There are tons of members on the forum who have a vast knowledge about supplements. My hat goes off to all of them.
The people that are listed below are members who are affiliated with supplement companies and would be the best people to talk to with specific questions on supplements.
Each member below can answer any questions pertaining to their affiliation with the company and if they do not know the answer, all of them are very willing to help and will direct the question to someone higher up in the company.
BOTF Poll: Board Reps - Good Or Bad? Vote Now.
As you've probably noticed, there's an increasing number of company reps in the forums. Every other person is a board rep and the title of "rep" is being watered down.
[ Click here to learn more. ]
Below are the affiliated members* with their user name, real name, with whom they are affiliated, and what their title is if they have one. Below all of that you will find a little background information on each of those members. The members are listed in company groups (who they're affiliated with).
*Note, not all of the members affiliated with companies decided to take part in this article. I thank those who took the time to put something together for this article. This article was meant to be a fun way to get to know different board members.
User Name: Krzna
Company: Anabolic Xtreme
Job Title: Business Development Manager
I have a BS in Computer Science and Engineering. I did my first MS in Information Systems, and then went on to do my MBA in Marketing. To keep myself adept with the industry with which I am associated. I am taking courses in Chemistry, much for my own learning and may consider doing another Bachelors degree in the near future.
I started off my quest toward fitness in January 2003 when I was sinfully obese at 262 lbs at anywhere between 40-50% bodyfat. By August 2003, I was around 160 lbs at 30% BF, and by December 2003 I was down to 140 lbs at 8% BF.
I was left with a bunch load of loose skin but a new confidence in life. That spurred me to start walking the walk towards a better self.
Krzna's Transformation From Hefty To Skinny To Buff.
I started working for Anabolic Xtreme as a representative in August 2005. I joined AX on a more full-time basis this year and I handle all their online operations and advertising over boards and to retailers as their business development manager.
I now stand at 246 lbs at around 14% BF. I am looking to get under 10% BF and close to 230 lbs by December of this year. I hope to do my first national level competition back home in India this year.
User Name: Scheizekopf
Company: Anabolic Xtreme
I grew up most my life as a fat kid. I was just built big. I've been lifting and working out since I was around 14, so about 8 years now on and off. I started in middle school working out with my grandpa after school.
I had a trainer for a little while just trying to get me to lose weight. I was more into lifting and didn't care for the cardio part too much, but I did it anyways.
When I went to high school, I was a big boy - so I joined the football team. I started my freshmen year of high school at around 225 lbs. I was big but I also had some strength. I really only joined the football team for the weight lifting anyway.
We had the good weight room with all the free weights. My central focus was always bench press. I got good at it. As a sophomore, I was the only one to bench 3 plates (315 lbs). I didn't know anything about supplements until I was around 20. So I was on nothing but food and as far as I can remember a lot of it, ha ha. I put on an average of 25 lbs per year during high school.
As a junior, I lifted more than 95% of the seniors and juniors. I weighed in around 275 lbs. I was repping 315 lbs on bench, easy. After high school (in 2003), I weighed in at a big 310 lbs with probably 25-30% BF (estimate). I was big but nobody ever believed I weighed over 300 lbs.
"I was big but nobody ever believed
I weighed over 300 lbs."
At that time I maxed out my bench at 385 lbs raw. My goal was always 400 lbs but I never quite hit it. I decided getting thin was much better than being strong. Over a period of about a year, I lost a solid 100 lbs.
From there I went back and forth a couple times losing 20 lbs, gaining 30 lbs, losing 30 lbs. I got down to my lowest weight of all time since I was 13 or so at 176 lbs. I then did my first ever bulk. I hit just over 200 lbs, which was my goal. I gained some good mass but a little more fat than I thought.
So I attempted a short recomp then went into cutting. I cut for awhile. Now I'm doing a recomp type diet. I'm around 190 lbs and 12-13% BF (estimate). I have loose skin from losing my weight so rapidly. I'm planning on filling that skin out with much more muscle in the future.
User Name: ddawg91
Name: James Pearson
Company: Controlled Labs
My name is James Pearson (a.k.a. ddawg91) and I am a board rep for Controlled Labs.
I got my taste of the iron game at an early age as my dad was part owner of a local gym where I live. I would hang out there every night and lift but nothing too serious. I never really got in to lifting too much mostly because I was too busy doing other stuff until my junior and senior year in high school, in which I took weights instead of standard P.E.
Then I went into the Marine Corps and would lift on and off but not real consistently until I got stationed with a few buddies that lifted also. When I got out on a medical due to shoulder instability and 2 joint reconstructions, I wasn't real consistent due to the pain and frustration.
So, starting in about 1995 or 1996, I finally started lifting 5 times a week consistently and in 1999 I got my first training partner in about 6 years. We started hitting the weights really hard and my strength and size was skyrocketing.
Well, I met a couple of guys that were powerlifters and only competed in the bench press. They were impressed with what I could do and convinced me to start training in the bench.
Well, I started reading Powerlifting USA and got turned on to Dave Tate and the guys at Elite Fitness and Louie Simmons of Westside and started following their routines and training style.
After 8 months, I entered my first contest and won (only lifter) and set a state record for the drug and non-drug tested weight divisions I was in. Well, I found my new love and have been addicted ever since!
Powerlifter Louie Simmons From Westside.
I was ranked 66th in the nation by Powerlifting USA in my second year of competing. I am now taking a few years off and going back to school and spending time with my son. I switch back and forth between bodybuilding and powerlifting just to shake things up a little bit and plan on getting back into competitions in a couple of years.
I have had to learn about supplements, nutrition, and training mostly on my own and have taken my fair share of bumps and bruises along the way.
I really enjoy helping others to get started and improve and trying to steer them away from some of the mistakes I made. I feel that in doing this not only do I help them, but I help myself to continue to learn and improve in the sport that I love.
User Name: Mr. Aries
Name: John Lee
Company: Controlled Labs
Job Title: Trainer
Thank you for giving me this opportunity to share...
I was born in 1981, in a little tiny place called Beijing, China. I spent the next 10½ years there, trying my best to stand out in a crowd of 1.3 billion people. At that time, China was still a developing country, and dirt poor compared to the Western standards I've grown so accustomed to over the years here in the States.
I ate meat only during the holidays and eggs came at a premium. In fact, just getting a little orange juice made me happy as a bird!
My mom worked while my dad attended grad school. They did the best they could and would literally have pennies left over at the end of the month. Still, I was the only child, and I was loved in a way only a blessed child can understand. I never complained, I dreamed big dreams and waited for my time to shine.
Finally, in 1991, I immigrated here to the United States. My dad was completing his studies here in Texas, so mom and I were given a chance to come and stay. I lived in his dorm room, and walked to and from the elementary school. It was hard, but I was blessed. I understood nothing, but I was happy.
Bad luck struck and one of the medical tests I took came back positive. It was the tuberculosis shot. The results were inconclusive at best, but for the sake of caution, I was put on a year's worth of medication to prevent the onset of this terrible disease. The side effects?
Combine the two and we have a nasty situation. Being a kid, my parents told me none of this until years later. I ate like a horse and blew up literally overnight. Before I knew it, I was in middle school and stuck in a 5'8" 185 lb body that is over 30% fat.
High school came around and so did the need for vanity. I decided one day that freshmen year that I'd had enough sand kicked in my face - I had to do something. I looked around and found the invincibility of football players on campus. I wanted that. It was such a simple dream: I just wanted to get the bullies off of me.
From that day on, I was bitten by the iron bug. The bite embedded itself and left a lasting impression from the first time I ever picked up my 15 lb dumbbells my dad brought home. Every rep I did, I did it for the countless nasty comments I heard at school.
Every exercise I endured, I endured it for the blatant racist attacks I received in class. Every workout I suffered through, I suffered through it for all the snickering the girls gave me.
1999 rolled around and it was time for college. By this time, I've gone from fat and bloated to a trim 6'1", 155 lb average guy. I had muscles, and I even had the audacity to roll into the school gym with a wife beater on the first day. Reality quickly struck, and my bruised ego never again gave me reason to walk into a gym with anything short of a t-shirt.
"You can't get big 'cuz you are Asian."
It seemed in those 4 years that I lived at the gym. I heard all the stupid comments. Me being Asian apparently gave people all sorts of ammunition to question my dreams of being big and strong. "You can't get big 'cuz you are Asian" seemed to be the popular one. I have to admit, the stereotype does have some merit. I myself have seldom seen a tall, muscular Asian man walk around on or off TV.
