I teamed up with Bodybuilding.com in the summer of 2006 to give away 5 Human Inferno and 5 Weapons for Mass Construction manuals. There was a lot of interest and I got some tremendous feedback with pictures. The stipulation for receiving the free manuals was that readers had to do a follow-up interview about their experience and provide before/after pictures.
With that said, here's a 22 year old male from Florida who was interested in getting leaner. He asked to remain anonymous, which is why there is a "headless" picture, and I will only use his first name throughout.
[ Chris ] Thanks for taking the time to speak with me today, Jim. First, tell us a little bit about yourself.
[ Jim ] I am from south Florida and a recent college graduate. I was pretty active through high school and college, but since graduating, I've been stuck in an office job, working 10-12 hour days, and my eating and training have suffered. I wasn't morbidly obese by any stretch of the imagination, but I was not happy with the direction my body was headed; it migrated south to Florida with the birds.
[ Chris ] This is very common and a problem I hear often. Men and women are often very active throughout high school and college, then "real life" happens and time is a bit more limited. It's a difficult transition when you go from creating your own schedule to being on someone else's clock, so to speak.
[ Jim ] Absolutely. I always thought I was immune to this because working out was just second nature for me. Then all of a sudden I was struggling to find time to exercise, I was eating out much more often with guys at the office, and I was starting to get out of control. I have always read your pieces on this site and others, so when I saw the offer for a free manual, I jumped at the opportunity.
[ Chris ] And what were your thoughts when you received the manual in the mail?
[ Jim ] My first thought was that I wanted to look like the guy on the cover and hopefully that would open more doors for me to find a woman like the one on the cover too!!
[ Chris ] Jamie is a beautiful girl and, in fact, I just did an interview with her for this very site.
[ Jim ] When I opened it up, I loved the format. To be honest, I didn't want to have to think about this; I know generally what to do, but I wanted specific guidelines---and I love the setup. Determining my calorie needs was simple, as you provided a step by step formula.
I also found the food lists really helpful; you didn't tell me what to eat, so I could tailor it to my preferences, but the specific guidelines were laid out nicely so I knew what to do day by day. And the fact that each day had the specific workout, with pictures of each exercise, was unbelievable, particularly coming from Alwyn Cosgrove, who is sought after training expert.
You and Alwyn basically did my planning for 99 days straight, which is the formula I needed. To be honest, I don't have the time to think about this stuff right now; I'm trying to get a career started and am putting in a ton of hours at the office. This program provide the exact tools necessary for me to be successful.
[ Chris ] That was our goal. We always say that we try hard to teach people how to fish, but to be honest, all they want is to be handed the fish. People want specific guidelines so they don't have to think, so we did the thinking for you.
The pictures you attached are from 30 days on the program. Are you still continuing to follow along or have we lost ya'?
[ Jim ] Are you kidding me, I'm in better shape now than I was during college. In fact, I was so happy with my transformation, I wanted to get professional pictures done. My goal was to lose some fat and maintain as much muscle as possible. As you can see, I've done that!
|WHAT'S YOUR GOAL?|
The workouts kick my a**, but I love it. And the fact that it's in a three ring binder is nice because I can just pop out the workout for the day, bring it to the gym, and follow along. To be honest, when I first say the 3 ring binder I was as happy, but it's perfect-who wants to bring an entire book to a gym? The best part is now that my parents have seen such great results with me, THEY are both following along as well!
[ Chris ] Well, Alwyn and I would love you to so people ask you about it when they see the cover: Honestly, that is one of the reasons we went with the binder, so people could bring the workouts with them to the gym. Remember, our goal was to do the planning for you.
It is impossible for someone to be successful without planning, both through their diet and exercise. Think about it; if you never thought about your next meal, or got to the gym and just winged each time, do you think you would be tremendously successful? And it's exciting to hear your family members have joined the fun too.
[ Jim ] It is interesting you say this because I am careful to plan in other aspects of my life, but have been fortunate that for most of my life that I was able to wing it and still get nice results.
I am learning that as I get older, I have to be more careful about planning my training and nutrition too. I'm of course not saying I'm old, but if I notice this change at 22 years old, it's only going to get worse over time.
[ Chris ] Now that you have had some time with the program, what would you say are your top 5 fat loss tips?
[ Jim ]
- Without planning, it will be difficult to succeed.
- Training and nutrition are both crucial aspects to success. Dieting alone won't help; you'll lose a lot of fat and muscle, but training alone won't do a ton either.
- Don't skimp on fruits and veggies.
- Write down what you do to monitor yourself; I liked using the pages and specific areas in the manual for this because I could then go back and use previous days that I already did this to make it easier.
- Interval training ain't easy, but it works!
[ Chris ] Are there any limitations to the manual or ways you suggest we could make it better?
[ Jim ] For those who want two experts to do the thinking for them, it's done, and it works when followed (just look at my pictures!). However, for those who would rather create their own plan, workouts, and go about it themselves, this manual might be a bit to regimented for them. I personally loved that I did not have to think at all; some people would rather learn more information and create their own plans.
Whichever works for you is OK with me. To be honest, I think this would make an awesome holiday gift - New Year's resolutions are around the corner, so having the specific guidelines to maximize results would be perfect for those trying to lose weight.
|HOLIDAY GIFT GUIDE|
[ Chris ] Thanks for taking the time to talk with me today, Jim. Your transformation is impressive and you clearly worked hard to make it happen! We gave you the tools, but you actually put them into practice.