Dan Shed 11% Of His Body Fat And Sculpted New Lean Muscle!

Dan never thought he had it in him to sculpt the body of his dreams. Boy, was he wrong. See how Dan found the strength and motivation to change his body and his mindset!


Vital Stats

Name: Dan Bergstrom

Email: Dbergstrom57@aol.com

Bodyspace: BergMuscle

Dan Bergstrom Dan Bergstrom

Before:

Age:
49
Height:
6'0"
Weight:
185 lbs
Body Fat:
17%
Waist:
34"

After:

Age:
53
Height:
6'0"
Weight:
175 lbs
Body Fat:
6.36%
Waist:
31"

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Why I Got Started
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As a teenager, I was always jealous of well-muscled men. I bought the BS that only "certain" men could build serious muscle mass. As an adult I lifted at a Nautilus gym during the 1980s and spent seven years training in Tae Kwon Do (I eventually earned a 2nd degree black belt). However, I never "fessed up" to myself, or anyone else, that what I really wanted was a true "muscle body."

I started lurking around Bodybuilding.com in 2004 and realized pretty quickly there were a bunch of "average" men and women here that had made major physical transformations. I started thinking "I can do that, too." In April 2006 I finally registered. That was when I decided to do all I could to get the physique I always wanted.

I Started Thinking 'I Can Do That, Too.'
+ Click To Enlarge.
I Started Thinking 'I Can Do That, Too.'

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How I Did It
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The biggest thing for me has been being part of the community at Bodybuilding.com. Just about everything I've written here I learned (or re-learned) from other members once I started posting and reading on this site on a regular basis. Starting my online training journal, and following other people's journals, has been a really great learning experience.

My first big lesson was that if I want to make consistent progress, I need to constantly increase either the weight I lifted or the number of reps I did. Microloading (small increase such as 1, 2, or 5 pounds) really made that happen for me. As soon as I hit my target reps on any exercise I could bump the weight by as small as 2%. Those increases add up over time.

Second, I needed to set up a program of basic, "tried and true" lifts and stick with it, without a lot of changes and quirky exercises. I may change the weight rep scheme if I hit a plateau, but constant changes based on whatever article I've just read don't facilitate real progress. In the past, I've made the "mistake" of constantly changing my routine to the point where I never did the same routine twice. I didn't lose muscle, but I didn't make any great gains that way either.

The Biggest Thing For Me Has Been Being Part Of The Community At Bodybuilding.com The Biggest Thing For Me Has Been Being Part Of The Community At Bodybuilding.com
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The Biggest Thing For Me Has Been Being Part
Of The Community At Bodybuilding.com.

Third, what I eat matters more than what I lift. I have to admit that I continually struggle with nutrition. Being a teacher, I have to organize my eating schedule around my school schedule, which can, at times, be pretty inflexible. However, like all aspects of bodybuilding, and life, I look more at what I can do rather than what I can't do. I try to eat mostly whole foods, avoiding meal replacements except when there is no other way to get in a "feeding."

I know that I haven't made huge gains in mass or strength, but I have experienced attitude changes that have gone along with my muscle development. I've struggled all of my adult life with maintaining a calm, strong, and focused approach to life, especially when the going gets rough. I won't say bodybuilding has made all the difference, but I will say that the physical and mental discipline I've had to cultivate have had a positive "spillover" effect into other areas of my life. As I improve my body, I deepen my self-confidence and my ability to deal with life's other challenges.

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Supplements
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Note: Supplement dosages and schedule listed below in Diet section.

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Diet
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I try to follow a portion control diet as much as possible. Meal 6 is the one I share with my wife so it varies the most from day to day.

Sample Daily Diet Plan:

Meal 1:

Meal 2:

Meal 3:

Meal 4:

Meal 5:

On Weight Training Days:

On Non Weight Training Days:

Meal 6:

Meal 7:

On Weight Training Days:

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Training
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My current split incorporates principles of Power-Density Training and is designed to give all my body parts sufficient rest before being hit either directly or indirectly. For most exercises I do a pyramid of increasing weight/ decreasing reps, followed by 2 high rep/ light weight "chaser" sets. Warm-up sets are at about 60% of my heaviest working weight.

TERMS YOU'LL NEED TO KNOW
Superset - Two exercises are performed consecutively without any rest.

Day 1: Legs/Abs

Day 2: Chest/Shoulders

Day 3: Rest/Cardio Day

  • Heavy Bag work and Stationary Bike

Day 4: Back/Traps/Abs

Day 5: Biceps/Triceps

Superset:

Superset:

Days 6 And 7: Rest/Cardio Day

  • Heavy Bag work and Stationary Bike

After six weeks of training, I do a deload week where I do all the same exercise with 50% of my highest working weight for 3 sets of 8-10 reps. This is to allow my muscles some active rest and let me check my form and technique before working with heavy weights again.

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Suggestions For Others
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Set measurable, attainable goals: one more rep than last week, 5 more pounds, or even 2 more pounds. It all adds up.

Pay attention to proper form. Sloppy lifting will not build your muscles and could lead to injury. It's better to lift lighter weights with better form. Check that ego at the door!

It's Better To Lift Lighter Weights With Better Form
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It's Better To Lift Lighter Weights With Better Form.

Be honest with yourself about what you want and don't let other people's opinions get in your way. Some of my friends exercise on a regular basis, a few lift weights, but no one else shares my bodybuilding goals. I've learned to ignore their "you shoulds" and now I'm getting more and more positive comments on how I look. I do it for me; my physique is a gift to myself.

Don't go halfway: if you go to the gym to lift, lift heavy enough to push your muscles to their maximum. The same can be said of your diet. You can't eat just one or two healthy meals a day and expect major changes in your body. The work of transforming your body has to integrate into your entire approach to life.

Finally, remember the adage "it's a marathon, not a sprint." It takes time and persistence to transform a physique. I know that I'm not done, and I won't be done for a long, long time. I plan to keep building my body one day, one rep, one set, one pound, one meal at a time.

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