Name: Enrico Willis
Why I Got Started
I decided to make a change when I was diagnosed with high cholesterol. In high school, I was the standard skinny computer nerd that never lifted at all. I hated anything dealing with exercise or playing sports back then. In college, I followed my roommates to the gym and got hooked.
Since college, I have continued to make lifting a part of my daily routine. With all the training I was doing I did not understand why I was not seeing the results I expected to see. Looking back, I was not seeing the progress I wanted due to my lack of knowledge and education on how to lift smart and also what and when to eat.
Due to the lack of knowledge into the importance of a good diet, I thought if I ate everything in front of me I'd bulk up and resemble the guys in Muscle and Fitness magazines. I started to eat everything, fried chicken, different protein bars and carbs at every meal. I did not even bother counting the amount of protein per day I was consuming or calories.
I put on weight, that's for sure, but it wasn't "good" muscle weight. The poor diet led me to weigh 275 pounds, the heaviest I have ever been. My heaviest weight had a hidden incentive, providing me the opportunity to play semi-pro football as a defensive end. When people saw me their impression was that I lifted regularly and because of that I was in great shape, but I knew better.
Whenever it came to taking off my shirt, I always had a dark T-shirt on to hide my stomach. I finally decided to make a change not only to my workout routine, but also to my diet. I wanted to get my cholesterol level down and lose the mid-section. I ended up losing 45 pounds, all without doing any cardio.
How I Did It
Once I decided to make the change I knew I needed to rethink my routine to start lifting smarter, especially since I wasn't doing any cardio. I got insight into how to rework my routine by reading Arnold Schwarzenegger's Encyclopedia of Modern Bodybuilding, talking to others in the gym, watching others workout routines, and on Bodyspace to get new tips on different routines.
I worked with all the information and recommendations and started to construct my own workout that would work best for me and my goals. I continued to tap into my sources to seek further improvement and challenges in my workout to ensure I wouldn't fall into the typical workout plateau.
I started by beginning my workouts doing fast twitch and up-tempo motions. I started to train like an athlete even though I wasn't playing any sports, turning some exercises into a cardio routine. I also took typical exercises like skull crushers, and changed the angles, by varying the position to decline and incline.
Changing my eating habits was by far the hardest feat. My high cholesterol got the doctor pushing me to make the change. I used the food choices my doctor gave me, along with some ideas from Jyoto.info and the members of Bodyspace to construct my diet. At that time, I was not preparing for a competition, but I knew I had to be strict with my diet to see the results I wanted.
It was easy for me to be strict during the work week, because whatever food I brought to work with me was all the food I had to eat for the day. However, Friday afternoon till Sunday I ate what I wanted, my beloved "cheat days".
Having those 2 days off to eat whatever I wanted, helped me fight any craving I had during the week. My weekend, "cheat days," became a reward for sticking to my diet during the week. In time, the "cheat days" was no longer the reward because my new mid-section was.
With Meals 1 and 4:
- Optimum Nutrition Pro Complex: 1.5 scoops
With Meals 2 and 5:
Meal 6: Before Bed
- 2 cups cottage cheese
Day 1: Legs/Upper Abs
Day 2: Chest/Biceps/Obliques
Day 3: Back/Shoulders/Triceps/Abs
Day 4: Legs/Total Abs
Day 5: Chest/Back
Days 6 and 7: Rest
Suggestions for Others
Take what others tell you, experiment with the techniques, and then make them you own. This is an individual sport and it's all about learning what works for you specifically when it comes to eating or workout routine.
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