Nathan Karas / Transformation

Nathan Karas's amazing MAX'S Challenge transformation

  • Before
    111.00 kgkg
  • After
    88.70 kgkg

"An insight I gained in this challenge was to set my standards a little higher then I believed possible. During this challenge I hit my original target weight just over half way through and continued to go well beyond it as the challenge drew to a close. I exceeded my original thinking and as I did people started to notice the changes in me on a weekly basis. I started to get encouragement from a lot of people around me and this helped to motivate me even more."

Details

Program

Get Shredded

Reason to start The Challenge

I am entering this competition because I have been training hard at the gym and am looking forward to a challenge. I would like to understand more about healthy eating and creating healthy lifestyle choices. I hope that I can progress well on this challenge and that I can inspire others to follow my journey.

What did you like most about The Challenge?

The most impressive aspect of this challenge was the feeling I received of being part of a team and personally connected and valued as an individual. This is something that everyone in the Max’s team did particularly well. Everything I needed to succeed was easily accessible once I completed the initial registration process. Meal plans, nutrition and training advice even shopping lists were available at the click of a button. I was encouraged to connect and ask questions in the forum and it didn’t take very long to receive an answer or thoughts from other participants in the challenge. The personal touch of previous top ranked ambassadors providing feedback in the forum added an extra level of motivation for me as I knew that they had travelled the journey before and their encouragement and feedback was always taken to heart as they made such wonderful transformations in the previous challenge and have continued to remain successful afterwards. The weekly video that was shared every Sunday was always a highlight to end my week and begin the new one and it both supported, reassured and challenged me to raise the intensity a little more.
This challenge made me understand that I am more than capable of achieving the goals I set myself given the right conditions, environment and mindset. The team at Max’s created this environment for all of us in a positive way and as a result participants reached and even exceeded their expectations. This challenged transformed me mentally, physically and emotionally and I don’t know of any other programs that would be able to make the transformations and lifestyle changes of its participants in the way the team at Max’s have designed and built their system. It exceeded every one of my expectations.

What was the hardest thing about your Challenge?

The hardest thing about this challenge would have to be the ending. As the challenge progressed from week to week I kept making improvements and it seemed that it would never end. In the final four weeks there was suddenly a realization that this is it. I started to wonder how I was going compared to others and if I was going ok. This was a complete waste of energy for me as what I enjoyed most about the challenge was the personal journey and transformation I was making in myself. I needed to remind myself that what I wanted to achieve more than anything else was to do my best day in and day out. To finish the challenge with no regrets. To follow the advice I was given from the team to the letter and to pick myself up even when the going got tough. This process became easier because I knew that I wasn’t facing it alone. There were regular Facebook posts that kept me motivated on a daily basis. Now the challenge is drawing to a close I’m determined not to make the same mistakes I’ve made in the past with my poor lifestyle choices. The next step on my journey is to prove that participation in the challenge is the first part of living a conscious lifestyle of positive choices that impact myself and others.

What impact has The Challenge had on your life?

An insight I gained in this challenge was to set my standards a little higher then I believed possible. During this challenge I hit my original target weight just over half way through and continued to go well beyond it as the challenge drew to a close. I exceeded my original thinking and as I did people started to notice the changes in me on a weekly basis. I started to get encouragement from a lot of people around me and this helped to motivate me even more. This challenge has helped me realise that I’m responsible for the choices and events in my life and I can plan for and build an exciting future if I’m prepared to put in the hard work, routine and discipline that is required to make change happen. It’s helped me believe in myself a little more and to understand that I can make a positive difference in myself and others. When people comment on the positive transformations you have made you realise that you also carry a responsibility to help and share what you have learnt with others and to promote the lifestyle choices that have been shared with during the challenge with the team from Max’s.

What would you say to people who are thinking of doing The Challenge?

I would say stop thinking about it and take a step forward. You will learn more about nutrition and exercise during the next twelve weeks than you would in the next two years. You will change as a person mentally, physically and emotionally. You will become stronger and better because of your participation. This challenge is also great value for money so embrace it with both hands and give it 100% from the very start. There will be no regrets and you will find as I did just how well supported and rewarding it will be. Believe in youself and listen to your own internal voice and not the voices of others. There may be some people that knock your choices and events will challenge you along the way but keep a good attitude and stay determined and you are bound to be successful. Make your dream and vision for transformation stronger than any fear, obstacle or challenge and you will move mountains.

Anything else you would like to tell us about your Challenge?

During this challenge I contacted the support team and was encouraged to post a question on the forum board. This took me out of my comfort zone as I don’t normally put myself out there like that because I prefer to learn from others first. What I discovered however was that there are people that have the same questions as I do and by helping myself I help others also in their journey. In the last part of my journey I started to receive some really positive comments from other people participating in the challenge. Over time these struck a cord and I remember one morning sitting down with my wife and reading a comment from someone who said that my journey is going to be an inspiration for them when they compete in the challenge again next year for the second time. I started this journey as a way of personally challenging myself and to think that during the challenge my participation is inspiring others was very humbling. It reminds me that life is about giving and receiving. My success in this challenge is all due to the team at Max’s the coaches and ambassadors. I am so thankful for the support my family gave me along the way and also for the people who sacrificed time to help me reach my potential. I am committed to giving back what I’ve learnt during these 12 weeks to others because making personal change is one thing but seeing others change because of your positive impact is another. I hope I can make a difference in the future of others who start their journey with the team at Max’s.

