I had to put down some thoughts and feelings to get them out of me and dealt with. I honestly don’t expect most people to read all the way through this or even care. Most will probably just want to comment, “Quit moping and move on already”. Well, this is my way of doing just that.
Well, the announcement for the I Am Juggernaut Challenge was Monday, and I was not selected in the top 10 finishers for the Olympia portion of the challenge.
I think needless to say, if you know me at all, this was a big blow. I used the words shell-shocked, disappointed, bummed, and most appropriately punched-in-the-gut. I definitely still feel like the last kid standing waiting to get picked on the playground, except that it’s not that I got picked last. I didn’t get picked at all. I honestly gave those 12 weeks and 8 weeks beyond that all I had for Infinite Labs. I was literally on the bb.com forum for hours each day, working on my own Log, commenting on others' logs, helping where I thought I could, encouraging, trying to motivate, maybe even inspiring others to accomplish things they weren't before. And, you know what, that happened. There's no denying that. I shared my journey, and people responded to that. Similar to the ON Transformation Challenge, I found through this experience the support system that I had longed for. Well, sort of. Truthfully, I thought that Infinite Labs and the other Challengers were my support system, but Monday, something clicked. I realized that I have begun to cultivate that support system in my daily physical interactions in a way that I not been doing before. Being in the Challenge allowed me a vehicle to speak about some of my passions to the people around me. Not a sales pitch, but an honest expression of where I’m at in my physical fitness. I’m saddened that this fact must not have come across to the Judges through my log, but I also couldn’t be more excited that it happened. I now have a workout partner who feels the pain alongside me, and my wife who normally doesn’t give a rat’s behind about anything related to bodybuilding had some choice words/thoughts on the whole process, and that meant a lot to me. These people along with the response of my accountability partner, my brother-in-law, and other friends has reminded me of more important relationships.
I stated in my closing remarks that I had learned some things about myself, that I really enjoy the God given ability that I have to encourage others. To draw them into what I am doing (in a positive way), and have a lasting effect on changing lives. This didn't change on Monday, but it was definitely a wakeup call that maybe I am not using my talents in the right arena. There have been numerous comments to me about jumping into the Arnold portion of the Challenge, keep doing what you're doing, show the judges that never say die attitude and resolve, when you get knocked down, get back up. The only thing about that... I already gave Infinite Labs everything. Undying devotion to a brand I only got to know in those 12 weeks. I bought in, I drank the Kool-Aid. My shelf is stocked with yellow and blue containers. I gave honest and helpful feedback, ratings on bb.com, I shared my journey, shared the knowledge that I have gained through my own research and experience, provided countless shameless plugs for IL products and even provided a list of supplement stores in my area that could be contacted for inclusion of IL products. Facebook... oh my goodness, Facebook. I fully participated in the advancement of Infinite Labs through their multiple pages and groups. I do believe they have great products. I do love the marriage of ingredients in some of their products, which I believe gives their product line more value... and you know what I told everyone so. That didn’t change either. It’s not like I woke up today and think the products are terrible or don’t work for their intended purpose. Quite the opposite really because I’ll still probably use what I think I need and can afford. I’ll keep working out (duh), and I’ll even keep blogging – because I like it. It’s just that I won’t be doing it for them anymore. I don’t think that really matters at this point, they have at least 10 others they felt “represent” what a Juggernaut is going forward, and my case was not strong enough.
I absolutely could not be happier for Adam Gordon (aka Rumblebird). He truly deserved the top spot, of that I totally sure. I am proud to call him friend, in fact I am proud to call of the winner’s friends of mine. We truly created a community, a Nation. We literally created a perfect environment to restore Community Marketing (spending advice based on your own experience with the product or service) for Infinite Labs. It’s actually, whether intended or not (I think it was very much intended), pretty ingenious. I think Infinite Labs lost out on a great asset, though. That’s just my opinion, of course. They thought differently. I’ve already been to the Arnold, and I’m already going to Columbus in early March for the Arnold Expo again next year. I have family there, and there are friends that I am already planning on going with. I am planning on doing the Pump and Run event. Entering the Arnold portion of the IAJ doesn’t really excite me like going to Vegas would have. I’ve never been to Vegas. (Crazy I know) Also, if the way I participated in the community for the past 140 days wasn’t what they were looking for or at least wasn’t as good as 10 others, doing that for another 84 days right now against another set of challengers doesn’t interest me. Maybe that makes me look insincere in my original efforts, but I genuinely invested a ton of my time (more than most) into everyone’s journey only to come out on the other side, still standing there on the playground. Maybe that makes it seem as though I’m a quitter, but I assure you that is not the case. I simply went about the business of documenting my journey in the best way I knew how, and that was obviously not what Infinite Labs desires, so why try to fit a square peg into a circular hole.
I plan to keep in touch with those Juggers that want to keep in touch with me, and I will continue to encourage and support them because that is the part of the community that I enjoy, but I value my time and talents, and I spent waaaay to much time devoted to something that I believed would turn into an opportunity for me to be an appreciated part of a team and it didn’t. I’m not willing at this time to put myself out there like that again. I just don’t see the value in it for me. I know the feeling of being a dirty dishrag that has been used and used and used and then tossed aside will eventually go away, but I need to restore balance for my own sake. I know that I will find another arena where I am the correct puzzle piece that fits and makes all the other pieces make sense and fall into place. I thought I found that with I AM JUGGERNAUT, but it wasn’t meant to be.
Just realized that I never posted this to wrap up my bodyblog
The Challenge portion of the IAJ 2012 is over for me, but not the journey. As I said in my opening, I planned to become the best ME that I could in 12 weeks. I said that I was mentally ready to take it to the next level, and take it to the next level I did. Yesterday was obviously a bittersweet day. It was a proverbial “end” to something that I’ve made a vital part of daily life. I thoroughly enjoyed visiting people’s logs and checking in on them, contributing where I thought appropriate. That’s what I am finding that I learned the most about myself these last 12 weeks. I REALLY enjoy sharing this lifestyle, and helping to motivate and maybe even inspire others to achieve.
Last night, we had a celebratory party with 3 buddies of mine that I convinced to come on this journey too. Seeing the changes in their lives has impacted me more than I thought it would. Something that started so innocently with a New Year’s resolution a year and half ago for myself has turned into a focused activity that I believe actually has made me a BETTER version of myself, and those with whom I have regular contact.
