This week’s Member Spotlight features an incredible athlete, forum overlord, and former curator of the Weekly Member Spotlight lokkju. If you’d like to nominate someone for the Weekly Member Spotlight, contact users lexyloowho orxJenYxvx. Of course, you can always send an email to email@example.com!
Current and any ‘before’ photos
Christmas 2009 – 235lbs
Summer 2010 – 170lbs
Today – 190lbs
Back – no chin-up bar at my rents house unfortunately to get a better shot
Front – sorry about the bloats. Mom’s cookies just too good
What sports or fitness activities are you involved in? Do you compete at any level?
Play a lot of basketball, yoga, and hoping to compete in powerlifting by mid 2012
What’s your story? When, how and why did you get into your chosen sport or fitness plan?
I was never one of the most athletic guys growing up, I always had to work twice as hard as everyone else to be good at the sports I loved. The only thing that came semi natural to me was lifting. We had great coaching on squats and power cleans through out both our strength and conditioning classes and our football program. I was actually on my way to competing for state records going into my junior year when I blew my knee. Months of therapy, and hard work later I was back for my senior year only to separate a ligament in my ankle that year.
College saw two knee surgeries, and I was done of lifting. I had my MCL and PCL repaired in my left, and my ACL in my right in 2007, two years after high school. They also tried to correct my patellofemoral syndrome (rigidity along the bottom of the knee cap). I played in volleyball and basketball leagues, and spent a lot of time at the gym on the hard wood, but lifting had become virtually non existent in my life.
In 2007 I started dating a girl and my fitness and health spiraled downward. While I can’t blame it entirely on her (school played a large part in it), her sedentary lifestyle wore on me, and by the time I ended things in 2009 I had ballooned up over 230lbs. I was fat, out of shape, and hadn’t touched a baskeball in months.
Christmas of 09 changed a lot of things for me. I met a girl who would become a driving factor in my life. I started playing three to six hours of basketball a day… not just shooting, but regular pick-up games. I moved home and began adjusting my diet, and by July I had lost 55lbs. August of that year saw my big move from Kansas to Michigan, but the new lifestyle continued.
It was suggested to me, by my girlfriend that I start lifting. At 170lbs I was pretty slim, as you can see from the pictures. I started lifting January 17, 2011, and haven’t looked back. While this year was a roller coaster emotionally, culminating in an engagement, and a breakup, my training was my steadfast rock. Through several injuries I’ve managed to persevere, and can say for the first time in years my knees feel awesome. About nine weeks ago I started training under the guidance of the Sheiko routines. For those that don’t know, Boris Sheiko is the head coach of the Russian Powerlifting team. His training, involves stupidly high volume with the big three which has helped me push through several plateaus. I have seen drastic improvements in strength and muscular hypertrophy.
I have laid a foundation upon which I want to build. My goals for 2012 include hitting an 1100lb total in my first competition, and then breaking the 1200lb total at the next. By the end of 2012 I wanted to have hit a 1300lb total in the gym, and aim to hit that mark in competition before my current lease is up in May of 2013.
What are your current athletic or fitness-related goals?
By the end of 2012 I want to:
Chin: 3 plates
Dips: 4 plates
Personal Goal: in 2012 I want to lift in 12 cities other than Detroit, with 12 different groups of Fitocrats.
What is your workout or training regimen?
In the last nine weeks I have finished Sheiko 29 and 37 with slight modifications that add additional total poundage to the program. Currently I’m running Sheiko 30. I have been using Coan’s deadlifting routine periodically instead of Sheiko’s prescribed deadlift sets.
What does your diet look like? Do you take any supplements?
I eat a lot of boneless chicken thighs, cooked and marinated, with frozen veggies. When I say a lot, I mean in the ball park of 3lbs a day. I honestly don’t pay attention to my macros, and haven’t in months. I shoot for a rough estimate on calorie intake, and go from there. Currently I am also practicing a 16/8 intermitted fasting schedule. Fast begins at 9 or 10pm and ends at 1 or 2 pm the following day. So all my workouts are fasted, and there is no food consumption for roughly five hours post workout.
