“If your mindset is you want to improve, go ahead and do it. You won’t change by doing the same thing. This is a simple uncomplicated process where you make positive life changes, and it’s only 12 weeks!”
To regain some of my former size and shape and to help my wife achieve her goals.
First and foremost...the results! My results and also my wife's results have astounded not only myself but everyone who sees us or our photos. If you want to change your body, for the better, this is the way to go. Very easy to understand instructions, constant encouragement and mentoring from the Coaches, Ambassadors and other Challengers. Whenever I posted a question on the forum, it was answered very promptly. The email notifications kept me abreast of everything I was interested or concerned in. I've met some great people who I'm sure I'll get to meet in person some day (Denis). The lessons I've learned regarding nutrition and supplementation are simply life changing. I've now got a metabolic age 15 years younger than my actual age. I now want to pass on my knowledge and enthusiasm to my friends and colleagues.
Harps summed it up during one of his early reports. He said the process is easy. The plan is easy. Putting it in to action is the hardest part. Having the will power to resist simple temptations and to remain focused is the hard part. When obstacles appear in your way, you need to learn how to 'improvise, adapt and overcome.' as Clint Eastwood so eloquently put it.
Nothing but good has come from this Challenge. Our friends are literally bombarding us with requests for "the secret" and "how did you do it? Can you train me? Could I do it?" For the first time in my life I look at my photos and I'm happy with what I see...the first time ever!! My wife now looks absolutely fabulous again. We are so very happy with our results and our family are all extremely proud of what we have achieved in such a short space of time.
Simply do it. Fred and all the fine people associated with The Challenge say it over and again..."trust in the process". These people have done this many times before. They are highly trained, motivated, experienced and enthusiastic people who are determined to see you succeed. They seem to work tirelessly answering questions, chatting, giving guidance and offering encouragement (I'm sure Janet and Glenn don't sleep!!) Just get on board "The Challenge Train" and ride it to the end of the line. The destination is going to be as good as you want it to be.
I initially started the Challenge to support my wife. After about 3 weeks I saw the difference in my photos and I was hooked. Since that 'light bulb' moment I haven't looked back. Regardless of how I am judged by the Max's team of Judges I know I gave it my all and I am 100% over-the-moon with our results. Simply, thank you.
A pic collage of my Challenge journey.
Dave and I, behind the scenes shot.
The spray tan stuck and was still looking good this morning but I thought it needed a little bit more so applied a little "tan in a tube". Great idea. Team Awesome loaded ourselves in the family wagon and drove to the "location".
The photo session went better than expected. Personally it's the first time EVER I've been satisfied with how I looked. EVER!!!
I had no idea i actually looked like that. I can see a few weak spots i am going to work on next but on the whole i couldn't be happier.
Here's a little taste. More to come next week.
Just had my second spray tan done. This time it was in an automatic booth. Cost $45. I asked for the darkest shade they had. It feels different to the first effort. My skin feels dry and fairly normal (except for being completely shaved...that is a strange feeling!). I'll be able to sleep in this and just dab dry, in the morning after a shower. Hopefully i will stay tanned this time!!
i hope i can sleep tonight. Its a very hot night in Perth tonight with a forecast minimum of about 16 degrees. Its a long way from that now. i have to get up early, realy early for my first day back at work after 2 1/2 weeks off. Not looking forward to that.
This is as good as my spray tan worked. I'm glad I didn't leave it until the last second! Not happy. Gaynor rang the tanning lady this morning and she said it could take up to 48 hours the "develop". I've never heard of that before.
I will try another tanning place on Friday morning or maybe just use a tanning lotion and get the Mrs to put it on for me :)
This is the second time I'm typing this because I lost the first draft. Don't know where it went, but it went...after I'd typed a lot.
i got a spray tan today. It only took a few minutes and the result was incredible! The spray contained a bronzing agent so I went an incredible colour straight away. I had to leave it on for up to 8 hours. Luckily it was a nice warm day so I didn't have to wear a shirt because it's sticky. When I had a shower it just ran straight off. Fortunately the spray lady said this would happen and that when I wake up the tan will start to come through and gradually improve over the next few days.
im going shopping for a costume to wear for the photo shoot. I was thinking a purple, sparkly g-string
you'll just have to wait and see. ;)
Im already planning my next move, after the Challenge. My next goal will be to put on some serious size, but still stay in good shape. There's no way I'm going back to how I was before. I will concentrate on my weak spots and be the best version of me I have ever been. I know I'm not too old and there's life in the old dog yet. Dwayne, The a Rock, Johnson watch out. I'm the hardest working person in the room!
