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.