WEIGHT 128 lbs
BODY FAT 6%
WEIGHT 177 lbs
BODY FAT 12%
Why I Decided To Transform
Growing up, I was always a pretty skinny kid. I was active in the sense that I was always out in the back yard or down the park playing soccer or rugby or at home messing around on the trampoline. I had good cardiovascular strength and I was a pretty decent runner too; not the best, but pretty good.
One year however, when I was about 15-years old, there was a period of about six months where I did absolutely no physical activity what so ever, mostly because I was hooked on video games. It wasn't a conscious decision or anything like that. I didn't tell myself that I was going to stop being active, it just sort of happened.
Then one day at school during P.E., a game of full contact rugby got going and seeing as how it had been a while since the last time I had played a sport, I decided to jump right in. Six months of doing nothing but tapping buttons had taken its toll on me.
I remember getting thrown around like a rag doll and gasping for breath. I seemed like an easy target and every single time I had the ball, the big hits just kept on coming. It was ridiculous!
Toward the end of the game, I was chasing after an attacking player who had made a break. Having always felt good about the fact that I was a decent runner and was pretty confident, I decided to step on the gas. 10 seconds later, I was literally flat on my back.
Not because I was tackled, tripped, fainted, or ran out of breath, I just dropped all of a sudden during full flight because my legs were just too weak. In hindsight, I probably had a weak core as well.
I needed help getting up and walking hurt like hell for about a week after that. Being able to run at a decent speed was always my thing and thinking about what happened made me feel so disgusted with myself. It was from that day that I became hell-bent on doing something about my physical shortcomings.
How I Accomplished My Goals
When I got home that evening, I immediately began researching how to gain strength in my legs and weightlifting just kept popping up. "Oh no!" I thought to myself, because in order to lift weights I'd need a gym. I live on a tiny island in the middle of the South Pacific and the nearest gym is hundreds of miles away on a completely different island. But then I remembered my dad saying that he had stored some old weight lifting equipment he used to use from when we lived in a more developed part of the world.
I managed to find a half decent weight bench, three dumbbells, a barbell, and some weight plates. I found out that squats were good for my legs, so I just concentrated on doing squats and toying around with curls for about two months. I wasn't following a diet or anything like that, but after a while my quads where so much stronger and a little bit bigger than when I started.
I started to enjoy that really sore feeling in my legs days after a workout (DOMS) because I knew from my research that that meant I had damaged my muscle fibers and that they'd repair themselves and get bigger and stronger.
After about a year doing a whole bunch of cardio and squats 2-3 times per week and leading an active lifestyle, I thought, if I can do this to my legs, why not the rest of my body? I spent a few weeks finding out as much as I could about weightlifting after that. I didn't have access to a gym with experienced weightlifters who I could talk to or fitness magazines. I've still only read one fitness magazine. Because of my geographical location, it was just the internet.
I learned about proper diet and nutrition, and methods like drop sets, supersets, and little things that would help me make gains and wouldn't hinder my progress. This information was really fascinating and exciting to me.
However, I quickly realized one thing; because of where I lived, I would not have access to things that many other weightlifters take for granted. I had to make due without things like a proper gym, fellow weightlifters and supplement stores.
Because of this, I was unable to perform exercises involving cables (except lat and triceps pull/pushdowns), medicine balls, Swiss balls, resistance bands, kettlebells, certain benches, and pretty much all machines simply because I didn't have access to them. Apart from supplements being out of the question, I also found it impossible to find things like almonds, spinach, chicken breasts, turkey, brown rice, sweet potatoes and even beef sometimes.
Often, I'd find training programs on sites like Bodybuilding.com that required me to eat things I couldn't obtain - which isn't really that bad because I can always improvise if I do my research - and perform exercises that I just wasn't be able to. It was frustrating at first, but I've tried my best to improvise and not get deterred.
So far, I have repaired two weight benches; one with a weird cable attachment, but because of the way it was designed I can only use it for lat pulldowns and triceps pushdowns. I've also built my own chin-up bar and reverse row bar in the backyard using core logs and metal pipes.
I'm not the most ripped guy you'll ever see, nor am I the biggest, but under these circumstances I reckon I haven't done too bad making some good gains.
Suggestions For Aspiring Transformers
- Stay motivated even if you have to find new motivation every day so you can keep pushing yourself. Don't stop when you're tired, stop when you're done.
- Try to read a lot and talk to as many people as you can to soak up as much information as possible. Although you may get contradicting information at times, it's best to try things out yourself and see how your body reacts.
- What you eat before a workout is just as important as what you eat after a workout, so fuel up properly before hitting the weights.
- Unless you're a professional bodybuilder, you're probably going to find it hard to perform every single workout that you're supposed to on every single day due to time constraints, especially kids like me who are still at school and have big exams coming up. I had to take a few months off weightlifting last year to study, so if you have to hit the books, hit the books!
- If you're serious about weightlifting and getting good gains, then don't waste any resources or chances you have. I don't know how many times I've wanted to be able to just walk into a store, pick up some whey protein, creatine and fish oil, hit the gym and do some pec decks and leg presses then go home and have spinach and steamed chicken breast for dinner. So, if you've got everything you need to make it easy for you, just go for it and make use of what you're giving. It's cliche, but it's true: The sky really is the limit.