Lifestyle Prior To Change
What was your lifestyle prior to your transformation?
I work as a personal trainer staying healthy and fit when something happened to me that had a huge effect on my life. I found myself not motivated to do anything at all. I still trained from time to time but my mind was not in it and I was just going through the motions of the exercise. I ate any type of food I can get my hands on and it was often. I was using food for comfort, from chocolates to cakes to burgers, anything to help me forget about the feelings I was feeling at the time.
What was your low point or turning point?
My turning point was when I found an old picture of myself, healthy and in shape. I went to the mirror and looked at what I had let myself become. I was angry, I was angry with myself that I let this happen. I didn’t recognize the person starting back at me and I swore right then and there that I would get my life back no matter what.
Were there any unique challenges or circumstances that made your transformation particularly difficult?
The whole process was a challenge. I had to put my ego aside. When I started training again I knew in my mind that I lifted much more than this, I can run faster than this, but I knew that if I push to hard I risk injuring myself. Taking it one day at a time and realizing that it’s going to take time was a challenge to accept. Changing my diet around to fit my goals was also a challenge. Going from eating anything and everything to having only certain things in certain amounts can be very challenging especially when those food are around you.
What was your transformation timeline?
- The Decision: June 19, 2011 was when I decided to fight for my life back. I wanted to change, I wanted to succeed in this journey I was about to begin. I didn’t want to look like I did before, I wanted to be the best that I can be, not only physically but mentally as well.
- The journey: It started out great, with motivation being at an all time high, and results coming quicker than expected. I was looking forward to training, and when I wasn’t training I was thinking of ways of how to make the next session better than the last. My commitment to my diet and training was unbreakable. I was on a mission and I wasn’t going to stop until I was satisfied.
- The ups and the downs: I had moments where I would still break down, question myself. Why am I doing this? Who am I doing this for? There were times when my body just refused to move. I reflected, thought about all the reasons why. I prayed to God to give me strength to keep going because apart of me really wanted to quit. I struggled, but through that struggle I was able to come out stronger, knowing that I can get through anything as long as I stay true to myself and believe.
- Crossing the finish line? On August 6, 2011, I was staring at this person in the mirror. A long lost person staring back at me, smiling. I knew who this person was. It was who I was, it’s who I am. I made another promise right then and there that I would never lose myself again, and that I would continue to improve not only in fitness but in my everyday life.
Francis' Training And Cardio Approach
What was your weight training approach and split during your transformation?
I decided to train differently that I normally did before because I wanted to not only look different, but perform differently as well. I still included basic bodybuilding techniques and exercises, but I also started to incorporate Olympic lifts to my routine to help with my explosiveness and conditioning. I also added a lot of calisthenics as well.
- Monday - Upper Body
- Tuesday - Lower Body
- Wednesday - Sprint Training. For this day I would go out to the field where I would perform agility and speed drills. I would also drag sleds with different amount of weights.
- Thursday - Active Rest. For my active rest day I would do some light cardio. Walking my dog for an hour, or going for a swim to help with recovery.
- Friday - Olympic Lifting
- Saturday - Plyometrics
- Sunday - Rest
|Monday - Upper Body|
|Seated Dumbbell Overhead Press||4-5||8-12|
|Chin Up or Pull Up||4||10-12|
|Dumbbell Lateral Raise||4-5||8-12|
|Bent Over Dumbbell Reverse Flye||4-5||8-12|
|Tuesday - Lower Body|
|Friday - Olympic Lifting|
|Clean and Jerk||3-4||6-10|
|Saturday - Plyometrics|
|Multiple Box Jumps||3-4||20|
Please detail your cardio approach during your transformation?
I did many types of cardio. On days where I am doing a normal bodybuilding routine which is Monday and Tuesday, I will perform steady pace cardio after the workout. My favorite machine would be the stair master. I do find that type of cardio boring, so I tend to do more HITT ( High intensity interval training ), it is better for conditioning and fat burning. For that type of training I will either run up hill or skip rope.
Please list 3 things you learned about exercise, weight training and/or cardio during your transformation that helped you succeed:
- You have to keep focused. If you have a specific goal, do not lose sight of it. Stay strong.
- You must take it one day at a time. Exercising to much can lead to over training and injury which will keep you from reaching your goals. You must be patient.
- It's all the things that come together like a puzzle. Changing your body involves many things, and they all need to be given attention to or you may not reach your goals. Training, diet, stress levels, rest, are all things that need to be considered. This is a lifestyle change, do things that will help you maintain it for your whole life.
How are you currently training, and has your training changed since the completion of your transformation?
