Chris Childers was an active kid; he played football and basketball, and he was able to eat whatever he wanted. As he got older, however, his metabolism slowed, the sports stopped, and the barbecue potato chips caught up with him. His energy waned and he was out of breath more often. Chris was happy, though; he hadn't noticed.

His wake-up call came the day he realized he'd gone up 12 pant sizes—and they were tight. It dawned on him that the way he felt wasn't OK, considering he was only 25 years old. Letting himself go hadn't made him happy—it had just passed the time.

Disappointed in himself, Chris channeled that disappointment into the energy needed to make a positive change. He lost weight, then read everything he could get his hands on to learn how to add muscle. Inspired by some of bodybuilding's biggest names, he got in shape, found his old energy, and transformed his physique.

This is Chris' story.

Why did you decide to transform?

My "why" was based on how I was starting to feel at the age of 25. I was slow, sluggish, out of breath, and always tired. As a former athlete, I knew I wasn't supposed to feel that way.

I had a wake-up call while getting ready for work one day. I'd worn size 30 jeans throughout high school, but now my size 42s felt tight! You don't think much about small amounts of weight gain at the time. It wasn't until I realized I'd crept up from a 30 to a 42 that I decided I had to do something. I was depressed and unhappy with myself and who I had let myself become.

Nowadays, I look back at old photos of myself, and I ask my friends and family, "Man, why didn't you guys tell me?"

Chris Childers Before

Age: 25, Height: 5'11", Weight: 242 lbs., Body Fat: 28%

Chris Childers After

Age: 28, Height: 5'11", Weight: 225 lbs., Body Fat: 14%

How did you begin to get back in shape?

I knew enough from my football days to get started in the gym, but I did online research to learn more about weightlifting and training for weight loss. I found Kris Gethin's 12-Week Hardcore Daily Trainer on and basically just started following it. His video trainer was powerful, and it motivated me, but I wanted to know why he was making me do everything, so I looked up more information about each workout. I also read articles about supplements; I wanted to know what they were doing—or should be doing—to my body.

Around that time, was hosting the 100K transformation challenge, so I signed up for that as well. That first time around, I went all the way down to about 187 pounds, so that was a big accomplishment.

What obstacles did you encounter along the way?

Every day is a challenge; work, kids, relationships, and life in general can throw almost anything at you at any time. But after about a year of telling myself I wanted change, it became a lifestyle. I finally understood that investing an hour a day in myself hurts no one. And not using that hour hurts no one but myself.

Chris Childers transformation

Which supplements have helped your transformation?

How did you eat while you transformed?

When I first started, my meal plan was as simple as it comes. It evolved over time: Chicken turned into 90-98% lean beef, sirloin, and fish. Carbs got cut and replaced with more fat. I basically switched up my nutrition as I moved along and learned what worked best for me. My mood and energy levels played a big part in those decisions as well.

What was your training regimen like?

Kris Gethin has been my go-to since the start; I have done every program he has. I've also followed programs by Jim Stoppani, Ph.D.; Layne Norton, Ph.D.; and Arnold.

What are your future fitness plans?

I'm just glad I can go hiking again. When my son was younger, I was involved with a group called Lazy-Ass Hikers, and I took him with me in a baby backpack. He's 5 now, and I can hike with him and my German Shepherd.

I've been wanting to enter a bodybuilding competition for some time, but I need to put on more muscle mass before jumping onstage. It's been a long journey, but I feel I'm almost there.

Chris Childers transformation

Any suggestions for aspiring transformers?

Always push yourself. If it seems too easy, you're probably just cheating yourself.

About the Author

Karen McGinty

Karen McGinty

Karen McGinty is the editorial manager for, and has written on topics such as health, education, and women's issues.

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