As discussed in Episode 19 of the Wise Eats Podcast:
Back in 2009, I was 270lbs and decided to improve my health.
Over the course of the next year, I lost 90lbs and changed my life forever.
The only thing was, now I was just skinny with disordered eating patterns and problem drinking.
I was lighter and somewhat healthier, but sick all the time and feeling miserable.
It wasn’t until I improved my nutrition and developed a consistent weight training program that I began to optimize my health and finally get the athletic body I wanted.
Today, not only do I maintain a healthy weight, but I’m in great physical shape also.
So, what I’m trying to get at here is that I went from being big and fat, to sick and skinny, to athletic and fit.
I suppose you could say that I went from skin and bones….to….bulk.
Our guest in Episode 19 was Bryan Parady, creator of BonesToBulk.com. He has an incredible story of going from “skin and bones” to muscular and fit, just like I did. We dish up exactly what inspired him to take control of his health and eventually launch Bones to Bulk along with plenty of other diet/fitness tips!
How Bryan Became Passionate About Health & Fitness
Bryan: “I was about 21 years old and not into fitness or health at all. I weighed 118 pounds. I was a tiny dude and somebody recommended I watch the Rocky movies. I’d never seen them and so I watched and absolutely loved them. I think I binged them all in one week. By the time I was done watching I was like I want to be buff. I want to look like Sylvester Stallone. So, the very next day, I went out to a sporting goods store, bought a bench and some weights and set it up in my house and just went at it!”
“I did every single thing wrong you can imagine from lifting to nutrition to everything. I just had no clue what I was doing. It was probably about six months in where I had been consecutively lifting four or five days a week and saw just absolutely no progress. That’s when it kind of came to a head. I was like okay I can either stop and figure out what in the world I’m doing or I can give up and so I was like let’s go all in let’s try to figure this out. That’s when I really started researching and getting into the nutrition side and how to properly lift and it was from that point that I began to start seeing change over the long term”.
Personal Training Experience
Bryan has been personal training for about 4 years and initially got into it because it’s something he loves and wanted to get credentials behind his name. He’s coached around 50 clients one-on-one and countless more through group settings. He offers personalized coaching and regimens on his website, BonestoBulk.com.
Biggest Mistake Among Fitness Clients?
Nutrition is by far the biggest mistake, especially when you’re trying to gain muscle. There’s a lot of misinformation in the weight loss realm, as well, but especially in muscle building. Most people think you just need to start drinking more protein shakes and get in the gym and that’s simply not enough.
Advice for Aspiring Personal Trainers?
Bryan: “Go into it open-minded and ready to learn everything you can. Usually, the agencies provide really good study material as far as getting certified and passing the exam. From there, it’s really a matter of taking what you know personally and applying it. It’s not so much having a lot of the head knowledge as having that personal touch. You know what you’ve been through and that’s really gonna draw people to you. You can google just about anything out there but having someone who’s actually lived the journey and walked through what you’re trying to teach others that adds so much. So, really dive into that aspect of it and offer yourself because people are gonna be drawn to your story and your personality and what you have to offer”.
Advice for Muscle-Building Beginners?
A common misconception I see is that to build muscle you just need to eat as many calories as possible regardless of the source. I used to have a bad sweet tooth and would just eat sleeves of Oreos at a time. Trying to break the mindset of “dirty bulking” is what I find most often with beginners. It’s not about just how much you eat but you’ve got to be eating the right things along with the right quantities.
Advice for Intermediate/Advanced?
Once you’ve lifted for a while your muscle building progress begins to slow a bit. Similar with weight loss. Learning how to figure out those fine tweaks to continue making progress is what I do most often with intermediate to advanced weight lifters. It ends up being small things like adding extra healthy snacks, focusing more on form, and slowing down on repetitions to increase time under tension.
One way to accomplish this is known as the squeeze method. This is where you squeeze the weights as hard as possible to increase blood flow and increase the muscle stretch. As we get more advanced, we focus too much on numbers and hitting a new personal record. Sometimes it’s better to lower the weight and pump out 10 really good, slow form reps.
Your Current Training Regimen?
Bryan: “I’m currently doing a push-pull leg split. So, I do six days a week push-pull-legs push-pull-legs and I vary my exercises from the first half of the week to the last half. Some exercises stay the same and some I switch up. I found it to be really good overall and it’s hitting all your muscle groups twice a week which makes a huge difference. It’s early on but so far I’ve really likes the results I’ve gotten from it”.
Your Current Fitness Goals?
