Lifestyle Prior To Change
What was your lifestyle like prior to your transformation?
My lifestyle was party, party, and party some more. I was very immature, with no real goals in my life. I was just concerned on which bar I was going to go to that night. I ate terribly, and like every skinny guy, I thought I ate a lot. I ate a lot of junk food and not clean foods.
What was your low point or turning point?
My low point was when my girlfriend of 4 years just wouldn’t take me back. I needed to get rid of the frustration, so the gym was my outlet. I felt terrible because she changed her lifestyle and I was just the same old guy wanting to get drunk with friends with no goals in mind. I finally realized that I needed to change, I needed to grow up, go back to college, get rid of bad influences, and set goals.
Were there any unique challenges or circumstances that made your transformation particularly difficult?
Honestly, there were no real challenges. At first the dieting wasn’t fun but I saw results quickly so that kept me going. I would say the most difficult part was when I hit plateaus. I got frustrated, but I just took a look at my diet, and bumped up my calories and protein levels to help me over come them.
I also added in heavier squats and deadlifts and this made my body grow. With anything in life that makes you successful, you get the negative people that always try to bring you down. Never listen to them, use their comments as motivation.
Please provide a timeline including when you started the transformation, and include major milestones along the way:
- Transformation Start: September 2011, I really wanted to change some things in my life. My whole lifestyle, so I did as much research about fitness and nutrition as possible on the web and gathered as much information as possible. The greatest accomplishment to my physique is giving up drinking alcohol and soda.
- Milestone: November 7, 2011, I was so happy when I finally reached 143lbs. I worked my butt off and this is when it started to show. My diet was on point and I clearly saw results due to it.
- Milestone: February 28, 2012, I finally hit 150lbs. This is when everyone at the gym took notice. I had competitors come up to me and tell me that I should consider competing. I laughed and just told them thank you... Then I started looking up competition photos and started talking to local bodybuilders. They helped me get started with posing classes and talked me into doing the NPC 2012 Charlotte Cup.
- Milestone: April 28, 2012, My first NPC physique competition! I came into this competition blindly since all of my mentors were bodybuilders. I dropped from 154lbs to 145lbs for the show. I had a blast and met some great competitors. I placed fourth and that qualified me to compete nationally. After the competition I thought about everything I could fix and started planning for my next show; Victory Classic.
- Milestone: June 8, 2012- I finally hit 160lbs. This was my goal to hit at the end of the year and I hit it mid year! The best part is that it was all lean muscle. 2 weeks out from the Victory Classic and I am stoked. I feel like I am bringing a better physique and better attitude.
- Transformation End: There will never be a transformation end for me. I am always trying to change my physique and push my body to new limits. When I reach a goal, I set new ones. This is what keeps me motivated and successful. I plan on doing a National show in November to try to get my pro card. If I do not succeed I will have something to train for during off season! I am blessed to have such a great lifestyle and new friends that support me everyday.
Chris' Training Approach?
What was your weight training approach and split during your transformation?
My weight training approach was and still is heavy weight, low reps, low sets, working sets until failure, and increase weight. A spotter is a must, once I fail, I do negatives to tear more muscle tissue. I do a 2 day split on off season, pre-competition I adjust according to what my physique is looking like.
Please add a workout that worked best for you:
- Monday - Chest and Biceps
- Tuesday - Back
- Wednesday - 20 minutes Stair Climber, 1000 meters Row Machine, Hanging Leg Raises 3 sets of 10.
- Thursday - Shoulders and Traps
- Friday - Legs
- Saturday - 20 minutes Stair Climber, 1000 meters Row Machine, Hanging Leg Raises 3 sets of 10.
- Sunday - Legs
|Chest and Biceps|
|Decline Dumbbell Bench Press||1||6-8 to failure|
|Incline Dumbbell Bench Press||1||6-8 to failure|
|Dumbbell Flye||1||6-8 to failure|
|Concentration Curl||1||6-8 to failure|
|Barbell Curl||1||6-8 to failure|
|Dumbbell Pullover||1||8-10 to failure|
|Close Grip Pull Down||1||8-10 to failure|
|One Arm Dumbbell Row||1||8-10 to failure|
|Wide Grip Cable Row||1||8-10 to failure|
|Deadlift||1||8-10 to failure|
|Shoulders and Traps|
|Seated Dumbbell Press||1||6-8 to failure|
|Dumbbell Lateral Raise||1||8-10 to failure|
|Low Cable Lateral Raise||1||6-8 to failure|
|Bent Over Dumbbell Reverse Flye||1||8-10 to failure|
|Cable Tricep Extension||1||8-10 to failure|
|Skullcrusher||1||8-10 to failure|
|Seated French Press||1||8-10 to failure|
|Squat||1||6-8 to failure|
|Leg Extension||1||10-12 to failure|
|Leg Press||1||10-12 to failure|
|Hack Squat||1||10-12 to failure|
|Seated Leg Curl||1||10-12 to failure|
|Stiff Leg Deadlift||1||10-12 to failure|
|Standing Calf Raise||3||Rest-pause - failure|
|Seated Calf Raise||1||6-8 to failure|
|Leg Press||2||6-8, 50|
|Standing Calf Raise||1||4-6|
Please detail your cardio approach during your transformation?
