year lifting the same weights and doing the same routine, and their bodies never change. What I've learned is that 99.9% of people just talk and 0.1% do. Stay focused, do your job, get in and get out.
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