I was a collegiate athlete, played football all my life. As a linebacker, I needed to eat constantly to gain/maintain my weight. If I wasn't a "heavy" defensive player, I would risk being knocked around at will by a big, strong offensive line.
I lifted a ton, and was very active, but diet was not a concern to me. Little did I know how important that would end up being for me.
I loved football, but couldn't wait to graduate so I could work toward the toned, fit body I always wanted. Once I graduated and football was over, I focused my workouts and diet toward this goal of mine.
What Were Your Major Struggles or Challenges?
Imposing restrictions on my diet for the first time in my life was a tremendous hurdle. But now that I've disciplined myself to eat well, it has become a routine that I don't even think about anymore.
Detail Your Workout and Cardio Plan During Your Transformation
I switched my "powerlifting" football lifting regimen (which was made up of heavy weights, low reps) to a high-rep, high-volume workout. I pair two body parts for each day, and do circuits between the two with minimal rest. I focus on low to moderate weight, and aim for perfect form with every rep, attention to detail is huge. My regimen is inspired by the workout suggested by Joe Mangianello in his latest book "Evolution."
I've experimented with all kinds of cardio, but my workouts already serve as cardio, since I work quickly and don't allow much time for rest. However, about three days a week I'll spend 20 minutes or so after my lifts on an elliptical or a stairmaster.
Detail Your Diet/Eating Plan During Your Transformation
Initially I switched to totally clean foods, almost a Paleo-like diet. But I was eating way too many calories each day.
After I had plateaued, I started relying on only vegetables as my carb sources. I cut out all starchy carbs (pastas and such) and allowed myself one cheat day per week. I was tracking every single calorie I ate on a phone app and watching my macros as well.
Now, I've found a simple and effective diet regimen, and coincidentally it has worked best for me...
- I only eat when I'm hungry
- I stop eating when I'm full
- I eat "unclean" foods in moderation
- I make sure every meal has a substantial protein source. And that's it!
Detail Your Supplement Plan During Your Transformation
- Any pre-workout
- Whey protein w/creatine monohydrate post-workout
- BCAA's throughout the day
- Omega 3 tablet
- Was featured in Men's Health as a cover candidate.
- Also featured on Men's Health radio show to talk about my regimen and fitness lifestyle, aired on iTunes and iHeartRadio.
- Inspiring friends and family to eat well and be healthy.
- Getting a more toned physique, which I had always wanted to do.
- Thinking that having a healthy diet didn't matter.
- Thinking one had to lift heavy weights in order to gain any muscle.
- Thinking that genetics prevented me from getting a better physique.
- Never ever underestimate yourself, YOU are the only thing standing in the way of your fitness goal. I'm a law student, and it can be tough at times for me to fit going to the gym into my schedule. But I make time because it is important to me. Even if it's 20 minutes, take time for your health and fitness.
- Progress is incremental. A professor once told me this, and it is 100% true. Some results can come quickly, but don't expect an overnight 6-pack. Focus on the process, and the results will follow.
- Enjoy the grind. There's no better stress reliever than exercising. Take that rough day out on the weights, and before you know it you'll be walking out with better spirits than you did before you came in.
You absolutely CAN transform yourself. If I can do it, you can do it. Take it one day, one set, one rep at a time. Stay disciplined, and the results will come.
Don't strive to be the biggest, fastest, or strongest. Be the most disciplined, and put 100% effort into being the best "you" that you can be.