I am still training the same. The volume has lowered a little because I do not want to lose too much weight, but the intensity is still there each and every time I walk in the gym. I am enjoying sprinting and Olympic lifting so I find myself focusing on that more.
Francis' Diet And Nutrition Approach
Can you provide us with a sample eating plan (please be specific):
My diet approach was a carbohydrate cycling method that I had done in the past. I calculated how much protein, carbs and fats I would be taking on a specific day and I will stick with that. Some days are higher than others because of the training that I do.
- Meal 1: 1 cup of oatmeal, 5 egg whites, 1 whole wheat bread with 2 tbsp of natural peanut butter.
- Meal 2 (post work out): 1 scoop whey protein, 1 apple.
- Meal 3: 1 whole chicken breast, 1 cup of broccoli, 1 cup of brown rice.
- Meal 4: 1 can of pink salmon.
- Meal 5: 1 cup of cottage cheese, 2 tbsp of natural peanut butter.
Were there any diet/nutrition mistakes you made that you learned from?
In the beginning it was about experimenting and seeing how my body would react with certain amount of calories. If I saw that I was losing too much weight or not losing weight at all I would need to re-calculate and adjust so that my body will continue to change. I also had to be careful not to take in to little so that I would have the energy to push through my workouts.
Please list 3 things you learned about diet & nutrition during your transformation that helped you succeed:
- Determining what my BMR is and working from there helped me. The number that I get is just a guideline and it was up to me to adjust the amounts when needed.
- I have a crazy sweet tooth so I had to find ways to make food taste as delicious as possible when dieting. I started using things like ground cinnamon, cocoa powder, coconut shavings on some foods, along with spices. It helped make the foods not taste so bland.
- Staying relaxed. At first I found myself stressing over every calorie that I took in. Don’t get me wrong, it was important to know how much I took in, but if I couldn’t count one thing, I had to let myself know that it was not going to stop me from reaching my goals.
Did you allow yourself cheat meals?
I did. I spend a lot of time with my family and there is always a party going on so there is a lot of food. I would schedule my cheat meals around those times so that I can eat and enjoy time with my family.
What supplements did you use during your transformation?
Advice For Others
What are your best tips for someone looking to make their own transformation?
- Figure out exactly what you wish to accomplish and plan accordingly. To often too many people try to set to many different goals. “ I want to get stronger”, “ I want to gain more muscle”, “ I want to get lean”. These are different goals that require different training and diet strategies. It is very difficult for a natural athlete to accomplish all these things at once. Pick a goal, focus on it 100%, and when you reach it you can move on to a new goal.
- Have a good training and diet plan. It’s awesome that people want to change their lives and live healthier, but if you don’t have a plan then you are planning to fail. Write down the things that you want to do and how you plan to accomplish them. You will be more motivated when you see it on paper. It can also make you feel responsible for the outcome because you wrote it down, and if it wasn’t followed, don’t give up, just review what happened and correct any mistakes that you may have made.
- The power of your mind. If you can see it, believe it, then you can achieve it. Your body will not move unless you mind tells it to. Changing anything in your life is difficult, you may resist, you may fight it until you cannot fight anymore. Your mind is what is going to push you through those days when you don’t want to work out, when you want to cheat on your diet. Focus your mind on your goal and you will achieve it.
How do you stay motivated? What advice would you give to someone who’s having trouble staying on track?
Having the right mindset is very important. Being in the moment not just physically but mentally as well will determine whether you reach your goal or not. If you step in the gym and your mind is not ready you have to do what you can to get focused to be able to do the workout. Listen to music, pump yourself up, think about how great you will feel after completing the work out. Visualize how you will look once you reach your goal. The mind is a very powerful tool.
More From Francis Dumali
What is your life like now that you’ve made a transformation?
I feel better about myself. I am more confident, I am happy, and relaxed. I am enjoying life once again.
What motivates you currently to keep improving yourself?
I want to help motivate others around me. My clients are important to me and I am blessed to be able to train them and help them on their journey to a better life. I want to help my family get healthier. Even if I have just finished my workout and someone asks me to train with them, I will join them if that means they will get a better workout. I enjoy helping people, and seeing them achieve their goals motivates me to keep going.
How can people contact you?
I have a Facebook fitness page that I update everyday with tips and tricks about health and fitness. My email is on the Facebook page and if anyone has any questions please do not hesitate to write me and I will get back to you ASAP. I also have a YouTube page where I upload exercises that I do. Viewers can watch them and maybe get a few ideas for their work out. If anyone would like to check them out the links are below:
- Facebook page: https://www.Facebook.com/pages/Francis-Dumali-Fitness/258597470834991?sk...
- Youtube page: http://www.YouTube.com/user/FrancisDFitness
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org