Name: James Hopkins
What I Got Started
One night after downing a full bag of frozen chicken fingers and some reheated Chinese food, I took a hard look at myself. Completely malnourished, overweight and lacking confidence I realized that this was neither a lifestyle I could maintain, nor one that I wanted to continue.
My opportunity came in sophomore year of high school when my friend introduced me to the gym, and I realized that with some serious hard work and dedication, I could make a new, sustainable, enjoyable lifestyle for myself. The next three years were riddled with crash diets, overtraining, under-eating, and overall dissatisfaction in my ignorance of nutrition and proper technique, until I discovered bodybuilding.com.
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I Realized That With Some Serious Hard Work And Dedication, I Could
Make A New, Sustainable, Enjoyable Lifestyle For Myself.
How I Did It
The website provided me with a place to connect with others like myself, to share information, absorb useful articles, get the things I'd been missing up until that point (protein, creatine, workout logs, etc.), and most of all, feel at home about what I was doing. The next three years were far more productive than the previous two, after I had learned how to eat right, lift with good form, and had the supplements to back me up. I didn't actually join the website until early 2009, when I felt I had read enough to become a part of the community and start contributing.
I've kept a rigorous 5-day schedule for about two years now, and I'm constantly switching up my routine; I have a list of all the different exercises from each muscle group, and I try to pick as many different combinations as I can to get a good feel for which ones are most effective for me, as well as keep things new and interesting. When I feel unmotivated to get going, several of the threads in the forums give me good reasons to get up and get going, and there are often motivational videos posted to give me a boost as well. It took me longer than it should have to reach my current standpoint, and it would have been much easier if I had known about bodybuilding.com at the start; but either way, here I am.
This is the sustainable lifestyle I had been looking for, and I've been training hard ever since.
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Several Of The Threads In The Forums Give Me
Good Reasons To Get Up And Get Going.
Supplements During Transformation:
- Optimum Whey: 8am - 1 scoop in my morning Oats, 8pm - 2 scoops post-workout
- Controlled Labs White Flood: 6:30pm - 1 scoop in 16oz Water 15 minutes before working out
- Controlled Labs Purple Wraath: 6:45pm - 2 scoops in 16oz Water sipped throughout the workout
- Fish Oil: 8am - 1 teaspoon with breakfast
- Optimum Micronized Creatine: 8pm - 5g in my Post Workout Shake, or 8am - 5g in Water on non-lifting days.
- Scivation Whey: 5:30 p.m. - 2 scoops in my Pre-Workout Pancakes, 8 p.m. - 1 scoop Post Workout
- Gaspari Nutrition Superpump250: 6:30 p.m. - 1 scoop 15 minutes Pre-Workout
- Optimum Micronized Creatine: 8 p.m. - 5g in my Post Workout Shake, or 8 a.m. - 5g in Water on non-lifting days.
- Optimum Opti-men: serving is 3 tablets - 8 a.m: I take 1 first thing in the morning, and 6:15: 2 45-minutes before my workout.
- Optimum ZMA: 10pm - 3 tablets (1 serving) an hour before bed.
- Higher Power Melatonin: 10:30 p.m. - 1 tablet 30 minutes before bed.
- Controlled Labs Purple Wraath: 6:45 p.m. - 2 scoops in 16oz Water sipped throughout the workout.
- 40g Oats (150 cal, 5g protein, 27g carbs, 3g fat)
- 186g Egg Whites (100 cal, 20g protein, 2g carb, 1g fat)
Meal 2: Pre-Workout
Protein Pancakes: (80g oats - 300 cal, 10g protein, 54g carbs, 6g fat)
- 2 scoops Optimum or Scivation Whey (210 cal, 50g protein, 2g carbs, 0g fat)
- 2 tbsp Peanut Butter (200cal, 6g protein, 6g carb, 16g fat)
- 1 tsp Baking Powder
- 1 tsp Vanilla Extract
- ½ cup Fat Free Milk (45 cal, 4g protein, 6g carbs, .5g fat)
- 2 Egg Whites (40cal, 8g protein, 0g carbs, 1g fat)
Meal 3: Post-Workout
- 1 scoop Optimum or Scivation Whey (105cal, 25g protein, 1g carb, 0g fat)
- 8oz Cranberry Juice (140cal, 0g protein, 35g carb, 0g fat)
- 10oz Chicken (470 cal, 83g protein, 0g carb, 15g fat)
- 4oz Pasta (400 cal, 16g protein, 75g carbs, 4g fat)
- 8oz Fat Free Milk (90cal, 8g protein, 12g carbs, 1g fat)
(Totals: 2250 cal, 227g protein, 220g carbs, 51g fat)
Day 1: Legs
- Squats: 5 sets of 8-10 reps
- Leg Curls: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Leg Extensions: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Calf Raises: 5 sets of 25 reps
- Hip Adductor: 4 sets of 15 reps
- Hip Abductor: 4 sets of 15 reps
Day 2: Chest/Triceps
- Flat Bench: 1 warmup set of 10 reps, 4 sets of 6-8 reps
- Incline Dumbbells: 4 sets of 6-8 reps
- Seated Incline Hammer Press: 4 sets of 10 reps
- Cable Flyes: 4 sets of 12 reps
- Skullcrushers: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Dumbbell Kickbacks: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Weighted Dips: 4 sets of 6-8 reps
- V-Bar Pushdowns: 4 sets of 10 reps
Day 3: Back/Biceps
- Deadlifts: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Weighted Pull-ups: 4 sets of 6-8 reps
- One-Arm Dumbbell Rows: 4 sets of 10 reps
- Seated Row: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Barbell Rows: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Seated Dumbbell Curls: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Straight Bar Curl: 4 sets of 6-8 reps
- Reverse Grip EZ Bar Curl: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
- Dumbbell Hammer Curls: 4 sets of 8-10 reps
Day 4: Shoulders/Traps
- Seated Military Press: 4 sets of 6-8 reps
- Dumbbell Lateral Raise: 4 sets of 10 reps
- Cable Lateral Raise: 4 sets of 8 reps
- Dumbbell Shrugs: 4 sets of 20 reps (hold for 2 sec)
- Barbell Shrugs: 4 sets of 10 reps
- Bent Over Dumbbell Rows: 4 sets of 10 reps
- Butterfly: 4 sets of 12 reps
Day 5: Abs/Forearms
- Hanging Oblique Crunches: 5 sets of 25 reps, each side
- Hanging Leg Lifts: 4 sets of 25 reps
- Decline Weighted Crunches: 4 sets of 20 reps
- Cable Crunches: 4 sets of 20 reps
- Barbell Wrist Lift: 4 sets of 15 reps
- Single Dumbbell Wrist Lifts: 4 sets of 15 reps
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: Rest
I try to constantly push myself in my workouts, so occasionally the next day brings an extra dosage of soreness or exhaustion, (especially leg days), so the two rest days that are slated for weekends are, from time to time, distributed throughout the week.
I simply make sure that my 5-day regimen gets done in 7 days, and that my two rest days are distributed according to what my body tells me is necessary. This way I feel I don't pressure myself to do the 5 days in a row regardless of how my body feels, and I ensure that I can avoid injury through overtraining by giving myself the proper amount of rest and recovery time. I do typically find I can get the 5-day regimen done in the weekdays though, giving me time to relax on my days off.
Suggestions For Others
Do your research. If you know what you're doing, what you're eating, and have a plan laid out, the results will come in much faster than if you just throw it all together on the spot. Believe me, I know.
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