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From The Ground Up: Building Big Results On A Small Frame

Mike Conol complained of being ridiculed. But talk is cheap; it was time for action. Here’s how he turned his body and his life around.

Vital Stats

Name: Mike Conol

Email: mconol88@gmail.com

Bodyspace: mconol

Additional Info: modelmayhem.com/mc1071

Mike Conol Mike Conol

Before:

Age:
15
Height:
5'2"
Weight:
133 lbs

After:

Age:
23
Height:
5'5"
Weight:
159 lbs

Why I Got Started

I was born in a small province in the Philippines and life as I knew it was just fun and games. I hated taking naps, but I sure loved to run around.

I was the kid who couldn't stay put in one place, always on the go, ceaselessly finding new activities to do or friendly trouble to get into. I was a regular kid enjoying my youth and exploring the vast world around me.

Everything changed in the year 1992. My mom had left my sisters and me to go to the States in an effort to give us a better life, and although she called and sent us boxed goods every month … life was still hard. I started working at 7-years old on the weekends with my uncle.

I provided a helping hand in doing construction work where I assisted him with building homes or with various smaller projects in the field. Job duties consisted of fetching him his tools and/or following other simple directions and tasks.

As a young boy it took a while for me to adjust, but I accomplished my duties and he never complained.

Before I knew it, it was September of 1998. I was at school when I heard my mom was back, and as soon as class was dismissed I ran home as fast as I could. I arrived behind my house, hot, sweaty and smelling like I'd been under the sun the entire day.

A whole new chapter started. My mom flew me and my sisters back with her and we arrived at SFO at 9 p.m. September 23, 1998.

It took me a while to adjust to the time difference, but eventually I was sleeping normally by the second month.

My English wasn't too good, but boy was I excited to go to school. I pictured so many possible scenarios and outcomes …lots of friends, after-school adventures and maybe even a girlfriend.

Unfortunately, my imagination came to a screeching halt … because reality settled in.

During my first week I got teased and made fun of, from the clothes I wore to how I mispronounced my words, and it seemed as though the teasing would never stop. Sadly enough, I couldn't wait for school to end.

By junior high the teasing got worse, and not only that, but I now had a bully who would take my lunch money. My self-esteem was at an all-time low.

It didn't take long until I began to shy away from groups and begin to head straight home to play video games and eat. I had a small frame, but with barely any physical activity, video games and an endless supply of food I started gaining a lot of weight.

I wouldn't necessarily call myself fat, but I was pretty pudgy for my age. By 7th grade my classmates added a new insult to their list … my weight. Kids at that age were cruel and insensitive, every little thing down to the mundane turned into ridicule.

The following year something inside me snapped and I decided enough was enough. I joined the track team and minded my own business and by the time I graduated I had lost a lot of weight.

Freshman year in high school I played basketball and football, and was a member of both the track team and wrestling team.

Toward the end of the school year, I got introduced to breakdancing. I thought what better way to break out of my shell than to dance in front of an audience, and possibly get fit while doing it.

I thought what better way to break out of my shell than to dance in front of an audience, and possibly get fit while doing it
+ Click To Enlarge.
I thought what better way to break out of my shell than to dance in front of an audience, and possibly get fit while doing it.

Before I knew it, I was dancing in school shows and it even made me push my body to a whole new level of fitness. I wanted to better myself even more and I became extremely motivated to do so.

Later that year my mom started to get sick. Cancer runs on my mom's side of the family and diabetes runs on my dad's side. The potential threat my genetics imposed gave me a whole new purpose to why I need to stick on the right path.

Four years after graduating high school I flourished into a whole new person physically and mentally. I've inspired friends and family members to choose a healthier lifestyle and I couldn't wish for a better outcome.

I currently dance for a nonprofit dance team doing benefit shows and workshops.

Here are some of our videos: www.youtube.com/thel0stkids

I've also started modeling. I went from being a person who hated pictures to being a person featured on print ads.

As of now I'm training to do my first show on May 7th, 2011. Wish me luck!

How I Did It

When I started I wasn't equipped with any knowledge on the do's and don'ts. So I worked out harder rather than smarter, and did a lot of cardio based workouts.

I continued to stay motivated. I made short-term goals that helped me accomplish my bigger goals.

I worked out harder rather than smarter, and did a lot of cardio based workouts
+ Click To Enlarge.
I worked out harder rather than smarter, and did
a lot of cardio based workouts.

Supplements

I didn't start taking supplements until after I graduated high school in 2006. My buddy gave me half of his N.O. pills, but after that I didn't really experiment any further. Instead I drank pre-workout drinks such as Redline and Endorush.

Last year I got hooked on Animal Pak. I started taking their vitamins and soon after I tried sticking with Animal Cuts. Presently I'm on Animal M-Stak and Jack3d.

As for a protein drink I'm using ON Gold Standard Whey Protein.

With First and Last Meal:

Morning:

With Meal 2:

With Meal 3:

Pre Workout:

With Last Meal:

Before Bed:

Diet

I don't have the money to fund my diet so I do my best to make a good 5 meal/day plan.

