This is a guest post from one of our Science Lab members. He is sharing his story in hopes that someone can benefit from his mistakes. If you think you aren’t susceptible to this you are probably wrong. In Met Flex for Fat Loss (our book that gets updated monthly) a big theme is to fuel your workouts, specifically fueling them with carbohydrates. Another big theme is rest. The app is Omegawave, it is an HRV monitor that allows you to check various metrics to keep you working out at your peak.
Here is Steve’s story:
I started training like a madman at the age of 12 years old after a dude I worshipped told me I had man tits. I was crushed. I vowed to do whatever it took to become a beast. At the time I listened to a band called Molly Hatchet. (Remember them?) They had the coolest album covers of gigantic warriors. That’s what I wanted to look like. So I set up shop in my basement and followed the body building routines in all the mags. I’d work out for hours; The problem was I wasn’t blessed with lean man genes. I was dang strong, but I couldn’t figure out how to get lean.
In steps my buddy’s uncle: Ken Waller. Some of you may remember him from “Pumping Iron.” He said the trick was to cut carbs out, so I did…And I got really freaking lean. I remember passing out at the pool one day because I hadn’t eaten one gram of carbohydrate. But I was lean!
That was the start of my battle against looking ripped vs. feeling good. To this day, I think I’d rather be ripped and feel like dog turds, but that’s another story. For years, it was a constant battle of training for hours and not eating carbs (other than the crazy binges I’d go on). Consuming 2 large pizzas in one sitting was nothing for me. My weight would go up and down every few months. To counter the weight gain I’d just train longer and harder; the problem was fatigue got in the way. At the time, I’d tell myself I was being weak and I’d just keep grinding away. Type A personalities are good at that.
In about 1992 I found the holy grail. Ephedra!! For any of you who haven’t taken this stuff, it’s like crack! Now I was in business! I could train all day and not be hungry!
Fast forward to 2000. After years of training and eating this way, the wheels fell off the bus. I literally couldn’t get out of bed and I gained 75 lbs. of fat in 6 months. 175 up to 250! I’ve been on a quest to find “the answer” ever since. Deep down, I knew it was my diet because every time I binged on pizza I felt great for about 3 days. God forbid I keep eating carbs though, because I didn’t want to get fat. Oh wait, I did get fat. Oh well, back to the no carb diet and training like crazy again. This cycle has continued, until about 2 months ago when I found ETP.
I decided nothing else was working and started eating carbs every day. I gained about 10 lbs. quickly but felt sooooo much better. In the process, I met Mike T Nelson. He looked at my training logs and had me start monitoring myself with the ithlete and OmegaWave software. He knew I was severely overtraining by looking at my logs, but I needed proof. The software doesn’t lie. As you can see from my measurement, I’m fried…And that was after two weeks of doing nothing!
What’s the point?
Too many of us are chasing after the “lean, hard” look we see in magazines at the expense of eating to perform and feeling good. The problem is most of the folks we see in magazines that look like Greek gods and goddesses are juicing. And BTW, I did that too. When people look like that and tell me they are clean I’m like yea right. Whatever. Been there done that.
What’s the answer?
Put the carbs back in, cycle your calories up and down, train and sleep hard and I believe you can maintain YOUR ultimate body year round. I’m stuck on the sidelines for now, recuperating. But, with some rest and proper eating, I’ll come back stronger and better than ever.
Hope this helps those of you who are battling the same demons. Everyone has their own perfect body. Go find it.