Name: Adam Williams
Why I Got Started
During school I was always the biggest, the fattest and the one who was always being picked on. Every day I would get verbal abuse about my size - 'manboobs,' 'beer-belly' and 'fatty' were just some of the names thrown my way.
I was always the last to be picked during team organizing in school PE, it was so humiliating. Looking back, I don't blame the guys who used to torment me - they were right, I was grossly overweight. My waist (38 inches at the time) was as big as my father's, something not to be proud of as a young teenager.
My diet was appalling; cheap chocolate, cheap biscuits and cheap milkshakes (basically, anything cheap and sugary/fatty) were the three main culprits that led to my (literally) growing weight problem.
It wasn't until the abuse got physical that I decided to do something about my weight. I'd have guys trying to start fights with me, steal my stuff and push me around all because they knew I wouldn't be able to catch them to retaliate - sad really.
How I Did It
On New Year of 2007 I made a resolution that I am never going to break - make fitness not just a lifestyle, but a career. My first real inspiration came from pro-bodybuilder, Kerry Napier. I did an Internet search of various bodybuilders and asked them for advice and help with training and nutrition - Kerry was the only one that replied. Kerry was an ideal role model for my during my initial desperation to transform my body - he trained hard, dieted very well and was totally natural.
Based upon Kerry's advice, I constructed my first training program - a full body workout that I did three times per week in my conservatory at home using 5kg dumbbells bought from a local store. I stuck religiously to 4 sets of 10 reps for each exercise (basic compound movements like dumbbell chest press performed on the floor), until I needed to use more weight.
Alongside my training, I read on Bodybuilding.com that smaller, but more regular meals were needed to help keep my metabolism fired up and prevent bloating - so I gave this a shot. I ate nothing but complex carbohydrates, lean proteins, fresh fruit and veggies and healthy fats. I also started taking protein shakes to aid in my recovery.
Like most of the great advice on the Supersite, it worked! By August 2007, my weight had fallen to 150 pounds and my energy levels increased greatly. My quality of life had massively improved both physically (being able to walk up stairs without getting out of breath) and emotionally (I was getting picked on less and less).
My parents were very supportive of me at this time. They saw my newfound determination, and for Christmas of 2007, helped me buy a weight bench and adjustable weights. I changed my workout routine to a 5-day split (working chest, shoulders, legs, back and arms on separate days) with cardio exercise done in the morning before breakfast (typically a 1 hour low intensity jog). At this time, I was bench pressing 60kg for 10 reps - something I was proud of.
At this time I also raised over £1000 for the British Heart Foundation by taking part in numerous 60-mile charity bike rides. When I turned 16, I joined a local gym. I met some really encouraging people (Aaron Bolton, Adam Court to name a few) who helped me to further my progress.
It was Aaron that sparked my interest in powerlifting style workouts over the more popular bodybuilding style. Aaron (an amateur bodybuilder, personal trainer and a dear friend of mine) helped teach me how to execute compound exercises such as deadlifts, which took my interest straight away.
At 18 and 175lbs, I entered a mini powerlifting competition against a couple of members of my gym. I succeeded in Squatting 155kg, Deadlifting 185kg and Benching 100kg (with stop). Although I did win the best 'total' at the time, I didn't win the pound-for-pound bragging rights.
Since, by continuing to eat and train well, my lifts have increased (Bench ~ 115kg, Squat ~ 170kg, Deadlift ~ 210kg) which should put me in a good position in my next competition.
My ambition is therefore to continue to lift in a 5x5 fashion, gaining in strength whilst keeping my weight down, so that in future, I stand a better chance.
I am not a huge fan of having a warehouse of various supplements in my home. I have tried so many products and given up on them (due to bloating, stomach upsets, ineffectiveness etc.) that I prefer now to keep things simple.
Upon Waking: 8am
- Cod Liver Oil: 1 cap
Upon Waking: 8 a.m, Pre Workout: 11 a.m, Post Workout: 1 p.m, Before Bed: 11 p.m:
- Protein Powder: 2, 1, 2, 1 scoops
Dieting is something that I find can be difficult at times; I am a sports science student that has lecture/sport filled days where I don't have access to kitchen equipment or a fridge.
I also do not have an abundance of money that can be spent on buying the best cuts of steak (etc.); therefore rely upon cheap, accessible foods that need neither cooking nor refrigerating.
After reading online about the benefits of organic milk (more Omega-3 fatty acids, for example), I try where possible to buy this. My diet generally consists of plenty of carbohydrates to help fuel my active lifestyle, high-quality proteins to help my recovery from training and also high quality 'healthy' fats.
- Sandwich made with 4 slices of wholemeal bread, buttered with olive oil spread, 1 can tuna
- Small dark-leafy salad
- 330ml pure fruit juice
Meal 4: Pre Workout
Meal 5: Post Workout
- 2 scoops blended source protein with 400ml water
- 50g Jelly Babies
Prior to training, I always undergo some sort of workout-specific warm up. This usually involves some light cardiovascular exercise for 5 minutes (e.g. rowing in preparation for deadlifts) followed by a few warm-up sets for each individual exercise.
I use my first exercise as a gauge to improvements in my training, therefore am not too strict about rest periods (although I don't rest for longer than 3 minutes), however supporting exercises that follow tend to have about 90 seconds rest in between sets.
I do not use any training aids (no wraps, belts etc.) because I feel that, even though your lifts may increase in the short-term, in the long-term, reliance upon the aids will increase to the point that training without them could lead to injury (e.g. reliance upon a weight-lifting belt is likely to lead to a less-developed core if worn during training).
My only exception is the use of chalk when deadlifting. Post-training I always ensure that I spend at least 10 minutes stretching followed by 5 minutes of light cardio (to help me relax).
Day 1: Full Body Power
Day 2: HIIT
Day 3: Full Body Power
Day 4: Rest
Day 5: Full Body Power
Day 6: HIIT (same as Tuesday)
Day 7: Rest
Suggestions for Others
If you ever want to achieve something, go for it 100%. You'll find that in time, the results you get from your hard work will be motivating in and of themselves.
Getting out of bad habits can be really difficult, so rather than just cutting out habits (e.g. bad dieting) all together, gradually reduce them until you can live without them.
Enjoy what you do - 5 hours of hard exercise per week is short-term struggle (or pleasure, as it will eventually become) that will lead to a longer, better quality of life in the future.
|Share This Article: