T Nation

My T-Nation Transformation


So, before I get flamed, I know there are no 'back and wheels' shots here. That's not really the point of this post. I just wanted to show some of the progress that I've made so far and thank 'the nation' for helping get me to where I am.

Coaches like Thibs, Shugart, Marion, etc. have really helped guide me in my training and nutrition through their articles. And regular contributors such as Professor X, PushHarder, Mighty Stu and too many others to name have always given me stuff to think about and incorporate. So a big thank you to everyone who puts time into contributing and posting here. I don't tend to post too much, but I've been a very regular reader here for the past 3plus years.

The 'before' shot is from about 4.5 years ago. I went to they gym and 'worked' but never with a plan or progression or focus. I really learned about those things here. The 'after' shot is from about 3 weeks back.

My current stats:

36 years old
226 lbs
Can't really say what my bf% is, but I would guess around 10%???? Maybe I need to take a picture with a shoe to help figure it out.


My main program is a 4 day body-part split.

Mainly compound lifts in the lower rep ranges (4-6 reps/4-6 sets) followed by accessory lifts in the (8-12 rep range). So, for example, Back/Tri's day will look like:

Deadlift: 5x5
One-arm DB rows 3x10
Pull-ups 3x8
Seated row 3x12

CG Bench Press 4x6
Decline Extensions 3x12
Dips 3x10

I rotate different exercises in and out pretty frequently, but the structure stays pretty consistent. I try to progress by adding weight or reps as often as I can and will use drop sets, cluster sets and other such techniques on occasion.

A couple of times a year I will switch to a full body routine (like Joel Marion's Stripped Down Hypertrophy) or something completely different just to mix things up. I will also add in some barbell complexes or lactate-inducing circuits (a la Thibs) when I am looking to get a little leaner. But most of the year it looks something like the above split...pretty straight-forward stuff.


Pretty much what you might expect. I eat pretty clean and pretty often. Quantities change depending on my goals, but it's mostly bodybuilding friendly foods. Oatmeal, eggs, cottage cheese, tuna, nuts, lean meats, protein shakes, etc. I could get more into this if anyone really wants to know, but it's nothing too exciting. I do manipulate carbs depending on my goals at any given time and I've had really good success with that.


Again, nothing too revolutionary. 3 Flameout a day. Grow! Whey shake for breakfast and one Metabolic Drive shake around noon. I've just started drinking 2 Surge Shakes (one pre/during workout, one immediately after) and have been trying ReceptorMax for the past couple of weeks. I've tried Alpha Male and HRX in the past. Happy to share my thoughts on any and all supps if anyone is really interested.

OK, this post is long enough. If anyone has any comments or questions that's cool. My current goal is to put on some size in my chest and quads (cannot seem to get growth or much separation in them...I'll be working on it.)

Thanks again to all of you who make this an informative and helpful site.

'Before' photo to follow




Good work. Keep it up.


Thanks X. Like I said, though I don't post much I read quite a bit on here and have gotten a LOT of great info from your posts. I've really found value in your common sense approach to training.


Well you've made a ton of progress, so post more! The more posts made by people who know what they're doing, the better.

Your experience will help others who still look like your before shot.

Great job man, keep growing.


OK, will work on posting more.

Funny, the 'after' picture reproduced pretty small here. I'm gonna try to blow it up a bit.


Nice job, impressive transformation there.

Any plans to compete? Also, how much weight you using for some lifts? ---being 6'2'' 226 I'm curious




Good job, always good to see transformations. Keep it up man.


I don't BB bench much any more cause 1) it was killing my left shoulder and 2) I feel it my chest more using DB's. But I was BB Benching 315 for 5x5 at one point not too long ago and I believe I am stronger now. Now I DB Bench 120lb DB's for 4 sets of 6. 120's is the highest DB's my gym has. I decline bench 4plates a side on a 'portable' decline bench and smith machine set-up. My gym got rid of the BB decline bench about 8 months ago in favor of some not-so-great machines.

My squat is pretty weak. I can get 335 for 3 reps. Working on that, though I am front squatting more often in an effort to build my quads. Obviously have to use less weight in front squatting but I have a goal of get 5 reps of 315lbs.

I just deadlifted 425 for 4 reps on Sunday. Have no idea what my 1RM would be. I think I can close in on 500 by the end of next year. I have good leverages for deadlifts, not so much for squats.

My one-arm DB rows are also done with the 120's for 3 sets of 12. Really wish my gym had DBs that went up to 150.

My last shoulder workout I DB pressed 85's for 4 sets of 6 reps.

Not spectacular strength numbers but they are honest.

When you say 'compete' do you mean in a bodybuilding comp?? I think I would probably need to add another 20-25 lbs of muscle to be at a point where I was ready to lean out and get in contest shape. If I get those 20lbs, I'll think about it. Until then it's not really on my mind. Natural amateurs and even master class contestants are in phenomenal shape these days and I would only get on stage if I felt I was in their class. So, the short answer is, no, it is not a short term goal.




I'm very much the same, I read more than I post on this site and that's helped me get to where I am today and where I want to be in the future. Congrats on your trans.


Impressive work. You've made some great progress, and should be proud of yourself. Just don't get complacent!


Sweet gains! Before you looked kinda lame, but now, with heaps more muscle and a shaved head you look badass!


Nice going bro! It's a good feeling ain't it?! You get out what you put in... it's also a 'sport' (hobby? pasttime? Call it what you want) where the more you know, the better your results,.. so you kinda get to flex your brain a bit too.

We're also pretty lucky with these forums. I can't even remember how I stumbled upon this site so many years ago,.. but it's always weird to see how many PMs I get these days with questions,... I'm no longer the newb on here :frowning:
And anyway, we can always learn from each other,.. without all the damn egos you see on other boards. For the most part, this is a pretty intellectual site fopr a buncha meatheads -lol.

Now,.... keep going! It's not a spring, but a marathon my friend, and you're still just starting out (and so am I! -lol)



Great progress and transformation. You are exactly the type of person that should be posting more often. Im sure your personal insight can help others achieve their goals too.


Thanks. Wish I could say the shaved head is totally by choice, but as you could see in the 'before' picture I was really starting to lose my hair.

A shaved head definitely works better with a muscular physique. If you're going bald, screw the Hair Club For Men, just shave your head and get yourself to a gym.


Funny to think of it as still just starting out. I've been in gyms for half my life now. Unfortunately this first 15 years I just had no consistency or idea what I was doing. Now that I have some knowledge and consistency I think I still have some good gains ahead of me, even though I'm not in the prime growing years of my 20s. And I'm definitely still learning something new almost on a daily basis.


T, you look like a completely different dude!
Nice work! I'd like to see how far you go.


Awesome, great job!