Making Grades -- The A+ Abs Programs!

Bruce was sick and tired of feeling uncomfortable in his own skin so he did something about it. Read on to see how Bruce changed his body and built up his self esteem.

Vital Stats

Name: Bruce Leto

Email: bdub_italiana@yahoo.com

Bodyspace: bdub17

Bruce Leto Bruce Leto

Before:

Age:
18
Height:
5'11"
Weight:
185 lbs
Body Fat:
16.5%
Waist:
35"

After:

Age:
19
Height:
5'11"
Weight:
174 lbs
Body Fat:
9%
Waist:
32.5"

Why I Got Started

I got started bodybuilding when I first arrived to college, realizing that everyone else was stronger, more athletic, and in better shape than I was.

Many of the guys on campus were confident walking around without their shirts off, knowing that all the girls would admire their chiseled and ripped torsos. I, on the other hand, was chubby, unconfident, and never showed anyone how my stomach looked under my shirt. I even wore a shirt when I went to the beach most of the days!

I wanted a body that would grab attention, and I wanted to gain confidence in my personal image - something that I never was able to have during my earlier years of life. I remember during senior year of high school when a classmate called me "fat," this really motivated me to start working out, lose weight and gain overall strength.

Bruce no longer owns ANY shirts—he doesn't need them!
+ Click To Enlarge.
Bruce no longer owns ANY shirts—he doesn't need them!


How I Did It

I initially started going to the gym (on a regimented schedule) with one my friends who lived in my college dorm. I worked on strength training in particular, with intense cardio sessions at the end of each workout.

My friend and I would push each other really hard in the gym so both of us could achieve the physiques we were aiming for. I wanted to finally be able to see my 6-pack, something I never thought was possible with my body composition.

I monitored my diet, eating only complex carbohydrates, lean protein, and minimal fats. I cut out most sweets, refined carbs, and junk-food from my diet altogether, which made my feel great physically to say the least!

Gradually, I lost about 25 pounds, until I was around 161.5 pounds when I returned home for Thanksgiving Break. I could finally see my 6-pack, and was very confident with my new, defined lean physique. I then realized it was time to bulk, although I wanted to maintain my leanness amid my muscle-building stage. I thus began my "clean-bulk" in December 2010.

I first started to bulk by adding more calories to my diet, however the calories were very spread out - over the course of 6 small meals a day. Each meal consisted of some protein, complex carbs, and good fats. I was still going to the gym 5 days each week and performing at least 15 minutes of cardio after each session, to maintain my leanness.

Clean bulk, lean and mean body.
+ Click To Enlarge.
Clean bulk, lean and mean body.

I noticed numbers shoot up in the weights that I was lifting and also on the scale, although I was cautious not to over-eat and lose my lean physique. I upped my protein intake each day considerably, trying to hit at least 1.25 grams per pound of body weight in protein.

I pushed myself every day in the gym, not letting my thoughts get the best of me, and forcing myself to never give up! I also had a great, supportive lifting partner who helped me achieve many of my fitness goals.

I came home for spring break in March 2011 7 pounds heavier - 168.5! I could see my 6-pack even more visibly then, since I gained more muscle during those successful 3 months of strength training.

Returning to school after Spring Break I realized something was missing in my routine, which could help me gain lean muscle at even faster rate - a fast-acting post-workout carbohydrate.

Since March 2011, I have put on around 4-5 more pounds of lean muscle mass. I have literally been watching my strength increase during each consecutive workout session - this is an empowering feeling! Vitargo also helped me gain back energy I lost at the gym, which would help me get through the school day much better than just protein would.

Looking back, I wouldn't change anything I did this year. The new strength, muscularity, and physique I have acquired means more to me than I can express through words. I feel confident, energized and a lot healthier than I have ever been before in my life! This transformation was proof to myself that I could defy my "genetics" and get a 6-pack, maintain it, and also put on lean muscle mass that I could be proud of.

During these 8 months, I developed a work ethic and positive attitude that has translated into so many other aspects of my life, essentially helping me become a more balanced and happy individual. I look back to the days in which I was too afraid to take my shirt off in public and realize how far I have come since those difficult days.

That's one ripped piano man.
+ Click To Enlarge.
That's one ripped piano man.


Supplements


Morning:
Post-Workout:

Diet

I try to stick with a diet each day that emphasizes complex carbohydrates (with a low - moderate Glycemic Index level), high proteins, and good fats.

