Posted by on Jun 25, 2012

Member Spotlight

This week, we’re spotlighting one of the nicest guys on the site and a dad who turned it all around for his wife and kids—Tankplanker. If you’d like to nominate someone for the Weekly Member Spotlight, contact users lexyloowho orxJenYxvx. Of course, you can always send an email!

Username: Tankplanker
Level: 39

How did you get started in fitness and training? Do you have any pics to share? 

I started working out and losing weight back in March 2011. My wife had started losing weight January (she has gone from 82kg to 59kg) that year and it got me motivated to do something about being chronicley unfit and fat, something that just crept up on me when we had kids. It took about ten years for me to put on all my weight and become unfit. Before we had the twins I used to go to the gym five days a week for two hours a day alternating cardio and weights days.

Looking back I was uneducated about my diet and exercise plan but I did become very fit and I was pretty trim.

When I started last March I was 120kg (I’m 5’8”) and I’d get out of breath walking upstairs to bed, had really high blood pressure and high cholesterol. Something had to be done because otherwise I’d end up having a heart attack really soon.

So I started working out with uShape on the Xbox 360 and cutting back on my calories. By about April I felt fit enough to tackle Beachbody’s P90x so I went though a cycle of that and lost a ton of weight.

After that I did a hybrid of Insanity and P90x, working out twice a day. Then I moved onto Asylum and added in running, Asylum was really tough if you went for a run first!

In September I started supplementing kickboxing into my training schedule, and by October I added in Brazilian Ju-jitsu (BJJ). Nearly one year after I started, I competed in my first BJJ tournament and picked up a bronze medal despite facing guys who outweighed me by nearly 10kg (I just missed my weight category and the next one up was full so I had to compete two classes up).

This year I’ve also started climbing with my son (10), who is a very good climber.

I now weight 82kg and have lost a ton of inches from the usual places, down from a 44” waist to 32”, 48” chest to a 40” chest, even managed to lose my (growing) double chin.

How did you find the site? How has it changed your work outs?

I found Fitocracy through a Wired article back in May 2011, though I didn’t start logging properly till August or September.

Fitocracy has really pushed me to try harder, and pushed me to try new things. I’ve learnt a lot from people who know far more than I do about exercise. I wouldn’t be doing barbell related stuff like squats and deadlifts without their help.

Do you have any long term goals or direction you plan to take your training?

My primary goal is to lose the last 10kg of fat – I’m hopeful I can do that by the summer. I also want to do a few tris and some more competitions for BJJ and my first for Kickboxing.

Marital arts, particularly BJJ, is my passion now. Much of my training are meant to address my weaknesses in these areas.

What are things you’ve learned through trial and error? What areas do you hope to learn more about?

Weight lifting has the single biggest learning curve for me. I really got stuck on those lame arm routines rather than functional strength in the beginning.


I’d like to learn more about tapering for comps, I have a rough plan that I followed for my first comp but I need a better one next time.

Currently, where would you say your weakness lies? Where do you excel?
My swimming is just so awful! I need to dedicate some serious time to practicing and getting a coach in. 30+ minute miles are just not cool!

Endurance is probably my strongest area. I can just keep going and going with my workouts.

What motivates you?
My kids. Placing in my first comp, losing all that weight and so on… has shown me that my kids can be proud of their Dad.

Are you using any supplements or special dietary changes to achieve your goals?
I went from eating processed garbage to eating all home cooked meals. I now actually eat salads daily when previously I’d never even touched a vegetable.

I cut out my endless cups of coffee for water, although nearly twelve months later I have added in a couple of cups of green tea a day.

If you could give advice to someone starting off, what would you tell them?
Getting fit and healthy is a lifetime’s work. It requires a complete change in your diet and your outlook. So take it slow. Set small goals – daily if you have to. Reward success but do not reward with food.

Your self image will be the last thing to change. Twelve months later I still feel as fat as I was when I started.

What’s your “secret weapon”, the thing that pushes you or you feel gives you an edge?
My support network, my wife, my kids.

What has the overall impact of Fitocracy been in your life?
Learning not to curl in the squat rack :).

One thing I want people to take away from my story is…
Anybody can lose weight and get fit. If I can do it, anybody can!

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