Journal

  • Nathan Karas
    19 Oct 2014
    1:38 PM

    WEEK 12 DAY 0 Enjoyed an early morning walk with my wife this morning. She set a pretty cracking pace. Still enjoying some extra carbs today prior to my photo shoot this afternoon. Starting to feel nervous of the unknown. I thought it was important to post pictures from the very beginning of my journey as this phase will close off at midnight tonight. In two hours I wll start my photo shoot and within three days will have completed to completion process of this challenge. This has been a great opportunity for anyone looking for a challenge while needing a good kinck in the pants and reality check like I did. I wasn't expecting these sorts of results and honestly didn't think I would finish or reach my original goal. To have gone beyond it has exceded my expectations 100 %. I gave it 100% from the very start. The prepared meal plans and exercise routines were all I needed the make great changes each week if I suck the the plan and the weekly videos from Fred and Harps always gave me the motivation to start the next week with renewed energy and motivation. I'm looking forward to showing the team just how much this challenge has transformed me shortly and in some small way give something back to the team that have given something to us. #wearechallenge

  • Nathan Karas
    18 Oct 2014
    8:54 PM

    WEEK 11 DAY 6 Fells like Christmas Eve tonight ...... Looking forward to a good nights sleep and what ever tomorrow brings. I'll be glad to have my wife by my side when I'm getting my final photos taken. I spent hours today preparing my meals for today and tomorrow until after photos. Started generating some ideas for photos tomorrow afternoon. It feels strange that this part of the journey is coming to an end and once again I'm preparing myself to step out into the unknown. I'm going to enjoy the opportunity to get my photos taken as I can honestly tell you the last time I felt this good was as a teenager around 17-18. I had to decline my school reaunion tonight so that I can be in the best place for tomorrow. we also attended a friends 40th and even with temptation around I didn't waver. I'm looking forward to finishing this challenge giving it my all. This is a lifestyle and good nutrition, training and lifestyle choices go hand in hand. Max's have helped me better understand how to put these factors to work to promote transformation. #wearechallenge #thisisalifestyle

  • Nathan Karas
    17 Oct 2014
    5:22 PM

    WEEK 11 DAY 5 Photo time is getting closer and I'm feeling a little nervous as I haven't done this soet of thing before. I've just got a spray tan and was told to wash it off around 8:00 tonight. I'm having more sweet potato now and it feels good to eat some more carbs after a tough workout yesterday. Most of today has been spent resting and not doing any exercise. It seems strange that this challenge is drawing to a close and the next phase will be in the lap of the gods. I would highly recommend this challenge for anyone looking to transform their body, mind and spirit. The support that I have received through this challenge has been excellent.

  • Nathan Karas
    15 Oct 2014
    10:44 PM

    WEEK 11 Day 3 Thought I'd post some quick progress pics before bed post training. Heading in the right direction hopefully.

  • Nathan Karas
    15 Oct 2014
    9:31 PM

    WEEK 11 DAY 3 An early morning session at 5:45 am. I started with my HIIT to warm up and work my legs slightly followed by paper body pump super sets with low rest periods and back to back exercises. Meals are all prepared for the next couple of days to make routine easier especially in the early mornings. Sessions are getting quicker and i'm stopping my reps just short of failure. Just about to head out for a quick session as I couldn't get to train post work today because my wife was working and I had "dad" duties. This isn't an excuse for slacking of however so that's why I'm on my was out the door now. A few more sessions and then it's time to eat well, rest up and prepare for the photo shoot. I've enjoyed my training and nutrition during this challenge. It's great to be able to spend time I persuits that you love. #4daystogo #wearechallenge

  • Nathan Karas
    14 Oct 2014
    10:00 PM

    WEEK 11 Day 2 Just about to hit the sack again before another 5:45 am training session. Two more days of training left before I allow my body a well deserved recovery after a great 3 mths of physical training. Starting to feel excellent with my energy levels but I anticipate this will all change over the next two days as I'm going to make the most of my workouts. My alarm didn't go off this morning so I woke up later than usual but still managed to train and showered at the gym. A very quick upper body workout aimed at hypertrophy rep range and HIIT cardio afterwards. Looking forward to emptying the tank over the next two days and making sure I finish this challenge with clean eating and good routines. Looking forward to photo shoot day :-) #wearechallenge

  • Nathan Karas
    13 Oct 2014
    9:35 PM

    WEEK 11 DAY 1 I'm writing my blog in bed tonight before I head to sleep. Another day down and everything seems to be falling into place. I spent yesterday afternoon doing some hot body yoga to help the relaxation and regeneration. It put my mind at ease. Up early this morning for another session and super setting back and chest using dtp principles. Finished with some HIIT. watched my daugter swim train and had an emjoyable meal with the family before heading back to the gym for an upper body session in the rep range of 8 - 12 super sets with 90 seconds rest inbetween. Felt like luxury compared to how I was training. Back to the gym again at 5:45 in the morning. Diet in track all day and no hunger and not so much decreased energy. Earliest to bed for me in quite a while. "Let's see what tomorrow brings" The above photo reminds me that I began this journey not knowing what to expect... With fear and uncertainty... Now I've almost completed it the closing of one door is the opening of another. Beyond this challenge is a lifestyle that I am determined to create and build on through the foundations and lessons learned over the past 11 weeks. #wearechallenge

  • Nathan Karas
    12 Oct 2014
    10:03 PM

    WEEk 11 DAY 0 I've worked my legs as hard as I could today. last leg session until this challenge is finished. I've posted a photo of a 20 kg plate. When I was younger I wanted to put two of them at the end of a bar and bench press them. Today this symbolises most of the weight I have lost through hard work, dedication and perseverance during the Max's 12 week challenge this year. These are the hands that helped me loose that weight. if you look closely you will see that the iron bar has helped to strengthen them. The wedding ring on my finger is a symbol of my family who are extremely important to me and who without their support everything that I've achieved through this challenge would be meaningless. I've learnt a lot about nutrition, portion control, organisation, routine and consistency throughout this challange. Knowledge like this will prove to be invaluable after this challenge. I move faster now...... I have more endurance now ..... I'm stronger and fitter now ...... #wearechallengenow2014

  • Nathan Karas
    12 Oct 2014
    7:32 AM

    WEEK 11 DAY 0 All the food for my last week is prepared,and frozen as needed. This took some time. Yesterday I worked my whole body again with an emphasis on lower body and used the TDP principle for leg extensions and leg curl. Energy levels dropped a lot after the session so I upped my carbs to get through the day. Physically and mentally tired but replenished the glycogen stores and pushed through. Finished with an early night and now I feel refreshed and ready for training today. There are only seven days to go until this challenge finishes. #itsgettingreal Lookimg forward to enjoying my training again for the next few days and giving my 100%. I won't train past Thursday next week as this will start the recovery period prior to photo shoot Next Sunday. #thisisalifestyle