It didn't seem to exist in reality; but in my head, one did - it was going to be me. It was going to be me at all costs. I was going to be that stereotype-buster everyone has been waiting for. I was going to be the guy who walks in the room followed by the sound of jaws dropping. I wanted it. I demanded it. It was in my heart and soul. There are many paths to success; I decided this one was mine.
I am done with college. I majored in Molecular Biology (Bachelors of Science). I now stand at 6'1" 243 lbs off-season and 230 lbs during the summertime at around 6% BF (body fat). Life has given me many ups and downs in recent years, but I have never given up on my dreams. Sometimes, looking in the mirror, I still get shocked. I remember it like it was yesterday how many people insulted my goals.
| WHAT'S YOUR GOAL?
What Is Your Goal?|
Is Your Goal Not Listed?
Click Below To Learn More About Goal Setting.
Today, there are no naysayers. Today, I receive nothing but praise. The years of torment, of blood, sweat, and tears, have finally paid off. I remember the missed parties; I remember the missed dates. I also remember all those holidays spent alone, and all those nights I came home early just so I could eat my last meal before bed.
Was it worth it? The answer is an unequivocal Yes! - no question about it. I was forged in the fire of hardship and loneliness, and I came out an alpha male. Hell, yes, it was worth it!
The underdog, as they say, is finally on top. And I'm not going anywhere but up. I was taught to send the elevator down when I get to my rightful place. I can finally offer people the help I always wanted to offer; and speak the truth about fitness like it was meant to be told.
I thank everyone for giving me the time and place to write down my thoughts, and I welcome all emails. I will return them in a timely manner. I want to help people accomplish the goals I have attained, because I know what it is like.
User Name: Atherjen
Name: Jennifer Hamilton
Company: Designer Supplements
From Madison, Mississippi, my full name is Jennifer Hamilton. I have six full years training experience behind me and hope to put this to constructive use very soon when I step on stage in a figure contest. I am only 21 years old, so I have expectations of myself for success in the field.
When I compete, I will be representing Designer Supplements, whom I also work for as a board rep. I have only recently taken on this side job, but I am thoroughly enjoying every minute of it. My training leading up to my debut contest is two days on, one day off, splitting upper and lower body workouts.
I train with my husband who regularly keeps me motivated, and I him, as he also plans to compete this year (also representing Designer Supplements).
"I have expectations of myself for
success in the field."
I obtained a degree in kinesiology from Dalhousie University and am now a full-time massage therapist specializing in sports rehab, pathologies & TMJ syndrome. One day I hope to open up my own business tailored for this.
I am also pursuing a license as a professional nutritional consultant to expand my skills and hopefully explore some new domains with regards to personal training and such (including online consultation). One day I'd also like to try my hand at fitness modeling, so hopefully my work with Designer Supplements will lead me down this path at some point.
I am hoping to teach science & physiology/anatomy related classes at a local college quite soon. The little spare time I have left over in my busy schedule is dedicated to my husband.
User Name: Robboe
Name: Rob Clarke
Company: Designer Supplements
Job Title: Public Relations
My name is Rob Clarke and I work full time for Designer Supplements. I am a company representative, not a "board rep" per se, but I spend a lot of my time on various message boards developing and maintaining solid consumer relations.
My official title with DS is Public Relations, but my actual duties include many other aspects, including Human Resources, Marketing, and general business consultation, although there are several superior to me in rank who have final say on decision making.
My training experience is approaching the seven-year mark, and ironically, it has only been fairly recently that I've discovered a protocol for weight lifting and cardiovascular exercise that works incredibly well for me (although I have tried many different styles). In those seven years, my dedication has been immense where training and food-choice basically became a huge part of my life (essentially a "lifestyle").
Through a lot of various trial-and-error approaches, I have discovered a lot of different dietary applications and methods. For example, too many carbs stick to me like glue, and yet "low-carb" and I do not get along.
Bodybuilding - A Lifestyle, Not A Pastime.
Learn the importance of dedication and how to live, breathe and sleep bodybuilding.
[ Click here to learn more. ]
I have a Bachelors in Computer Programming and Software Design from Northumbria University, in Newcastle, England, and have developed applications for Northumbria Police for 15 months during my course.
With regards to fitness and nutrition, I do not have any awards or diplomas specifically for that, but I do have advanced certificates in biochemistry, animal and plant studies, and genetics. I do not put much value into these however, and most of my knowledge is through self-tuition and experience, as well as the experience of others.
I have followed many different forums for long periods of time, including lurking on misc, fitness, weights and back when it was actually worth reading. Currently, I try my best to keep on top of the latest research and have subscriptions to several different science and medical-based publications.
User Name: Twin Peak
Company: Designer Supplements
Job Title: Chief Operating Officer
Twin Peak is the Chief Operating Officer of Designer Supplements. Prior to entering the industry several years ago, he was a practicing attorney (Duke Law School). Below is a brief description of his background.
The short version is that I fell into this industry - training and physique goals have long been my hobby and passion.
I was fat my whole life. At my largest, I had a 50" stomach and weighed 250 pounds; this was before I ever lifted a weight in my life (i.e., I had no muscle). I first started training with weights in college, and I quickly learned that I was a meso-endo - I gained muscle and strength rather quickly.
Rethinking The Endo Bias & Introducing A New Type: Mesendomorph.
An individual should be able to identify comparable bodybuilders of a similar body type and then select training routines that have worked for that group.
[ Click here to learn more. ]
But despite all that hard work, I was still fat. So I finally started sticking to a "diet." I won't embarrass myself by defining what a "diet" was to me at that time, but suffice it to say that I lost fat, and over the course of a few years, learned quite about diet, physiology, and how my body responded to various changes.
During this time, I got bigger, stronger, and leaner. And after college, while I was in law school, I figured it was time to complete the "transformation" - I signed up for a natural bodybuilding contest.
I was still over 15% body-fat, which meant I had some serious dieting to do. And despite being 15% or so, this was easily the leanest I had ever been (save a brief stint on Weight Watchers in the seventh grade).
I had to devise an effective program that I would stick to - as I would be standing on a stage mostly naked (talk about motivation!). I did, and it worked great (this was the foundation of my Carb Cycling diet I later wrote about at length). I took second place, and came in at a shredded 180 pounds (I am 5'10"). Two years later in 1998, I competed in my second and final show (I some day hope to compete again, when it can get the proper attention).
Several months after my second show, I ended up taking a 2+ year hiatus from training. After that, I came back strong, and this time decided to learn about supplementation, since I had the training and dieting down.
As I refined my Carb Cycling diet, I wrote several articles for Mind & Muscle detailing this diet, which was later reprinted on bodybuilding.com:
After I wrote these diet articles, I memorialized a training program I had been working on for some time. I dubbed it "Tri-Phase Progressive Training", and those articles were written for another website as well.
Finally, I decided to complete the bodybuilding trilogy by writing a brief article on the basics of supplementation. This was not an attempt at anything novel, but rather a beginner's guide to supplementation. It was the culmination of what I had learned through research and trial and error over several years:
All of these articles were written prior to my involvement with Designer Supplements. I haven't had much time for writing lately.
User Name: carcinogen
Name: Matthew Daniel
Job Title: R & D Chemist
The beginning of my journey started when I was about 10 and I got a chemistry set for Christmas. It was a relatively simple set. The set contained chemicals to make ink and volcanoes, change colors of aqueous solutions and such. One of those toys you get that is really exciting at first but that excitement wears off pretty quick.
When I turned 16, I was able to work and it just so happens that my mother ran an independent analytical laboratory that tested dairy products for vitamin A and D. The procedure was relatively simple and I learned quickly how the instruments worked. It intrigued so much that I decided that I wanted to work in this particular field.
So, I graduated high school and went off to college with aspirations to become a chemical engineer.
I will say that my first mistake was not attending a college that had a full-blown engineering program. Although the college I attended had a good reputation with the University of Illinois, the students had an unrealistic idea of their abilities.
"...just because you tested out of Calc I
and or even Calc II doesn't mean
you have what it takes to think."
What exactly do I mean by that? Well, let me just say that just because you tested out of Calc I and or even Calc II doesn't mean you have what it takes to think. Being around that type of mentality really turned me off from engineering (even though I went through the pre-engineering program for two years).
I met my wife to be during the second semester of my freshman year. She wanted to be a teacher. After dating for a year, I figured that there wouldn't be anyone else that would put up with my sh!t. That is when I thought that I might change my major to straight Chemistry with a teacher's cert. Yeah, that lasted about 2 weeks and decided to stay straight Chemistry.
My first job was as a temp in my hometown. It was pretty much a joke. Stayed there for 3 months and got a job in St. Louis (basically to quit living off of ma and pa and get out on my own).
