Don't Let Poor Health Choices Catch Up With You.

David always thought he was in shape until he found himself unable to keep up with his troop on a hike. Read on to see how he executed a fitness 180 and changed his body forever.

Vital Stats

Name: David R. Ingram

Email: david@symbioticfitness.com

BodySpace: David602

Website: http://SymbioticFitness.com

Forum Thread: David602

David R. Ingram David R. Ingram

Before:

Age:
30
Height:
5'10"
Weight:
205 lbs
Body Fat:
25%
Waist:
36"

After:

Age:
31
Height:
5'10"
Weight:
177 lbs
Body Fat:
8-9%
Waist:
31"

Why I Got Started

I was the skinny kid growing up; entering high school at 123 pounds. I played basketball and wrestled during elementary and junior-high but I didn't play any sports in high school or college unless you consider video games a sport.

After a busy career, 3 children, school in the evenings, being a Boy Scout leader and an active member at church, my health had been neglected. The stress and poor sleeping habits had taken their toll on my body. Reaching 205lbs, high cholesterol and little energy was enough for me to want a change.

Being a boy-scout leader that couldn't keep up with his boy scouts on hikes was pretty embarrassing. On one of the hikes in the Sierra mountains, I had a 40-pound pack on my back and I was dead last out of 50 boys and adult leaders.

I couldn't take 10 steps without needing to stop and rest. Finally one of the other leaders finished the 5-mile hike, came back and carried my pack the rest of the way.

If that wasn't enough, one day I had my shirt off and my daughter told me the truth "Dad, you're getting fat!" I was blessed with really good health, but I started taking it for granted. Every time I had an annual exam, my results showed that I had great blood pressure, cholesterol and triglycerides, etc.

By the time I reached 30-years old, it finally caught up with me. When the results came back that my cholesterol was too high, I was stunned.

Being a boy-scout leader that couldn't keep up with his boy scouts on hikes was pretty embarrassing
+ Click To Enlarge.
Being a boy-scout leader that couldn't keep up with his
boy scouts on hikes was pretty embarrassing.

How I Did It

It was time for a change.

I focused on weight-lifting 4-5 days per week and made some great progress but I was back into the same weight-lifting routine I'd done 'off-and-on' for the past 12 years.

I still couldn't run a 1/2 mile without feeling like I would pass out. I needed to finally build my cardiovascular system so I could keep up in the intense lifting sessions.

In EVERY workout, I brought it and pushed myself until I was totally exhausted. I've never sweat so much and it felt great to flush the toxins out.

I sustained an average heart rate of 150 with peaks into the 170s! When the little voice of doubt told me to stop, I pushed harder. Sometimes by the end, I collapsed to the floor but I always got back up, drank my recovery drink and got ready for the next day's workout.

Even with my crazy schedule, I still got my workouts in. Most of the time they were in the evening but on some days, they were at midnight.

Even during Christmas vacation to Hawaii, I didn't miss a work-out. I made health a top priority and backed it up with every choice I made to eat, drink and exercise each and every day.

I made health a top priority and backed it up with every choice I made to eat, drink and exercise each and every day
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I made health a top priority and backed it up with every choice I made to eat, drink and exercise each and every day.

Challenges along the way:

  • Busy Schedule: With work, school, family and Church -- how the heck was I going to find an hour a day to work out? I DID, and you can too.
  • Soreness & Lack of Energy: I'm used to getting sore from weightlifting but doing these intense workouts day after day requires a lot of energy! The recovery drink helped a ton.
  • Motivation: Staying committed to any intense program requires a lot of dedication and inspiration. There were days when I just didn't feel like working out. There were many times when the voice of doubt entered my head. "Can I really transform my body the way I want to?"
  • Nutrition: When you're trying to eat with children who want McDonalds or going out with friends who want to eat tasty, rich foods - it can be tough. When you're schedule is so jammed-full that you can hardly find time to eat, it's even worse.

All together, I dropped 37 pounds of fat and gained 9 lbs of muscle. I went from 25% body fat to 8-9% body fat and ended up at 177 pounds!

One of the biggest improvements I made was in my core strength. Going into it, my biggest weakness was probably my legs. The plyometrics workout was absolutely brutal. It took me until week 12 to fully master it but now my quads and hamstrings feel like tree trunks!

After just 6.5 months, I'm in the best shape of my life and amazed at my results. I'm still super busy but the stress is gone and I have tons of energy. At Thanksgiving, my sister said I looked 10 years younger!

I went from 25% body fat to 8-9% body fat and ended up at 177lbs
+ Click To Enlarge.
I went from 25% body fat to 8-9% body fat and ended up at 177lbs.

Supplements

When it comes to supplements, many people say "I can't afford this" but I ask you to seriously consider what you're willing to give up for a few months to totally change your body and potentially your life.

Can you give-up eating-out for 90 days or Satellite TV? If you're on coffee or energy drinks now, replace them with a protein drink! Think of what you're willing to give up.

If you expect amazing results, it will require sacrifice and change.

Remember, you're already doing the work (the working out), why not make it go farther to maximize your results with supplements?

Morning:
Morning and Afternoon:
Mid-Morning and Post Workout:

This is vital for reaching my daily goal of 40% protein.

With Lunch and Dinner:
Pre Workout:
15 Min Post Workout:

Diet

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

Training

For the first 3.5 months of my transformation, I worked out at the gym 5x per week, doing all weight lifting, no cardio.