  • Nathan Karas
    10 Oct 2014
    9:32 AM

    WEEK 10 DAY 5 Morning session completed. I haven't posted my programs for a while so I will today. The aim of today's session was to hit the legs hard and hit all the muscle fibres. A very challenging but rewarding workout. WARM UP HIIT on bike - 2:00 moderate pace and 40 seconds with a resistance as hard as you can make it and a pace as fast as you can make it. Repeat for 10 40 second cycles. MAIN LEG SET DTP principle (dramatic transformation principle) from Kris Gethin as follows Leg press superset with calf raise on leg press machine. 50, 40, 30, 20, 10, 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 reps leg press superset with calf raise Do this pyramid style and with each decrease in reps increase weight and recovery time slightly. Once you get to 10 decrease weight and recovery time. Decline sit ups 4 x 20 JUST FOR FUN HIIT on elyptical 40 seconds moderate pace 20 seconds fast and hard (resistance stays the same) RECOVERY NUTRITION Eat within 30 minutes of training and have plenty of water BCAAS from Maxs during the session. Super Shred Shake with three hour window afterwards ATTITUDE Tired but stay positive - eat well, rest while you can and give everything you have to others in each moment post training. REFLECTIONS I had some people comment in the forum today on my transformation. I must say that the last week is hard work. There are no short cuts - you just have to keep a good attitude and work hard. Those people that commented today helped inspire me and I hope I can do the same for them in this last week. #weareinthistogether #wearechallenge2014

  • Nathan Karas
    9 Oct 2014
    2:32 PM

    WEEK 10 Day 4 I have spent some time reflecting on what an amazing opportunity this challenge has been for all participants. I hope the photos help to inspire others in some small way. #wearechallenge #nostepsbackward #giveityourall2014

  • Nathan Karas
    8 Oct 2014
    2:13 PM

    WEEK 10 DAY 3 Up early again this morning and another session completed. Around forty sets of 12 reps for full body broken down into super sets. While warming up today I started to listen a a motivational video and realised how important it is to believe in your dreams and your ability to reach them. This challenge continues to push the physical and mental aspects of my nature however holding onto my 'dream' as I head closer to week 12 keeps me strong. It pushes me through my pain and lifts me back up again and keeps me committed to change. When you are participating in a challenge like this it's important to keep a strong belief and determination that you will get through. When you are tired keep your belief and determination at the forefront of your mind and keep going. When you committ to a journey it's not always going to be easy. Be prepared to stay determined and strong (even when tired). Hard work is necessary !

  • Nathan Karas
    7 Oct 2014
    9:56 PM

    WEEK 10 DAY 2 I've posted the above picture because it reminds me of the wild adventure this challenge has taken me on. I've dropped under 90 kg today and have spent two hours getting my whole body waxed in preparation for photos. I've trained two different whole body sessions at different rep ranges and included HIIT today. I've just had my night time shake and looking forward to a good nights sleep before I am back at it again tomorrow. I haven't worked this hard since competing in swimming and it's bringing back an inner drive to do my best during each session. This sure is a wild journey but one I'm goad I have taken and cherished with both hands form the very start. #Thankyoumaxs

  • Nathan Karas
    7 Oct 2014
    8:29 AM

    WEEK 10 DAY 2 I didn't post yesterday my apologies. Yesterday I trained lower body hard in the morning and followed it up with 20 minutes HIIT. I spent some time catching up with a friend and helping him with his swimming. This motivated me enough to start incorporating the HIIT principles into the pool which I am planning to do today for the first time around 12pm. Things are starting to fall into place as I'm in the process of finalising photo shoot and am getting waxing done today. I've started to measure progress in the mirror not the scales as water and training don't give me an accurate representation of fat loss. This is just a personal preference as daily weighing takes me away from what matters most ( following my training and diet plan for the last two weeks ). It also starts to play with my head a little bit as sometimes i could also be gaining lean muscle mass. I have already trainined this morning at 6 am. I've started to incorporate whole body training into my weights as a form of cardio and way of combining pump and growth. Doing what I can to raise the tempo, maintain muscle mass and focus. #wearechallenge2014 #giveityourall

  • Nathan Karas
    5 Oct 2014
    9:31 AM

    WEEK 10 DAY 0 Morning leg session complete. I must say it hurt as there were little rest periods and higher reps which caused fatigue to set in during the session. I feel much better now I've got my post training nutrition into me and can start concentrating on the Max's meal plan. I'm starting to get hungry and am really looking forward to my super shred shakes inbetween meals. I thought I would post the above quote as it captured a thought I had during the training session this morning. I was super setting walking lunges 4 x (20 per leg) with leg press 4 x (50). It was hurting more with each set and I needed to break my leg presses into lots of ten or twenty with 5-10 seconds rest. I managed to get through this set by concentrating on one lunge at a time. I know this sounds like a small thing but with each step completed I managed to cover the required number of reps without stopping. It also gave me the will to complete the rest of the session with a good attitude as I could apply the same concept to my hack squats. #wearechallenge #noregrets

  • Nathan Karas
    4 Oct 2014
    9:12 PM

    WEEK 9 DAY 6 PM Just about to hit the sack as it's daylight savings. Enjoyed a second session this afternoon to work my legs and chest again from different angles and with different movements. Looking forward to some rest before I am back to the gym again in the morning at 7. Starting to prepare to make some modifications to my diet as tomorrow will be fourteen days before the end of this challenge. So much to do so little time ..... #wearechallenge 2014

  • Nathan Karas
    4 Oct 2014
    9:36 AM

    WEEK 9 DAY 6 AM Morning session completed chest and legs. Early morning start for a Saturday 7am at the gym. I think I will try to exercise earlier in the day over the next week to make the last week of my holidays more productive. Worked as hard as I could during the session and finished with HIIT. I slept well last night around 8 hrs and will try to continue this as the week progresses. My body and mind feels so much better after a recovery day. I've started adding fish oil and magnesium to post training nutriton. Looking into incorporating hot body yoga for th next ten days to increase mind body connection and decrease cortisol levels.

