Let me just start by stating that I have never, nor will I ever consider myself an “athlete.” However, my story goes back almost 6 years to when I hit the highest weight of my life, 340 pounds.
I started my journey in the summer of 2011 at Crossfit Virtus in Gonzales, LA when it was only a few months old. I knew nothing about nutrition at the time other than “paleo.” Paleo was what everyone was doing and it was easy to follow and reasonably sustainable, at least for a while. Over the course of just a hair under 17 months, I lost literally half of my body weight. However, as a result of having zero sense or knowledge of nutrition, I lost a significant amount of the strength that I had gained in those last few months. I knew nothing other than caloric restriction and, at the time, was tracking calories (not macros) with myfitnesspal and, towards the end, sub 1,000 calories per day were the norm.
After this time, I knew I needed more food. However, I didn’t know how much, still didn’t know much about macros, knew literally zero about timing other than “eat a lot after you work out.” And, well, eat a lot I did. Over the course of the next year, I shifted my focus from metabolic conditioning to strength and increased my caloric intake. Gradually, at first, but then things got a bit out of control. My strength numbers went through the roof but, unfortunately, so did my body weight. When I finally decided I needed to get things into check and that I was spiraling back into old habits, I weighed in at 270lbs.
My focus shifted, I did a bit of research, I learned about macros but still not timing. I dropped approximately 35 pounds on my own. However, in the midst of all of this, I had been seeing some buzz about Renaissance Periodization. I saw most of it only through some Olympic weightlifting athletes on Facebook and Instagram.
Finally, at a point where I was ready to make a substantial change, I jumped head first into the RP program with Nick Shaw as my one on one nutritional coach. Over that year and the subsequent year, using the knowledge and information that I learned through countless, tireless e-mails back and forth about not only the what’s but the whys and the how’s, I am at a point where I truly feel like I have grown leaps and bounds in the realm of diet and exercise nutrition. Through a series of very specific cuts, maintenance phases and even a couple masses with Nick, within a year I went from a starting high of 235lbs to a low of 173lbs with a few stops along the way for variances in our goals.
It has been just over a year since my 1:1 ended with Nick and I still, to this day, believe that the investment I made into the RP system is the best money I have ever spent on my this aspect of myself aside from my gym membership. The knowledge that I gained has allowed me to tailor my diet to my weight and goals and get in the direction I want to go (fat loss or muscle gain) with precision. I have made more advances in my strength in the past 2 years with having my nutrition dialed in on a scientific level than I could have ever imagined. Just with a few base, raw numbers, I have gone from a best squat of 385lbs at 270lbs bodyweight (pre-RP) to my current best of 418lbs at a bodyweight of 210lbs (a few weeks ago).
Everyone sees the true athletes that follow the RP system and there is no doubt that this program is helping them dial in their nutrition and be at the top of their game. However, us normal folks who just want to work out to be a better form of ourselves are quite at home here as well.