This next job alone was better than getting an M.S. It was an independent analytical lab where I was able to put my problem-solving skills to play. I quickly moved up to the "specialized testing" department and did everything from simple IR scans to reverse formulations of products. I was actually only one of two chemists that was cleared to test the jet fuel that was to be used on Air Force One.
With a new baby and the wife wanting to stay home, it was time to find a job that paid more. This led me up to Kankakee to work for a company that manufactured natural Vitamin E. This job allowed me to expand my knowledge about nutraceuticals and their applications.
While I was there, I was in charge of analytical procedure implementation, training, and all of the analytical equipment (which consisted of 37 GC, optical rotation, 3 IR's, 2 Near IR's and 10 HPLC's).
After about 3 years there, I found myself in a stagnant state. I was too valuable to be placed anywhere else (unless I moved to corporate HQ, and that wasn't going to happen if I had anything to say about it!). I discovered an opening for a QC supervisor at a soybean oil production facility in the small town in which I lived.
"I swear I gained 25 pounds due to stress!"
The only good thing that came out of this job was the fact that I got on the fire department and, no, that's it. I will never work in that type of situation again. I swear I gained 25 pounds due to stress!
I got let go due to workplace politics, and somehow I landed here. It felt good getting back to actual science and looking at new things. The people whom I have met while working are some of the nicest people around (well, for the most part). I hope to be around for a while.
My responsibilities at ErgoPharm include research of materials and compounds, figuring out how to make them, developing testing protocols to insure purity (and with these testing protocols I look at side reactions, if any, and try to ID those compounds), and help develop costing sheets to see if the compound is worth it.
That is pretty much the story of my career without getting too technical and too detailed about my life.
User Name: Slated
My name is Michael. I was home schooled in northern Wisconsin growing up. For 10th grade I went to a boarding school in Canada because my parents wouldn't let me go to a military academy and there was a good Christian school near Calgary. I was the only American there, and was quite chubby.
The hockey team beat me up daily. I went from 165 lbs. to 135 lbs. in two months from nothing but running and salads. I decided I wanted to be big so I wouldn't get beat up anymore. That's when it all started...
Within a year, I did my first NPC competition. I lived for bodybuilding. I joined the U.S.M.C. out of high school and was #2 in my company for physical fitness.
What Is The Best Marines Workout?
What is the best Marines workout? Our forum members have put together some workouts and info to help those who may be joining or interested in learning more about the Marine Corp.
[ Click here to learn more. ]
I detached the ulner nerves in both my arms... whoops! Off to college. I studied ACSM with my cross country coach, and took my ACE and APEX while being a Marketing major. I then had the opportunity to personal train Sophie Anderton in London, and also acquired my Premier UK cert while there.
It's been a few years and here I am. Gimped from a mountain bike accident, but still pushing it in the gym 4 days a week.
I'm honored to have been chosen to be an Ergopharm rep, and will do my best to assist in anyway I can. I hope that through my history here, you will know that I have no bias.
User Name: Roger Walker
Name: Roger Walker
Company: Ergopharm/Giant Nutrition
Job Title: Web Dude
Powered by Techno, Cigars, and highly-caffeinated Soda, Roger Walker watches over the Internet-related aspects of Ergopharm and Giant Nutrition.
Determined to turn his passion for spending large amounts of time surfing the Internet into a viable career, Roger pursued an education in graphic design & web application programming. His first job after receiving his degree was working for an online seller of quilting patterns and supplies.
Once it sank in that that the glamorous life of quilting wasn't for him, he began to look elsewhere for satisfaction in his chosen career. Fate tossed Roger a rare break and directed him to an ad by Proviant Technologies for a web designer. The rest, as they say, is history.
As a parting piece of advice: When some nine foot tall Federal agent is standing in your office screaming at you to step away from the computer and put the phone down, just remember what Roger would do in situation like this. You just look that guy right in the eye and say; "Hey man, I'm just the web dude".
User Name: TheUnlikelyToad
Name: Jordan Frantz
Company: MAN Sports
Jordan Frantz was born and raised in Halifax, PA, where he has lived his entire life. He graduated form Halifax Area High School and went on to receive a Bachelor's Degree in Social Work from Bloomsburg University.
He was introduced to weightlifting in the year 2000, his freshman year of college by his roommate Kelby Hunt. It has been his true passion ever since. He combines this passion with his love for helping others by motivation and sharing his own life experiences.
At the age of seventeen, Jordan watched as a three-legged toad tried to climb an embankment. In an instant, he realized just how much it paralleled his own life (living with Cerebral Palsy) and knew this metaphor was something he wanted to model his life after. Faced with many obstacles, he adopted the moniker "TheUnlikelyToad" to symbolize the ability to overcome.
An Interview With The Toad: How Jordan Frantz Overcame Cerebral Palsy!
Some people would simply give up and let the cards lead their lives whether they are dealt a good or bad hand. Well in this inspirational interview we talk to someone who has successfully overcome major adversity. Learn more about the Unlikely Toad!
[ Click here to learn more. ]
To get a better understanding I had to take a good hard look at myself as well as others around me. Ever since I was born, I fought an uphill battle. A stroke at birth caused me to have Cerebral Palsy, resulting in hemiplegia of my left side. So from an early age it was instilled in me to become a fighter.
| What Are Hemiplegia & Cerebral Palsy?
Hemiplegia is paralysis affecting only one side of the body.|
Cerebral palsy or CP is a group of permanent disorders associated with developmental brain injuries that occur during fetal development, birth, or shortly after birth. It is characterized by a disruption of motor skills, with symptoms such as spasticity, paralysis, or seizures. Cerebral palsy is a form of static encephalopathy.
One form of it, spastic diplegia, is sometimes known as Little's disease in the United Kingdom. Properly speaking, the fact that CP does not get better or worse implies that it is a 'condition' (chronic nonprogressive neurological disorder) rather than a 'disease.'
The incidence is about 1.5 to 4 per 1000 live births. There is no cure, but therapy has been shown to be helpful in the maintainance of motor functions. While severity varies widely, cerebral palsy ranks among the most costly congenital conditions to manage.
It was literally fight or otherwise have what doctors deemed to be a drastically reduced quality of life.
Lucky for me I had great parents that helped facilitate this growth. If not for them, I may have never walked and been wheelchair bound like a lot of individuals in similar situations.
This is also why Kyle Maynard has been a great inspiration to me. He was born with a rare disorder called, Congenital Amputation and only has three major joints: a neck and two shoulders.
Loss of a fetal limb. This condition may be the result of the constriction of fibrous bands within the membrane that surrounds the developing fetus (amniotic band syndrome) or the exposure to substances known to cause birth defects (teratogenic agents). Other factors, including genetics, may also play a role. Also called birth amputation, intrauterine amputation.
Despite this fact, Kyle has persevered and has done pretty much everything he's wanted to achieve to date including becoming a Georgia State champion wrestler.
Much like Kyle, my parents knew very early on they could not coddle me. It was for my own well-being that I had to find ways to cope and adapt to my surroundings. I didn't start walking until I was about 3½. Until that time, no one knew for sure how developmentally delayed I might be.
The prognosis of my life was literally up in the air. Yet somehow my parents held on to the dream that someday I could do and be whatever I wanted.
I can still remember to this day going to the Shriners Hospital and being hooked up to the hundreds of electrodes all over my legs in an effort to monitor my gait.
Click Here To Enlarge.
At The Shriners Hospital.
This was to see exactly when my muscles were firing and in what order. To say the least, it was a nightmare of excruciating pain. Looking back, I relate this to modern day Electronic Muscle Stimulation (EMS), however this was much stronger.
A process that uses low amperage electrical current to stimulate your muscles to contract and to relax.
It was as if you were the doctor's puppet. They would fire certain muscles for you and then tell you to walk. At that age I obviously didn't understand but I did as I was told. I persevered because I had no other choice.
The struggle to adapt and push through my shortcomings has been a life long process, a process still going on today.
Through talking to people I often find that those with similar disabilities, whether it is physical or mental, often don't have the same outlook. There is no middle ground. It's either they have a positive attitude or they always have a chip on their shoulder.
Some feel the need to be negative because the world "owes them something". Going through a traumatic event comes to mind, such as an accident where there is a loss of a limb. I can't say I blame those for feeling that way.
It's only natural and would be hard to cope. You want what others have, or in this case perhaps your old life back. It's a fact of life, some aren't as fortunate as others.
Believe me; I've had my head up my behind too. But you know what? You have to ante-up. I've learned that the grass is always greener on the other side.
Why handicap yourself more by thinking negatively? That's the true nature of a disability. A disability is the inability to do something, the inability to think positively.
