Weight: 192 lbs. (87kg)
Body Fat: 14%
Weight: 176 lbs. (80kg)
Body Fat: 10.5%
Why I Got Started
I was always the fat kid in school, I used to blame my parents and genetics. I started weight training when I left High School and I was able to make good muscle gains but I have never been a lean person. I started reading lots and lots about nutrition and weight training, I had all the knowledge but never successfully put it all together in practice.
Only about 3 months ago I had gone off the rails with diet and was drinking way too much. I was feeling down in the dumps and at the time I couldn't figure out why? I then came across the Body-for-LIFE challenge during the Personal Trainer certificate 4 class I was studying.
Body for Life is a 12-week diet and exercise program, and also an annual physique transformation competition. It was created by Bill Phillips, a former competitive bodybuilder and the founder of EAS, a manufacturer of nutritional supplements.
A presenter from a Personal Trainer studio recommended trying the challenge to my class. I went out and bought the Body-for-LIFE book and read it all in a day. I didn't start the program straight away until I bought the DVD Pack. I sat up all night watching these amazing transformation stories till 4 a.m. I was so inspired that the next morning I started the challenge.
I saw Body-for-LIFE as a great opportunity to bring some discipline back into my life as I had been slacking off a bit with work and going out binge drinking with friends. The first few weeks were tough but between weeks 3-and-4 I saw a big change in body fat levels and this was enough to convince me that my body was really enjoying the great foods I was feeding it but also getting stronger with the weights program and burning extra fat with the High Intensity cardio.
After 4 weeks on Body-for-LIFE I had decided to make some drastic changes in my life. I was feeling really motivated from my newfound fitness and decided that I wanted to take up Personal Training as a full-time job. I went for an interview at my local gym and got the job.
I handed in my months notice and left my comfort zone as a sales rep. In the 9th week of the challenge I began my new career and I am sitting here excited as I will be starting Personal training in the new year with already a handful of clients on my list.
The Body-for-LIFE program helped me change my body but more importantly with these changes I have become a more confident and happier person. I am now setting myself much higher goals than I have ever imagined.
My biggest and most important goal is to help 1000 people feel as I have felt in the last 12 weeks and accomplish what they would have never thought possible with their body. As I have discovered this will lead to good things happening in their day-to-day lives and they will be much happier.
How I Did It
Firstly I have to thank my girlfriend Ashley (Superab) who took a photo for me each week, check out her lifting stats! I threw the scales away and just focused on what I saw in the photos.
Each week I was excited to see my progress, I loved seeing the fat melt away and the muscles pop out! I had plenty of support from my new friends on Bodyforlifetracker.com, I look up to guys like Mark Valenti (valenti100) and Sandra Peebles (Chicana Peach) who have achieved so much in their challenges.
At about halfway through the challenge I discovered BodySpace which is a great motivational tool for my lifting as I love seeing all the lines go up! It was also comforting to see my hip and waist measurements go down over time. I bought myself a Myotape from Bodybuilding.com which I used for my girth measurements, which I found easy to use for my own measurements.
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I pushed myself to reach a highpoint on every exercise. This in turn lifted my metabolic rate which meant that my post workout meal was used effectively to repair the damaged muscle fibers.
High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) is what I used up until the 8 week mark, 3 times per week for 20 minutes on either the rower or stationary bike. I then did Original Boot Camp Classes at my gym 3 times per week as my cardio session.
Diet And Supplementation
I wanted to do this program with very little supplementation to see what my body could do naturally with a clean diet and this hardcore exercise program. I stuck with the basics, a protein powder (EAS 100% Whey Protein) and EAS Myoplex Original meal replacement shakes.
I started the challenge following the sample meal plans in the book Eating for Life up until the 6th week. Sunday is your free day, eat whatever you like!
Strawberry Nutrition Shake
Cookies and Cream
In the 7th week I looked at my diet much more closely and figured my maintenance calories to be about 3000. During weeks 1-to-6 I was eating 40% protein, 40% carbohydrates and 20% fat from calories. I read up on some information regarding carbohydrate cycling as the most effective fat-loss strategy ever.
I was intrigued, so I figured out exactly how many calories to eat and where those calories would be coming from. The diet consisted of 3 days of LOW carbohydrate, meals 1-3 complex carbohydrates and lean protein with meals 3 -6 protein, fibrous vegetables and good fats. Then a HIGH carbohydrate day with meals 1-6 consisting mainly lean protein and complex carbohydrates.
On this diet I was able to lean out really fast! I always could look forward to the HIGH day on every 4th day of the cycle which would help replenish my lost glycogen stores from the previous 3 days. The refeed of carbohydrates prevented me from going into starvation mode after 3 days on low carb.
LOW DAY CALORIES
2200-2400 (3 days)
HIGH DAY CALORIES
2900-3100 (1 day)
My favorite recipe on this diet which was breakfast every morning was definitely oatmeal pancakes. I ate them for breakfast every day. As it turned out breakfast will be the most calorie dense meal of the day and tapering off calories toward the evening.
Oatmeal Apple Cinnamon Pancakes
The weights workout is your basic 2 day split of upper and lower body. It felt as though I was taking a step backward at first because I had always been training on at least a 4-day split, sometimes 5. This obviously wasn't the case as I couldn't believe how hard this workout can be, you just have to push yourself to the limit for each muscle group in just 6 sets.
I could always go back to this workout if I find it a struggle to get to the gym, but for now I will be starting back up on a five day split to help me make some lean gains. As mentioned earlier the cardio portion is important to the overall success of the program. It consists of 20 minutes of super high intensity and a highpoint must be reached at the 19-minute mark.
Dumbbell Bench Press: 5 sets x12, x10, x8, x6, x12
Dumbbell Flyes x12
Monday: Upper Body
Tuesday: 20 mins HIIT Cardio
Wednesday: Lower Body
Thursday: 20 mins HIIT Cardio
Friday: Upper Body
Saturday: 20 mins HIIT Cardio
Suggestions To Others
I would recommend anybody to try this program because if you are consistent you will achieve great results. It definitely wasn't easy, you have to want it!
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