2019 was rough. I suffered a pulled bicep tendon and then got really sick toward the end of the year. This year, I want to focus more on my overall health, avoid injury, and re-build my strength. I think listening to my body will make a huge difference. Being really in tune with each workout and how my body feels and responds.
What is Your WHY for Bones to Bulk?
I want to be a good example to my audience and represent what I preach. I also want to be a good example to my two daughters (seven and three years old). I have a home gym that I work out in and sometimes they’ll come out there to lift dumbbells and I’ll show them some things. My older daughter is already very conscious of what she eats, so, I want to be a good example to them and try not to force anything because it’s important for them to make their own decisions at this age. Also, I always say that I want to be one of those 80 year old guys who’s still crushing it in the gym.
Balancing Work, Family & Passion for Fitness
Strict time management and team work with my wife are crucial! We both work full-time and take care of the kids. Physical health is important to both of us which is critical to be able to handle the load. Each week, we have a meeting where we discuss everything we have going on for the week and plan it out. Then, usually on Saturday nights, we put the kids to bed and go to town working on our businesses. We find that time to be more rewarding than going out or watching Netflix.
My day usually starts at 4am. We’re not always perfect with that! My wife goes to the gym while I spend some time reading and working on personal development. If that’s not done first thing in the morning it’s not going to happen. As soon as she gets home, I leave for work. I come home from work then hit the gym with the kids. Home from gym, have dinner, family time, work on our businesses, then go to bed pretty early.
A Normal Diet Day for You?
It’s a little different right now because I decided to go vegan for the month of January! But here is a typical day:
Breakfast: Oatmeal or granola with some fruit like a banana. Mid-morning I’ll have some berries and tree nuts.
Lunch: Pasta, chicken, homemade tomato sauce made with olive oil. Lunches are usually pretty calorie heavy. One of my favorite pastas is made out of soy beans which adds extra protein.
Snack: This varies quite a bit. Sometimes a protein bar or sometimes dates with peanut butter spread on them.
Post-Workout: Protein Shake.
Dinner: Lots of variety here. We do lots of stir fries. Chicken and veggies over rice or quinoa. We love to do turkey chili. Also tacos with beans, corn, chicken, or turkey with whole wheat tortillas and lots of veggies.
Snack: Toast with peanut butter and banana slices or a protein shake.
Biggest Factor Holding You Back from Getting Healthy?: My mindset. Lots of self-doubt and self-esteem issues.
Favorite Exercise Routine or Program?: Push-Pull Split and Chest/Triceps Day.
Favorite Specific Lift?: Bench Press or Standing Overhead Press
Favorite Healthy Recipe?: A chicken-pasta-hummus recipe:
- Cook spaghetti and chicken separately. Have those ready to go.
- In a big frying pan, mix some pasta sauce with a cup of hummus
- Dice grape tomatoes, spinach, garlic, mushrooms and add to pan
- Mix in pasta and chicken
- Sounds kind of weird with the hummus but it’s delicious!
Favorite Un-Wise Choice?: Either pizza or soft baked chocolate chip cookies.
Favorite Recipe for Success?: Consistency. Breaking a habit for just one or two days can easily turn into weeks or months. So, whatever your goal is, just stay consistent with it.
One Item in Your Kitchen You Can’t Live Without?: Food-wise it would be whole wheat pasta. Tool-wise it would be T-Fal pans. Nothing sticks to them and they’re not too expensive.
Favorite Source of Inspiration?: Gary Vaynerchuk. I also love audiobooks. I really enjoyed Bear Grylls’ book called “Mud, Sweat and Tears”.
Favorite Workout Music?: There’s so many. Imagine Dragons, Red, Skillet are a few.
One Song You Refuse to Take Off Your Playlist?: Spaz Out by Army of the Pharaohs.
Food You Recommend to Clients Most Often?: Quinoa. Very underrated health food. Great source of complex carbs and protein.
One Last Piece of Advice?: Don’t feel like you need to have everything together before you start. When I start a project, I want everything figured out before I ever start it. That’s usually so detrimental because we’re never gonna have it all figured out before we start. We learn so much as we go, so take what you already know and get going. Once you do, you’ll be amazed at how things begin to snowball and you’ll begin to learn new things and it will also give you the confidence to just keep growing and learning.
Also, don’t ever think you’ve arrived or “made it”. There’s always more to learn, not only in fitness but in anything.
Your New Year’s Resolution?: I have lots of things I want to accomplish with my family and finances, but for fitness I want to be in the best shape of my life at the end of 2020.
“No matter what obstacles are in your mind, what things are stressing you out or you feel like you just can’t overcome…you CAN accomplish ANY goal that you set your mind to. You’ve got this!” – Bryan Parady
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