One of the things that I specifically learned with the IAJ Forum Log concept is that I love the idea of a Blog as a place where ideas can be shared and discussed. A forum filled with information, humor, reality, experimentation, and all shared by similarly interested persons. I found out that this IS RIGHT IN MY WHEELHOUSE. I actually love the organization of it. A singular place that I can not only share what’s going on for me, but I can actually dive in and be a part of other people’s journey’s too. In the same way that I had physical accountability partners that would check in on me daily/weekly, I had many others of you online doing the same thing, and this kind of accountability is paramount to any success that I may enjoy. I will NEVER forget that! I work out alone at ~5am. I don’t have a lifting partner pushing me each and every day. I don’t have a trainer kicking my butt up one side and down the other. What I do have are you guys, Juggernaut Nation, not only rooting me on, but constantly on my mind. Whether it was asking me questions or answering my questions. Asking me about why I did this or suggesting I do that. It was this kind of support that I didn’t have outside of this online structure. Through the Log/blog framework though, and especially with the addition of the Facebook component, I have many more people aware of what and why I do what I do.
Being “360 fit” was actually an idea spawned from one of my very first bb.com friends (jennergizer). She was really into doing whatever, whenever, and I was drawn to that. I have always been into a lot of things, sometimes simultaneously, like I was earlier in this Challenge, playing sand volleyball, indoor volleyball, tennis, running, and weight lifting all in the same week!!! I loved the idea of the Challenges that members like WildBill and Rumblebird were doing. Not even necessarily in a competitive way, but more in an “exclusive club” kind of way. I love belonging to and supporting something bigger than myself, it’s why most people say that I have a lot of “team spirit”. I think that bodes well if I am chosen to become a member of TEAM JUGGERNAUT. I am as loyal and spirited as they come! That, and I have always been a versatile athlete, so when John Butz suggested that my activities reminded him of the Bo Knows commercials it resonated with me. This 360 Fit idea and the awesomeness of Juggernaut Nation with the support of the Infinite Labs team, the tag of 360JUGGERNAUT explains me completely. I may not be the biggest, strongest, fastest Juggernaut, but with the help of the Juggernaut PWO and my stack of supplements, I am LITERALLY ready ANY day, ANY time, ANY workout challenge, and I personally, think that is pretty cool. It's appropriate that I started going to ANYtime Fitness this year. I want to send out a huge thanks to Dave and Patti Bueker for provided such a top notch facility for me to workout in, and also all the support they have shown. I know they check my Log daily because I get text messages. (even today!!!)
One other thing that I took away from this Challenge is that my Circle of Influence is growing, and that makes me excited too. It used to be that I did all this for very selfish reasons. Albeit, justifiably so. My Dad died of a heart attack at the age of 34, so me being in the best shape of my life when I turn 34 in July of this year was going to take some selfishness to focus on what I needed to do to change my life. I have stated here on this Log before, but I have long been “active”, it’s just that I was out eating any chance I would ever have of staying fit. As well, it wasn’t necessarily on straight junk food. I simply justified my over-snacking by the fact that I ran so much. Never mind that I could see my waist line expanding, and my athletic performance rapidly declining. Everyone was saying, I don’t know why you think you need to work out, you’re in good shape and you eat pretty well. The truth was, with my family history, I was slowly killing myself, a couple pounds a year at a time, and instead of ignoring the signs, I decided to do something about it. The funny thing about “doing something about it” is that eventually people start to take notice. If you are a truly a Juggernaut, than you are an unstoppable force, one to be reckoned with, and that’s what I am finding. After having dinner with my buddies and their families yesterday, then reading their 84 day ending BodyBlogs, I realized, I may have had a more profound effect on their lives than I thought. I certainly didn’t do the work for them, they definitely did that, but I was a support pillar in the advancement of their health and the achievement of goals they only thought may be possible. In the same way that Juggernaut Nation, my bb.com family, and Infinite Labs has supported me, so also I have supported these guys, and so, my Circle of Influence gets a little bit bigger, and more people take notice.
]I AM UNSTOPPABLE. I WILL BE JUGGERNAUT.
I can't believe that it's been 9 weeks already! Or only 9 weeks, sometimes too... Anyway, I feel like I am working so hard but still only progressing at a snails pace. I mean there is progress... I'm pretty sure... but I still have sooooo much work to do to get where I want to be. I'm hoping to really buckle down these last 3 weeks and make the judges just HAVE to pick me to in the top 5 and get to go to Vegas!
You can see more at http://tiny.cc/IWILLBEJUGGERNAUT
I have been VERY active on my Log at http://tiny.cc/IWILLBEJUGGERNAUT I guess you'll just have to go there to read more!!! I need your support!
Week 3 of 12 for the Juggernaut Challenge. Whew, it's flying by but it also feels like it's been going for longer than that. I'll admit, its alot of work trying to keep up with 90+ other contestants Logs and be a contributing member of their journey while also keeping your own Log viable. It definitely goes beyond just "transforming" your physique! On that front, things are going well. I was down about a half lb this week, but more importantly down about a half percent in BF. That's no small feat! It's definitely gotten harder to go from 10 to 8 to lower than it was to go down from 15%!!! It's all in the small details at this point and I'm enjoying that.
I went back to the 40/40/20 macro plan, keeping my carbs "higher" for mood and energy. Every time I try to go low carb, it just doesn't suit my very active lifestyle. I've upped cardio to include cardio twice a day and weights 5 of 6 workout days. I've been playing an insane amount of volleyball lately as the indoor season ends and the sane season starts. Also, softball starts next Friday! I am super pumped about that. I'd like to hit about 12 HR's this year (that's at least one per game!!!!). I've never been much of a power hitter, but I've definitely seen my strength increase late last season and in my BP sessions these past few Saturday's, so I have HIGH hopes!!!
Gonna keep plugging away with Kris Gethin's HC Vid Trainer. It's intense, and the workouts are beginning to really get grueling. Good thing I have the Juggernaut HP to keep me pumped, focused, and working hard til the end!!
