Why I decided to transform
It all started in my early teen years. I used to look up to the larger-than-life individuals with awe and wish that I could be in their shoes. Growing up, I was naturally very slim and moderately athletic. But I was never the strong one, and strength was something I admired. I played all the popular sports growing up, but I never really found a passion in any of them.
When I was 14, my parents bought me my first weight set. My father then crafted a beginner’s routine to get me started. It wasn’t until the following year that I got the urge to start lifting weights. My admiration of strongman competitions and bodybuilders fueled my desire to start lifting, as did my interest in living a healthy lifestyle.
A few months later, I started to see the results. I began to develop a passion for the sport, and the addiction grew every single week. Six years later, I can proudly reflect on the time that went by and chalk it up as a big win. My ongoing journey has allowed me to live a much healthier lifestyle: one filled with self-confidence, a better sense of self-worth, and an activity that I love to partake in.
My parents were always very supportive of my goals. Just knowing I was devoting so much of my time to something I loved meant I was staying out of trouble and on a healthy path.
AGE 15 / HEIGHT 5’8″ / BODY FAT 13%
AGE 21 / HEIGHT 5’8″ / BODY FAT 10%
Today, I find the most pride when others approach me for advice or help. There’s nothing that feels better then helping others who wish to follow the same path to a healthier, more confidant self.
Also, I have found that friends and strangers alike have much more respect for me than before. The admiration I get from the younger individuals starting a workout regimen is a wonderful taste of what this lifestyle is all about. I take those opportunities to promote health and fitness to those interested around me.
How I accomplished my goals
In the earlier months of weightlifting, sticking to my routine was more difficult than I expected. I hadn’t yet found the dedication I have today. My first course of action was to buy a large container of protein, one that would last for a couple of months or so. This would be my initial incentive to keep progressing.
Afterward, I started to devise some personal short-term and long-term goals such as gaining a certain amount of weight or adding inches to my arms or legs. This new mindset, along with the physical results that I achieved, made it easy for me to stay on track. I’ve had my ups and downs like anyone else, mostly due to a few injuries. But honestly, staying motivated and dedicated has been extremely easy, and I’m lucky to be able to say that.
“While the all-time great bodybuilders and power lifters do inspire me, I find that my greatest motivation is to compare myself with myself.”
On that note, I find motivation in what I believe to be a somewhat unique way. While the all-time great bodybuilders and power lifters do inspire me, I find that my greatest motivation is to compare myself with myself.
Being bigger and stronger today then I was yesterday, as cliché as it may sound, is the element that keeps me driven. Ultimately, I just want the best physique that my genetics will allow me to achieve.
Supplements that helped me through my journey
Diet plan that guided my transformation
- Chicken Caesar salad
4 cups (lettuce, Bacon Bits, croutons, mozzarella, 4 oz. chicken, no Dressing)
Training regimen that kept me on track
I typically workout 6-7 days per week, and take my days off whenever I feel I need to. Instead of having specific workouts on given days, I have four separate workouts that I cycle through continually.
*Perform drop set by leaning forward to apply upper-body weight to knees. After 6 reps, remove the pressure and sit normally.
**15 reps of calf presses, then 15 reps of bodyweight calf raises with 3 foot positions (5 reps toes pointed in, 5 reps toes pointed out, 5 reps toes straight ahead)
What aspect challenged me the most
As much as I love the routine and the lifestyle I live, there were a few difficulties to overcome. For me personally, the most difficult thing was to balance my dedication to the sport with my social life. It wasn’t so much the actual time in the gym, but the dieting that was difficult in some cases.
This is especially true when I am away from home. There’s an abundance of unhealthy choices, and the healthier alternatives are fewer and further between. Basically, anytime you’re eating outside your home, it gets increasingly difficult to make the right choices.
With that said, the actual frequency of these situations didn’t impact things too drastically for me. It’s times like these that true dedication stands out above the rest.
My future fitness plans
“We’re all different, but any of us can be who we want to be with a unique approach.”
In the years to come, I would like to keep progressing toward new goals and higher aspirations. These mostly include personal preferences in size along with strength achievements. I’ve never really been the type of person to want to enter a competition. I’ve always done this for myself, and couldn’t picture appearing onstage. But as the years go by I am beginning to want to strive for better things. I think that a competition would provide a new goal to attain.
I would also like to acquire a personal training certificate in order to be able to use my experience and knowledge to better the lives of others. My ultimate goal, if I had to choose one, would be to try out fitness modeling. I think that would be an amazing experience!
Suggestions for aspiring transformers
If I was given the opportunity to inspire a group of unmotivated individuals to begin a healthy workout and diet regimen, I would tell them this:
Forget everything you think you know about dieting and exercising. Throw it all out the door. Picture yourself in your happiest, healthiest self. Now realize that with time, effort, and a strategic approach, you can achieve this—and even surpass it—to reach a new level of fitness. Everything always seems too far out of reach, but if you begin by making minute changes to your life, they will eventually snowball to your advantage.
Start by changing one simple thing in your life today, and every week or so keep challenging yourself by making more changes. Before you know it, you’ll be eating and exercising the way you’ve always wanted to.
That being said, it isn’t going to be easy. Nothing worthwhile ever is, after all. Just keep yourself motivated with whatever means necessary. Take a picture of yourself that you dislike and plaster it all over your life to encourage you to move on to something better. Or do the same with a picture of someone you admire and would like to emulate, if that’s more motivating for you.
We’re all different, but any of us can be who we want to be with a unique approach. And never give up; keep pushing forward.
How Bodybuilding.com helped me reach my goals
Admittedly, I am somewhat of a perfectionist when it comes to certain aspects of my life. My biggest passion is no exception to this rule. When I began to exercise, I was hungry to learn as much as possible about the sport. This is still true today, but nowhere near the first few months. I dove into my dad’s old ’80s muscle magazines, along with some newer ones and anything that seemed reputable online. This is how I found Bodybuilding.com.
The abundance of lengthy and quality articles was more than impressive. I found myself reading hours on end, day after day, about dieting, fitness plans, supplementation, motivation, and anything else remotely related to bodybuilding.
In a nutshell, it is thanks to the knowledge I have gained browsing through endless articles that I have been able to achieve this level of fitness.
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If Steve had downtime, he was either training or preparing meals. That dedicated plan of attack drove him to lose 102 pounds and 30 percent body fat in one year!