I'm very handicapable. With my attitude I can do anything, I've proved it. I've gone out there and dug in the trenches myself. I've gotten dirty through my own blood, sweat, and tears. I've actually worked for everything I have, and I think that's what truly defines me.
Driven From Within - Living With Cerebral Palsy!
The struggle to adapt and push through my shortcomings has been a life long process, one that continues today. Learn to be driven within. Learn more about this inspirational story!
[ Click here to learn more. ]
Perhaps those who fold against what seems to be insurmountable odds, do so because they've grown comfortable with society's theory of instant gratification. Look at our culture, it's everywhere. Heck, many of the supplement companies out there cater to this! Take a pill for this, take a pill for that.
Although basic supplementation is fine in my book to promote health, it has been my latest opinion that most everything else could be considered a crutch.
In fact I know for some people, this is definitely the case. Whatever happened to that feeling you get when you know you accomplished something for yourself? To me there is nothing greater.
Yet many don't know what hard work and perseverance really takes. They fail to capitalize on their own ability for success because they never learned to cope on their own with their backs against the wall.
They've always relied on others for help, or taken shortcuts for short-term gains under the assumption if I can't buy it, I don't want it.
"This paradigm finally caught up with a friend."
This paradigm finally caught up with a friend. For now I will call this person "Ryan". Ryan was a perfect example. He lived down the hall from me my sophomore year at college. Ryan was always down on his luck and his negativity showed in all aspects of his life. Most of his problems I perceived to be because of his weight problem.
He would watch me every night religiously as I walked passed his room at a quarter of nine on my way to the recreation center. Upon my return he would always ask me what I did or what the best way to lose weight was, and because I am the person that I am, I would always tell him.
Finally one day it occurred to me, why not invite Ryan to go to the gym with me? Reluctantly, after much convincing he finally went. I could tell he wasn't into it much when I saw him using the hamstring curl machine for biceps!
But hey, everyone has to get their start somewhere. So I continued to show him the ropes and gave him a solid nutritional plan.
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The "Toad", Before & After.
No more late night pizza binges and 44 oz. colas. After a little more than a month he told me he felt confident enough to go at it on his own, and for all intents and purposes I believed him since he seemed to be making some progress. I seriously devoted time into this kid and was confident I made an impact on him.
Well, what do you know? Two weeks later I asked his roommate how he thought Ryan was doing. He looked at me with a blank stare... I was like you know, the gym. He said, "Dude, Ryan hasn't set foot in the gym since the day you stopped going with him".
"Yeah right," I replied. "He tells me everyday about the progress he's made... eating protein this, protein that".
"Jordan, they were all lies man. Just last night he ate a whole pizza by himself again. He just didn't have the heart to tell you".
"Just last night he ate a whole pizza by himself again."
So that whole time I got nothing but excuses. I'm not lying when I say I took it to heart. I felt as though I gave him all the tools he needed to make a positive change, yet for some reason Ryan kept worrying about why he couldn't lose weight, instead of focusing on what it took to actually make it happen for him. It was just a vicious cycle he could not break.
All his life he was told he was fat, and this worked on his mind constantly. He was too used to being gratified instantaneously. Sadly, I realized you can lead a horse to water, but you can't always make it drink.
We bodybuilders know this is a sport of longevity. You win by attrition. Nothing replaces the hard work you put into it. For real results, there are no shortcuts.
In the end, I've learned that even with the best environment, true passion needs to come from within. Facilitating growth just doesn't happen if there is nothing to spark the flame. You have to want it.
By staying positive and visualizing what you want your life to be like, you can take that energy with you and make a commitment to yourself that you will overcome any obstacle life brings your way.
Anything is possible with the right attitude. You have but one life; it is yours for the taking. Take the wheel and drive from within!
User Name: MCWTRAINER
Name: Matt Weik
I was brought into this world by two loving parents and a great support team that I could always count on. Growing up, I had many health problems which limited what I could eat and do. I was born premature and also allergic to milk and sugar but luckily grew out of that phase when I was about 9. I was always a skinny kid who could eat whatever I wanted and never put on weight.
Most people would dream of having problems like that, I on the other hand, got tired of it quickly because everyone was always bigger and stronger than me. I was also limited to activities because both of my knees dislocated very easily which I also out grew when I was a teenager.
My doctor told me because of my health problems growing up and my genetics, I would never get big. However I was determined to prove him wrong. I was always active and played many sports even with my knee problems.
It wasn't until my freshman year of high school that I really wanted to focus on tennis. I worked out at home during high school, nothing major, just trying to put on a little size and gain some strength for sports.
I played tennis all through high school and had scholarship offers to go to many colleges (which I turned down due to lack majors that interested me) and decided to go to Penn State University where I continued to play and won several tennis honors and awards. It wasn't until my freshman year of college that I actually stepped foot in a weight room to see what it was all about and got bit by the bodybuilding bug.
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I started reading bodybuilding magazines and admired the physiques of those in the magazines. I knew from that point on that I wanted to live that lifestyle and learn as much as I could. At this point of my life I was weighing in at around 125 pounds soaking wet.
Each year I would steadily put on around 10 pounds of lean mass and it seems as if each session in the gym I kept getting stronger and stronger. I started researching supplements and began taking the "staples". After a couple months in the gym, I knew from that point on that I wanted to do something health-related as a career.
I was intrigued by the human body and majored in Kinesiology at Penn State. I read whatever I could get my hands on to further educate myself.
I then became a personal trainer at the age of 20 and started training at the same gym I worked out at. To me, there was nothing like helping someone reach their fitness goals and achieve the look they always desired.
I graduated from Penn State in 2005 and went full-time at the gym. Outside of the gym when I find some spare time I also write articles for Bodybuilding.com. The sport has definitely changed my life and there isn't anything else in the world I would rather be doing with my life.
User Name: Coulaid
Company: Metabolic Response Modifiers (MRM)
My name is Kevin and I am a rep for Metabolic Response Modifiers (MRM).
I first began lifting as a freshman in high school for football. I remember the first day I went into our school's weight room we had to max out; here were my numbers:
...and this was at about 200 lbs bodyweight! For my freshman and sophomore years I thought weight lifting did not make that much of a difference on the playing field, so I lifted sporadically and ate like a monster.
- Bench: 115 lbs.
- Squat: 155 lbs.
- Deadlift: 195 lbs.
Well, come summer practice of my junior year I tipped the scales at 275 lbs, I know it was higher but I never weighed in after I hit 275 lbs. After running a handful of sprints, I could barely breathe. My coach made me take a breather and a drink. This had to be the most embarrassing moment of my life seeing my friends and teammates work their tails off while I got to watch them. I knew then it was time for a change in my life.
After my junior year, football season was up I told myself I couldn't let this season repeat itself. I began doing research on lifting and dieting. I found Bodybuilding.com and began to read the articles on improving performance.
That is when I was introduced into the world of supplementation that year. My first supplement purchase was MLO Muscle-Blast 2000. I really didn't know what to look for in a quality supplement.
I then started to get pretty advanced as far as I was concerned. I was on a creatine and protein supplement. I busted my hump that junior year. I wound up being my high school's strongest man. We held a lifting competition and I look home 1st place overall.
My numbers then were:
- Bench: 315 lbs.
- Squat: 455 lbs.
- Deadlift: 515 lbs.
I weighed in at 250 lbs. I managed to drastically improve my body composition in one off-season. That's when I knew lifting was going to be apart of my life and I have never looked back.
I was elected captain my senior year and I helped lead our team to the state quarterfinals. After that season, I looked back on my life and I began to remember all the kid's comments to me when I was young and chubby. Still at 250 lbs, I knew I wanted to change my life again. I began to do more research on Bodybuilding.com and starting dieting.
I kept my carbohydrates pretty low, protein high, and a medium amount of fats. I lost a lot of weight this way. I got back down to 200 lbs. I then headed off to college and I lived off of turkey sandwiches on whole wheat bread. I lifted consistently but my strength was never going up like it used to, only down.
I did the turkey sandwich diet for about a year and then I got serious about my diet. I no longer feared the carbohydrate and fat. I began eating more and more. As I became more confident with myself I began to post more on the boards. I then came across a young man on the board that posts under the name 'YoungSquatter'. He helped me a lot with getting a proper diet and workout set up.
And that's were I am now, a 19-year-old, 208-pound sophomore in college. My major is Business Administration, but my passion is bodybuilding. I plan on doing my first bodybuilding show in the spring of 2007. I will be using Derek Charlebois for all of my diet and workout needs.
"I have used everything from protein to ecdysterone."
I feel like I have used a great deal of supplements thoughout my life so far. I have used everything from protein to ecdysterone. My favorite supplement would have to be protein powders. They are a lifesaver if you are short on time or do not have access to a kitchen.