Please, please, please visit me on my log and leave a comment
Week 2 of 12 for the Juggernaut Challenge is done today for me. What a first couple weeks it has been!!! First off, my Log was name Log of the Day on Thursday, which was... AWESOME. I don't know what that means, whether I won a IAMJUGGERNAUT shaker bottle or what, but I appreciate the acknowledgement of doing my best out on the forums! It's actually fun to do, document the PROCESS. I've gained quite a few "Accountability Partners" in the process, and I love the camaraderie of the group as a whole. It reminds me of my favorite group of people in the world, my ON Transformation Challenge Bodygroup! If you get a chance to visit me out there, I'd love to have you come by and leave a message of inspiration, motivation, encouragement to all the the Juggernauts!!!
So, as I like to do each Saturday morning, whether Juggernaut or not, I took a single weight measurement and bodyfat measurement 10 mins after waking. I dropped another lb and a .1 BF. There isn't much to glean from this, though. I actually did up calories from last week - 2200 from 2000, but I cut ratios - especially of carbs to see what kind of "cutting" affect I could gain. Not much... lol.
The truth is, all it did was make me a little cranky... on Thursday morning I was unhappy, and without the news of the LOTD, I've wasn't really feeling great. I am a VERY active guy, and I've tried this carb cutting before, and frankly, I just don't think it suits my lifestyle very well. I have upped my cardio to twice a day. I'm spending 70-80 minutes doing weights 5 days a week, playing volleyball in upwards of 3 times a week. I had such a great experience with the 40/40/20 split. Here's my plan for Week 3. I am going to go with the 40/40/20 split on all weight training days and the 50/25/25 split my cardio only Active Rest Day and see how that goes. I am also going to go with a few more calories at 2300. I would actually like to stay right around 175lbs, and work more on making that the most ripped I can. So much of the look I want means small waist, big chest/shoulders and ripped quads.
So far, the Juggernaut HP has been a great pre-workout giving me some awesome vascularity and definitely increasing the time I can spend in the gym. I have been impressed with that. I really like the addition of the IL Glutamine MTX to my stack. Very little DOMS and overall good recovery aspect of the supp.
Week 1 of 12 for the Juggernaut Challenge has come to a close. Today is my REST DAY - vital to success, imo. It's also somewhat of a "cheat" day for me. What that means is, I take a break from the logging of food, workouts, etc. That doesn't mean I don't think about it, though!!! I'm kind of a nerd to the process, so I like to look at the hard data. Check my LOG for some cool infographics.
It does mean, though, that I don't worry about limiting calories. A re-feed, or strategic overfeed is a valuable tool when you are restricting calories as I have been. The hormone Leptin gets VERY low after 6 days of a caloric deficit, and your body can mistake that for "starvation". The good news is that ONE day of re-feeding (especially high carb) can reset the Leptin in your system and keep your body from actually holding onto fat that it thinks it needs for survival!!!
I show a loss of 2 lbs this week, and at this stage, I don't discount that. I ate really clean overall. I could definitely stand to lower the Cholesterol - the eggs alone do me in... I could stand to cut some sodium, 2700 is a bit high, but my Macros were good for a ~40/40/20 split, and I am really proud of that! My activity was super high as I have added that second cardio into my day. I played volleyball on both Tuesday and Thursday this week, and that definitely shows up in the activity tracker! That probably won't change, as I have been asked to play Power 4's on Monday nights, then I have my regular league Tuesday which has an overlap of indoor league and sand league (so I am playing twice in one night for a couple weeks!!!), then I have a team that I sub for sometimes on Thursdays. That alone is lot of activity, but also embarking on the adventure of taking my daughters with for a few 20 min Fun Run's during the week, and I will shedding this fat for good. I want to be Juggernaut worthy, and if week 1 is any indication, THIS WILL HAPPEN because I am UNSTOPPABLE!
I am embarking on a journey to becoming one of the next "Juggernauts" and get a trip to Mr. Olympia or the 2013 Arnold paid for! (not to compete, just to rep Infinite Labs)
One requirement to maintain a Log on the bb.com forums, you can join my discussions, check in on my progress, my workouts, nutriton, supplements, anything and everything at:
I would really appreciate you checking it out and leaving a comment, question, answer, encouragment, or constructive criticism. This New Normal isn't going to happen all on it's own!!!
The past 12 weeks have been a huge learning experience for
me. My true transformation has been going on for more than the last 3 months,
but I definitely feel like I grew in wisdom and self awareness. I started this
Challenge at around 182 lbs, roughly 13% bodyfat, which is about 158 lbs of
lean muscle. I wanted to really gain lean muscle throughout this competition,
lowering body fat while maintaining or actually gaining overall body weight. While I actually did LOSE overall weight, I accomplished my goal by effectively gaining 4 lbs of lean muscle and shedding almost 5% of bodyfat!
The First Eight weeks
In the beginning, I thought I had a pretty good stack going.
I was using ON Gold Standard Whey for pre and post workout protein. I took a
Universal Animal Pak for a multi-vitamin. I was taking ON Fish Oil capsules a day along with ON Amino 2222s. I used Jack3d as a
pre-workout booster, and then one hour before bed, I would mix an ON Gold
Standard Casein shake. Right before bed I would take 3 capsules of ON ZMA for
recovery and restful sleep. Throughout the competition I generally worked out
5-6 days per week at my local gym almost religiously at 5:00am. I have a
family, so getting up early and getting back home to prep breakfast and lunches
before anybody was even awake was a huge convenience.
My original plan was to do short cyclical bulking, that is,
two weeks clean bulk – defined as +500 calories per day over my adjusted BMR
with a 40/40/20 split, and then do 2 weeks of -500 calories per day of my
adjusted BMR at a 50/30/20 split. In that effort, I stepped up my pre and post
workout protein to include 2 scoops of the ON GS Whey, thus adding a few
hundreds calories extra right there. Because I was essentially experimenting with the idea of “clean bulking”,
the types of foods didn’t really change from where I had been in late 2011. I
was allowing myself to snack on an extra piece of fruit in the afternoon, a
little bigger helping of dinner, that type of thing. Meanwhile, for workout
purposes I was following Layne Norton’s Power Hypertrophy Adaptive Training
principles which included one day of Upper Body Power focus, one day of Lower
Body Power focus, a rest day, a hypertrophy specific Back and Shoulders day, a
hypertrophy specific lower body day, and a hypertrophy specific Chest and Arms
day, and then another rest day to end the week. I have generally stuck to the
idea of a ‘Cheat Day’ on the 7th day, but what that really means to
me is that I just don’t track anything. I don’t think about what, when, where.
It is basically an unplanned day, or completely opposite to the other 6 days!
