From Overweight Teen To Model In One Year!

Christian was overweight for most of his childhood. When he moved out, he decided it was time to take responsibility for his own health.

Christian Clark remembers struggling with his weight as early as the first grade. His parents spoiled him by taking him out to lunch after school, and the calories began piling up. By second grade, he was noticeably bigger than the other kids, a trend that persisted into his teens.

"I always wanted to have that strong, muscular body, but I never thought that was something I needed to work toward," he says. "I just kept thinking I would grow into losing weight."

When Christian graduated from high school, he realized his bad eating habits weren't something he'd just grow out of, so he took control of his body and lost nearly 100 pounds.

This is Christian's story.

Did your family encourage healthy eating when you were growing up?

Healthy eating wasn't particularly encouraged at home. When I started high school, my mom dropped 40 or 50 pounds with Weight Watchers. She tried to get my brother and me to start cleaning up our diets by packing our lunches and cooking at home, but our schedules were so hectic, that didn't really last. I might have lost a little weight, but soon we went back to our bad habits and ate out all the time.

Before 260 lbs.
After 175 lbs.
Age: 18
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 260 lbs.
Body Fat: 30+%
Age: 19
Height: 6'1"
Weight: 175 lbs.
Body Fat: 10-11%

When did you start to realize your weight was an issue?

When I graduated from high school, I knew that I wanted to pursue operatic singing in college. Your voice may be at the forefront, but it's still an industry where you're judged by what you look like. While I was waiting to "grow into my fit body," I kept getting bigger. I realized a change wasn't going to just happen on its own, that it was up to me to make it happen.

What was your turning point or "aha" moment?

It came when I studied abroad in Spain for a semester. Out of all my friends, I definitely stood out as being the biggest. Being in a thinner culture was kind of a shock, too. It changed the way that I wanted to look. I realized that if I wanted to wear fashionable clothes and look the way everyone did in Spain, I had to lose weight.

I realized a change wasn't going to just happen on its own, that it was up to me to make it happen.

What were the first changes you made to your diet?

I made changes slowly and didn't really restrict anything. I began with healthier swaps; instead of having that second and third bowl of cereal for breakfast, I'd have one bowl with some orange juice and an apple. I was more careful about portion sizes, especially when it came to breads, pastas, and rolls—things we ate a lot of in my family. I didn't cut them out, but I consciously tried to eat them in smaller amounts.




How did you get into going to the gym and working out?

Initially, I didn't have a trainer, but within my first few days of going to the gym, I met a guy who helped me with my workouts. He started talking to me because he could tell I was a newbie. He had the same issues I'd had growing up—just being a big guy. We started working out together when we could.

The same friend I was training with helped me figure out a meal plan. He got me started eating healthy carbs and fats and lean meats. I did a lot of research online, too. I followed some meal plans that I found on Bodybuilding.com, especially Ryan Hughes' plans.

What did your meal plans look like?

Meal 1

Oats: 1/2 cup


Gaspari MyoFusion: 2 scoops


Meal 2

Lean ground turkey: 6 oz.


Broccoli: 1 cup


Almonds: 1/4 cup


Meal 3

Grilled salmon: 6 oz.


Broccoli: 1 cup


Meal 4

Lean ground turkey: 6 oz.


Broccoli: 1 cup


Almonds: 1/4 cup


Meal 5

Lean ground turkey: 6 oz.


Yams: 8 oz.


Meal 6

Gaspari MyoFusion: 2 scoops


Vitargo: 1 scoop


Meal 7

Lean ground turkey: 6 oz.


Broccoli: 1 cup


Yams: 8 oz.


Meal 8

Celery: 1 stalk


Peanut butter: 1 tbsp



What workout plan guided your transformation?