What is your competition and/or training philosophy?
Derek Poundstone immortalizes my training philosphy, “quitting in the gym or training to failure isn’t a skeletomuscular thing. It’s a conscious thought. Your body doesn’t fail you. You’re choosing to fail.”
Mario Andretti -“Desire is the key to motivation, but it’s determination and commitment to an unrelenting pursuit of your goal. A commitment to excellence that will enable you to attain the success you seek.”
I push myself. I want to see what my body is capable of. There are so many guys out there doing astonishing things in the world of powerlifting, and I have every desire to push myself to that point. We only have one life, why not make the most of it?
How do you motivate yourself?
A good start is never wanting to go back to where I’ve been. My life resolves around centering myself physically, mentally, and spiritually. Training is a big part of that. Every time I step in the gym I strive to be better than I was the last time I was in there.
What advice do you take, and what do you ignore?
I ignore almost everything these days. I’m living proof that you can eat what you want and lose weight and gain strength. Most of what is preached in the gym and on the interweb is nonsense. For the most part its ‘pseudo-science’ and should be treated as such. I listen to those that have achieved what I strive for, if I feel it can fit within my training philosophy I give it a fair shake. Trial and error is the only way to get better.
What are some training or diet-related things you know are true but cannot prove?
Food is food is food. Eating clean/dirty is a load of shit. Hit your macros, enjoy what you eat, and eating what you want. That being said the food you make is a labor of love, and should be enjoyed. Home made always tastes better than store bought.
Over training is a myth. Our bodies are built to adapt. Force it to adapt.
I don’t care if you want to be a powerlifter, bodybuilder, Zeus, baller, dancer, gymnast, or a programmer. If you want to succeed in life, you can benefit from being stronger. People take short cuts. If you want to look like Arnold or Lou you got to train like they did. Arnie had a 400lb+ squat long before he ever tried to be a body builder. Get strong… then get big. There is a great parable in the New Testament that stands true to the weightroom. Jesus talks about building a foundation. The house built on sand will always crumble, while the house build on rock, that solid foundation can with stand so much more.
What injuries have you dealt with? What are the injury risk that come with your athletic endeavors?
– 22 Broken/Dislocated Fingers
– 12 Concussions
– Two dislocated shoulders
– Two reconstructive surgeries on my knees
– 3 Broken Ribs
– Ligament separation in my ankle
I may be the only person in the history of life that dislocated their thumb downhill skiing…
Injuries are a part of living a healthy lifestyle. They come with pushing your body to greater things. Dave Tate once said “sometimes it isn’t about winning, its about not being afraid to bleed.” To often we tell ourselves we can’t. To often we hold ourselves back at the risk of injury, and we never push ourselves to see what we are truly capable of.
Fitocracy user cjhazza has a 400lb squat and only one leg, whats your excuse?
Any advice on how to deal with these injuries and risks?
“I wanted to put things in perspective. An injury’s an injury. Death is final.” – Derek Poundstone
Work hard, take the same mentality into rehab that you took into your training.
What are your favorite sports/fitness books/DVDs/Websites?
Muscle and Fitness (they have some gems). Kroc also writes for them these days
Reddit (/r/weightroom, /r/fitness, /r/powerlifting, /r/advancedfitness)
Anything else you want to add?
Keep an open mind about what you hear and read. I ate chicken breasts and all that jazz for months and I hated it. Keep a general idea of your calories, make sure they are around your adjusted maintenance, and eat what you want. As I write this today I had an entire large pepperoni pizza and candy. Guarantee I step into the gym tomorrow weighing exactly what I did at the gym yesterday. Life’s to short to be miserable. Find that center, and live there. Work hard, and take all things in moderation (except your training, push your ass until it breaks). When part of your life falls out of balance the rest will too.
I’d like to thank those that have been so good to me since I joined the site in February. Y’all have been amazing, and helped me so much, both in my training and my personal life. Thanks to Dick and Brian are especially necessary. Both for the awesome job they’ve done in building this site, and for giving me the opportunity to help out. To the community, thank you for all the love and support, and I look forward to see how we all grow.