This month we congratulate Bodybuilding Warehouse customer Craig O'Brien for his awesome body transformation!
Craig transformed his body over a 12 month period and he has been kind enough to tell us how he stayed motivated, how he trained and also give us an insight into how he ate.
Craig's story: I basically decided to change my body because I was sick of being obese! I was always obese, even growing up through childhood and all through school, I was one of them people that when it came to any form of physical activity I always tried to come up with an excuse not to do it because I was so embarrassed to do it.
I finally decided that I've had enough and joined a gym when I was 16 years old. The picture you see on the left was me already going to the gym, but only doing cardio and not having too good a diet, for 8 months (yes 8 months, but unfortunately I had 0 confidence in myself to even take a picture with my top off).
In December 2012 I finally decided to take it up a notch, I started lifting weights and actually enjoyed something for once in my life and felt like I was in complete control!
I went all out and just started googling and youtubing loads of information from all different sort of fitness/bodybuilding websites and people. I have acquired so much knowledge not only inside the gym, like how to put all of your muscles through the full range of motion, but have also acquired so much knowledge outside the gym.
I have now changed my lifestyle and my diet, and the way I look at food, I used to just eat food because that was something that I enjoyed doing but now I eat food and think of it as fuel for my body. I'm living the bodybuilding lifestyle both inside and outside of the gym, while people are horsing around (as Arnold would say :) ), I am in the gym trying to better myself and better my body, always trying to be 1 step ahead, but I don't do it because I feel I need to, I do it because I love doing it, it's my passion, it's what I do in life.
The transformation took me exactly 1 year to achieve, even though when I started, I do wish that I had known what I know just now, but as you progress you're always learning new things, even when you do think you know it all, that's the joys of bodybuilding, you're always learning. Throughout the whole year I was eating in a caloric deficit and cutting, and as you can see I have gained quite a bit of muscle considering i was in a deficit all the time when lifting weights.
If anyone is reading this then I encourage you to start TODAY, start right NOW and do not hold off and say "but I'll do it tomorrow", because tomorrow becomes a week and a week becomes months. START TODAY because this time next year you'll wish that you would have started TODAY, you'll wish that you started right now. Most of all what I found along the way was that you can use the knowledge that you learn about yourself inside the gym and apply it outside.
I was 17 years old on the left and am now 18 years old on the right, and do you want to know the best of it? I'm just getting started! Not once in my life now have I ever looked back since my transformation. My advice for you is to be patient with the results, make sure you train with some intensity inside the gym, be persistent with it and create goals, so you can give yourself something to work towards (both long term and short term goals), and acquire the knowledge that is needed for you to reach your goal.
Now there will be times where you'll look in the mirror and think of giving up but let me tell you something, you need to visualise your success in the mind, once you believe that you can do it then the body will achieve, after all the body achieves what the mind believes!I really do hope to inspire some people and encourage to change their ways, because fitness is not just some destination that you reach and then stop, it is a lifestyle.
My workout where as follows: I had a 3 day split, where I was on 3 days at the gym then took 1 day rest then repeated the process all over again.
Day 1: Chest, back and forearms.
Day 2: Shoulders, quads and glutes.
Day 3: Arms (triceps & biceps), hamstrings and calves. Day 4: Rest. The only cardio I do is a 20 minute jog home from the gym.
My meal plan was nothing great, just made sure I got enough protein in my diet and chose the correct foods (mostly meat and veg), and ate healthy fats (mostly from nuts, although you need to watch as these are quite high in calories). I always measure and weigh everything that I put in my mouth so I know the exact amount of calories that I am having, and would right down my calories I had throughout the day. Another tip that worked amazingly for me is that I would only eat most of my carbohydrates around whenever I did exercise (although that doesn't mean that you can't have carbohydrates at night or any time of the day, just try not to eat too much of them when not doing any physical activity).