T Nation

Metamorphosis of a Weakling into a Beast


What up everybody..I grew up as weak as they come, got a little stronger after hitting the gym in college, but then got very weak due to significant muscle loss after a month long coma/brain surgery 10 yrs ago. I worked out since in desperation and gained decent strength. Even though I had come a long way, I felt I was still a weakling.

On my birthday in July 2008, I set my mind to acquiring serious strength over 3 yrs and reducing body fat level below 10%. My progress over the past 8 months has been remarkable. Hopefully my Quest will motivate others who don't believe in themselves.

8 month Progress Summary:
START July 2008 : BENCH 215, SQUAT 165, DEAD 265 = 645, 28" jump
CURNT Feb 2009 : BENCH 240, SQUAT 260, DEAD 355 = 855, 33" jump
GOALS July 2009 : BENCH 275, SQUAT 315, DEAD 375 = 965, 36" jump
GOALS July 2011 : BENCH 405, SQUAT 505, DEAD 605 = 1515, 45" jump

8 month BENCH Progress: +25 lbs
8 month SQUAT Progress: +95 lbs
8 month DEADL Progress: +90 lbs
8 month Box Jump Progress: +5"

I am excited about simulating a PL meet towards the end of February that I will post a vid of on YouTube. I will perform a 1 rep max lift on the Squat, Bench, then Dead adhering to competition standards as much as possible. I am aiming for 275 Squat, 245 Bench, 360 Dead.

Here are few video clips of my workouts leading up to this:

BackSquat PR Attempt @ 265

Hypers / 225 Bench / TireJumps / 235 Bench / KettleSwings

Shoulder DB Presses

Try Bench PR @ 225x3 / Try Incline PR @ 185x1

All others vids outlining the trend of my Metamorphosis since July 2008, which are good for a laugh coz of how pathetic I was earlier on, can be seen on my YouTube page http://www.youtube.com/user/ZackAttack1978


That's a good vert my man. Your bench - squat numbers are very strange though! Nevertheless, I think that's pretty good progress. You better get a real good plan on how to bring those numbers up that fast though!


Your goals perfectly mirror mine:
3 yrs, 10% BF, 405/505/605 on the big 3

I am curious to know what you weigh now and what you think or want your weight range to be after.

I am a serious believer in myself as well but I have no illusions that this is going to be easy. There are going to be highs and lows.

Like G87 said, get a real good plan! All the more important because recomposing the body via fat loss is almost impossible to combine with any serious strength gain. You may find yourself compromising to progress.

Good luck!


Hey G87, thanks, but I gotta lose your props, coz that is my box jump, not my vertical. Average I guess for a 5'10 guy that weighs 194.

formfunction, we are soul brothers dude! What a coincidence!! Where are you at now? I want to always stay below 200 and continue getting leaner.


Interesting that I am 5'9 and 190ish as well. Ditto on below 200 as well.

I started counting down the 3 yrs this January. My goal is to come in 180-190 lbs @ 10% BF while hitting those numbers by end of 2011.

This morning: 184.5 lbs
1RM lift (gym tested this month raw)
Bench: 255, Squat: 295, Deads: 445(though I pulled 455 2 months ago)

I am currently concentrating on my Squat 'cos it is out of whack with my other lifts. I think you have this issue as well.

I keep a log in the Over 35 forum. I find it keeps me motivated and accountable. You may want to do so somewhere too.


To put your goal in perspective, 1551 is an elite raw total for the 220 weight class.

The elite raw total for 181 is 1396.



Thanks Steel Nation.

This "Elite Perspective" is one I considered shortly after setting my goal, and to be honest with you, it ain't that important to me.

Who knows what the elite total would be if everyone trained smart and have access to the same resources? Who knows what it would be 10 years from now given how the Internet has sort of leveled the field?

Who knows how many people on the planet with the genetics/potential to be an Elite?

Who knows what mine is?

I suspect it is closer to 1500 than it is to the 1000 I am at now. My goal for the next 3 years is to confirm this without sacrificing other important things in life.