This is not to say that I stuffed my face every 7th day, but it was
a mental reprieve from the rigors of training/diet/nutrition. This is
particularly suited for me because I am a relatively normal guy with a 40+ hour
sedentary job as an Architect. My real goal is/was to show that you don’t have
to alienate yourself from your family, friends, co-workers because of this “new
Through the first two weeks, I found out I was just simply
not eating enough to call it bulking. My body weight was actually dropping at a
time when I was trying to gain. Normally, this would have been great, but not
really what I was intending. I did take solace in the fact that my bodyfat
percentage was dropping at a faster rate than body weight, so a resulting gain
in lean muscle was actually happening. Nevertheless, I decided to purchase a
5lb container of ON’s Pro Complex Gainer to replace my morning protein
nutrition. The new gainer shake did have more protein, it had a lot more carbs,
and definitely more calories! For weeks 3-8, I used the gainer as my post
workout shake, and instead of a pre-workout protein shake, I substituted an
intra-workout mix called SizeOn Pre-Contest, which is also said to be a lean
Since my 2 week cycle was already broken, I decided to go
ahead and clean bulk (roughly +500 calories per day) all the way through week
8. I was really putting in a lot of effort in the weight room, doing much more
power movements and actual strength training than I have ever done before and I
was definitely starting to see more mass in the mirror. I changed up the actual
exercise movements, but stayed with the PHAT principles for weeks 4-8.
It was in week 5 that I stumbled upon the Forum for our 100K
Transformation Bodygroup. I had been a regular visitor to the Bodygroup page,
but clicked on one of the forum topics, and I was hooked. There were so many
other competitors out there and it was refreshing to interact with them, ask
questions, receive answers, add dialogue, and receive encouragement! It quickly
became my go-to forum for daily motivation. During week 6 I cycled off the
pre-workout Jack3d, and also got sick or possibly suffered a little from
overtraining, maybe both? The PHAT was kicking my butt, and ultimately I ended
up having to scale back that week, and treated week 7 almost like a de-load.
Week 8, I was back to a more normal routine in the gym, and it was then that I
started to experiment with an intermittent fasting protocol that I had been
researching for some time.
Ultimately, that’s what I love about the sport of
bodybuilding, that it is a science, and we are our own test subject. There is no set
way of doing it, you can find data that backs up any of the different diet and
training techniques, but you have to search and find what’s best for you to achieve your absolute
best physique. For the past year and half, I have been a faithful reader of
John Romaniello’s Roman Fitness Systems blog, and Roman had been talking a lot
about some different Intermittent Fasting (IF) protocols that are out there.
After posting on the Bodygroup forum about this very topic, I discovered the
16/8 Leangains.com protocol. Admittedly, the idea of fasted training and not
having my protein shake within that magic 30 minute window after a workout was
a bug hurdle for me. As was the very accepted idea that 6-8 meals a day is the
preferred norm. I won’t include all the excellent information that Martin
Berkham presents on his website, but what I found during week 8 was that by
taking 10g of ON Amino 2222s before and another 10g after, I did not have any
let up in the gym due to the fasted training. Furthermore, I did seem to be more
productive (and generally in a better mood) in those 3 hours between when I was
done working out and when I broke the 16 hour fast every morning at 10am. Don’t
get me wrong, I looked forward to this meal, but more importantly, I was feeding
my body just at the right time protein synthesis is said to be happen after a
rigorous workout. So, in essence, I hadn’t “missed” anything! Even though this experiment was generally positive, ultimately, I found myself in a 2 week plateau when I thought that it would shock my body into change. I did learn from the experience, and I will continue to lean on this knowledge, but I did move back to a more traditional meal structure.
The Last 4 Weeks
I mentioned the Bodygroup forum earlier, and I can’t
overstate the importance that group had on my transformation. It was there that
I found the community of like-minded individuals
that I believe bodybuilding.com seeks to bring together. Here we were all
trying to achieve the same thing, which is the best US we can be. I found great
encouragement there, and also some great information. Through my interactions
there, I began to notice that the competitors using Kris Gethin’s Hardcore
Trainer were having huge successes in muscle development and fat loss, as a
group, maybe even more than others. Now of course, I know that there are so many
factors that go into seeing great gains, but the enthusiasm and attitude from
these particular individuals seemed to have something to do with how great they
felt in the gym! So, I checked it out, and after the first workout I was
hooked. Now, I know it’s weird to start another 12 week program in week 9 of a
current 12 week challenge, but because I knew my journey would not end on the
day 84th day, I was willing to give it a shot. The main difference
that I felt right away was the idea that there were a lot of working sets to
failure. This made for some grueling workouts, and some definite DOMS (Delayed
Onset Muscle Soreness), which I had honestly not had during the first 8 weeks
of the Challenge. I felt alive again,
which turned out was exactly what I needed for a “sprint” to the finish!
In week 8, I cycled back onto Jack3d and also started taking
Oxy Elite Pro once a day. In week 9, I progressed to 1 ½ scoops of Jacked3d and
two Oxy Elite Pro caps (1 in the morning and 1 in the afternoon). My goals were
becoming more reality as I was seeing my bodyfat percent start to go down
again, and my overall muscle definition go up!
It was after MY week 11 that I was named the Weekly Winner
for Week 10! This news was so awesome! I nearly jumped out of my chair at work,
and had there been anybody around, I would have hugged them!!! I cannot thank Optimum Nutrition, Dazzling
Danielle of bodybuilding.com, and my online support Bodygroup enough!!! This
was the highlight of the 12 weeks, but not the end.
Week 12, I decided to up the ante and went “no” carb - only
what was present in my protein shakes and fibrous veggies – to lean out as much
as possible. I topped it off with a carb load on part of the 82nd
and the 83rd day to fill my muscles back up! Ultimately, I feel like that experiment didn't go as well as I had hoped, but that is part of the learning process. I will work on those kinds of smaller minutia as I continue my journey.
The first 4 weeks of Kris Gethin’s Hardcore Trainer have
been an awesome experience, and I plan to finish the last 8 weeks. KG has
taught me so many things through the online videos. I had never done drop sets,
triple drop sets, FST, YST, or even the work to failure method I talked about
earlier. He has literally opened my mind to the world of bodybuilding. While I
didn’t subscribe to his “tell your friends and family Goodbye for three months”
and focus only on the Transformation, I do appreciate what it means to work my
REAR END off. I even started a fitness blog called My New Normal (http://www.kennknee.tumblr.com/) where I also
track and share my experiences, what I am learning, links to certain topics,
and basically how the “normal” guy can live an ABNORMAL life (in a good way!), how to get fit and
stay fit by making logical and intentional steps toward being healthier and
Plan(s) and Supplement Timing
Week 1, As I stated earlier, I learned that I knew nothing about “bulking”, and
had trouble with finding the right mix.