I consider myself knowledgeable in the world of supplements. I have used many different training methods with many different combinations. With that diversity of use, I feel confident with my experience as well as researching others' logs and reviews, and I can recommend products for all users: bodybuilder (whether cutting or bulking), powerlifters, and strength athletes, like football and baseball players.
I hope this article brings some light to my insight on supplement usage and supplement history. I now have my own lifting site with videos of myself lifting, and it can be accessed by anyone. I encourage anyone to e-mail or PM me if you have any questions. I look forward to seeing everyone in the Bodybuilding.com forums!
User Name: sawastea
Name: Derrek Space
The Origins Of Sawastea
I joined BB.com back in mid 2003 as I was in search of a solid diet and exercise regimen. I found some fantastic articles by some well-respected vets and since then I became hooked. I am still an avid poster on the board and still enjoy helping out whenever possible.
The road traveled before I joined and learned about nutrition and exercise was a whole new subject. When I was in high school, I was involved in all sorts of sports from football and baseball to tennis and soccer. I was a four sport letterman for three years and later parlayed that into a full academic scholarship at the University of Florida, where I studied Finance and Economics.
"I soon ballooned to 255 lbs, with
a 44" waist and X/XXL shirts."
After high school I was a svelte 190 lbs. But by playing fewer sports in college and joining a fraternity, I soon ballooned to 255 lbs, with a 44" waist and X/XXL shirts. At that point in my life I was about partying hard as well as getting laid. You see, your size isn't that important when you go to UF, it's your attitude that will carry you to the next level. I wasn't cocky per se, but d@mn was I assertive!
Late night parties and daily gallons of beer did me in. Come to think about it, I'm pretty damn lucky I'm still alive after partying 6.5 days of the week. Anyway, it wasn't until spring break of my sophomore year that, when I was playing golf with my old man, he told me that I looked fat. Sometimes it takes others to realize your faults/flaws until you realize them.
So, during that summer I learned about Xenadrine RFA-1. That was one rocking ECA product! I cleaned my diet up a bit (in hindsight, however, I didn't really), by consuming white rice and black beans and ate more tuna/chicken. Over three months I lost 32 lbs.
I was still a haus of my former self, but at least a little more respectable. Over the next few years, I watched what I ate (to a degree) and didn't go buck wild drinking as much and eating those late night XL Papa John's pizzas with "all the meat."
It wasn't until I moved to Manhattan where I realized that these girls up here actually care about your image and that your attitude takes more of a back seat. When I joined BB.com, I learned the basics of nutrition, macronutrient timing, exercises and supplements.
After years of hard work, I'm back to where I originally was, just a few pounds heavier and a 32" waist. It's tough at times to stay on track since I work 10-16 hour days and travel quite a bit for work, but I still want to achieve personal pleasure by looking the best that I can. I recently joined S.A.N. as a representative and I look forward to helping others out in the near future when it comes to diet, exercises as well as nutrition.
Derrek "sawastea" Space
User Name: Jkeithc82
I was born in Birmingham, Alabama to two loving parents that supported and encouraged me very much. My father was my best friend in this world and so much of what I do today is to try and make him proud.
Unfortunately, health was not as prioritized as it should have been and at the young age of 38 he died of a heart attack one Saturday morning.
Part of what drives my passion for health and bodybuilding is because I don't want to be taken too early in life like he was. Tears seem as though they are forever etched down my cheeks from spending this later part of my life without him. His health was poor and I have no desires of my life being silenced as his was, prematurely.
I first read Arnold Schwarzenegger's "Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding" when I was 12 years of age. The pictures of these superhuman beasts seemed unreal to me, as if they were carved by Donatello's great hands.
I had never seen such detail, mass and symmetrical greatness in a human being, and through reading Arnold's perils of training, dieting and competing, I couldn't help but be drawn in.
It was then I picked up my first weight and performed some of the basic exercises outlined in his book. This began what would be a lifelong love of the pursuit of the bodies I saw in the pictures, the bodies that were sculpted during the Renaissance.
"...a lifelong love of the pursuit of the bodies
I saw in the pictures, the bodies
that were sculpted during the Renaissance."
My interest for bodybuilding fluctuated. I cannot say I have been the most consistent in my training over these past 12 years, but the love has always remained. Seven years after first picking up my first weight, I became employed with Vitamin World, a retail vitamin and herbs store owned by a major manufacturer but less well known than some of its major competitors.
It was here where I read and studied material on everything I sold. I claim not to be an expert in any sense of the word in regard to natural or chemical supplementation, but to sell the ingredients to the general public I had to have a least a working grasp on the fundamentals in order to answer queries from all walks of life.
Last May, I completed my Bachelors of Science in Political Science from the University of Houston. While I cannot profess any regrets, I will concede that I believe I would have benefited more by taking more biochemistry classes, and the subject is currently one of my hobby interests that I research everyday.
I do hope to return to school at a later
date, to pursue a higher degree in a field relating to Nutrition, Exercise, Biochemistry and the like. The correct terminology for that future is not "If" but "When" it will likely occur.
User Name: Scivation
Name: Marc Lobliner
Job Title: Chief Marketing Officer
My wife and I have lost a ton of weight (almost literally). I started at around 295 pounds and my wife started at around 170 lbs. I now boast a bodyweight of around 190 lbs. at around 7% bodyfat and my wife was 122 lbs. before she became pregnant about 4 months ago. Obviously, she has put on a little bit of size since then!
As far as strength increases, I started as a fat powerlifter, so my strength has declined a bit. The focus of my training has gone from strictly power movements to power movements combined with cardio and other isolation and functional movements. You know, stuff that makes you healthy!
I recall coming home from football practice one day as a senior in high school to find my apartment filled with paramedics. My father had had a stroke. This was not the first. It was on a business trip to Arizona when he had his first stroke. I cried for hours. I witnessed his demise and it was all because he didn't take care of himself.
My father busted his rear day in and day out to provide for my mother and I, and his neglect for himself led to a quality of life in his 50's that is far worse that most people in their 90's.
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I would never let this happen to myself. Once I was done with college and I had someone I cared about deeply in my life, then it was time to prepare for the future. This went far beyond that.
What began as a mission not to die had turned into an obsession. As a fat kid, I always admired lean, muscular physiques and wished I could have one. I was working at Weider Publications and I sported a decent physique.
People in the building said I had good structure.
Jerry Kindela, then editor of Men's Fitness told me, "You get lean, we'll put you in the magazine." At that point I was on a mission!
I tried it all - CKD, TKD, refeeds, high carb, low carb. Naturally my wife played along. She was also my training partner at this time. She was now weighing about 145 lbs. and looking hot (she got even hotter later)!
These diets, to be honest with you, sucked. I'd diet all week, pig out on weekends, then diet again. It was psychologically brutal and this lifestyle is supposed to be all about health. I hardly see crash dieting and binging on cake as a healthy practice!
My appetite is through the roof. Supplements help (I will get to that later), but I found my haven which was broccoli. I started eating 4 cups of broccoli per day. I will get to the side effects in a moment, but it worked!
I was losing fat, not too hungry, and things were moving along! My diet was flexible and when there was an occasion where food was served, I ate. I even took my then fiancé/future wife out to dinner twice per week and indulged on whatever my heart desired.
"My wife was mad at me, my breath
stunk, and I had no energy."
I traveled a lot at the time, but my diet was great. I'd always order something like salmon and a big side of broccoli or chicken and asparagus. Before I knew it I had gone from 245 pounds, at the start, to 180 lbs. by the time of my wedding! I was shredded!
The photo shoot kept getting pushed back and here is where the long-term effects of dieting kicked in... bad. I lost all interest in sex. All I ever thought about was food. My body was releasing gas that could have been used to torture detainees.
My wife was mad at me, my breath stunk, and I had no energy. I held this condition for over one year. I dropped to a depleted 174 pounds and maintained under 5% bodyfat for the photo shoot.
Looking back, this was not a great way to live. Never again will I remain that lean for so long. I find now that maintaining a bodyfat level of 7-8% and keeping at a condition that can have me shredded within 6 weeks is fine for me.
My wife was by my side the whole time. She dropped to a super-duper-whoa momma-hot, size 4, 122 pounds. We followed similar programs. I usually train at home in my garage, except when traveling.
I have a standard power rack with an incline/decline/flat bench, powerblocks up to 125 lbs., and barbells up to 800 lbs. I recently bought a treadmill so Katie can use it to maintain fitness while pregnant.
I maintain my physique even though I travel almost every week by choosing healthy foods in restaurants, never leaving home without a Bodybuilding.com shaker bottle, and a tub of protein.
