Name: Joe Lukowski
Weight: 206 lbs
Body Fat: 22%
Weight: 181 lbs
Body Fat: 9%
Why I Got Started
In September 2006, a few friends had asked me to join them on a cruise to the Caribbean. I have never been there and I wanted to go. I really wasn't pleased with my "look," so I decided to make a move to change it. I took a hard look in comparison to what I saw on Bodybuilding.com. Boy, talk about a shock.
It's one thing when you see yourself in a mirror, but when you start putting pictures next to each other, there is no place to hide or excuses that hold any weight (as it were). At 55, I was maintaining a bulk of 206-plus pounds with a 40-inch waist and a 22-plus body fat percentage.
I was looking wide and my pants were tight with an overhang that went around the belt. I had the pear shape I thought I would never have. What made this a bit hard to take was that I was working out regularly. But something wasn't clicking. Well, that's what made me get dedicated to make the change.
How I Did It
I took inventory of what I have read over the years about general health and bodybuilding and tried putting it together. Also, while in college I was able to maintain around 180 pounds. So I reviewed my basic eating habits over that time and compared it with what I was doing now.
That way I was able to see what I was utilizing and what I was storing as fat. What I found was that I was no longer able to cheat if I was going to make any sort of change. My decision was to eliminate the sugars (esp. the hidden corn syrup).
I decided that the only sugars I would take in would be from fruits (as best as I was able) and use table sugar once in a great while in my coffee. Then, I cut back on the starches. I cut back on the dairy (I always used skim milk, but I love cheese) so I was in more control of my fat intake.
I only used olive oil for that and not much at that. Breads I changed to only whole wheat and about two slices a day, just for the fiber sake. I tried maintaining my protein to about 1 gram per body weight that I was shooting for (around 180). That came from all sources - that keeps the variety going - as long as it was lean.
The main carb source was fibrous vegetables. I tried "eating the rainbow" everyday because each color has a different nutritional value. Every meal was balanced as best I could and every time I ate I made sure I was taking in a protein source. Vending machines were not my friends.
The only thing of value was the occasional sleeve of lightly salted peanuts. The way I keep track of all this was by instinct and mental averaging of the day. I knew that if I learned what portions worked for me, it would work and I could use that forever.
I did celebrate birthdays with one piece of cake when the occasion came up. My reason for eating was to eliminate what I had stored and use it, while trying not to store any more.
Over the years I have come across a number of things that are to help general health for a number of different reasons. There may be some people out there that know better than I about the combination of things, but right now what I take helps me feel normal.
I did the fat burners for a while, on and off. I think they may work with the right diet and workout, but I feel better without them. There are some things that are in the burners I use for their own merit.
- B complex
- Ester C
- Flax seed oil
- Saw palmetto
- Green tea
- Vitamin E
- Chromium Picolinate
Breakfast: 6:15 AM
- Large Salad
- Baked Chicken breast
- A fist of veggies
- Sometimes with a serving of sweet potato/rice
Mid Morning: 9:00 AM
Lunch: 11 AM
Early Afternoon: 1:00 PM
Late Afternoon: 3:15 PM
Dinner: 5:30 PM
This makes two protein shakes:
I was doing an interval training workout. During the week, I work out before I leave for work. On the weekends, I had been working out with a friend in the mid morning. I workout at home and I do not belong to a gym.
Figuring I had a had fat to work off, I revamped what I was doing. So my cardio would be done first thing. I started utilizing a progressive change program. I don't like running at the same speed for the length of the session, so I would increment the speed every 3 or so minutes.
I started a 20-minute program, and moved on to 30 minutes during work days. Weekend I would do 40 minutes at a time. What was important to me was the length of time and the effort I put into the run. So if I felt I was not going to get through the time, I'd slow it down so I would.
I knew if I was persistent, the endurance would come as well as the caloric burn. I would also vary it with interval sprinting. I tried to keep change the type of run every 6 weeks or so. I made a 100% effort to do cardio every day.
Working most of the time alone, going heavy with weights could be a dangerous situation, so I went with moderate weights that would be a challenge. I geared myself to two body parts a day with abs.
The interval cycle would be, as an example, a chest exercise (12 reps) moving to a bicep exercise (12 reps) then an ab exercise (twists with a broom handle 30 reps). This cycle would be for 4 times, then I move on to another exercise with a heavier weight. Its like pyramiding in a cycle interval.
I would work for 4 different exercises with each body part. Since this is before I would leave for work, I had a limited time to get this done. So the pace kept my heart rate moving. I try going heavier during weekends (when I was working out with a buddy of mine).
Suggestions For Others
Really wanting to changes makes the difference. Change is hard. Once the decision is made to change and succeed, that, in itself becomes the motivation. I found out I can do this and get results. Now on to getting some real muscle on my frame.