Lifestyle Prior To Change
I had originally went from 120 pounds to around 160 before I started my bulk to 175. After this I had decided to cut my bodyfat with my ending weight being 150 pounds at 6% bodyfat.
What was your lifestyle prior to your transformation?
Prior to my change, my lifestyle was that of a socially awkward kid. I would sit at home and play video games rather than going out with friends. I was very self-conscious and had a very low self esteem. My classmates throughout middle school would always bully me around or pick on me simply because of my love for video games.
I was also pretty much the skinniest kid in my class, and I had a fast metabolism which really didn't work well with my size. The girls would laugh at me and the guys would act as if they were better than me. This had frustrated me and had made me realize I needed to take up a hobby in order to remain active. I chose to start bodybuilding.
What was your low point or turning point?
My turning point was at the end of my grade 8 summer. I had decided it was time for a change. I noticed that my brother Graeme had been going to the gym for a year and had been improving his body. He had a sense of accomplishment and this is what I desired.
I started going to the gym regularly just using the machines because I had no idea what I was doing. A friend of mine had told me that I should start using the free weights if I want to notice serious changes. To my surprise he was right. I gained about 5 pounds of muscle within a month from my original 120 pound body.
My reflection in the mirror had shocked me. I increased my definition slightly in that amount of time. This is when I decided bodybuilding was for me.
Were there any unique challenges or circumstances that made your transformation particularly difficult?
Other than my high metabolism, my extreme weakness (and by that I mean I was unable to bench press simply a barbell), and my beginning size, everything was smooth.
What was your transformation timeline?
- Transformation Start: 2008.
- Milestone: 2008 It was summer of grade 8. The weather was nice and I had just started working out, because my mother had told me I need to start doing physical activity. I had chosen to begin working out at my local gym. Granted I was weak and very tiny and had no idea what I was doing. 3 times a weak I would go to the gym and use a couple of the machines just to see if I could increase my strength. A couple weeks into it I got my first girlfriend which encouraged me to keep going.
- Milestone: 2009 + I had finally gained enough confidence to post a shirtless picture on Facebook as a before picture. As it turns out many of my Facebook friends had liked the photo and complimented my body. I had finally come out of my insecurity bubble which helped me make a lot of new friends and stop feeling socially awkward.
- Milestone: 2010 - Discovering first Narcissus then Aziz, both have since been strong inspiration for me and added a new perspective on life. R.I.P. King of aesthetics. I remember the first time I saw their physiques I thought to myself "is that really possible?"
- Milestone: Achieving my most shredded at 6.3% bodyfat 150 pounds.
- Transformation End: 11/09/2011 - 18 Years old as of August 31st.
David's Training And Cardio Approach
What was your weight training approach and split during your transformation?
At the beginning of my transformation I had a three day spilt. I had neglected my shoulders and traps which was a terrible mistake. I would perform 3-4 different exercises per muscle group with a constant repetition of 10 reps with 4 sets. This had appeared to work for me so I continued this for a long period of time.
- Monday - Chest and Biceps.
- Tuesday - Back, Abs and Obliques.
- Wednesday - Rest.
- Thursday - Shoulders, Triceps and Abs.
- Friday - Legs.
- Saturday - Rest.
- Sunday - Rest.
Feel free to throw in dropsets and supersets.
|Chest & Biceps|
|Incline Dumbbell Bench Press||3||6-12|
|Dumbbell Bench Press||3||6-12|
|Incline Bench Press||3||6-12|
Start with an "easy" weight as a warm up set of 12 reps. Next set moderate difficulty 12 reps. Last set use a heavy weight 6 reps/failure. This is to be followed all days.
Be sure to use proper form on all exercises.
Final repetition on incline DB chest press, hold on the way down, until failure.
|Back, Abs & Obliques|
|Lat Pull Down||3||6-12|
|Seated Cable Row||3||6-12|
|Hanging Knee Raise||3||6-12|
|Lying Leg Raise||3||6-12|
|Dumbbell Side Bend||3||6-12|
Add weight to any exercise that feels too easy without (i.e. Pull ups, Knee Raise).
