Name: Kevin Stern
Weight: 115 lbs
Height: 5' 8"
Bench, 1 rep max: 95 lbs
Weight: 165 lbs
Bench, 1 rep max: 315 lbs
Arms: 16 1/4
Why I Got Started & How I Did It
I was a small, nerdy, skinny kid that ran track in the first couple years of high school. I was 16 and I didn't really have any friends and was picked on by the other kids. Even I admit I was a total geek.
I was sick of getting picked on and sick of being depressed, so I started to try and do things to improve myself. At about the same time I was going through all of this my dad was getting back into bench pressing. In the early 80's he was a double body weight bench presser, with his max being 350.
He was feeling down because he was struggling with reps at 185. I decided I wanted to go to the gym with him and we would motivate each other. It was difficult at first because I was only benching 95 pounds and was the smallest guy in the gym. Even girls were out-benching me.
My dad taught me everything he knew and because he did his stuff all naturally, I decided that I was going to do the same thing. We only lifted 2 days per week and I did pretty much full body both those days, concentrating mainly on bench.
It actually took me almost a full year to get my bench up to 135, which is where most people are starting at. It seems like 135 was the big ice breaker. After that it started shooting up every month. Going into my senior year I started reading more and lifting more.
I started doing a more full body workout. Getting more into my senior year I started reading more and started reading on Bodybuilding.com. My arms were starting to get really big and people started to notice me. They started picking on me less and less.
When I graduated—I was almost 150 pounds and benching 210—I decided to join the U.S. Air Force. This was actually a big set back. In basic training I lost a good 10 pounds and then with all the training and a full time job on top of that I didn't get into the gym much.
My big break though came when I was deployed. I had just received personal training certification from AFAA and had some training from the military (I work at the gym). When I got down range I read every article I could find on Bodybuilding.com.
I was eating 4 meals per day and lifting for about an hour everyday. I hit a different body part each day, only training each body part once a week - I had huge results. In a little over 4 months my bench went from 205 to 315 and my weight went from 148 to 163. I came back from the deployment and that's where I am at right now.
I got the best results when I was down range. I will give a sample of that workout. On my main exercises I maxed every time. I believe in heavy weight and low reps. My workouts didn't take long. I just found a few good exercises for each body part.
Day 1 Chest:
- Bench Press (10,8,6,4,2,1)
- Incline Bench Press (8,6,4)
- Weighted Crunches on a pulley system (10,8,6,6)
Day 2 Deadlift Day:
- Deadlifts (8,8,4,1,1,1)
- Leg Curls (8,8,8)
- Calf Raises (6,6,6 rest 6,6,6 rest 6,6,6 short pauses between the 6)
Day 3 Arms:
- Dips (8,6,4,2,1) Go as heavy as you can.
- Barbell Curls (8,6,4,2)
- Skull Crushers (8,8,8)
- Hammer Curls (8,8,8)
- Reverse Curls (8,8,8)
Day 4 Legs:
- Front Squats or Leg Press (switched every week) (8,8,4,2,1, Kept doing 1 until I maxed)
- Lunges with Dumbbells (8,8,8)
- Leg Extensions (8,8,8)
Day 5 Shoulders:
- Upright Rows (8,8,6,4,2)
- Shoulder Press (8,8,6,4,2)
- Side Laterals (8,8,8)
- Weighted Crunches on a pulley system (10,8,6,6)
Day 6 Back:
- Barbell rows (8,8,6,4)
- Shrugs (8,8,6,4,1, Kept doing 1 until I maxed)
- Lat Pulldown (8,8,6,4,2)
- Dumbbell Shrugs (8,8,8)
Day 7 Rest.
Keys To My Change & Some Tips
The keys to my change are quite simple;
1. Use Proper Form.
If you are cheating or not using proper form you are not working the muscles you are trying to work and it could result in injury.
2. Eat A Good Diet.
For me I didn't get overboard with the diet but I ate a ton of chicken and tuna. I also had a lot of rice. If you get plenty of protein, supplements are not needed. Who knows though, if I would have used them maybe I would have gained a lot more weight and benched more but regardless of what your friends are telling you, they are not the key.
3. Lift Heavy Weight.
You are not going to get big and strong by using light weight. I maxed every day I lifted for the body part I was doing that day. I have read a lot about the cycling and different stuff but I'm a big believer in: "If it's not broke don't fix it." You are not going to lift more weight by lifting 60-80% of your max. Get out there and give it your all every time.
|60-80% 1 REP MAX CALCULATOR|
Get plenty of rest and make sure your muscles have time to heal. You are not getting bigger while you are in the gym. You are getting bigger when you are sleeping, because that's when the muscle fibers are repairing themselves. If all you do is break them down without allowing time to heal you are doing yourself more harm than good.
5. Get Good Information.
Read and do your homework. Use the right sources though. Don't go by these drug workouts you find in the muscle mags. Read stuff written by real people on here. If you see that every guy is talking about a certain lift for a body part maybe there is a reason for that?
6. Don't Over Do It.
I did 1 to 3 exercises per body part. There is no reason to do 10 exercises for 1 body part. Find a few good ones and hit it hard.
My transformation changed my confidence; I'm a totally different person now and people treat me a lot different. If you all want to make a change in your life, it can be done. Don't let others tell you different. Last, I want to say to my dad and partner congrats on getting your bench back up to 225 for 10 at the age of 55.