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Transformation Of The Week - Jeremiah Bustos.

I have always been known as the 'little guy' because I am so small. At only 5-foot-7 and a weight of 125 pounds, there was not much meat on me. Well that all changed after Basic Training. Learn more ...

135 lbs.

1RM Bench:
155 lbs.

158 lbs.

1RM Bench:
320 lbs.

Vital Stats

Name: Jeremiah Bustos
Age: 22
Height: 5'7"


Weight: - 135 lbs
Chest: - 36"
Biceps: - 12.75"
Waist: - 29"
1RM Bench: - 155 lbs

After (But Not Done Yet):

Weight: - 158 lbs
Chest: - 43"
Biceps: - 15.5" (want this to be 16)
Waist: - 32" (want to get this down to 30)
1RM Bench: - 320 lbs (want to get this up to 340)

Who Am I?

My name is Jeremiah Bustos and I am from Dallas, Texas. I am 22-years old and currently in the U.S. Army (have been for 3-plus years).

I have enjoyed serving our great country, but plan to ETS (End Time in Service) in September 2006 and then go to college. I am currently in Afghanistan and trying to better my future.

Why & How I Got Started

Have you ever been thought of as the "little guy?" Well I was, and still kind of am, except much stronger. Weighing 125 pounds and being 5-foot-7, as you can imagine I was pretty skinny.

I always dreamed of looking like Arnold Schwarzenegger, but never really thought I could achieve such a drastic change.

I joined the Army right after September 11th and when I went to Basic Training I weighed 125 pounds. I never really realized how skinny I was until I got out of Basic Training and went on leave. I got home and everybody's mouths dropped. I weighed 155 and was much bigger, apparently.

I didn't know I got that much bigger because in Basic Training, you don't have time to look at yourself in the mirror. Yes, a lot of that weight was muscle but also a lot of fat. So, I continued doing Army PT (physical training) and evened out to about 135.

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I Got Home And Everybody's Mouths Dropped.

Then in December 2004, I started lifting weights just to see what would happen and started seeing results. The biggest reason people go back to the gym is because they like the changes they see. I did, so I continued (7 days per week). I lifted for about 3 months and put on 10 pounds of muscle.

I then had to have my tonsils removed and in the 2 weeks that I couldn't eat solid foods, I lost 12 pounds to get me back down to 135 pounds. This was just before I deployed to Afghanistan (for the second time) in late March 2005.

I am still in Afghanistan and have been here for 7 months, trying to keep a steady workout schedule. I now weigh approximately 158 pounds and plan to "cut the fat" over the next couple of months. So, now the "little guy" can out-lift most of the "big guys!"

The War In The Middle East: Military Muscle.
Despite the changes in training environment, the men currently serving in the Middle East are still able to workout and make gains.
[ Click here to learn more. ]


Optimum 100% Whey Protein I wish I could say I had a better diet, but being in Afghanistan, you can only be so picky. I try to eat a balanced meal and stay away from too many carbs. I also, don't drink carbonated drinks and try to eat a minimal amount of "fatty cakes."

I wish I could count my calories but it is too difficult to do this when you don't even know what you are eating sometimes.

I take whey protein to make up for the lack of good protein in my diet. I have been taking Optimum Nutrition's 100% Whey Protein (Vanilla Ice Cream) for about 4 months. I have to say that is one of the best tasting proteins I have taken and the price is right too.

MuscleTech Creatine 6000-ES I buy the 10 lb bag. This lasts me approximately 2 1/2 months, taking 2 shakes a day. I also recently started taking creatine to support muscle growth and gain strength. I am taking Muscle Tech's 6000-ES and have been on it for almost 2 months.

I definitely see the difference with creatine, and recommend it to anyone trying to put on size and gain strength. When I started taking it I could bench 295 and now can bench 320!


The biggest thing I have to say about training is, change it up. If you get into a set schedule/routine, your body will get used to it and not respond like you want it to. I would not stick to any certain schedule for more than 4 weeks. Also, do a full-body work out.

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About Training: Change It Up!