Day 1: Chest
1
Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip

2

Incline Dumbbell Press

4 sets of 12 reps
Incline Dumbbell Press Incline Dumbbell Press

3

Dumbbell Fly

4 sets of 10 reps
Dumbbell Flyes Dumbbell Flyes

4
Straight-Arm Dumbbell Pullover Straight-Arm Dumbbell Pullover

5

Butterfly

4 sets of 12 reps
Butterfly Butterfly

Day 2: Quads and Calves
1

Standing Calf Raise

3 sets of 60 reps
Standing Calf Raises Standing Calf Raises

2

Seated Calf Raise

3 sets of 60 reps
Seated Calf Raise Seated Calf Raise

3

Leg Extension

5 sets of 10 reps
Leg Extensions Leg Extensions

4

Barbell Squat

5 sets of 20 reps
Barbell Squat Barbell Squat

5

Leg Press

4 sets of 15 reps
Leg Press Leg Press

6

Smith-Machine Squat

3 sets of 15 reps
Smith Machine Squat Smith Machine Squat

Day 3: Back
1

Wide-Grip Lat Pull-down

4 sets of 10 reps
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown

2

Seated Cable Row

4 sets of 10 reps
Seated Cable Rows Seated Cable Rows

3

Bent-Over Barbell Row

4 sets of 8 reps
Bent Over Barbell Row Bent Over Barbell Row

4

Single-Arm Dumbbell Row

4 sets of 8 reps
One-Arm Dumbbell Row One-Arm Dumbbell Row

Day 4: Shoulders
1

Standing Military Press

4 sets of 12 reps
Standing Military Press Standing Military Press

2

Dumbbell Bench Press

4 sets of 10 reps
Dumbbell Bench Press Dumbbell Bench Press

3

Barbell Shrug

4 sets of 15 reps
Barbell Shrug Barbell Shrug

4

Smith-Machine Shrug

3 sets of 12 reps
Smith Machine Shrug Smith Machine Shrug

5

Side Lateral Raise

3 sets of 12 reps
Side Lateral Raise Side Lateral Raise

6

Front Plate Raise

3 sets of 12 reps
Front Plate Raise Front Plate Raise

Day 5: Arms
1

Barbell Curl

4 sets of 12 reps
Barbell Curl Barbell Curl

2
Dumbbell Alternate Bicep Curl Dumbbell Alternate Bicep Curl

3

Standing Reverse Curl

4 sets of 12 reps
Reverse Barbell Curl Reverse Barbell Curl

4

Preacher Curl

3 sets of 12 reps
Preacher Curl Preacher Curl

5
Dumbbell One-Arm Triceps Extension Dumbbell One-Arm Triceps Extension

6

Weighted Bench Dip

4 sets of 15 reps
Weighted Bench Dip Weighted Bench Dip

7

Lying Triceps Press

4 sets of 12 reps
Lying Triceps Press Lying Triceps Press

8

Triceps Push-down

3 sets of 12 reps
Triceps Pushdown Triceps Pushdown

Day 6: Hamstrings and Calves
1

Standing Calf Raise

3 sets of 60 reps
Standing Calf Raises Standing Calf Raises

2

Seated Calf Raise

3 sets of 60 reps
Seated Calf Raise Seated Calf Raise

3

Seated Leg Curl

4 sets of 12 reps
Seated Leg Curl Seated Leg Curl

4
Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift

5

Dumbbell Lunge

3 sets of 20 steps
Dumbbell Lunges Dumbbell Lunges

Day 7: Rest

How did you discover Bodybuilding.com?

I started researching weightlifting online and stumbled across the site. Then I went to town, reading everything I could find.

How did the site affect your transformation?

It was educational. Reading about other peoples' transformations, seeing their workout routines, and learning how they were losing weight gave me new ideas and kept me motivated. I liked articles posted by trainers, too. I saw a video of Ryan Hughes and thought, "I want his body," so I started doing his workouts and following his meal plans.

How did BodySpace help you along your journey?

I go there to post progress photos and see what other people are doing, especially regarding training and shows. Being able to follow people who are further along, and who can offer advice and answer questions I may have, is critical. I love that I can give back and do the same for those who aren't as far along as I am. People are very supportive of each other, which is great.

Where there's a will, there's a way. It may not happen on the first, second, third, or even tenth try, but it will happen.

Did you suffer any setbacks?

I went on a ketosis diet that was high fat, moderate protein, and very low carbs. Coming off of that diet, I didn't realize how careful I had to be with adjusting my macro intake. I had a friend who did years and years of clean eating, and his diet was pretty much sandwiches all the time, which really worked for him.

I tried that diet right after coming off that ketosis diet, and immediately, all that bread intake set me back. That messed with me psychologically a little bit. I think I gained about 10 pounds in two weeks. It was bad.

How did you overcome that?

I went right back to a balanced diet with only healthy carbs and hit the gym hard. In about a month or so, I had undone the damage, but I did come to realize one thing: The weight returns much faster than it comes off.

Has being fit opened new doors for you?

It's definitely changed my life for the better. When I was growing up, everybody was into [the apparel company] Abercrombie & Fitch, but at my size, I wasn't able to shop there. After I lost the weight, I got recruited to work there, just while I was walking on campus. I've even done some modeling for them. That's obviously something I never could have done before. Aside from—and more important than—looks, I'm much healthier now.

Do you have any advice for others who might want to follow your lead and get fit?

Where there's a will, there's a way. It may not happen on the first, second, third, or even tenth try, but it will happen. There comes a time when you just want to be a better you, no matter what the reason. Once you light that fire, it will burn for the rest of your life.


Christian's Favorite Gym Tracks

Beyoncé
"Get Me Bodied"
Miguel
"Hollywood Dreams"
Sylvan Esso
"Play it Right"
The Chainsmokers and ROZES
"Roses"
Beyoncé
"Get Me Bodied"
Miguel
"Hollywood Dreams"
Sylvan Esso
"Play it Right"
The Chainsmokers and ROZES
"Roses"


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