Im a bit disappointed my phone wont let me upload photos.
Its the 2nd best day of the year. ..bathurst day. This year is a bit different for me. I'm not drinking or eating the traditional foods. Instead I had my oats and Supershred for breakfast. I'm just hoping HRT or FPR (not Paul Morris though ) can beat Red Bull Racing.
Having said that , good luck to Dan Riccardo in tonight's F1 race.
Dinner tonight with some left over lamb cutlets. Yummo.
Hills and troughs. Yesterday was a hill. I felt fantastic and had enough energy to power a small town. Today?...is the trough. Hardly enough energy to blink. I know it's just the result of the reduced carbs but it's still bloody hard. Don't get me wrong, I'm not having a whinge , just stating a fact. I made myself walk into the gym and push out a light chest and back workout consisting of super ...one chest exercise super setted with a back exercise. Got a good pump. My conscience felt better after. Lol
I was thinking about what this Challenge has taught me the other day. Coming in to it I was pretty confident with my training knowledge but honestly thought I was too old to make any real significant gains without injuring myself somehow. But I trusted in what the coaches said, threw my ego out the door and kept the reps within the recommended ranges. I still pushed hard. .real hard but didn't try to break any power lifting records.
The nutrician/diet plan is where I've learned heaps. I sooooo wish I'd known this in my 20's. Hindsight is a wonderful thing so they say. I used to eat everything and heaps of it. Sure i got big but never had the definition i wanted...up until now.
I never would have thought I'd be looking my best ever, at this age!
As Fred and Harps say "trust in the process. " it really does work. In just a few days I will be feeling better again after I reintroduce clean carbs but until then i'll just keep trusting.
The plan is easy, very easy. The execution of the plan? Harps was right again, it's a battle with yourself but one that once I started I was determined to win.
Regardless of how i place in the Challenge I've already won.
Two sayings that stayed with me throughout the 12 weeks:
1. If it was easy everyone would do it.
2. Pain is temporary, pride is forever.
Respect to everyone who has come this far. You've earned it.
Stationary bike cardio this morning followed by squats (5 sets of 15 reps). A long walk around the Zoo carrying the family backpack then shoulders and biceps in the arvo. Tried Betapump for the first time. We went to Bodybuilding Wharehouse in Joondalup again and bought some more SuperShred (love the choc!) too. The Betapump gave me a feeling of being focused on what i had to do. I didn't feel as tired as i thought i was going to.
As i sit here typing this i feel content knowing i've put in a solid day of training. Bring on the spray tan and photos!!!
The view south. I don't want to come across as being vain but I'm so enjoying looking down nowadays. Max's are the best!
Went to see my PT friend this morning. He took my skin folds. Body fat is now down to 10%. According to the charts i am officially under the healthy fat range for my age group. ...and loving it. My biometric age is just 32. I've got 73kg of muscle mass. He couldn't believe the changes in my body since a few weeks ago. Everyone was asking me about the Challenge and how I'd lost so much weight. I couldn't stop talking about it.
I'm getting myself organised for the last week. Our photos are being done on Saturday morning by a mate who is also an amatuer photographer and also knows his way around a gym.
Big Jas has agreed to let us use his studio/gym for the venue so all is set.
i've been keeping a journal since starting The Challenge. In it i keep a record of everything I've eaten and all my training (exercises, sets, reps and weights). I've just finished planning out my nutrients and training for the last week leading up to the Photo session.
I'm really proud of not just my achievements but also my wife, Gaynor. We've both made massive gains. I've done weights and fitness work before but I've never had the guidance and support that Max's has given. I wish I had this assistance 30 years ago. The results would have been awesome.
Thanks Max's and Maxine's. You're awesome.
