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135lbs to 192lbs NATURALLY and still growing...

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  • 135lbs to 192lbs NATURALLY and still growing...

    About one year ago Dante Trudell pulled me aside in the gym and told me that if I competed as a lightweight in the NPC San Diego show that I could be "Mr. San Diego". No offense Dante, but for a minute I thought you were full of shit! Friends who overheard this conversations told me the same thing Dante told me, and I actually started to believe it, but I still didn't want to compete. Who the hell wants to shave their legs and stand on a stage in a mankini?! A few months go by, and again, Dante pulls me aside and tells me the same thing, "if you do that San Diego show you could be Mr. San Diego". This time he got me. I decided very shortly after being told this again that I wad giving this show a try the next year.

    For about eight months or so I trained my ass off with a new love and desire. I went from having "no legs" to actually having some quads with a lot of help from the scene in Pumping Iron where Ed Corney squats 315 for 11 reps and collapses in exhaustion. I watched that scene on my iPhone almost every day regardless of what body part I was doing that day! I was on a mission, and boy did my training intensity go up. I was actually in the gym with a purpose after kinda spinning my wheels for a couple years in there! Yet, there was on HUGE key to growth that was still lacking from my daily routine and holding me back, which I'll get into shortly.

    So after about eight months of hard work, I see Dante in the gym yet again. This time, he doesn't tell me again that I could win, but rather comes at me with a question. "So you doing that San Diego show"? I respond that yes I am and that he had inspired me to go for it. And I would like to say before I go on that if he hadn't kept on me about doing the San Diego show I never would have competed. So, I told him I was doing it and I asked him if he knew any posing coaches I could contact. Well Dante knew of Pete Ciccone in San Diego, and Dante and True Protein made it possible for me to work with Pete over the next 20 weeks and Pete taught me how to pose, managed my nutrition and cardio and dialed me in over those 20 weeks and Dante's prophecy came true. I won the open and novice lightweight class at the 2011 NPC San Diego Championships.

    In the previous paragraph is where I mentioned the one aspect that had previously been holding me back from making gains. Nutrition. Before I started working with Pete, the heaviest I had gotten up to was 167 lbs. I ate carne asada burritos and fast food every day. Pete very quickly changed that to a very clean, natural whole foods diet with proper supplement timing. I was nervous at first. I'm only eating "clean" foods?! I'm going to shrink! Well, I was an idiot and what did I know about nutrition? Not a damn thing! Pete got me to break past 167 and we rather quickly hit 171 lbs even while doing cardio and restricting carbohydrates as we were prepping. He wanted to fill me out at the start of our prep and get me as round and full as possible, and start dropping weight from there and we did it and we made 154 1/4 on the dot the morning of weigh ins and we brought home the victory :first:

    Now comes the part that even I still have trouble believing has happened to me. After the show, I took a week completely off from the gym, and hooked up with Pete again after the break to begin an off season gaining plan. After seeing me on stage, Dante thought I'd be much better at middle weight so I had a new goal, to make it to the top of the middle weight class. Pete wrote up a new meal plan for me, and I jumped on it immediately. Now I had gained almost 15 lbs since the day of the show, so I was sitting on about 170 lbs when I started this new plan, and in less than 2 months I was at 180 lbs. That's 10 new pounds that I have never ever had on my body before. Rememnber, my previous high was about 171, my highest weight ever. Within 4 months time I had jumped from 171 to 190 lbs. That's 20 new pounds of clean bodyweight. I don't know my body fat percentage but I'm not fat. I still have abs and definition.