My main goal was to put on lean muscle mass, so I did cardio 10 minutes before I worked out. Now I do cardio about 30 minutes twice a week. Once I am in contest prep, I do cardio every day for at least 20 minutes.
Please list 3 things you learned about exercise, weight training and/or cardio during your transformation that helped you succeed:
- I learned to leave my ego at home and learn to control the weights. Negatives (eccentric movement) is the key to muscle tissue tear. This is what builds the muscles.
- I learned that proper form is key, this will also help grow you secondary muscles such as forearms on a dumbbell press.
- Most importantly nutrition is also key. Without the proper nutrition, gains will be hard to reach. Results are 80% nutrition, 20% gym. Lastly, rest is very important for recovery.
How are you currently training, and has your training changed since the completion of your transformation?
I am currently in season for competitions. My training loads change once I enter the 4-2 weeks out mark. I will lighten up the load and do higher rep ranges.
Chris' Diet And Supplement Plan
What was your diet/nutrition approach during your transformation?
My diet approach was very easy. People complicate nutrition too much and make it unattractive at times. I like to try different lean recipes that I find on the internet to help keep my taste buds happy.
Can you give an example of what your daily meal plan looks like?
- Meal 1: Whey protein shake, 6 egg whites, 1 whole egg, and 1 cup oatmeal (quick oats, old fashioned, not the pre packaged ones). To make this taste better, try adding all natural honey, a Tbsp of Stevia or Truvia, or add some fruits such as blueberries, strawberries, etc.
- Meal 2: Almond butter sandwich, which is whole wheat bread and all natural almond butter, handful of almonds.
- Meal 3: 6 oz. lean meat, 6 oz. sweet potato, 1 cup broccoli.
- Meal 4: Pre workout: Oatmeal 1 hour before workout.
- Post Workout: Whey protein shake with a banana and PB2.
- Meal 5: 6oz. lean meat, 1/2 cup brown rice, 1 cup broccoli or asparagus.
- Meal 6: same as meal 5 (choose lean meat, carb source, broccoli, spinach, or asparagus).
- Meal 7: Protein pancake with locally made natural honey, 1 cup of Greek yogurt with strawberries and blueberries, casein protein.
Now for the fun part. I always choose lean meats for my diet. It could be lean chicken, 100% ground turkey, tilapia, salmon, or a lean cut steak. My carb sources are usually sweet potatoes, baked potatoes, whole grain pastas, or brown rice.
Were there any diet/nutrition mistakes you made that you learned from?
I honestly did not make any nutrition mistakes. I did my research very thoroughly and stuck to it.
Please list 3 things you learned about diet & nutrition during your transformation that helped you succeed:
- Drink at least 1 gallon of water each day. Your body needs water, this helps with your metabolism.
- Write down your meals so that when you do reach a plateau, you know exactly what to adjust and/or add to your diet.
- Weigh your foods or measure them out so you know exactly how many nutrients you are feeding your body.
Did you allow yourself cheat meals?
Yes, one every Saturday, when I want to have dinner with friends or family.
What supplements did you use during your transformation?
Advice For Others
What are your best 3 tips for someone looking to make their own transformation?
- Do not try to rush things, stay focused and results will come.
- Always use proper form and do your exercises with a slow and controlled movement.
- Eat properly and stick to your diet if you want to see amazing results.
How do you stay motivated? What advice would you give to someone who’s having trouble staying on track?
I stay motivated by looking at my progress pictures and seeing how far I have came. Music always helps me stay motivated in the gym. If you are having trouble staying on track, just remember that taking that one step in the gym and performing the right tasks is better than doing nothing. Keep your head up, and remember that going the extra mile is always worth it.
Your Life Now
What is your life like now that you’ve made a transformation?
My life is amazing. I have been so blessed along this journey. I am in the best shape of my life. I have made the decision to compete regularly and I am motivated to get my pro card in the future. I am a certified fitness trainer now because I want to help people reach their fitness goals. I plan to become a fitness model one day.
What motivates you currently to keep improving yourself?
My friends at the gym help motivate me every day by telling me that they see my progress. My biggest motivation is to become a pro one day, so this helps me push myself day by day.
Anything else you would like to share?
I would like to encourage people to take the extra step to enter the fitness world. I have also noticed that you really find out who your true friends are when you give up all the bad influences and start becoming successful in life. Never look back, because you will meet many great people during this journey.
How Can People Contact You?
How can people contact you?
- Facebook: Facebook.com/chrismcglynnfit
- Twitter: chris_mcglynn89
- Instagram: chris_mcglynn89
Garrett Price at Carolina Portrait Designs