Name: Jeff Pearce
Weight: 280 lbs
Body Fat: 22%
Weight: 194 lbs
Body Fat: 6%
Why I Got Started
I began bodybuilding non-competitively about 5 years ago. It slowly became more and more a part of my life and I was missing Friday nights out to go into the gym and workout. I started taking it seriously and I found something I truly loved doing. I decided about 3 years after I started that I wanted to compete one day.
About 2 years ago an opportunity presented itself to me to compete as a natural bodybuilder in a new Toronto based natural bodybuilding organization called the "International Drug Free Athletics" (IDFA). I chose my first show in June 07 and went from 240 pounds to 190 pounds on a keto diet and lost a lot of muscle.
I came in out of condition and I felt ashamed that I hadn't brought the best package I could bring. By some stroke of luck, I finished 3rd in the Novice Heavyweight Class. Some people would let that stop them or give up, but me, it lit a fire inside of me. That motivation drove me to eat like an animal.
I fell into the mass trap. I was eating two servings of Syntha-6 before my workouts with pineapple, and mixed berries in addition to a triple scoop of SuperPump250. After I worked out, I ate another shake and would stop at McDonalds every day after my workouts and pick up a big mac, chicken sandwich - supersized - and that would be eaten within 30 minutes of the post workout shake. Needless to say, I was overdoing it by a lot.
I had never been so strong in my life. I was doing personal bests of 405 pounds close grip bench presses for 3 reps and 140 pounds incline dumbbell presses for reps. People at my gym were feeding my ego over my lifts, and I used that as a way to trick myself into thinking what I was doing was good.
But as strong as I was, it was immaterial to my goal because I was really fat and looked horrible. By January 17, 2008, I weighed 280 pounds and wanted to do the 2008 IDFA Toronto Classic. I contacted Layne Norton and enlisted his help to get into contest shape.
How I Did It
Layne told me I was fat. Well, maybe not in those words exactly. But he made it clear that it would be a race to get me in shape. His honesty was a breath of fresh air because a lot of trainers will agree to anything just to get the money out of your pocket. The dieting began January 17, 2008, this was the day the before pictures were taken.
Layne kept my carbs in and we went into a caloric deficit. This teamed with some HIIT and some carb cycling saw me losing about 3 pounds per week. I made the decision to only eat chicken and non-yeast/sugar rye bread, protein shakes, oatmeal. I did not have a cheat day once or a cheat meal once, and to be honest, I did not deserve one after the 6 months and 90 pounds I put on.
The eating was easy, I packed my food the night before and cooked 3 days worth of chicken at a time. Everything was weighed to exact measurements and no detail was overlooked. A large part of the diet was mental, knowing what to eat and to eat it was no problem.
It was the ability to resist people's pressuring, jokes, questioning my ability to do it etc. I found two things to be the most helpful. First, knowing that food is merely a fuel source and that taste does not matter, therefore there is no temptation.
Secondly, people like to project their own views, insecurities and beliefs on other people. Individuals believed that they could not do it, so they told me I couldn't do it. I proved them wrong.
- Protein powder
- Fat burners
- Fish oil
- Grape Seed Extract
- Calcium Magnesium
I was eating 6 times daily, here is an example of almost everyday. The only variants were the macronutrient values.
- 5oz skinless chicken breast
Meal 5: Pre-Workout
Meal 6: Post-Workout
I found the predictability to this daily repetition being the key to consistency.
I designed my routine after Hany Rambod's FST-7 training split, I found it to be really enjoyable and gave me a great pump every workout.
Tuesday: Quads, Calves & Abs
Thursday: Chest & Triceps
Friday: Back, Biceps & Abs
Saturday: Shoulders, Hams & Calves
Suggestions For Others
The best piece of advice I can think of is to be organized, consistent, determined and disciplined. Diet smart and think ahead. Remember that other people do not always have your best interests at heart and that you should not let what anyone says deter you from your goals.
Be honest with yourself and your progress but don't be too hard on yourself. If your progress stalls, there is always a way around it. The only person you have to blame is yourself in the end. Other than that, I think that hiring someone who knows what they are doing and will be honest with you is also a key to success. As much as I thought I knew, Layne knows much more.