  • Nathan Karas
    3 Oct 2014
    8:40 PM

    WEEK 9 DAY 5 Listened to my body today as it felt tired and not as energised as usual. As such I decided to use today for recovery. I mowed the lawn and when parking in town parked on the outskirts so I needed to walk longer distances. I got my skin folds measured for the second time in ten days. I was happy with the progresses there had been 2.6 % decrease and an increase in lean body mass. My scales had been changing everyday and it was making me feel uncertain of my progress so getting some specific advice helped me feel more confident I'm heading in the right direction for the last weeks. I'll be back to compleating split sessions again incorporating HIIT as it seems to be hitting the mark. Once this is completed I'll start looking at changing my routine for whole body workouts and gradually depleting my glycogen levels around ten days prior to photos. Am in the process of organising my waxing and will post some progress shots tomorrow. I've decided not to enter the NABBA championships in Hobart as I would prefer to focus just on this challenge and give it 100%. #wearechallenge

  • Nathan Karas
    2 Oct 2014
    9:51 PM

    WEEK 9 DAY 4 Managed to complete my shoulders and abs today over two sessions. Included some HIIT training into my morning session. I felt great during my morning workout but my body is feeling tireder than usual. Energy levels down compared to mid week. I'm going to see how I feel in the morning and will adjust my training accordingly. I'm also going to revisit my nutrition schedule and think through what needs to happen over the next two weeks leading to photo shoot day. I've posted the above photo because being organised, planned out and scheduling meals ahead of time is essential for anyone taking up this challenge next year. Stick to the plan because it works. The shopping list provided with this challenge is very helpful also. I'm thinking of competing in our state NABBA championships held one week before the photo shoot. I'm not sure if the timing is good or not however this has been a dream of mine for a while. I know nothing of posing, routines or what to expect so it will be a real crash course if I choose to go ahead. I have to thank the team at Max's as I didn't think I would be able to be where I am now without committing 100% to this challenge. This has been a tough week that I've set myself. Total body worked twice already. Learning to push through the mental and physical barriers while listening to my heart.

  • Nathan Karas
    1 Oct 2014
    9:31 PM

    WEEK 9 DAY 3 Another punishing day at the gym. Legs and Back combined with HIIT I must say there were times when I felt a but sick. Morning session felt great. I followed this with thirty minutes quick rest then on with the day scheduling my nutrition just under every three hours. Afternoon session was started with HIIT for twenty minutes as a warm up followed by a major back session of twenty sets pyramid and reverse pyramid as follows. Seated Row 50,40,30,20,10 Narrow Grip pull down 10, 20, 30, 40 50 Wide grip Pull down 50, 40, 30, 20, 10 Ez Bar Pull Down 10, 20, 30, 40, 50 Finished the session with seated calf raises until failure for 4 sets. Recovery felt good. Shoulders tomorrow but will need to train post breakfast as my daughter has her first solo at dancing competitions. An insight into my nutrition in the photos above - prepared protein ready to cook up as needed. Not quite as easy as my Max's shakes post training but they keep me on track. Portion seizes weighed out then frozen and used as needed. Glad to get the groceries and my postworkout shakes into me! #wearechallenge2014

  • Nathan Karas
    30 Sep 2014
    9:45 PM

    WEEK 9 DAY 2 Day 2 of 7 complete Managed to complete another set of sessions today making sure that I've give each 100% Here is a sample program for my arms and abs today. Super Set 1 Barbell Curl 3 x 4 Tricep Push Down 3 x 4 Barbell Curl 3 x 20 Tricep Push Down 3 x 20 Super Set 2 Spider Curl 3 x 4 Dip 3 x 4 Spider Curl 3 x 20 Dip 3 x 20 Suoer set 3 Hanging leg raise 4 x 20 Rope Crunc 3 x 20 Decline twist 3 x 20 HIIT 20 min 40 off 20 on Session 2 PM 30 min cardio warm up Super Set 1 Hammer Curl 4 x 12,12, 10, 8 Rope Pull Down 4 x 15, 12, 10, 8 Suoer Set 2 Standing EZ cable Curl 12, 10, 8, 8 Cabke overhead extension 12, 10, 8, 8 Little rest inbetween ( around 30 ) making sure I'm timing my shakes imediately afterwards and plenty of rest each night? at least 6 hours or more between sessions. I thought I would post a progress shot that was taken a few weeks ago. Back and Legs again tomorrow.

  • Nathan Karas
    29 Sep 2014
    9:23 PM

    Week 9 Day 1 Happy with my progress today. Managed to complete both sessions and time my nutrition correctly. I've included a back shot from a couple of weeks ago. I'm sure there has been progress since and this posing business is all new to me. Happy that the definition is starting to come out. It was a tough morning session combining legs and chest. Felt depleted afterward and made sure I got thirty minutes shut eye after my post workout Max's shake before heading into the day. It's nice to have a little more time up my sleeve over the next couple of weeks to have some incidental recovery. Felt hungry for most of the day and managed to complete my second workout in around 40 minutes. Looking forward to arms tomorrow. I've been watching the video unbroken that Fred posted on the forum and will continue to watch it every day for the next two weeks. Trusting yourself is something that really resonated with me. I'm sure my heart and spirit will get me through this week as I know every day will be tough. The process of transformation requires dedication, perseverance and hard work. Anything worth while doesn't come easy.

  • Nathan Karas
    27 Sep 2014
    9:35 PM

    WEEK 8 DAY 6 I thought I would include a photo that was taken last Sunday as a record of how much progress I have made so far. I don't have any pants that fit me any more. It was AFL grand final today and as always we were invited to a friends house to celebrate. The diffiference this year was that I prepped all of my food right up until tea time and took it with my in my 5 stacker bag. I remained focused throuhout the day and spaced out my meals to eat as close to every three hours as possible. Everyone is noticing the changes i've made and they are blown away when I say I've lost 20kg. I worked an intense legs session followed by my Max's Super Shred Protein Shake a small break and 20 minutes High Intensity Interval training. I've had a great day today - Stayed social and focused. I understand this is a lifestyle but with three weeks to go I can't afford to slip up. First time with no beer on grand final day :-) #wearechallenge