Meal 1:
Meal 2:
Meal 3:
Meal 4:
Meal 5:
Meal 6:

Training

TERMS YOU'LL NEED TO KNOW
Superset - Two exercises are performed consecutively without any rest.
Drop Set - Also known as strip sets, drop sets involve the immediate reduction of weight between sets with no rest. This will thoroughly burn out a muscle.
Negative Reps - One or two partners help you lift a weight up to 10-50% heavier than you would normally lift to finish point of movement. Then you slowly lower weight on your own.
Failure - That point in an exercise at which you have so fully fatigued your working muscles that they can no longer complete an additional repetition of a movement with strict biomechanics. You should always take your post-warm-up sets at least to the point of momentary muscular failure, and frequently past that point.

Day 1: Chest/Abs
Cardio
Trail Running/Walking Trail Running/Walking Trail Running/Walking
25-30 min walk from train station to World's Gym
Exercises
Incline Dumbbell Press Incline Dumbbell Press Incline Dumbbell Press
5 sets of 15,12,10,8,6 reps
Incline Dumbbell Flyes Incline Dumbbell Flyes Incline Dumbbell Flyes
5 sets of 10,10,10,8,6 reps
Superset
Pushups Pushups Pushups
5 sets of 10 reps


Superset
Hanging Leg Raise Hanging Leg Raise Hanging Leg Raise
3 sets of 10 reps, 1 set to failure
Side Bridge Side Bridge Side Bridge
3 sets of 30 sec holds


Exercise
Decline Crunch Decline Crunch Decline Crunch
5 sets of 20 reps

Day 2: Back/Calves
Cardio
Trail Running/Walking Trail Running/Walking Trail Running/Walking
25-30 min walk from train station to World's Gym
Warm Up
Pullups Pullups Pullups
1 set to failure
Exercises
Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown Wide-Grip Lat Pulldown
3 sets of 10 reps
Underhand Cable Pulldowns Underhand Cable Pulldowns Underhand Cable Pulldowns
3 sets of 10 reps
Seated Cable Rows Seated Cable Rows Seated Cable Rows
3 sets of 10 reps
Lying T-Bar Row Lying T-Bar Row Lying T-Bar Row
3 sets of 15 reps
Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift
5 sets of 10,10,10,8,6 reps
Barbell Shrug Barbell Shrug Barbell Shrug
3 sets of 10 reps
Smith Machine Bent Over Row Smith Machine Bent Over Row Smith Machine Bent Over Row
4 sets of 10 reps, each side
Smith Machine Reverse Calf Raises Smith Machine Reverse Calf Raises Smith Machine Reverse Calf Raises
3 sets of 10 reps, 1 set to failure

Day 3: Shoulders/Abs
Cardio
Trail Running/Walking Trail Running/Walking Trail Running/Walking
25-30 min walk from train station to World's Gym
Exercises
Decline Crunch Decline Crunch Decline Crunch
5 sets of 20 reps
Hanging Leg Raise Hanging Leg Raise Hanging Leg Raise
5 sets of 10 reps
Side Lateral Raise Side Lateral Raise Side Lateral Raise
3 sets of 10 reps
Arnold Dumbbell Press Arnold Dumbbell Press Arnold Dumbbell Press
3 sets of 12 reps
Reverse Flyes Reverse Flyes Reverse Flyes
3 sets of 10 reps
Front Dumbbell Raise Front Dumbbell Raise Front Dumbbell Raise
3 sets of 8 negative reps

Day 4: Quads/Hamstrings
Cardio
Trail Running/Walking Trail Running/Walking Trail Running/Walking
25-30 min walk from train station to World's Gym
Exercises
Barbell Squat Barbell Squat Barbell Squat
4 sets of 8-10 reps
Smith Machine Squat Smith Machine Squat Smith Machine Squat
2 sets of 8 reps, 2 sets of 6 reps
Leg Press Leg Press Leg Press
5 sets of 10,10,8,8,6 reps
Leg Extensions Leg Extensions Leg Extensions
3 drop sets of 12 reps, finish with 3 negative reps

Day 5: Arms/Abs
Cardio
Trail Running/Walking Trail Running/Walking Trail Running/Walking
25-30 min walk from train station to World's Gym
Exercises
Decline Crunch Decline Crunch Decline Crunch
5 sets of 20 reps
Hanging Leg Raise Hanging Leg Raise Hanging Leg Raise
5 sets of 10 reps
Warm Up
Dumbbell Bicep Curl Dumbbell Bicep Curl Dumbbell Bicep Curl
2 sets of 20 reps
Exercises
Barbell Curl Barbell Curl Barbell Curl
4 sets of 10,10,8,6 reps
Preacher Curl Preacher Curl Preacher Curl
3 sets of 10 reps
Hammer Curls Hammer Curls Hammer Curls
3 sets of 10 reps
Lying Triceps Press Lying Triceps Press Lying Triceps Press
4 sets of 10,10,8,6 reps
Low Cable Triceps Extension Low Cable Triceps Extension Low Cable Triceps Extension
4 sets of 12 reps
Dip Machine Dip Machine Dip Machine
3 sets of 12 reps
Smith Machine Close-Grip Bench Press Smith Machine Close-Grip Bench Press Smith Machine Close-Grip Bench Press
3 sets of 10 reps, 1 set of 6 reps

Day 6: Cardio
Cardio
Trail Running/Walking Trail Running/Walking Trail Running/Walking
1 long walk with dog
Day 7: Rest

Suggestions for Others

Without struggle … there is no progress. This is what it means when they say find joy in your pain.

Keep pushing forward.

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