WEIGHT 178 lbs
BODY FAT 16%
WEIGHT 164 lbs
BODY FAT 9.5%
Why I Decided To Transform
I decided something needed to change in my life a few years ago. It just took me awhile to get off my butt and do something about it. For the past few years I had been falling into the same rut that most men in there thirties fall into. I had a growing family, a 9-5 job and a sizeable mortgage.
Stopping at McDonalds on my way to work for breakfast became all too convenient. Joining the work crew for pizza at lunch became common. For the conclusion of my day I would slam down a few jack and Cokes and enjoy a few bowls of buttered popcorn. It wasn't long before I began to look as bad as I felt.
Feeling and looking bad doesn't help the confidence too much and before I knew it I was drinking close a half a fifth of whiskey a night.
One evening, I was kicking back a few drinks and playing with some of my music editing software. I was hammered, had the music up too loud, and was acting like a damn fool.
I didn't realize that my six-year-old was recording me with her sister's iPod. She had the video recorder on and caught the whole thing.
A few months later she asked me to take some of the videos off of the iPod so she could have more room for music. I transferred the videos to my laptop and began watching a few of them.
I was astounded to find the video and see what a jackass I looked like. Here I was, obviously wasted in front of my little girl. I was disgusted with what I saw.
Not to mention my fat belly was hanging out of my shirt and my face looked sunken in and I looked sickly. That was it.
My kids deserved a positive role model and not an out of shape, drunken turd of a dad. I decided right then and there that I was going to stop drinking and transform myself into the best version of myself possible.
So I logged on to Bodybuilding.com and joined the Dymatize Elite Ambition 2012 Challenge. As of this morning I am over 130 days sober and counting.
How I Accomplished My Goals
My children were the biggest inspiration. Every time I thought of giving up, I would think of them. There is no better motivation in the world.
Another thing that pushed me along was the attention I got for being strong willed. People are always commenting on how I wouldn't cheat on my diet and how lean I was getting.
Supplements That Helped Me Through The Journey
Diet Plan That Guided My Transformation
I never really counted calories or carbs. I just did some research and selected what seemed like a logical nutrition plan and I decided to adhere to it. It is a sensible balance of lean protein, complex carbs and healthy fats.
I allowed myself one cheat meal per week. Other than that, I stuck to plan like clockwork. I found that finding the right kinds of healthy sauces and seasoning was key to keeping my food tasty. Thank God for Mrs. Dash and hot sauce.
My nutrition plan is basically comprised of what I learned from Frank Zane and Bill Phillips' books.
Since these cuts of beef are lean they tend to get dry and chewy when you cook them. Using marinades is a great way to keep them moist and tasty.
Salmon, tilapia, orange roughy, flounder, shrimp, cottage cheese and skim milk are also among my favorite proteins. To add variety sometimes I change it up with venison, buffalo, bass, trout, and catfish.
I drink about 50-70 oz of water a day.
Alternate Meal Plan:
Training Regimen That Kept Me On Track
Rep ranges usually vary from 8-12. Sometimes I do supersets, sometimes I don't. Sometimes I do pyramid sets, sometimes I don't. I don't write down my sets or reps before hand, I just train by feel. If I feel like doing 8 reps, I do 8. If I feel like 12, I do 12.
It's not work for me; it's something I do because I enjoy it. I don't document everything in a journal and compare notes based on previous workouts. I just go in the gym and have a good time.
I like to train with weights three days a week and do cardio three days a week. Every Sunday I take the day off and spend the day with my family to rest, relax, and recover.
My Current Routine:
Pullups(Alternate Grip)5 sets of 8-12 reps
Which Aspect Challenged Me The Most
For me, it was the cardio. I knew I had accumulated too much belly fat over the years and the only way to get rid of all that stored energy was to burn it. But I have always hated cardio. It was among a few of the things I am naturally weak at, so I avoided it my whole life.
It doesn't help that I also despise cardio machines. I find them extremely boring. Determined to avoid treadmills and elliptical machines, I headed outdoors. I started running the streets of my neighborhood and hiking the trails around my home.
Hiking is quite a workout if you move fast and carry a 40-pound backpack. Mountain biking with a friend of mine also became a staple. As the time passed I got better and better at it.
These days I feel stronger than ever when it comes to cardio. I just had to get off my butt and work at it. I actually look forward now to something I used to dread.
My Future Fitness Plans
I have had thoughts of getting certified as a personal trainer. I would love to help others experience what I have.
It's a beautiful thing to change the course of your life for the better. Everyone should feel that good.
Right now, I just plan on being a great role model for my three children. I want them to see how much better life can be when you are fit, healthy, and happy.
Suggestions For Aspiring Transformers
Slow down and relax. Everyone seems like they are in such a hurry and they demand results now.
A quality physique takes time to build. Eat clean, train hard, and let nature take its course.
Do your homework when it comes to supplements and make good decisions. Don't just take everything that you are told will build muscle or burn fat. Research your supplements and take the ones that your body needs.
In the gym, work your muscles, not your ego. Who cares what the guys next to you think? If you need to use the 15-pound dumbbells for curls, then use them. Do all exercises slowly, with perfect form and complete range of motion.
In the long run your body will look better than the guy who is twitching and jerking while trying to curl the 60's.
How Bodybuilding.com Helped Me Reach My Goals
Bodybuilding.com was absolutely crucial to my success. The support of people on BodySpace was outstanding. Sometimes it's hard to remain motivated when you don't have a lot of friends who are as excited about living healthy as you are. Bodyspace's members truly are my second family.
The supplement selection in the online store was great. No place else on the Internet can you find such a huge selection of great deals. Bodybuilding.com is also great for featuring workout routines from top fitness experts. I would read through them and find one I liked. Next I would copy it down and modify it to suit me.
Sometimes I would change the amount of reps or entire exercises if my gym didn't have a certain machine. But the basic structure would remain the same. I am currently using a modified version of Kelechi Opara's muscle building routine.