Name: Tom Rogers
Weight: 230 lbs
Body Fat: 23%
Weight: 164 lbs
Body Fat: 7-8%
Why I Got Started
In the fall of 2000 I became sick but the doctors had no idea what was going on. I had a number of symptoms that no one could put together and blame on a single disease, so they chalked it up to anxiety.
Then things became worse, I had a chest X-ray, needed a follow up CT Scan because the doctors found something, and then was scheduled for a mediastinoscopy. The CT Scan showed swollen lymph nodes in my chest so they wanted to rule out cancer. Turns out I had Sarcoidosis.
| Sarcoidosis & Mediastinoscopy:
Sarcoidosis is a multisystem granulomatous inflammatory disease characterized by non-caseating granulomas (small inflammatory nodules). The cause of the disease is still unknown.
Mediastinoscopy is a surgical procedure that enables visualization of the contents of the mediastinum, usually for the purpose of obtaining a biopsy. Mediastinoscopy is often used for staging of lymph nodes of lung cancer or for diagnosing other conditions effecting structures in the mediastinum such as sarcoidosis or lymphoma.
Because I was having heart palpitations throughout this time, my fear was that I had heart sarcoidosis. Turns out that was not the case, but the fear of not being in control of my health led me to turn back to my bodybuilding days so I began training to overcome this disease.
How I Did It
I began as a fat 230-pound person who was so out of shape from 20-plus years of neglect, that I had to start out small with training in order to keep going. I encountered many, many injuries along the way as well, I blew out an L4/L5 disc in my back which made my left foot numb to this day, I tore muscles between my ribs, I hurt my shoulders, I blew out a disc in my neck, etc.
But I kept on fighting my way through these set backs, training smarter and around the injuries. For the past year or so I have avoided major injuries - being in shape really helps.
So starting small, and I mean starting with walking around the block 1-2 times every other night, I slowly and steadily added more and more training. I worked into a 3 day split bodybuilding program using a home weight set doing 30 minutes of cardio on the off-days.
Eventually I worked into a 4-day split. I was able to get down from 230 pounds to 203 pounds and I fluctuated between 203-210 for a while. It just seemed like I could not get the weight off anymore, so I had to study dieting - everything I could get my hands on, for bodybuilding dieting.
I came across an eBook by Tom Venuto and began using that. It helped me tremendously. Then by taking notes from other online fitness people like Vince DelMonte and Lee Hayward, I was able to finally get the right nutrition program in place for me. What I found was that I could still cut up the body fat and enjoy some of my favorite foods in the process too.
You do not need to eat only plain chicken breasts and brown rice all the time. It's first and foremost calories in vs calories out. Then of course you want to get quality foods in, but I also ate granola bars here and there, MRP's, Protein Bars, even some simple sugars here and there - especially after training sessions.
Click Image To Enlarge.
I Could Still Cut Up The Body Fat And Enjoy Some
Of My Favorite Foods In The Process Too.
By starting "officially" in October 2006, I set a goal of competing October 2009. My goal was to look like I belong on stage with the other competitors, and to win 3rd place. On November 7, 2009, those goals were realized when I took 3rd place out of a class of 9 competitors in the Masters 40-plus class, at the OCB NYS IX in Cicero, NY.
Since I had tried to lose all the body fat for most of these 3 years, I could not concentrate on building lean muscle size, but that comes now that I have finally competed.
- Whey Protein
- Vitamin C
- Vitamin E
- Vitamin B
Meal 1: Pre-Cardio
- 2 whole eggs
- 6 egg whites
- 1 whole-wheat english muffin
- 82g frozen blueberries
- 4 tbs salsa
- 1 granola bar
Monday: Shoulders, Forearms, And Calves
- Military Press: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
- Rear Delt Raise: 3 sets of 12-16 reps
- Lateral Raise: 3 sets of 12-16 reps
- Barbell Shrug: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
- Upright Cable Row: 3 sets of 12-16 reps
- Barbell Wrist Curl: 3 sets of 12-16 reps
- Reverse Barbell Wrist Curl: 3 sets of 12-16 reps
- Standing Calf Raise: 3 sets of 12-16 reps
- Incline Dumbbell Press: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
- Incline Dumbbell Flyes: 3 sets of 12-16 reps
- Seated Cable Row: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
- Chin-Ups: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
- Smith Machine Bench Press: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
- Reverse Flyes: 3 sets of 12-16 reps
- Lat Pulldown: 3 sets of 12-16 reps
- Hyperextensions: 3 sets of 12-16 reps
- Barbell Curl: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
- Close-Grip Bench Press: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
- Incline Dumbbell Curls: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
- Lying Triceps Press: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
- Preacher Curls: 3 sets of 12-16 reps
- Triceps Pushdowns: 3 sets of 12-16 reps
- Bench Dips: 2 sets to failure
- Barbell Pullover: 2 sets of 8-12 reps
- Hack Squat: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
- Barbell Lunges: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
- Leg Extensions: 3 sets of 12-16 reps
- Seated Leg Curls: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
- Standing Leg Curls: 3 sets of 8-12 reps
- Thigh Abductor: 3 sets of 12-16 reps
- Donkey Calf Raise: 2 sets of 12-16 reps
- Seated Calf Raise: 2 sets of 12-16 reps
Tuesday: Chest And Back
Suggestions For Others
Never give up, keep going towards your goal no matter how long it takes. You need to make a lifestyle change, not just a quick diet. If you want it bad enough, you will do whatever it takes to make it happen.
It doesn't matter how old you are when you start. I was 42 and became a competitive natural bodybuilder at 46. As Arnold always said, "If the mind can imagine it, the body can do it!"