A year and 8 weeks ago I weighed the most I have EVER weighed in my entire life. I was frustrated with forcing myself to follow the Paleo diet; I knew I needed a change. I stepped out of my comfort zone and sought help outside of my “box”.  Most of you all know or have seen my success story on the Pump & Shred program, but here’s a quick recap of why I took on the program a year ago.  

“I followed an 80% Paleo-Primal diet and thought this was my answer to how I should eat and that it would get me to my desired leanness.  It wasn’t until a few months ago that I came to the realization while this diet works for many in the CrossFit community, it was not working for ME. I was still eating too infrequent and too little. I’d eat a lot more fat than protein, small amounts of carbs, and was never hungry because I was walking around with “nut gut”, always feeling full, bloated, yet forcing myself to eat this way thinking that one day I’d wake up with the body I wanted.”

Pictured left: Rick & I Pre Pump & Shred. Pictured Right: A Year Later. 

You can read my full transformation story here.  And I’ll recap my “year in review” at the end, but for now….

Let’s get to the BEEF CAKE, shall we?!…..
I always think to myself, poor Rick.  He never gets the “real” version of anything.  Pancakes made from egg whites and oatmeal, extra lean turkey, spaghetti squash noodles in lieu of pasta, chicken breasts instead of thighs, cookies that never include butter, sugar or conventional flours….you get the point.  I’ve always wanted to get his point of view and here you have it.
(Buckle up; this is gonna be a long ride)
“Eat Clean. Train Smart. Live Lean.” – The P&S Life.
Bougie Photography 2013.

“In January of this year, I knew it was time to get serious with my training and lifestyle habits.  After a little too much fun over the holidays and my workouts being spotty at best, I was looking forward to stepping up the intensity and focusing on a few goals I had for myself.  At that point, I had been doing CrossFit for a little over a year and the Open was going to begin in about six weeks.  One goal of mine was to do everything I could to help our team at The Combine (CSC CrossFit) to reach the regional events.  That meant more frequency of training, longer duration of training, proper recovery, and of course, proper fueling and nutrition along the way.   

Another goal was to get control of my eating habits. Well, it just so happened my wife, Melisa, (who is a coach for Pump & Shred), was going to do a figure competition in April, so she was preparing for some strict meal plans, and in my mind, I figured, “Why not give it a shot, if she’s going to be eating clean, I might as well too!”  So we started.  

Pump & Shred Photo Shoot
Bougie Photography 2013.

Rick’s Back Story 

I’m going to back up a little now and give you some quick insight on my fitness journey and background.  I played college football about 12 years ago.  I was fast, strong, and YOUNG.  I would of considered myself “bulky” at best.  In fact, a few of my friends use to call me, “fat ass!”  We ate like almost any college student: anything, everything, and as often as we wanted.  We also would consume plenty of adult beverages too; college life!

After college I continued with of heavy lifting, still looking strong, and bulky, but tried to incorporate cardio, which didn’t work.  I tried running three miles with my cousin one afternoon and had to stop four times!!  At 23 years old, and a collegiate athlete, this was sad.  You could say I had no endurance.  Well, things change when you meet the “right one”.  Melisa came into my life, Ms. Endurance as she has been referred to by some.  Over the next five years or so, I started running, and running a lot.  I went from 205-210lbs down to 180-185lbs, I believe I even hit that 179 mark.  I was able to complete three half marathons and a full marathon over these five years, not too mention many 5 and 10Ks.  My endurance was up and I started feeling much better, but when I would get back to strength training, I would see a significant loss in strength, power, and I was skinny now.  Too skinny according to my mom.  

Then CrossFit came along in 2012.  I started working on more power and strength, as well as functional movements, some gymnastics I NEVER thought I could do, and continued with my endurance.  I finally found a place where I felt better with my weight, strength, and endurance. 

Go On with the Pump & Shred….

Sorry I took a side road, but it’s important to know where I was.  As I said, I felt better, but I knew I wasn’t at my best.  Starting in mid January, I set a goal of 12 weeks to eat cleaner and smarter.  Following what Melisa was doing, and without my own official structured plan, I went to work.  Training harder, more frequent, fueling properly throughout the day, and really working on making a lifestyle change.  It was important for me to eat 5, 6, even sometimes 7 times a day, depending on my activity level for that day.  Cleaner eating too, more organic fish, chicken, turkey, and being the son of an ex-owner of a meat packing plant, I still did beef and pork once or so a week.  I was strict on my AdvoCare pre and post workout shakes, and often have an AdvoCare Muscle Gain shake at night, to make sure my protein levels were high enough for rebuilding, recovery, and repairing. 

 I had vegetables at every meal; asparagus, broccoli, cauliflower, squash, zucchini, you name it, I ate it.  Even doing dinner for breakfast and breakfast for dinner, whatever was on Melisa’s agenda, I did what I could to stick to it.  I swayed a little every now and then, but I stayed 90-95% committed to the program, because I felt better, my workouts were better and I was getting stronger, and overall, I was seeing results in myself I had had never seen before.  I’m not saying it was all an easy battle and on occasion I didn’t want to stuff my face with cookies and pizza (mmmmmm, pizza), but I was committed to making a change. 

After the 12 weeks were up, I was able to lose 7% body fat, but only lost 2 lbs and gained about 8 lbs of lean muscle during the 12 weeks.  Not only did I feel amazing, but was able to score for our team during the CrossFit Open workouts and my overall placing in the region was better by over 600 places.  That was huge considering there were almost 2,000 more males competing in our region this year. 

In closing, I want to thank Jessica and Melisa for both believing in me and not letting me quit.  I’m just one example of how if you stick to the Pump & Shred plan, great things can happen for you.  Remember, I didn’t even have my own plan, I was guessing off of Melisa’s, so the results could of been better.  I’m 35 year old now, and I feel better, and believe I look better, than I ever have.  So the next time I bump into those friends I had back in college, we’ll see who will be calling who a”fat ass”!!  BRING IT!!”

Pump & Shred Photo Shoot
Bougie Photography 2013
My Year In Review….
A year later and I am not only still living the Pump & Shred life but I am also helping others live that way as well as a Pump & Shred coach. I am so grateful for the opportunity to share the program with others and truly enjoy working alongside my Pump & Shred sista Jess Clark. Since completing the program a year ago, I have lost an additional 5 pounds, and maintain a body fat between 13-15%.  However, the numbers on the scale and calipers mean nothing compared to the way I feel and the people and opportunities I’ve come across since then.  Livin life Pump & Shred, yo!