- Transformation Start: 2012. At this point, I was fat and addicted to gaming. Started to care about life and so it begun.
- Milestone: Still 2012. I had turned 15, and been working out for a couple of months, lost a lot of fat and was committed to it. I had only a 10kg dumbbell and nothing else, so I was sticking to bodyweight training.
- Milestone: 2013 - After about 5 months of bodyweight training, it was almost Christmas. I asked my parents for a bench press and I got one. I started out with 50kg bench pressing, almost every day, and after a week I went from 5 reps to 15 reps with 50kg. It was time to buy more weights, I fell in love with the gains.
- Milestone: 2014. My bulk was still on going, I had a lot of progress with powerlifting that year, and my personal records were awesome. I reached 110kg on bench pressing, 170kg on deadlift and 150kg on squat. Although I got really strong I also got really fat, because I didn’t do any kind of diet control.
- Transformation End: 2015. After years of bulking, I decided to finally cut and I dropped down to 7% bodyfat by watching my idols, Zyzz and Greg plitt.
What was the driving force that made you decide you wanted to start your fitness journey?
Well, for starters, I was tired of being called fat and unable. When I was a kid, lots of my friends and colleagues would say to me that I couldn’t do this or that because I was so fat. People would just grab any subject to throw at my face how fat I was, At the time I didn’t really care what they said, I just wanted to keep on living my routine.
This kept on until one day me and my 2 best friends got bullied by a group of big, ripped dudes. I knew there was nothing I could do to stop them from pushing us around, because we all were either skinny and weak, or fat. However that moment of vulnerability completely changed my mindset towards life. I questioned myself what my life would be like if I continued not caring about it.
How I would continue being bullied and not being respected by these kind of people. So I started researching online about bodybuilding and how to train to get bigger muscles, and came across the legend of bodybuilding, Arnold Schwarzenegger. From that moment, I knew how I wanted to look like no matter how much work it would take and no matter how much I had to sacrifice.
What was your lifestyle like prior to your change?
Before starting this journey, my lifestyle was best described as “normality”. As I was just a kid addicted to online gaming, my routine was waking up, always sad, going to school, take the classes I had to take, keep my thoughts to myself, talk about gaming with my 2 friends, and go grab lunch, hotdogs or hamburgers almost every day, take more classes, go home, have 2 more sandwiches and ice tea, play games until I went to sleep.
As most parents nowadays, mine didn’t really care that I was fat, they would just let me eat what I wanted, but who can blame them? They actually tried to make the healthiest foods possible, and didn’t really bring much of junk food home. I’m thankful for that. So, anyways, my lifestyle was sadness, junk food and weakness in real life. Happiness, strength and fun in virtual life.
Most transformations create a support group for the transformer. Who were your biggest supporters and how did they help?
I am not by all means, trying to get pity, but the harsh truth is that I had literally nobody interested in what I was doing, not that I was much of a social guy though. Almost everyone I knew would just ask me why was I doing it, or told me that it wasn’t going to get me anywhere.
A few months into training, however, I started high school and met some cool guys that were also into training and bodybuilding. They told me not to quit on training, because I was still so young (15 years old) and had such a developed body already.
We motivated ourselves throughout high school years, always competing for who was the strongest, in a good way. Even though they were older than me, they respected me for what I was doing.
For every supporter, there is likely a hater. Did you have any haters? How did you deal with their presence? Have you turned any of your haters into fans?
I had no haters nor fans, as I always kept to myself. However, I did have people who told me that my purpose was pointless (I don’t consider them haters). But as I saw them with zero results, and a life alike mine was, I considered their opinion meaningless, and kept on forging my own path.
And yes, after all this years, they saw what I’ve become and instead of commenting, they complement me and my willpower.
What was your weight training approach and split during your transformation?
My training split was high intensity training 3 days per week, each composed of 3 different muscle groups and other 3 days of the week I would do powerlifting training, mainly composed of one main lift (like deadlifts). I would vary the trained muscles week by week.
What motivational tools did you use to stay on track in the gym?
My motivational tools were mainly watching videos of some famous fitness youtubers and bodybuilders and imagining myself as them. Something else that really kept me motivated was watching the gains come over time. I would hit new powerlifting PR’s in a couple months period.
