Lifestyle Prior To Change
What was your lifestyle prior to your transformation?
School, TV, video games, fast food and tons of soda.
What was your low point or turning point?
Looking online at Military PT test standards and height/weight charts thinking to myself, wow I can’t even join, yet pass the physical aspect of the military.
Were there any unique challenges or circumstances that made your transformation particularly difficult?
Just passing that mental block after realizing I had zero strength.
Nick's Training And Cardio Approach
What was your weight training approach and split during your transformation?
Please add a workout that worked best for you:
- Monday: Chest and Triceps. 8 exercises, generally 4 sets of 10, 8, 6 and 4 reps. Exercises include bench press, push ups, flyes and dips.
- Tuesday: Back and Biceps. 9 exercises, generally 4 sets of 10, 8, 6 and 4 reps. Exercises include deadlifts, bent over rows, lat pull downs, dumbbell curls and preacher curls. Also, 45 minutes of cardio.
- Wednesday: Legs and Shoulders. 9 exercises, generally 4 sets of 10, 8, 6 and 4 reps. Calf exercises are 3 sets by 30 reps. Exercises include
- squats, lunges, calf raises and military press.
- Thursday: Triceps and Chest. Triceps worked first. 8 exercises, generally 4 sets of 10, 8, 6 and 4 reps. Exercises include kickbacks, skullcrushers, incline bench press and cable flyes.
- Friday: Biceps and Back. Biceps worked first. 8 exercises, generally 4 sets of 10, 8, 6 and 4 reps. Exercises include preacher curls, reverse flyes, barbell rows and cable rows. Also, 45 minutes of cardio.
- Saturday: Shoulders and Legs. Shoulders workout first. 8 exercises, generally 4 sets of 10, 8, 6 and 4 reps. Exercises include military press, barbell shrugs, leg press and calf raises.
- Sunday: Cardio for 45 minutes.
Please detail your cardio approach during your transformation?
I do cardio 3 days a week, 45 minutes total. 5 minute jog, 15 minute elliptical, 15 minute stationary bike.
Please list 3 things you learned about exercise, weight training and/or cardio during your transformation that helped you succeed:
There is so much that can be in this list. I personally don’t think anyone ever has a complete understanding of exercising. So much is subjective, things that work for you, might not work for others.
- Kai Greene’s mental approach to weightlifting. For example: thinking about the muscle contracting rather than just going through the motions.
- Cardio is not necessarily important for weight loss, as long as you are spot on with your diet. (Don’t get me wrong, the heart is the most important muscle, but if you’re moving at a fast pace, you get your cardio in during that time.)
- Weightlifting should be fun for you, you should be excited every time you walk into the gym.
How are you currently training, and has your training changed since the completion of your transformation?
I have done different splits before, but I am currently on my original split, as it is most effective for me.
Nick's Diet And Nutrition Approach
What was your diet/nutrition approach during your transformation?
I didn’t get serious about a diet until halfway through the transformation. At first it was just no soda, candy, fast food; basically anything you would consider “junk food.”
Can you provide us with a sample eating plan (please be specific):
My diet has varied with my growing knowledge of nutrition. This is my current diet.
- Meal 1: 2 cups skim milk, 1 cup cheerios.
- Meal 2: 2 tbsp natural peanut butter; 1 cup of celery sticks.
- Meal 3: 8oz chicken breast.
- Meal 4 (post-workout): 2 scoops of protein (Nectar, Optimum Nutrition, or Pure Whey).
- Meal 5: 8oz chicken breast, 1 cup asparagus or broccoli.
- Meal 6: 2 cups skim milk with 1 scoop Optimum Nutrition Casein.
Were there any diet/nutrition mistakes you made that you learned from?
Of course. At first I thought, "hey I used to eat like this and not workout, so why not continue to eat this way as long as I’m working out.” Biggest mistake ever, if you think like this you will waste so much time making minimal progress.
Please list 3 things you learned about diet & nutrition during your transformation that helped you succeed:
- I’ve learned tons about the effects of protein, amino acids, etc. (more than I did in Biology class!)
- Just basic nutrition. What foods give me the most energy, fat loss, etc.
- Most importantly, I’ve learned to enjoy every bite of food. Haha!
Did you allow yourself cheat meals?
A few months ago I did not. I researched more about them though, and I currently have a cheat meal every Friday or Saturday night. Keeps me sane and reminds me how bad fast food makes me feel.
What supplements did you use during your transformation?
- Optimum Nutrition/Nectar whey.
- Optimum Nutrition Casein.
- Optimum Nutrition Opti-Men.
- MuscleTech Na-No Vapor.
- USPLabs Jack3d.
- USPLabs OxyElite.
Of course not all stacked at the same time, these are just what I’ve tried throughout this time period.
Advice For Others
What are your best tips for someone looking to make their own transformation?
- Be patient.
- Angry? Stressed? Annoyed? The gym will fix all of these at one time!
- Don’t let anyone tell you that you cannot achieve something, if you know you can do it, nothing’s holding you back except yourself.
How do you stay motivated? What advice would you give to someone who’s having trouble staying on track?
A long term goal of just being healthy, looking at past pictures, and watching the pro’s lift on Youtube. (Branch Warren, Johnnie Jackson, and Kai Greene are some of my favorites!) My advice would be, why give up now? If you are only one day into exercising, that was probably your hardest day of exercising. The hardest day of exercising was yesterday.
More From Nick Horton
What is your life like now that you’ve made a transformation?
Pretty much revolves around going to the gym, if something interrupts my plans for it, I get extremely anxious. I overall feel 100x better than I used to!
What motivates you currently to keep improving yourself?
Seeing new improvements every day. The human body is capable of so much more than what everyone thinks.
Anything else you would like to share?
Never give up on yourself, push yourself to the limit everyday.
How can people contact you?