Transformation: Darsen Ringling Jumps From Drugs to Weights

Transformation: Darsen Ringling Jumps From Drugs to Weights

Transformation Stats

Was recovering from a collapsed lung and drug addictions. Ended up in the hospital for 10 days and almost couldn't eat anything. Joined the gym to keep my mind off addiction and helped me get my life back.

What Was Your Life Like Before Your Transformation?

I was a nobody. I dropped out of high school to spend more time partying. I had no ambition and all I wanted was a way to afford drugs for the day.

I remember feeling chest pain and was not sure what was happening. I went to the hospital and they said I was describing a heart attack. After an X-ray was taken they realized my lung had collapsed with 3 holes.

I ended up suffering a code blue at the hospital and was saved by a team of nurses. I had to have surgery where they stapled the holes in my lungs shut.
Body Transformation

What Were Your Major Struggles or Challenges?

Quitting the use of cocaine and MDMA. Also starting my education over from basically scratch. I got my GED and went to community college and passed with almost all A's. That is from all F's at my local high school.

Detail Your Workout and Cardio Plan During Your Transformation

Eating as many meals a day as possible, going to the gym seven days a week. I didn't train every day but just being at the gym helped keep my mind sharp. I started on strength (5x5) and worked into hypertrophy workouts. These days I load up with as much volume as possible with supersets and drop sets.

Detail Your Diet/Eating Plan During Your Transformation

I usually pushed for about 3-4k calories a day. I brought my protein intake up and used mass gainers to fill in the extra carbs. I was eating about 6-7 times a day and always loaded right before and after a big lift.

Darsen After Picture
Detail Your Supplement Plan During Your Transformation
  • Protein
  • Creatine
  • Mass gainer
  • BCAA's
I would also cycle on and off pre-workouts. Still natty.

What Was Your Major Accomplishment, or Major Milestones?

Well sobering up was the first accomplishment which the gym saved me from some of the pains. The second was getting my GED.

My first big gym goal was to bench 225 and that was a huge accomplishment for a skinny little guy like me. Working my way up the weight was a challenge I loved and will never stop working for.

Detail Your 3 Biggest Mistakes
  1. Lack of nutrition towards the beginning. I didn't pay any attention to what I was eating.
  2. Lack of organization in the gym. At first, I had no idea what I was doing and just throwing around weights.
  3. Lack of research. I wish I did some research on form and educate myself on what I was doing instead of just learning by error.
3 Biggest Things You Learned During Your Transformation?
  1. Weights can be healing. I learned that the weights can actually help heal the mind and body. I didn't realize the impact it would have at first on my mental stability but nowadays I find myself depressed or feeling generally weak if I take weeks off the gym. It helps me stay relaxed and put together.
  2. That pain builds character. Drugs were the easy way out. It was the quick way to feel good and get away from my problems. Now I realize that pushing into the pain or something you don't want to do end with the same amount of joy, you just have to earn it first.
  3. That your life is something worth working for and bettering.
Final Words of Advice for Others Looking to Make a Change?

Try to enjoy the gym and make friends. Don't start by making it some chore. Try to have fun with your program and the people you meet there. Getting to the gym and making it a habit is the most important step, if you start off hating it then you can't do this.

If you work your way up into harder workouts than you can focus on making it routine at first.

Thanks for the chance to submit my transformation. I hope there is some love for the skinny guys trying to gain. I know a lot of people find weight loss inspirational but there are a lot of small guys out there who need the motivation also!
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jeff gray - January 11, 2019

great job kicking your habits and making a life change for your health so you can stick around for a long time.

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