Back then I was in good shape. I mean c’mon, I had to do 90 minutes of Army PT 3 or 4 times a week depending on the time of year, plus 3 or 4 days of lifting and running with the football team depending on the time of year, and 4 to 6 days of practice depending on the time of year. Spring of my Junior year ended up being the busiest with Army PT from 0600-0730 Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays and Fridays, random Army classes from 0500-0730 on Thursdays, Squad tactics training from 0800-1400ish on Saturdays, football workouts for 2+ hours on Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays, Fridays OR Mondays, Tuesdays, Thursdays with practice from 0600-0900 on Wednesdays, Fridays and Saturdays.
So yeah, I was getting my workouts in, there is no doubt about that. But normally you’d think that I would have come out of that weighing 220 lbs. with 5% body fat. Nope. I was bouncing between 193 lbs and 201 lbs at 14%-17% body fat. Even with all of that activity, I didn’t have my ideal body. Granted, at that point I didn’t really give a fuck what “my ideal body” looked like as long as I was able to get on the field and knock some heads. But since that was only happening as a scout defensive player in practice, I at least wanted to look good naked. Sadly, that wasn’t happening.
What was I doing wrong? I mean I was working out for anywhere between 90-240 minutes a day, not including the days of practice and running around the woods of RIT yelling “BANG! BANG!” with plastic rifles as the hippies wandered around doing whatever hippies do. Any normal person would expect to come out of that looking like freaking Adonis. Knowing what I knew then, I was pissed; knowing what I know now, it all makes senses. I had one part of the equation right, training, but I was missing the two other MANDATORY aspects of getting the body that any woman wants to ravish…rest and nutrition.
2007 Mike hears that and says, “Shut up, you’re fucking stupid”. 2010 Mike says, “Ignore that and you’re fucking stupid”. You can’t burn the candle at both ends and expect to get anywhere worth going. Even after I got done with that ridiculous schedule I would still train for 2-3 hours everyday just because I loved it and I really had nothing better to do (getting a “real” job was over rated anyways). But I still found myself looking in the mirror and saying “Why to fuck don’t I look like Vernon Davis yet?” Well 1) I was working out wayyyyyy too damn long, 2) I was getting more rest, but still not sleeping as much as I should and 3) my diet was still full of processed carbs (hello cheap food!) and I was still under the impression that you needed 60% of your daily calories coming from carbs to be “healthy”. Seriously? Fuck you government for spewing that bullshit for countless years and fucking over millions of people because some lobbyist jerked you off under the table as a favor.
It wasn’t until I found John Berardis “Massive Eating” and “G-Flux” articles and Joe DeFrancos’s “Westside for Skinny Bastards” that things started turning around for me. It was the summer before my last semester that I found these and implemented them into my life. My total training time went down from 90-240 minutes 5 times a week to no more than 90 minutes 4 times a week. My nutrition went from eating a shit ton of pasta, rice and chicken and thinking I was getting a bunch of calories to eating more nuts, fruits, meat and some rice and actually getting somewhere near enough calories to let my body recover from the punishment I put it through on a daily basis. Knowing what I know now my diet after the “improvement” was still shit, but still blew what I was doing before out of the water. So two little and easy changes, pay attention to what you’re eating and put some thought into your training plan, and my strength went through the fucking roof. I was strong in high school and I was strong my sophomore year in college (I had ACL reconstruction surgery half way through my freshmen year, so needless to say I was a pussy for a little bit) before I had to start adhering to the schedule in the last article.
Now I was the strongest I had ever been in my entire life, all at the same body weight (193-201) and with my body fat percentage steady at 12%. These two little changes added muscle mass (same body weight + lower BF% = increase in lean mass), my lifts shot through the roof and my blinding white boy speed came back. By the time we opened fall camp for my last semester of college, I was in the best shape of my life and confident as all hell. We tested out in the 225 Bench test reps, squat, power cleans, 40-yd sprint, pro-agility drill and 300-yd shuttle. By the time we were done with that I was in the top 3 in everything except the pro-agility. Only getting beat by two defensive tackles by one rep in the bench test, and a couple defensive backs in the 40-yard sprint felt fucking incredible. For the first time I was able to look back at changes I made and actually see the differences it made in my performance.