Please list 3 things you learned about exercise, weight training and/or cardio during your transformation that helped you succeed:
- I learned the hard way that bodyweight exercise only, won’t get you big.
- I learned that heavy lifts on main powerlifting exercises are definitely going to get you bigger.
- I learned that full range of motion will help you big time.
What workout has worked best for you?
Well, I made different workouts for different weeks, I’ll leave one example, this worked for me.
Day 1, 3, 5 - Legs
Day 2, 4, 6 - Upper body
I would vary main lifts weekly. One week I would train a muscle group for hypertrophy and the other for max weight. Then, I'd switch it the following week.
How are you currently training, and has your training changed since the completion of your transformation?
Yes, my training methods completely varied over the years, and are still varying. I don’t like to stick to monotony. Something else that has changed a few months ago is that I joined a gym. I have trained at home for the first 3 years, as I owned a benching machine and weights. It was kind of lonely though.
TRANSFORMATION DIET & NUTRITION
What was your diet/nutrition approach during your transformation?
Well, it was basically nonexistent (I would eat whatever I wanted) until I turned 18 and found out about ketogenic dieting, decided to try it, and it worked for me! I’ve gone quite extreme on it, and limited my carb intake and calorie intake. So I got a bit weaker, but really shredded, no doubt.
Were there any diet/nutrition mistakes you made that you learned from?
Definitely, I should have cared more about dieting along the first 3 years, I was surpassing caloric needs, but what can I say? I loved eating and still do.
Another mistake I made, namely on the keto diet, was not eating enough protein. I actually lost some mass while on this diet, but overall, I got really shredded and for me it was worth it.
Please list 3 things you learned about diet & nutrition during your transformation that helped you succeed:
- I learned that fasting does work, but it doesn’t really provide amazing results.
- I learned that everyone reacts differently to carbohydrates. For me, they are the main nutrient to be restricted in order to cut effectively.
- I learned that you won’t get bigger by simply eating more. You must eat smart. And not overdoing protein, as what won’t be used, will be stored.
Can you provide us with a sample daily eating plan?
Intermittent fasting until 12:00 pm.
Lunch – 200g of tuna, 50g of rice, 50g of beans and a big bowl of salad.
Dinner – 100g of Pork ribs, 50g of rice, small salad.
Before bed - Some yogurt.
Did you allow yourself cheat meals?
Yes, of course, I couldn’t just sacrifice those pleasures. I usually had a couple cheat meals every weekend.
ADVICE FOR OTHERS
What are your best 3 tips for someone looking to make their own transformation?
My best three tips, and for my experience with other people are:
- When selecting supplements, choose only the ones that will have the greatest impact for your goals.
- Keep your training and diet consistent, even if you can’t do much that day, just do some, and you’ll feel like not quitting.
- When that moment comes and you feel like none of this is worth it, just remember, you don’t want to be just someone else.
How do you stay motivated? What advice would you give to someone who’s having trouble staying on track?
I would say, start watching some motivational videos. Also, have someone to idolize and think that if they did it, the only thing stopping you from doing it is willpower.
YOUR LIFE NOW
What is your life like now that you’ve made a transformation?
My life is still quite boring, but that’s just my life. Aside from that, when I go out to the beach or in a tight shirt, believe me, I get attention. And basically everyone I know, when it comes to dieting or bodybuilding comes to me for advice, and that for me feels remarkable.
What motivates you currently to keep improving yourself?
Well, mostly it’s looking at myself in the past, and the reminder of what I’ve managed to become with hard work and consistency. However, my main motive to keep on going, is thinking that I was made for something more, not just to be another fat, introverted guy, like I was.
Anything else you would like to share?
Sure, I would like to mention an “apparition” on the new Aesthetic Lifestyle Magazine, on the “Readers Rigs” transformations section. It was enjoyable seeing my hard work published.
And for everyone reading, whether you work full time, or you are in a totally different area than fitness, like me (full time programming course), or you have children to take care of, don’t use it as an excuse. Everyone’s got at least 30 minutes of free time. That's more than enough time to get a workout in and change your body.