Body Transformation: Addressing Issues With Intensity!

Bruno preached healthy life choices to kids, but he didn't apply it to himself. See how he fulfilled the job description and lost 85 pounds after two rounds of Gethin's Hardcore Trainer!

Name: Bruno Fortin
BodySpace: bfortin

Erik Eriksson Erik Eriksson
AGE 39
270 lbs
AGE 43
185 lbs

Why I decided to transform

In 2004, at age 35, I weighed 255 pounds and started a bodybuilding program to get in shape. I dropped to 204 pounds, but the loss didn't last. I didn't change my lifestyle habits to incorporate exercise into my life style and it hit me hard.

I turned 40 in 2009, weighed 270 pounds, had high blood pressure and cholesterol, and took all sorts of medication to compensate the bad health. I was in bad shape. I was discouraged and everything was going down for me. At that point, I had to accept that I regained every ounce of weight and needed to do it all over again.

In the last 20 years, I raised three kids and was involved in the sports community. I coached sports for my kids and, ironically, I taught good health and life habits which I didn't apply to myself.

In 2009, I started an exercise program that involved cardio and lightweight bodybuilding. I gave myself an objective of three full years to reach the weight-loss goal. I needed to drop my body fat from 44-50 percent to 15-17 percent. I decided on three years because I didn't want to get discouraged and wanted to install a new way of life.

To my surprise, the weight-loss part took about one year. Then I hit a plateau for a year and a half where my body refused to go under 200 pounds, even if I ate well, did cardio, trained four times per week, and did lightweight bodybuilding three times per week. At that point, I lost about 70 pounds and my body needed a break.

How I accomplished my goals

The first rule I lived by was to never quit. This was the key to my success. It's tough, but you have to keep going. You have to want it really bad to achieve your goals. I was discouraged more than once throughout my journey, but I kept putting my transformation as the top priority. On bad days, I try not to think about it and just go to the gym.

The second rule I lived by was to take everything in baby steps. We all want results quickly, but it's important to keep a baby-step-focused mind. When I started, I couldn't do more than 10 minutes on the treadmill at a pace of two miles per hour without crawling and suffering. Now I can run a half-marathon in about two hours.

My transformation journey started four years ago. I dropped down from 270 to 210 pounds in the first nine months with cardio and lightweight bodybuilding. I plateaued for a year and a half when my body refused to go under 200 pounds. Then the miracle happened. I dropped the lightweight training and went heavy.

I watched every video of Kris Gethin's 12-Week Hardcore Trainer on 12 weeks later, the plateau was busted and I dropped under 200 pounds for the first time in 12 years. After a few weeks of pause, I restarted the program. I'm now 187 pounds with 19 percent body fat (pretty impressive for only six months). My body is burning fat like hell and I feel great.

The benefit of exercise is it gives me time for myself. It may sound selfish, but there's not much free time during the week with a family. When I exercise, I do it for me. Incorporating exercise into my life gives me balance. Cardio helps me with stress management. I run outside and enjoy the sights along the St. Lawrence River close to Montreal, Canada. I keep focused by participating in three half-marathons per year. It provides the kick I need to get out and train.

Bodybuilding addresses my self-confidence directly when I reach goals that I didn't think were possible. Best of all, people started to question and get interested, and then started to train, including my wife and three kids, my sister, and niece.

I can't wait to do the Spartan Race in May with my kids. I still call them kids, but the youngest is 16 and 6-foot-2. They better be in shape!

Supplements that helped me through the journey

Since I began heavy weight training, I started taking protein shakes to repair my muscles. I usually mix the protein powder with milk if I feel a little fatigue; otherwise I mix it with water.

With Meal 1
Diet plan that guided my transformation

Dieting is the biggest change I had to make in the transformation process. When I look at my "before" intake habits, I only see bad choices. This is a major part that will involve your family. Before you make big changes, follow these basic rules that simplify the task:

  • Absolutely no fried or junk food
  • No alcohol
  • No midnight snack
  • Eat vegetables with each meal
  • Reduced portions and no refills
  • No sugar! Eat natural sugar in fruit and yogurt
  • Bring lunch to work instead of eating out
  • Drink lots of water

While following these rules, I slowly integrated changes to our family food habits with the help of my wife. I'm a software architect, so nearly my entire day is spent at my desk. Shaking a mouse doesn't help to burn calories.

Meal 1
Meal 2
Meal 3
Meal 4: Pre-workout
Meal 5: Post-workout
Meal 6
Training regimen that kept me on track

My current program consists of four cardio sessions and a minimum of four heavy weight gym workouts per week. I'm actually following the Jim Stoppani's microcycles and incorporate a DTP session for one muscle group per week.

Three phases of four-week cycles

Week 1: 12-15 reps
Week 2: 9-11 reps
Week 3: 5-8 reps
Week 4: 3-5 reps

Day 1: Chest/Triceps/Calves

Day 2: Back/Biceps/Cardio

Day 3: Rest

Day 4: Shoulder/Ttraps/Cardio

Day 5: Rest

Day 6: Legs/Cardio


Resume regular sets

Day 7: Cardio

What aspect challenged me the most

The decision to get my life under control and start the transformation was the biggest challenge. I had to make changes in many spheres of my life; diet, exercise, self-confidence, and motivation. Once I started seeing the results on the scale and my pants got loose, I felt like I was succeeding.

With weight training, the biggest challenge was to accept my own pace and limits. As I said earlier, I started with Kris Gethin's 12-Week Hardcore Trainer, so I had to accept not being able to do all the sets and reps even with small weights. After my first round of 12 weeks, I built the foundation of muscle needed to take it more seriously.

My future fitness plans

I still have work to do. As of March 2013, I sat four percent over my ultimate goal of 15 percent body fat. I'm presently at Week 6 of my third round with Kris Gethin's 12-Week Trainer and the results are amazing. I will continue training because I enjoy it and it's part of my lifestyle. This is a beginning, not the end.

I will encourage my teenagers to hit the gym hard. Being a role model for my kids is very important to me. If I can inspire or help others to reach their goals I will be happy.

Suggestions for aspiring transformers
  • Believe in yourself.
  • Be patient and the results will come.
  • Nothing happens without commitment.
  • Read and follow a program.
  • Track your progress by taking pictures and body stats.
  • Explore new ways to reward yourself other than with bad food and sugar.
  • Get support from your family.

How helped me reach my goals

I have read articles and followed advice on since 2004. I found everything I needed to know about bodybuilding, from exercises and programs to nutrition and motivation. The videos are great to help me find answers to all my questions. I especially like the example videos because they show proper form for each exercise, which, if followed, prevents injuries.

I also like BodySpace. It's a great source of motivation. Seeing many people on BodySpace keeps me motivated. I need to extend a special thanks to Kris Gethin, who without knowing it, kicked my butt in the gym and helped me pass plateaus.

Bruno's Top 5 Gym Tracks

  1. "Everlong" by Foo Fighters
  2. "Sulfur" by Slipknot
  3. "Speak" by Godsmack
  4. "Ich tu dir weh" by Rammstein
  5. "Viking Death Marchy" by Billy Talent