In 2015 I was in need of a change. The years of doing exclusively powerlifting workouts left my body in a state that did not fit my ideal body. I needed the strength but I wanted my dream body even more. That’s why I decided to try a bodybuilding routine for my primary exercise routine in 2015.

I talked about how I went from out of shape to in shape to strong but fat. It was time for some consistency in my body and goals. It was time for those two worlds to meet.


Coming into 2015 my stats were as follows:

Weight: 220 lbs.
Waist: 37 inches

My best rep numbrs in the major four lifts were:

Squat: 250 lbs x 7 reps
Bench Press: 220 lbs x 10 reps
Press: 155 lbs x 1 rep l
Deadlift: 295 lbs x 10 reps

I worked hard to get those numbers up.   I knew it was time to change my game. Here’s some cold hard facts I had to tell myself:


No matter how much I love to fantasize, the reality is I’m not an athlete. There are so many great exercise programs geared towards athletes. That is why in the last five years the world has seen the explosion of Olympic style weightlifting.

Cross Fit competition with Chrisw Camille about to do a deadlift motion


That’s why the CrossFit gyms have taken off. They took an old school philosophy that had been around for years and made it hip. Not only in America, but in countries around the globe you can see people following the Workout of The Day.

I’m a fan of Olympic Style weightlifting. The problem that I have with CrossFit is the randomness of exercises. Olympic Style weightlifting is a skill that needs to develop over time to perform it correctly. Cross Fitters who don’t pay attention to technique are destined to get a injury sooner than later. That’s my biggest grip with Cross Fit.

Getting back to the point, I’m not an athlete. Therefore I shouldn’t be trying to do lifts that will make me jump higher, or increase my explosiveness. For a change of workout pace sure. It’s always good to change your workout every now and then. But those types of workouts should not be my core routines.   Sometimes we really got to sit back and think about why we are doing the workouts we are doing.


Being on a diet for an extended period of time can become annoying. While I was strength training I attempted to restrict my calories but didn’t stick with it long enough. I let my mind tell me that I was small enough and I should just embrace getting big again.

No more calorie restrictions! Yes, sign me up! The truth is that it would have been better to lose as much fat as possible before putting on the weight. During that period, I lost scale weight but I can’t say I lost fat.

Your body will look more muscular when you have less fat on it. Once the fat drips away, that hard earned muscle begins to shine. I kept getting so close to my 2010 years but seem to stop just before reaching that promise land. I didn’t want that in 2015.

At the beginning of 2015 I had about 30 lbs of fat on my body. I determined that if I lost half of that weight, I would be in a good body fat range. So I made up my mind that I needed to lose about 15 lbs of fat in 2015.


My years of yo-yoing between big and small provided me with some good analytical information. My body has shown time and time again that the last place I lose weight is in my waist. When taking caliper skinfold measurements the biggest sites on my body is my abdominal and suprailiac regions.

The first places I lose weight is my face and arms. That’s why I always appear thinner to people then I really any. The most visible parts of my body are my arms and face. I use to wear a lot of baggy clothes so my face and arms stood out even more.

In the perfect world I could just take the fat from my waist and attach it to my arms. <Poof> I would have the biceps I always wanted! But that’s not reality. In 2015 I knew I would have to get my waist to a place under 35” to achieve the 15 lbs of fat loss.


With all those years invested in the gym and at the grocery store it was time to reap the benefits! I just wanted to look good! I didn’t need to be the next Phil Heath, but I just wanted to look good without my shirt!

Phil Heath Posing at a competition

Phil Heath

When you have been overweight and/or skinny fat, you tend to shy away from revealing your body in public. My mind is in a much better place where I could care less. If I work hard at it and carry the right mental attitude, I know my body will follow. So I wanted my 2015 to start to reflect that. It may not be everyone else’s dream body, but it’s mine!


I do not want to be a professional bodybuilder. I’m a realistic guy. I know that it will take years for me to put on the type of muscle to professionally compete. What I do want from those guys is to master their gym and nutritional habits to get a muscular physique. Whither that physique is 185 pounds or 225 pounds, I don’t care!

Here’s what I determined success for me in 2015 would be:

  • Consistent waist under 35 inches
  • Square powerful chest
  • Arms great than 15 inches
  • No bags under my eyes from lack of sleep (so 7-10 hrs sleep a night)
  • No chronic joint pain (knees, back, spine, etc.)
  • Have less than 20 lbs of fat on my body
  • No travel excuses for eating right
  • Approx. 175 grams of Protein a day
  • Veggies at every meal
  • Carbohydrate sources mainly from rice and potato sources.
  • Build my beach body THEN get stronger with that physique
  • No more yo-yo seasonal eating. Avoid the unhealthy relationship with wheat/fat/sugar/processed foods!!

I’ll break down those success marks next time!

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