Garrett Started Training with A Purpose and Got Huge!
Training "just because" and being unable to train for 3 months don't usually lead to monster size. But this combination fueled Garrett's desire to get big. And he did.
Weight: 175 lbs.
Body Fat: 17%
Weight: 207 lbs.
Body Fat: 14%
Garrett was tired of coasting through life with no purpose. Sure, he worked out on occasion, but he never made any noticeable progress. He was simply going through the motions without reaping any real benefit.
Then he got to college, and something changed. Maybe he got tired of comparing himself to his peers and feeling like he came up short. Maybe he was just coming into his own. Whatever it was, Garrett started to feel a sense of purpose.
When he came across a massive online fitness community, something seemed to just click inside him. He felt as if he finally had a reason to work out, to become the best possible version of himself. No sooner had Garrett found his mission than he suffered a hand injury that sidelined him from the weight room for 3 months. Rather than sulking day in and day out, he took advantage of this time and learned as much as he could about nutrition and training. What happened when he returned to the weight room was truly inspiring.
This is Garrett's story.
When did you decide to transform?
In high school, I lifted "just because." Because some of my friends lifted. Because my coaches told me to. Because I was bored. I worked out a few days a week but with no plan and no ambition. I didn't have the knowledge, motivation, or drive to find direction.
Things changed when I got to college. I stumbled across the online fitness community and became fascinated with the overwhelming (in a good way) amount of information and motivation at my fingertips. I was hooked. I began integrating what I was learning into my own training program, and continuously toyed with my workout splits, sets, and reps.
Unfortunately, just a few short months after starting, I injured my hand so badly I needed surgery. No lifting, not even lower body, for almost 3 months. Doctor's orders. Rather than sinking into a spiral of frustration, I got busy. I found two online classes (basic nutrition and training), and studied hard for 3 months.
Access to all this online information motivated me to come back better than ever. I was finally ready to take my diet and training seriously.
How did you reach your goals?
When my doctor gave me the green light to start lifting again, I headed straight for the gym. I spent the next couple of months dialing in each meal and making sure I gave my best effort during each workout. I was determined to put my newfound knowledge to good use right away.
Boy, did the results come quick! I didn't take any initial measurements. But if I had to estimate my progress, I'd say I added 2-3 inches to my arms in just a few months. The changes I was seeing in my body fueled me to work even harder. I couldn't believe how much I could change my physique just by staying disciplined and consistent.
Today, I feel healthy and confident, which is great, considering that I'm at a stage in my life where I'm laying the groundwork for my future.
What did you find most challenging: diet or training?
It was challenging to learn how to fuel my body and eat clean. I had zero nutrition knowledge at the start and operated with a fast-food mindset. When I was younger, I ate whatever and whenever I wanted. Portion control never entered my mind, and I helped myself to seconds and thirds.
When I was injured, I realized I needed to get serious about my diet. I started doing nutrition research, learning what it would take to pack on the muscle I was looking for.
Today, I focus on eating three main meals per day, with a few snacks thrown in throughout the day. Fortunately, my college diner is open all day, so I have access to food whenever I need it. Instead of going to fast-food burger places like I used to, I go to a sandwich shop and pick combinations of lean protein and whole-grain bread.
What or who served as a source of motivation?
I got a lot of motivation from videos and posts in the online fitness community. I followed Calum von Moger in particular. The balance he strikes between fun and fitness is something I strive for every day. Plus, he's huge! I mean, who wouldn't want those muscles?
What are your future fitness goals?
I'm studying to become a certified personal trainer so I can share my knowledge and my story with others and help them reach their goals. For the time being, I hope to be able to do this kind of work at my university.
Also, each spring, my university hosts a bodybuilding competition. I plan to compete in the spring 2017 show. It would be awesome to get an athlete sponsorship!
What advice would you pass along to aspiring transformers?
If you don't believe in yourself, it's hard to set goals, and even harder to reach them. Have a clear vision of what you want to achieve, then go after it 110 percent. If you need pictures of people's physiques that inspire you, go for it!
Also, find a routine you enjoy. Look around and find one that makes you want to go to the gym every day (yes, even on leg day!). The more you enjoy what you're doing, the less you'll stress about it. Plus, the extra motivation will continue to fuel your effort and, ultimately, help you progress.
How has Bodybuilding.com helped you reach your goals?
I still remember the first time I came across Bodybuilding.com. I knew maybe two different back exercises at the time and was looking for a few variations to add to my training split. I was mid-workout one day when I just picked up my phone and Googled "back workouts." Without really thinking about it I clicked the first link that appeared. That link led me to Bodybuilding.com and started me on my fitness journey.
There was an elaborate list of exercises for each muscle in the back, extensive directions on how to perform each exercise, and a video to go with each one! I was mesmerized and beyond excited. After checking out all the back exercises, I eventually moved on to learn about another muscle, and then another, until I started learning about the entire body.
I still use the Bodybuilding.com exercise database to this day. I also visit the site regularly to catch up on the latest and greatest nutrition and training articles. The Bodybuilding.com site has played a major role in helping me evolve my understanding of nutrition and training.