Sunday, February 26, 2012
My name is Justin and I was asked to write about the opposite of most of these blogs and that is gaining weight. My current weight is 200lbs, 10% body fat, standing at 5'8" and 29 years old. This is not about how I turned flap to fab and gained 5, 10, 20lbs. Let's go back 15 years ago and skip many personal details. At this time I weighed 100lbs and not much shorter than I am now. I was anorexic and only took in maybe 450 calories a week. Let's now skip ahead 7 years, I had beaten my eating disorder, weighed around 140lbs, but was at 30% body fat. All the weight I had gained was fat. At this point, I started to have really bad chest pain. Being young and living off fast food I believed it was heartburn. I started to change my diet and cut down on the fast food and started exercising. The chest pain just got worse and to the point that I couldn't exercise. Finally went to the doc and within 2 months of the visit, I would be on an operating table having heart surgery at the age of 22. The surgery was due to an unknown birth defect, but it was enough to make me clean up my act and diet. After recovery, I cleaned up my diet more and started exercising more. I did well for a couple of years and hit a brick wall. My knowledge of diet and exercise was for the most part limited. I joined a gym and got a trainer to educate me on fitness. I went through several trainers before I found one I liked. He trained me on exercise, diet, self-esteem, gym P&Qs and help me get me to a healthy 200lbs.
Gaining weight is a balancing act of diet, weights and cardio. As with all fitness, it all begins with diet. My diet is much cleaner than most average people, I avoid fastfood, limit process food, but I don't worry much about the number of calories as long as I get the protein I need in my diet. If I want to tone up I just cut down on carbs and to bulk up I just eat more carbs and increase protein as needed. Now to the fun stuff, exercising. I spend about an hour a day doing weights and usually going heavy, slowly increasing weight, but always throwing in a curve ball to keep the body guessing with low weight high reps, maxing out and changing routines. The third part is cardio. The heart is the most important muscle and you respect it more when you're on the floor grabbing your chest. Cardio is a balancing act in itself. Too much cardio and you burn the muscle that you worked hard to gain and too little, you gain a nice layer of fat to fill in the grooves of the muscles so to hide your work. I find 30-45 minutes works for me. It keeps my heart in shape for a 5 mile run and I keep my muscles that I worked for. When I broke the 200lb mark last month, I stopped and looked back at how far my body has gone; in 15 years I have doubled my size and and take in once a weeks worth of calories in one protein shake.
Justin L. Hinkel
(Justin is working on getting before and after pictures. I don't blame him; I never wanted to take a picture when I didn't feel my best - who does?!?)
Thank you Justin for sharing your story. Maybe you can take it up another level and compete? =) ...
Lesson learned here is that heart problems are not just for the older folks. I see my own family and friends eating fastfood if not daily, every other day. What does it take to change your habits? When you're on the floor grabbing your chest? I hope this blog gives everyone something to think about that the .. "The greatest wealth is health."