Name: Julian Poulaki Email: firstname.lastname@example.org BodySpace: http://bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/JayDwag/
Age: 17 Height: 6'1" Weight: 240lbs Body fat: 30% and higher
Age: 19 Height: 6'1" Weight: 169lbs Body fat: 7-8%
Why I Got Started:
Ever since I can remember, I've struggled with my weight. It's been a problem my whole life. I remember times when I would eat huge amounts of food and really had no discipline at all in my life. When I got into high school, I started to get into trouble and was hanging around with a bad crowd. I was down on myself and food was the easy fix to help me through the problems I had.
During my junior year, my life had come to a fork in the road. I had two options. I could keep on the path that I had been on and get nowhere fast, or I could start to live a healthy lifestyle and try to turn my life around.
How I Did It:
I decided that during my junior year I wanted to start lifting some weights. At the time, I started to run and eat plain salads. I didn't have any understanding of nutrition or bodybuilding and figured that this would be the way to lose the weight. As I started doing this I did lose weight, but at the time I didn't realize what I was doing to my body. There is a right way and a wrong way to lose weight and I was doing it the wrong way.
One day at the gym, I started talking to Bob Widman (a previous Over 50 Bodybuilder of the Week winner) and it pretty much changed my life. Bob, being the kind of person he is, took me under his wing immediately. He started to talk to me about proper nutrition and how to train the right way. The things he was telling me were great, because they worked.
I started to eat better by balancing out my diet and eating a lot more protein. I started watching my carbs and the weight started to come off. After some time, I really started looking better and feeling great about myself...but that was only the beginning of my weight loss journey. I got my weight down about 25lbs and really started to get into bodybuilding.
Bob told me that if I stayed in school and kept out of trouble, he would help me with my supplement bill. This took me to a whole new level. However, when I started trying to put muscle on, my body started to put on a lot of weight...some of which was not so good. The next thing I knew, I was up to 230lbs. Yes, I had more muscle, but I really started to feel fat again.
At that point, Bob said he had a friend that he wanted me to meet. Bob thought he could really help me lose the weight. He introduced me to Josh Biros (a previous transformation of the week winner himself) and things blew up to a whole new level.
It was January 1st of 2009 and we all decided that I needed to drop some weight. Jokingly Josh said something about competing in a bodybuilding show as a goal to get me to drop the weight. I took his "joke" seriously and the next thing you know, I was training for a show! With roughly 18 weeks to go and a LOT of body fat, I began the next journey of my weight loss saga.
Josh had me on a really low carb diet, and I was doing tons of cardio. At first, the weight wasn't coming off and this was very frustrating. Four weeks into the diet I was only down about 5lbs. Josh said to be patient and I sat down with both Josh and Bob to get a good idea of what we needed to do for this weight to come off. Josh lowered my calories more and added in my new best friend...the stair stepper.
Before I knew it, the weight was coming off like melting butter. I made a promise to myself that I would not cheat throughout this diet and I stuck with it! By the time the 2nd week of May 2009 came around, I was driving down to Peoria, IL with Josh and Bob to register in my first bodybuilding contest, the NGA Heart of America. I stepped on the scale when I registered and what did the scale say? 175lbs!
Yes! I had done it! Losing close to 60 lbs in around 4 months was a feat that I cannot describe in words. I did lose a lot of weight during this diet and of course, some of it was muscle, but I could not have felt better. I went on the next day to place 3rd in my class and put my first bodybuilding show under my belt. I wasn't in the best "bodybuilding" shape, but I was in the best shape of my life.
I can not thank Bob and Josh enough for being there for me the entire diet. Bob talked with me on the phone daily and worked out with me to keep me motivated and to keep my eye on the goal. He's done so much for me that I cannot even describe it in words. Thanks Bob!
However, the weight loss drama was not over. I wanted to put on some weight in the off season (good muscle), so Josh wrote a good diet for me to follow. Bob was on board to help me again with my supplements and ordered everything for me that was on the list. And once again, Josh and Bob sat down with me and we set a goal of competing again in a series of shows in the spring of 2010.
After that meeting, I started training on my own. Josh let me do my own thing and was figuring I was following the diet. My mind started to stray away from the diet and by November 1st, I was again at 230 lbs! I couldn't believe it! I wasn't nearly as fat as I was the year before, but I still wasn't comfortable. Josh and Bob said that there was no way I would be ready for my shows if I started dieting again in January.
Josh decided that we'd take a lot more time to diet this year and that day he started me on the diet for my show. Yes, 6 months of dieting seemed like a TON of dieting, but did it work! This diet was very easy for me to follow and the weight came off slowly and I didn't really feel that bad. I was losing around 1-2 lbs. a week all the way through and that seemed to work out the best. Bob again kept me motivated as he always does and Josh created about 5 phases of diets that I would follow to make sure that my fat levels kept decreasing. We set our competition goal for the middle of May.
Around the first week in April 2010, we decided to drive to Davenport, IA to compete at the NPC Midwest Championships. I placed first in the teen class and couldn't believe it! This really motivated me as Josh told me I had a few more pounds to lose before the next shows. Bob again kept me on point because I was in college and it was getting more difficult. I was having a hard time balancing all the dieting stuff, cardio, workouts, and finding time to study and get good grades. Bob helped me through all of these problems and we developed a plan which worked great.
