Before making my transformation my life was somewhat rough. I got picked on and taken advantage of due to my lack of size (and hitting puberty late, lol). As I got older being very skinny impacted my sport performance as it wasn't just about being the fastest kid anymore.
Please Detail Your Turning Point
Roughly around my junior year. My weight hit 170, and ended that year at 177. I had given up sports due to my newfound passion in the gym, but I had several coaches asking me to make my return (or consider joining sports I hadn't paticipated in).
Compliments became frequent, and I kind of became the guy to ask about lifting in my high school.
What Were Your Major Struggles or Challenges?
My biggest struggle was putting on weight and size. Strength came almost second nature as the first time I pressed 225lbs I was only 140lbs. I had to force feed myself most times and really cram my head with nutritional knowledge to move forward.
Detail Your Workout and Cardio Plan During Your Transformation
Through the better half of my training, Layne Norton's PHAT routine was my go to. I did cardio once a week for 45 minutes mid-high intensity.
Detail Your Diet/Eating Plan During Your Transformation
During bulking I had to eat at 5k+ calories to gain weight, eventually working up to my highest of 5,500 calories. For dieting I kept my calories at 3200-2500 (dropping as I got leaner).
I personally responded best by keeping my protein at 1g/lb, keeping my carbs high (versus most people keep their carbs low).
Detail Your Supplement Plan During Your Transformation
Supplements were not a huge player during my transformation. Usually I kept it simple with a pre-workout, a creatine product, and a solid whey (I like PES, ON, or MTS)/weight gainer if I were bulking (Usually used Serious Mass by ON).
I also, towards the end of my transformation, enjoyed the natural ingredient epicatechin at 400-600mg for its leaning effects.
What Was Your Major Accomplishment, or Major Milestones?
315lb bench, 405lb squat. Would really like to crush both of those numbers moving forward and eventually pull 5 plates (deadlifts have been an inconsistent movement in my training).
Detail Your 3 Biggest Mistakes
- Undervaluing nutrition. For awhile I was convinced the nutritional importance everyone spoke of was total BS, and that if I had protein, creatine, and trained hard that's all that mattered.
- Overestimating calories. After admitting defeat to the nutrition aspect, I began "tracking calories" though I over-estimated by roughly 1,000 calories the first 6 months or so.
- Hating being a "hard-gainer." As you progress you learn be a hardgainer isn't so much about an inability to gain muscle, but having a fast metabolism. Now that I've established a solid base, I see how being a "hard-gainer" really benefits me (e.i. staying lean, easier to get shredded, etc)
- Patience. It takes time, and the whole learning process is essential. It's about a lot more than the number on the bar.
- Mind muscle connection. I think this is really the hardest, but most important thing to learn. To grow efficiently you need to have that mind muscle connection. If you're hardly targeting your chest with a bench press, it's almost useless in your chest training.
- Ego. This goes with patience and mind muscle connection. As you grow and learn that it's not all about the lbs and begin to focus more towards the mind muscle connection (assuming you want to bodybuild, that is) your ego drops and things become much easier. There's no longer a pressure of "Oh, I need to have "X" pounds on!" Because you learn how to get the same pump with 100lbs as you can with 200lbs
Be patient, take your time, take in a lot of information and apply different concepts to yourself. See what works for you best, everyone is different. And learn simple nutrition! Get your diet together first.
Veni, vidi, vici. We're all gonna make it brah.