LET me clarify for the sake of clarity. I don't have a gun, I don't own a gun and I don't need a gun. I grew up in a house with guns and have nothing against them. Bearagun is in reference to my last name. My name is Sergio Barragan. I'm a school counselor and a happy husband and father of two wonderful children. I knew there was a problem when my kids, a ten and a twelve year old, asked if I was having beer with dinner. And by asking I mean...on a regular basis. Kids must not ask or offer alcohol to anyone, thus this pattern needed to stop and stop it did! A redirection was needed to live a healthier lifestyle and model appropriate behavior and here's where Bodybuilding.com comes into play. I stumbled upon this site looking for exercises that I could learn and use with a new bench I had recently purchased. This site provides an wealth of training exercises to choose from and its members' feedback from various exercises is valuable while assessing difficulty levels. The numerous articles were also of great significance as I was being educated in the art and science of bodybuilding.
To reiterate my background, I've always enjoyed working out but never found the discipline needed to see significant changes until this competition. I'm fortunate to have had my wife (Leahmvb) join me in this venture because we have been supporting each other since the first day. Our busy schedules as educators and having our kids involved in multiple extracurricular activities has exponentially increased this challenge, but that's what a partnership does...back one another. In addition, the support received from the other members of this competition has been nothing less than stellar and I mean it with sincere gratitute. Thank you all!
I struggled selecting a workout program that would suit me needs (and age) because they all appeared somewhat intense. I finally settled for Kris Gethin's 12 Week Daily Trainer, not because it's less intense than the others but because Kris seemed unique with his approach and discipline. The videos showed him in a different light...struggling with illness, unable to eat his prepared meals at a restaurant and actually vomiting as a result of an intense workout. Kris' program was folowed to the best of my ability but with some modifications due to lack of gym equipment. For example, instead of leg press exercises I would do Jefferson squats of Hack squats. Many other exercises required ingenuity for proper execution which is why I considered them as 'brute force'. The exercises change on a weekly basis making it difficult to list on this essay but I kept record of every workout in my exercise tracker. Cardio was not recorded in the exercise tracker but was performed at least 5 days per week in the form of cycling, jump rope or fast walk to meet my kids at their karate class on Tuesday and Thursday. Within the first 4 weeks of this training I reached and beat my first body fat goal of 22% from 27%. This was followed by a new goal of 17% that was also beaten a month later. I decided not to obsess with a third goal knowing that these numbers were less impressive than my progress relected in the mirror (at least to me). Nevertheless, I recorded my stats on a weekly basis beacuse I'll eventually want to refer to them as I continue to transform.
Motivation during this competition is unique to the individual, but the ultimate goal is the same...to win. I felt the best motivation was proving to me that I could and would change at will. My family was instrumental in helping me keep the momentum while transforming. A daily dialogue with my wife about our workouts, targets and suggestions for food played a big factor in staying focused. During some difficult workout sessions I would remind myself that I could and would prove those people that doubted me wrong. I became fixated with this idea and as my progress pictures began to reveal noticeable changes in my physique, those douters were silenced.
Discipline regarding food consumption played a major part in this transformation. It wasn't until I followed a fairly strict nutrition plan that I realized how much "junk" I consumed. The following is a fairly good representation of my daily meals:
- Oatmeal, or egg whites and whey shake. Coffee
- Banana, homemade protein bar (bodybuilding.com recipes)
- Chicken, fish or lean steak. Salad with light vinaigrette or steamed vegetables. Brown rice or sweet potatoes.
- Tuna fish and Greek yogurt. Green tea.
- Whey shake (pre/post workout)
- Chicken, fish or lean steak. Salad with light vinaigrette or steamed veggies.
- Casein shake
- About a gallon of water per day not included in meals or shakes. And no alcohol.
I didn't add many more supplements than what I was already taking prior to the contest; I've always taken a multivitamin, fish oil and gucosamine, but added ON's whey, BCAA, creatine and casein. My intent was to use supplements as such and not as a primary source of nutrition. Other than green tea I did not take any fat burners because I wanted to eliminate fat by means of physical activity.
So where am I today? I've involved my son in my workouts. He's my spotter and helps me reach absolute failure on many exercises. His school has a fitness room and he's well versed on many training terms...I think he knows more than me. My daughter has taken up yoga (her version) and explains to me the different yoga positions. She's always ready to exercise even if it's using the Wii Fit program. My wife looks awesome and I can't be more proud of her...she has done a wonderful job with her transformation. She was instrumental in preparing "clean" food for both of us, and kept me informed about their nutritional content. As for me, I turned 47 three weeks ago and feel ecstatic with my accomplishment. I'm certain that many competitors had to endure troublesome times while competing in this challenge. And like many other transformers, the multiple hurdles I overcame from digestive viral infection, physical injuries and migraines while exercising to seeing my father gravely ill, were growing pains. But as I said before, I'm old and stubborn and NEVER QUIT!
Sincerely, Sergio (bearagun) Barragan
Dang...I'll be looking for new exercise equipment after this competition since I bent one of the pulleys from my current bench. Good thing it go messed up because I would've kept loading the thing and probably hurt myself. Not sure what the max weight capacity rating is on this bench (can't be much), but I know I loaded the heck out of it. I like those all in one home gyms but they're a good 2 g's (at least the one I like). Regardless, this will not stop me from training cause I NEVER QUIT!
I see more and more people completing their transformations and posting pics and results, and the positive outlook that everyone has is so contagious. This is truly a group effort because the feedback given and received has been nothing short of motivational and inspirational. Regardless of the outcome this has been an extraordinary experience...people do bond in time of need!