In my last year of high school I’d gotten to the heaviest I’ve ever been. I was 270lbs (I’m 5’8ish) and the doctor told me I had a very high chance of type 2 diabetes. I had just let my eating take over and did not pay much attention to anything I ate.
My first thought was am I really that overweight?! The problem sometimes is that we get used to how we look and this causes us not to notice we are gaining weight, since we see ourselves every day. It took a warning by the doctors for me to finally accept I had to do something. Now that I had this motivation, how should I use it?!
How To Start A Bodybuilding Transformation?
When starting out one’s fitness journey it is hard to know where to start. There is so much information out there, that it’s impossible to know what’s going to workout (pun intended). This is why I suggest to most that they start by doing something they can stick to.
By this I mean start with something like 20 minutes of cardio a couple times a week or maybe just eating less calzones (I used to eat one a day), something you know you can do. It’s best to start with small changes and over time they will become big ones. I know we are all in a rush to see changes, but it’s important to think about the big picture.
That’s great if you lose 20 pounds in a month, but what’s even better is if you’re still 20 pounds lighter a year later and you keep the pounds off!
Why Should I Listen To This Guy..?
You might be asking why should I listen to this guy? Because I started by doing it the other way and it was miserable. I jumped straight into it. I dropped my calories way too low, pushed myself on the treadmill for an hour plus every day and probably caused a good amount of metabolic damage, which is a topic for another day.
Not only did I make these big changes fast, I kept switching between one thing to another. One day I’d see a YouTube video on how to get “shredded” and I’d start that, then the next week I’d read an article on how Phil Heath put on size in the off season and start that – it was a mess, and I quickly learned I was not Phil Heath. Over time I realized it was okay to go slow and change only a couple things at a time, in order to keep your changes.
Eventually I began studying exercise science at the University at Buffalo, which caused me to view exercise and nutrition differently. As my body changed it became less of a need to lose weight and more of a way for me to research what works and what doesn’t. I became my own experiment and I could change any variable I wanted.
I no longer dreaded the gym, because I became fascinated with how simply changing one variable, could change my results. Exercise became an experiment for me and I had the perfect control group – me! This new passion for research taught me how to lose fat and gain muscle the right way.
At this point I had lost over a 100lbs and it was time to put on some muscle. When I graduated I was finally at a place where I felt I was ready to compete, so I started my first contest prep. After 20 weeks of prep I got on stage at 165. I won men’s juniors, lightweight novice and novice overall.
Fitness For Life
Since competing and earning my bachelor’s degree, I became NSCA trainer certified, Precision Nutrition certified and am currently studying for my RTS certification. I now run my own training and nutrition coaching business, to help people avoid the same mistakes I made when beginning their fitness journeys.
My first lesson to anyone beginning their fitness journey is to be realistic and approach change slowly. Although you may be highly motivated – which is great! – make changes slowly and I promise you’ll not only see the changes you want, but keep them. Oh, and my final tip? Don’t eat a calzone every day.
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