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You can always find me with a carry on with a bottle of protein in it, guaranteed. It beats the heck out of airport McDonald's! I keep my training schedule while on the road. Most hotels are affiliated with local gyms and have free memberships for guests. Last week, I worked out at the World's Gym in Dublin, Ohio and had an awesome workout.
Just being in a different environment can spark a great session! Also, when I travel with Derek Charlebois (a.k.a. Beast), we always have awesome workouts and end up posing down in the middle of the gym. People must think we're dating when they see this! LOL.
My father's health was the big thing and so was being a fat kid. I want to live a long life but while I'm on this Earth, I want to look really good with my clothes off. My mother once came out of back surgery and as soon as the morphine hit, she was putting on makeup.
I asked, "What the heck are you putting makeup on for?" She responded in a weak, morphine-impaired voice, "When you look good, you feel good."
I have never felt better than I do when I go to buy clothes and I know for a fact that I have better abs than anyone else at Old Navy.
User Name: young_squatter
Name: Danny Wegg
How I Got Into Bodybuilding
When I was a junior in high school, I weighed 240 lbs. at 6 feet tall, I was very good at sports but was also overweight. I had very bad nutrition and ate anything I wanted, usually which was always just junk food.
About half way through my junior year, this kid started picking on me, he would always call me fat and tell me I needed to go on a Subway diet because I was so big.
So one day I decided to shut that kid up, so I started eating one time a day and running a mile every night. I was too out of shape to run a mile so I would usually walk. I started losing weight very quickly. By the end of my junior year I was 180 lbs., but I did not stop there.
I still thought I was fat so I kept eating only once a day and started running 2-3 miles a day on top of baseball games everyday. By the end of summer I was 150 lbs. at 6 foot tall. I was very skinny, but I had a problem, I couldn't start eating again.
I looked at food as the enemy so I had to stay away from it. It got so bad that I got down to 130 lbs., that's when my parents took me to the hospital where the doctor said that if I didn't start eating again that I would die.
"That scared the heck out
of me - I didn't want to die!"
That scared the heck out of me - I didn't want to die! So I decided to do some research on the Internet about diets and weightlifting, because my brother was really into lifting so I wanted to get into it to look good.
Then I found Bodybuilding.com and it totally changed my life, I started researching and asking questions and I made my first diet and weight training program. I got up to about 159 lbs. by myself but still couldn't get myself to eat enough food or train right.
That's when I came across Derek Charlebois (AKA Beast)'s contest prep section where he was offering personal training.
I signed up right away, Derek made me a diet/training program, and I started making great progress. My strength was going through the roof and I was finally seeing the gains in muscle mass that I wanted.
He was always prompt on answering all my questions, I am now up to 183.5 lbs. since starting with Derek 19 weeks ago. He is the person who changed my life, I owe him everything I have today. He taught me everything I know about training, supplements, and diet!
When he made me a board rep for Scivation/Primaforce, I felt truly blessed to represent a company whose supplements have done so much for my body. I am blessed to be working with Josh (Jkeith), Marc (Scivation), Derek (Beast), Chuck (ChuckRD) on the boards. My goal is to help as many people as I can and give the best advice I can give.
User Name: Blap Blaow
Company: Serious Nutrition Solutions
Where to start in this tale of modesty? A tale of a Londoner with a love of profane language only a Londoner could understand?
Well, unfortunately I don't have a particularly interesting or inspiring background. Before I start, I'll say the biggest key to understanding me is by saying I live for the challenge. If everything's going well for me I'll generally f*ck it up with some of the self-inflicted bullsh*t because that makes life worth living.
Academically, I've always excelled which inextricably means I was always complacent in my studies. That's part of what got me a scholarship out of the sh*tty neighborhood school I was in and into a place where education didn't come secondary to crowd control and crime prevention. Damn, I miss that place!
From my new bastion of academia I could indulge my two real interests - biology and the creative arts. An unlikely duo, I know. Biology was an academic subject I found myself both innately proficient in and simultaneously attracted to.
The pursuit of creativity was something which came with me from the womb and something my parents encouraged from my very earliest memory of scribbling on photocopier paper and pens 'borrowed' from the office, to playing a panpipe solo at year 6 assembly.
"I immediately fell in love with it and,
eventually, kicked its a$$ all over the place."
And the story goes on. Somehow, someway, driven by the need to try something new and different and my inner desire to screw with my life, I ended up going to university to study architecture. What a shock to the system that was! I immediately fell in love with it and, eventually, kicked its a$$ all over the place.
I even took a couple of advanced courses in microbiology and genetics just because I could, and kicked their @ss all over the place, too. Pretty straightforward equation really, Blap applied academia.
Now then, where do bodybuilding, supplements and SNS come into this life of academic triumph?
I'm a small guy - 5'6". I've always been slim/average build and developed late compared to many of my peers. Before we get carried away with ourselves, I was never bullied as a child. Actually, I have a stunning personality and a f*cking brilliant sense of humor which has helped me divert attacks from the most determined of lunch-money grabbers.
I also have some natural athletic ability and basic hand eye coordination so I was already ahead of most of my classmates. Some sense of focus combined with some natural ability invariably meant that anything requiring prolonged effort and a basic level of dedication was mine. And thus I took to and owned the worn paths of the middle class public school cross country track for many-a-year.
However, as is my way, I got bored of the running, the weather, the shin splints, the blisters, and of being skinny. Consequently, bodybuilding found its way into my heart. Not only was it something I could call mine but it also offered sanctuary and relief from the hustle of scholarly pursuit.
It offered me the chance to level the physical field between myself and others for the first time in my life. It was also the first activity I've taken up which actually becomes more difficult the further I get into it. Given my personality, bodybuilding is the perfect endeavor for my leisure.
Herein lay the dilemma. As much as I loved lifting, I didn't know anyone that felt the same in my life. Running was a very individual pursuit for me and lifting was inevitably the same. I've tried gym partners, and they don't work for me. I find motivation in myself and the personal challenge.
"Lifting is one of the few things in life
in which I have absolutely no natural talent."
Lifting is one of the few things in life in which I have absolutely no natural talent. I have to work hard for my rewards. And I don't know it all, I can't bullsh*t (despite what you may think if you've read this far), nor can I pretend my way through; which is how I came across Bodybuilding.com and eventually the forums.
This really offered me the chance to fight my skinny disposition and shed my puny runner traits. First I read up on nutrition, and found so many deficits in my own daily diet. Then I picked up training advice. Supplements came last.
In the final chapter of this saga, I spent a few months on the forums and eventually got talking to Steve at SNS. After spending a little time getting to know them, and generally playing grab-ass, I was offered a place as part of the SNS team.
What really attracted me to Steve and the company was the fact that he doesn't dabble in bullsh*t and he's f*cking hilarious - essentially everything I'm not and wish I could be. His vision for SNS was inspiring and I felt I could help him in fulfilling some of that vision in a small way.
...and that, as they say, is that. Look out for the sequel to my story - Life After Steve Reads This and Kicks Me Out!
User Name: laz
Company: Serious Nutrition Solutions
Well, it all started back at the age of 14. I had just gone through an arthroscopic shoulder surgery from football season and my best friend's mom had dropped off a bag of magazines and goodies to keep me busy. Well, in that bag was a bottle of GNC Pro Performance creatine monohydrate capsules and some bodybuilding mags.
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From that day on, I was hooked. I had decided to take my training to the next level, not only for football but for physical appearance as well. I started taking ON 100% Whey and reading the bodybuilding mags regularly. I soon took to reading the first supp review put out by EAS. I was amazed by the information I was absorbing. I then turned into a little encyclopedia of supplement information in my high school.
After a somewhat successful recovery from surgery and an intense off-season weight lifting program, I entered my sophomore season at right around 185 lbs. I was addicted to being bigger and bigger and loved the attention I was getting for being built.
I was also addicted to the world of sports supplementation. After weighing in at 195 lbs. my junior year, I could only last half the football season due to my bum shoulder.
I then quit playing and took up bodybuilding. I was trying any supplement there was to give me the edge and reading any magazine or book there was (including a collection of Muscle Mag written books and both Supplement Reviews).
By the time I was a freshman in college, I was hovering between 215-220 lbs. - I was big. At 5'11" and 220 lbs. as a freshman in college, I was living life with a stereotype as a "meat head." I didn't care though, I loved being big. I registered on the BB.com forums not too much later and since then I have been trying my best to keep up with all of the knowledge.
I currently stand at 5'11", 210-212 lbs. and do not have as much time as I could to totally dedicate myself to the sport. I am currently finishing up my Teacher Certification with a P.E. major and Health Ed minor. I am currently affiliated with Serious Nutrition Solutions as a board rep/research and development. I believe in their intentions and stand by their products 100%. I plan on attaining a high school teaching position after I graduate in May '06.
