Looking Back At The Beginning
I’ve got a ton of e-mail/messages from people wanting me to expand a bit on how I got started, what I would change if I could go back, what is most important when starting, etc. My ‘About Me’ page is pretty thin, so I’ll write up a little more about how I got started here.
It was Spring of 2009 when I hit the gym for the first time, March to be exact. School semester was coming to an end and I knew I’d have a ton of free time in the summer (no “real” job, played online poker–another story) so I decided to start looking into fitness/working out with the #1 goal in mind–how to get visible abs. Nothing else mattered at the time.
This was me on March 9th, s009, hours before I went to the gym for the first time sitting at 170 pounds. I had no idea what to expect, but just in case I decided to hang with it for more than a couple months, I was going to have pictures stashed away to compare myself to later. I started off eating 2100 calories and 150 grams of protein a day, I pulled that number based on weight and rough estimate of body fat alone and just happened to get lucky and not spend weeks adjusting it to find what number I needed to eat to slowly lose weight.
This was July 1st, 2009, sitting at 162 pounds after eating exactly 2100 calories a day (give or take 100, but never more than 2200) since March 9th. I created an account at fitday.com and had every calorie tracked that I had eaten during that period. There are better sites/apps out now that let you track your calorie intake better, but that’s what I used at the time.
8 pounds over almost 4 months doesn’t sound too great on paper, but losing 8 pounds slowly combined with the “newbie gain” phase ended up looking better in pictures. Don’t get me wrong, I absolutely cringe looking back at how frail I was, especially when I can remember being ecstatic over the progress I had made. But that’s simply because my goals have changed dramatically overtime. My goal isn’t just abs anymore like it was, ever since then I’ve always wanted “just a little bit more” and now I’m just simply wanting to be a bit bigger and leaner while being proportionate all over.
What would I do different if I was to start over again?
I actually didn’t do too bad as far as what worked and what didn’t. I have always kept my form strict on my exercises and not let the amount of weight get to my head, which is a problem for even people that have been in the gym for several years. I kept an accurate count of calories and protein and didn’t estimate, which is another mistake a ton of people do starting out.
The biggest challenge I had was to avoid looking for differences day-to-day. I couldn’t help absolutely killing it in the gym and expecting results the next day, only to see I look exactly the same. It can be a taxing on the motivation to work extremely hard for days/weeks and not look like you’re going anywhere. I finally just let it go, went to the gym and did my thing and counted my calories and decided to check back in a few months. Ended up being much better this way.
Since then, I’ve done 3 other cut cycles. After getting down to 162 in the above pictures, I’ve went:
- Up to 178 lbs, then cut to 159 (Yes, went even lower on the next cut). (’09-’10)
- Bulked up to 186, then cut to 168. (’10-’11)
- Bulked up to 192, cut to 173 (’11-’12)
- And the latest bulk I hit 198, and have yet to cut. Expecting around 175-178ish by late Spring. (’12-’13)
So about one cut/bulk per year, with maybe some off time in between.
Also, I’ve started to supplement with caffeine/ephedrine in the past two years for my cuts and absolutely love it. It is the cheapest and most efficient fat burner that you can get your hands on (legally and natural anyways). Ephedrine was banned a few years ago from being put in dietary supplements (the first version of Hydroxycut used it) when people starting dosing it too high and soon started getting diagnosed with heart problem, so the stuff isn’t fool proof–you can’t just pop it like candy and expect it to do more as you dose it higher.
If you haven’t done so yet, sign up for my e-mail list before the end of this month and I’ll have a write-up sent to you by the last week of November on how to use caffeine/ephedrine to get an extra boost when trying to lose that last bit of fat. It won’t be on my site until late December/early January when most people start cutting, so sign up if you want to get it early! You can sign up at the end of this post or the right sidebar on the front page.
Thanks for reading, leave a comment below if you have any questions!