What Was Your Life Like Prior To The Change?
I used to workout (since the age of 21) when I was in college, but ever since I started working, my life was restricted to a chair, a desktop computer, 8 hours a day, 5 days a week. This, coupled with eating lots of chips, soda, and fast food at my desk made me shoot up from 140 pounds to 192 in almost no time.
The two final nails in the coffin were when people starting to wonder on which side of 30's I was on, since I was just 26 at that time. The other one was when kids repeatedly used to call me an ‘uncle’. This made me realize that I was ‘actually’ looking more than 30 as I had a bulging tummy and wore size 38 trousers. It was then I made a plan to get back in shape and gave myself a whole year to look and feel great again. Plus, I didn't want to be in a situation where in a few years, when I would have kids, I wouldn't be able to physically play ball with them due to my health or lack of stamina.
How did you make the change?
I read a lot to understand what most people were doing to lose weight and look good. I designed a simple, 3-step process from all these transformation stories, which focused on 1) workout routine, 2) diet, and 3) cardio. I wasn’t able to get a right combination for all three, so I went to a fitness instructor, who designed a workout plan, keeping in mind my work schedule. As for the diet, I followed it religiously and tracked whatever I ate and whatever I worked on in a little diary that I always carry with me.
I tried keeping a record of it using Excel, but feel more comfortable carrying a diary since I can revisit my old workout routines and diet plans. Another thing to note was that the music at my gym wasn’t too great for my taste, so I always kept loading my iPod with songs and videos that would make me rush straight to the gym. Personally speaking, I never listen to hip-hop or rap music, as the lyrics can be distracting, instead I prefer to listen to songs that will make push for that extra rep.
Diet And Training
What diet approach did you use during your transformation?
I knew that if I wanted to get back into shape, I would have to eat clean. My first diet plan was simple – to cut out on fast food stuff, soda, and chips, and to gun for a certain number of calories per day. The equation that I used was ‘Ideal Weight X 15’. After making a few dents into my fitness goal, I decided to study more about good and bad carbs, and realized where I was going wrong after I hit a plateau in losing weight - I was taking in more of bad fats and bad (simple) carbs. I quickly replaced my carbs with whole-wheat products, and left out bad fats such as egg yellow (minimum permitted cholesterol level per day for us is 300 mg, and each egg yellow has 200 of it. Go figure).
Once I saw major improvements in me, I once again changed my diet plan to include 55% protein, 25% carbs, and 20% fats. The key thing to note here is that I constantly re-visit my workout and diet plans and change them, if required. As of now, I probably know the nutritional break-up of almost all common food items at my finger tips. This knowledge helps me whenever I dine at a restaurant or go out of town on a vacation, where I don’t have my supplements handy.
What was your training split and routine?
As I mentioned it before, I constantly re-visit my workout routine to prevent from monotony and hitting a plateau. I often switch between a full-body circuit training program, 4 days a week, and a 5-day workout program wherein I focus on each body part once a day. When I began my goal, I was using the following routine, which was kind of light for me since I had to make sure my heart gets used to this new kind of workload:
- Monday: Chest, obliques, and cardio (30 minutes chest, 20 minutes obliques, and 20-30 minutes cardio)
- Tuesday: Triceps, biceps, forearms, upper and lower abs, and calves (20 minutes triceps, 20 minutes biceps, 20 minutes of abs, 10 minutes of forearms, and 15 minutes calves)
- Wednesday: Back, obliques, and cardio (30 minutes chest, 20 minutes obliques, and 20-30 minutes cardio)
- Thursday: Rest
- Friday: Shoulders, upper and lower abs, calves, and forearms (30 minutes shoulders, 20 minutes abs, 10 minutes of forearms, and 15 minutes calves)
- Saturday: Hamstrings and quads, obliques (40 minutes legs, 20 minutes obliques)
- Sunday: Rest
Advice For Others
What advice do you have for others?
Whenever people come up to me for tips and suggestions (I also maintain a fitness forum on Facebook), I always tell them that if I can do it, someone who works 8 hours a day in a corporate firm, anybody can. I also read it somewhere that “Rome was never built in a day”. Some key things I would suggest others to do are:
- Give yourself time.
