Lifestyle Prior To Change
Drank a lot, partied, a lot of pent up anger. Did not focus on school. I tended to overcompensate my for my lack of girth and mass with attitude.
What was your low point or turning point?
I don’t know if there was a single factor that led me to make a change; but a accumulation of things. I feel like I was growing up and having more responsibility, but I still looked like a child and felt weak and powerless.
Were there any unique challenges or circumstances that made your transformation particularly difficult?
Yes, my genetics. I have horrible genetics for building muscle. I come from extreme ectomorphs. Every day is a constant battle against genetics, which makes it all the more important for me to overcome the challenges that have confronted me.
Additionally, I had high school from 8-3 and then I worked from 4-10. My gym closed at 10. So I decided to buy my own gym membership and train 4-5 days a week because changing my life was important to me. So many people tell me that they are too busy. Yet, I made the decision that changing my body was important to me and I went after it and did it.
My transformation has taken me 4 years. The first year I did not know about form, the second year I did not know about diet. Through the past two years in which I feel I have REALLY started to train I have used a number of different training regimes, the typical push pull, to more volume orientated training and now I am trying to break through more with Dorian Yates training style of HIT seen in Blood and Guts.
- Milestone: Reaching 200 on bench when I was 17…and then 300 when I was 18.
- Milestone: Squatting 200 when I was 17, 300 when I was 17, 400 when I was 18.
- Milestone: Filling out a medium shirt, large shirt, finally an extra large.
- Transformation End: I don’t know if it will ever end…but I can tell you I am lot more happy now than I was when I was before!
Alex's Training And Cardio Approach
What was your weight training approach and split during your transformation?
- Monday - Chest and Biceps.
- Tuesday - Legs.
- Wednesday - Rest.
- Thursday - Back.
- Friday - Shoulders and Triceps.
- Saturday and Sunday - Rest.
|Chest and Back|
|Shoulder and Chest stretches|
|Incline Bench Press (30-60 seconds rest)||4||10-12, 6-8|
|Decline Bench Press (Bar to chest)||3||10-12, 6-8|
|Dumbbell Flyes||3||10-12, 6-8|
|Cable Crossover||3||10-12, 6-8|
|Concentration Curl (Squeeze at static, slowly lower)||3||10-12, 6-8|
|Hammer Curl||3||10-12, 6-8|
|Barbell Curl||3||10-12, 6-8|
|Leg Extension (Good form. Little to no rest between sets)||3||10-12|
|Leg Press (Knees to chest)||3||10-12, 8-10, 6-8|
|Squat||4||10-12, 8-10, 8-10, 4-6|
|Walking Barbell Lunge (Knees close to, but not touching the ground)||3||16 (8 each leg)|
|Wide Grip Pull Up (60 seconds rest between sets)||4-5||12-15|
|Bent Over Barbell Row||3||10-12|
|Wide Grip Row||3||10-12|
|Shoulders and Triceps|
|Warm Up delts|
|Incline Bench Rear Lateral Raise (Good squeeze at the top, slowly lower)||3||15|
|Tricep Kickbacks||3||10 (Each arm)|
|Triangle on Cables (Squeeze hard at bottom)||4||10-12|
Please detail your cardio approach during your transformation?
Very limited. Until recently now I do 1 mile before training with slight incline. Ectomorph body type allows me to get away with doing limited cardio, yet keeping low body fat.
Please list 3 things you learned about exercise, weight training and/or cardio during your transformation that helped you succeed:
- There are so many things I learned...the way my body moves being aware of how connected your body is and being in sync with your body.
- Dieting...how amazingly important eating well is when it comes to leading a healthy lifestyle, and how eating well and drinking water has lead me to almost never getting sick, rarely have headaches and my energy level has dramatically increased.
- Learning the lesson of determination, dedication and perseverance. I have learned that if you want something you can either be weighed down by the obstacles what you desire hides behind or you can do everything in your power to make sure that you meet them. And I have been able to apply that to every aspect of my life, my relationships with people, school, work and any other endeavor I get myself into.
How are you currently training, and has your training changed since the completion of your transformation?
My transformation will never be complete because if I slack, I will literally go back to square one. It is a lifestyle, it is my outlet, It is one of the highlights of my day.
Alex's Diet And Nutrition Approach
What was your diet/nutrition approach during your transformation?
So many different approaches. I started with a dirty bulk which included McDonald’s for protein and lacked powders. Now it is a very clean bulk, I do not drink sodas, I don’t drink or party ( unless it is a very special occasion), I don’t eat fast foods (in and out is my exception for you Californians out there you know what I mean).
