Name: Josh Englehart
Weight: 150 lbs
Weight: 198 lbs
How long I have been lifting: Seriously for about 4 years.
Why I Got Started
When I was 14-15 years old I started smoking (never start kids) and I continued to play sports at home and sometime on school teams. I ran track while I was still smoking! I felt like cigarettes kept me skinny and I never had any trouble with breathing or anything so I kept on.
Well as I got older, around 17-18-years old, I could feel the strain cigarettes were starting to take on me. I had an older brother who was born with the lung disease cystic fibrosis and he would've given anything to have two healthy lungs so he could play sports. So guilt was also playing a role in my quitting smoking.
In 2001 I lost my best friend to a self-inflicted gun shot, and he was in his early 20s. So I put a lot of things in perspective with choices I was making in life, because when all things go wrong, what's the only thing you have left? Your health.
So I stopped smoking and in the process I gained 20-30 pounds of fat! I went from a skinny 150 pounds to a soft 178 pounds - I was so depressed. So all I ate for months was salads and water, and I jogged everyday. I could tell my body was breaking down and I was doing something wrong.
I fell down to a 145 pounds! I was not "cut" or "shredded" like I thought I would be, I was skin and bones. I started to learn how much diet plays a role in having a good physique. So I started to read, and read, and read about good clean foods to eat with high calories. And I learned how much protein I should eat. In this time I lost my brother Ryan to disease, so my motivation was really up to do a 180 on my lifestyle.
Winter 2003 I saw a picture of myself at 150 pounds and freaked out. I knew I had to eat a lot more food and workout hard to achieve whatever goal I set for myself. I dreamed of hitting 200lbs, but never thought I could do it.
But trying wouldn't kill me, would it?
How I Got Started
I basically lived by some simple rules: Eat like a machine and train like you're crazy!
I love lifting weights. The physical challenge, the sores you get on your hands from lifting, its great! I had some old weights lying around. All I had was some dumbbells with some plates. I put on the heaviest weight I could lift at least 6-8 reps, doing 3 sets.
Kept my workouts short but fierce. In the first week I gained 2 pounds! I am thinking, "Of what?" I don't see any fat, or muscle. I kept lifting, kept eating, lifting, eating, it just became routine. People started to notice the changes, and that makes you feel like getting more! I kept reading websites (especially Bodybuilding.com) and books on exercises and diet regiments.
I can't emphasize enough how important it is to hard-gainers (which I am) a clean, high calorie diet is. Food is vital in your mission to gain quality mass. Lifting weights everyday and eating a burger and chips now and then won't get it! I learned that if you really wanted to grow you would eventually have to either buy a gym set-up, or just join a gym.
I don't have $4000 so I joined a YMCA. WOW! I made tremendous gains the year I was there. All these machines and free weights, it was great. About 6 months working out there I noticed my weight had hit 192 pounds ... I realized that I could catch my goal of 200 pounds. So I ate and trained, ate and trained.
Then I went to the doctor to get a physical and the nurse weighed me, (w/o my shoes on) and it said 205 pounds! I couldn't believe it. I hit my goal. All this in a year and a half of lifting, staying focused, dedicated, and eating right.
Sample Weekly Diet
(I eat the same thing 6 days out the week and give myself a cheat day)
- Breakfast - Oatmeal, Glass of milk, 2 pieces of toast with pb, multivitamin
- Preworkout - Scoop of whey and scoop of creatine in apple juice
- Postworkout - Scoop of whey and creatine in apple juice, 4 whole eggs, turkey sandwich, fat free yogurt with unsalted peanuts
- Lunch - Turkey sandwich, fruit salad, trail mix bar
- 2nd lunch - Chicken Breast, tuna salad and wheat crackers
- Dinner - steak/chicken breast, mixed veggies, scoop of whey, bagel with peanut butter (I always aim to drink 1 gallon of water a day)
Favorite part of body to train: Shoulders and triceps
I do a 4 day split routine with usually one day of maxing out on squats and bench to see where I am at.
- Day 1: Chest/Biceps
- Day 2: Legs/Triceps
- Day 3: Back
- Day 4: Shoulders
- Day 5: Max outs
- Days 6-7: REST!
- Flat Bench/5 set of 6-8 reps
- Decline Bench/3 sets of 8-10 reps
- Incline db presses/4 drop sets
- Butterfly machine/4 drop sets
- Incline smith/3 drop sets
- Squats/4 pyramid sets
- Leg Press/4 drop sets
- One leg standing calve raises(weighted)/4 sets of 8-10
- Donkey calf raises/4 drop sets
*I love drop sets because they are great for adding size. It keeps your muscles guessing and makes it harder for your body to reach a plateau. I also train my abs 3 days a week. I try to keep it to 2-3 different exercises for my stomach. I also try to get 7-9 hours of sleep per night ... THAT IS CRUCIAL! Your body only grows while you are resting it!
My advice to anyone who wants to be a muscle head, thin, or just lose a few pounds of fat or gain a few pounds of muscle, is to be patient. True results come in time. Be smart and consistent with what you eat, and the way you train.
Don't play number games when hitting the gym. If you are there to try to impress and not results, you are there for the wrong reason and you will fail. You just have to keep at it. Some people's bodies are more stubborn, but sooner or later, they are forced to change.
You can look any way you want to physically, you just have to want it bad enough. Being fit and healthy has to be a life changing decision. Habits must be broken, and new ones made. A good saying to go by is, "If it was easy, then everyone would be doing it." Good luck!