- Be honest to yourself. If you are cheating on your diet, you will not get results.
- Always track your workout and diet. It helps.
thanks 4 d inspiring transformation. i m a beginner trying 2 lose fat.my weakness is my diet.plz help me.should i avoid rice??
hi ru frm pune
Sure. Can you e-mail me at email@example.com please? Will be glad to share my workout details with you offline.
First of all commendable job done.. Kudos to you..
A 28 year old currently at 163 lbs height 5'10.. Was 178 lbs 8 months back lost 15 lbs within 5 months but my problem is not the weight it is the fat percentage and stubborn fat. I am at 24 % fat with a waist size of 34 inches.. i have loose mass all over my body except for my arms.. I workout daily with a mixture of weight training and cardio.. i make sure to run 5 miles everyday..
Despite of all this i have man boobs, love handles, double chin and a belly full of fat.. due to cardio and my diet plans i have lost weight but no effect on my fat percentage, for the matter of fact my wrists are trimming down alot and now my wrists seem to be slimmer than a woman's wrist, but no effect on any other part of my body..
Loosing all my dedication as even my rigorous work out is not helping me a bit.. Would be great if any one of you people could guide me out thru this..
great work bro. congrats! i am indian and would like to know your exact diet plan. the link you provide is not currently available. i am a student and have to think twice before spending money, so please let me know how much does it totally cost to get a right body in an year. also i am a pure vegeterian so is it possible to get desired result with veg stuff.
I am really inspired by your transformation.Congrats!!!U look cool Dude.I am a software engineer working in a MNC.I sit above 9 Hours infront of the system.I really want to make my body similar to you.I am 24 years old,weigh 68kgs, and height is 5.10.Could you please suggest me the best routine and food diet to get into good shape.
Me too find it hard to eat more to gain muscle mass...please share me how can it bee.
well done Sameer, ive hit the 50 mark and now wish i had never stopped my weight training, keep up the good work as long as you can as it will make a difference in your later years,, i wish i had kept on training ,,,,,, your article and the others ive read have given me a boost into starting again, i will start the transformation 7.3.11, thanks for the inspiration. take care ,,,,, Danny,, Scotland
Greats..can u share more on your diet?Im Asian too..173cm and 178lbs :|
Excellent work and nice article too.
I am really interested in the diet plan that you have followed as particularly for us S.E Asians diet is different
Thanks for the knid words. To be honest, the diet plan that we Asians follow isnt much different from what folks in the West follow. The basic components are still the same (e.g., roti here, brown bread there, sunflower oil here, olive oil there, etc.). It depends on how the food is prepared. We tend to use a lot of oil and a lot of ingredients in our foods. I try to stick to food items that have three or less ingredients in its preperation.
By the way, check out the November edition of Men's Health Magazine. There's an article on my approach in it :-).
Great job Sameer, especially in showing that it's possible for South Asians to turn into studs!
Just out of curiosity, can you be more specific about the things you ate? What recipes did you use?
Also, how long did it take you? How did you stay motivated?
Can you share the link to your Facebook forum?
Here's the link - http://www.facebook.com/?sk=messages&tid=450977065274#!/group.php?gid=67...
I also replied to Deep, who more or less had a similar query. Hope the moderators post my reply.
Thanks Sameer!!!! I am not over weight but trying to gain muscle and have rolled shoulders, somethign I developed from working behind computers the whole day... will tweak my plan and review my diet.
Great article , would like to know how much time it took for you. I just started doing weigh training :
I was 190 pounds , 5 feet 9 inch height , 37 inches waist . After 7 weeks of workout almost similar to you now I am 168 pounds and 34 inches waist.
I am encouraged with your result of getting to 154 pounds and 31 inches. Really really encouraging !!.
Just like to know how much time it took for you.
It took me about 8-9 months. I was pretty scientific in my approach, that helped me hit my goals quicker and faster. Infact, check out the November edition of Men's Health Magazine. There's an article on my approach in it :-).