This picture was taken 24 hours after competing in a fitness show in 2011. The actual TRUTH about how I achieved this condition is not so glamorous and, instead of offering you false hope by promoting my products and services as THE answers to a ripped and muscular physique, let’s make sure you’re ready to handle this question: Can you handle the TRUTH? Well, here it is.
To get into this extreme shape, I began weight training at the age of 22 years and have continued to lift consistently for the past nine years, and I was able to take my scrawny 149-pound body to a muscular 227 pounds, but that did not go without gaining fat through the ‘bulking up’ process. Understand, it’s impossible to gain muscle without fat unless you’re taking performance-enhancing drugs.
For the four months leading up to this picture, my diet was very strict. I ate every three hours. I ate six different protein sources a day (sirloin, whole eggs, white fish, turkey, chicken, protein powder); four different carb sources a day (brown rice, Ezekiel cereal, quinoa, yams); two different fat sources a day (avocados, mixed nuts); consumed vegetables with every meal; trained from 1.5 to 3 hours a day (six days a week); eliminated all alcohol and sweets. I went to bed at 10:30 p.m. and rose at 6:00 a.m. every day. My weekly grocery and supplement bill was around $300 a week. I invested $4,000 to hire one of the top bodybuilding coaches in the world. I have a very supportive wife who lives and breathes the same lifestyle, making this lifestyle easier. I train at one of the best gyms in the country, and am surrounded by celebrities and professional athletes to keep me motivated. I grew up in an extremely goal-oriented home so I have my own natural drive to be successful. I was competing for my Pro Card (which I won), giving me huge motivation. Did I mention I was filming my entire transformation to create a brand new product called Stage Shredded Status, so I was financially motivated, too. I also invested in a professional photographer who shot over 800 images to capture this one, and I wouldn’t doubt that some digital retouching was applied to fix any of my cosmetic flaws…and that was after my body was already water-depleted and carb- loaded (sneaky tricks we fitness models know)!
In fact, what most people don’t know about the fitness models and bodybuilders portrayed in the magazines who are promoting the next pill, powder, or potion, is that these models are scheduled for photo shoots immediately after competitions to ensure the model is in extreme shape after months of dieting, intense training (often times with the use of steroids and growth hormone), diuretics, tanning, posing practice, and other photo-enhancing products. Although this type of extreme shape is temporary, many magazines and advertising campaigns hope their prospects buy into the belief that this condition is the standard look, rather than the exception, and never do they explain that this look is temporary and that these models do not look like this all the time. This may inspire millions, but it also misleads millions and encourages individuals to emulate their idols, not knowing how they really got there.
It takes a tremendous amount of energy and discipline to get into this kind of shape, but most supplement and infomercial companies want you to believe that you can get into this kind of shape by simply taking a pill, working out on their ‘revolutionary’ exercise equipment, drinking their ‘magical’ shakes, or eating their ‘superhuman’ bars. Anyone who has ever gotten into this kind of extreme shape knows the truth: it takes a lot more than that! Another misconception about many fitness models (including myself) is that we stay in this kind of shape all the time; it’s not true. In fact, I wouldn’t consider it healthy for anyone to stay in this kind of shape all the time. Stop believing the lies: it takes hard work, discipline, knowledge, genetics, and time…end of story.
The truth no one wants to tell you is that you will probably never look anything like the fitness models, bodybuilders, or celebrities who grace the covers of magazines, star in infomercials, or who represent many of the supplement and equipment companies. I am sorry, but most of us do not have the genetics to look that way, nor do we have the right education, or the time to transform our bodies into this kind of ‘perfection’. Furthermore, we don’t utilize performance-enhancing drugs to completely redesign our bodies. There is a lot of deception in the ‘health and fitness’ industry, including how the fitness model achieved his muscular and ripped look.
Are you wondering why I’m telling you all of this? Are you finding this info a bitter pill to swallow? Don’t worry, the reason I’m baring this God’s honest truth is because you should be both empowered and encouraged by what I just shared. Once you accept the reality of what it really takes, you can be freed from chasing the false sense of reality often portrayed in the media…an unattainable fantasy provided by people who do not have your best interests at heart. As a result, you are now free to focus on achieving YOUR own potential, and the peace of mind that goes with it. Once you shift YOUR focus from trying to be like someone else to, instead, becoming the best YOU can be, I know you will find tremendous pride, satisfaction, and fulfillment in who YOU are. I urge you to stop trying to emulate your favorite YouTube hero, or the latest cover model, and focus on YOUR energy by making realistic, attainable goals that YOU can be proud of. You may reach your dream body with far less effort, investment, and motivation, or it might require more. The take-home lesson is to not compare yourself with how someone else looks…never! Let their physique motivate you, but focus on one workout and one meal at a time, to make today your best day ever, and you’ll achieve your dream body, too.
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