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October 2009 TSM: epro

Discussion in 'Transformation Spotlights' started by John Stone, Oct 1, 2009.

  1. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
    Staff Member Owner

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    Over the years Phil's weight ballooned to 205 pounds and he was wearing size 40 pants. Poor diet and lack of exercise was also starting to create various health problems for him. One day Phil decided he'd had enough, and that he was going to do something about it. He began his journey with absolutely no knowledge about healthy fat loss, and he had zero weight training or athletics experience. Using the many resources available on the Internet, Phil began to educate himself about fat loss and weight training. He also fought through the intimidation of stepping into a commercial gym for the first time in his life, and went on to only miss one workout (which he made up) in nine months! Phil's transformation is an inspiring reminder that anyone who has the desire and is willing to put in the work will make it happen. I can't wait to see the next phase of his transformation!


    Before & Current:
    CIMG2724c Resized 4 x 6.jpg

    CIMG2730c Resized 4 x 6.jpg


    Why did you decide to make a transformation?
    Several factors led to my “wake up call” in December 2008 at age 60. My weight had climbed up to a fat 205 lbs. My size 38 pants were getting to be too small and very uncomfortably tight. My wife started to frequently comment about me getting too fat (she has always maintained a lean physique). I’m guessing I weighed about 175 when we married in 1988, so guilt about morphing into a fat husband began to weigh on my mind. I had no energy and it was hard to get up in the morning. I started checking my pulse before getting out of bed in the morning and it would be in the 95 – 100 bpm range and over 100 just after getting up. At times, usually driving to work, I felt a bit dizzy and during the day I noticed that my thinking/mental acuity was not what it used to be. I began to clearly see a health train wreck in my near future. The final straw was that I had to buy size 40 pants, but I only bought one pair and immediately cut way back on eating and was able to suck in enough to get back into 38’s after 2 or 3 days (water loss I guess). That next weekend I checked out a couple of local gyms and signed up at one of them. I didn’t know the word “transformation” (as it is used on JSF). I just knew I had to lose weight. The race was on.


    What sort of planning did you do before you started?
    When I started in mid December 2008, I did not have enough knowledge to plan effectively. I knew I would have to cut calories but that was about the extent of my knowledge. I knew that exercise would need to be part of the plan, but my initial visit to the gym was a quite intimidating. I had never been athletic, never played any sports even going back to high school, and this was the first time I had ever been inside a commercial gym. I looked around at all the equipment and weights and realized that that I didn’t know how to use any of it. I knew about shoulder and bench presses and curls, but that was about it. So I signed up for 1 year with a personal trainer, and simultaneously started intensive internet searching in a quest for knowledge so I could make a plan. Those searches led me to two significant discoveries. One was finding the John Stone fitness website, which I immediately bookmarked, and the other was Tom Venuto’s “Burn the Fat, Feed the Muscle” ebook which I bought and studied from cover to cover. Seeing John Stone’s transformation in pictures was a major jaw dropper for me. I didn’t know it was even possible to accomplish something like that. The word “transformation” took on new meaning and John’s results (and later others on JSF) became a pillar of inspiration. Studying those two sources taught me new terms and concepts such as lean mass, body fat percent, macronutrient ratios, VO2 max, basal metabolic rate, maintenance calories, starvation response and more. So finally I began to acquire enough knowledge to set goals and make a plan to achieve them.

    I realized I needed some tools so I bought a body fat caliper, heart rate monitor, measuring tape, and gram scale to measure food portions.

    Charting and tracking progress towards attaining goals is very motivational for me. The mirror is also good, but since progress is gradual I found that my metrics would confirm progress when I wasn’t sure I was seeing it in the mirror. I started an excel spreadsheet with a daily food log (downloaded John’s excel file), and created metrics to chart weight, lean mass, body fat (lbs and percent) versus a goal line, and also tracked body circumference measurements. As a baseline, I took a set of pictures and scheduled periodic picture days throughout the program.

    So sometime in January ‘09 I had goals and a plan established.


    What were your initial goals?
    Initially all I knew was that I wanted to lose weight. That first weekend when I signed up for a gym membership and a personal trainer, the PT asked me what my goals were. I weighed 205 at the time and told him I wanted drop my weight down by 15 lbs to 190 lbs. He said I might want to consider dropping to 180 lbs. He measured my body fat with an Omron handheld and it measured 31%. The PT said 16% body fat would also be a good goal. So 180 lbs and 16% became my initial goal. The 16% at 180 turned out to be too ambitious as I was not able to add lean mass and lose that much weight simultaneously.

    So, goal setting has been a continuous process. When I reached 180 lbs, I was still about 22% body fat. So I decided to look at my program as 2 sequential phases. Phase 1 goal would be to get the body fat down to the mid teens, which would be followed by a Phase 2 where I would focus on adding lean mass; a cut then bulk strategy. I am just starting Phase 2 now.