Over and above all these meaningless numbers, I just want to live better by eating right and lifting heavy.


Nice progress. Good luck with your goals.


Interesting considering the likes of T-Nation don't really consider someone being a serious lifter unless there bw X 2/2.5/3 at 200lb or better, yet that puts you at an elite level (1500lbs for 220lb).


Here is a vid of my final squat workout in preparation for the simulated meet


I just think he was trying to give you a little perspective. I'm not trying to squash your goals here, but there seem to be a lot of people that think they will add several hundred pounds to their total without gaining any weight in the process.

If that were the case, it would indicate that your form was God awful to begin with, and you got amazingly better at performing the lift. If that's not the case, then somewhere along the way of adding a couple hundred pounds to each of your lifts, there is the likelyhood of gaining a few pounds of muscle.

I hope you reach your lifting goals, just don't be surprised if you find that you overshoot your goal of being under 200lbs in the process.


Thanks Modi. I didn't take any offense with the perspective and neither was I trying to attack him in my response. Just trying to explain that I will try to find out what my potential is regardless of what an elite total is.

On BW, If I end up @ 200lbs or more (10%BF, hydrostatic) and also hit the numbers, I am going to LOVE it. I just think it would be easier to be btw 180-190lbs(10%) given my present body composition.

And NO, I don't believe I can add 50% to my numbers without gaining weight. There are 2 major reasons why I believe my goals may be achievable, and YES I have considered the possibilty that they may not be enough.

1) Last October, I was 190lbs(20.5%BF, Hydrostatic). I am still around that, give or take. This means I have about 40lbs of useless mass on me. If I gain 20lbs of muscle and shed an equivalent amount of fat in the next 3 years, it should count for something as far as my total is concerned.

2) I may have been going to the gym for almost 4 yrs but I still consider myself a beginner. For the most part I lifted without even thinking about why I was doing certain things. Heck, I wasn't even squatting until last Fall and never really deadlifted until a year ago.

I strongly believe there is a lot of room for improvement as long as I train intelligently and don't pick up a major injury.

So we can put this to rest and return this thread to the OP, I am not a powerlifter and I am not chasing any records.

In the overall scheme of things, the numbers are there so I can shoot for something and have a reason to keep lifting heavy and eating right.

Oops that was a long...


formfunction, Holy Sweet Mother of Fucking Lord. I too may have been going to the gym for exactly 4 yrs, but for the most part I lifted without even thinking about why I was doing certain things. I wasn't doing free weight BB squats until last Fall..just smith machine prior. And I also never really deadlifted until a year ago! Are we brothers from another life???


Here is a Triceps Giant Set including my modification of Triceps DEATH

OH Ext 95x6 (PR) / PushDowns / Triceps DEATH

Simulated PL meet is Thursday February 26, 2009. Aiming for 275 Squat, 245 Bench, 360 Dead


first: good job, man. keep working hard and don't lose sight of your goals.

second: hahaha ... what's up with that little dance of yours in your 225x3 video ... that had me crackin up lol


polo77j, ah it just celebration of smthg long awaited, ya know what i mean


I simulated the meet by attempting to max out on the Squat/Bench/Dead.
While warming up for Squats, I felt my right quad or knee giving way..to prevent aggravation of the slight injury I suffered during the 1st set of the Front Squats in the vid above, I decided to forego the Squat max.

Feb '09 PL Meet Simulation - Try 275/245/360


After starting working on 20 rep squats @ 135 lbs, I have incremented to 225 lbs over the months. This vid is part 1 of my race to 20 reps. After I get 20 reps, I will add weight and start again.

Squat 185 ATG 3 Sec Pause / Race to 225x20 part 1


SQUAT Race 225 x 20: Act 3: Try 6 reps

DEAD Race 315 x 20: Act 1


just curious about how your training setup, westside,split, if your using triceps death my guess is ws4sb variation ??

also good job, my lift and number are kind of similar that why i would like to know more about your training.

good luck and keep the good work!