  • Nathan Karas
    27 Sep 2014
    7:09 AM

    WEEK 8 DAY 5 An early morning start to my back and shoulder workout this morning. I finished the session with twenty minutes high intensity interval training. A well deserved amount of time between session and then back to the gym for some more back and shoulder punishment. Morning session focused on compound movements with 8 - 12 rep range. Afternoon session consisted of pyramid sets 50,40,30,20,10 then 10,20,30,40 50 with low rest periods. Short and intense heart starter. I'm looking forward to some red meat and broccoli tonight. I'm enjoying adding some cayenne pepper and turmeric to heat my metabolism up a bit. I'm endeavouring to drink a lot more water which is making it difficult to accurately record my weight. Looking forward to planning out the next two weeks and creating some sound routines and training plans before the final week. The photo in the middle is from a pretty intense leg session the other night. Made me sweat a lot and pushed my limit super setting barbel lunges with dead lifts. More pain from legs coming in the morning. #we are challenge

  • Nathan Karas
    26 Sep 2014
    7:31 PM

    WEEK 8 DAY 5 An early morning start to my back and shoulder workout this morning. I finished the session with twenty minutes high intensity interval training. A well deserved amount of time between session and then back to the gym for some more back and shoulder punishment. Morning session focused on compLund movements with 8 - 12 rep range. afternoon session consisted of pyramid sets 50,40,30,20,10 then 10,20,30,40 50 with lost rest period. Short and intense heart starter. I'm looking forward to some red meat and broccoli tonight. I'm enjoying adding some cayenne pepper and turmeric to heat my metabolism up a bit. I'm endeavouring to drink a lot more water which is making it difficult to accurately record my weight. Looking forward to planning out the next two weeks and creating some sound routines and traning plans before the final week. The photo in the middle is from a pretty intense leg session the other night. Made me sweat a lot and deffinately pushed my limit super setting barbel lunges with dead lifts. More pain from legs coming in the morning. #we are challenge

  • Nathan Karas
    25 Sep 2014
    9:40 PM

    WEEK 8 DAY 4 This week is going quickly and I've lost a lot of physical and emotional energy worrying about finishing this competition. I worried that I haven't done enough. I worried about how I compared to others. I worried about what other people may think. I worried about the fact that I might not be where I want to be at the end of this challenge. I worried about the public voting and being in the best shape possible. Am I training to much? Am I not training enough? I enjoy training hard but when there is an end point and there are limited spots at the sharp end there isn't time for mistakes. You're decisions need to be well though through and you need to be organised so that you can give your very best. I learnt a very valuable lesson this week. Be the best you can be no matter what. Do this every day in everything you can do. Don't worry about what people may say stay focused and determined when you have an inner desire. Keep your head down and your work ethic high. When you look back you will be surprised just how much ground you have covered and what your inner spirit is capable of. At the end of this challenge I might not be where I would like to be this a a reality. The end of this twelve weeks is not the end because it is just the beginning of a completely transformed and changed lifestyle shared with others and lived fully with knowledge that has been learnt through hard sustained work, pain, trials and discipline.

  • Nathan Karas
    22 Sep 2014
    8:58 PM

    WEEK 8 DAY 1 #whatiscourage #endurance #wearechallenge Over the past 10 years I've been going to the gym. I started going to initially supplement my martial arts training. Like most things I do I started to enjoy it. When I started weight training I got hooked. When I was younger I was a competitive swimmer. I trained hard. Over time I learnt to push myself and to enjoy the process of training. Competition wasn't important to me but doing my best was. Being able to enter this challenge has enabled me to push my physical and emotional boundaries to the limit. It's helped me focus and organise my time. It's sharpened and strengthened me. I'm learning to enjoy hard work. This challenge is bringing me back to a feeling I had when I was younger. Not necessarily a feeling of success but a feeling of enjoying the fruits of your hard work. I'm feeling more confident and have a much better understanding of the strength I have inside me to reach my goals and overcome obstacles. I've stuck to the next phase of training today and enjoyed my cardio, chest triceps and bicep workouts. I experimented with HIIT after weights during the morning by cutting me session back in volume slightly. I then added a second weight session tonight and added some extra volume. This allowed me to push 100% in both. I'll work hard to give my best at each session. I have been transformed through this challenge. I don't intent to go back to where I was previously. I kidded myself about all the knowledge I had about training. I knew nothing compared to studying the process of this transformation. It has worked beyond my expectations but through my determination other people are not just noticing they are wanting to come on the journey with me. Learning to give back what I've learnt to benefit others is a step I am already working on.

  • Nathan Karas
    21 Sep 2014
    10:18 PM

    WEEK 8 DAY 0 I was going to have today as a rest day however I decided to keep pushing on with a very quick HIIT session on the exercise bike. I put on some great motivational music and pushed out 12 rounds of 40 sec at high resistance on the bike followed by two minutes at moderate pace. Still plent of energy when I finished so completed some abbs. Had my Max's pre trainer and BCAAs spaced out before during and after my exercise for maximum recovery. I'm going to amp up my training over the next two weeks so recovery and nutrition will be at a premium. Eggs have been invaluable this week and I'm modifying my carbs a little so that I have them before bed and not mid day. Scheduling my training for the week ahead and scheduling for the next four weeks. I need to stay organised and focused as every moment from here on counts. Managed a quick selfie :-)

  • Nathan Karas
    20 Sep 2014
    9:56 PM

    WEEK 7 DAY 6 It's nice to be able to blog again as I have been locked out since Wednesday because I needed to update my week 8 photo. I wanted to make sure that I completed my fitness test this time around. I'd hadn't done the test until now as I thought that it looked like to much hard work. This fear of hard work is disappearing now and I'm learning to embrace it as part of my daily 'grind'. Now because of this challenge I'm looking forward to hard work. I have always wanted to do 100 push up and have always been unable. There was a time when I could only do 15 at one time without hurting. Today I manage 90 push ups in one minute. I didn't think about completing the 100 because I was just happy to finish however I'll see if I can complete this in the next stage of my training. I'm looking forward to incorporating aspects of the daily fitness test into my weekly training as it was an excellent way to increase my heart rate and would be a good substitute for some HIIT as a form of cardio. I posted a picture of some Max's products that arrived in the mail yesterday. To tell you the honest truth they couldn't have come at a better time. I've trained hard the last two weeks but wasn't able to buy the next level training pack. I used the pre-workout today and it got me ready for training. It should last me until the end of the challenge. My BCAAs will come in handy as I'm looking forward to adjusting my training and diet over the next four weeks and recovery is going to be necessary. I completed a quick should workout today and will do some cardio tomorrow morning. Thank you to the team at MAX's the results I've achieved and my attitude to life wouldn't have been possible without your help. #yesthisisalifestyle. #giveityourall. #nextlevel

