By: Josh Bryant
Regardless of the success I have had in the fitness industry, I do not want to be known as “the fat guy at the gym that can lift a lot of weight.”
My transformation began July 1, 2014 and was inspired by Strength Sensei, Charles Poliquin. The last weekend in June, I did a seminar with Charles, John Broz, Derek Poundstone and the immortal Al Vermeil at Bystol Performance Center.
I consider Charles a mentor and in the age of the anti-hero, I am proud to say Charles is one of my heroes.
Up until 2006, I regularly competed in powerlifting and strongman. Along the way I became the youngest person to ever bench press 600 raw, won the Atlantis Strongest Man in America and a host of titles and set dozens of records.
In 2006 I even did full bodybuilding prep at the world-famous Metroflex Gym with owner and bodybuilding legend, Brian Dobson. I enjoyed the training and the physique it sculpted.
Since then I have primarily focused on coaching athletes. While I have successfully coached professionals in a number of sports, I am primarily known for training professional bodybuilders, strongmen and a host of world-record setting powerlifters.
During this time I was also awarded my Master’s degree in Exercise Science and went on to author and co-author a few Amazon # 1 selling books.
Business-wise, each year has been much more successful than the previous. I am married to the woman of my dreams and have two perfect, healthy sons.
I feel extremely blessed.
My health is perfect; I am not a story of someone with a week left to live unless my diet changed.
Here is where I believe my story can inspire and help you: I have beyond a full-time career and a family, so time is scarce. Furthermore, this transformation was 100 percent drug-free or Hormone Replacement Therapy Free.
To top it off, I have not one time pre-packed food or counted a single calorie!
I am not naïve; without powerlifting, you would not be reading this story. The one drawback to powerlifting and what holds powerlifting back from the mainstream is the acceptance and even advocating a “see food” diet. Obviously, this catalyzes poor health and some physiques that resemble a soy-eating hippo that watches “The View” for hormone manipulation.
Powerlifters jokingly brag about putting Chinese buffets out of business and donut-eating conquests.
In the past, I was dealing with primarily strength athletes, and by powerlifting standards, for a bigger guy, I was well built.
Now, I am writing # 1 selling books that deal with maximizing muscle mass and minimizing body fat. I was doing a seminar with Poliquin for the “main stream” fitness community and no longer could I hide behind being “strong.”
G. Gordon Liddy was the only person not to “rat” in the Watergate Scandal, even serving prison time for sticking to his values; ironically, as a child, he was afraid of rats. To overcome this fear, Liddy caught a rat and ate it. BOOM! Fear was gone. Some psychologists call this technique flooding.
Jumping in is much like flooding. To quit smoking, stop now! No weaning, deal with withdrawals now and quit. The beginning will be painful but you will adjust before you know it.
I saw my opportunity; Poliquin offered to test my body fat and perform a BioPrint analysis under the condition I did it in my “chonies”, shirt off in front of the audience. I felt naked, alone and unattractive—these people are here paying good money to see me and here I am calling myself fitness professional—something has to change!
This flooding experience ignited the spark that catalyzed change!
I told the audience you will see a different me next year; good to my word, check out the transformation.
I ain’t done yet!
I remember built-in habits are built-in. Instead of taking apart the building brick by brick, I called in the demolition crew and made the process swift and severe.
To summarize what Charles advised me, I was to eat zero carbs for 12 days, supplement with fiber powder and on the 13th day, have a free-for-all carb day, which is exactly what I did. It’s fun enjoying the “bad foods” as a treat instead of a nutritional staple.
After this phase, Charles advised me to add in green vegetables and nuts on the no-carb days and carb up every 5th day for a month, done!
Since then, I have been “carbing” up one to two days a week for eight-hour increments, the rest of the time I eat meat, green vegetables and nuts. I do not limit the quantity on meats or vegetables and enjoy preparing food with butter or coconut oil.
How often I carb is based off intuition and feel. My carb-up days often find me at the local Waffle House for the good food and even better free entertainment.
I do not premake food; I live in Texas, the land of BBQ. If I am out I have BBQ (no sauce) with green beans or spinach. I am not planning on bodybuilding, I know this could be more scientific but it’s getting the job done and does not feel like bodybuilding prep, it feels like a healthier lifestyle without a sacrifice.
After talking with Charles at the seminar, I am supplementing with liquid D3, zinc, magnesium, CLA and high amounts of fish oil.
Interestingly, last time I had my testosterone levels checked in 2010 they were a slightly above average at 705. Four years later they are a simian 867!!!
My clients are my # 1 priority; I am not planning on competing again.
I currently lift three days a week, balls out. I hit the 200-pound heavy bag for 30 minutes in intervals three days a week, finishing off with light “extra lifting” work for a total of 10 minutes or so.
I do not spend the time I once did in the gym, but when I do, I take no prisoners and fear for the individual that disrupts one of my workout sessions.
If I ever need inspiration I think about the seminar in Chicago.
Furthermore, this year I am doing a seminar tour around the US with Dr. Fred Hatfield, a mentor of mine. If things seem difficult, I just envision myself presenting side by side with someone I consider a hero with my Jailhouse Strong no nonsense physique to match.
Anytime anything seems difficult, I always focus on what the struggle will bring.
Thank you, Charles, for the inspiration!
I look better, feel better and perform better. I now weigh 255, I started the transformation at 275, the body composition is much more important than the weight.
Have a healthy and happy 2015!
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