Tom DuPont is an Air Force veteran who became a police officer handling death investigations, domestic assaults, armed robberies, drug crimes, and everything in between.
Since he was 12 years old, DuPont had been disciplined in the gym, earning a physique and the confidence to match. But police work became a heavier weight than he'd anticipated, and his physical discipline waned as the long hours, job stress, and minimal time off took their toll.
Around this time, he and his wife started a family, adding stress to their finances and disrupting their sleep. DuPont began to drink heavily, often knocking back a fifth of rum in one night.
Financially, he was heading toward ruin. He worked more than 60 hours a week, yet only made enough money to scrape by.
His nutritional habits didn't help matters. "I ate anything I wanted," he says. "Not fast food, but a lot of crock pot mac and cheese and comfort foods. Basically, anything with a lot of cheese."
DuPont fell hard into the "dad bod" life. Yet he didn't feel much like a dad—the strong provider and example he wanted to be for his kids.
He felt like the world was stacking the odds against him. An experienced fighter, DuPont chose to punch back and regain the world he'd wanted for himself and his children before things fell apart.
This is his story.
Snapshot: Tom DuPont
- Height: 5' 8"
- Weight: 205 lbs.
- Occupation: Law Enforcement
- Location: Burlington, VT
- Vermont NPC Championships, 2018
What made you decide to embark on this transformation?
One day in February of 2017, I got out of the shower and was ashamed of what I saw in the mirror. My wife and I had been having problems, and drinking had been my only hobby. I thought, "No wonder she doesn't want to touch me." I didn't even want to look at myself. I didn't want my kids to be embarrassed by me. I was very depressed, and it was affecting my entire life and all of my relationships. I missed being happy. I missed making my family proud.
How did you go about accomplishing your goals?
After seeing myself in the mirror that day, I decided to commit. I quit drinking immediately. I put myself on a diet and began training again. When my diet first started, it was just about cutting out all the comfort foods. I got back to meat and quality carb sources such as vegetables. No junk food. No fast food. No alcohol. I would eat every 3 hours. From then on, I never once thought about quitting. There was no way I would let my kids see failure. I wanted them to see what hard work and dedication can do.
What supplements helped you through your journey?
What did your diet look like throughout the transformation?
- Meal 1: Coconut oil, egg whites, whole eggs, spinach
- Meal 2: Chicken, Jasmine rice, spinach
- Meal 3: Lean beef, Jasmine rice, spinach
- Meal 4: (Pre-workout) Rice cereal, peanut butter, protein powder
- Meal 5: (Post-workout) Kids' cereal, protein powder
- Meal 6: Rice cereal, lean beef, salad
What training regimen kept you on track?
Training is the easy part for me, because I've been doing it since I was 12. I love throwing the weights around. During my transformation, I would do fasted cardio after waking up, then head to work. I'd do my weight training in the evenings six times a week. My cardio varied from 3-6 days a week.
For cardio, I have a spin bike at my house and I do anywhere from 35-45 minutes fasted. As far as the weight training goes, I train how I feel. If I feel strong, I go heavy. If I want a good pump, I'll up the sets or perform supersets, dropsets, or anything else I want.
Here's what a week typically looks like:
- Monday: Legs (quad-focused) and calves
- Tuesday: Chest and shoulders
- Wednesday: Arms
- Thursday: Legs (hamstring-focused) and calves
- Friday: Back
- Saturday: Shoulders
- Sunday: Rest
What aspect of the process challenged you most?
Staying consistent with diet and training was the hardest part. Life, in general, makes this hard. It's easy to miss that training session or grab that one fast-food meal. I made it very clear to my family that anything we do will be scheduled around training and I will bring my own food if we're not eating at home.
It was also hard to look in the mirror and be critical, not yet seeing what I wanted to see, and to work through that frustration. On occasion it's still hard for me to keep going.
I think I still see that fat guy from the past when I look in the mirror. I feel the embarrassment and the shame. No one has ever supported me until recently. Bodybuilding had affected my marriage, which eventually ended, and I really had no support from the rest of my family.
So, when you're doing it all alone for so long, you think it's because you're not good enough. That's a struggle I still have.
What are your future plans within the fitness world?
I have hired a bodybuilding coach who is helping me with a contest-prep diet. I am doing my first bodybuilding show, the Vermont NPC Championships, on April 21, 2018. I plan on continuing and going pro. It is what I've wanted for most of my life, and I'm finally in a position, and I finally have the mindset, to do the work.
What suggestions do you have for aspiring transformers?
Never quit. You can't fake losing weight or becoming more muscular. You must get it into your mind that this is what you want, and then don't stop until you achieve it. It doesn't matter if you're tired or hungry. Get your mind right and do the work!
How has Bodybuilding.com helped you reach your goals?
Bodybuilding.com has been a content resource and a place for me to buy my supplements for many years. The nutrition calculators are invaluable, and I've read numerous articles on new training ideas. Also, BodySpace has allowed me to speak with others and get their ideas on dieting and training methods. It can be very motivational when others appreciate the work you've put in.
Any cool or interesting facts you'd like to share before we sign off?
After the Air Force, I began a career in law enforcement. I graduated from the Vermont Police Academy in 2007 and became a police officer. Eventually I became a detective and did death investigations. I handled everyday patrol issues as well. I eventually earned a position as Special Response Team Sniper. I also performed normal Special Response Team functions such as search warrants, and active shooter and high-risk arrests. I was a use-of-force instructor, and I was awarded a Lifesaver Award for rescuing a family from a burning house.