  • Nathan Karas
    15 Sep 2014
    8:47 PM

    WEEK 7 DAY 1 The longer I am in this challenge the more that I am learning that your mind can be your greatest friend or your worst enemy. There is an old Zen saying "chop wood, carry water" ! I'm trying to do what I can with what I have..... So I carried bricks and weeded the garden. Opportunity for transformation is all around us. When we are creative we can find ways to direct our energy in constructive ways to make a difference. I'm in this challenge so it's important to learn to do what I can with what I have at any moment In the present. Stay focused ... Stay motivated ! #wearechallenge #giveityourall

  • Nathan Karas
    14 Sep 2014
    10:52 AM

    WEEK 7 DAY 0 The INBA Tasmania competition is on today. I've been keen to compete now for around two years. I entered the Max's challenge because it is as close as I will get this year. My wife is on her final stages of university and hopefully we will be able to pick up some work for her soon. Three years on one income have made things tight as a family. I would have liked to see the competitors on stage today but couldn't justify the purchase of the tickets in this weeks budget. My mind focused on this challenge I headed to the gym to incorporate some cardio with my shoulder workout. I'm getting good comments from members of the gym now as they are all noticing the changes to my physique and my pumps. I have also had people asking why I'm not competing. I always listen to motivation videos before I train but today it was this one twenty minutes prior to training as it seemed fitting and put my mind into the zone to leave the gym this morning with no regrets. www.youtube.com/watch?v=xFYQQPAOz7YMay 24, 2007 - Uploaded by EminemMusic The remainder of my day will be dedicated to family and getting some active cardio by working in the garden and getting my preparation nutrition ready for the following week ahead. #noregrets #looseyourselfinthemoment

  • Nathan Karas
    13 Sep 2014
    9:10 PM

    WEEK 6 DAY 6 Enjoyed the first day of my weekend with a traditional back and bicep workout and cardio. Followed this up with some great Max's protein, chicken, salad and brown rice. Spent my afternoon weeding the garden and staying active but also making my environment better. This challenge has taught me not to waste my time on unproductive things if I want to be successful. #giveyourall #wearechallenge

  • Nathan Karas
    12 Sep 2014
    9:14 PM

    WEEK 6 DAY 5 It's Friday and the end of the working week. Managed to finish my fifth early morning training session with good intensity. Worked legs this morning with lots of super sets to give them fatigue. Followed my leg session with my cardio just to keep my body guessing. Another spin class where I hopefully continued to work in my fat burning zone. Here's a sample of my legs session before spin Superset 1 leg press 3 x 22-25 reps bbell squat 3 x 8-10 Super set 2 Seated leg curl 3 x 18 - 20 Lying leg curl 3 - 8 -10 then 10 quick reps Super set 3 Hack squat 3 x 20 leg extension 1 x 20 1 x 10 1 x 5 45 minutes spin on bike interval training I have been pretty hungry today. Finsished the night with 30 minutes on the treadmill and my night time shake. #wearechallenge

  • Nathan Karas
    10 Sep 2014
    9:06 PM

    WEEK 6 DAY 3 Last night just before hitting the pillow for sleep I found out that I was the lucky winner od the Father's Day challenge. I was able to share the news with my two beautiful girls this morning and it made their day. Thanks very much to the challenge team for running the competition. I didn't realise the next set of photos were so close I will make a concerted effort to complete my fitness test this time around to the best of my ability. I really enjoyed amother great cardio session this morning at the gym. Looking forward to ramping up the next two sessions over the next two days with cardio and weights training. My body is feeling good an I'm getting much better at directing my time and energy in constructive ways as a result of this challenge. I'm heading for my night time shake and then early to bed tonight as this will be my fourth 5 am start this week and I want to make sure my body is recovered ready for two tough days of training ahead. #beprepared

  • Nathan Karas
    9 Sep 2014
    10:37 PM

    WEEK 6 DAY 2 A pleasant surprise awaited me when I came home today. My beautiful wife helped me to pay for some Maxs Super Shred from a local supplement shop. I'm thankful as I know there are times where my entry in this competition has made things tough but I know she is starting to feel proud of my achievements and also is becoming more supportive of me as the transformation and routines are becoming more entrenched. I know it doesn't mean much but it was dark, windy and rainy when I woke up this morning. I've included some photos. Sleeping in wasn't an option as I've got work to do. Rain, Hail or Shine I'm finishing this challenge. I enjoyed my first spin (RPM) class this morning for cardio as I'm following the advice of the team to raise the intensity. I'm looking forward to seeing how my body adjusts. One more day of cardio before my next weights session. Got a nice sweat going but it's a tough slog between not becoming to aerobic. Hope everyone is doing well! #wearechallenge

  • Nathan Karas
    8 Sep 2014
    9:46 PM

    WEEK 6 DAY 1 Hard to believe we are half way through the challenge now. I'm just about to sit down and plan out my weekly schedule. I'm starting to get some doms from some new routines so I'm happy with that. One day down this week and will make sure I work out hard and stay away from the scales this week. My goal will be to walk away from every workout satisfied with my commitment and effort. I'll also make sure that I translate this attitude into my life and family. There is no point completing this challenge if I don't come out the other end a better and stronger person mentally, physically and emotionally. Thanks for this opportunity and continued encouragement. #wearechallenge

  • Nathan Karas
    7 Sep 2014
    7:47 PM

    WEEK 6 DAY 0 Happy Fathers Day Started the day as usual with my eggs for breakfast and some Father's Day Surprises from my girls. Shortly afterwards I enjoyed some time at the gym. I don't usually post my programs but was looking forward to smashing my legs. 20 min cardio 300 seated barbell twists Lying single leg curl 2 x 10 warm up sets 4 Drop sets 10-12 reps Stiff Leg Deadlift 2 x 8-10 2 x 16-18 Squat 2 x 8-10 2 x 20 reps Leg Extension 2 x 8-10 3 x Tripple Drop Sets Seated Leg Curl super settled with Seated a Calf Raise 1 x 8-10 3 Drop sets x 16 reps each rest time 30 sec between sets 20 min cardio Enjoyed some thai beef with veg for lunch out. Energy levels back up after a few hours. Kept in the space today. #wearechallenge

