“I used to joke about having ‘former athlete syndrome’” BigBennP writes in his progress photo fitness post to Reddit, “I threw shotput in college. I competed at about 280-290 (I’m 6’1”).” And while BigBennP may have been fit during his career as a college athlete, the same can’t be said for his post-graduate lifestyle. After finishing law school and getting sucked into 80+ hour a week jobs that he blames for taking away any time he could’ve put into going to the gym, BigBennP admits that despite his workouts becoming few and far between, the main problem came from his eating habits.
“I never changed how I was eating” he explains, “over the past 10 years my weight ballooned from ~280 to 380.” Realizing that his weight had gotten out of control, in March 215 BigBennP decided it was time to make a change:
I started going to the gym again, mainly focusing on something I hated with a passion….cardio. Working out during my lunch hour I do 30 minutes on the elliptical shooting for 600 calories burned, then lift after that. Add on to that jogging with my dog and trying to do something for a couple hours every weekend (hiking and jogging with my dog have been typical ones).
I don’t have any specific program with lifting, although I fell back into the core lifts I did in college, (minus hang cleans because fuck those). Bench, Incline, OHP, Rows, tricep extentions and curls, squat, leg extensions, deadlifts, calf raises, and an ab workout, 4-5 days lifting a week, usually doing upper body push lifts on 1, and pull lifts on 3, and legs and back and 2 and 4. My bench is back up to about 260 for 1RM, and I do 5×5 squats with 315. Not near as strong as I was, but I’m 10 years older and work full time.
As for his eating habits, he explains that the exercise was the easy part – eating was a whole other story. “I’ve also dramatically changed how I eat” he writes, “giving up fast food almost entirely and eliminating a lot of red meat, substituting other things.”
While his initial goal was 300 pounds, BigBennP managed to shed past his goal, hitting 280 pounds in his first nine months. The remainder of his weight loss, however, was not as easy:
Going from 275 to 225 has taken much of the rest of the time with some ups and downs. I had a rotator cuff tear and a broken hand last fall that kept me from working out for a while. I was stalled in the 240’s for about 6 months and redoubled my efforts after the new year to log every calorie and stick to an exact diet.
The recent posts about the biggest loser contestants caught my attention because my TDEE is also somewhat lower than it should be given my weight. Even with pretty significant workouts, my TDEE at this point is only 2400 calories or so, and I can lose a pound a week or a bit less if I successfully stick to 1700 and 5-6 good workouts in My mind did adjust to healthier tastes, but I absolutely still have problems knowing when I’m full and still have cravings.
BigBennP is now set to compete in his first tough mudder 10 mile in October and is working towards reducing his body fat to around 15%. His results, as I’m sure you expected, are nothing short of incredible:
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