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 Post subject: Still working on it - a 5-year chronicle
PostPosted: Wed Aug 25, 2010 7:30 pm 
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Stegosaurus
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:00 pm
Posts: 3072
Location: Waukesha, WI
Okay, I've said for over a year I would finally get new pics online, so it's about damned time!

Let's start with the classic shots from the tail end of my strongman days, circa summer 2006 before the repeated back injuries and eye problems. Near the high side of the days of being big (around 272-275 lbs. in the photos), but also very bloated and far from being lean.

Image

Next up, photos from just a bit under 2 years ago. That was the low point - I would injure my back every few months and have to start all over, I was coping with my eye condition early on and still questioned whether or not I should even keep lifting, stress was at an all-time high. Barely trained much during those days, and what training I did, it wasn't very good. Photo is me at about 265 lbs., lots of muscle lost, but got a bit fatter than I was in my first photos.

Image

Then, finally the current day. Dropped about 35 lbs since the photos from 2 years back (came in at 230 lbs. on the mark today), strength is up from those days, and things keep getting better for training. Still not as lean as I'd like (I'd prefer to drop another 10-15 lbs. of fat over the coming year or so to be where I'd like), but I don't feel ashamed in my own skin any longer. It's the start of things to come - the rest of the year is going to be on a mission of rebuilding, aiming to get back to 240 with little to no fat gain while adding more quality mass and getting my strength back to the old numbers. That will also keep me in the range of the lightweight cutoff for strongman (231 lbs.), which I can get down to in time for a contest if I get back in the game next summer.

Image

So, that's how I've been bouncing around this last few years, finally getting my diet under control via cutting carbs periodically and removing sugars and starchy stuff from my diet when I want to drop some fat. I don't have it perfect, but one day, I'll get it there! :)

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"A 'hardgainer' is merely someone who hasn't bothered to try enough different training methods to learn what is actually right for their own damned body." - anonymous


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 Post subject: Re: Still working on it - a 5-year chronicle
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 12:51 am 
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Gorilla
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Joined: Fri Feb 05, 2010 6:37 am
Posts: 800
Location: NSW, Australia
This is the first time i have seen photos of you except for your avatar and 1 with Robert at a store or something.

Your inspiration so much man.You look better than you did in the first set of photos.

Keep up a journal everyday and if you miss a day i will troll you lol


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 Post subject: Re: Still working on it - a 5-year chronicle
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 1:03 am 
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Stegosaurus
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Location: Waukesha, WI
Thanks, Cold Fission! :) Yeah, I now see that for a good stretch, I simply thought "If I keep eating tons and keep getting stronger in the process, it's all worth it", but when you get a kick in the pants and realize it's no longer feasible to stay that way, something's gotta give. I feel MUCH better at a more moderate weight with a lower bodyfat level - I'm doing a slow-and-steady process this time, not the eat-until-I-want-to-puke method that helped me put on 15-20 lbs. in a single year :) When the friend that got me into lifting saw me at 285 and said "Holy shit, you got huge but you also got totally fat!", it made me realize my old approach may not have been what's best. Even if it takes me two years to get back to 240, I'll be content as long as I don't end up feeling bloated and sluggish like I used to. Though, I do have fond memories of those days of eating 2000 calories of junk food at night in the name of "getting huge"!

You won't see a daily log since I'm only training 3-4 days/week depending on my schedule, but nevertheless, I'll always keep it updated here, good or bad!

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"A 'hardgainer' is merely someone who hasn't bothered to try enough different training methods to learn what is actually right for their own damned body." - anonymous


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 Post subject: Re: Still working on it - a 5-year chronicle
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 1:25 am 
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Rabbit
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Joined: Tue Jul 13, 2010 10:08 pm
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Location: Auckland, Aotearoa/New Zealand
Wow, yeah, excellent effort from two years ago, and I totally agree, you look better now than in the first set of photos.

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Ever since I was a child I have had this instinctive urge for expansion and growth. To me, the function and duty of a quality human being is the sincere and honest development of one's potential.
- Bruce Lee


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 Post subject: Re: Still working on it - a 5-year chronicle
PostPosted: Thu Aug 26, 2010 2:36 am 
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Site Admin
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Great stuff son, I am glad you're able to train more successfully, being held back by injury is no fun at all. Looking totally awesome, share more photos as you progress certainly!

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 Post subject: Re: Still working on it - a 5-year chronicle
PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 12:28 am 
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Mastodon

Joined: Fri Sep 08, 2006 10:31 am
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Hey Ryan. You are looking amazing. I really appreciate your gift and the thoughtfulness that comes along with it. Means so much.

Robert has tweeted this forum post..lol

:D

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250 Bench
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 Post subject: Re: Still working on it - a 5-year chronicle
PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 12:43 am 
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Gorilla
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Posts: 600
Location: Belgrade, Serbia
Wow! How did you get that big in the first place by only eating vegan food?! I want some of that mass! I also eat until I want to puke, but I never put on weight :? You've made great progress and you look much better now: still big, but in very good shape. Congratulations!

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My progress pics: http://www.veganbodybuilding.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=48&t=21924
My training diary: http://www.veganbodybuilding.com/forum/viewtopic.php?f=24&t=22216


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 Post subject: Re: Still working on it - a 5-year chronicle
PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 1:32 am 
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Rabbit
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Absolutely stellar! Pretty much the perfect posterboy for veganism ;)

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formerly known as xzebrasx.