Day 1: Chest/Triceps
Exercises
Incline Dumbbell Flyes Incline Dumbbell Flyes Incline Dumbbell Flyes
1 set of 12 reps, 3 sets of 8 reps or failure
Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip
1 set of 12 reps, 3 sets of 8 reps or failure
Smith Machine Bench Press Smith Machine Bench Press Smith Machine Bench Press
1 set of 12 reps, 3 sets of 8 reps or failure
Lying Triceps Press Lying Triceps Press Lying Triceps Press
1 set of 12 reps, 3 sets of 8 reps or failure
Tricep Dumbbell Kickback Tricep Dumbbell Kickback Tricep Dumbbell Kickback
1 set of 12 reps, 3 set of 8 reps or failure
Triceps Pushdown - Rope Attachment Triceps Pushdown - Rope Attachment Triceps Pushdown - Rope Attachment
1 set of 12 reps, 3 sets of 8 reps or failure
Dumbbell One-Arm Triceps Extension Dumbbell One-Arm Triceps Extension Dumbbell One-Arm Triceps Extension
1 set of 12 reps each, 2 sets of 8 reps each
Bench Dips Bench Dips Bench Dips
4 sets to failure
Cable Rope Overhead Triceps Extension Cable Rope Overhead Triceps Extension Cable Rope Overhead Triceps Extension
1 set of 12 reps, 3 sets of 8 reps or failure
Day 2: Back/Biceps
Exercises
Seated Cable Rows Seated Cable Rows Seated Cable Rows
1 set of 12 reps, 3 sets of 8 reps or failure
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
1 set of 12 reps, 3 sets of 8 reps or failure
Close-Grip Front Lat Pulldown Close-Grip Front Lat Pulldown Close-Grip Front Lat Pulldown
1 set of 12 reps, 3 sets of 8 reps or failure
Dumbbell Bicep Curl Dumbbell Bicep Curl Dumbbell Bicep Curl
1 set of 12 reps, 3 sets of 8 reps or failure
Close-Grip EZ Bar Curl Close-Grip EZ Bar Curl Close-Grip EZ Bar Curl
1 set of 12 reps, 3 sets of 8 reps or failure
Concentration Curls Concentration Curls Concentration Curls
1 set of 12 reps, 3 sets of 8 reps or failure
Day 3: Shoulders
Exercises
Front Dumbbell Raise Front Dumbbell Raise Front Dumbbell Raise
4 sets of 12 reps
Side Lateral Raise Side Lateral Raise Side Lateral Raise
4 set of 12 reps
Dumbbell Shoulder Press Dumbbell Shoulder Press Dumbbell Shoulder Press
4 sets of 12 reps
Barbell Shrug Barbell Shrug Barbell Shrug
3 sets of 12 reps
Day 4: Rest

Day 5: Legs
Exercises
Leg Press Leg Press Leg Press
4 sets of 12 reps
Leg Extensions Leg Extensions Leg Extensions
4 sets of 12 reps
Lying Leg Curls Lying Leg Curls Lying Leg Curls
4 sets of 12 reps
Standing Calf Raises Standing Calf Raises Standing Calf Raises
4 sets of 12 reps
Seated Calf Raise Seated Calf Raise Seated Calf Raise
4 sets of 12 reps
Day 6: Rest

Day 7: Rest

Suggestions for Others


1. Mental Commitment To Make Your Health A Top Priority

You will run into obstacles. You will have challenges. You will be required to make daily lifestyle changes.

You will have days when you don't feel like working out. Are you prepared to look past these and do whatever it takes to overcome them?

2. Commitment To Nutrition

"Six packs are made in the kitchen, not the gym" - This is a very true statement. What and when you eat will make the biggest difference in the results you expect to receive.

I achieved results better than I had even dreamed of achieving only because of my commitment to eating the right foods. When everyone around me was eating junk food and I stuck to the plan, it was an internal reminder of the commitment I made and it gave me strength.

3. Dedication To The Program

Life will get in the way if you let it. It's easy to make excuses "I was up all night with the baby, I can't work out" or "I had a stressful day at work" or "It's a holiday." You have to find ways to work around them.

It's not "Okay" to start skipping workouts and making excuses except for in rare occasions (like being very sick or injured). If you DO get sick or injured, Do not give up. You may have to take a few days off or a week off but you must get back up and continue.

During the workouts, the "Voice of doubt" will enter your mind and make up tons of excuses "I'm too old for this," "I'm not in good enough shape to do this..." "I should take it easy." Don't listen to it. You must push this voice of doubt aside and continue!

It's not 'Okay' to start skipping workouts and making excuses except for in rare occasions
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It's not "Okay" to start skipping workouts and making excuses
except for in rare occasions.

4. Support System

A good positive coach made a world of difference for me. I also used the Bodybuilding.com message boards a lot. Get the family involved (especially the one buying the groceries!).

My wife has helped tremendously by helping to buy the right foods and helping to coordinate schedules so I can get my workouts in. I do the same for her by watching the kids or putting them to bed so she can squeeze in her workout.

If the people around you aren't positive and supportive then find new people to surround yourself with. You don't need toxic things inside your body or around you!

5. Track What You Eat

I cannot overstate this enough. DO NOT try to estimate the calories or amount of protein in the foods you eat.

Kate and I have been using a food scale for months and we still are 30-50% "OFF" when we try to estimate how much a piece of meat weighs before using the food scale.

I highly suggest get a food scale to help determine how many ounces a piece of meat weighs.

6. Challenge Yourself With Intensity

If you want just moderate results, then put in a moderate effort. But if you want significant and impressive results then you must give it your all. "Go Big or Go Home," "You get what you put into it," all those clichés apply here.

When I start my workout, I'm focused only on the next 60 minutes and I do it until the point of 'muscle failure,' where I can't do 1 more push-up, or where I can't do one more curl or to where my heart-rate is in the 170s and I have to cool off a little bit.

I use a heart-rate monitor so I know if I'm not pushing hard enough or if I'm pushing too hard. They also track calories burned.


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