Gaynor was working today so i was the house wife. Apart from doing the washing and dishes and cleaning up the house etc i had to take the dog to the vet. That was my am cardio session (very low intensity because the kids came too but at least we were walking for an hour total).
I dont know where my head was this afternoon. Monday is supposed to be chest and arms. I did a great chest workout:
6 sets of bench press ranging from 20 reps to 6. The last set was a triple drop set. 7x105, then 8x95, then 6x65. That burned!
i follwed that up with super sets of flat flyes and incline dumbells.
all was going well but then i just did an entire back workout instead of arms! I didn't even realise what I'd done until i was in the shower a while later. I'll have to swap my training routine around this week.
Made a great dinner tonight. Marinated a bunch of chicken drumsticks with a trickle of teryaki sauce and a splash of soy. Then cut up a mountain (technical term) of veg...squash, snow peas, zuccini, mushroom, capsicum, broccoli and runner beans. Stir fried with a little extra virgin olive oil and sesame oil and spinkled with sesame seeds. Added some oyster sauce and then a little peri peri sauce when served. It tasted deicious! Sorry but i was too hungry and didn't have time for a photo.
Jumped on the scales this morning and they said 86.9 kg! Wow i haven't been this light since....well i cant remember ever being this weight. Im really happy with my look and condition. before i started the Challenge i was more concerned by being heavier, because heavier meant bigger and stronger. I never realised i was carrying so much extra fat around. I never want to wear a shirt again.
Just finishing off my chest workout this week. Almost cardio. Got a great pump....and some big head-spins when i stood up.
Took the kids to the Drags tonight. Its funny, i never thought 2 little girly-girls would like watching cars on the drag strip and even more the burnouts!! Its their second time.
I was pretty hungry though. I only ate 2 cans of salmon and a chicken breast before heading out. I took some almonds and a Maxines Burn bar (they are a great substitute for chocolate). I thought i was doing ok until the smell of chips hit me. I remained resolute and abstained, but it wasnt easy. The older daughter delights in teasing me with food (she's a little stirrer like me i suppose). The reduction in carbs is bringing back my cravings for bad foods, especially seeing everyone walking around eating burgers, chips and ice creams and drinking beers and bourbons. Its worth the sacrifice though to reap the rewards. At the end of the day its called junk food for a reason.
We bumped into a mate i hadnt seen for a couple of weeks. He asked how the Challenge was going and said my face was looking more chisselled. Its good when people notice the changes.
On a side note, the wife suggested getting an early spray tan to test the shade and colour. Im pretty fair skinned and normally avoid going out in the sun without a hat and shirt etc so it will be great to see what a difference it makes.
Lunch today. Small piece of lean steak with stir fried vegies and a little steamed brown rice. I hope this is "clean" enough.
im starting to realise time is running out. I hope I'm on track to be in good enough shape for a top 10 in the last week. Some times i see myself in the mirror and think I'm on track and other times I look all smooth. I've shaved the chest and stomach and it definitely looks and feels strange.
Saturday I just did weights. I felt low on energy, edgy and "irritable"... Alright I felt angry. Don't know why, just did. Sunday i was feeling better and Gaynor and i did an awesome cardio session together. (I like training together. I think less about stuff I shouldn't be thinking about and focus on getting the job done.) Yesterday i had a good weights session, did chest and arms. I was training without a spotter but still managed to bench 125 for a couple of reps until i thought I'd get stuck under the bar. I've started super-setting the minor exercises for chest to get more pump and burn and get longer time under tension. That means dropping the weight to about 25kg dumbells and using the 3/2 timing, that is 3 seconds for the negative phase and 2 seconds or less for the positive phase. Trust me when i say that hurts. I go to failure on each exercise but only do 3 supersets. Each set takes over 1 minute to complete.
Did cardio this morning...30 minutes on the stationary bike followed by 15 minutes on the treadmill. Shoulders and back this afternoon.
Thank god i'm on holidays at the moment. There's so much to do, i don't know how i fitted work in before.
i've tee'd up a good mate, Dave Stevo, to take photos of Team Awesome on the last week. I'll be asking a favour from another mate, big Jas from Martial X Training Academy if I can use his studio to have the photos taken in.
