Weight: 135 lbs
Weight: 185 lbs
Why I Got Started
I have always been skinny. I decided about 2 years ago at the age of 38 that I really wanted to change my body and my life. I was getting close to 40 and I knew that I needed to take better care of myself. I found a 24-hour gym and made a personal commitment to transform my body.
I didn't realize that working out would help me get through a tough period in my life. My 11-year marriage ended in divorce and I became a single dad with custody of my son and daughter in March 2007. Weight training really helped me to deal with the stress and pressure that I was feeling.
As I began to see my body change my self image improved and I realized I had the power to change my life for the better. Weight training is more than just lifting weights, but now a vital part of my life.
How I Did It
I really wanted to change my body and become the man I knew I could be physically and spiritually. I began searching on the Internet for information on how to gain weight. During my search I discovered Bodybuilding.com. The site gave me everything I needed to transform my body.
The site is filled with informative articles, workout plans, tips on nutrition, BodySpace, and of course the best prices and selection of quality supplements. I began to understand my body type, different workout plans and exercises, diet, and the proper use of supplements.
With this information I felt armed and ready to hit the gym. I focused on lifting heavy weights, compound exercises, and giving my body time to rest. I would workout 4 days a week Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. My initial gains came while doing an upper body routine one day and a lower body routine the next with no cardio.
Later, I changed my routine to focus on individual body parts each day Monday through Friday still with no cardio. Also, I paid more attention to my diet and began to eat 6 meals per day instead of the traditional three. I added a weight gainer to help increase my daily calorie intake.
Lastly, I discovered that it wasn't necessary for me to stay in the gym all day. One hour or a little more of high intensity weight training was enough to stimulate muscle growth.
James Howell's Supplements
Taken During Transformation:
- Prolab N-Large II
- Universal Real Gains
- Higher Power Micronized Creatine
- Optimum ZMA
- AST Multi Pro 32X
James Howell's Diet Plan
Even at 40-years old I have a high metabolism and I can drop weight quickly. I try to eat every 3 hours. I don't want my body to ever feel hungry.
James Howell's Training Program
- Barbell Flat Bench Press: 5 sets of 6-10 reps
- Barbell Incline Bench Press: 3 sets of 6-10 reps
- Butterfly Machine: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Push-Ups With Feet Elevated: 3 sets to failure
- Dips: 3 sets of 15-20 reps
- Smith Machine Squat: 4 sets of 10 reps
- Lying Leg Curl: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Seated Calf Raise: 3 sets of 20 reps
- Leg Press: 4 sets of 10 reps
- Thigh Adductor: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Leg Extensions: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Abs Crunch Machine: 3 sets of 20 reps
- Exercise Ball Crunch: 3 sets of 20 reps
- Pullups: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Bent Over Barbell Row: 4 sets of 10 reps
- Seated Cable Row: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown: 3 sets of 10 reps
- V-Bar Pulldown: 3 sets of 10 reps
- One Arm Dumbbell Row: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Hyperextensions: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Close-Grip EZ Bar Curl: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Alternate Hammer Curl: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Machine Preacher Curl: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Concentration Curl: 3 sets of 12-15 reps
- Standing Dumbbell Triceps Extension: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Triceps Pushdown: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Dips: 3 sets to failure
- Barbell Shoulder Press: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Upright Barbell Row: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Dumbbell Shrug: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Front Dumbbell Raise: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Power Partials: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Decline Crunch: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Decline Oblique Crunch: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Knee/Hip Raise: 3 sets of 10-15 reps
Tuesday: Legs & Abs
Thursday: Biceps & Triceps
Friday: Shoulders, Lats & Abs
Suggestions For Others
The older I get the more I realize that you need a plan for your life and your body. You need a vision of what you want to achieve and how you're going to get there. I recommend reading, observing, and asking questions from others on what goal you're trying to achieve.
If you're new to weight training or it's been awhile since you set foot in a gym don't be intimidated by men or women who are more advanced in their development than you. Everyone starts from somewhere. The most important thing is to get started on your transformation.
It doesn't matter if you're young or old, have an athletic background or not, you can change your body and your life. One of my favorite Bible scriptures is Romans 8:37 which says that "we are more than conquerors." Challenges, disappointments, and failures are a part of life, but you have to believe in your heart that you're a winner.
Transformation doesn't happen in the physical, but in the mind first. The physical changes are just the results of what you believe in your mind and heart. So, whether you're 15, 25 or 40-plus-years old you can reach your goal. Just take the time to create a plan for your body, work through the plan consistently, and the transformation that you desire will happen.