    How would you quantify your results so far?
    Well, in terms of measurements, it looks like this:

    Before After
    Weight (lbs) 205 160
    Body Fat (%) 30+ ~15
    Waist (inches) 40.5 34
    Hips (inches) 42.5 38
    Thigh (inches) 23 21
    Shoulder (inches) 46.5 45
    Chest (inches) 41.5 39
    Bicep (inches) 12 12


    What was your diet and supplement intake like?
    I logged everything, and in the process quickly learned how calories can add up especially if you count every single thing. The gram scale came in handy. I saw the YouTube video that illustrated how many people would estimate a teaspoon, a tablespoon, a cup etc, and actually end up with a lot more because of their incorrect estimate. The gram scale (and measuring cups/spoons) resolved that for me. As a case in point, - consider creamer for coffee. My creamer is 10 calories for 2 grams. However I had been using a generous spoonful which I found out weighed about 10 grams, so I was getting 50 creamer calories with each cup and I was drinking 5+ cups per day. Now I use 2 grams and only drink 2 cups per day.

    Now, to answer the question. My daily nutrition underwent a complete overhaul as I learned more about it. I had not eaten breakfast for decades, previously ate abundant amounts of fried foods (my southern upbringing), and snacked on high fat, high calorie food at night, supplemented with sugary or fatty snacks during the day; a nutritional disaster. It didn’t take long to straighten this out after I acquired more knowledge at the beginning of my program.

    I targeted, and consistently achieved a macronutrient ratio of about 28/32/40 (fat, carb, protein), and added significant vegetables and some fruit to my diet. I now eat 5 to 6 times a day starting with breakfast at 6:30 am. The supplements I use are protein shakes (mostly whey, but 100% casein before bedtime), creatine, a multivitamin, extra calcium/magnesium/zinc, glucosamine/chondroitin, and physillium (fiber).

    I will add that I did have one planned cheat meal per week. On most Fridays for lunch I had a chicken fried steak (but ate good veggies as sides, instead of my usual double order of fried okra, rolls, and butter). You can’t completely take the south out of a southerner.


    What was your training like?
    I maintained a 4 day per week gym schedule using a split.

    Saturday: Cardio, Biceps, and Triceps
    Sunday: Cardio and Legs
    Monday: Cardio only
    Wednesday: Cardio, Chest, and Shoulders

    For Cardio I mixed it up across stair stepper, treadmill, cycle, and elliptical equipment. I usually brought my heart rate up to about 80% to 90% of my calculated max heart rate and kept it there for 30 to 45 minutes.

    In the 9 months so far of my program, I only missed one scheduled workout, but made it up the following day.


    What obstacles did you encounter, and how did you overcome them?
    I’m fortunate in that I really didn’t experience any significant obstacles. I had the usual temptations such as company lunches and dinners, where I occasionally succumbed to an unplanned cheat meal. But I had no injuries, sicknesses nor other life stresses to deal with. I’ll consider myself lucky.


    How has your life changed?
    My life has changed in a big way. The issues I listed above that led to me starting my program no longer exist. I have a new zeal for life, feel great, have energy, like the improved look, and am excited about looking better in the future. And my mental acuity is quicker and sharper that back in Dec 08. My self esteem has been boosted and reinforced by many people that have made positive comments on my progress. Another big one; my wife is happy with all of this.


    How did JSF and the JSF Forums help you?
    Simply stated, I would not have achieved my results without JSF. It was instrumental. Seeing the pictures and logs of John Stone’s progress was a real wakeup call. I didn’t know such a transformation was even possible let alone doing it in the timeframe he did it. I believe I visited JSF every single day, and still do, checking the daily update, and visiting the forums. I didn’t post very frequently but when I did post my updates, the positive responses and encouragement from the members was akin to lighting up my motivational afterburner. Just seeing the progress/results that others made helped me maintain confidence that I too could succeed. I gained lots of knowledge in the beginning, but still gain knowledge as I continue to frequent the site. Now that I’m moving my focus and goals towards building lean mass - hypertrophy, I continue to discover advice on JSF that will help me achieve that.

    I have visited many other fitness forums, including one that I paid for (but quickly requested a refund as it was considerably less helpful and less friendly than JSF.) JSF stands head and shoulders above the others mostly because its members are so sincerely friendly and helpful.

    To wrap up answering the question, I would like to thank John Stone and the numerous JSF members that have contributed to my progress.


    What advice would you offer to others?
    I don’t think I have any advice that can’t be found on JSF. But in my experience so far I think that setting a goal, and nurturing the will, determination, and knowledge to succeed are instrumental. All of these are instruments of the mind. Sometimes you just have to get the mind in line. I would also recommend recording and tracking various indicators of progress, including pictures, graphs, or whatever, that will show progress, or show that corrections to the plan are needed. Lastly I encourage sharing the ups and downs of your fitness endeavors on JSF. The feedback and advice will certainly help keep things on track.


