Real People, Real Results: Nathan Gerdts

Nathan took his scrawny soccer body and rebuilt it into a legitimate muscular physique!

Teenage years and some of the sports boys play can erode muscularity and keep them small in stature. After graduation, Nathan wanted something different; he wanted to be strong and muscular.

He started following the example of his older brother and some sturdy physique pros, then found the assets and products of Bodybuilding.com. Since his polar shift, this Oklahoma native has radically changed his body and found early success in the sport of bodybuilding.

Follow his training program and his tight nutrition regimen, and put yourself on the path to change. It takes time, but with effort, any change is possible.

Q

How did your bodybuilding journey begin?

My start in bodybuilding traces back to high school sports. Although I did not lift then like I do now, I developed a passion for fitness and loved the challenge of pushing myself to the limits day in and day out. I was a soccer player and ran cross-country. These sports are not ideal for bodybuilding, but it did help me stay in good shape year round, and—at the time I was able to eat whatever I wanted. I was skinny throughout high school, only weighing around 150 pounds. After high school I no longer had anything to push myself or to keep me in shape.

After my freshman year—like many college students—I gained the "freshman 15." Sadly it wasn't the kind of 15 pounds I would have liked to put on. I not only lost some of the little muscle I had, I also put on fat.

At the end of my first year, my older brother entered a physique contest. Between seeing myself in the worst shape of my life and seeing my brother at his best, I was motivated to make a change. That summer I began to read as many articles as I could on dieting and working out so I could get into better shape.



I used Bodybuilding.com for information on diets and workouts. I watched bigger guys in the gym and mimicked what they did to get so big. I also received a lot of help and information from my older brother. He helped me immensely.

When I first started, it was solely to lose some fat and get a little stronger. Soon after starting, I began to love the challenge of pushing myself to see what I was capable of. There are many aspects of bodybuilding that I love. Each day you push yourself to become better than the day before. I love the support everyone has for each other in the sport.

Bodybuilding has improved my life in many ways. It improved my self-confidence, made me mentally and physically stronger, and gave me an overall healthier lifestyle. The thing that motivates me to continue to live this lifestyle is the challenge of pushing myself to see what I can accomplish.

Cool Fact

Nathan is a mechanical engineering student and is always picking up new hobbies. He is a self-taught piano and guitar player, and has picked up pyrography and wood carving.

What workout regimen delivered the best results?

My contest prep and offseason training were pretty close to the same. I do not do any cardio during offseason; I did about 30 minutes of cardio five times per week when contest prepping. I add in dropsets and supersets in every workout to increase the intensity. During contest prep I tried to lift in each muscle group twice per week.

Day 1: Chest/Calves/Rear Delts
1

Incline barbell bench press

2 warm-up sets of 15 reps, 4 sets of 12, 10, 8, 6 reps
Incline barbell bench press Incline barbell bench press

Superset
2

Dumbbell bench press

3 sets of 12-15 reps
Dumbbell bench press Dumbbell bench press

Dumbbell fly

3 sets of 10 reps
Dumbbell fly Dumbbell fly

3
Bent-over dumbbell lateral raise Bent-over dumbbell lateral raise

4

Face pull

3 sets of 10 reps
Face pull Face pull

5

Machine incline press

3 sets of 12 reps
Machine incline press Machine incline press

6

Dip

3 sets to failure
Dip Dip

7

Standing calf raise

4 sets of 10-15 reps
Standing calf raise Standing calf raise

8

Seated calf raise

4 sets of 15-20 reps
Seated calf raise Seated calf raise


Day 2: Back/Abs
1

Deadlift

2 warm-up sets of 15 reps, 3 sets of 8-10 reps
Deadlift Deadlift

2

Wide-grip pull-up

3 sets of 10-15 reps
Wide-grip pull-up Wide-grip pull-up

3

Reverse-grip pull-down

3 sets of 10 reps
Reverse-grip pull-down Reverse-grip pull-down

Superset
4

Single-arm dumbbell row

3 sets of 6-8 reps
Single-arm dumbbell row Single-arm dumbbell row

Barbell row

3 sets of 10-12 reps
Barbell row Barbell row

5

Seated cable row

2 dropsets of 10 reps
Seated cable row Seated cable row

6

Straight-arm pull-down

5 sets of 15 reps
Straight-arm pull-down Straight-arm pull-down

7

Sit up

3 sets of 15 reps
Sit up Sit up

8

Hanging leg raise

3 sets of 15 reps
Hanging leg raise Hanging leg raise


Day 3: Legs
1

Hip abductor

3 sets of 15 reps
Hip abductor Hip abductor

2

Hip adductor

3 sets of 15 reps
Hip adductor Hip adductor

3

Leg extension

3 sets of 10 reps
Leg extension Leg extension

4

Lying hamstring curl

3 sets of 10 reps
Lying hamstring curl Lying hamstring curl

5

Barbell squat

5 sets of 8-12 reps
Barbell squat Barbell squat

6

Lunge

5 sets of 10 reps per leg
Lunge Lunge

7

Leg press

4 sets of 25, 20, 15, 10 reps, 1 double dropset to failure
Leg press Leg press

8

Standing calf raise

5 sets of 25 reps
Standing calf raise Standing calf raise


Day 4: Shoulders/Traps
1

Bent-over dumbbell lateral raise

3 sets of 12-15 reps
Bent-over dumbbell lateral raise Bent-over dumbbell lateral raise