Can you provide us with a sample eating plan (please be specific):
For breakfast: Ten eggs, 6 egg whites, 4 normal, mushrooms, onions, 6 pieces whole wheat toast (with butter). Snacks I make in bulk mostly potatoes and chicken.
Were there any diet/nutrition mistakes you made that you learned from?
Dirty bulking, it was stupid; the bad food leads to energy spikes and crashes, acne. Also a few times I made great gains, but got into the mentality that “hey I put all this effort into changing my body, why shouldn’t I party?” And I literally lost months of work cause I went out a few weekends in a row. My body eats muscle if I do not stay on top of it.
Please list 3 things you learned about diet & nutrition during your transformation that helped you succeed:
- Carbs are key, potatoes are your friend.
- Bulk meals are the best. Tupperware is amazing.
- Carry extra protein and weight gainer in your truck for those times when you feel like you are going catabolic and cant find something right then.
Did you allow yourself cheat meals?
I am fairly lucky being an ectomorph. I can handle eating junk food, and I don’t really have to worry about what drastic effect it will have. But at the same time, if I miss a meal I literally run the possibility of losing week’s worth of work. I always say the grass is always greener on the other side for people with extreme genetic body type dispositions.
What supplements did you use during your transformation?
- Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey.
- Animal Pak.
- Serious Mass.
- USPlabs Jack3d.
- NO Xplode.
- My IPod :)
Advice For Others
What are your best tips for someone looking to make their own transformation?
- Form. This is insane to me. I see people in the gym who pick up the heaviest weight possible and practically do a snatch to the chest and they think they are curling. Please use Muscle and Strength and use correct form. If you do not think you are doing it right video tape yourself and compare it to the form checking on the internet. I would say as someone in the gym who looks to know what they are doing, but I don’t want to run the risk of having you ask someone who is all arms and chest about squatting.
- Diet...Diet is so important. If you eat big, you will get big. That is it.
How do you stay motivated? What advice would you give to someone who’s having trouble staying on track?
It has to come from within, if you do not want it you won’t get there. Do you want to look at pictures of yourself and feel good, or do you want to be embarrassed. Do you want to feel better about yourself because you are healthy? Do you want to have more energy? Do you want to not get sick? Do you want all eyes on you when you walk in a room? It is about you, and what you want and what you are willing to sacrifice in order to get it. That is it.
More From Alex Lee
What is your life like now that you’ve made a transformation?
I have learned many life lessons such as dedication and perseverance.
What motivates you currently to keep improving yourself?
The feeling I get inside the gym.
Anything else you would like to share?
You have to be willing to make sacrifices if you really want to obtain your goals.
I would also like to add that some people do Yoga, others run, some eat fast food and watch T.V. While you did what ever you did to make you feel better, or brings you happiness. I did this. This is my outlet. This is makes me happy. This is what transcends me for 45 minutes a day.
These photos are not because of arrogance. These demonstrate a personal battle and my successes so far. These photos show my internal character development in an external manner. These photos show the progression and emergence of some defining personality traits I now possess such as: perseverance, dedication, time-management and prioritization.
This has been a struggle against genetics, and has revealed many things about my character. It has most importantly showed me who I am.
The willingness to grow and develop most come from within, external pressure or outside motivation might assist but the need and desire must be self inspired.
To end with one most come to terms with these facts before they can help their self with a transformation: there is always more to learn, there is always some one better, and nothing is black and white as every person is so different and lastly one must fail before they can succeed.
How can people contact you?
198-208 lbs @ 8% bf?
Isn't that... naturally impossible? It's not like he's 6'4 or something. Either those measurements are off or the dude is roiding. But he looks natural so I'm leaning to the former.
Great job dude. You're shredded
I'm 20 yrs old,5'11'' tall & weigh 160lbs. I've well defined upper abs & obliques,but lack the definition in lower abs.Can you suggest some abs workouts to help me getting ripped upper as well as lower abs? By the way,you have awesomely defined delts & traps!
Dude, seriously just 20 years old!? I'm 21 and I'm super jealous. Same story, endomorphic body and i been trying to get my weight up. You give me some hope; especially noting the fact that you say that you wanted to look manlier because that is my goal. I still look like I'm 12 and its because I'm so dang skinny! Def gonna use your story as inspiration.
