The BSN Summer Shred helped add extra motivation in maintaining a lifestyle change that I started a year ago. A year ago I was 290 pounds and I made a vow to myself and my newborn daughter that I would never let that happen again!
I began obstacle racing and changed my attitude towards fitness. I was no longer working out but rather training.
The BSN SS allowed me to try and refine the progress that I had already made. A the beginning of the contest I was 233 pounds. 12 weeks after I am 218 pounds and much harder.
I used many of the tools that bodybuilding.com offerrs including Greg Plitt's 4 week program followed by my go to program- Kris Gethin's 12 Week Program. I also incorporated many of BSN's products including the HyperFX, NO-explode, and Syntha series.
I have also incorporated some elements of crossfit and a lot of trail running and body weight exercises.
While I still have a ways to go until my goal of 210 pounds I am making progress every day. I am training smarter, eating better, and supplementing much better.
I feel that I am excellent choice as a winner of this contest because I am a typical big guy who has battled weight issues his whole life. I was able to make significant gains during this 12 week period and can definitely use the prizes to help give me the tools that I will need to maintain the results that I worked so hard to obtain.
Spartan Race just opened up request to register for he Ultra Beat- Two laps of the 13+ mile Vermont Beast. If you cant complete the entire race you get no credit. If you finished 1/2 last year you received your beast medal but this year its all or nothing. Am I ready? I know I have the determination but will I be psychically ready.This will be a real gut check for me.
A Fat Guy’s Journey from his Couch to Sparta
Sine I was a child I have always battled weight issues. I was able to put weight on very easy, both muscle and fat. However, it seemed that I always leaned towards the overweight side. While I was heavy, stocky, or overweight, I was still very active and involved with athletics including basketball and weight training. The battle raged on and I saw my weight fluctuate and continued rise until I reached 310 a few years ago. I used short term goals such as weddings, vacation, and family reunions as a focus for my weight loss programs. I reached as low as 244 at one point. Each time, however, I saw my weight return once the event passed.
My previous weight loss occurred while preparing for a vacation. I was able to get into decent shape and eat healthier. The result was a low of 243. After vacation I continued to work out and eat healthy. However, we came back from vacation with an unexpected souvenir- my wife was pregnant. As her pregnancy progressed she was at the gym less and as a result so was I. Her cravings occurred more and more, as a a result I over indulged. I continued to weight train but my cardio suffered. As a result I was reached 288.
I was a new father at 41 and if I wanted to walk my little girl down the aisle on her wedding day and needed to make a change. I had to do something- I NEEDED to do something. While the long term goal of living healthier is great, it is really vague. I needed something that would help me make a lasting lifestyle change. Running helped but I became easily bored with it. I had been seeing a lot about various obstacle racing (OCR) groups and began to research them. I learned about Spartan races and the various levels of challenges. I was interested in the Sprint(3+ miles). Mostly because I could never complete the Super (8+mile) or the Beast (11+). In July 2012 I saw that Spartan Race was having a Sprint in PA in a few weeks. I began the registration process no less than 6 times before chickening out. Finally, I had all but completed my entry and the only thing standing in my way was to strike the ENTER button. I remember quite vividly me reaching around my desk and saying to myself if its meant to be the entry will go through and I quickly hit the enter button. My heart began to race as I saw that my entry was accepted. I had taken my first step to Sparta.
I quickly began to plan my training when I realized that the race was only 2 and a half weeks away. I continued with my weight training and began to incorporate some of the Spartan Workouts of the Day in to my plan. I attempted to increase my millage and was finding that I was struggling to get that first 1/2 mile in. With the impending date of my race approaching I became determined to improve on my distance. At this point my wife also registered.
The day was finally here and we were heading to Palmerton, PA. The day was beautiful and I was as prepared as I could have been in such a short time. Our nerves began to get the better of us as we second guess our decision. But as they called for our heat time, we made our way to the start. We were also told that the course was a bit longer than 3 miles we expected and was closer to 6. Some guy dressed as a Spartan gave a pep talk and then I heard the song that will forever get my heart pounding "I'm Shipping up to Boston". Then we were off. As we struggled through the course what began as a one-time deal and a bucket list type of activity, began to take on another shape. The terrain was more challenging than anything I have ever done. But as we made our way through we were actually able to complete many of the obstacles. Oh we had our share of burpees that day for sure but we were doing it. We were impressed on how much everyone helped each other along, especially over those 8 foot walls. We ran some, but walked a lot of it. We pushed each other to continue and 4 hours later we jumped over the fire together. We received our medals and devoured the banana; Zico and body Armour drink at the finish line. At that point I knew I wanted to do better next year.
That week I not only registered for the 2013 PA Sprint, but for the 2012 NJ Super as well. My training intensified and by race day of the Super I was 265 pounds. The distance was increased from 8 miles to 11.5. I was able to run most of it (not all) and the 20 foot cliff jump pushed my fear of heights to its limits. This time I was able to finish the 11.5 miles in just over 4 hours. I went home that day all smiles and doing the unthinkable- scouting a Beast to complete my Trifecta.
Due to other family obligations the only Beast that I could enter was December 2012 in Texas. My wife told me to go as my birthday/Christmas gift so I registered for the Texas Beast. My training continued and by race day I was in better shape and weighed just over 250 as I attacked the 14 mile Beast. This time it took me 4:45. This included time that I stopped to help others or to chat with people who would become a source of strength. As I crossed the line I had what I call "Biggest Loser Moment" and my eyes began to tear up. Here I was receiving my Trifecta. This was less than 6 months after I thought that me earning my Trifecta was impossible and something that only those amazing athletes on the cover of all the Spartan Advertisements could do.
Throughout this time my friends and family were as supportive as the could be of someone they believed surely to be crazy. However, besides my wife my greatest support was from my "friends" in the OCR world, in particularly the Spartan Street Team. Unlike any other sport that I have been involved with, the OCR community is amazing in the amount of support that we have for each other. Most of us have never even met. That however, changes at each venue. At the Texas Beast I met a number of the Spartan Elites who congratulated me on my Trifecta including Hobie Call himself.
Today I weigh 238 and have lost 3 pants sizes (44 to a 36/38). I have now registered for just under 20 races in 2013 including my first road 1/2 marathon. I am also hoping to complete the Ultra Beast (a 26 mile Spartan Race).By scheduling a race every other week I am unable to afford long breaks in neither my training nor much deviation from clean eating. OCR, in particular Spartan Race has helped to give me focus, and the tools needed to succeed as well as a wonderful community of support both online and at races.
Spartan Race has succeeded in their mission of “Ripping this guy off of his Couch”. I have made it my mission to do the same. As of today I have had over 30 people sign up for Spartan Races and follow me on my path to healthier living.
Fit guy jumping out of a Fat Guy. Race 1 285 pounds; Race 2 265; Race 3 250 pounds.
All Photos: Spartan Race via Nuvision