Clean Bulk Plan for weeks 2 thru 6 was 500 calories OVER my Activity
Adjusted Basal Metabolic Rate.
Adjusted BMR = 66 +
(6.25(weight180)) + (12.7(height71.75)) - (6.8(age33)) + 30% Active = 2445
4:30 am Preworkout - 1
scoop Jack3d, 5g ON Amino 2222, aspirin
7:00 am Postworkout -
ON Pro Gainer w/ almond milk, 10g creatine, 2 tbs Benefiber (815cal), Animal
Pak vitamins (40cal)
8:30 am Breakfast – 3
hard boiled eggs (210cal), banana (105cal), 5g ON Amino 2222
10:30am Mid Morning –
½ cup 2% cottage cheese (105cal), ¼ cup natural almonds (200cal), 5g ON Amino
2222, ON Fish Oil
12:30pm Lunch –
Sandwich: Healthy Life Wheat, deli meat, cheese, spinach (225cal), veggies and
hummus (75cal), fruit (100cal), 5g ON Amino 2222, ON Fish Oil
3:30 pm Mid Afternoon
– 1 can tuna (140cal), 14 cheese cubes (220cal), ON Fish Oil, 2000 IU Vitamin D
6:30 pm Dinner – 2x lean protein, brown rice, broccoli
(500cal), 5g Amino 2222
9:00 pm Pre Bed – ON GS Casein w/ 1% milk (210cal)
10:00pm Bedtime – 3 caps ON ZMA
TOTAL CALORIES CONSUMED = 2945
7 and 8 I experimented with Lean Gains IF protocol. My calories consumed was
the same as bulking, but I consolidated into an 8 hour “feeding window”.
Ultimately, because of my early workout schedule, I was uncomfortable with this
protocol. However, I did learn valuable things about amino acids, creatine,
protein synthesis, and my ‘learned’ response that I have between eating and
Cut Plan for weeks 9 thru 11 was 500 calories UNDER (a 1000
swing!) my Activity Adjusted BMR.
4:30 am Preworkout -
2 scoops Jack3d w/ 5g creatine (15cal), 10g ON Amino 2222, aspirin
7:00 am Postworkout –
2 scoops ON GS Whey w/ almond milk, 5g creatine, 2 tbs Benefiber (355cal),
Animal Pak vitamins (40cal)
8:30 am Breakfast – 3
hard boiled eggs (210cal), 4 links turkey sausage (140cal), 5g ON Amino 2222
12:30pm Lunch –
Sandwich: Healthy Life Wheat, deli meat, cheese, spinach (225cal), veggies and
hummus (75cal), fruit (100cal), 7 cheese cubes (110cal), 5g ON Amino 2222, ON Fish
3:30 pm Mid Afternoon
– ½ cup 2% cottage cheese (105cal), beef jerky (105cal) ON Fish Oil, 2000 IU
6:30 pm Dinner – 2x lean protein, green beans (300cal), 5g
Amino 2222, ON Fish Oil
9:00 pm Pre Bed – ON GS Casein w/ 1% milk (210cal)
10:00pm Bedtime – 3 caps ON ZMA
TOTAL CALORIES CONSUMED = 1945
Weight = Start 181.6lbs, End 176.8lbs
Shoulders = Start 50.25”, End 50.5"
Chest = Start 43”, End 44.5"
Waist = Start 31.75”, End 31"
Thigh = Start 23.5”, End 23"
Calf = Start 15.75”, End 15.5"
Forearm = Start 12.25”, End 12.5"
Arm = Start 15.25”, End 15.5"
Body Fat = Start 12.7%, End 8.1%
LBM = Start 158.5, End 162.5
Now that I am finished and can look back on the experience, even though I didn't have as significant of a physical change as I had maybe envisioned, I wouldn’t trade it for anything. I have met all kinds of new and awesome
people. I have filled my brain with so much information, that I’m going to need
the next 12 weeks to unpack it all! My hope is that my “transformation” is one
that speaks to people in such a way that they say, “Yeah, I CAN do that!!!” It
is possible to take control of your life, your physique, your health. My dad
died of a heart attack when he was 34 years old. At 33 (I turn 34 in July), I
will NOT suffer that same fate. I CAN do this. I HAVE completed the Challenge,
and this was only one more step in what will hopefully be a steep staircase
that is my life.
This transformation is dedicated to the Lord as my Saviour,
the giver of Life. Also,
I dedicate this to my support system. My family for putting up with me getting
up at 4am everyday, my friends for all the jaw-dropping and the questions, and especially those that have become both
friends and family, my Bodygroup! Thank you for the wisdom, knowledge,
encouragement, respect, constructive critique, and for participating FULLY in
Nada, zip, zero zilch.
I've been carb'ing up all day. I wrote my essay offline. I'm sure I'll tweek it a few more times before posting tomorrow.
What an incredible journey. I honestly don't think the pictures can truly capture what has gone on inside, but we'll see.
Spray tan in hand
It's day 82 overall and day 3.5 of carb depletion and I don't feel great. After some sound advice from my friend Eric, I'll be carb loading and not working out tomorrow in order to hope for great final pictures. I admit, I didn't really look into tapering or anything for the END. I'm a balls-to-wall kinda guy, and so THIS feeling that I have right now, it's ter-ri-ble. I am in week 4 of KG's Hardcore Trainer, which luckliy, God was watching over me, KG isn't killing me like he has been in the previous 3 weeks. It's been relatively short and sweet with the workouts, which turns out to be ideal for what I've been doing with my current carb situation.
