Using A Personal Trainer Paid Off For Brendan
When Brendan began bulking for the stage, he learned there was more to it than simply eating more food. He hired a personal trainer and lost 12 percent body fat through flexible dieting.
Name: Brendan Harberts
Location: United States
Why I Decided To Transform
I decided to transform my body for one simple reason. I wanted to compete in a men's physique show, and the only way I was going to do that was if I vastly changed my body. My brother had competed in a show the year before, and I was motivated to compete as well.
I had always been into weightlifting due to high school sports, but I had never truly experienced how incredible it feels to better yourself in the weight room. I knew that in order to gain enough muscle—I weighed in at a skinny 185 pounds—I would have to increase my eating—and then increase it even more!
I "bulked" for the show from July 2013-March 2014. During that time I gained about 40 pounds and a ton of muscle. Unfortunately I also gained a ton of fat. I made the mistake of thinking I could eat anything I wanted, since I was bulking.
I knew that, to have a chance of competing in a physique show, I'd have to cut the fat. I decided to buckle down, crank up the intensity on my training, and find someone that could help me not only lose fat, but maintain muscle mass.
How I Accomplished My Goals
That someone turned out to be my good friend Jordan Miller. Jordan owns his own company called Run2Gun, and he sat me down and told me how he was going to help me maintain muscle mass while losing fat. He uses a method called "Flexible Dieting," which means that as long as you hit your macros, you can eat most things. This method is fantastic partly because it works, and partly because I never felt like I was starving or had low energy.
I would eat anywhere from 5-7 meals a day, do cardio 2-3 times a week, and kill every workout. I would do two high-carb days and five low-carb days. On the high-carb days I trained my two weakest muscle groups: chest and shoulders. I would do two days of HIIT cardio, and one day of steady-state cardio. I never did any fasted cardio, sodium depletion, or carb depletion. That's the incredible thing about flexible dieting: It allowed me to still eat a variety of foods while losing body fat.
I dieted for 18 weeks, losing 45 pounds, and going from 18 percent body fat to 6.5 percent body fat. To be completely honest, it was very difficult to diet during the summer. I had numerous times when I wanted to eat junk food with my friends or family but couldn't. I had to maintain my focus and remember what it was all about. There were times during my 18 weeks when I felt like I would never be ready, or I wasn't going to look good enough, but Jordan always was there encouraging me. His passion for his clients is as incredible as his knowledge.
As I kept getting leaner and leaner I got more and more focused. It was incredible seeing the results every week! Finally, the contest week came and I went through different phases of high- and low-carb days, and different forms of training. On show day I weighed a very lean 185 pounds and was at 6.5 percent body fat. I came in fifth in my tall class and couldn't be happier with the results! The 18 weeks were arduous, but very rewarding!
What Aspect Challenged Me The Most
The most challenging part of dieting for a physique show is maintaining a positive attitude. I would find myself doubting whether I could ever look good on stage, and I had to remind myself that it would all work out and that I had to trust my trainer.
The fact that it was summer was tough as well, since that is when everyone grills, eats ice cream, and cooks s'mores. If you can maintain a positive attitude, I guarantee you will be more successful.
My Future Fitness Plans
I would like to get my name out there in the fitness industry, whether it's through selling supplements, training others, or making videos. It doesn't matter to me. I just want to be able to inspire and help those who are struggling with their fitness journey.
Suggestions For Aspiring Transformers
Progress is slow. Take measurements every other week, not every week.
One cheat meal every now and then won't hurt you. A cheat week will, however.
Train insane or remain the same.
Write down your goals.
Surround yourself with people who have similar goals.
Also surround yourself with positive people; never negative.
If you have questions, ask.
Never give up!
How Bodybuilding.com Helped Me Reach My Goals
Bodybuilding.com helped me out a lot with BodySpace and workouts articles! It was fun to connect with other workout warriors.