Weight: 180 lbs
Weight: 205 lbs
Why I Got Started
Fat, portly, large, pudgy. These were some of the words that were used synonymously with my name. Although my above "before" picture shows otherwise, I have been fat my whole life. There was a point in my life when I came to realize that this had gone far too long and this fatty ordeal had to go. I needed a change.
I started lifting at my high school gym and took a few classes covering the basics of weightlifting. In addition to the classes, I started researching on the web to see if I could get my hands on some training and nutrition articles. Basically, I was hungry for knowledge.
I found bodybuilding.com and was ecstatic to see that there were literally thousands of articles that I could indulge in. I read article after article and my knowledge in the area of weightlifting and the art of bodybuilding increased exponentially. To sum up my high school bodybuilding/weightlifting experience all I can say are two words: Chest and Biceps. These were pretty much the only two muscle groups I focused on!
Now fast forward to my sophomore year in college. I successfully melted off all my fat through a conjunction of cardio and lifting weights; nevertheless, as you can see from my "before" picture there isn't much lean muscle mass there. I knew a lot about bodybuilding, but I just did not exercise the right thought process nor the right nutrition plan/training regimen.
I was training 6 days per week, 2 hours per day; however, results were only minimal. I needed further change. Now we are at the present time. I've been currently lifting and eating right for almost 2 years now. I bulked up to 215 pounds and now I'm at a comfortable 205 pounds. My strength gains went up the roof and my body composition went from helplessly fat, to skinny, to Spartan.
How I Did It
I started incorporating the Max-OT principles to maximize efficiency inside and outside the gym. In addition, I switched up my regimen every 3-4 weeks from Max-OT to X-Reps to avoid plateaus and to introduce new stimuli for my muscles (I purposefully did not add a training regimen because I believe one's training regimen should be constantly dynamic … in other words always changing, feel free to check out the Max-OT principles which concentrates on your fast twitch muscle fibers and X-Reps which concentrates on mostly your slow twitch muscle fibers).
Max-OT is a relatively new type of training program developed by the company AST. The basic idea of Max-OT training is a 12-week program that will give someone the fastest results in terms of building muscle in the least amount of time as the company claims.
I did away with the 2 hours per day/6 days per week workout schedule and replaced it with a 45-60 minutes a day/4-5 days per week workout schedule. I did it, I staved off overtraining. In addition to this, I started researching heavier into supplements and started making wiser supplement choices.
Thirdly, I started eating right. This I believe was the most important part of the equation. My diet consisted of healthy fats, complex carbohydrates, and protein. In addition, I started eating 5-8 times per day to keep my metabolism burning hot.
I started adding the 2 exercises I have been neglecting for so long: The Squat and the Deadlift. These 2 exercises alone, I believe, have added so much more muscle and strength onto my frame that I do not believe anything else (natural, no steroids) could've provided such an optimal response. I decreased my daily cardio, which was way too excessive and started focusing much more on quality rest.
These are some of the supplements I have used in the past and also currently. I have seen great results from each of these and recommend them to anyone who is serious about their fitness goals.
- Whey Protein
- Micronized Creatine
- Amino Acids
- Muscle Milk
- Ny-Tro Pro 40
- Fish Oil
- Flaxseed Oil
- AAKG Powder
- Shock Therapy
This is just a sample meal that I would eat, and is in no way or form set in stone. My meals also differ drastically from when I am bulking and when I am cutting.
- Total grams of protein: 341
- Total grams of fat: 55.5
- Total grams of carbohydrates: 257.5
- Total Calories: 2893.5
Tuesday: Chest & Triceps
Thursday: Back & Biceps
Friday: Shoulders, Traps & Abs
Suggestions For Others
Nutrition and exercise is a science. Everything must be calculated to the minutest detail if you want to achieve the best physique that your genetics will allow. The more lean muscle mass one has the more calories he/she burns while even at rest. In addition to this you must eat frequently to keep your metabolism high, basically nutrition is extremely important for those who want to lose fat.
Remember to not overtrain and don't forget that one grows outside the gym, not inside (meaning rest = muscle growth, whereas overtraining = muscle catabolism). In addition to this, abs are made inside the kitchen not inside the gym (meaning nutrition is everything).
Another thing to remember is to know the importance of bulking up. Bulk up for a long period of time to get enough muscle mass, because cutting without muscle mass will only make you skinny. Do not do continuous cycles of bulking and cutting in relatively short periods of time. Bulk for a long time, for a year or two and then cut. Don't forget to cut slowly, or you will lose all the muscle you have worked so hard for.
Lastly, do not feed into the different hypes. Building a good physique should not be easy. There are no special diets out there that are perfect nor are there miracle supplements. So don't jump from one fad diet to the next to find out that at the end of the day, hard work and smart training/nutrition is the only way to succeed and keep the results you have always dreamed of.