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- Growing Up Bronx
I was going through my old fitness files, and I came upon this article. I considered updating it, and correcting any errors, etc. However, I have decided to share it as it was originally written. I’m learning things about myself that I didn’t remember. This is all part of my journey back to fitness. I spent several hours tonight watching the reality show “Heavy.” Looking at those folks, I realize that there is hope for me! If a man that started at 650 pounds is happy coming anywhere near my weight, then what excuse do I have? I’m starting off much better than he did, and he did it. What’s my excuse? So, without further delay, here is an article that I wrote on how I transformed my body.
God, as far back as I can remember I have always been into weight training and fitness. When I was around 13 years old I had 1 10pd dumbbell, and with this 1 dumbbell was how I did my training. I did train, but never consistently. As I got older my body started to develop into a more muscular physique. Everyone thought I was working out, but it was just my body type. However this new muscle did not come alone, with this new muscle came new fat to cover it right up. I continued to train on and off, getting bulky but never defined, always doing cardio, but never changing diet. I always wanted to develop abs, and cuts, as do all weight trainers, but with my methods this was not happening. I knew I had to change something. But lacked the knowledge or drive to change my eating and training habits.
Well in the month of May, 1998 I started to weight train more consistently. I began researching on supplements, diet, and training methods. To this day, one year later I am still researching all this information, constantly improving, editing and changing my routines, eating and supplementation patterns. This is an ongoing process. The learning never stops. I’ve yet to reach my desired goals. But through continued experimentation and application I hope to reach these goals. To give you some idea on how I’ve come along since the beginning here is some statistical data on my progress.
On May of 1998 I was weighing a whopping 208 pounds. I was never super fat, but I was fat. Now for someone 5’7″ this is not a good weight. I had a lot on my mid section. I wore size 38 pants, and had lots of trouble fitting into all of my clothes that fit prior to this. My military uniform was a nightmare to put on. Very very tight. I would not go to pools, beaches, or any of that stuff because I did not feel comfortable. I knew that this fat body was not me, not for me..
Now we are in November of 1999. I currently weigh in at 165 pds, with a body fat count of about 9 percent. I wear size 28 pants, and have pretty good muscle definition. My uniform does not fit me, but for the opposite reason. Now it is to damn huge on me. It looks like a pair of curtains. I’ve had to buy a whole new wardrobe as far as pants are concerned. Shirts I can still wear, but some look to big. Best of all my gut is almost completely obliterated. This still continues to be a challenge, though progress is being made.
People always ask me how I’ve managed to lose so much weight, in such a short period of time. Now of course to the observer it seems as though it has been a short period of time. Though it really has not. It’s been a long year. 365 days of dieting and training. You see time goes on, no matter what, it does not stop for any of us. So while people continue to lead their lives in the same fashion, eating wrong, unhealthy, not exercising, time goes on, and they stay the same, or even get worst. However for those changing their habits the progress begins to show, slowly but surely with this same time passing. To them, to me, it has not been quick, it has been very slow, it continues to be slow. It has taken a lot of will power, discipline, focus, and dedication.
To them it’s fast, because they have made no changes, no sacrifices, nothing… Now this is not the biggest thing in the world, it won’t end wars, but those people that have lost weight know that this is not an easy task, it is a war in itself, and once you win you are totally proud of yourself. So just do it, and you too will see. You may notice yourself showing a little more flesh. But you know what, you’re allowed. You earned the privilege as far as I’m concerned. And you know what, you look good doing it. Look around my friend how many people can say that they look good showing the flesh?
My first major stepping stone toward my transformation was very simple. My first step was giving up soda. You see after reading and familiarizing myself with how the body works, and fuel and so on, I concluded that soda was just a bunch of empty calories, calories my body has no use for, and would store in the form of fat. So I saw no logical reason to put this into my body. Once I made this decision it all began to fall into place. This was my first step in the right direction. My mentality about food and the way its role to the body totally changed. I began to make slight adjustments in my eating patterns. For example one small adjustment I made is I now take out the yolk from my eggs. Or use wheat bread instead of regular bread. I drink diet juice instead of regular juice. I eat six times a day which elevates and maintains a fast metabolism. I buy the no calorie spray oil instead of regular oil to cook my food. I never eat fast food. I replaced ham with turkey, and regular cheese for slim fast cheese. Adjustments like these coupled with my consistent training have led me to all of my progress. Some days I go and eat a very high protein nearly 0 carb diet. However I do not keep this up for long because of the dangers affected with a protein no carb diet. I eat carbs, but I try to limit them as for some reason eating a lot of carbs make my abs smooth and reduces my definition. When I do they are generally in complex form, and generally early on in the day. For example my wheat bread during breakfast. Or a fruit with my tuna as a mid morning meal. Lately I’ve upped my carb intake because I have been training very intensely, and wish to put on some mass, in the infinite wisdom of 7 time Mr Olympia Dorian Yates my carbs come almost exclusively from oatmeal.
Now I’m not perfect, about once a week, sometimes twice, hehe, I allow myself some cheat food. By this I mean ice cream, devil dogs, popcorn, all that junk we should and rarely ever eat. Some weeks I don’t allow myself cheat time at all. All depends on my mood and how I feel I’ve trained that week. If we are close to summer I diet a little more strictly. Over the winter months I ease up a little.
I am a firm believer in very very vicious intense training. For example I bench press 315 pds for 5 reps, I leg press 630 pds for 8 reps, and this is constantly increasing. So as you can see I don’t play with lightwork. Now as far as exercises I train with basic movements for the very heavy power and size building sets, and few light isolation movements. I train each body part only once a week first thing in the morning on an empty stomach. I train each body part very very intensely. I do cardio 2 to 3 times a week for 30 minutes at a very intense rate, I average about 550 calories per cardio session, hence my increase in carb intake to support this type of demand. I believe if we are going to go to the gym at 5 in the damn morning, every damn minute better count. Don’t you agree?
My supplementation program is currently pretty consistent. However I have experimented with different types of supplements from the Mark Mcgwire popularized ANDRO to the controversial Human Growth Hormone Precursors. Now due to the risks involved with these supplements I have stopped taking them. My current supplement program consists of Fat Burners, Cell volumizers, Vitamins, Essential Fatty Acids, and a water pill from time to time. Creatine, HMB and Glutamine are my basic cell volumizers. Creatine and HMB seem to give me a never ending capability to train and never be sore, no matter how hard I push it. Glutamine is supposed to help me recover.. Can’t comment… I take the Epredine,Caffeine, Aspirin, ECA stack to elevate my metabolism and increase my calories burned through heat production, not to mention the kick the crap gives me.. I take essential fatty acids with the belief that they will help me recover, produce more testosterone, burn more fat, and promote overall wellness. I take a multivitamin to give me what I might be lacking in my food supply. From time to time I take a water pill to increase my vascularity (bulging Veins). That pretty much sums up my supplement program as of right now.
I want to reach 7 or less percent body fat. I want to put on between 5 to 10 pds of more muscle. Once I attain these goals I will be satisfied. Now it’s been a year or more, and I’m yet to get where I really want to be, but with continued training, eating, supplementing and rest I should get to this…
Growing Up Bronx