1. Have you installed the new JSF Mobile app? Check out all the details here.
    Dismiss Notice
  2. One account & one avatar for all of JSF. Unified login and profile. Forum alerts on the main site, and more. Check out the details here: Forum & main site unified account feature is live!
    Dismiss Notice

September 2010 TSM: jbivens

Discussion in 'Transformation Spotlights' started by John Stone, Sep 1, 2010.

  1. John Stone

    John Stone Every day is Leg Day
    Staff Member Owner

    Joined:
    Jan 20, 2004
    Messages:
    20,922
    Likes Received:
    74
    [SIZE=-1]For the September 2010 Transformation Spotlight I've selected forum member jbivens (Jonathan). At 5' 6" tall and 215 pounds, Jonathan was busting out of XL shirts--and not in a good way. A trip to the doctor for a respiratory infection revealed another serious health issue: high blood pressure. As a young father, Jonathan decided right then and there he was going to make some changes, both for himself and for his family. Although Johnathan is just a few months into his transformation, the improvements to his health and personal appearance have been outstanding. Read the full interview and learn what happens when you're ready to stop making excuses and start making changes!


    [/SIZE]
    BEFORE | CURRENT PICTURES

    07-12-2010 Update.jpg

    Before and After Wedding.jpg


    Why did you decide to make a transformation?

    I've been interested in fitness for vain reasons since high school. I've always wanted to look good, with very little success. My weight has fluctuated for almost 20 years, going from relatively fit to fat and back again when I would find the motivation to put out an effort. A few things happened that made me want to get fit for better reasons (although I still want to look good ):

    - First was the birth of my daughter. I want to be around for as long as I can and I want her to be proud of her Dad, rather than embarrassed by me being overweight. I also want to be able to keep up with her without getting winded once she is running around.
    - I ended up with an upper respiratory infection and went to the doctor back in April. I had been back to the gym and eating healthy for a few weeks and thought I was doing ok. They weighed me and the number was shocking, but not as shocking as my blood pressure. Being the chubby guy was always a self image thing. The realization that it was a health thing hit me pretty hard. I always knew being overweight was unhealthy, but it really sunk in at that moment.
    - I have a friend who had some hockey jerseys he was selling and I was interested. I tried one on and it was snug. I mean REALLY snug. I asked what size and he said, "It's an XL. Dude, you're fat". Brutal? A bit. Honest? Certainly. Enlightening? You bet your ass.

    So at that moment I decided enough was enough. I am going to live a long healthy life with my family and I am going to start now. Now I needed a plan...


    What sort of planning did you do before you started?
    I had a basic knowledge of what you "should" do. I used the Harris Benedict formula to figure out my calories. I researched on this site what the best method would be for me to establish macros. I decided on 40/20/20 P/C/F using healthy foods – lean meats, egg whites, protein shakes, brown rice, wheat bread, and nuts for fat. I believe I had a fairly decent nutrition plan in place for myself. Not great as it turns out, but decent.

    The training plan was another story altogether. Looking back now, all I did was take years of bad information and put together a bad plan. My plan consisted of doing LISS cardio for 45-60 minutes 5 times per week, and lifting 4 times per week. In other words - overtraining.

    I kept on regularly visiting this site and doing more and more research on how to improve my plan. I was feeling overwhelmed by all of the different opinions and plans people had been using. I had been reading Mastover's journal and The Official "Personal Training w/ Aram 'Mastover' Hamparian" review & discussion thread. I decided that while I had the motivation, dedication and desire, I could use some help with the plan. On April 6, I sent an email to Aram introducing myself and enlisting his help. This was easily the smartest thing I have ever done in regards to my personal health and well being.


    What were your initial goals?
    When you are tipping the scale at 215.5 lbs at 5'6", there is only one goal. Lose fat. My initial goal was to lose fat and get my heart healthier. Of course I wanted to look better, and one day dreamed of having a chiseled physique, so adding muscle would be nice but my health was the top priority. Since then, seeing what I have been able to accomplish, my goal is to be a ripped mountain of muscle. :)


    What was your diet and supplement intake like?
    Prior to obtaining my plan from Aram, my food intake was based on the Harris Benedict formula, 40/20/20 P/C/F. I was eating approximately 2,100 calories per day. I was wasting so much money on supplements it isn't funny. I was using MRIs Black Powder NO Booster, WAR intra workout recovery and Anabolic Switch Creatine. I bought into the hype, admittedly.