Meal 1: Pre Workout
Meal 2: Post-Workout
Meal 3:
Meal 4:
Meal 5:
Meal 6:

Training


Day 1: Chest/Shoulders/Traps
Exercises
Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip Barbell Bench Press - Medium Grip
3 add sets of 10, 8, 6 reps
Incline Dumbbell Press Incline Dumbbell Press Incline Dumbbell Press
3 add sets of 10, 8, 6 reps
Cable Crossover Cable Crossover Cable Crossover
3 sets of 10-12 reps
Incline Dumbbell Flyes Incline Dumbbell Flyes Incline Dumbbell Flyes
3 sets of 15 reps
Standing Military Press Standing Military Press Standing Military Press
3 add sets of 10, 8, 6 reps
Side Lateral Raise Side Lateral Raise Side Lateral Raise
3 sets of 8 reps
Standing Dumbbell Upright Row Standing Dumbbell Upright Row Standing Dumbbell Upright Row
3 add sets of 10, 8, 6 reps
Dumbbell Shrug Dumbbell Shrug Dumbbell Shrug
3 sets of 10 reps
Cardio
Running, Treadmill Running, Treadmill Running, Treadmill
1 mile run at 7.5 mph pace
Day 2: Legs/Back/Abs
Exercises
Barbell Squat Barbell Squat Barbell Squat
3 add sets of 10, 8, 6 reps
Leg Press Leg Press Leg Press
3 add sets of 10, 8, 6 reps
Barbell Deadlift Barbell Deadlift Barbell Deadlift
3 sets of 6 (HEAVY weight) reps
Standing Calf Raises Standing Calf Raises Standing Calf Raises
3 sets of 10 reps
Pullups Pullups Pullups
3 sets of 12, 10, 8 reps
Seated Cable Rows Seated Cable Rows Seated Cable Rows
3 add sets of 10, 10, 8 reps
One-Arm Dumbbell Row One-Arm Dumbbell Row One-Arm Dumbbell Row
2 add sets of 10, 8 reps
Crunches Crunches Crunches
3 add sets of 10, 10, 8 reps
weighted
Russian Twist Russian Twist Russian Twist
2 sets of 25 reps
Leg Lift Leg Lift Leg Lift
3 sets of 10 reps
Day 3: Rest

Day 4: Biceps/Triceps/Abs
Exercises
Dips - Triceps Version Dips - Triceps Version Dips - Triceps Version
3 sets of 10, 8, 6 reps
Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press Close-Grip Barbell Bench Press
3 heavy sets of 6 reps
Barbell Curl Barbell Curl Barbell Curl
3 add sets of 8, 8, 6 reps
Preacher Curl Preacher Curl Preacher Curl
3 add sets of 12 slow reps
Incline Dumbbell Curl Incline Dumbbell Curl Incline Dumbbell Curl
3 add sets of 20, 15, 10 ultra slow reps
Hanging Leg Raise Hanging Leg Raise Hanging Leg Raise
3 sets of 15 reps
Leg Lift Leg Lift Leg Lift
3 sets of 10 reps
Decline Crunch Decline Crunch Decline Crunch
3 add sets of 15 reps
weighted
Cardio
Running, Treadmill Running, Treadmill Running, Treadmill
½ mile run at 7.5 mph pace, sprint last .25 miles at 10.7 mph pace
Day 5: Same as Monday

Day 6: Same as Tuesday

Day 7: Rest

Suggestions for Others

A couple of tips for others who want to transform their bodies:

  • Eat Clean. Don't listen to what others around you tell you about food: know that eating clean will help you look and feel good about yourself.
  • Alternate your workout regimen after each 8-week cycle. This will keep you from getting bored with your current routine.
  • Allow yourself one cheat day each week.
  • Trust yourself and trust your trainers around you. If you are feeling like something is not right, chances are that you are doing something wrong. Feel comfortable talking to trainers about your current routine and diet.
  • Push yourself in the gym: make each rep count. Don't leave the gym each day until you have at least broken a sweat.
  • Eat 6-8 small meals per day. This will keep your metabolism running fast, so that you can maintain leanness for as long as possible.
  • Brief cardio is important during bulking cycles.
  • Don't overtrain! Make sure you give your body days off and proper recovery time: your muscles need this if you want them to grow!
  • Never give up! Don't stop bodybuilding until you get the results that you're happy with!

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