Why I Got Started
As a kid I was always chubby. I played a lot of sports, but ate a lot of junk food as well. In high school, I started lifting weights at the school gym and built my home gym with a bench and weights. Size was gained, but I never achieved much definition. I knew little about nutrition.
In my late teens, a good workout program was followed and I worked a different body part in each session 3-5 times per week. Creatine was the latest craze at the time and my friends and I were taking it before working out, so although we were taking supplements, we didn't know exactly how they worked or the best times to take them. I was big from all the training but I had a thick layer of fat over my muscles so I still looked chubby.
I stopped working out for a long period of time which caused me to go from overweight to obese and I eventually ballooned out to a whopping 209 pounds. Overindulging during one Christmas, I realized I couldn't continue this way and I made a New Year's resolution to lose weight.
How I Did It
To start off with, calories were limited to 2000 a day by substituting my favourite foods for healthier alternatives. Alcohol on Friday nights was stopped and every weekend was a cheat weekend. To boost my metabolism, I had 6-8 meals/snacks a day and did cardio every lunch time for 30-40 mins, 5 days a week with free weight sessions 3 times a week.
After losing over 44 pounds of fat, I started heavy lifting at lunch times 5 days per week and did cardio first thing in the morning. More back and leg work was incorporated to target the larger muscle groups and I varied other types of exercises each week to keep things interesting as well as shock different parts of each muscle. A daily record was kept for my lifting and this helped me improve my reps, sets and heavier weights each week.
Importance was found in eating certain food at certain times, such as low-GI carbs in the morning and after workouts and constant protein meals/snacks. I had researched supplements and found out what to take and the best times to take them for maximum benefit, taking CLA with meals, creatine and BCAAs after a workout, l-glutamine and casein protein before bed. A lifestyle change was set in motion and I made a commitment to myself to continue to live this way for the rest of my life.
Meal 2: Post Workout
Meal 7: Before Bed
Day 1: Chest
Day 2: Legs
Day 3: Shoulders/Back
Day 4: Arms
Meal 5: Abs
Day 6: Cardio Only
Day 7: Rest
Note: Cardio is 40 mins each morning before breakfast.
The Finishing Touches
- Stay positive even after you cheat/binge on junk food. You can always get back on track tomorrow.
- Substitute your favorite food with healthy alternatives, i.e. green tea for lattes, protein bars for chocolate.
- Give yourself a cheat day each week giving yourself something to look forward to.
- For weight loss, stay away from alcohol (the hardest one!)
- Take a progress picture each month this will keep you motivated.
- Keep food and water on hand all the time, this will require some planning but this will stop you from eating junk and will also keep the metabolism going.
- Record your training reps, sets and weight each week and ensure you beat the previous week by either doing more reps, sets or weight and always improve.
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