Got to organise a spray tan for both of us, but i might let Gaynor organise that as she's done it before and knows more about it than me.
over and out.
Ton-up workout with the Mrs!
All Max'd up again. Different flavors this time.
Love this. I never thought I'd like something so bitter but a small square dipped in my decaf is a great after dinner treat. Bugger-all sugar and fat.
After a couple of very hectic days i was finally able to do some training. Smashed legs tonight then had dinner then took the dog for a walk. The legs didn't want to work properly. Luckily it was dark so no one could see me wobbling along being pulled along by the woofer.
I feel tired but glad that I trained.
I start holidays tomorrow so will have all the time to train and eat well nearly to the finish line.
Well I'm over 500km from home, staying at a motel with only a kettle and a fridge. No food preparation or cooking facilities at all. I tried the room service menu on the first morning. Eggs on wholemeal toast. How hard could that be? It's amazing how disgusting someone can make it. Poached eggs were fried and toast was white. That's the first reflux I've had for weeks. Im surviving on precooked brown rice and tuna or chicken and Greek yogurt and fruit. Not ideal but it's only until Monday when I drive home.
On the bright side. ..at least there's a decent gym.
Photos taken this week. I'm pretty happy with the progress. Good back shot ...there's even a vein standing out.
Well the week of night shift has finished...to bed at 09:30 this morning and up again at 1:30 this afternoon, to try and get my body clock back to normal hours again. Shift work makes it bloody hard to eat right and train regularly. I still managed to watch the v8 Supercars on TV, mow the lawns, do some weeding, walk the kids and dog then push out a light weight/high rep leg workout before the body said "Enough!" Haha, there's only so much coffee and barocca can do!
my goal now is to get a great NIGHT's sleep before going for a power walk wearing my weighted vest.
Did i mention that i designed and sell my own brand of weighted vests?!
Here's a collage of pictures of me, my wife made up.
1st day 1
2nd end of week 1
3rd end of week 4
4th week 6
5th week 7
I'm pretty happy with the progress so far. I think i just need to keep shredding about another 3% body fat, may be more if i can.
A short video of me doing some incline dumbell press. Im happy with my size now, just need to finish off now by maximising the shred. Bring on the last 6 weeks.
The Mrs and I trained together on Saturday. It went pretty well. She trains quite hard and isn't afraid to push hard. She mentioned that she thought I didn't need any more size, just to concentrate on getting leaner. So with that in mind i'm going to incorporate a lot more super sets in my workouts. The extra effort should burn more fat and having to use lighter weights should reduce the risk of injury and the workouts will be quicker.
Chest and Back today.i will get someone to take a photo or video of me to gage my progress
Cardio today consisted of a 40 minute walk with the dog at a fast pace.
Yesterday i went to see a friend of mine who is a PTI. He took my body fat % first using the electronic scales and then using the skin fold measurements with calipers.
The scales said i had 15% bodyfat, 73 kg of muscle mass and a metabolic age of just 32. The calipers said i was 12.5% bodyfat. I love the fact i've reclaimed 15 years! Thats awesome.
Day 34. Dear diary I'm pissed off! The scales are still reading 90.7kg and the tape measure is still saying 35.5" around the waist, arms stalled at 17.6". I'm training well and still eating clean, why wont any more weight drop off?
this morning i returned to just 4 eggs on 2 slices of toast and a cup of coffee Rather than omlette and 50g porridge. Tomorrow i'll have the porridge and a Super Shred and keep alternating again. The tuna is the type in olive oil (which i drain off) or ini various sauces. They're low in kj so they should be ok, right?
Made a smoothie yesterday with milk, bannana and strawberries with some vanilla protein powder. It was great for an afternoon snack a couple of hours before i hit shoulders and arms.
enough blogging for now...its 5am and time to go to work.
