Joe’s Lean and Ripped Transformation

Above is a photo of Joe before (230lbs, 20%+ Bodyfat in 2007) and after (170lbs, 7% Bodyfat in 2008). That’s about 35lbs of bodyfat lost! Note that this is not saying he got all those great results in losing weight and muscle definition on just IF, nor was it an overnight and quick success. Joe put in steady hard work and effort into his workouts, adopted healthy lifestyle habits and now enjoys more success/freeedom/results in finding how IF can work for him! Joe’s story in his own words are below:

As long as I can remember, fitness and nutrition have been a part of my life. I think back when I used to look through all my Dad and uncle’s bodybuilding magazines and pick out the pictures of what I wanted to look like. I used to jog with my dad and he taught me how to train with weights and also how to eat. Back then carbs were king and every weight lifter that knew what he was doing was pounding back bowls of pasta, rice and baked potatoes. I used to take Joe Weider protein shakes to school as my lunch when I was in grade school. Needless to say I was a “chubby” kid. I actually still have an affinity for the old school chalky tasting protein powders; none of that new gourmet flavored stuff for me.

Years went by and weight training and nutrition took a back seat to beer and girls and this chubby kid developed a nice “skinny fat” physique equipped with love handles and pipe cleaner arms. Somewhere around twelve years ago I decided to change and dove head first into fitness and nutrition once again. This time I was determined to get in great shape and did everything I could possibly do, just in the wrong ways. I listened to all the supplement companies and fell into the dietary and training traps of magazines and gym “gurus”. I tried and tried for years , but could never get into the shape I wanted. I felt horrible all the time. I was constantly getting sick and antibiotics were as much of a part of my diet as my daily multi-vitamin. I lived this way for a long time and eventually I discovered The Zone Diet.

Once I implemented the Zone I instantly started seeing results. I then began to cut out dairy and grains, all of my allergy problems went away and my monthly sinus infections never returned. I also changed my training style completely from typical bodybuilding style training to a more high intensity functional style which I discovered through Gym Jones and Crossfit. I was feeling great and looking great and my workouts were going great, but I was getting tired of being a slave to food. Six meals a day, freaking out if I went over that magical three hour mark without food. Worried that my muscle tissue would waste away and my metabolism would come to a screeching halt. I knew I wanted to change my eating habits , but I was scared because things were going so good. Why fix something that isn’t broken, right?

I then learned about Intermittent Fasting from Mark Twight while attending a seminar at Gym Jones. It sounded just crazy enough for me to try. Being someone that likes to experiment and see what changes come about, I jumped into IF full force. I started with a daily fast of nineteen hours and a five hour feeding window, I would train fasted every day and I didn’t cheat at all on the weekends. I kept my foods to Paleo choices with carbs coming only from fruits and vegetables, still weighed and measured to Zone ratios. Yeah, I really freed myself from food, huh? With my work schedule and activity level, this was a bad choice. I used this form of IF for a month and completely destroyed myself. I was unable to focus my intensity on my workouts and my recovery was non-existent. I wasn’t eating enough calories and I was trying to stay to low carb all the time. I began asking questions on the Performance Menu forum and thankfully discovered Mike’s blog and had many of my questions answered by Mike on the forums and through e-mails.

I actually gave up on IF for a few days and went back to the Zone and instantly knew I couldn’t go back to the six meals a day lifestyle. I had finally broken free from Tupperware containers, I couldn’t go back! I read Mike’s blog daily; looking back through old posts I discovered Leangains. This seemed to make more sense to me, eating pre-workout and including more carbs on heavy days. I decided to give this approach a try and after two weeks I can say I have found what works for me. My IF schedule looks something like this:

  • I will fast during the week from 16-19 hours, yes I make it actually intermittent.
  • On heavy training days I will break my fast with a meal of Oatmeal, blueberries, egg whites and walnuts about two hours before I train. After my workout I will have my largest meal of protein, usually a baked potato and a little olive oil on the potato. I will then have another meal of a protein source with sweet potato and walnuts, my last meal will consist of a protein source and usually fruit and vegetables and more healthy fats. I try and have some quick absorbing carbs immediately post workout and then taper down throughout my next meals.
  • On my more metabolic conditioning/Cardio days I will try and train fasted and then have four meals consisting of protein, carbs from fruit and veggies only and plenty of healthy fats .Then usually on saturdays I will do a longer 20+ hour fast and break that with WHATEVER I WANT! That is my day for Barbeque ribs and ice cream, at least that has been the trend the past two weeks. Sundays I get back on track , but still am a little loose with my food choices.

I have been seeing great results with this approach, I am continuing to lean out and also am seeing a gain in muscle mass. My workouts have been great and I feel great again as well. The freedom that IF has given me is wonderful and I couldn’t imagine ever going back to having to eat all day long. One thing about IF is that it is not a “one size fits all” approach to eating. Everyone is different and will need to experiment with different fast/feed/train periods. For example I found that I work well with slightly higher carbs in my diet and can still lose bodyfat and feel good. If at first it doesn’t seem like it is all it’s cracked up to be, tweak a few things . Once the right mix is found there is nothing like it. My wife has also started IF and loves it as well. It is freedom from food , while still being able to enjoy eating.

Joe Waguespack

Thanks for that great story Joe! Amazing and great details about what did and did NOT work for you. IF is definitely a process that needs tweaking per person and activity level, but once you find what does work….the freedom from “tupperware” is a life that full of great possibilities! Sometimes we need to find several ways that do NOT work before we find the perfect plan for us.

If anyone else has their own great success story you want to share with others on losing weight, winning the mental battles, finding freedom and happiness…whatever it may be (and doesn’t even have to be about IF), feel free to email it to me at Great job Joe and keep up the inspiring work down there in Louisiana! (If anyone is down there be sure to stop by for a killer workout at Joe’s place!!)

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