This week we feature SolidDreams, a Fitocrat who lifted 13 million pounds in 2013. He’s lost 150 pounds, competed in a body building show, and he’s done it all while dealing with depression. He’s also one of the nicest guys you’ll ever meet. If you’d like to nominate someone for a Fitocracy Member Spotlight, email email@example.com.
Username and level
SolidDreams, Level 41
How did you get started in fitness and training? Do you have any pics to share?
When I was 13 I was 5’4 and 240 pounds, decided to start running cross country because I was reading It and Ben (the fat kid) lost all his weight running. Dropped to about 190 after that and wrestling, then had a growth spurt over the summer and hit 6’1. Played football etc, but had some injuries and stopped lifting for a good 7 years, devoted myself to being depressed and fat. So basically I had to start over, but I was 360 pounds instead of simply 240. Dropped down 150 pounds in 2 years and did my first bodybuilding show in September!
How did you find the site? How has it changed your workouts?
I kept reading about it in sites such as Kotaku etc, and I was always interested because I’m a pretty huge nerd, and the idea of fitness leading to leveling up seemed like a huge, brilliant idea.
Do you have any long term goals or direction you plan to take your training?
My long term goal is to become an IFBB pro. I don’t know how likely it is, but it’s definitely a dream for me. I want to be able to also complete a Tough Mudder/Warrior Dash, and maybe even do a marathon, although honestly it’s not a huge thing for me, considering I’m so accident prone that I worry I’ll have a catastrophic injury.
What are things you’ve learned through trial and error? What areas do you hope to learn more about?
The hardest thing for me to learn is to not beat myself to death, because I tend to think if I take a rest day or have to take time off, that I’ll instantly fail. This all came to a head right after my bodybuilding show, I had hoped to do really well and got 9/10 out of 15 people. Because I always want to be the best, I kept pushing myself despite my coach and friends telling me that I needed to take time off, and caught the flu AND pneumonia, wrecking finances and knocking me down for a good 2-3 weeks. I’m still recovering and I get sick easily, so I’m having to really remember to ramp back everything for me (although I’m not doing a very good job of it!).
Currently, where would you say your weakness lies? Where do you excel?
My main weakness is my depression. It makes it very difficult for me to get out and go, and even when I do it most of the time, I feel like I don’t put 100% in because I’m dragging or apathetic.
My main body weakness is my back (rhomboids, lats, and rear delts). If I can’t see it, I have an awful time really hitting them properly, so that from the front and side I do well, then back I fade. My two best body parts are my chest and hamstrings. With my chest I can look at a weight and blow up. Another good thing (or bad, depending on how OCD I’m acting) is that I’m regimental in my training and eating, if I know I have to do something to get results then I stick to it to the letter, regardless of how crappy I feel at the time.
Are you using any supplements or special dietary changes to achieve your goals?
I use creatine, whey, bcaas and carb powder intra, fish oil, and a multi vitamin. I was using fat burners during my show prep, but not now that I’m trying to gain.
If you could give advice to someone starting off, what would you tell them?
Never ever ever give up. It’ll be hard, it’ll suck, you’ll want to quit, you’ll want to lie down on the floor… Don’t be like those posters that act like oh you should push yourself beyond your breaking point… get to your breaking point, back off, recover, then go again. push yourself the smart way.
What’s your ‘secret weapon,’ the thing that pushes you or gives you an edge?
I feel like if I don’t do my best, then all the people who have supported me thus far will be let down. I know it’s not the truth, but for myself, I tend to work better with external goals instead of internal. I also tend to hulk out if i can’t get something, so most of my personal records have come from failing, getting pissed off and then doing it before I realize that I’m not really supposed to be able to. And then, of course, I go to the best gym in the world, with the best coaches, motivation walking around (Steve Kuclo, Dana Linn Bailey is a regular, etc) and people who are doing the same thing as me, day in and day out.
What has the overall impact of Fitocracy been in your life?
I’ve met a lot of wonderful people who have always been willing to support others despite whatever horrible crisis they may currently be in. It gives you perspective when you’re rolling around on the floor about how horrible your life is when someone somewhere else is dealing with abuse, the loss of a loved one, or a crippling disease or accident.
One thing I want people to take away from my story is…
If a fat kid like me can achieve a dream, anything that you want to aspire to is possible. People told me I was crazy for wanting to be a bodybuilder when I first started, and now that I’ve stepped on stage and AM one… it’s the best feeling in the world.