Name: John DeClemente
Why I Got Started
I began weightlifting in the 8th grade to increase my size and strength for football. I started deadlifting, squatting, power cleaning and getting into Olympic style lifts early. Once my senior year of football ended, the motive to workout decreased, and my weight started to increase.
By the time my first semester was finished at college, I was a chunky 243 pounds. I remember how just bending down to tie my shoes was leaving me out of breath, and I realized that now was the time to stop this before it gets out of hand.
How I Did It
I switched all of my carbohydrates to Low-Glycemic sources, eating only oatmeal, brown rice and sweet potato for carbs. No breads, pastas, wraps, doughs, or any other processed carbohydrates. It was difficult for me the first few weeks, and I would be craving those sugary-processed carbs after meals. But, after being consistent for a month and not cheating, my body started to run more effectively. I was leaning out, but my muscles were staying hard because I was supplying proper fuel.
The only sugar sources I consumed were from fruits, preferably blueberries (highest antioxidants). Also, 1 cup of blueberries has only 8 grams of sugar, as compared to 1 cup of banana having 28 grams of sugar. Your body cannot burn fat effectively when there is sugar inside, but it is still essential. So, make sure your sources are healthy fruits.
I am a great believer in doing LOW-intensity cardio (65% maximum heart rate) upon waking, 45 minutes - fasted. Get motivated, and set that alarm clock 50 minutes earlier than you normally would. Have your shoes and clothes all ready to go the night before and get your AM walking in. The idea is to walk at a pace so that you feel hot and sweaty, but are not exhausting yourself. Make sure to drink at least 16-24oz of water before you start doing your cardio. And, follow your workout immediately with your oatmeal. Motivate yourself!
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After Being Consistent For A Month And Not Cheating,
My Body Started To Run More Effectively.
With proper diet, exercise and consistency, supplements can be effective. If you are not on a consistent regiment or consume alcohol in excess, do not waste your time with supplements. You will not get any permanent results if your diet and training is inconsistent, besides a lighter wallet.
However, if your diet and training plan is well thought out, consistent and practiced with maximum effort, then there are some supplements I will recommend that will give you that 5-15% "boost."
In my opinion, the best supplements for bodybuilding are:
- Fish Oil: Omega 3 Fatty Acids have many benefits, and are essential for bodybuilding. Get from a reputable company that you trust.
- Green Tea: High antioxidants, great for fat loss and food cravings. No sugar or cream, get to like it straight!
- Whey Protein: Great for post workout and making treats. I recommend using Scivation Whey Protein because it has a great consistency for shakes, and is also great for making protein baked goods. Check out this video by Marc Lobliner for making Protein Brownies.
- BCAA: Delay muscle fatigue and increase protein synthesis. I use Scivation Xtend. I also sip through the day, it's delicious!
- NO Booster: Great to keep workout intensity up while cutting. Scivation Quake is great. Always switch up the preworkout every 2 bottles.
- Casein Protein
I used Scivation's free E-Books as my fitness bible. I followed the Cut Diet/Lean Mass program for the first 6 months of my dieting, and then followed Game Over (competition diet) for 3 months after that. The principles in the Cut Diet/Lean Mass program are very important to know.
I did most of my cooking all at once, combining brown rice, vegetables and lean proteins in one pot. This was convenient because I always had meals ready for wherever life takes me. Food to me was a necessary source of nutrients, and I ate to grow ... not for taste.
- 6-8 small meals a day
- Eat every 2-3 hours
- High protein
- Low GI carbs
- Moderate fats from olive oil, nuts and avocado
The idea here is to slowly lose body fat while increasing lean mass.
Example of cut diet/lean mass:
- 45 minutes of low intensity Cardio
- 24 oz of Water
Post workout shake:
Meal 9: Before Bed
Always switch up the workout program. Sets, reps, rep tempo, rest breaks, isolation exercises, compound exercises should be changing ever 2-3 weeks. Muscle failure and good form is our goal.
Here's a solid program that I have used, which is great for increasing mass and tone:
|TERMS YOU'LL NEED TO KNOW|
Day 1: Back/Biceps
- Deadlift: 5 sets of 5 reps
- Pullups: 3 sets of 12 reps
- Cable Row: 2 sets of 12 reps, 1 drop set of 12 reps, 65% previous weight
- Lat Pulldown: 2 sets of 12 reps, 1 drop set of 12 reps, 65% previous weight
- Dumbbell Row: 2 sets of 12 reps, 1 drop set of 12 reps, 65% previous weight
- Preacher Curl: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Hammer Curl: 2 sets of 15 reps, 1 drop set of 15 reps, 65% previous weight
Day 2: Chest/Triceps
- Incline Dumbbell Bench: 3 sets of 12 reps
- Barbell Flat Bench: 2 sets of 12 reps, 1 drop set of 12 reps, 65% previous weight
- Wide-Grip Bench Press: 2 sets of 12 reps, 1 drop set of 12 reps, 65% previous weight
- Cable Flyes: 5 sets of 12 reps, 1 drop set of 12 reps, 65% previous weight
- Pushups On the Ball: 3 sets to failure
- Skull Crushers: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Tricep Pushdown with Rope: 2 sets of 15 reps, 1 drop set of 15 reps
Day 3: Legs/Abs
- Barbell Squat: 3 sets of 12 reps
- Leg Press: 2 sets of 20 reps, 1 drop set of 20 reps, 65% previous weight
- Stiff Legged Deadlift: 3 sets of 12 reps
- Lunges: 3 sets of 15 reps
- Calf Raises: 5 sets of 20 reps
- Hanging Leg Raises: 5 sets to failure
- Rope Crunches: 3 sets of 20 reps
Day 4: Arms
- Barbell Curl: 3 sets of 12 reps
- Close-Grip Bench Press: 3 sets of 12 reps
- Seated Hammer Curls: 3 drop sets of 12 reps
- Skull Crushers: 3 drop sets of 12 reps
- Preacher Curl: 3 drop sets of 12 reps
- Tricep Pushdown: 3 drop sets of 12 reps
Day 5: Shoulders/Abs
- Military Press: 3 sets of 12 reps
- Arnold Press: 3 sets of 15 reps with drop sets
- Front Raises: 3 sets of 20 reps
- Lateral Raises: 3 sets of 20 reps
- Shrugs: 5 sets of 12 reps
- Russian Twists: 3 sets of 20 reps
- Obliques Crunches: 3 sets of 20 reps
Day 6: Rest
Day 7: Rest
Suggestions for Others
- Consistency is the most important thing.
- Make a plan, and stick with it for 12 weeks.
- Don't go by what just one person says. Everyone is different, and has different results. Figure out what works for you.
- Train hard. Re-define what muscle failure means to you every training session.
- Don't skip squats and deadlifts. These are the most important lifts for overall growth.
- Diet is 75% of the game. Eat natural, healthy foods.
- Starvation is Bad. Eat frequent, small portions that are clean.
- Use the gym as your stress release.
- Believe that you can do it! It is hard for the first 1-2 months getting started because your body undergoing new processes. But, once the results start coming, it gets addicting.
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