2

Seated dumbbell press

4 sets of 15, 15, 12, 10 reps
Seated dumbbell press Seated dumbbell press

Superset
3

Barbell upright row

3 sets of 10 reps
Barbell upright row Barbell upright row

Lateral raise

3 sets of 20 reps
Lateral raise Lateral raise

4

Barbell shrug

3 sets of 15 reps
Barbell shrug Barbell shrug

5

Cable reverse fly

3 sets of 10 reps
Cable reverse fly Cable reverse fly

6

Shoulder press machine

2 sets of 10 reps, 1 dropset to failure
Shoulder press machine Shoulder press machine

7

Lateral raise

2 double dropsets of 10 reps
Lateral raise Lateral raise


Day 5: Arms/Abs
1

Straight-bar push-down

7 sets of 15 reps, 20 sec. rest, drop weight as needed
Straight-bar push-down Straight-bar push-down

2

Close-grip bench press

3 sets of 8-10 reps
Close-grip bench press Close-grip bench press

3

Preacher curl machine

7 sets of 15 reps, 20 sec. rest, drop weight as needed
Preacher curl machine Preacher curl machine

4

Barbell curl

3 sets of 8-10 reps
Barbell curl Barbell curl

Superset
5

Skullcrusher

3 sets of 10 reps
Skullcrusher Skullcrusher

Alternating dumbbell curl

3 sets of 10 reps
Alternating dumbbell curl Alternating dumbbell curl


Day 6: Rest

Day 7: Repeat with Day 1

What nutrition plan fueled your body?

My diet stays consistent as far as what I eat. However, depending on if my current goal is bulking or cutting, I will add or subtract the amount of carbs and fats. This is closest to what I would eat if I wanted to maintain my current physique.

Meal 1

Egg whites 6 whites


Whole eggs 3 eggs


Oatmeal 1 cup



Meal 2

97% lean ground beef 6 oz.


White rice 1 cup



Meal 3

Chicken breast 6 oz.


Potato 1 large


Vegetables 1 serving



Meal 4

Chicken breast 6 oz.


White rice 1 cup



Meal 5: Post-Workout

Whey protein 2 scoops


Peanut butter 2 tbsp


Oatmeal 1/2 cup


Banana 1 banana



Meal 6

Tilapia 6 oz.


Vegetables 1 serving



What supplements gave you the greatest gains?

As far as supplements go I try to stick to the basics.

Twice daily


Post-workout

How did your passion for bodybuilding emerge?

Bodybuilding has helped shape me into the person I am today. I love the camaraderie that goes along with it; in a way it is kind of like a brotherhood between likeminded individuals who all have a drive to improve their fitness. I found that I am capable of far more than most would think when I put my mind to it. Wanting to see what I am capable of is my biggest drive.

"I found that I am capable of far more than most would think when I put my mind to it."

What or who motivated you to be a bodybuilder?

My older brother has been the biggest motivation for me to become a bodybuilder. I saw what he was able to accomplish with all of his hard work and it pushed me to start taking lifting and dieting seriously. All the encouragement I got about the progress I was making when I started helped improve my self-confidence. I continued to see improvements as I went on—which has been my biggest motivation. I see how far I have come, and now I want to find out how much farther I can go.

Where did you go for inspiration?

Websites such as Bodybuilding.com and YouTube were where I went for inspiration. Looking through articles on Bodybuilding.com and seeing people reach their goals was inspirational and helped me realize I could accomplish my goals. YouTube has also been one of my biggest inspirations. I watch videos of many different people with impressive physiques completing impressive lifts. This was always able to get me pumped up for a lift. It reminded me of my goals and why I was doing this.

What are your future bodybuilding plans?

I just finished my first competition and placed second in my division. From here I plan on competing in two more NPC shows this June: The Oklahoma Championships and the Dallas Europa Games. I would like to qualify for a national show through one of these. Once qualified for a national show, I will take some time off to prep to get onto a national stage. My training will surely need to be bumped up a notch at that point. I am not going to hold anything back in my prep for these shows.

What is the most important bodybuilding tip?

It is important to stay consistent with both your workout and diet. It takes time to get to where you want, so setting up a plan and sticking to it can be beneficial. You need to continue to work hard and stay dedicated, and the results will come in time.

"You need to continue to work hard and stay dedicated, and the results will come in time."

Who is your favorite bodybuilder?

My favorite bodybuilder is 2015 Arnold Classic Physique Pro Champion Sadik Hadzovic. He has an extremely aesthetic physique and I aspire to obtain a physique like his. Despite his accomplishments, he seems to be a humble and down-to-earth person.

How did Bodybuilding.com help you reach your goals?

Bodybuilding.com helped me reach my goals in many ways. For starters, this is where I bought all my supplements over the past three years; the web store always has great deals!

I also learned a lot from different articles, such as learning new workouts and recipes to try. I also recently began to use BodySpace more. I found that everyone is supportive of one another and that it is a great place for encouragement and bouncing ideas off of one another.

Nathan's Favorite Gym Tracks

Anberlin
"Self-Starter"
The Letter Black
"Wounded (Too much sweat on a strobe light mix)"
Truslow
"Adhd"
Icon for Hire
"Cynics & Critics"
Anberlin
"Self-Starter"
The Letter Black
"Wounded (Too much sweat on a strobe light mix)"
Truslow
"Adhd"
Icon for Hire
"Cynics & Critics"


Contest History
  • 2015 Dre Dillard Classic, 2nd place