This is Chris from Boxborough Massachusetts and not only is he a moderator at the AskScooby forum but he has undergone an amazing fitness transformation himself! He lost 31 pounds of fat and gained 7 pounds of muscle, congratulations Chris! It was hard for me to decide whether to put Chris into the muscle gain success stories or the weight loss success stories because he could go in either. Chris here is an example of everything done right. He had a methodical, well thought out, realistic plan with specific and measurable goals. He tracked his progress carefully and accurately to gauge his progress. Well done Chris!
I’m RTalons from the forum, and I’m sure being a mod would disqualify me as a success story contestant, but I wanted to send my entry anyway. My real first name is Chris, I’m 27 and live in Boxborough Massachusetts.
I decided to get back into shape again in May 2010. I peaked at ~155lbs, which may not sound like much, but I’m only 5’6″ and had a belly that was only getting bigger. In high school I weighed 125lbs and was much stronger without any real training (just gym class). The number of my weight never mattered much to me, but feeling weak and flabby did. I felt like I was wasting my genetic potential, and if I looked good back then without trying, if I put in some effort I should be able to see some real results.
We have an elliptical machine that had been gathering dust, so I started using it again for cardio. I had been told you could either lose fat OR gain muscle, but that never made sense to me. I was convinced I could gain at least some muscle at the same time. So I started looking into stuff I could do at home. I started some yoga for upper body strength because I never wanted to be big and inflexible. I started responding well (struggling at 10 dolphin pushups at a time to having no trouble doing 25), got encouraged and started looking for more things. I found something about a “3min pushup challenge” to asses your overall strength. Basically do as many pushups as you can in 3 minutes, as many sets as you like. “Average” was 55-74 and I thought “no problem”… well, on June 23rd 2010 I could only do 42 and was exhausted (and angry).
That’s when I decided I needed to stop overestimating my gains and get serious. I had an old dumbbell set inherited from an old roommate (free = better than garage sale, he was happy to leave them with me instead of packing another ~100lbs of iron into his car). I came very close to buying P90X after seeing the infomercial for the 100th time, but figured I should try and look up the exercises myself first (I didn’t need a guy yelling at me, I just needed to know what to do). That’s when I discovered Scooby on youtube. After watching most of his videos I came to the AskScooby Forum, read lots of stuff and decided to join.
Other than writing down my shameful number of pushups on June 23rd, I hadn’t really kept track of anything till July 12 when I watched Evilcyber’s video on getting and keeping motivation. I started my spreadsheet then, and the next day added a food diary to it to track my protein and calories. For about 10 months I’ve basically been following a 3 day split like Scooby’s intermediate workout, (with a lot of extra cardio) modified as I learned more (and I improved) reading the forum. I still keep everything in a giant spreadsheet, but also keep my Progress diary on the forum up to date (http://www.askscooby.com/progress-diaries/rtalons-progress/#ixzz1L1kIfgNr)
On June 23rd, 2010 I was 152lbs. A month later, I bought skin fold calipers to help track my progress and was already down to 149lbs. My gut was so big that the first time my measurement was off (I hadn’t grabbed it all), and I figure at my fattest I was 155lbs and about 25% body fat (lean mass ~114lbs). Today, 10 months in, I am 131lbs and down to 8% body fat (lean mass up to ~121lbs :D). My primary goal was to lose the gut and “make tight shirts look good again” but it’s clear I was able to pile on a good amount of muscle at the same time. I am litterally in the best shape of my life, and I’m living proof that you can lose fat and gain muscle at the same time.
I’ve attached some photos. The first is one is from Easter of last year, helping decorate eggs. A candid before picture. You can see my gut stretching out the shirt… then a new shirtless photo. I’m very pleased with how much has changed in 10 months :)
Even if mods are disqualified, I still wanted to share my story, since I wanted to get myself on that success story page ever since I first saw it.