You know, I would love to make top 10 for this Transformation, but the reality is that while some people maybe came into it a little less in-shape than me, there are lots that will end in way better shape than me, and there are MANY who fall into BOTH of those categories. I cannot say enough about how impressed I am with ALL the transformations. It's AMAZING to see all that HARD WORK paying off for people. The truth is, my changes are a little less dramatic than others. What changed for me was mostly above the shoulders!!! I've learned so much from AND ABOUT the experience. I did drop to below the bodyfat percent I was aiming for. So, plus one for me. I did manage to up my Lean Muscle Mass, 2 points for me. I am hovering right around my goal waist measurement and I do believe I gained in the chest, hopefully another point for me. However, I lost overall weight when I was trying to GAIN, hahaha. Minus one. Since I haven't taken final measurements yet, I don't really know, but I don't think I signifigantly changed muscle size measurements in arms and forearms like I had hoped either, minus another. All those positives should have given me that V-taper I so desire, but I'm not really feelin it. In case you haven't noticed, I'm a little down today. It's prbably just the carb-depleted crank-in-ness talking.
Here was what passed as my workout this morning:
WARMUP: 110#x10, 150#x10
Triple drop set: 170#x12, 150#x12, 130#x4, 110#x8, 90#x12 (yeah, I know, that's not a triple drop... I was determined to get that last set of 12.)
Machine Chest Press
Triple drop set: 150#x12, 110#x12, 70#x12
Incline DB Flyes
Triple drop set: 35#x12, 25#x12, 15#x12
20 minutes moderate on the bike, and finished with 150 Twists. Just didn't have it, but I guess, what did I really expect???
Short but sweet was the lifting portion of KG's workout this morning. Which is good since I'm on Day 3 of "NO" carb (there have been some carbs in my protein shakes and broccoli). I did double up on the cardio since I was already at the gym and it was early...
150 Twists each direction
Side Lateral Raises
WARMUP: 25#x10, 30#x10
Triple drop set: 25#x10, 20#x10, 15#x10
Triple drop set: 130#x10, 110#x10, 90#x10
Rear Delt Raise
Then I did 20 minutes on the Bike.
150 Twists in each direction
THEN, another 25 minutes on the Elliptical.
I'm feeling the carb thing... but I'll begin loading tomorrow night (before playing volleyball!) and then definitely on Friday. A glass of wine on Friday night for vascularity, and photos on Saturday morning of Day 84!!!
I have never done a triple drop set before, so it's pretty awesome that on day 79, I am still learning new things. Really, that just means that I am a complete novice at this... but, that's ok. I love to learn.
150 twists in each direction
Reverse Grip Hammer Pulldown
WARMUP: 130#x10, 150#x8
3 sets: 150#x12, 160#x12, 170#x12
Bent Over Barbell Row
3 sets: 150#x12, 170#x12, 200#x12
Single Arm DB Rows
2 sets: 80#x12, 90#x12
Reverse Grip Pulldown
3 sets: 160#x12, 170#x12, 180#x12
4 sets (triple drop sets - no rest): 100#x12, 80#x12, 60#x12, 40#x12
Cambered Bar Curls
4sets (triple drop sets - no rest): 85#x12, 75#x12, 65#x12, 45#x12
Then I did 20 mins of moderate Elliptical and finished it off with 150 twists in each direction.
I am "NO" carb'ing today, so we'll see how I feel tomorrow
I love the way Kris Gethin does legs because he absolutely murders them. I mean, like, seriously, staggering through the gym, sweat dripping, animalistic yelling, murder. (note: there was literally NO ONE in the gym early on Sunday morning, so I really was yelling... that's not normal behavior for me, I think it's kind of weird when I hear others grunting, but I'm not gonna lie, it felt awesome...)
I started with my warmup and my 150 twists in each direction.
Then, the massacre started:
WARMUP: 150#x10, 150#x10
1 drop set of 100 reps: 75#x35, 21, 19, 25 (I took a moment at these reps to re-group with the same weight instead of strating a little higher and dropping the weight off like a triple drop set would. I know that's what KG did in the video, but I didn't watch it until after... I know, I know... silly me)
WARMUP: 475#x10, 475#x10
3 rest pause sets: 525#x30, 475#x30, 365#x30 (resting 3 sec at the "bottom" of the lift before pushing the weight up = KILLER)
3 rest pause sets: 133#x30, 150#x30, 160#x30
Hack Squats (heels raised on plates)
3 rest pause sets: 135#x30, 135#x30, 135#x30 (this is where it got interesting!)
20 minutes on the Elliptical (which was vital to releasing all the lactic acid!!!)
150 more twists in each direction.
Well, needless to say, my late Friday was the most amazing time during this Challenge. I won the Weekly Winner for "Week 10". I was so excited, I was practically jumping up and down at work, smiling ear-to-ear, simply ecstatic... luckily, no one was here anymore!!! hahaha
After that news, I went home to get ready for a volleyball league Championship, of which we ABSOLUTELY KILLED! I don't want to come off badly, but we were ON, and we were unstoppable (juggernaut??? LOL). But seriously, Friday evening and night was just plain AWESOME.
So, obviously I ended Week 11 on a VERY HIGH NOTE. I had killer workouts all week, and dropped yet more bodyfat percent. I've lost 1.5% in the last two weeks compared to 1.5 percent the 6 weeks prior to that!!! Kris Gethin's program has rejuvenated me. I am finished with week 3 of his training, so it will work well to carry that into the NEXT challenge!
It's bittersweet to know that the ON Challenge is ending next weekend. I have thoroughly enjoyed this experience. I've met so many new, exciting, and interesting people all through the Transformation Bodygroup, and they've managed to push me to the NEXT level. I can only hope to finish strong, but I also know that's not the "finish" either. I am so pumped for the future and I feel like I'm on top of the world right now!
Single digit days left in the ON Transformation Challenge, and I am going gangbusters. Another great workout today courtesy of Kris Gethin and my people over at Men's Health Magazine! This month they had 5 great ideas from the 'Flatten Your Belly' section. So, what did I do... All 5 instead of doing just KG's situps... boring.
Anyway, I started out with a warmup and then 150 twists each direction.
Superset - to FAILURE
DB Side Raise: 15#x24, 25#x17, 30#x12
DB Front Raise: 15#x31, 25#x18, 30#x14
Machine Shoulder Press
FAILURE: 110#x15, #110x13, #100x14
CS Rear Delt Raises
Standing Calf Raises
5 sets: 250#x20, 250#x20, 250x20, 250#x18, 250#x17
Giant Circuit (minimal rest throughout)
Around-the-World Plank - 4 revolutions x 3 circuits
Anti Rotation Cable side Crunch - 15#x15, 20#x15, 25#x15
Side Plank with Cable Pull - 15#x15, 20#x15, 25#x15
Back Ext with DB Row - 15#x8ea, 20#x8ea, 25#x8ea
Ab Wheel Rollout - 15reps x 3 circuits
THEN... 20 minutes on the bike while I watched KG videos...
