Before my transformation, I really didn't do much in the way of exercise. A typical day for me was to come home, do some schoolwork and then play video games until I went to bed. The only time I got up and moved around was to grab something to eat. Once in a while I would go to the park and maybe play some basketball with a friend.
From my freshman to junior year of high school, my weight went up to around 210 pounds. I believe it was the summer of junior year when I started doing a lot of walking every day and lost a bit of weight. After that summer, I had weighed about 190 pounds. I continued to weigh this much until the Spring of 2015.
I was always unhappy with my weight and the way that I looked. I typically wore loose fitting clothes and was always wearing a hoodie in the colder months when I could, to look less fat than I was. I was happy in other parts of my life, but whenever I thought about my weight or had to buy clothes I was always unhappy. I always felt that my weight was holding me back from being happier and confident about myself.
Please Detail Your Turning Point
In the Spring of 2015, I watched a single YouTube video and then I promised myself that I was done looking this way. I'll never forget the first few words of the video. "Summers coming, whether you work or not summers coming. You're going to want that six pack for the summer."
After I heard this, I said to myself that this is me. Previously I had watched a ton of videos on dieting, losing fat, etc. But this was the video that I believe started my journey.
What Were Your Major Struggles or Challenges?
I had done my research well before I had started. However, there were still challenges. In the beginning I had lost 6-8 pounds in the first week. The next 2 weeks I stalled and I could't figure out why. I had realized that I wasn't counting my calories accurately.
My next big challenge was the thought of giving up. I constantly wanted to give up the first few weeks just because my weight had stalled. I continued to be very hung up about the scale weight since it fluctuated so much.
I relied too much on scale weight and made myself worry excessively, which was something I did not need to do.
Detail Your Workout and Cardio Plan During Your Transformation
For the first 3 months, I walked 5 miles each morning. After that, I would do my training for the day. I worked out from home (barbell, dumbbells and a bench) and did not have a gym membership. I was limited to certain exercises.
On days I did not train with weights, I did 15 minutes of HIIT cardio right after I came home from my walk. The last 2 months I cut the walking down excessively, just doing HIIT on rest days and weight training other days. I followed Brandon Carter's 15 minute HIIT workouts.
Every other day, I also trained abdominals. This consisted of leg lifts to each side on a pull up bar in the park (6x10), and a 4 minute ab routine. My training routine was as follows:
- 4 sets of Incline Dumbbell Press, 8-10 reps
- 3 sets of Bench Press, 8-10 reps
- 3 sets of Incline Flies, 8-10 reps
- 3 sets of Chest Dips until failure
- 3 sets of Barbell Curls, 8-10 reps
- 4 sets of Front Squats 8-10 reps
- 3 sets of Lunges 8-10 reps
- 6 sets of Pullups 8-10 reps
- 4 sets of Deadlifts 8-10 reps
- 3 sets of Bent Over Rows 8-10 reps
- 4 sets of 2 arm Long Bar Row 8-10 reps
- 4 sets of Shoulder Press 8-10 reps
- 5 minutes of Bench Dips 10-15 reps with 7 second rests
- 3 sets of Upright Rows 8-10 reps
- 3 sets of Lateral Raises 10-15 reps
- 3 sets of Lying Rear Delt Raises 8-10 reps
- 3 sets of Close-Grip Bench Press 8-10 reps
- 3 sets dumbbell kickbacks 8-10 reps
Saturday: Full Body
- 3 sets of Deadlifts 8-10 reps
- 3 sets of Front Squats 8-10 reps
- 3 sets of Clean and Jerk 8-10 reps
I was doing intermittent fasting the entire 5 months with a typical 18/6 eating window. I did my walking and training and would finish with that at about 4 P.M. Immediately after I would have a shake as my first meal. This consisted of about:
- 3 eggs
- 2 tbsp peanut butter
- 2 scoops of whey
- 8 oz of milk
To do this I took the banana out of my post-workout shake. In total, my daily calories would range between around 1600-1900.
- Sample meal: 6oz chicken, 2 cups of spinach, 3oz of tomato
Detail Your Supplement Plan During Your Transformation
My daily supplementation consisted of fish oil, multivitamins, whey protein, a fat burner for energy and also casein protein before bed.
What Was Your Major Accomplishment, or Major Milestones?
My major accomplishment was finally feeling healthy. I had not weighed that much in years. Every time I would go to the doctor for a checkup, he would tell me that everything is normal and I am healthy. The only problem was that I weighed too much. I have not been to the doctor since I lost the weight, but I definitely want to see the look on his face!
A major milestone would have to be the way I am treated around people. Before my transformation, nobody would really give me the time of day.
Detail Your 3 Biggest Mistakes
My first biggest mistake was not accurately counting calories. I could have lost the weight faster if I was more diligent with this from the get go.
My second biggest mistake would have to be cutting too fast. I feel that I lost a lot of strength I had before. (Yes, I worked out before even though it doesn't look like it!)
My third biggest mistake was focusing too much on scale weight. I stressed myself out over it, even though I was getting smaller on the tape measure.
3 Biggest Things You Learned During Your Transformation?
One thing I learned during my transformation is that it is never too late. I almost would have stayed as I was until I saw how easy it was to lose weight if I was willing put in the work.
The second biggest thing I learned during my transformation was discipline. I feel this is extremely important if you are trying to lose weight or gain muscle. If you do not have the mental discipline to carry out your goals, you will not reach your goals.
The third biggest thing I learned during my transformation was that it is important to set goals. My goal of having a six pack by the summer may have been unrealistic in thought, but I had a goal in mind. Setting such a big goal for myself motivated me to succeed and work even harder.
Final Works of Advice for Others Looking to Make a Change?
Stop making excuses on why you can't do it. People always want to make reasons for not reaching their goals or put the blame on someone or something else. You need to work to achieve your goals.
It's your responsibility to work hard for what you want to obtain for yourself, whether in fitness or anywhere else in life. If you put in the time and the effort needed to reach your goals, you will get results.
My transformation changed my life. The mental changes are more important than the physical, because I will carry what I learned with me for the rest of my life. I am very excited for the future (time to bulk!), and I would like to have the experience of competing one day.