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ITRC: The Metamorphosis

Mickey’s story can teach us all a lesson of conquering overwhelming adversity.

Webster’s defines metamorphosis as a complete change of form, structure and appearance. Mickey Anderson achieved that’a complete physical transformation’in only three months, after his once idyllic life was ravaged by tragedy. In September 2000, Renee Berry Anderson, Mickey’s bride, was stricken with a deadly liver malfunction. For four days family and friends kept vigil in the emergency room waiting area. They were finally given hope when a team of esteemed transplant surgeons notified them that a donor liver had been found. Shockingly, the transplant failed, and the beautiful young woman’s life came to an abrupt end.

Renee and Mickey were each highly accomplished individuals. Together they fortified each other’s personal strengths, which gave them the ability to share their successes with others. Renee was a tireless volunteer who spent countless hours with disadvantaged young girls, helping them become mature, productive members of society.

Mickey is the president and general manager of two car dealerships in Omaha, Nebraska, that employ more than 500 people. He’s also involved in developing more than 180 acres of prime commercial real estate. He typically works 70 to 80 hours a week.

Mickey’s reponse to his wife’s death was to further immerse himself in work. While that helped occupy his time, his own health was spiraling downward. His diet consisted of 10 to 12 Coca-Colas and an assortment of fast foods, including doughnuts for breakfast, cheeseburgers for lunch and pizza before bed.

It didn’t take long for that diet, along with absolutely no exercise, to take a serious toll. In mid-December he decided to do something about his ballooning weight. He invested in a health club membership and began weight training. His first workout included deep barbell squats, and he felt great after the session. Unfortunately, a few workouts later he slipped a disk in his back, and he became uncharacteristically dejected, resigned to the fact that he was destined to be fat and out of shape for the rest of his life. To make matters worse, in the course of performing a simple surgical procedure to alleviate the pain in his back, the doctors made an error and punctured his spinal column. He needed another surgery to repair the damage.

After three days in the hospital Mickey’s spirits were at an all-time low, and his physical condition was terrible. Instead of hanging his head and accepting the cards he’d been dealt, he regained his determination.

On January 16, 2001, Mickey enlisted my help in transforming his body. I immediately took him to an exercise physiology lab to have his bodyfat measured. The test results showed that at a bodyweight of 251 pounds he had a lean mass of 177 pounds. The test showed he had a bodyfat composition of 29.5 percent fat. Next I took some measurements: He had a 47 1/2-inch waist, a 48-inch chest, 15-inch flexed biceps and a 15 1/2-inch neck.

The biggest challenge we faced was his lack of time. A typical bodybuilder’s diet was just not feasible. He’d have to rely heavily on meal-replacement drinks, protein powder and an assortment of muscle-building supplements. Here’s his diet regimen from January 16, 2001, to April 16, 2001: 5:30 a.m.: 40 minutes of intense cardio on an empty stomach
6:15 a.m.: AnaVol-R
7:30 a.m.: Muscle Meals, one packet in water, with two Thyro Stak capsules, three Omega Stak capsules and a multi-vitamin
10 a.m.: Pro-Fusion, two scoops in water
12:30 p.m.: Two large chicken breasts with steamed vegetables, three Omega Stak capsules and two Thyro Stak capsules
3:30 p.m.: Muscle Meals, one packet in water
6 p.m.: GH Stak with two scoops of Ribose Size
10 p.m.: Two large chicken breasts with steamed vegetables, three Omega Stak capsules and two Thyro Stak capsules

Within a few days Mickey’s energy skyrocketed. I decided to keep his weight-training sessions brief but intense. He could bench-press 135 pounds for seven reps, shoulder-press 75 pounds for five reps and leg-press 270 pounds for 10 reps. We were starting from scratch, but he was truly motivated. Here’s an example of his typical weekly workouts:

Bench presses 3 x 10, 8, 6
Smith-machine incline presses 2 x 6-8
Lying leg curls 3 x 10-15
Stiff-legged deadlifts 2 x 15-20

Reverse-grip pulldowns 3 x 8-12
Low-pulley rows 2 x 12-15
One-arm dumbbell rows 2 x 10-12
Reverse hyperextensions 3 x 20-30
Abdominal crunches 3 x failure

Barbell presses 3 x 8-12
Laterals raises 2 x 12-15
Bent-over lateral raises 1 x 12-15
Barbell shrugs 3 x 15-20
Seated calf raises 3 x 10-15
Toe presses on hip sled 2 x 50

Incline extensions with EZ-curl bar 2 x 6-8
Rope pushdowns 2 x 10-12
Incline curls 2 x 10-12
Cybex-machine curls 2 x 10-15

Angled leg presses 2 x 15-20
Smith-machine squats 2 x 20
Horizontal leg presses 2 x 15-20
Hanging leg raises 3 x failure

My field of expertise is biomechanics, so while he constantly strove to use more weight, I made sure he kept his exercise technique perfect. We had to be extra careful while performing any movements that required spinal compression, such as stiff-legged deadlifts, overhead presses, shrugs and squats. Mickey didn’t encounter any training setbacks due to injury during the three-month cycle.

The Results

Mickey’s results blew away all expectations. After three months of brutal cardio, weight training and dieting, his numbers were as follows:

Bench presses 315 x 4
Barbell presses 225 x 5
Angled leg presses 990 x 30

What’s even more amazing is that his body metamorphosis far surpassed his strength gains. On April 16, 2001, we went back to the exercise physiology lab to have his bodyfat tested again. This time it was 8 percent at a bodyweight of 207 pounds. In other words, he lost 58 pounds of total bodyfat and gained 14 pounds of muscle. The size of his waist was reduced from 47 1/2 inches to 34; his chest expanded from 48 to 50 inches; his biceps went from 15 to 16 1/2 inches and his neck from 15 1/2 to 17 inches. In the 17 years I’ve been involved in the health club industry, I’ve never seen such dramatic results in such a short period.

Mickey’s story can teach us all a lesson of conquering overwhelming adversity and persevering through hardship. Use Mickey as an example and begin your own metamorphosis.

Editor’s note: If you’d like to get started on your own physical transformation, call 1-800-447-0008 and ask for the Metamorphosis Special, which features the key supplements Mickey Anderson used. You get two boxes of GH Stak, the ultimate growth hormone booster; two boxes of Muscle Meals meal replacement; two bottles of Omega Stak, an essential fatty acids supplement; and two bottles of Thyro Stak, a thyroid-optimizing supplement with guggulsterones’all for only $249.95 plus shipping. It’s a $410 value, so you save a whopping $160. We’ll also give you a free IRONMAN Training & Research Center T-shirt. IM

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