I also plan on continuing my contributions to the boards and spreading the message of how important physical fitness and lifelong health are as a teacher. If you ever have any questions feel free to email me. I will do my best to be of help!
User Name: Skigazzi
Company: Serious Nutrition Solutions
I was born (1978), raised, and educated all in Philadelphia. Athletically speaking, my background pretty much includes every indoor and outdoor sport minus football, simply due to the fact I was skinny.
I attended Saint Joseph's University, graduating with my B.S. in 1999, and then worked since then for three large corporations in Procurement and Supply Chain. Recently, I graduated from Saint Joseph's Graduate School with an MBA in Management.
Why I Started Lifting:
As my background states, I was a fairly (being generous) skinny guy in high school - a true ectomorph. I did, however, have good strength and muscle mass for my size, but weighing in at 135 lbs. at 5'10" isn't much to hang one's hat on. I started training with weights mainly for Track where I excelled in the 400 meter (skinniest 400m guy out there!).
What Does Ectomorph Mean?
Ectomorph is a human body type. Ectomorphs have short upper bodies, long arms/legs, long/narrow feet and hands, very little fat, narrow chest and shoulders, and long thin muscles. Ectomorphs mostly consider themselves hard gainers.
I made more initial progress with strength than size due to the amount of running I was doing, but it got me started. When I passed up running NCAA Div III to attend SJU on a partial academic scholarship, I started to focus on the pure aesthetics of the sport of bodybuilding, and a cafeteria card at college provided the calories.
Through college, I added 12 lbs. of LBM (lean body mass), keeping my bodyfat percentage around 7%, still very lean and pretty skinny.
After college, I learned more about dieting, joined BB.com, learned much more about everything, and over the last few years have gotten to as high as 175 lbs. at 7.5% BF.
Affiliation With SNS:
I've only now been affiliated with SNS for a few weeks, but have been active (more so than I thought I would) with talking to the owner about ideas for new products, as well as blends, dosages, and research - all of which is both fun and a learning experience.
I've taken a personal interest in Nootropics and herbal remedies and have been sharing these ideas with them as well. When I agreed to be a rep, I really thought I'd just be a voice on the boards, but it really can be a lot more than that, which I think often goes unnoticed by the forum members. (I was guilty of this too prior to joining SNS.)
User Name: SNS8778
Company: Serious Nutrition Solutions
Job Title: Owner
I post regularly and enjoy helping members on Bodybuilding.com on any areas that I have knowledge of.
I am one of the owners of Serious Nutrition Solutions. I have worked in this industry in some capacity for the last 10 years and got my start in working in a retail store, then went on to manage a store for years, as well as do personal training.
Working in retail was nice, because I liked hearing the customer feedback on various things, and that's one of the things I enjoy about posting on Bodybuilding.com is hearing the feedback, and most importantly helping people.
I have been an owner in Serious Nutrition Solutions since its inception two years ago. I love the industry, and love helping people in any way that I can, whether it's in reference to our products or any other area that I have knowledge on.
"...when I was young, I was overweight.
Then in high school, I was scrawny."
The primary reason that I started weight training was that at one point I was very insecure with myself and my appearance. I had experienced both sides as when I was young (middle school), I was overweight. Then in high school I was scrawny. When I started working out, I remember weighing 127 lbs. at 5'9".
At that time, I was focused on growing. As I have gotten a little older, my metabolism has shifted to where it is hard to gain muscle (as it always has been), but easy to gain fat. Therefore, I am on a constant quest to build more muscle but to stay lean at the same time.
For anyone that ever has any questions or needs any help, they can feel free to PM me on Bodybuilding.com's forums or to email me at email@example.com.
User Name: Bloute
I started training 11 years ago when I was 14. At this moment, I was simply working out to stay in shape. I was weighing approximately 160 lbs. and I was ripped. During almost 9 years, my workouts were really basic without proper nutrition.
Although I gained around 55 pounds during this period, my training wasn't really optimal. Then, I discovered BB.com and everything changed. I read the forum during one year without posting and I learned so much about nutrition, training, and supplements. During the last two years, my gains were incredible going from 225 lbs. to 255 lbs. with a good diet, training, and the right supplements.
Now I still work out to get in shape, but not to compete or anything like that - but my training is still optimized. I always been a powerlifter more than a bodybuilder, so my workouts have been oriented around strength before size and cut. I also started working for ThermoLife as a Board Rep in April 2005.
I feel lucky to get this opportunity and get a chance to help other people achieve their goals and learn about supplements. My main training objective for the future is to succeed bench pressing 500 pounds before the end of the year. Actually, my bench press is now around 450 pounds.
User Name: dito
Well, I've been training off and on since the age of 15. I'll usually start doing well for a month or so and get injured, sick, or just lose motivation. I do collision repair for a living so it's sometimes hard after work to get to the gym.
Since I've discovered bodybuilding message boards, I've always been drawn to them. It's a group of people that are working to improve themselves. That is something quite rare these days. I always have fun posting, and learning new things. So even if I am taking a break from training I like to go by and check things out.
Mission Possible: Gain 10 Lbs Of Lean Mass!
You decide it's time to focus on the specific areas to meet the objective of making great gains. This is strategic plan for groceries, training, water intake, and rest.
[ Click here to learn more. ]
I am with ThermoLife and very happy to be with the company. It is a very good fit. Currently I am at 229 lbs trying to get up to 240-250 lbs.
User Name: Canadabboy
My username on the Bodybuilding.com message boards is Canadabboy, and my real name is Eric. I am a board representative for Thermolife International and I am proud to be associated with this company and all of its other board representatives.
I'm 22 years old and currently majoring in Chemistry, with a minor in Biochemistry at the University of Victoria. I've recently completed the second year of my major (although it's my third year at UVIC) and I'm starting a new chemistry job for the summer at an analytical chemistry lab.
I am considering the possibilities of becoming a doctor or a dentist, however my real passion lays with Chemistry and I believe that I will pursue graduate studies after I finish my Bachelors degree, and hopefully one day attain a Ph.D.
One option I would have with a Ph.D. would be doing synthetic organic chemistry for a pharmaceutical company. I think this option would be ideal to give me the kind of understanding and capital needed to start my own supplement company.
Starting Your Own Supplement Line!
If you are a bodybuilder or fitness fanatic, it has probably crossed your mind that having a job in the fitness industry would be a great idea. In this article we will talk about how to start your own supplement brand, and how to be successful.
[ Click here to learn more. ]
I've always been curious about how things work, and why they work. This curiosity has been especially strong when it comes to science and the human body. My continual quest for self improvement has turned me on to the ways of bodybuilding and a lifestyle of exercise, healthy eating, supplementation, and most importantly knowledge.
One very important thing I've learned over the years is that knowledge is power, and the best resource for information about bodybuilding for me has been the Bodybuilding.com messageboards. The things that I've learned over the last 3-4 years about nutrition, training, and supplementation have been amazing!
Although my scientific education at University is not always specific to nutrition or supplementation, the background it has given me is phenomenal and always seems to reinforce many concepts and open new doors for me as far as understanding goes. One of the fantastic things about the message boards is that there are members who are pharmacists, doctors, lawyers, biochemists, chemists, political scientists, and pretty much any other profession you can think of.
The vast pool of knowledge is unbelievable and I feel very fortunate to have been able to draw off of it to better myself over the last few years.
"The vast pool of knowledge is unbelievable..."
As well as learning from the messageboards, I also enjoy giving back and assisting other members in any way that I can. Everyone has a different background and a different angle to bring to a question/problem and it's very interesting to see conversations unfold from so many different points of view.
As a representative for a company, it gives me a direction to take my independent research and assistance, and allows me to be more helpful in a certain area of supplementation with a specific line up of products.
Although I represent Thermolife, I am still a regular forum member and am more than happy to answer other questions about chemistry, health, fitness, or supplementation. I have been seriously into natural bodybuilding since just before I turned 19 and I hope to one day build a physique worth competing with.
I can be found on the message boards very frequently and I regularly keep supplement/training logs which contain more information about me and my training. I even try to put random science/chemistry facts into my logs to make them more interesting and educational!
User Name: italionstallion
Name: Nick Pellecchia
Throughout my entire life, I had always played sports. I was the quarterback for our school's football team for 9 years, played basketball up until high school and when I joined the ski club instead of playing basketball, I played baseball for years and years, and I played tennis from 7th grade until I graduated high school.
I would lift occasionally for some sports, but was never really dedicated and serious about it; instead, I was more interested in having fun and partying.