    I never thought I could make it to this weight naturally after spending years at the same old weight. I never realized how important proper nutrition was. My work ethic in the gym was never in question, but you can work your ass off in the gym but if your nutrition is lacking, you'll never make the gains you're working so hard to get! This has been a life changing experience for me and I thought I'd share this story to see if it helps even one person out there who doubts themselves. You may be stuck at a plateau, or think you could never reach a certain size and you may be dead wrong. I certainly was. You can make very significant gains without resorting to "gear" if you don't want to. I just did it for myself, and I continue to do it every day. I give you my word, you will be amazed at what will happen when you combine a few simple ingredients... time, patience, consistency, hard work, and faith! Faith that what you're doing is going to work and having the fortitude to work at it every day to make it happen! I have reached 191 lbs at a height of 5'6" and I am very, very happy.

    I have just this week started cleaning up the diet a bit as my coach Pete and I start prepping for a show in 2012. We're still trying to decide which one. We have upped my protein, shuffled around some carb sources, and overall dropped some carbs and started instituting a bit of cardio and this should help drop some body fat and still allow me to make some muscular gains before we start the real work. I am so excited to see what I'll look like next time on stage as I can see on myself that I have made my weakness much less weak and I have really achieved a much better, balanced physique. Still lots of work to do but I can't wait to see it!

  • #2
    Congrats on your gains! Very inspiring story for those stuck and cant seem to make gains.
    2014 NPC Mr MN State TBD
    2012 NPC MN state 40+ 1st and 3rd Hvy *Injury :frusty:
    2012 NPC Gopher State 40+ 1st and 1st SuperHvy
    2011 NPC Gopher State 40+ 1st and 2nd Open Hvy.
    2011 NPC Upper Midwest 40+ 1st and Super Hvy 1st
    2009 Gopher State 4th Hvy and 4th Masters 40+
    *11 Natural contest 1992-2000 placed top 4 of all
    88 Natural Mr MN 2nd Teen
    88 Gopher State 4th Teen Hvy Div 176lbs


    • #3
      Thanks CJ,

      I used to have a negative outlook on getting bigger because I thought I had to do some things I didn't want to do but my eyes have been opened and the lessons I've learned from bodybuilding apply to everything in life. Do things right, do them consistently, and have faith to follow the plan for a long period of time and your efforts will pay off!


      • #4
        You look wicked mate! Thanks for sharing your experience.


        • #5
          Do u train DC?


          • #6

            Thanks so much bro! All my pics are of me as a lightweight and even though I'm not looking forward to all of the cardio that comes along with prep, I'm very excited to see myself as a middleweight!

            I never would know what I was capable of without the help of Dante and Pete and I used to think I knew it all and you just never know what you can learn when you put yourself in someone else's hands. Thanks for your support man and I hope you're doing well and enjoying the journey yourself!


            • #7
              Good seeing you here....
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              • #8
                Congrats man. Excellent points about patience and faith.


                • #9

                  I was just telling somebody over on the TrueProtein forums I have stolen a lot of principles from DC but I have never followed a true DC program, but as soon as my next off season starts, I am going to jump into a DC program to do something completely new and shock my body right after the deprevation of prep and my personal goal is to hit 200 lbs!

                  Do you do DC? Has it worked for you?


                  • #10

                    Hey I told you I was over here! LOL! Good to see you here too!


                    • #11

                      Thanks man! I'm as guilty as anybody else for wanting fast results right now but I've learned in bodybuilding that you may get them at first, but to keep getting results over years, you gotta be a patient man and believe in the process. Very good life lessons for me! Thanks for the kind words.


                      • #12
                        Awesome man! Great story -- really glad you emphasized the importance of time, patience, consistency and hard work. Too many people -- and I'm not immune to this -- assume something extraordinary is happening, whether it be a supplement, super supplement, genetics, etc... when the only extraordinary thing is the combination of the 4 pillars of your success you mentioned.


                        • #13
                          Great story. You look MUCH bigger than 154.25 in your avatar; crazy impressive and inspirational stuff. Do you have some stats in terms of lifts and poundages?
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                          • #14
                            Inspirational post, thanks for sharing.
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                            • #15
                              Well fvck. I guess there're no more excuses for me to not be 165 at my height of 5'4". Back to work(the dining table).
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