I competed again in Peoria, IL in May 2010 at the Heart of America and placed 3rd for the second year. I was disappointed but realized that I looked a LOT better than I did the year before and that being humbled by not winning is really one of the best things that happened to me. If I had everything given to me and didn't have to work for it, then I really wouldn't appreciate it. I still had a great time and planned on competing in another show a week later in Dayton, OH. I got to hang out backstage with Brian Ahlstrom (another previous winner on Bodybuilding.com) and Paul Hansmeier, who was doing his first show.
Josh and Bob are friends with Brian and it made my experience that much better by being able to spend the weekend with a group of bodybuilders and "living the dream" that was competing. I ended up placing 2nd in the teen class. The winner of my class was a huge guy who had great genetics and carried a lot more size than me. I talked to Josh and Bob about this and they assured me that my conditioning was better than his and although I didn't win, it was a huge moral victory for me. Since competitions are now over, I can focus on size. On top of this, I weighed in at 169lbs! This was a new all time low for me and then I fully realized how much hard work I'd done to get that weight off.
Re-motivated, I have decided that I will not let my weight get high this year. My discipline level is elevated even more this year and I will not let bad foods get the best of me! I want to compete again in a year or two and realize I need more size. I do know that if I have to peel off 60lbs of fat again, I cannot possibly keep all the muscle that I will put on in the off season. This year I have promised myself that I will NOT get above 200 lbs. and that my diet and training will be spot on.
Overall, this whole experience has been awesome even though dieting has been a difficult process. BUT, hard work and discipline has paid off big-time as you can see from my photos. I want to thank Bob and Josh again for all their help!
Syntrax Nectar Optimum Nutrition Egg Protein Waxy Maize Animal Pak Beverly Joint Care Fish Oils Fiber Supplements
Josh had 5 different phases for my diet. Here's an example of phase three which was about 2 months into my transformation:
Meal 1: - 2 scoops Egg Protein - 1/2 Cup Oatmeal
Meal 2: - 2 Scoops Nectar Protein - 1/3 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Meal 3: - 1.5 Cans Tuna - 1/3 Tablespoon Olive Oil (mix w/ vinegar) - Plate Sized Salad (use lettuce, green peppers, cauliflower, broccoli only)
Meal 4: - 2 Scoops Nectar Protein - 1/3 Tablespoon Olive Oil
Meal 5 (Pre workout meal & only on workout days): - 1.5 Cans Tuna - 1/2 Cup Oatmeal
Meal 6 (Post workout meal & only on workout days): - 2 Scoops Nectar Protein - 2/3 Scoop Waxy Maize
Meal 7: - 8oz Salmon - 1 Can Green Beans
**On non workout days, replace meals 5 and 6 with 1 meal of 8oz Sirloin and 1 can of green beans.
The final weeks of my diet Josh cut my carbs all the way out.
During those final weeks, pretty much all my diet consisted of was a protein source and vegetables for every meal.
A sample day of this would be:
Meal 1: - 2 Scoops Egg Protein - 5 stalks celery
Meal 2: - 2 Scoops Whey Protein
Meal 3: - 8oz Chicken - Large Garden Salad
Meal 4: - 2 Scoops Whey Protein
Meal 5: - 8oz Chicken - Large Garden Salad
Meal 6: - 2 scoops Whey Protein
Every 3rd day I'd replace my final meal (meal 6) with a carb up meal consisting of 1 banana, 1 sweet potato, 1 can of green beans, and 1 cup of oats.
I would not recommend doing this diet for a long period of time and unless you are training for a bodybuilding show and want to get off that extra bit of body fat. This diet is extreme and should not be done for a very long time.
Cardio: 60 minutes of AM cardio (only took 1/2 scoop of Whey Protein before session) x 7 days a week. This persisted of just walking on the treadmill at home as soon as I woke up. I kept my heart rate rather low.
HIIT Training x 2 Days a week (I had 3 days off from weights so 2 of those afternoons were taken up by HIIT sessions)
Weight training sessions (PM training) consisted of 1 warm up set for each exercise followed by 3 sets of 8-10 reps. As the weight loss persisted we would add in super sets and drop sets to the last exercise for each body part.
Monday: CHEST & TRICEPS CHEST: Incline Barbell Press Chest Dips Flat Dumbbell Flyes Cable Crossovers TRICEPS: Cable Triceps Press downs Laying Triceps Skull crushers Bench Dips
Tuesday: BACK & BICEPS BACK: Pull-ups Partial Deadlifts Bent Over Barbell Rows Hyperextensions BICEPS: Barbell Curls Dumbbell Hammer Curls Seated Dumbbell Curls
Wednesday: Off from weights. Only HIIT session in the afternoon
Thursday: LEGS: Squats Leg Press Walking Lunges Leg Extensions Leg Curls
Friday: SHOULDERS: Seated Dumbbell Shoulder Press Dumbbell Side Raises Cable One Arm Rear Delt Flyes Barbell Shrugs
Saturday: Off from weights. Only HIIT session in the afternoon
Sunday: Off from weights and HIIT. (Rest day)
Suggestions for Others:
I would suggest that everyone really take a step back and think about what you want to do with your bodies and your life. I cannot tell you enough how much this has done for my confidence. If you are fat, skinny, or anything in between, bodybuilding can change your life. It has provided me with an alternative lifestyle that has given me discipline and goals that I can honestly attain.
Find yourself a good support group and get started! Read as much as you can about supplements and diet so you really know what you are doing. There are thousands of wonderful articles on Bodybuilding.com that can lead you in the right direction. Find someone to help you and get on your way. Next thing you know you'll be on the road to a totally new, yet totally exciting new life!