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 Post subject: Re: Still working on it - a 5-year chronicle
PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:03 am 
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Stegosaurus
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Were you back problems 1 injury that kept getting reinjured or multiple injuries?

Did a long layoff eventually make it go away?

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"The plural of anecdote is not data." (Roger Brinner)


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 Post subject: Re: Still working on it - a 5-year chronicle
PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 9:29 am 
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Manatee
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Joined: Fri Feb 12, 2010 4:46 pm
Posts: 207
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Looking awesome there! I know what it feels like to finally get back on your feet after being injured for a log time... I bet you feel like a million dollars, congrats!

BTW... what on earth do you eat to get 2000 calories in one eve? :shock:


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 Post subject: Re: Still working on it - a 5-year chronicle
PostPosted: Sat Aug 28, 2010 11:02 pm 
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Stegosaurus
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Posts: 3072
Location: Waukesha, WI
Thanks much to everyone!

Zack - glad you enjoyed the gift, I told Robert to let you know that if you think it'll be useful, let me know and I'll make sure there's more where that came from :)

Vege - I come from a line of people who put on weight just looking at food :) Seriously, though, my metabolism sucks, and I gain weight eating over 3000 cal./day easily enough. 4000 cal./day and above, what I was eating during the bulking years, allowed me to gain VERY quickly, but it came with a lot of fat, too. Finding the best balance has been tricky with my love for snacks, but I'm getting better at it!

beforewisdom - my back issues started with my first strongman comp, tried to hold on to an overhead log press too long, it bent me backward and everything cracked in my back from top to bottom (which stated the issues with a strain on my QL, which still haunt me but it's getting better). Taking the bulk of a year or so off from much squatting and deadlifting has helped, and then having Kirk (trainer and friend) teach me how to stretch my QL out properly and rebuild slowly vs. my usual "Let's get to where I used to be in a hurry" mindset. It's getting better, but that's not to say one false move couldn't re-tweak it again. I just have to be much more careful - after having about 8 re-inuries of it during the past few years, it's a pain I prefer not to revisit!

jcdenton and Northstar - thanks to both you you as well for the comments. For the 2000 calorie meal, you have to consider that I'm surrounded by aisles of all-vegan foods all day and night, so there's temptation everywhere :) Just put a pint of vegan ice cream in front of me, a few packs of vegan jerky and some Go Max Go candy bars and I can make 2000 calories disappear in about 20 minutes. For good, clean, whole foods my appetite is reasonable. For junk food crap, I can eat mountains of it without ever feeling full. That's how I got into the mess of being fatter than I wanted to - when it came to getting strong, I just figured that the more I ate the better the progress, and I didn't pay attention to bodyfat levels until it caught up with me. :)

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"A 'hardgainer' is merely someone who hasn't bothered to try enough different training methods to learn what is actually right for their own damned body." - anonymous


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 Post subject: Re: Still working on it - a 5-year chronicle
PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 3:12 pm 
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Manatee
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Joined: Thu Jul 22, 2010 2:07 pm
Posts: 206
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Wow, those are some awesome pics! You look like a pro wrestler! I bet you could kick John Cena's butt in a heartbeat, lol!

I wish I could gain mass like that...

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Quote from VeganEssentials;

I have made it a habit to get back into the mindset that every workout is war. All-out, 100% do-it-or-die-trying war. If you want to get bigger and/or stronger, lifting won't be fun most days.


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 Post subject: Re: Still working on it - a 5-year chronicle
PostPosted: Sun Aug 29, 2010 11:50 pm 
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Site Admin
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Posts: 21052
Location: Austin, TX
Hey Ryan!

I was away from the computer all week hanging out with the boys in Alabama.

Great progress! I've seen you each of the past 5 years so I've seen a variety of your physiques over the years. You are looking leaner than I've ever seen you. I noticed that the moment I rolled up to the www.veganessentials.com office a couple of weeks ago.

You've inspired so many. That is why I thought about including you in a book 5 years ago and why you're in my current book. You've inspired me and so many on this forum. You've also been on the forum longer than pretty much anyone. Thanks for all that you contribute to this community!

Looking forward to the next workout with you and Kirk!

-Robert

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Check out my Vegan Bodybuilding & Fitness Book on Amazon http://www.amazon.com/Vegan-Bodybuildin ... 497&sr=1-1


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 Post subject: Re: Still working on it - a 5-year chronicle
PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 1:37 am 
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Manatee
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Posts: 402
Location: Indiana
great progress dude.

How tall are you?

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 Post subject: Re: Still working on it - a 5-year chronicle
PostPosted: Mon Aug 30, 2010 2:34 am 
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Stegosaurus
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Joined: Wed Dec 31, 1969 7:00 pm
Posts: 3072
Location: Waukesha, WI
Robert - thanks for the kind words, as always :) You get at least a yearly glimpse of wherever I'm at with my physique, and I figured I was on the right track after you and all the folks at Sequel were commenting back at the Expo in March. Feels good to finally be doing things in the right way this time around! Of course, I still need a crash course in getting to your level of leanness, and just as well, I still want to find a way to bottle your energy as I'd be 3x as productive if I had the drive that you do! :)

xChrisZx - I'm a hair under 6' tall, something like 5' 11.5" last time I was checked. Maybe less now, those years of heavy squatting might have squashed me down a bit more over time :)

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"A 'hardgainer' is merely someone who hasn't bothered to try enough different training methods to learn what is actually right for their own damned body." - anonymous


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