I was in a work gym the other day. I hadnt been to this gym for a while, and bumped into a bloke i hadn't seen for a while. He was amazed at how much i'd changed. He had loads of praise and was asking about the Challenge. It's moments like this that spur you on and add fuel to that "internal fire".
i cant speak for everyone else, but for me one of the major driving factors behind keeping me going is the posting of the day 1 photo and the making of a 12 week commitment. Its the pressure of knowing that someone could be watching me and waiting for me to fail. Im not going to fail. Im not going to let MYSELF down. Im not going to let MY WIFE down and Im not going to let my KIDS down. At the end of the Challenge Im sure I'll still be a little self critical but the journey will have been worth it, for many reasons.
i give thanks daily for the opportunity to participate in this contest (it really is a contest...against other Challengers and against yourself) and for all the organisation that has and is going on behind the scenes. Having planned and coordinated many major operations i appreciate what it takes to put on something as big as this. Its given me renewed focus and vigor to press on.
Its strange really. The scales aren't shifting and the tape measure is still showing the same numbers around the waist but looking at the photos and the way i feel it looks like i'm still dropping fat. I had a terrible nights sleep last night and the dog woke me up 30 minutes before my 4:20am alarm!
Left work in a hurry to make an appointment with a bloke who wanted to buy my car, only to get a phone call when i'm almost home, from him saying he's only got $1500 less than i'm asking. So i missed out on training at the work gym and the &@$)? Stood me up. In a dark mood and feeling tired when i walked in the door. The family soon cheered me up enough to take my Carnage and smash my legs in my home gym. Squats are up to 125kg for 6 reps. Coming along nicely.
a nice dinner tonight by the Mrs. Prawns and salad with a little fetta cheese. Normally that'd be yummo, except the kids had lasagne...soft pasta with creamy sauce and gooey cheese. Mmmmmmmmmmm.
When i finish the challenge i'm going to have a schnitzel smoothered in melted cheese, followed up with apple pie and custard. Not every day ofcourse, but just as a treat.
Did the week 4 fitness test today with the Mrs. I went as hard as i could and made some good improvements. The alternate lunges isnt as big an improvement as it looks as i counted 17 each leg last time whereas this time the number is 37 total. I felt dizy at 23 burpees but finished the minute with 25. The jump squats at the end were the icing on the cake...i thought my quads were going to explode!!! I needed an icepack to stop the burning. I know i tried as hard as i could because of the headache that followed from the lack of blood sugar. A cup of steamed brown rice and 190g or tuna fixed that within a couple of minutes. I dont know how I'm going to top this score at week 8.
I had to take a day off any training yesterday due to finishing a 15 hour shift at work at 5:30am then having to drive home and sleep (thankfully in that order...just). I still ate well all night, despite an early call at the golden arches for my work mate. (There i sat in Macca's eating an apple and drinking my Max's SuperShred whilst my mate had a McFeast , fries and coke!!!)
So i had a sleep until early arvo, got up, ate well and got ready to go out to see Queen with Adam Lambert. What a concert!!
I havent had a day off work for over a week so there are a few jobs need doing around the house, even still i hit the gym a short time ago and blasted shoulders, tri's and abs. My weights are going up...37kg dumbell shoulder presses and 40+kg tricep pushdowns.
At first when i entered this challenge i thought it will be good to finish the 12 weeks and get in a bit better shape and be there to help my wife achieve her goals. Now i'm seeing such big improvements in such a short time it's inspiring me to do better and aim for a top 50 finish. I know thats a pretty big call because of the huge number of entrants and i'm not the only one out there with the fire in my belly, but someone's got to win it. I'm following the training plan and my eating hasn't strayed to cheat meals or snacks. I've got a fantastic, hot wife who is kicking goals with her progress too in the Maxine's Challenge, so why not?
i want a top 50 result...no i want a top 10. I'm 47 years old and I want to show everyone else what you can achieve at this age...it's not all over once you turn 40! You just have to EAT WELL, train hard but smart and keep reminding yourself why you started on this Challenge. Why were you over weight and sluggish? Hoping for a different result but keeping doing the same things is just insane. It's not easy by any means, but nothing that is worth it is easy. The biggest obstacle is your own mind.
Thanks Max for resetting my focus and giving me the tools to get wher i want to be.
I was beginning to think i'd hit a bit of a plateu yesterday. I thought i'd taken a backwards step. I wasn't looking forward to posting a progress photo. I was just finishing a Back workout when my wife took my photo. Wow! I cant believe that's me. What are those lumpy things on my stomach?! Lol.