THEN... finished it off with 150 twists each direction. Sweat, blood, tears... or just sweat.
Well, you know what they say, once you've trashed the muscles in one group, you might as well do the same to the opposing muscles... haha. Another solid workout this morning!
Started with 150 Twists... I kinda do mine as if I was swinging a softball bat back and forth... I like it.
Reverse Grip Pulldown
FAILURE: 200#x10, 200#x8, 200#x6
FAILURE: 170#x15, 175#x13, 180#x13
CS (Chest Supported) DB Row
FAILURE: 75#x16, 80#x13, 75#x16 (wgt of DB's in each hand)
Close Grip Rack Chins (feet elevated supported, then close grip pullup)
FAILURE: 14, 12, 10
Alternating DB Curls
FAILURE: 35#x14, 35#x13, 35#x13
FAILURE: 100#x14, 105#x13, 110x11
FAILURE: 20#x17, 20#x15, 15#x20
My cardio was 20 minutes on the bike again. Then finished it with 150 (ea way) twists!!!
I am determined to ROCK it out for the final pics (I hope).
Let me start off by saying, my triceps were/are totally trashed, HOWEVER, I did not succumb to the "girly" narrow pushup as KG did!!! LOL He was so funny in the online video talking about how he wasn't proud of that, but it's on the video so he can't deny it! Funny stuff. As you'll see I didn't do very many though... COMPLETELY OBLITERATED them.
Started off with Weighted Bar Twists - 150 reps
As always, 60 sec rests between sets and exercises.
Flat DB Press
WARMUP: 70#x10, 70#x10
FAILURE: 85#x7, 85#x6
Straight Arm Pullover
FAILURE: 80#x13, 85#x10 (almost smacked myself in the head...)
FAILURE: 60#x10, 60#x9
DROP SET: 30#x11 (done immediately after last working set)
Overhead DB Tricep Extension (both hands)
DROP SET: 35#x20 (done immediate)
DROP SET: 35#x14 (after 30 second rest)
FAILURE: 20#x10, 20#x8, BWx15
Lying DB Extension (ea hand)
FAILURE: 20#x10, 20#x10, 20#x7, 15#x6
3 sets: 7, 6, 3
Feet on floor: 19
Feet elevated on bench: 16
One foot raised other on bench: R15, L15
20 mins of steady state Bike, then 150 non-weighted Twists to work on getting that tiny waist!
Day 72 of 84, I had one of those KG's infamous Leg workouts in the morning, then took an introductory "class" learning about this new Purmotiuon Tower at my gym (see picture). 30 minute, interval style stations, kinda "cross-fit-ish" stuff. It was an awesome calorie burn. I finished that off with 20 mins on the elliptical to top it all off! Great end leading into my Tuesday rest day.
Leg Workout (everything was high rep/high volume):
Leg Extensions 125#x20, 140#x20, 155#x20
Leg Curl 125#x15, 140#x15, 155#x15
Standing Leg Cable Curl:
I can't believe it's been >70 days, that sounds like such a long time, yet it has flown by. I busted through a plateau and managed to lose a couple lbs and a whole bodt fat percent to get down to 9%! That was huge for me just because I feel it was a direct and measurable result of the training and diet from that week. NO delay, you work for results and then you see them. That is the point, right!?!!
Anyway, here's my workout for Back and Bi's
Reverse Grip Pulldown
FAILURE: 150#x15, 170#x11, 190#x9
Wide Grip Pulldown
FAILURE: 160#x12, 180#x9, 190#x8
One Arm DB Row
FAILURE: 80#x11, 85#x10, 90#x10
Stiff Leg Deadlift
3 sets: 185#x16
Hammer Grip DB Curl
FAILURE: 20#x23, #25x16, 25#x15
FAILURE: 80#x17, 85#x16, 90#x13
Cambered Bar Curl
FAILURE: 65#x12, 75#x10, 85#x7
Then I did 20 mins on the Bike and took 30 softball swings with the short bar and 20# resistence (from each side of the plate.
Ten weeks in, and I am definitely more motivated now than I was even at the beginning. That's surprising only in that, you would think the first few weeks of a new challenge would have been the "best". Now, don't get me wrong, I was motivated back then, and those workouts in the first 4 weeksor so were awesome. however, something has changed for the BETTER. Throughout this challenge I have gone about trying to discover certain things about myself, my body, and I have definitely done that. I have a better understanding now of what I am doing than when I started. I have a better support group now than when I started. I'm on a good program that changes things up constantly (something that I have found to be important for me). I also feel like I understand my nutrition plan even better. I understand my supplements and what I need and when to take them.
All this, I feel like I've maintained a sense of normalcy to my life. Are there certain things that I don't eat now that I would have before, certainly, but not to the detriment/awkwardness of my family and friends. Are there activities that I engage in that are different than where I was at the beginning. Yes, certainly. I'm understanding the gym and program writing and it's intracaies much better. I'm also learning how to push past what I thought was my best before. As one of my bb.com friends once said, My BEST is getting BETTER. I've loved that phrase since the day she posted it. That's what I want for myself, not only to do my best, but to have that self imposed threshold broken and pushed through!
I made a lot of measured progress in Week 10 of 12. I reigned my diet in to create a 2 lb loss and a percentage point in bodyfat. The goal I set for myself when I joined bb.com in August of 2011 was to be at 9% BF by my b-day, July 15, 2012. Because of this ON Challenge, I made that 4 months early! I still have to maintain it, but how awesome is that!?! I look forward to that next 2 VERY FOCUSED weeks.
Day 69 and I am feeling like a new man. I am so sore from absolutely killing it this week. Not only have I been putting in the work in the gym (roughly an hour or more each day), I am doing 20 mins of cardio after that - I was not doing that during the "bulk" phase of this Challenge, but I have also been playing a lot of volleyball - tonight will be my third time this week (T, Th, F)! So, needless to say, I am going to enjoy a little breather tomorrow before hitting it HARD again on Sunday.