  • Nathan Karas
    6 Sep 2014
    10:38 PM

    WEEK 5 DAY 6 My wife has now finished her placement at the hospital. We were able to juggle full time placement with family and training and still survive. I've reached my goal weight already so have set a new goal. Energy levels back on track although I'm out of protein and will need to have my night time during the day until budget will allow for next order of super shred. I'm making every meal count now and have started to get into the routine of phase two of this challenge. I've been able to split my training into morning and afternoon. Managed some up hill cardio today for fourty minutes and a chest and triceps session at the gym today. Have included lots of drop sets with most sets and low rest in between. I'm looking forward to killing my legs tomorrow . I'm so thankful that I took this opportunity as I am continuing to learn so much about my diet while forming newer clean habits. I'm staring to face the demons in my mind that held me back. I am working out how to make my mind move me forward each day in the direction of my goals. #wearechallenge

  • Nathan Karas
    4 Sep 2014
    10:07 PM

    WEEK 5 DAY 4 Energy levels: excellent all day - High energy and ready to smash training Motivation levels: High, optimistic and driven Training: Great day of training - Managed a morning and afternoon workout today. Felt excellent weights back on track and starting a new routine that I will plan out and schedule one week at a time. Mixing cardio with my weights sessions and still work varied reps but including giant and drop sets into my routine. Diet: Need to order some more super shred as I have had to use my night time as a replacement. I've included more salads thus week and am making sure I've included my avocado for some omega 3 fats. I'm enjoying my meals and have stopped feeling hungry. Have started to eat smaller meals more regularly. Rest and recovery: Have incorporated more night time training backed up with sleep this week. Feel rested and recovery is good. Have dropped my caffeine intake and upped my green tea and glutamine.

  • Nathan Karas
    3 Sep 2014
    10:02 PM

    WEEK 5 DAY 3 I watched a video that Fred posted on the forum and it made me reflect on where I am now. last week I was concerned that I was overtraining. I had low energy and my weights went down. I dropped almost two kilograms that week and had trained hard. I realised that I wasn't far from my goal weight and I will probably reach it in the next couple of weeks. What I came to understand was that I had set my limits based on my mindset at the time. I set what I thought would be a reasonable goal 95kgs. What I am coming to understand is that I will ultimately go beyond that and I am capable of far more than I first thought. I'm enjoying the learning of this challenge and I know when I reach the end I will not be the same person that started this challenge. I will be physically, mentally and emotionally stronger. Enjoyed a good weights session today and I'm looking forward to cardio in the morning followed by my Maxs shake and oats.

  • Nathan Karas
    2 Sep 2014
    10:04 PM

    WEEK 5 DAY 2 I feel like I'm getting my energy levels back on track now. Sorting out my weights, cardio and recovery time with this new part of the program was interesting. Took some skin folds with a mate last night and feel motivated afterwards. I understand I have a lot of ground to cover and a lot of work to do to reach my goal weight. Motivation levels back on track also. Just finished some cardio on the tread mill and looking forward to sleeping to recover. This is my wife's last week of prac placement at the hospital. It's been a juggling act but almost there. I'm greatfull for the support. Take care everyone.

  • Nathan Karas
    31 Aug 2014
    10:00 PM

    Gym session done and dusted today. Everyone has an opinion on something. What is important is staying focused on your goals, remaining dedicated to your plan and learning along the way. People will have their opinions and they will try to pull you down to their level on the way but stay focused and true to yourself.

  • Nathan Karas
    30 Aug 2014
    11:10 PM

    Balfour St Burn Once a year teams of competitors join together to participate in a local run up one of the steepest streets in Launceston to raise money for charity. It was difficult to make my cardio session at the gym last night so I donned my jacket and took a walk thoroug the city at night. On the way home I reached the bottom of Balfour St and decided that it would make a good high Intensity circuit. I decided to power walk up and gown four times. Gave me a sweat on a cold night and slept like a baby afterwards.

  • Nathan Karas
    30 Aug 2014
    10:15 PM

    Today I ran in our local park run. I do very little running but thought this would be a good way to enjoy my cardio with others and also my family this morning. I managed to complete all five kms under 30 minutes comfortably. I don't think I would have been able to do this so easily before the challenge. I've decided to eat more today as my energy levels and weights have decreased a little this week. I've dropped nearly 2 kgs this week so I feel I've got a little room to move with refuelling my body in preparation for the week ahead.

  • Nathan Karas
    27 Aug 2014
    7:40 PM

    WEDNESDAY I've just completed my first double training day. In my mind I'm convincing myself that double cardio is allowing my body to recover from my two hard gym sessions. I've already trainined my whole body in the gym and I can feel my core being worked on the treadmill as I walk on an incline of 10 at a speed of 6. I've probably walked around 8 km of hill climbs today and enjoying a rest. I've included some photos of my eggs and oats from this morning and also a photo of the fish soup that I made to combine with my large salad for tea tonight. I'm starting to realise that this challenge is going to be just as much as a mental challenge as it is physical #wearechallenge

  • Nathan Karas
    26 Aug 2014
    9:32 PM

    week 5 day 2 Another day of clean eating. I'm happy to have completed a big back, back of leg and arm session this morning. My meals are prepped and ready for tomorrow. Looking forward to some cardio training in the morning and a great nights rest for recovery. I'm feeling a little more hungry so far and I'm sure my metabolism is in fast drive now. I'm going to spend some time modifying my next two weights sessions to decrease rest time and include more super sets of exercises to save time in the gym down and maximise recovery during this week.