When you work legs, your body produces more testosterone and thus increases your overall strength. I am sure there have been tests on this, but I wouldn't know where you would find them.

Some of my schedules/routines consisted of:

If you do not think you are giving yourself enough rest, try this one:

  • Day 1 - Chest and Triceps
  • Day 2 - Rest
  • Day 3 - Legs and Abs
  • Day 4 - Rest
  • Day 5 - Back, Biceps and Shoulders
  • Day 6 - Rest, Repeat.
I am currently on this last program and it seems to be working for me.


Day 1:

Set Flat Bench Incline Bench Decline Bench Lat Pull-Over
1 6 reps 10 reps 10 reps 10 reps
2 4-6 reps 8 reps 8 reps 12 reps
3 4-6 reps 8 reps 6 reps 12 reps
4 4-6 reps 8 reps 8 reps 10 reps
5 4-6 reps 10 reps 10 reps 8 reps

Set Dips Tricep Extension Skull Crusher Pushups
1 Until failure 10 reps 10 reps Until failure
2 Until failure 12 reps 10 reps Until failure
3 Until failure 12 reps 8 reps Until failure
4 Until failure 10 reps 8 reps None
5 None 8 reps 6 reps None

Day 2:


Day 3:

Set Leg Press Quad Extension Hamstring Curl Calf Raises
1 10 reps 10 reps 10 reps 15 reps
2 12 reps 12 reps 12 reps 15 reps
3 10 reps 15 reps 12 reps 12 reps
4 8 reps 12 reps 10 reps 12 reps
5 8 reps 10 reps 8 reps 10 reps

Set Situps Leg Raises Crunch On Ball
1 Until failure 15 reps 20 reps
2 Until failure 20 reps 30 reps
3 None 15 reps 30 reps

Day 4:


Day 5:

Set Standing Row Sitting Row Lat Pull-down
1 10 reps 12 reps 10 reps
2 12 reps 15 reps 10 reps
3 15 reps 15 reps 10 reps
4 12 reps 12 reps 8 reps
5 10 reps 12 reps 6 reps

Click Image To Enlarge.
Bustos: Basic Back Training.

Set Seated Curl Hammer Curl Preacher Curl
1 10 reps 10 reps 10 reps
2 8 reps 10 reps 10 reps
3 8 reps 8 reps 8 reps
4 6 reps 8 reps 8 reps
5 6 reps 6 reps 6 reps

Set Power Press Arm Raises Side Arm Raises Front
1 5 reps 10 reps 10 reps
2 6 reps 10 reps 10 reps
3 5 reps 8 reps 8 reps
4 4 reps None None
5 4 reps None None

Day 6:

    Rest!! Repeat!!


If you are planning on gaining size, you should not do much cardio. Yes, a little is fine - but you will be depriving your muscles of valuable nutrition that supports muscle growth.

Because I wanted to put on size and gain strength, I went with the more weight for less reps method and it seems to work.

I always do a warm-up set (with a light weight and do 10 reps) and then go to the weight I can do 6 reps with, then I add 10 pounds and do between 4-and-6. I do that until I can no longer do 4, then I take off 10 lbs and do it again.

Repeat this for 5 sets on each exercise. Also, don't do flyes or crossovers if you are trying to gain size. These are isolation exercises and are hindering you in your quest for size.

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Overall You Have To Be Dedicated.

I read somewhere that you should get at least 8 hours of sleep a night to allow your muscles maximum time to recover before you blast them again. I like the idea of sleeping more anyway so this is good news.

I know you might say that you don't have time to sleep 8 hours a night, but if I can work 13 hours per day, go to the gym for 1 and 1/2 hours and still sleep 8 hours a day, you can too. Learn time management, there is never a down minute and you will be much happier with yourself.


You have to really want to look better and feel better before you try to change your appearance. If you have to force yourself to go to the gym, do it. But don't loose faith, you will be surprised at how the human body reacts to a little punishment.

Speaking of punishment, just because you feel like you are "going to die" because you are so sore after your first few workouts, don't quit. This is normal and your body will get used to it in about 2 weeks. You will notice you are getting less sore but still seeing results. So overall you have to be dedicated.

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