I still find it hard to believe how different my body was just two years ago while I was still in my undergrad. I was your typical student studying night and day and always putting exercise on my list of things to do, but never quite making it happen.
Ironically I was studying exercise health science and loved every minute of it, but if you had taken one look at me it was obvious I didn’t exercise. I ate a ton at the school cafeteria and my sleep schedule was an up-and-down roller coaster. On average I was sleeping 6.5-7 hours, telling myself that sleep was for the weak and that I needed to grind harder.
It wasn’t until my very first strength and conditioning class that I began taking my major seriously and falling in love with exercise application. The class also made me realize how I had been delaying my potential as a future exercise scientist. I knew all the facts about how exercise is beneficial to your health and how it could single-handedly reverse some diseases, but while in college I never got around to seeing how it could benefit me.
After my semester of strength and conditioning, I felt that I needed to do something with my body because I couldn’t continue to play the role of an exercise enthusiast while not looking the part.
That would just be hypocritical – which made me more determined to do something about my physique.
Once I entered my senior year, I became a personal trainer. From there it was on like Donkey Kong. I was 110% focused on my mission to change. It wasn’t just about numbers on the stack moving up, I wanted to see real results. Thinking from a coach’s perspective I created a schedule that kept me on track with sleep, food preparation, and training. I was entering a new reality that made me disciplined. I was going to be my first client and therefore I needed to be adherent to the plan I created.
I started on a bodybuilding routine, in which I prioritized the most underdeveloped muscle I had. For me, I’ve always had a small chest with practically no mass. Sure enough, I put that at the very top of the list. I then followed it up with the other areas I wanted to improve on until I had my whole body covered. My goal was to get shredded and attain a body fat percentage of 13%.
After some time of training on my own, I then began training with some more advanced training partners. These guys were the real deal training 5x a week, different from my 3-day split. Initially, on my own, I was seeing some results month to month but my exercises didn’t compare to what my new lifting partners were doing.
Getting the experience of training with more advanced lifters really helped me level up my physique. Still new to training, I had the right plan from my personal trainer certification and enough built-up motivation to change from being out of shape for so long. What they gave me was the other side of training I hadn’t developed yet, which was the confidence that came from lifting heavyweight. I recall attempting to do a 50lb dumbbell press and being nervous because I thought it was too much. By the second set, I was using the 60s for sets of 10.
From that instance, I had realized that I actually wasn’t frail and that my perception of heavyweight was just my lack of confidence in myself. I got the opportunity to be pushed by some of the best in the community of fitness and it forever changed my approach to training.
For the rest of 2020, I would continuously work hard and achieve my fitness goal that summer.
Now 5 months from that picture on the right, I’m working toward a new goal now. I was able to go through the process of being out of shape to lean. Now I want to gain 15-20lbs lbs reaching 170 and becoming bulky. To be honest, I think it will be a great challenge for me because then I can say I’ve been to both ends of the spectrum for fitness. Also, as an exercise scientist, I want to learn more about the process of what it takes to get to this new goal. I don’t care too much about the results at the end because I know I will get there, but more so the process of trial and error.
Changes in body composition can be hard to make on your own. That’s why I always step up to the plate to help and guide clients through their process of change. I know what it’s like to struggle and fail at making these changes. I’m always looking forward to helping people get better.
If you need help, don’t hesitate to contact me at [email protected] to get started with your process today!