I started working out when I was 15 and was fit throughout most of my mid to late 20’s. I briefly had a six-pack in my 20s, if anything it wasn’t top-shelf or quality but I’ve done it. People told me I was “ripped” on many occasions. I’ve been in and out of martial arts for over 15 years and have had many personal trainers in my 20s. I have been fortunate enough to train with some of the best fitness and martial arts instructors around. However, when I got into software I quit working out and developed some bad lifestyle habits. From 2013 to 2020 I went from 160 lbs to 212 lbs and stayed there for the longest time. My old tricks for weight loss didn’t work anymore and I needed a change.
Before & After
The night the picture was taken at the lake is the night I vowed to do whatever it took to get back in shape.
This is where I excel, I have no problem doing this day in and day out for months at a time. Even when I slowed down during the Holidays, I still burned 4 pounds that month. I used to cut carbs out completely and that just doesn’t work anymore. That was my old trick. My new trick is to eat carbs in the morning and do carb cycling to break plateaus and give my body a shock. This works incredibly well. If you’re not familiar, basically, for 4 or 5 days I eat a very lean low-carb diet and then I break that streak by eating heavier foods with carbs like a baked potato. This shocks my body and then my body bounces back to burning fat.
These are my best weeks. My worst week, I put on 1.7 pounds. That’s it… and it wasn’t even after one of these extreme weeks of weight loss. In my “warm-up” months, I lost 2 pounds a week.. When I got serious it jumped up to 3 or more.. and it’s stayed off.
I eat very low calorie (1200-1500 calories daily) and very low carb meals daily. I typically eat the same thing daily… or I at least follow the same pattern daily. I don’t cut carbohydrates out completely because that makes me very sick. Instead, I eat carbs in the morning and do carb cycling. Carb cycling has caused me to ABSOLUTELY SMASH plateaus. It shocks and confuses my body and causes rapid weight loss.
For breakfast, I will eat 40 grams of Buckwheat (140 calories) and maybe an apple (80 calories).
I buy the almond snack packs that are 100 calories each. These are great to snack on and help enormously. Now, the mixed ones have higher levels of carbs but I’m not that worried about it. I also eat baby food, seriously, it has less sugar and is no more than 80 calories.
Lunch / Dinner
Lunch and dinner is always simple. I break out the air fryer and cook a lean protein which would total 300-400 calories total. That includes chicken, pork chops, salmon, or top sirloin. I also pair it with a dark green like broccoli, spinach, collard greens, turnip greens, or brussel sprouts. My mom loves to tell people about how I ate raw broccoli as a kid. If I need more, I may add something else.. any other veggie. Typically in a cut, I limit oils and steam everything and use seasoning which has 0 calories.
I’m a diehard MuscleTech fan. I’ve used their products since high school and they work. I currently take NitroTech which is a lean whey protein with a little bit of creatine in it. I use low-calorie almond milk also..
My Best Diet Advice: EAT YOUR FREAKING GREENS!
This is probably the number one thing I see people struggling with. Eating high levels of green vegetables will not only cause rapid weight loss but your skin will never look better. I cannot stress how important this is and I am in many weight loss groups on Facebook where I rarely see people showing off their greens. I don’t know what to tell you, “Eat your F****** GREENS!”.
If your goal is to be absolutely ripped you’re going to do a lot better if you take supplements. I’m not going to tell you that you can’t do it without them, it just makes it enormously easier. I take a lot of supplements to give me an edge.
In order to get through all of these exhausting workouts, I’ve had to slow down and prioritize rest. I now force myself off the computer and force myself to go to bed earlier. I have a very high strung brain and it’s very difficult for me to sleep more than 6 hours per night. In order to overcome exhaustion, I’ve had to make some changes. I’ve adjusted many habits by wearing a sleep mask, listening to classical music (really calms the brain), and taking anti-anxiety, fat burning, sleep-inducing supplements. This has improved my energy levels significantly.
Programs / Fitness Strategies
Here’s another area of this that I excel in. I love to workout and can do this crap for hours at a time.
Quick shout out to Vince Sant and everyone over at vShred. My old tricks didn’t work anymore and I’m terrible with legs and abs so I decided to give vShred a try. I HIGHLY recommend this program. I learned a ton of new exercises and this is where I learned carb cycling. They got my game back on track and I couldn’t have got myself back into this without their help. They have programs for weight loss, getting ripped, and bulking. Their program works if you do the work.
Note: I followed 80% of what their app said to do. I used the Home program for legs and abs but would attempt to do exactly what the Gym workouts were for Chest, Bis/Tris, and Shoulders. I also added in some of my own stuff.
I started off with walking and eating really clean. Every day I would eat at a restaurant and get a lean protein with 2 veggies (no bread). Just doing this alone lead to me losing 30 pounds. For breakfast, I would eat raisin bran and for dinner, I would eat something light. This was my strategy for the first 4 months while I re-trained my body for extreme levels of fitness and dieting.
This is a different game and you must play much harder to get these results. This is where it gets hard. Skipping a workout can result in a loss of motivation. I don’t care how tired or exhausted I felt, I finished my workouts even if it took me 2 or 3 hours. I was able to quickly improve and get stronger after 2 weeks.
Dropsets / Supersets
High Intensity Interval Training (HITTs)
While HIITs work extremely well, I’ve also started walking around the neighborhood during lunch and riding my desk bike 10-20 miles per day. I really want to make sure I’m burning the fat off and keeping my body in shape so while I’m riding my desk bike I’ll also watch training videos for work.