    What are your future plans?
    I want to gain lean mass without wrecking my new body fat percentage. I’m initially targeting 1 lb per month, but will monitor my body fat percentage and will go faster or slower depending upon how the body fat percentage responds in conjunction with the weight gain. As an endomorph, gaining weight will not be a problem, so making most of it muscle is where my attention will be. I will strive to optimize my workouts as needed, to ensure progress. As for cardio, I plan to continue it but reduce to 30 minutes/session, 3 sessions per week and maybe shift it towards HIIT. I want to do this for the cardiovascular benefits.

    I’m now starting to think of my Sept 2009 “after” pictures/stats as my new Phase 2 “before” pictures/stats. Looking out a couple of years, I think it would be great to go from 160 lbs to ~190 lbs, with BF% remaining in the mid to low teens. That will make a nice new set of “after” pictures. So I’m tightening my seat belt. This journey will continue.


    Any closing thoughts?
    Sure, I am really looking forward to seeing the redesigned JSF website. I can tell that it will be even more awesome than the current awesome site.


    Thanks for your time, Phil, and congratulations on an amazing transformation!
     
  2. IROC-Z

    IROC-Z Raw Bench Daddy

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    Awesome transformation Phil! Congratulations!:tucool:
     
  3. John Kelly

    John Kelly Active Member

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    Thank you for your inspiration Phil and congratulations!
     
  4. Reno_1ted

    Reno_1ted Well-Known Member

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    Very good transformation !! :tu:

    You seem to have everything dialled in, I think you will enjoy a good bulk, and I look forward to seeing your results.

    One thing I wondered, is there a reason you dont include a "back" session in your weights program. I thought maybe you have a bad back or something, but you said you dont suffer any injuries?

    I would advise training your back when you bulk, its a big part of the body, and there is some truth to the saying that a strong back improves all your other lifts.

    I wish you all the best for the future, which will no doubt be long and fun filled! :)
     
  5. jaxworkinprogress

    jaxworkinprogress Active Member

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    Way to go!

    Aweome, Phil. Simply awesome. Great transformation and it sounds like you really did your homework and applied everything you learned. I'm 7 years behind you but am starting my transformation (already started six weeks ago). Thanks for the inspiration!
    :tu:
     
  6. jaxworkinprogress

    jaxworkinprogress Active Member

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    YouTube video on portions?

    Phil - you mentioned that....

    I've been trying to find that on YouTube but there are literally hundreds of food portion videos (many of which are helpful) but do you still have the link for the one that you referenced?

    Many thanks....

    :eat:
     
  7. joe6pk

    joe6pk Active Member

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    Great transformation! :claplow:
     
  8. leftyx

    leftyx Senior Member

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    Nice Phil. I'm only about 5 years behind you and I've been at it for about 4 years now. It's a slow process with lots of bumps along the way, but you have done great in your 9 months pictures. I'll be following your progress, and may have some questions for you along the way. Nice job.
     
  9. dejavued

    dejavued Senior Member

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    amazing change. bravo! :claphigh::claphigh:
     
  10. ignition

    ignition Active Member

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    Great job. There are a lot of younger guys who couldn't hang in with you on that level of commitment. You're puttin 'em to shame.
     
  11. malnar

    malnar Active Member

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    :bow:

    Awesome work Phil - amazing to see what can be done in a short time and at any age when you have determination!

    I look forward to seeing some bulking pictures over the next few months!
     
  12. modmaven

    modmaven Well-Known Member

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    You are looking great. Congratulations. Your progress is truly inspiring. Thank you.
     
  13. gravityhomer

    gravityhomer Elite Member
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    you look way younger in your after photo.
    great job :claplow:
     
  14. Phoenix

    Phoenix Active Member

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    Great job Phil this will not only enrich your own life but also the lives of those loved ones around you.

    Way to go, bet you've done a few happy dances since the great change. :dance:
     
  15. mLU

    mLU Active Member

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    wow!

    Congratultion! awsome transforming :tu: Im new here on JSF forums and your thoughts about the forums is damm right!
     
  16. Chopaholic

    Chopaholic Well-Known Member

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    Congratulations, Phil!
     
  17. epro

    epro Active Member

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    Thank you all for your comments and continued encouragement. It is very motivating to hear from you.

    Reno, I'll make sure I'm doing the back exercises going forward.

    jax, if I can find the video, I'll send the link to you.

    Phil
     
  18. epro

    epro Active Member

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    jax, MannishBoy posted the video HERE.

    It's also on YouTube HERE.

    I highly recommend getting a digital gram scale.
     
  19. mastover

    mastover Well-Known Member

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    Amazing! Congrats!! :claplow:
     
  20. vertigo88

    vertigo88 Active Member

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    Really nice job! Congrats!!
     

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