    After my initial consultation with Aram, my calories were lowered a bit and kept at 2,100 on lifting days. I can't get into the specifics of the program. You have to pay for that. :)

    I will share a few things that I have learned from Aram.

    1. Supplements are crap. In a relatively short amount of time I am stronger than I have ever been without taking creatine, NO boosters or anything else.
    2. Doesn't it make more sense to eat more calories when you lift that day? Busier body = hungrier body, no?
    3. Veggies are important. I was not eating any.
    4. Nutrition is the most important part of body recomposition.

    The only supplements I take now are Whey Protein, a Multi Vitamin, Fish Oil and Green Tea Caps. Also Alpha Lipoic Acid following workouts.


    What was your training like?
    I was overtraining at first, lots of cardio and excessive lifting. Overworking smaller muscle groups, focusing on the glamour muscles (chest, arms shoulders). And the worst part, I was skipping leg workouts.

    I can't get into too many specifics out of respect for Mastover's plan, but I will say that I strive to destroy my muscles in shorter workouts – 35-40 minutes per workout 4 days per week. I lift as heavy as I can for the recommended exercises in my program and strive to get stronger every workout. And no body parts get skipped. For cardio I have not done much at all. I try to go for nice long walks with my wife and daughter when I can. Every once in a while if I have the time in the morning, I'll hop on the treadmill or elliptical machine after lifting.


    What obstacles did you encounter, and how did you overcome them?
    My biggest obstacle was my self control. I gave up too easily. I love food - cheesy, greasy, fatty food. Sweets and snacks – my favorite. I had no self control. I didn't know the meaning of "just one". So I stopped eating that crap altogether. Now after falling off the wagon for a weekend once and suffering horribly for it, I don't really even want it.

    I had to wake up and realize that my health and my goals are more important than the fleeting joy of food. Plus the food does me no good. And I did just that.

    Signing up with Aram was huge for staying on track too. Not only am I spending money, but he is taking the time to help me and I don't want to let him down.


    How has your life changed?
    It's gotten more expensive. LOL. Keeping the cupboards stocked with healthy food, lots of lean meat, protein powder. Paying for Mastover's services (WORTH EVERY PENNY). New clothes were needed when I started looking like a kid in his father's pants after a while. All of these are good things though. Plus the cost of living poorly is much higher if you catch my drift.

    In all seriousness, the greatest improvement in my life though is being able to set an example for my family. A few weeks after I signed up with Aram, my wife did too. She is down 22 lbs and living a healthier lifestyle. I also have realized that if there are no crappy foods in the house, my daughter will learn better eating habits.


    How did JSF and the JSF Forums help you?

    This website has been my most valuable source of information. I would never have found Aram if I hadn't stumbled upon your site. There are several members who follow my journal and have provided me with motivation. There have been days where I didn't want to let them down either. Livedog, Seltzer, Quigzy, Philanova and of course Mastover have been following my journal and have given me support even when they didn't know they were. Thanks guys.


    What advice would you offer to others?
    All it takes is 3 things:

    1. A Solid Plan
    2. An unrelenting dedication to that plan.
    3. Consistency – DON'T GIVE UP! Results take time. And they are worth the wait.


    What are your future plans?

    Keep on keepin on. :)

    My commitment to myself is to never be happy with my physique. There is no such thing as perfect and there is always room for improvement. Set goals – not A goal, goals. Achieve them one at a time and move on to the next. My immediate goal is to pack on lean mass and lose fat. I would like to be around 10-12% bodyfat.


    Any closing thoughts?
    You always hear people say things like, "Well at least you have your health". Truer words have never been spoken. Your health is the most important thing you have. Take care of it. Getting fit is not easy. If it were, everyone would look amazing. But it is worth the effort and it can be done. I am attaching some pics to demonstrate what a few months of a solid plan and dedication can accomplish. I am not bragging by any stretch of the imagination. While I am nowhere near where I want to be, I am nowhere near where I was when I started.

    I would like to take this opportunity to thank John Stone for the recognition as well as for creating this site and setting a shining example of what can be done, and everyone on the JSF forums for their support and advice – not only for me but for anyone that is asking for help. You are a great bunch of guys (and girls) and the advice you provide is a key in helping people like me get healthy.

    One final note – I would like to especially thank Aram "Mastover" Hamparian for what he does for his clients. It isn't just a trainer/client relationship. Thank you for taking the time to lead me down a path to a healthier me. You are a credit to your profession, a good person and a hell of a trainer.


    Thanks for your time, Jonathan. Congratulations on your fantastic success!
     