Everything was following the typical path and happening as usual up until my senior year. At that time a major life changing event happened to me - I got into a car accident. It had just finished raining and the roads were still wet. I was driving into an "S" type turn about 5 minutes away from my house and a 16-year-old girl, who was fairly new to driving, was going a little too fast around the first turn.
A Fatal Crash That Changed Many Lives Forever.
The story of how John Leonard's life was shaped as well as the reason he has dedicated his life to helping people become fit, healthy, and most importantly, happy.
[ Click here to learn more. ]
She lost control and crossed the center line hitting me head on. My little Del Sol got smashed and I got knocked unconscious. Luckily, a nurse was in a car behind me, and helped me until the ambulance and police came. I was taken to the hospital, where I stayed for a while until I was better. Once I was released I was basically confined to my bed for another week, and just laid on my back not doing anything.
Some time while laying there in pain, everything started to change. I began to lose all motivation for everything and along with the loss of motivation came a loss of appetite. I never wanted to eat, and when I did, I would get full very quickly. I don't like to think about it, but this is basically the origin of my eating disorder.
My body eventually healed, but my mind never did. I kept on going on and on with eating only a very, very small amount. Eventually my weight dropped to 116 lbs. at 6 foot, 2 inches. Anyone that has gone through an eating disorder can tell you that you can't see it happening to yourself. You keep losing weight and losing weight, but you don't allow your mind to recognize it.
I had been going to the doctor for awhile before I had even gotten that low in weight, but I had such an extreme amount of denial, nothing said to me had an affect on my eating habits. Finally, I was told that I wouldn't be allowed to attend college if I didn't get my weight up for obvious reasons.
I finally knew what I had to do, but I still never admitted to having a problem, nor did I truly think I had a problem, but I did what "they" wanted so I could go to school. Upon entering school I was 128 lbs and growing. Once I got up to 135 lbs., I started feeling much better and wanted to start playing sports again, but I certainly couldn't compete with other healthy people, so I decided to start lifting.
Anorexia: Food Is The Enemy!
Over a year ago I was hospitalized for an eating disorder. The following article explains exactly what anorexia is and following afterwards is the story of my experience with it.
[ Click here to learn more. ]
At first I really had no idea what I was doing, and I'm sure everyone can picture a kid that 6'2", 135 lbs in the gym trying to lift. Along with working out comes an increased calorie expenditure, but eating even more than I had been was very, very difficult for me. I still got full very easily and was never hungry, but ate because I knew I had to.
As time went on, I got more and more into lifting and being able to see my body change, as well as seeing my strength progress. I started researching on the Internet and stumbled across a message board when ordering Beverly Mass Maker (this was my first ever supplement and I used it for months and months until I found the message boards).
By this time, I was hooked on lifting and the whole bodybuilding lifestyle, even though I was still only about 150-160 lbs.
I read as much as I could, and never wanted to stop reading about training, dieting, and supplements. I was hooked, and the message boards were an invaluable tool for me in my quest for size. As time went on I found out about other message boards, joined, and got even more information. I was now not only passionate about bodybuilding, but also learning about supplements.
After being completely dedicated to bodybuilding for about a year, and supplementing with things beyond Mass Maker for about 7-8 of those 12 months, I made my way from 116 lbs. up to about 200 lbs!
User Name: zachattack43
Name: Zach Adkins
I'm Zachary O'Teal Adkins (a.k.a. Zachattack43) born on June 5, 1983 in Austin, Texas, USA.
I've been training with weights since I was a freshman in high school preparing for football. I am now 22 and a senior at the University of Texas at San Antonio. I have been lifting and exercising for 8 years now. I do more than just lift weights. I enjoy all sorts of sports from tennis to football.
If one were to describe my weighttraining style I would have to say it was that of a bodybuilder, for my goal and has always been to stay in shape and have a ripped mid section along with my defined body.
"I avoid/ignore the immature stuff of the forums..."
The forums have not only allowed me to bring my knowledge to others over the years (since January 2003), but have allowed me to realize I did not know squat and 3 years later I am still reading others' advice just as much as I expend. I avoid/ignore the immature stuff of the forums and focus on what will benefit everyone.
Even though I am a rep (for ThermoLife), I still try to maintain a neutral position when I dispense advice, which is something I wanted to still be able to do if I ever became a rep.
User Name: 391rippy
I'm a 20-year-old from the wonderful state of Alabama <sarcasm />.
My background? Well, I have always been a skinny kid growing up. In a family where half the people are obese and the others think they are, I was always self-conscious about my weight (or lack thereof).
I was always involved in sports growing up, though I was never a natural. I began running track in 5th grade and stuck with that all throughout high school where I made it to State my junior year and was the captain of the track team my senior year (believe me, that will get you all of the ladies).
I began lifting weights when I was 12. I'd do legs 3 days a week in the afternoon when track practice was over, and every morning during P.E. I mostly just did legs (with the occasional bench press), so I was getting in 8 leg workouts a week.
"However, all of the weight and overtraining
led to problems with my shins and knees
that still bother me today."
For a 100-pounder I was surprisingly strong; on my first set of leg presses I did 30 reps with three plates on each side. However, all of the weight and overtraining led to problems with my shins and knees that still bother me today.
I joined a gym at the age of 15, and since then I've never missed a single workout, with the exception of the times when I was unable to lift due to injuries. I still had a lot to learn, but I began to grow a little, got stronger, and after a while I started working out with the owner of the gym, who taught me a lot.
During my freshman year of college I was 150 lbs. at 5'11". Definitely not big, but I was muscular and fairly lean. However, a newfound love for beer changed that. I still continued to work out consistently, sometimes drunk, but the only gains I made were around the waist.
Fast forward to sophomore year. I had lost most of the beer belly over the summer, and I broke up with my girlfriend - so I decided that I needed to get huge to sex up all the ladies. I still had a lot of my self-esteem tied up in my looks, which I learned at a young age thanks to my wonderful family.
I joined BB.com, started learning a lot, made a ton of newbie posts, and decided that I would incorporate some bodybuilding techniques into my life. I started eating more regularly (I already ate healthy food, so that wasn't an issue), and over Christmas break I decided to give up drinking.
When I did that, it really made me realize that bodybuilding was perfect for me. I've always thought that if you're going to do something that you should do it to the extreme, and that is basically what bodybuilding is; taking your body to it's extreme. I began working on my diet, training, and supplementation, and after one year of hardcore bodybuilding I had put on 60 pounds.
"...after one year of hardcore bodybuilding
I had put 60 pounds."
What do I bring to the boards? Honestly, not a whole lot. I'd like to consider myself to be fairly knowledgeable, but I still have a lot to learn, and that is why I continue to come to BB.com. I try to teach the noobs a bit; instead of replying with "Search, you f*cking moron!!!!" I try to answer their questions because I know that we were all newbs at one time of another. I try to stay calm and rational instead of becoming an e-Thug.
I try to think freely, instead of joining the sheep. I also try to add something to the few intellectual debates there are, even if it's just providing some information to back up someone's statement or to show the other side. I know that I probably won't teach anyone anything, but I do like to bring information to help out. I also put a lot of effort into doing logs, because that is an easy way that I can donate to the board.
So why am I a bodybuilder? I started incorporating bodybuilding techniques because I simply wanted to get laid a lot. However, the reason why I am still a bodybuilder and want to succeed in it is totally different. I have always admired people who make the most out of themselves, mentally, physically, or even spiritually (though I am not a spiritual person).
My personal belief is that not only should you try to excel at something, you should keep your life balanced. So, bodybuilding is how I try to make the most out of myself physically. Also, since bodybuilding relies heavily upon science, I have also learned quite a bit, thus improving myself mentally. My plan on competing in the future is a way
for me to legitimize my efforts and give myself a more tangible goal (other than just becoming the best I can be).
Finding Balance: The Importance Of Self-Improvement!
You go to the gym day in and day out with that vision in front of you. Find out how to find your balance and start improving yourself!
[ Click here to learn more. ]
As a rep, I try to remember that I am not a salesman and that I don't get any commission for sales, so you will probably never see me pimping a ThermoLife product. Becoming a rep has motivated me to learn as much about ecdysterone as possible, and I think that it has definitely helped out the board.
To View Top-Selling Ecdysterone Products, Click Here.
I was able to work with Chuck Rudolph and help Scivation to fix their write-up, and I've been able to answer a lot of questions that otherwise would have gone unanswered. Maybe if I wasn't a full-time student (and wasn't so lazy), I could bring more to the boards, but until then...
Click Image To Enlarge.
Chuck "The Ripper" Rudolph,
SciVation/PrimaForce Director of R&D.
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