Nutrition-wise I have gone into lock down mode
I have gotten away from the 16/8 Leangains just because the version where you workout so early in the morning like I do just does not work out very well to be honest. I gave it a couple weeks and just flatlined in progress. I am doing more of a modified 4-meal structure, especially due to the caloric deficit and the low carb (under 99g every day). I feel like I've made HUGE progress this week, so I will be very dissappointed tommorrow if there is little or no change in any measurements. I seriously want to be considered a competitor for this Challenge, and while I do consider even the progress that I have made a success, deep down I want to compete. And that means REALLY buckling down for two more weeks!!! Lean, lean, lean, 8-pack, 8-pack, 8-pack, single digit BF, single digit BF, single digit BF. I can DO THIS!
Standing Calf Raise
4 SETS: 250#x12, 270#x12, 290#x12, 300#x12
Donkey Calf Raise
4 SETS: 75#x20, 75#x20, 75#x20, 75#x20
Hanging Leg Raises
FAILURE: 36reps, 31 reps, 28reps
Then I added a kettlebell ladder. I started off by doing 1 rep of a one arm snatch, 1 rep of a one arm windmill, 1 rep of a one arm squat, and 1 rep of a one arm shoulder press. Then go immediately into 2 reps of each staying with the same arm the whole time. Progress all the way to 5 reps of each, no rest, muscle through! Rested 1 min and did the other arm.
I did two different 1-5rep sets. The first with a 17.4# kettlebell, and the second with a 26.4# kettlebell.
After all that, I was sufficiently sweating my arse off, and I jumped on the elliptical and at level 15, did 20 minutes. Stretched and went home drenched!
On top of some DOMS in my chest and and triceps, I absolutely murdered my shoulders this morning. I don't think I have ever had a day solely devoted to one muscle group before. Thank you KG for showing me the money. That guy is such a beast, I feel like a like a little kid in the gym compared to what I see him lift on the video. But hey, we all start somewhere, and this is my time and my place.
Seated Military Press
WARMUP: 70#/10, 90#x10
FAILURE:110#x8, 120#X7, 125#X6
One Arm Shoulder Hammer Press
FAILURE: R 75#x9, L75#x8, R 90#x7, L 90#x8
DROP SET: R 45#x15, L 45#x14
Supersets to FAILURE
DB Side Raises: 20#x20, 25#x14, 25#x13
DB Raises behind Back: 15#x16, 15#x17, 20#x12
FAILURE: 80#x18, 85#x14, 90#x13
Cable Cross Over FST7 to FAILURE (30 second rests between sets)
30#x16, 30#x15, 30#x12, 25#x14, 25#x13, 25#x12, 20#x13
I finished myself off with 20 mins of moderate BIKE. Hope I can still volleyball tonight and tomorrow night!!! lol
Day 67 of 84 of the ON Transformation Challenge.... that's only 17 days left, and while I have made slow progress, I have not made mind-blowing, "transformation-like" progress. I'd like to change all that and really lean out in the waist over the next 2.5 three weeks remaining. That viseral fat in my lower abdomen and back have been my nemesis in getting that very pronounced V shape that I crave to have. So, on with Kris Gethin's Hardcore Trainer and CLEAN, CLEAN, CLEAN eating with a caloric deficit. I have to trust that I built some muscle in those first 8 weeks or so and that by getting REALLY lean, that will show a respectable Transformation photo.
Chest and Tris
Flat Dumbbell Press
WARMUP: 65#x10, 70#x10
FAILURE: 80#x9, 90#x4, 85#x6
Very low incline DB Flyes
FAILURE: 60#x9, 60#x8
DROP SET: 30#x10
Incline Cable Flyes
FAILURE: 35#x9, 40#x7
DROP SET: 20#x11
FAILURE: 40#x8, 40#x8
DROP SET: 20#x15
Tricep Cable Pushdown (cambered bar)
FAILURE: 70#x17, 75#x15
DROP SET: 35#x15
Reverse Cable Pushdowns
FAILURE: 60#x20, 70#x17
DROP SET: 35#x18
GIANT SET!!! (no rest between exercises or sets!!!)
BB Skull Crusher 60#x7, 50#x7, 40#x7
DB Skull Crusher 25#x7, 20#x7, 15#x7 (DB in each hand)
BB Close Grip Rockers 60#x7, 50#x7, 40#x16!
Then I did 20 mins of vigorous rowing (covered over 4500 meters)
Last, I finished up with 20 swings from each side of the plate with 20# resistence on cables.
Go hard or go home.
So this weekend was the Arnold Sports Festival. I headed over to Columbus on Sat morning. It was CRAZY! I highly recommend that everyone go at least once in their life, but honestly, the Expo was not exactly as I had expected. I was so excited about it, but other than a few free samples and a cool Kardio Kraze DVD (treadmill dancing) workout, it wasn't really geared toward actually getting to meet and greet or carry on an intelligent conversation with anyone that knew anything. It was a maze of long lines and college kids who can't afford supplements loading up with anything and everything with no regard for their actual health. I will say this though, the actual competitions - like the power lifting, table tennis, boxing, ju jit su, Crossfit, and the 5K. That all was great to see - well other than the SNOW during and then rather heavy shortly after the 5K. I was really not very prepared for the weather. Not only did I not really prepare by running as my workouts - I've only lifted lately!!! - but I also did a killer KG leg workout on Friday. (I know, not the smartest move) I also didn't bring gloves, went out too fast, and didn't bring my pace watch. So, the fact that I ran a 23:04 (slower than my goal - but probably more realistic) was ok, I guess. It def reminded me that I love the thrill of compeition, so that was GOOD.
Yesterday, I traveled back the 6 hours to St. Louis and spent the rest of the day relaxing, ready to hit it hard again. I have three weeks left to drop another couple bodyfat points because that's the only way I'm going to have a chance at this Challenge. Also, if I accomplish that, I will have reached my goal from Day 1 of signing up on Bodyspace, 4 months early!! So, there would definitely be that to celebrate!
I've really got to buckle down on my nutrition plan. KG's workouts are great, so I very much look forward to that, but I struggled with the IF over the weekend and with very slowed progress last week. I thought it would expedite the progress and it did not. I'm not sure how I feel about that, so I am contemplating going back to something closer to what I know has worked for me. This is the biggest challenge, adapting to your new body. Your new body doesn't react the same way that your old body did. I don't believe that there is any one way that EVRYBODY has to do the whole "Get Fit" thing, but I do think there are things about each individuals bio-mechanics that make certain things work for THEM more than other methods.