Christian Talactac is a licensed nurse, a father-of-two, and a husband of five years to his high school sweetheart, Khristine Talactac. Their children, 5-year-old Khristianna and 3-year-old Jasmyn, remind Christian everyday why he was put on this planet - to be the best man he can be mentally, spiritually and physically.
During his youth, Christian's life was filled with competitive physical activity. And while Christian may have been a key player on the neighborhood kick-ball team, he wasn't all that interested in school-organized sports. Because he hated serious practices, Christian checked out of school sports and checked into computer gaming.
Christian's interest in computer games eventually became an addiction; during his sophomore year of high school, he started skipping class to get his gaming fix. The result of his hooky-playing was a 1.6 GPA at the end of the school year.
Luckily, Christian's gaming dependency dwindled. By the end of high school, his GPA was respectable. But he wasn't sure where to go or what to do until his mother persuaded him to enroll at Concorde Career Institute for Vocational Nursing. Christian agreed, recognizing that nursing was a stable, demanding field that gave him ample opportunities for success.
In 2006 Christian and Khristine gave birth to their first child, Khristianna. After her birth, Christian was struck with the realization he needed to become a better person for his growing family. He implemented a self-disciplined, healthy lifestyle that made him stronger in every way.
Christian started working out and used his medical expertise to gain every possible advantage in the gym. He says nursing helped him better understand compassion and dedication, two necessary aspects to a strong training program.
When he saw the MusclePharm 2011 Live Shredded Transformation Challenge on Bodybuilding.com, Christian knew he'd found the information and motivation he needed to get cut.
Christian committed to the challenge at 204 pounds with 18 percent body fat. By the end, the 26-year-old So Cal native was a ripped 191-pound machine with 3.3 percent body fat. Now, video games are a distant memory for Christian, who would rather spend time with his family, at work or in the gym pushing to get better in every facet of life.
A Convo with Christian
Congratulations on winning the 2011 MusclePharm Live Shredded Challenge! What inspired you to enter the challenge?
I've been working out for nearly five years; I built muscle and gained weight, but never focused on losing fat. This challenge was a perfect way for me to stay motivated and take my body to another level.
How surprised are you at the extent of your transformation?
I never thought my body had the potential to undergo a drastic change in such a short amount of time. My body transformation snuck up on me. I was so used to seeing myself in the mirror every day that I overlooked little changes.
I was surprised when everyone noticed and asked, "Have you been losing weight?" After that, I realized I was on my way to living shredded.
You obviously stayed motivated throughout the contest. Any noteworthy or unique tips for our readers?
Consistency plays a major role. I'm consistent with my supplementation, training and diet. Basically, I just try to stick with what works best for me. My awesome support system did a lot to keep me motivated.
Were there any moments you wanted to give up? If so, how did you push through them and continue training?
Absolutely, I'm only human! But my wife and children constantly reminded me what I was working for. I had the support of my family, friends and the Live Shredded BodyGroup to keep me motivated.
I knew I wasn't alone in my journey, and seeing others make tremendous progress is empowering and inspiring!
What was the single hardest aspect of your transformation?
The hardest aspect was balancing long work hours, family time, workouts and nutrition.
Any helpful tips for readers who might be struggling with the same issue?
I believe strongly in consistency and having a great support system.
A lot of people are going to read this and think, "Nah, I couldn't do this. Not me." Tell them why they're dead wrong.
I say this to everyone, "If I could do it, anyone can." I never thought I was capable of anything like this until I gave myself a chance. Give yourself a chance to accomplish meaningful goals! Stop standing in the back and move to the front where people can notice you.
I want to show everyone this can be done if you're dedicated and consistent. I've shown great perseverance and dedication throughout the challenge, even though my pre-existing injuries could've set me back. I have a torn shoulder labrum and have been rehabilitating an ankle injury. I could have found a million excuses to quit, but I didn't.
My wife recently lost her job, and on top of that, we're currently expecting our third child. As a result, I have had to work more hours to keep my family afloat. That's a lot of stress. But the one place I can separate myself from all the pressures of life is the gym.
The challenge made me stronger both mentally and physically. I have more confidence, but more importantly, I've become a better person, father and husband because of it.
Now that you've tackled this fitness goal, what's next? Want to get shredded like cheese, ripped like paper or climb Mount Olympus? Fight pirates? Build a fitness career, perhaps?
I enjoyed this whole experience so much that I plan to keep the momentum rolling by joining a bodybuilding/fitness competition.
From there, I'd like to pursue a fitness career in modeling and personal training.
Christian Talactac's Fitness Regimen
This was my first attempt to lose serious weight. I didn't want to take on a hardcore diet plan that would make me want to quit after a couple of weeks. So I kept it simple and chose a calorie-deficit diet.
With the help of an online food log, I meticulously compiled everything to determine my caloric intake, which was around 3200 calories per day. The next step was to subtract 300-500 calories per week until I dropped 1-2 pounds weekly. To stay within a caloric deficit, I ate less than 2500 calories.
I used a combination of intense training and a daily intake of more than 180 grams of protein to transform my body into a muscle-pumping engine. I adjusted my fat intake to less than 100 grams, and filled the deficit with complex carbs. My ultimate goal was to eat less than 2500 calories per day and maintain macronutrient goals.
I don't like subjecting myself to the same foods every day, so I mix in variety. I'm always looking for nutritional values when the family dines out. If I can track it, I will eat it, just as long as it doesn't exceed my 2500-calorie limit!
My routine varies based on how I feel during a particular day. Some days I spontaneously throw in a 1-rep max to gauge my strength levels, or I'll add a huge amount of volume to keep my body guessing.
No day is ever the same! I don't like restricting myself. However, I do like to start each muscle group with a heavy compound exercise, increasing the weight for each set until I reach a 3-6 rep max. I'll do this for each muscle group.
I'll add an additional 2-4 exercises consisting of 3-4 sets with eight or more repetitions for each muscle group that day. It all depends on how I feel after working up to a 3-6 rep max. I love throwing in combinations of compound and isolation movements. My favorite exercises are different variations of squats, deadlifts, lunges, dips, presses and pull-ups.
I use the MusclePharm Live Shredded Stack from Bodybuilding.com to meet my physique goals:
- MusclePharm MuscleGel Shot - As a nurse, I need something quick, easy and convenient. Hospitals are heavily demanding and unpredictable. I use this stuff everywhere!
- MusclePharm Shred Matrix - I take this fat burner 30 minutes before breakfast and lunch. I enjoy the energy increase and stamina throughout the day.
- MusclePharm Armor-V - I take one serving of this high quality multivitamin every morning to curb stress and increase intensity during training.
- MusclePharm Assault - I use a full scoop 30 minutes before training. This is stuff is legit! It has important ingredients like BCAAs and creatine, which add muscle and strength.
You need the right combination of supplements, dieting and training to change your appearance. Don't expect to see changes if your regimen isn't on point. One weak aspect of your diet and fitness regimen breaks down the whole system.