T Nation

The Road to Before

Some Context

In lower school I was a fat boy. So much so I got bullied. Whilst some argue this type of bullying is good, as it will make an individual want to change, I would say this is a half truth. It did make me want to change, but by any means necessary. I developed bulimia and reduced a lot of weight in a short amount of time, and kept it off.

Fast forward to my first year of university, I had gained some weight back (more chubby, than fat). As opposed to falling victim to mental health issues again, I joined a gym. I was committed and got in good, solid shape. After Uni, I travelled to Australia. The first year was a write off. Whilst going to the gym when I could, a copious amount of alcohol and drugs was never going to be great for my physique. However, the 2nd year I moved to a rural town called Griffith in order to do some farm work. I again was very committed to the gym and this then continued after I left Griffith and moved to Sydney in search of a job.

The pictures below (the ‘before’ shot), were taken around 2017/2018.

Since then, my training partner moved back to Estonia, I got a job in finance that I was determined to ‘move up the ladder’, met a beautiful girl which whom I am now living with and studied for my CFA. All of this had an inverse relationship with time spent in the gym (no excuses, just what has happened).

As of the 04/01/2021 (and official T-formation picture), this is how I look;

Depressing. Things have to change.

Stats and Goals

Short term goals - Lose excess fat
Long term goals - Get to my ‘before’ photos

Height - 5ft 10 (and a half!)
Weight - 95.55kg
Waist (love handle to love handle) - 42
Chest - 41
Arm - 14

My approach, I imagine, is very ‘bro-sciency’. I was training during the time with the surge of Youtube creators like the HodgeTwins and Elliot Hulse. I got the majority of my information from this part of the internet. As such, would love to hear any advice and thoughts on how to improve on any aspect of my training or diet.

The purpose of the journal is to keep track of progression, keep me honest (the shame of writing that I have had a double sausage and egg McMuffin on here will be too much) and to keep me committed.

Started on the road yesterday. Will post training and food soon.


Looking forward to this! You’ve clearly been in great shape before, so hopefully muscle memory will work in your favour. Excited to see your progress.

Day 1 - 04/01/2021

Breakfast - 7am: 4 scrambled eggs (2 whites, 2 whole), Coffee
Lunch - 12pm: Half chicken (including skin, legs and wing), Salad (kale, beetroot, carrot, onion, red cabbage) and banana
Snack - 3pm: Coffee
Dinner - 9pm: Chicken breast, brown rice, avocado, onion, black beans, tomato

Walk to work - 3.8km

Gym - Following suggestions in another thread, attempted my first full body workout.

Bench Press - 4 x 10 - 60kg
Incline Flies - 4 x 10 - 10kg

Squats - 1 x 10 - 60kg
3 x 10 - 80kg
Leg curl 4 x 10 - 30kg

T Row - 1 x 10 - 40kg
1 x 10 - 50kg
1 x 8 - 60kg
1 x 10 - 50kg
Pull Ups (wide grip) - 4 x 10 (assisted 35kg)

Seated OHP - 4 x 10 - 20kg
Lateral raises (2 seated, 2 standing) 4 x 10 - 10kg

Side Bend - 3 x 10 - 20kg

Comments: Felt gooooooood to be back. Noticeably weaker after squats. Think I need to shorten time from lunch to gym. Good intensity, tried to limit time between sets of 30 - 45 secs for small movements (curl, raises, flies) and 45s - 1m 30s for bigger movements (press, squat) which adhered to most of the time. Dinner late, need to eat earlier.


Cheers mate! I hope so to!
Can see you have a log yourself. Will give it a read later on. Best of luck.

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Day 2 - 05/01/2021

Breakfast - 7am: YoPro Blueberry Yoghurt, Coffee
Lunch - 1pm: Half chicken (including skin, legs and wing), Salad (kale, beetroot, carrot, onion, red cabbage) and banana
Pre-workout - 6pm: Zero sugar Redbull (250ml)
Dinner - 9pm: Omelette filled with salmon, dill, pepper, chilli, spinach, onion

Walk to work - 3.8km

Gym -

Incline dumbbell chest press - 4 x 10 - 20kg

Deadlift - 1 x 8 - 80kg
3 x 8 - 90kg

Leg press - 1 x 10 - 80kg
3 x 10 - 100kg

Seated shoulder press dumbbells - 1 x 10 - 12kg
3 x 10 - 14kg

Cable flies - 2 x 10 - 25kg
1 x 10 - 20kg

Lat Pulldown - 1 x 10 - 30kg
1 x 10 - 40kg
1 x 10 - 50kg

Calf raises - 1 x 10 - 15kg
2 x 20 - 25kg

Shrugs - 4 x 10 - 26kg

Comments - should of rested today. Chest was on fire after one set of incline. Legs were also burning before I even got in the gym! Intensity again was good. However can’t believe how out of breathe I am after each set. Well I can believe it, it just ridiculous. Thinking of incorporating some carbs at lunch on training days to boost energy in gym. Low carb on non training day.