  2. george mavridis

    george mavridis Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2010
    Messages:
    893
    Likes Received:
    0
    Way to go, that's fantastic and wishing you continued success.
     
  3. mastover

    mastover Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 5, 2005
    Messages:
    5,179
    Likes Received:
    20
    Man, when I see this kind of dedication, mindset, and attitude it only motivates me to be a better person in every aspect of my life!

    Congrats, Bro!! :tucool:
    :claplow::claplow::bow::bow:
     
  4. BJ

    BJ Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 31, 2009
    Messages:
    2,142
    Likes Received:
    0
    Congratulations! And keep on keeping on! :tu:
     
  5. Reno_1ted

    Reno_1ted Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Mar 15, 2004
    Messages:
    1,956
    Likes Received:
    1
    Well done mate!

    Your tats will look even cooler when you are down to sub 10%. :D

    Keep it up !
     
  6. cole

    cole Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 21, 2010
    Messages:
    7
    Likes Received:
    0
    Obviously you have put in a lot of hard work. Congratulations!!! Very inspiring for me as well.
     
  7. dejavued

    dejavued Senior Member

    Joined:
    Apr 9, 2007
    Messages:
    11,081
    Likes Received:
    42
    awesome! :claplow:
     
  8. jbivens

    jbivens Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1,047
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks everyone for the kind words and inspiration to keep on moving and improving.
     
  9. tbuck

    tbuck Active Member

    Joined:
    Feb 23, 2009
    Messages:
    658
    Likes Received:
    0
    'Nuff said. :claplow::bow:
     
  10. Paddy

    Paddy Well-Known Member
    Platinum Member

    Joined:
    Nov 1, 2008
    Messages:
    5,098
    Likes Received:
    4
    congratulations! its a great honor you've earned and your body has really taken on a whole different shape. you look great. :tucool:
     
  11. Seltzer

    Seltzer Elite Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2005
    Messages:
    26,594
    Likes Received:
    51
    Congratulations for your well deserved recognition!
     
  12. Whoracle

    Whoracle Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 28, 2004
    Messages:
    2,335
    Likes Received:
    0
    Congrats man. Damn just under 5 months, must be a TSoTM record! Keep it up!
     
  13. prosemont

    prosemont Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Dec 4, 2004
    Messages:
    3
    Likes Received:
    0
    Congratulations! Good job. Observation: your tattoo even looks better now!!! It looks like it was stretched out and the color diluted before, and now it looks sharper and the color is better and better shaped tattoo now, too.

    Attaboy.
     
  14. jbivens

    jbivens Active Member

    Joined:
    Jan 6, 2008
    Messages:
    1,047
    Likes Received:
    0
    Thanks again to those who have commented. I hope that my story and pics can inspire those who are looking to improve their physique. When I say that I was lazy and completely disgusting diet-wise, I am not exaggerating at all. I was putting 10 sugars in my morning coffee and using that to wash down 2 or 3 entenmanns donuts. Pizza or fast food for lunch. Cheesy, fatty greasy food for dinner. Lazy as in sit on my ass in front of the couch after work until bed getting up only to snack.

    If I can do this, anyone can. And I am not done. I will get to 10% BF. Next summer I am going to be shredded.

    Thanks again everyone.
     
  15. hapa

    hapa Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 4, 2009
    Messages:
    26
    Likes Received:
    0
    Wow! This is great stuff!:tucool: At my biggest, we had the same stats- 5'6" and 215, so you're a great motivator for me! Keep it up bro :claphigh:
     
  16. lee4234

    lee4234 Active Member

    Joined:
    Mar 17, 2010
    Messages:
    20
    Likes Received:
    0
    Good Job!
     
  17. sodomojo

    sodomojo Active Member

    Joined:
    Oct 26, 2006
    Messages:
    237
    Likes Received:
    0
    You did awesome. Way to kill it!!!:tu:
     
  18. ianmez

    ianmez Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jun 12, 2004
    Messages:
    1,424
    Likes Received:
    0
    Awesome job. Very inspiring! Keep it up!
     
  19. livedog

    livedog Well-Known Member

    Joined:
    Jan 31, 2004
    Messages:
    1,500
    Likes Received:
    0
    Congrats! A well-deserved Spotlight! :claphigh::claphigh:
     
  20. PDCA

    PDCA Active Member

    Joined:
    Apr 29, 2009
    Messages:
    477
    Likes Received:
    0
    Congrats!! You both look great!! :claphigh:
     

Share This Page