Name: Rob Barnett
Weight: 245 lbs
Weight: 185 lbs
Bodyfat: 3-10% depending on goals
Why I Got Started
After many years of living an unhealthful lifestyle, many of my vices began to take a toll on my body and livelihood. I was a typical weekend warrior type who thought nothing about what he was eating (other than if it tasted good) and drinking (the more beer and soda the better).
Even though these excesses seemed to soothe my mind, the human body always knows better and began to give me warning signs to change which I initially ignored. The body fat began to accumulate in numbers as did my age and I believed it was just natural to grow rounder as the years passed.
Eventually, I was diagnosed with a painful and debilitating condition known as ulcerative colitis, which my doctor assured me was an immune disorder and not caused by all of the torture I was putting my body through.
| Ulcerative Colitis:
Ulcerative colitis is a form of inflammatory bowel disease (IBD). Ulcerative colitis is a form of colitis, a disease of the intestine, specifically the large intestine or colon, that includes characteristic ulcers, or open sores, in the colon.
Basically, the condition meant that my own immune system was attacking the lining of my intestines causing a multitude of painful, life altering struggles. I underwent nearly 10 years of using horrible medications (prednisone for one) and suffered through years of pain and was one phone call away from volunteering to have my lower intestines removed.
At that point, I saw a Muscle and Fitness magazine at the grocery store and looked through the pages looking at all of the people in such great health and having the physiques I had always admired. I decided then and there that it was time to take charge of my life. I knew I may not have the power to be a millionaire or a pro athlete, but I damn sure could get into the best shape of my life and look like the men in the pages of the magazine I bought if I just exercised and ate right consistently.
Within 18 months, I had discontinued all of the muscle wasting medications prescribed to me and my medical condition had disappeared completely. I will never take my life or health for granted and appreciate every day before me.
How I Did It
I read that magazine from cover to cover and took one of the workouts from inside as well as an accompanying diet and went right to work. I bought a small home gym and did a lot of reading, learning how to perform exercises properly and getting ideas of proper rest and nutrition.
Many of diets in magazines focus on mass gaining and I was lulled into a sense of security while I blindly followed the advice and got bigger, stronger and fatter. I didn't really see that I was fat until I went on vacation and the beach photos I saw upon returning were eye openers to say the least. How could all of the working out and careful eating still make me look bloated and out of shape?
We can all learn the most valuable lessons in times of despair and disappointment if we can approach the situation with a smudge-free mirror and honest evaluation of ourselves. I knew that my diet was standing in my way of my progress.
I learned that every person is different and what works for one may not for another, otherwise we would all follow one diet and all look like Arnold.
Through trial and error (many errors) I found I had to be careful with my carb intake as well as the types consumed. I found success in a high protein, low to moderate carb and moderate good fat intake which is adjusted based on what I am trying to accomplish (bulking or cutting).
I lift as heavy as possible with the focus being on working and contracting the intended muscle. I try to lift more every workout or get an extra rep which I keep track of in my workout log. Regardless of rep ranges, form is paramount in my thoughts to prevent injury and feel the contraction of the muscle working, not the joints and tendons.
I will cook a large amount of measured meals once or twice per week and store them for easy pick up and go without having to think about what to eat throughout the day. I will eat every 2.5-3 hours and get most complex carbs in early then switch to fibrous ones later in the day.
A couple of years ago, my wife and I attended a bodybuilding contest and were inspired by all of the competitors' level of fitness and dedication displayed. We both decided that we were going to live life to its fullest and challenge ourselves, never settling for mediocrity.
Click Image To Enlarge.
I Lift As Heavy As Possible With The Focus
Being On Working And Contracting The Intended Muscle.
We trained hard together and entered a few shows. I was the overall novice champion for the 2007 Washington Ironman and my wife won the masters figure division last year. While we may not be the biggest and/or baddest out there - we certainly enjoy pushing ourselves to be the best we can be every day and have great visions of our future.
Meal 2: Post-Workout
I usually work in a 3 on, 1 off, 2 on, 1 off week. Due to my work schedule, I have had to change it to 5 on, 2 off (cardio and ab work). I am currently in a cutting phase and am doing some form of cardio 30-45 minutes every day after weight lifting.
- Monday: Chest, Biceps & Abs
- Tuesday: Back & Triceps
- Wednesday: Shoulders, Calves & Abs
- Thursday: Off (Cardio & Abs)
- Friday: Off (Cardio & Abs)
- Saturday: Light Biceps & Triceps
- Sunday: Legs, Calves & Abs
Suggestions For Others
Don't believe everything you read or are told by well intentioned advisors. Know yourself and be your own best supporter and disciplinarian. The only limits to your potential are the ones you place upon yourself, be free!