Rest day tomorrow.


Yeah I think so as well. Diet looks delicious!

The good news is that muscle memory is real and the gains will come back ways faster than the first time. I agree with you that you should focus on losing fat first, it will make the process of gaining muscle and life in general easier. Nothing wrong with your workout, do something that your like, but for now, don’t go too hard! I know you remember your old shape and strength, but be patient.

I don’t think 0 calories qualifies as a snack lol!

Also, do some cardio, nothing crazy either!

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Haha it is depressing the weight I am lifting now compared to where I was. However I have prepared myself for some slow process and know this will take time.

Ah should of been clear. It was a barista made flat white. Maybe a bit of a stretch to call it a snack though haha.

In another thread, jskrabac made a good point in that I should focus on just lifting in the beginning (given my lack of activity for some time) and once I start to plateau in terms of weight loss, incorporate cardio at that point.

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That was a hell of a first workout back :joy: I had DOMS just reading it lol

Looks like you’re killing it!

Hey @2sides_whufc

You could try eating xylitol chewing gum everyday as your only snack apart from fruit

It will come back fast don’t worry, and it’s not baby weight neither that you’re using ahah. After my second surgery I had trouble even squatting 40 kgs, the old lady next to me was squatting more (no joke) so I feel you.

Sure, sure, also you’re doing a good amount of walking which is great! Personally I love food so I prefer expanding calories at first (and also like to be performant cardio-wise), but I’ve done it the other way around when I was in a similar point to you and it worked fine as well!

The DOMS are real today! Whole body is in agony. Slightly worried I am a masochist, as I have missed this feeling!

No sugar or aspartame… what is this wizardry.

Tbh I am not fan of gum. I read/heard somewhere in the past that chewing gum release some enzymes in your stomach that digests food. Given you are not eating food, it can affect the lining of your stomach. With that being said, I am not sure how true this or if true, the amount of gum you would actually need to chew a day for it to become a problem.

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Haha dammmm, I will remember that next time I feel bad with the amount of weight I am lifting!

I know its only been 2 days but I am quite surprised with the lack of cravings I have had so far so something high in sugar/salt, as like you, I love food. Weekend will be the real test though.

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Day 3 - 06/01/2021

Rest day and WFH. Walk around 2km

Breakfast 9:00am - 3 eggs scrambled, coffee
Snack 1:00pm - yopro strawberry yoghurt, coffee
Lunch 3:00pm - chicken, lettuce, sweetcorn, boiled egg
Dinner 8:30pm (nandos) - half chicken (hot sauce) and brocollini

I heard that, I’m not sure if is true or not, I’ll need more evidence to be convinced. Sometimes I put half a pack in my mouth and enjoy it like its candy, but once the taste is gone ill throw it away

Yeh I would imagine it was just like most things, in moderation its fine. It’s probably an issue if you were to constantly chew piece after piece, all day, everyday, for an extended period of time.

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Day 4 - 07/01/2021

Rest day. Walk to and from work - 7.6km

Breakfast -7:30am: YoPro Vanilla Yoghurt, Coffee
Lunch - 1:00pm: Half chicken (including skin, legs and wing), Salad (kale, beetroot, carrot, onion, red cabbage) and banana. Kombucha
Dinner: 8:00pm - Steak, 2 fried eggs, broccoli

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Any protein shakes?

Not yet. Will be buying some Gold Standard over the weekend and will start to include in my diet next.

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Day 5 - 08/01/2021

Breakfast - 8am: YoPro Vanilla Yoghurt, Coffee
Lunch - 12:30pm: MyMuscle Chef Asian Chicken Stir Fry (chicken, hokkien noodles, vegetables),
Drink - 3pm: Coffee, flat white
Pre-Gym 6:30pm - Monster zero sugar energy drink
Dinner - 9pm: Lean mince (5% fat), spinach, chilli, mushrooms, broccoli, bulgogi sauce, brown rice

Walk to work - 3.8km

Gym -

Decline Chest Press - 10 x 1 - 60kg
10 x 3 - 70kg

Dumbbell Flies (flat) - 4 x 14kg

Seated Cable Row - 10 x 1 - 35kg
10 x 3 - 45kg

Standing Lat Pushdown (cable) - 1 x 8 - 20kg
- 1 x 10 - 15kg

Leg Press - 4 x 10 - 100kg

Seated Calf Raises 3 x 10 - 25kg

Lateral raises + front raises - 4 x 10 - 9kg

Comments - Didn’t realise my gym closed at 8pm on a Friday. Got in at 7:10 so after warm up had around 35 - 40 mins to finish workout, which was not ideal (especially after a energy drink!). Also want to be careful with amount of energy drinks I have prior to gym, do not want to become reliant. Keep an eye on left rotator cuff as causing a few issues already.