Why I Got Started
In April 2009 I went on a men's retreat with some friends, gorged on food all weekend, and felt horrible. I told everyone there that enough was enough, and I was going on a diet and getting back to the weights (after about a 17-year break) starting Monday. I jumped on the scale that Monday morning weighing 265.8 and that evening I went to the gym.
How I Did It
I got in my head early that no matter what I did I had to just walk through the doors of the gym Monday through Friday and let the chips fall where they may. If I was tired from work, I went. If the Red Sox were on TV, I went. If it was really sunny outside, I went.
Also for about the first 50 pounds I used a 40% Protein 40% Carb 20% Fat approach and capped my calories at about 2100. I tracked everything using Fitday. Once I decided to do my first bodybuilding contest I shifted my diet to a stricter carb cycling approach to get extra lean.
I also did 40 minutes of cardio after every workout, and the last 8 weeks before the contest I added a 5:30 a.m. 40-minute cardio session.
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I Got In My Head Early That No Matter What I Did I Had To Just
Walk Through The Doors Of The Gym Monday Through Friday
And Let The Chips Fall Where They May.
- Creatine Monohydrate
- Multi Vitamin
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin B
- Vitamin E
- Whey Protein
- Yohimbe HCL
Note: Supplement schedule and dosages listed below in Diet section.
Pre-contest - I Carb Cycled, so M, T, Th, Fr, and Sun I would eat the following:
- 1/2 cup Oats
- 4 servings of Egg Beaters
- 1 serving Multivitamins, Vitamins C,B,E
- 1 serving L-Arginine, L-Ornithine
- 2 Ground Beef Patties, 4 oz, 4% fat
- 1.5 servings of Almonds for a snack in-between Meals (A serving is 28 Almonds, so I'd have 7-8 when hungry)
Meal 5: Pre Gym
Meal 6: After gym
Note: Sometimes I would swap Tilapia with Chicken Breast or 8 oz Lean Beef.
Same as above but would make my carb totals about 300 grams by making Oats 1 cup with 1/4 cup of Raisins and two teaspoons of Brown Sugar, along with half a cup or a cup of Brown Rice at each meal, also sometimes a few servings of Honey Nut Cheerios.
I prefer low reps and heavy weights and usually shoot for my last set being about 5 reps with as heavy weight as I can handle. I am starting to mix in days where I focus on lower weight and more reps (currently am doing one high rep leg day on Tuesday and one heavy leg day on Friday. And I am working on bringing up the width in my back and bringing up my hamstrings for next year.
Day 1: Chest/Triceps
- Incline Bench Presses: 4 sets of 5 reps
- Flat Bench Cable Flyes: 4 sets of 5 reps
- Incline Dumbbells: 3 heavy sets of 5 reps
- Butterfly: 3 sets of 8 reps
- Close Grip Bench Presses: 3-4 sets of 5 reps
- Dips: 3 sets to failure
- V-Bar Cable Pulldowns: 3 sets of 8 reps
Day 2: Back/Biceps
- Wide Grip Chin-ups: 3 sets of 10 reps
- Barbell Rows: 3 sets of 5 reps
- Seated Rows: 3 sets of 5 reps
- Barbell Curls: 3 sets of 5 reps
- Seated Dumbbell Curls: 3 sets of 5 reps
- Preacher Curl: 3 sets of 5 reps
Day 3: Legs
- Barbell Squats: 5 heavy sets of 8 reps
- Lunges: 90 ft up and back hold Dumbbells in each hand
- Stiff Leg Deadlifts: 3 sets of 8 reps
- Leg Curls: 3 sets of 10 reps
Day 4: Shoulders/Calves/Abs
- Military Press Behind Neck 3 sets of 8 reps
- Shrugs: 3 sets of 8 reps
- Dumbbell Side Laterals: 3 sets of 8 reps
- Calf Raises on Leg Press: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Hanging Leg Raise 3 sets of 20 reps
Day 5: Back/Chest
- Bench Press: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Chin-ups: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Incline Press: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Rows: 3 sets of 15 reps
Day 6 And 7: Rest
Suggestions For Others
One of my favorite sayings is "Suit up and Show Up." I think it is easy to find every excuse in the book to not make fitness a priority. If you keep it simple and just make a commitment to walk through the gym doors, good things happen. While some workouts are better than others, once I get to the gym I know I am always going to feel better when I leave.
Track your calories. There are so many great programs, I use Fitday. BodySpace even has some tools you can use. Pack your food for the day and eat several small meals. I cook about 6 pounds of Chicken Breast on Sundays and a couple of trays of Tilapia then break it down into 8 ounce servings that I freeze so I can always grab a good clean source of protein.
Read labels and don't eat a ton of processed crap. Oh, and take progress pictures; they are fun to look back on. In my before picture I was already down to 25 pounds and thought I was looking good ... lol. And seeing the progress keeps you motivated!
Click To Enlarge.
If You Keep It Simple And Just Make A Commitment To Walk Through
The Gym Doors, Good Things Happen.
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