The photo picked me up a bit but the sneaky wife posted the photo on the blog and Glenn Black's acknowledgement has further inpired me. Thanks Glenn. Its nice to receive recognition.
How true is this?!
Latest max's purchase. 2.2kg Super Shred and 1kg Nite Time. Yummo! !!
No cardio this weekend. I've come down with a cold so breathing is difficult enough already. Saturday i came home from work and slept. Today i hit the gym for a sneaky leg day. Leg presses, squats and leg curls followed by a Maxines Burn shake as i ranout of SuperShred yesterday and have to wait until Monday to get to the Body Building Warehouse to buy some more. Lucky the other member of TEAM AWESOME is awesome and has enough left over to spare.
The Nite Time shake is great.
looking forward to a big chest and biceps fay tomorrow.
Great cardiovascular workout today. Did a ton-up. ...
10 exercises and a treadmill.
1 minute on the treadmill followed by exercise 1 (10reps)
1 minute on the treadmill followed by exercises 1 and 2 (10reps each) and so on until I finished all 10 exercises.
Total time was 32:56 minutes.
Bought some more max's and Maxine bars today. They're delicious. Thanks to Bodybuilding Warehouse in Joondalup for the best service.
It's a bit dark but I can see the changes already. Think I need a tan though! !! Lol
Well I've made my first mistake and learned from it. For breakfast yesterday i had Greek Yoghurt with a scoop of protein powder and a coffee. Mid morning i had a SuperShred Shake with water. By lunch time i was feeling light headed, weak and shakey. Not good. I had 190g or Tuna and a cup of steamed rice and hey presto, i felt much better in just 5 minutes.
Today i had soft boiled eggs on dry wholemeal toast (the first bread for over a week). About 3 hours later i started getting reflux for the first time since starting The Challenge. I might avoid the bread first thing in the morning from now on.
On a good note, i had a great session in the gym today...chest and biceps. I felt pumped up like a balloon. The training is definitely going well. The Cre8 Carnage is working a treat!
No photo to post this time. The diet has been going really well. I think the Cre8 Carnage is working as i've got a lot more energy in my workouts (cardio and weights) and whilst my waistline is slowly shrinking my arms are growing again. I'me feeling lighter when i move around and i never feel bloated. No reflux, no mid afternoon crashes. During the day i have no cravings for crap food, only at night, after dinner do i still want something sweet. I've discovered greek yoghurt with protein powder...ITS AWESOME!
Max's Nite time protein powder tastes great. I've never used as many supplements as i am presently and i can feel the benefits. The other half of Team Awesome is doing great too. I've never seen her so motivated! I'm really proud of her commitment, support and results. We're going to do this together!
My training partner.
Its all in the presentation. Lol.
New supplies for Team Awesome. Loving the Bars!!
Almost 1 week into it. Feeling better but still got a way to go. Just finished a back workout.
Projected image of me in 11.5 weeks time (except for the yellow bathers!!).
...but seriously, happy birthday Arnold. Always has been and always will be my ideal body shape.
Well, i've been away from home for 4 days. I managed to follow the nutrician plan, mostly, without resorting to cheating once. Managed to train every day except today due to time constraints with travelling etc. i'll make up for it tomorrow in the gym though.
i got home to find the other half of Team Awesome has been more than holding up her end of The Challenge. Great work Babe.
The scales say I'm down 2kg and my waist is 1/2" smaller already. I hope its not just a mistake but my belt needed to be done up tighter this morning too. Great feeling but it kind of goes against the grain to see the scales go down rather than up. I've always measured my progress by bigger numbers on the scales And on the bar.
It does feel good to be training properly again...now the DOMS has pissed off!
Well, its day 1. I've been training in the gym since tuesday, as per the suggested intermediate routine. As its been a while since I've trained some body parts the DOMS is slowing all my movements and inducing plenty of groaning. I'll be happy when it works itself out of my system!!
Team awesome did the fitness test last night. We went a little better than expected, despite getting over a muscle spasm in the upper back.
Sugar cravings are a bitch!! I guess its my own fault though, for the crappy diet I've had for a while. No dessert is hard to do, especially when the kids are eating ice cream and chocolate.