Transformation: Zach Zamarripa Ditches 85 Total Pounds!
What Was Your Life Like Before Your Transformation?
I honestly don't know what got me out of bed before my transformation. I had zero-self confidence in my body and that bled over to my social life as well.
I had trouble making friends in school because I hated my body and felt like I was inferior to everyone else. I couldn't find the motivation to hold a job or do well in school either.
The worst part was the fear of taking my shirt off. I would hide whenever I had to be shirtless, even from myself in the mirror. I obviously avoided pictures then, which I regret today.
Please Detail Your Turning Point
After several times just "kinda" trying with IIFYM, I hired Chris Jones as a coach. Having finally put my money where my mouth was and having someone I respect hold me accountable, I was able to stay on track for weeks at a time instead of giving up every three days.
As for lifting, I found out about Greg Plitt's speeches. All of a sudden my motivation skyrocketed. I went from just working out to training with a purpose. I learned how mentally pushing myself in the gym would help me study harder and be a hard worker at my jobs.
Fitness was no longer about a number on a scale, it became about transforming myself into the best person I could be.
What Were Your Major Struggles or Challenges?
In the first year I'm sure I developed eating disorder issues. I would become obsessed with the scale and have it dictate my day. It got to the point where I was dropping my calories every day and taking no rest days.
I vividly remember watching someone eat food and having violent visions of attacking that random person and stealing their food. Luckily I realized how wrong I was in doing this.
Patience is key. It takes your body weeks to adjust to a calorie change, so don't become frustrated and throw away all your calories.
Detail Your Workout and Cardio Plan During Your Transformation
While I'm always changing my programming every few months, I base all my workouts around the big three powerlifting movements. I feel that focusing on the compound movements ignites your metabolism more than two hours of biceps. The only rule I hold myself to is I have to do
the big three twice a week and do at least one bodybuilding movement once a week for each individual muscle.
In the beginning I would run on the treadmill every day, but now I do some form of HIIT training three times a week. My favorite way to do it is with a jump rope.
Detail Your Diet/Eating Plan During Your Transformation
I practice IIFYM and flexible dieting. At first, I would fill my macros with junk, but now I have an appreciation for healthy foods. I understand how and why they benefit my body and give me energy for workouts.
I also researched plenty of recipes to make them taste good, like marinating your chicken in buffalo sauce so it isn't dry two days later, or mixing your brown rice with low-fat cheese.
Detail Your Supplement Plan During Your Transformation
- I always value my health first of all. Machine Greens and fish oil are must-haves.
- I religiously start my morning with oatmeal and a scoop of Machine Whey.
- I'm always trying out new pre-workouts. The one staple is Vasky. The better the pump I have, the better I can contract the muscle.
- I train fasted, so I love having Core ABC intra-workout. The beta alanine keeps my endurance high well into the workout.
I felt most happy when I got my body fat measured for the first time and it said 9.8%. Other huge moments were the first time I went to the beach proud that my shirt was off, and squatting 475 with good form.
Detail Your 3 Biggest Mistakes
- Impatience. Don't expect to see results right away. You didn't get fat in a month, so you won't get lean in a month.
- Starvation. I saw food as the enemy when I began. I wish I could've told myself back then that food is what you want. You need that food to train hard and keep your metabolism healthy.
- Bad relationship with food. Even recently I've been dealing with bingeing. I give into temptation for a meal, feel like a failure, then eat well over 10,000 calories. Feeling guilty I would commit mistakes one and two the next day. The important thing is to understand if you are going to eat a bunch of hot dogs with friends then you are going to gain body fat. But that little bit you might gain is not the end of the world. Just get back on your grind tomorrow. Being 100% with your diet shouldn't matter as much as quality time with friends and loved ones.
- Nothing is too hard for me anymore. When somebody says a job or program is hard I shrug it off. I've already accomplished something 1000's of people give up on every day. I'm not scared of a hard degree or class at school.
- How to push myself. I played sports in high school, but I never had the ability to give it everything I have. The mental toughness the weight room gave me helps me study when I'm sleepy and keep working when I'm tired at my job.
- I have value in myself. I didn't like who I was, so I changed it. Not just my fitness lifestyle, but how I hold myself when I walk, how I interact with people, and how I enjoy my life.
You can do this! If you want to transform but you have a reason you haven't started or not giving it your all, that reason is an excuse! Yes, it may be a good excuse. But, you're tougher than that. You're not going to let that excuse keep you from what you want.
You know you're stronger than your strongest excuse and you can find a way. Stop living like this and become the person you know you can be.
I am a personal trainer in Houston. I try to post motivational content on my Instagram account as well. Also, it goes without saying, but TigerFitness.com has all helpful content you could ever need!