(I know it looks like I'm posing for a Fat Burner Ad,
but this is the only before picture I have!)
Name: Alexander Vukcevic
Weight on 15 August '06: 208 Lbs.
Weight on 17 January '07: 183 Lbs.
Why I Did This
In January, 2006 I tore my left hamstring. This—combined with deployment to Iraq—played a large part in getting to my 'before picture.' I felt sluggish and tired all the time. I was drinking excessively and couldn't break myself out of the cycle.
I finally couldn't stand to look at myself in the mirror, and I had to change. What better time to change than while in a war zone?! My exercises changed - Here is a sample week of training that I would follow:
Sample Training Week
Saturday - Chest:
- Flat Barbell Bench
- Incline Dumbbell
- Decline Barbell
- Weighted Dips
Sunday - Back:
- Weighted Run
- Pull ups
- Pull downs
- Back extensions
Monday - Abs:
- Weighted Inclined Sit Ups
- Leg raises
- Standing Side bends
- Burn out of:
Tuesday - Shoulders/Traps:
- Dumbbell Shoulder press
- Bent Over Extensions / Upright row
Wednesday - Bi/Tri:
- Regular Run
- Barbell Curls
- Hammer Curls
- Reverse grip curls / Reverse grip Tricep extension (cable)
- Overhead Dumbbell Extension
Thursday - Legs:
- Leg Extension
- Hamstring Curl
- Calf Raises
Friday - Rest
- Month 1: 4-6 reps. End workout w/50 rep burn out set
- Month 2: 8-10 reps. End workout w/25 rep burn out set
- Month 3: 6-8 reps. End workout w/50 rep burn out set
- Month 4: 10-12 reps. End workout w/25 rep burn out set
- Month 5: 4-6 reps. End workout w/50 rep burn out set
I only do cardio 2 times per week for about a total of 20 minutes (including warm up and cool down). My running regimen consists of a .5-mile warm-up jog, 1.67-mile sprint, and a .5-mile cool down jog. On Sunday this is done wearing my 40-pound body armor. On Thursday it is done without the armor. I believe in intensity before duration.
I want the physique of a sprinter, not a marathon runner. I have received some criticism as to the undue pressure the weighted run will put on my knees. I did have a problem with that the first month, and I wouldn't recommend it for someone who is not already on some sort of running regimen.
If this were a distance run I could see the argument, but it's an all-out sprint. I can run the 1.67 mile in about 11:45 with the armor on, and I have run the 1.67 mile in 10:13 without the vest on. I have never been this fast in my life.
My reps change monthly and my exercises change every 2 months. This has made it difficult for me to track direct strength gains. However, my endurance and physical improvements were, and continue to be, obvious on a weekly basis. Since power and size wasn't my focus, I don't consider the lack of strength progress to be a problem. Plus, I lost 25 pounds while maintaining the strength I began with.
- 2 mile run. (Time decreased)
- 1 set of bench - max reps @ 135 lbs.
- 1 set of max pull ups.
- 1 set of max dips.
- 1 set of max sit ups.
Every 2 months I take 1 week off to rest. I do 1 work out as a 'self test' on Tuesday. I should have done one before I started working out, but I wasn't planning on tracking that well at the time. This test consists of:
The first big change is ZERO alcohol. I drink 4 liters of clean water a day, and a liter each time I take VP2, or Ny-Tro Pro 40. I take L-Glutamine after I work out and Glucosamine before bed. I use no fat burners, stimulants, or Creatine. y diet on an average day looked something like this:
- 2 scoops of custom powder
- 1 banana
- 1 handful of almonds
- 1 Promax bar
- 1 chicken breast (plain, teriyaki, or BBQ based on what is available that day)
- salad or vegetables
- 1 scoop Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream.
- 1 scoop of VP2
- 1 - 8 oz. Energy Drink
- Chicken Salad
- 1 cup coffee
- 1 scoop Mint Chocolate Chip Ice Cream
- 2 handfuls of almonds
- *Run (if Applicable)*
(This is a powder I made myself. It has an oat carbohydrate, and 4 types of protein that digest at different rates.)
Go ahead and shake your head at the ice cream, but I don't get cravings. I have a terrible sweet tooth and it hasn't been a problem for me. The ice cream may be impeding my fat loss a bit, but it keeps me from feeling the need to gorge myself. The 'scoop' is small and I find the trick is to eat it with a small spoon.
The 2 most important parts of this change for me were:
I hate to spit out such generic answers, but it is the truth. I found a system that worked for me and I stuck with it. I treat each workout like it is the workout that will be what defines my success or failure. I have learned to deal with days that I feel sluggish, or can't push as much as the week prior, by focusing on the moment.