Posted by on Mar 8, 2013

Member Spotlight

Age and Sex?

27 Years old. Male.

What sports or fitness activities are you involved in? Do you compete at any level?

I weight lift and run on a casual basis. I’ve never competed at any sport at any level.

What’s your story? When, how and why did you get into your chosen sport or fitness plan?

As you can see from the before picture, a couple years ago I was really heavy. This was actually how I was for the majority of my youth. I grew up as the middle of three brothers in a family woefully ignorant of health and fitness advice and with a history of obesity. So when I grew into a chubby youth I knew not what to do when faced with my unfit lifestyle. I continued down the same path using food as both a comfort and as a gluttonous activity. Activity-wise, I was sedentary at best, my main hobbies being gaming and Magic the Gathering. This continued until 2008 when my mother was diagnosed with diabetes and I knew I might soon be dealing with the same weight related problems. Unfortunately I relied on haphazard knowledge, and commenced to eat vegetarian for about a year while not exercising. I lost some weight, but gained it back when I fell back into my old lifestyle habits around 2009. I stagnated for about a year.

Then in September of this past year (2010), I finally decided to use websites I once relied on for pure entertainment (4chan and reddit) as tools for helping me lose weight. I decided to calorie count. I picked 1200 calories a day (one cheat meal a week) as an arbitrary number and proceeded to do cardio 7 days a week. The weight dropped unbelievably fast. Before I knew it, I was addicted to both the healthy eating and the exercise. I kept this up until about March of 2011 when I finally bit the bullet and decided to add a lifting regiment to my exercise routine. In about June of this year I hit my relative goal in weight and body fat (180 lbs. and 11% respectively) and have now bumped my calories up to 2400 a day, and I am trying a 5 day weight lifting regiment. I’m amazed at my progress some days. I have a definite passion for both healthy eating and exercise that I never had before, and I can’t imagine ever giving up on what I’m doing now.

Current, and any ‘before’ photos?

What are your current athletic or fitness-related goals?

Increasing muscle mass is my current short term goal. I would love to run a 5k one of these days (although my time is far from excellent).

What is your workout or training regimen?

Currently it’s a 5 day weight training program that consists of A: Legs, back and biceps and B: Legs, chest and triceps—rotating every day. I also make sure to do squats (my favorite exercise) 3 times a week. The other two leg days consists of extensions and curls. I normally rest after the 5th day, and on the 7th (or starting day) I implement a cardio day consisting of mainly outside 5k runs.

What does your diet look like? Do you take any supplements?

I eat 2400 calories a day with a heavy emphasis on protein. I don’t delve too deep into any of the macros except for protein (normally I hit around 180 to 200 grams a day). I eat basically the same thing with the majority of my calories coming from whey, chicken breast and eggs. This I follow for 6 days out of the week, on the seventh, or my “rest” day, I allow myself to cheat reasonably. This normally consists of one meal at a restaurant where I don’t count my calories, a dessert and an alcoholic beverage. This definitely helps and has helped in the past. Supplement-wise, I take Jack3d (one scoop) and 5 grams of creatine monohydrate pre-workout and a daily dose of 500mg of fish oil, a multivitamin and yohimbe.

What have you achieved so far? What are your ‘numbers’ (times, weights, heights, etc)?

Squat 330lb. Deadlift 360lb. Bench 180lb. Best 5k time 23 minutes.

What is your competition and/or training philosophy?

I really just like trying new things. I’m extremely inexperienced when it comes to anything in the weight training or exercise arena so I take what I see is useful and apply it.

What challenges do you face?

Because of where I came from I have a reoccurring fear of falling back into an unfit lifestyle.

How do you motivate yourself?

A bit corny, but I normally ask myself “What would a man do?” and then I envision a courageous hero of old and do what he would do.

What advice do you take, and what do you ignore?

I generally like to rely on well documented scientific research for diet and exercise information. Though, I have been known to follow errant advice from forums less than reputable.

What are some training or diet-related things you know are true but cannot prove?

I know there is a decent amount of evidence that agrees with me, but I hear the argument constantly that starvation mode exists. 1200 calories was low but at no time did I feel fatigued or worn down or noticed any slow down with fat loss. I think that our bodies are a lot more receptive to changes in our diet than we allow.

What injuries have you dealt with? What are the injury risks that come with your athletic endeavors?

Nothing besides a reoccurring neck strain that I’ve had for a few years. This seems to come about mostly from unrelated stress.

Any advice on how to deal with these injuries and risks?

Tiger Balm, aspirin, and an old sock filled with rice and placed in the microwave for about 45 seconds.

What are your favorite sports/fitness books/DVDs/websites?

I generally gather the majority of my fitness information from the web through both Pumping Iron and Bigger, Faster, Stronger were entertaining watches. I love both fittit and fitocracy. But time-wise I spend a large amount of time on 4chan’s /fit/. The advice can be bad, but nothing is more enjoyable than a Constanza face. And there’s a certain appeal to 4chan that no other site can quite reach, an unobtainable feeling of both unity and massive animosity that presents itself as both a collective sounding board where most unworthy items are removed, but portrays a jester like quality to both itself and the world surrounding it.

Anything else you want to add?

I want to mention how amazed I am by everyone on this site. A lot of members put a great amount of effort into their workouts, and I’m constantly amazed and motivated by those around me working to improve themselves with such vigor and commitment. You guys rock.

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