Name: Eric Brawley
Why I Got Started
My main goal was to get in shape, better my life, and train for high school sports. I began with no previous experience in bodybuilding or fitness. I knew I was unhappy with myself and my performance.
I wanted to begin playing football but I lacked the strength and stamina to do so. I began researching how to regain my life and undo the previous lifestyle I once had. I knew that getting in shape would provide the confidence and athleticism I wanted.
When I began I didn't know a carb from a clean 'n jerk, so I poured over countless articles and papers to educate myself. For my 16th birthday I didn't receive a clothes or video games, I got my own home gym.
From there, I used the transformations and inspirational stories from Bodybuilding.com as motivation and trained hard, applying the concepts and principles I had learned to my everyday life.
How I Did It
I received a home gym, researched diets and exercise programs and worked around that! I would do different programs that gave the best "feel" and were most comfortable to me. I think being stagnant and unchanging is detrimental to progress; you need to see what your body adapts to and work with it.
The nutrition came naturally, after years of bad habits, eating healthy had a major and immediate effect. I saw that the combination of nutrition, exercise and lifestyle, plus time gave the simple formula for results. There were no tricks, just time and effort with consistency leading to constant progress.
With things improving weekly, how could I ever stop or turn back?
I only use supplements to do what the name implies: supplement part of my lifestyle. I don't think supplements can excuse a poor diet, training program or lifestyle, but they can aid you.
For example, if I didn't eat many protein rich foods, I will take protein powder. If I didn't get a broad, diverse, range of nutrients for the day I will take a multivitamin. If I didn't eat any Omega-3 rich foods, I will take a fish oil capsule.
The supplements I use are:
Morning & Before Bed:
Diet can be tricky at first. To lose weight is difficult for me because my body naturally holds on to weight, whether it be fat, muscle, or water. However, I played around with different programs and techniques.
I have found that simple healthy eating works well to get in shape, but the best bodybuilding diet plan for me is a high protein/low carbohydrate scheme. It preserves muscle for me, and cuts off cravings and lethargy.
To gain mass is simple for me. I eat as much as I want, of healthy carbohydrate and protein rich foods, until I am no longer hungry. As long as I keep workout intensity up, I gain minimal fat and put on bulk quickly.
There is no typical bulking plan but a cutting plan usually goes like:
1 scoop, 2 tbsp, 8 oz
1 medium bowl
I don't have a specific, precise, training program. Sometimes I will interchange workouts, change up schemes and reps or forego certain exercises for others based on how I am feeling the day.
However the intensity and form remain consistent and I simply go with the flow for what's best for me to keep my progress constant and avoid injury. I do not have access to a commercial gym so I only can do a limited range of exercises, but I encourage those with access to free weights and machines to use what's best for them (and it's usually a combination of both free range and machines).
Day 1: Back
Day 2: Shoulders
Day 3: Arms/Abs
Day 4: Chest
on incline bench
on incline bench
Days 6 and 7: Rest
Suggestions for Others
My number one suggestion is to forget about the intricacies of bulking, cutting, nutrient profiles, "good carbs," "bad carbs," phytochemicals, and all the technical stuff no one truly understands fully. Instead, just lift smart, lift consistently, and lift heavy.
Even if you don't want to, go to the gym when you need to. Even if it's only for 30 minutes and you don't have an intense session, even if you only use the small pink girl dumbbells, just lift. Because consistency, even with lesser, shorter workouts, beats intensity a few weeks a year.
You don't want to be an "I'll do it tomorrow" type of person. After working out becomes second nature and not something you plan out the whole day, the diet, intensity and progress will naturally follow.
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