I’m 5’9” Tall. I started at 275lbs (November 2013, 27 years old) and I'm currently 225lbs current (May 2019, 32 years old)
Before RP I Played sports growing up but was always overweight. 220lbs in HS, played golf and baseball in HS, but never really knew how to train, and had NO clue about diet. After college, I moved to TN and quickly went from 220lbs to 275lbs. Had a gym membership but never went because I really had no clue what to do.
I would prep chicken and rice, regularly with the thought of losing weight, but ended up eating out 3-4 times a day. All fast food, mountain dew, sweet tea, and a dessert with EVERY meal.
I moved from TN to PA for a new career opportunity, and the company I worked for had a few people that had lost a lot of weight. I saw their success, and a few of the friends I made at this new company went to the gym every day after work, so I started joining them. Once I started going with them, I never stopped! That was 5.5 years ago (October 2013).
Once in the gym, I still wasn’t very confident in what I was doing. I spent every spare second of my time researching training on youtube and Instagram. People like Mark Bell, CT Fletcher, Mike Rashid etc. are what got me somewhat comfortable with what I was doing in the gym and kept me motivated. Then I came across an old Westside Barbell video that showed Chuck Vogelpohl walking his dog, and he looked like an absolute monster. Jacked, strong, confident and super intense training style. That’s what I decided I wanted to look like and be like.
Once I started training more like a powerlifter, I kept seeing other powerlifters reference RP & Renaissance Periodization, and Chad Wesley Smith also endorsed it, so I decided to give the RP Diet Templates a shot. I think I stayed with those same templates for over a year. I ended up losing around 30lbs and looking better. Actually, don’t think I even made it past cut 1, but I kept losing weight and changing my physique. In the past, I had followed cookie cutter bodybuilding style diets and could never stick to it. Bland chicken, rice, broccoli, and mustard is what I thought I had to eat, and that would last 2-3 days and then I lost motivation.
There was a few challenges along the way. I had to trust the process. I didn’t think I could eat that much food and lose weight. Pictures were helpful! Some weeks my weight would remain the same, but weekly pictures showed my physique was changing.
The RP Clients group really helped me in the beginning. It helped keep me focused, answer any stupid questions I had (regarding measuring food, recipes etc), and most importantly, motivation! Every time I opened FB that group was at the top of my feed, so it helped keep me motivated and striving for progress.
Had to focus on progress, NOT perfection. In the past, when I “fell off the wagon”, I would completely revert back to my old ways of fast food and soft drinks etc. Once I joined RP, if I ate off template a meal or 2 I would quickly get back on track. At this point, I had to mentally come to terms with a longterm approach to changing my physique and lifestyle. One meal would not define me, or change how I looked. If I had a bad day/meal, I could jump back on template easily. The structure of the template and motivation of the FB group helped me stay on course.
Losing weight and/or changing your physique and lifestyle is about stringing together a bunch of really good days. The more you do that, the more progress you see. I still have days where I eat garbage, but my body immediately hates me for it, and I get back to my main diet.
The choice of foods was the absolute most important aspect of RP for me. I was always under the assumption I had to eat egg whites and oatmeal for breakfast, chicken/fish with broccoli and some rice for every meal after that. Eating this way caused me to fail at dieting 100% of the time. RP gave me multiple choices for protein, fats, carbs, veggies etc, so I wasn’t eating the same food all the time, and I could find specific foods that digested better and made me feel better than traditional “Bro dieting” food. At one point using the templates I would eat steak and spinach for breakfast, and looked forward to it every morning. It became exciting finding new foods I could eat, while still losing fat and getting stronger.
I realized you can lose fat and build muscle. Everyone always says this is not possible, and in more advanced and leaner athletes, this could be the case. For general population and beginner/intermediate athletes though, I whole heartedly believe you can lose fat and gain muscle at the same time using RP dieting methods.
RP Taught me about carb cycling, and that carbs aren’t the devil. Carbs play such an important role, specifically in powerlifting, with recovering properly, fueling workouts etc. My training started improving drastically once I started shuttling carbs intra and post workout. I felt better, got stronger, my physique changed drastically etc.
I’ve met some really cool people through RP. Whether it’s someone at the gym with an RP shirt on, or connecting with people on social media that have also used Renaissance Periodization programs, it’s a tight knit community and I really like bonding with others about their success, and also sharing my experience to help others succeed.
I originally bought diet Templates. Lost weight for a few months straight on cut 1, and ran maintenance for close to a year, but still saw physique changes. After this time period, the macros no longer fit my new body/weight, so I purchased another template with my updated weight. I still follow the maintenance tab for the most part year round, and will do a recomp phase once a year or so to trim back down. I’ve also purchased and used the PL Hypertrophy template to use during offseason, which helps me stick to powerlifting training, but also improve body composition, and increase work capacity.