While doing the flat leg raises get a partner, and have them push your legs down while you maintain a constant "upward" motion. Continue until failure.
|Shoulders, Tricep & Abs|
|Dumbbell Shoulder Press *||3||6-12|
|Front Dumbbell Raise/Dumbbell Side Lateral||3||6-12|
|Cable Rear Lateral Raise||3||6-12|
|Reverse Pec Dec||3||6-12|
|Final set on reverse pec dec drop the weight by 20-30 pounds depending on your strength and continue until failure.|
|Stiff Leg Deadlift||3||6-12|
Please detail your cardio approach during your transformation?
I have never really bothered myself with cardio. I stick to a high intensity based routine and only have incorporated cardio when trying to cut. The reason for this is that it is more difficult to bulk if you are burning off more calories. Consume more calories than you burn to put on weight, consume less than you burn to lose weight.
Cardio helps accelerate the burning of calories. If you are already under your calorie maintenance, cardio is not necessary. Although it increases fat loss, you may also find it to be catabolic.
Please list 3 things you learned about exercise, weight training and/or cardio during your transformation that helped you succeed:
- Focus on proper form.
- Leave your ego outside of the gym.
- Nutrition is just as important as weight training.
How are you currently training, and has your training changed since the completion of your transformation?
I am currently following the routine I listed above. It has been working best as to overall muscle growth and as the saying goes: "If it's not broken, don't fix it."
David's Diet And Nutrition Approach
What was your diet and nutrition approach during your transformation?
Being a teenager living with my parents, I eat whatever my lovely mother makes me. Most of the time it is healthy foods such as steak, pasta, mashed potatoes, chicken, fish, rice, and ground beef.
Were there any diet/nutrition mistakes you made that you learned from?
Before I came to realize that nutrition is just as important as going to the gym, I would eat a majority of unhealthy foods that wouldn't provide me with any real gains. They would just slow down the muscle building process.
Please list 3 things you learned about diet & nutrition during your transformation that helped you succeed:
- It is important to reach your calorie intake whether you are bulking or cutting.
- Having a meal pre-workout and waiting an hour for the food to digest will keep you energized.
- If you follow your nutritional goals, you will reach your desired build much faster.
Did you allow yourself cheat meals?
Yes, only way to live!
What supplements did you use during your transformation?
Advice For Others
What are your best tips for someone looking to make their own transformation?
- Don't let the fear of the time it will take to accomplish something stand in the way of you doing it. The time will pass anyway; we might as well put that passing time to the best possible use.
- Train hard, this means get off your phone and stop talking to your friends about that party last weekend.
- Always seek for ways to improve your training. Find a partner to stay motivated, do not skip workouts!
How do you stay motivated? What advice would you give to someone who’s having trouble staying on track?
I stay motivated by constantly setting new goals for myself. "Good enough" is never a option. In my opinion the day one looks at themselves in the mirror and is 100% satisfied with what they see is the day they fail as a bodybuilder.
You must always be trying to improve. I workout to create an aura. I love the feeling I get when people talk about me, the feeling of dominance and being in control. Everyone admires those who are dedicated. To me this isn't a hobby anymore, it has become my lifestyle.
More From David McKillop
What is your life like now that you’ve made a transformation?
Since my transformation I have acquired a wide variety of friends, people look up to me, seek my advice and I have just changed dramatically as a person. I am no longer the socially awkward kid who has nothing to do, but rather a person who is always seeking to improve and better myself.
What motivates you currently to keep improving yourself?
Currently my motivation comes from looking at myself in the mirror and wanting to achieve the most aesthetically pleasing body in my mind. Giving myself new goals and working towards them without thinking failure is an option. The time it takes to do something is not important, the results of hard work are. The respect people have for me is always a factor and the thrill I get from helping others reach success makes me always want to improve.
Anything else you'd like to share?
Get ripped, or die mirin! In dedication to Zyzz, R.I.P.