The Journey Begins (A little background)

March 30, 2012.  My 38th birthday.  About 15 minutes into what would be a nearly 4 hour tattoo experience was when it happened.

My tattoo artist asked me to take my shirt off in order to access more of my arm & shoulder.  Uh-oh.  I was out of shape.  Skinny-fat.  No real muscle tone but I did sport a nice little plump belly.

I spent the next few hours ashamed of how I looked. It got progressively worse as each person in the shop would come over to check out the sleeve that Frank was working on.

I can honestly say that day was the day I made the decision to turn things around.  No more excuses for not getting in some interval cardio a few times a week, lifting weights 4 days a week & such.  Poor eating habits had to go & had to go quickly.

The next day I moved the free weights in from the garage & set up the spare bedroom as my new weight room.  I dug out some old workout routines & meal plans I had used years ago & started implementing changes.

Fast forward about a week or so….

I received an email from a fitness author whose blog I follow, John Romaniello (aka Roman).  He’s taking on coaching clients.  He’s doing so at $50/off per month.  He’s also going to feature the best of the best coaching clients in a book he’s writing.

I immediately responded expressing a desire to be considered for the coaching program. My response did the trick because I am asked to complete an online application & return it ASAP.

I did so & within a day I have been accepted as a coaching client.  A few weeks later, I began my training program. Each month I received a custom set of workouts & meal plans.  For the next 6 months I followed my coaching program & put everything I had into it.

I spent the first two months working to burn as much fat as possible & then the next 4 months adding muscle.  From my spare bedroom/weight room & my kitchen (abs are made in the kitchen, not the gym), I radically changed my body.

November 1, 2012.  I completed my training & took my “After” pics.  I sent my photos & my story to my coach.  Here’s an excerpt from the testimonial I sent:

“...When we began working together, I weighed around 150 pounds at around 12-14% body fat (I take my own measurements so I may not be the most accurate).  At the end of the program, my weight was again around 150 pounds* but my body fat was only 7-8%! 

*I would have come in a bit heavier but I suffered a slight lat strain at the onset of month 6 & it cost me a little over a week in the weight room.  At this point in time I decided to see how cut I could get for my “After” photos. I knew that once healthy, I could work to add size once again.

I had just completed an intense 6 month transformation.  My body looked much different.  I looked more muscular & ripped.  I felt better.  Nearly everyone who saw my “Before/After” photos was blown away by them. My confidence was at an all time high.  I was on top of the world.

Then something really weird happened.  What at first started out as a recovery week turned into 2 weeks.  I was slowly losing my edge.  I had been making poor food choices on a more regular basis.  I was skipping training days as well.

For the better part of November I fought with getting my focus back & getting myself on track.  December was a better month.  I exercised 4-5 days a week & ate in a much better manner.  But something was missing.  I realized that I had failed to establish a new fitness goal & as such I wasn’t moving forward.

Thankfully, I have a new fitness goal.  I have entered into an online body transformation contest.  This bring us to….

Today. January 7th, 2013.

Day 1, Phase 2: So begins the second phase of my body transformation.  I weighed in at 149 pounds, 9% body fat to begin this round.  So, I basically exchanged a couple pounds of muscle for fat over the last 2 months.

I’ve learned my lesson & will use this next 90 day period to re-establish proper eating & exercise habits.

My 90 day goal is to gain at least 10-15 pounds of muscle while shedding a couple pounds of fat in my lower abdominal area.

The body transformation workout program I am utilizing is Craig Ballantyne’s Turbulence Training “15 Pounds of Muscle in 8 Weeks program.  This is a 4 day-a-week, Upper/Lower Body split workout.  I’ve found that I respond well to these split-type routines so it makes sense to give this program a shot.  (I’ve also decided that rather than list specific exercise, set & rep schemes, I will instead just give a brief overview of each daily workout.)

My eating plan is similar to the last month I worked with my coach, with some subtle changes.  A bit more calories & carbs than before.  But I need the additional calories in order to grow.

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