  • Nathan Karas
    25 Aug 2014
    9:24 PM

    First day in my new phase of training and diet. I'm trying to make the most of the raise in intensity while staying on track with my eating. I'm so pleased I entered this challenge as I'm starting to look back at my before photo and reflect on where I am now. There is no way that I would be where I am if it wasn't for saying yes to this challenge and then working with the family to plan and put in what is needed to be successful. My training this morning was excellent. Not quite as strong as previous weeks but this is to be expected as ii've dropped over 10 kg already and am nearly at the goal weight I set in my mind at the start of this challenge. I've started to modify my program based on the gym recommendation and from an old iron guru serge nubret who competed at the same time as Arnold. I'll complete this week and see how I feel and look. I'm a little worried about putting on muscle and this reflecting on the scales. Looking forward to an early nights sleep in preparation for tomorrow and another great training session. This week I'm going to make the changes necessary based on "perseverance and perspiration". One strange thing that I've started to enjoy in this challenge is turning my night meals into a soup as it makes me feel much more satisfied while keeping the cold winter nights at bay in Tasmania. #we are challenge

  • Nathan Karas
    18 Aug 2014
    7:29 PM

    Another day almost down.... Looking forward to my night time protein in a couple of hours time. Got to the gym early this morning and completed my workout in just under an hour. Around 35 sets for a full body workout with upper body emphasis and supersetting opposite body parts with around one minute rest between super sets. I'm looking forward to some good recovery sleep tonight. Final meal for the night was delicious. Having cravings for spices and have enjoyed wasabi with lemon juice when cooking. Staying focused on what needs to be done. Looking at decreasing my caffeine intake, increasing my water and sleep during the week and staying prepared with my meals. I'm still thankful that this challenge is giving me to opportunity to bring my best every day.

  • Nathan Karas
    17 Aug 2014
    3:20 PM

    Today is a cardio day - I'm going to enjoy some HIIT mixed with some core work. I've had a great week and have seen some great changes already. The biggest change seems to be in my energy levels as I'm finding it much easier to complete my workouts with a greater intensity level. I'm looking forward to posting progress shots next week :-) Had a few games of laser tag with my girls and ready to hit the the supermarket for so that i'm prepared with my meal plan for the week ahead.

  • Nathan Karas
    16 Aug 2014
    11:28 PM

    Dear Challengers, I'm sorry I haven't had the chance to blog much recently. It's my intention to do so more often. I've been reflecting on the purpose of blogging. I know that those competitors in the past that have blogged are more likely to reach the 12 week mark. I hope i'm there at the end of this challenge. So why should I blog? I've decided to blog purely when I feel inspired and around a thought or feeling I've had about the challenge. Blogging is my opportunity to give back to others that are giving to us. Let's begin. REFLECTIONS ON THE CURE FOR PROCRASTINATION #Fredsays #Givingback The only cure for procrastination is action. Go beyond wishing, dreaming, considering, debating the options and get busy making it happen.Yes, it's going to be a little uncomfortable, it's going to involve effort, it's going to require commitment, and you're going to run into difficult challenges. So ask yourself -- do you intend to make it happen or would you rather put it off again and again so that it never gets done? so challengers decide to accept the tremendous opportunity that is already available to you. Let go of the excuses, and make this the moment you jump into real, effective, purposeful action. Fred Liberatore Challenge Master Coach Over the past three weeks I'e had my head in the game every day sticking to the plan. I've stopped wishing and started dedicating my time and effort into turning this challenge in to a reality. I've had no days off...no holidays....no half days....no excuses!! If I'm going to make it i'm prepared to feel uncomfortable....i'm prepared to hurt...i'm prepared to sacrifice for twelve weeks to get to the end. I'm thankful for this challenge as it's changing my lifestyle for the positive and as it does that it helps me to give back to others in small ways.... I've jumped in the river and i'm enjoying the ride!! I hope this video inspires in some small way !! #Wearechallenge

  • Nathan Karas
    4 Aug 2014
    10:04 PM

    Enjoying another terrific start to the week and had a terrific morning weights session This morning at 5:45.. Ate cleanly all day and energy levels feeling great... Worked lower reps 8-12 rand and just under forty sets completed before heading to work... Having my protein and creatine early mornings keept my energy levels ready for a great session... Looking forward to a good legs and abb session in the morning and all meals cooked up for the day ahead.

  • Nathan Karas
    3 Aug 2014
    9:04 PM

    1/12th of the way through this challenge and feeling great. Tonight will be spent redesigning my training program to best suit where i'm at and my intensity level. I completed my weights training with higher rep levels, super sets and very low rest periods. My reps have been around 17-21. My energy and recovery levels seem to be going well and I've enjoyed my cardio days. Cardio is usually 20 min hiit followed by 20 min steady state and some abb work. challenges: As mentioned in the mindset video tonight I've learnt the need to be adaptable this week. On Saturday my eldest daughter prepared tea for the extended family consisting of pizza, jacket potatoes and s'mores for dessert. I got around this by limiting my carbs at lunch to allow for tea, having my protein source before tea and ensuring I prepared my own potato and choosing my filings. I managed to avoid desert and the pizza. On Sunday I needed to attend a children's birthday party which threw out my normal eating schedule so I needed to modify my protein shakes and make sure I had one on hand at the party. I'm proud that i've been able to work around my variables this week and that I haven't missed a session. Next week I will need to join a second gym to allow for my wife working different shifts. #no excuses !

  • Nathan Karas
    1 Aug 2014
    8:49 PM

    It's day five and in the last two days I've been really impressed with a change in my energy levels. I've had to exercise around my wife's shift work but haven't missed a work out yet. My meal prep is going well and I'm organised a day ahead of time. I've avoided getting on the scales this week and will do so on Sunday. I'm noticing changes in my physique already and am really enjoying my training. I hadn't realised how many bad eating habits have snuck into my lifestyle over the past few years. I thought I'd post some of my meals from the plan. I can't wait for my next two cardio days ahead and am impressed with Max's Super Shred as it's tasty and packed with protein in each scoop.

  • Nathan Karas
    28 Jul 2014
    9:36 PM

    Day 1: I spent as week preparing my body and mind for a change in eating and a change in exercise. I've also been reading the posts in the forums which have helped me stay motivated. My Max's pack arrived today from sups r us and was pleasantly surprised to see that I got an (animal) t-shirt and free shaker included. I've just had my night time shake and will watch the Max'sMuscle Up Challenge 2013 DVD before hitting the sack. I'm so pleased I started the challenge as the support from the coaches, meal plans and shopping list have worked well. I help to lead a busy primary school and my wife is in her last year at uni and currently on her 8 week internship. I have two young girls 7 and 10. Life is busy and this challenge is helping me stay ultra organised with meal preparation and working my way through the training programs provided. I've been hitting the gym at 5:45 a to get my workouts done. Thanks Max's for this challenge - I look forward to making the most of the next twelve weeks and learning all I can for a great transformation :-)

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