Over 40 Amateur Of The Week: Ectomorphs Can Grow Too!

Basketball was his first love, but after an ugly divorce from the sport Andre found sanctuary in the gym. It wasn't easy, but his body type grew to love lifting!

Name: Andre Demetri Herren
Email: dre.herren@gmail.com
BodySpace: ADemetri
Location: Atlanta, Georgia
Age: 48   Height: 6'0"   Weight: 183 lbs
Years Bodybuilding: 25

How did your fitness journey begin?

My fitness journey started after my amateur basketball career. Basketball was and still is a passion of mine. My dream was to play in the NBA, but my opportunity to make that dream a reality was cute short due to arthritic knees, which lead me down the wrong path.

I started to party all night, sleep all day, and became depressed. I spent several years living this lifestyle. Basketball was my wife and when we divorced nothing else really mattered. One morning, or I should say afternoon after a night of partying, I got out of bed and my body felt like I was an old man. I was 23 years old and felt as if I was 50 years old. That day, I decided to change and get back to being the athlete I was.

I omitted the late-night drinking and early morning eating. I went from fast food to a more well-balanced and healthier diet. I'm an ectomorph, so I've always found it difficult to gain weight. I increased my protein to about two grams per pound and the growth took off. I noticed the change in my physique after about a month and so did my friends and family. The gym became a staple in my life. I discovered that bodybuilding is about improving your body and competing against yourself. My confidence was back.

How did your passion for fitness emerge?

My fitness journey started after my amateur basketball career at age 23. I was tired and depressed from partying all the time. I woke up one day, decided to change my life, and have been hitting the gym since.

How did your passion for fitness emerge?

I decided with my cousin to start hitting the iron. We joined a local gym and the quest was on. But it didn't last too long. I called my cousin and asked if he was hitting the gym in the morning and he'd say no so I wouldn't go. This routine went on for awhile. He was my motivation. When he was gone I decided to motivate myself. I read all the fitness magazines I could get my hands on and listened to members at the gym. A lot of trial and error went into my diet and regimen.

I found someone to replace the wife I felt I lost in basketball. My new wife rekindled my fire and love for basketball. Bodybuilding provided the mind, body, and soul connection I needed to be successful in life. Basically, you rely on faith and belief. Bodybuilding helped me have faith that I could accomplish anything,

My grandfather passed away some years later. The family all gathered in his hospital room the day he died. Seeing my grandfather struggle to breathe and fighting to live reinforced my need to live a healthier life. If my grandfather could be strong in his weakest hour, I can be strong every hour of the day.

What are your future fitness plans?

My future fitness plans are to start my own fitness/sports performance facility and combine my love for fitness and basketball. I'd like to help young people live a healthier life and reach their dreams.

What is the most important fitness tip?

My most important tip is to stay consistent. Be the best you can be; don't try to be like or look like someone else. God created us all unique. Nobody is the same. If you don't risk anything, you risk everything.

What/Who motivated you?

My motivation comes from within. I'm motivated to be a better person than I was the day before. Bodybuilding allows me to feel a reward every time I leave the gym. Bodybuilding is a stress reliever and allows me take the high I receive from training and use it in all aspects of my life.

Where did you go for inspiration?

My inspiration comes from the love of my life, Melanie Gates. Her constant belief and support makes me want to be a better man. She believes in me when I don't believe in myself.

The hard work my aunts, grandparents, sister, brother, cousins, and parents showed throughout the years continue to drive me. Bodybuilding.com provides inspiration too. My bodybuilding community is a constant remember of what hard work and dedication can do.

Who is your favorite bodybuilder/fitness athlete?

My favorite fitness athletes are Kana Sumabat and Obi Obadike.

How did Bodybuilding.com help you reach your goals?

Bodybuilding.com has been awesome to help me reach my goals. There isn't a day that doesn't go by where I'm not on the site. The information contained there is so valuable in my quest to be more fit. I love the store, which has the best prices in the industry. The forums, transformation stories, insight into the bodybuilding/fitness industry are all motivational pieces. Lastly, my bodybuilding family and my BodySpace friends support and inspire me to train hard with their encouraging words.