Howsit, i have been trying to gain mass for two years now and been training in the gym. Im 64kgs and been that was since a year. Ive started taking Hyperbolic Mass but im still not gaining??? Help me please... Thanks
thanks for any replys
Hey, I'm interested in starting this workout soon as I need to change my workout i'm doing at the moment. Was just wondering though about the reps ranges that say '10-12, 6-8'. Am I performing 10-12 reps on a weight that i can handle for that range then increasing the weight to something i can perform 6-8reps on?. Or am I simply staying on the same weight put only perfroming 6-8reps on the second and 4th set?? thanks
Hello, how long should i use this program ? 2-3months or ?
well done man that is really a great inspiration im looking to start somewhat of a transformation myself and I have a similar body shape to you in the second before pic so you have set the mark high but hopefully I can get their.great work and good luck in the future.
Great job man! Every time I lose motivation I take a look at your page. Just one thing, can I switch biceps with tris? Bis and shoulders works better for me.
You didn't talk about what you do to train your abs. I could be very helpful if you included this.
Great job bro!!! Can you give me a sample of your diet???
I live by a GNC and when i went to go buy the serious mass they were saying how it's being discontinued. I'm wondering what is a good mass gainer thats not 2 $$$. And also is there a diet plan for this workout. Thats my hardest issue right now is finding a good diet plan because i'm trying to become a natural body builder non competitive and im struggling with my meals and proteins.
what are the rest periods between all your sets? Looking to change up my routine. Any and all advice would be cool. Thanks man. Mikey in wisconsin.
i need a 3 day split routine that builds mass fast, im trying to gain 10lbs+ in a month. does anyone have a routine for that?
hey i need a 3 day split routine that will help me put on mass fast, im trying to gain 10lbs +. does anyone have a routine for that?
Great transformation, inspirational because I look exactly like you do at the beginning now and I'm still new to bodybuilding.
wow. thats one heck of an effort. Keep going!
Hey bro you look pretty good man,i am also an ecto,do you have any advice on what i can take to help gain a bit more muscles ,i am currently pretty rip,lean ,but i am having trouble gaining more muscles,i seem to be able to loose weight much faster than i gain,i average i loose about 2 or 3 pnds.a week,i don't know if it's because of how active i am or because i am mostly vegetarian ,thx.
Great job Alex. I have just started out and gave myself 1.5 yrs. Guess I can extend that a bit.
I really wanna get real big, just time plays a big factor in my life. If there's anything you can do to help me i'd appreciate it alot.
Huge gains for a young man. Way to go! Very honest, straight forward article on your approach and how people in your position can learn from. I'm older and on the downslope, my main goals these days are to get lean but I find articles like yours very inspiring. Thanks for sharing.
Just read the column, i love this website because it keeps me motivated. Much respect man, im an endomorph and i get stronger but i cant seem to shake off the little baby fat that i have for the ripped look i want. It is an internal battle to stay motivated. keep up the good work man.
I'm lucky to have a son like this to be so proud of.
Great work. I am working with a trainer three days a week to keep good form and learn about exercise and nutrition. You're right about nutrition, though tonight I went to a Dodger-Giant's game with Charlie and ingested some liquid carbs and peanuts. I am trying to lose weight and you are gaining, so we will meet somewhere in the middle. I'd like your opinion about supplements. Let's email. Mark
Yes, Mark, we should. I have some questions for you as well. Please email me!
Great work, inspiring, reading your article really makes me want to train harder, thank you.
same work out plan as mine,i'll keep with it now,if i can look like you
Just dedicate your self completely and do what ever it takes to succeed!
yay alex! very inspiring and very mature article! we are very proud to say we are friends with you before and after your transformation. good job :)
wilkies and micayla
Good job buying out the time to improve you body (and your mind in the process). You look extra dry. Is that natural for you?
All i've got to say is respect! Okay thats not all...GREAT job dude! Your work ethics are second to none, i hope im able to achieve the same feets as you, although im not an ecto im an endo and my struggle is against easy fat accumilation! Keep shooting for the stars bro!
Kid looks great! Very inspirational to read.
Excellent article man, and even greater transformation! I relate a lot to your case because I'm also very ectomorphic, and my body resembles very much yours at the time of your start. I'm just starting to train seriously and it's very motivational to see that my body type won't hamper my goals given enough dedication and work!
Keep at it!
I am not sure bud, I have never competed before. I know this site has tons of great resources though. Just be self motivated and keep reading!
Great transformation dude, shows dedication. Thinking about sharing my transformation due to my 1st natural comp in may, how do i go bout doing it?
great article...very inspiring I'm a friend of your sister's and I remember her telling me about your dedication. She wasn't kidding!! Way to go.
Thank you Muscle and Strength!
hey..i am 19 yrs..n i weigh 54 kg..pls sugest me some diet n workout schedule..