Body Transformation: Michael Mollica Left The Basement And Hit The Gym

Michael was lazy, unmotivated and spent his days eating and playing video games. Shocked by what he saw in the mirror, Michael decided enough was enough.
Editor's Note: Everyone is different and these results may not be typical for the average person. To achieve these results you need to be willing to put in the work both in the gym and in the kitchen. Use this transformation for motivation for you to make the changes you want!

Before Stats

  • 16
  • 210 lbs
  • 25%
  • 5'6"

After Stats

  • 19
  • 155 lbs
  • 15%
  • 5'6"

Lifestyle Prior To Change

What was your lifestyle like prior to your transformation?

I was incredibly lazy, always tired, and had little motivation to give effort towards anything worthwhile. My days consisted of eating and playing video-games in my basement. My parents would constantly urge me to get out of the basement but I didn’t listen.

What was your low point or turning point?

I looked in the mirror one morning and decided that enough was enough. Once I decided that I had to transform my body for my own good and not to please others I was ready to make the change. Seeing what I had become was more than enough motivation to get my butt into gear.

Were there any unique challenges or circumstances that made your transformation particularly difficult?

I had no access to a gym and no money for equipment. For the first couple months I would run outside and do pushups in my room.  The workout would last for about an hour.

Michael MollicaWhat was your transformation timeline?

  • Transformation Start: September 2009.
  • Milestone: Lost 50lbs by December 2010.
  • Milestone: Started bulking in January 2011 to gain muscle.
  • Milestone: After reaching 180lbs I started cutting in September 2011 to burn fat.
  • Milestone: I maintained for a couple months to let my muscle mature. I started another cut in August 2012 and I now sit at 155lbs.
  • Transformation End: October 2012.

Michael's Training Approach​

What was your weight training approach and split during your transformation?

Once I got a gym membership I was really able to shift my training into high gear. I typically train chest/triceps, back/biceps, shoulders, and legs on separate days. With the exception of legs I aim for lower reps (6-8) and focus on form. When I train legs I go for higher reps (10-15). Gotta love that leg day burn!

Please add a workout that worked best for you:

Chest and Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Dumbbell Bench Press 3 6-8
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 3 6-8
Cable Crossovers 3 6-8
Close Grip Bench Press 3 6-8
Skullcrushers 3 6-8
Back and Biceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Deadlift 4 8
Bent Over Row 3 6-8
Seated Cable Row 3 6-8
Wide Grip Pull Up 3 10
Preacher Curl 3 6-8
Standing Dumbbell Hammer Curl 3 6-8
Exercise Sets Reps
Standing Military Press 3 10
Cable Front Lateral Raise 2 10
Cable Side Lateral 2 10
Upright Row 3 6-8
Dumbbell Shrug 3 10-15
Exercise Sets Reps
Squat 3 10-15
Leg Press 3 10-15
Stiff Leg Deadlift 3 10-15
Barbell Step Up 3 10-15
Leg Curl 3 10-15

Please detail your cardio approach during your transformation?

I did very light cardio on my rest days (typically a 3.5mph walk for 30 minutes). I enjoy using the treadmill and stairmaster. On days I had work I would train fasted very early in the morning and eat my breakfast afterwards.

Please list 3 things you learned about exercise, weight training and/or cardio during your transformation that helped you succeed:

  1. Diet is key! You can spend however much money you want on supplements but they will never do the work for you. Remember- supplements are supposed to SUPPLEMENT a rock solid diet!
  2. Listen to your body. Never be afraid to take a rest day if you feel pain. Keep in touch with your doctor and see him/her if you believe any issues are arising.
  3. NEVER listen to your gut instinct. As weird as this may sound, often times the voice in your head may tell you not to do something because you are simply uncomfortable. Your body is capable of incredible things but you must push yourself out of your comfort zone.

How are you currently training, and has your training changed since the completion of your transformation?

For the most part my training remains the same year-round. If I feel like I need to lower my body fat I will throw in some extra cardio sessions throughout the week and lower my calorie intake. If I want to build muscle I eliminate cardio and increase my calorie intake.

Michael's Diet And Supplement Plan

What was your diet/nutrition approach during your transformation?

I eat 6-7 meals a day. All of my carbs come from breakfast and lunch and the remainder of my meals are high in healthy fats and protein.

Can you give an example of what your daily meal plan looks like?

  • 6AM.5 cup oats w/2 scoops Dymatize Elite XT protein power (I use almond milk).
  • Post-workout (typically 9AM) - 2 scoops Dymatize Elite XT protein powder w/water.
  • 12PM6oz grilled chicken breast, 1 cup brown rice, 2 cups steamed broccoli, apple.
  • 3PM6oz chicken breast or salmon.
  • 6PM6oz chicken breast, 1 cup broccoli.
  • 9PM1 cup cottage cheese.

Were there any diet/nutrition mistakes you made that you learned from?

Refusing to eat carbs past a certain time at night is just silly. Some nights I would have oatmeal before bed and saw no noticeable fat gains.

Please list 3 things you learned about diet & nutrition during your transformation that helped you succeed:

  1. If you can’t pronounce the ingredients it probably isn’t good for you.
  2. Always go for the sugar-free or reduced sugar options (especially with condiments).
  3. Foods such as broccoli and spinach are an excellent way to fill you up without the calories.

Did you allow yourself cheat meals?

Absolutely. I never planned them, though. I would typically treat myself once a week if I was out of the house and had no alternate source of healthy food. Buttermilk pancakes are my favorite cheat meal.

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?

  1. Do it for yourself, not because you are pressured into it. 
  2. Set long-term goals that have meaning. A lot of people I have met over the years only work out to look good during the summer. The problem with short-term goals is that you will have no motivation to keep going once you meet them. 
  3. Just get started. You won’t see results overnight. The best thing you can do is take that crucial first step.

How do you stay motivated? What advice would you give to someone who’s having trouble staying on track?

Whenever I feel like giving up I remind myself of the loved ones in my life who have passed and how they would react if they saw me failing at something that means so much to me. If you have trouble staying on track take a look at some “before” photos and see how far you have come along. Now think of where you can be if you keep going.

Your Life Now

What is your life like now that you’ve made a transformation?

Life is great! I am up every morning at 5AM and can’t wait to start my day. I am overall a much friendlier person. I enjoy participating in outdoor activities such as basketball and football. My grades in school have all improved dramatically as well. I will be volunteering with my local fire department in the upcoming months.

What motivates you currently to keep improving yourself?

Somewhere out there, someone is waking up an hour earlier than me, doing one more rep than me, running for one more minute than me. Striving to be the best motivates me every second of every day.

Anything else you would like to share?

The sport of bodybuilding is the greatest thing that has ever happened to me. You MUST try it!

How Can People Contact You?

How can people contact you?


3 Comments+ Post Comment

No Profile Pic
Posted Fri, 01/25/2013 - 03:32
Iain Mitchell

Michael, great going lad!! I'm a 31 yr old guy just starting my transformation your a great inspiration keep up that hard work!

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Posted Thu, 01/17/2013 - 18:29


On the final picture.. are u Really 15% B.F.??? u look leaner

I Follow you on youtube and i tough u were taller than 5foot6 LOL

Great Job Mate! Enjoy life
Keep it UP

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Posted Thu, 01/17/2013 - 20:31
Michael Mollica

I estimated with the body fat. and yes, I'm a manlet lol