22 Sep A Coach’s Transformation Story
A Coach’s story, what it takes to make a great transformation*
Everyone has a story of why they do something, so here is mine. …
Quick background for those for those of you who don’t know me, Matt Terry. Former very overweight child and struggled with weight most of my life. When I was younger I was able to turn my quest to be healthy into a positive became a stand out football player and eventually a world class strength athlete competing for 7 years at the top level of Olympic Weightlifting for the U.S. My past has always consisted of strength sports (powerlifting and Olympic lifting) but in my heart physique / bodybuilding was always my passion.
So as I have gotten older, lifting extremely heavy no longer interests me. This coming from a guy who once clean and jerked 435 lbs and squatted 640 lbs, and benched 450 weighing 200 lbs is quite a turn around. Now my focus is being has healthy, lean and strong as I can be while remaining pain free.
So hence the challenge I set forth for myself. I wanted to make a major transformation and compete in my first bodybuilding show. I gave myself 9 months for the challenge as I wanted to go slowly and not lose any of my hard earned strength or lean tissue.
So how did I make this change? Same ingredients it will take you to make a major transformation in your life regardless of the goal (doesn’t have to be physical, can be any major change in life.)
1) Commitment: doesn’t sound super sexy but probably the most important ingredient. During this process I did over 300 strength workouts, 120 hours of cardio and tracked everything I ate for 312 days. I co-own a very successful personal training studio and typically train 8 to 10 clients a day 6 days a week, most days I am up by 4 am and some days I will work till 8 pm. There were days I exercised 3 times a day, I never missed a workout, and I never cheated on my nutritional plan, ever. Sounds crazy? Maybe but this is the difference between being interested in changing and being committed. During this time I also lost my mother and my brother 4 weeks apart. I missed birthdays, wedding anniversaries, parties etc. My wife and I bought a new house and remodeled it to the studs and for almost 4 months we literally had no kitchen, just 4 walls and a floor. I also suffered a few injuries from a strained hamstring to constant back spasms toward the end. At times I couldn’t even get out of my car my back hurt so badly. Still I stayed strong, never wavered off course. No excuses, just curveballs life will throw at all of us, how will you handle it? How committed are you really? When tested like this I promise you will find out how strong your resolve really is and that is the difference between achieving your goal or not.
2) A Goal: I never realized until this process of setting out to do my first natural body building show how crucial setting a goals is. In the past I have dieted down, gotten very lean, but then gained some of it back because I had no goal, did it wrong and took short cuts (ate too little, exercised too much, not accounting for sleep / digestion / general health.) So having this very specific date of standing on stage in basically a male stripper outfit, it was very easy for me to stay committed to my goal knowing I had a day, September 19th, 2015 I would be on stage. So whatever your transformation goal is, there has to be a goal and a time frame. Sure there were times I wanted to quit and was miserable but I kept my eye on my goal and kept moving forward. And more importantly the work really begins ONCE you have reached your goal. You have to reverse diet out of it correctly in order not to gain it all back at a rapid rate.
3) A Plan: I had a very structured plan and I hired a coach. I got myself from 217 to 187 and was very happy with the results. For the first time in my life abs! But I wanted to keep going and not ever having done a bodybuilding show before I hired a coach who had. I have helped hundreds of people lose weight, look great and change their bodies but I wanted expert help for a specific goal. Getting “show lean” is a totally different animal. Every great coach has a coach, that’s how you get better. There are several plateaus and tricks needed along the way. And I needed one with a similar mindset; holistic health first and foremost, one that understood a natural competitor’s hormones and someone who actually understood how to train and had been there himself. My food choices didn’t change as I have always eaten healthy but calories and grams of nutrients became very important. I cycled my carbs, went through periods of zero carbs and multiple daily workouts and the occasional planned free meal. The take home point here is, its not just about the right food choices but they need to be in the right amounts and at the right times.
The result? It worked perfectly; I was rarely hungry and felt great. I was extremely pleased with my results. I went from 217 to 169 the day of the show and still felt strong and was able to maintain almost all my lean tissue. Having a great coach reinforced the things I knew I was doing correct and helped keep me accountable. I saw competitors backstage looking like death, sunken in faces and shaking legs from dehydration. None of that for me! I was eating my food, drinking my water and waiting for my moment.
I placed in the top 5 in the novice and open divisions and took 3rd in Mr. Kansas. So yes overall for my first show I was very pleased. My new goal is maintaining close to my new lower weight and continuing to stay as healthy, strong and lean as I can at my new bodyfat and getting ready for my next natural show.*
The moral to this story is to do something great you better be committed, have a goal and a plan. It won’t always be easy but anything is truly possible with the right outlook and dedication. And sometimes we need a coach! If you find yourself in the same situation contact us for help, but first ask yourself are you committed?
Disclaimer: my entire life I have been drug free and this transformation is of the same nature. I never took any performance enhancing drugs before or during. I actually took very few supplements, just a multivitamin, fish oil, amino acids, probiotics etc.
To your success!