Interview: A mind blowing body transformation story!

“A mans soul is reflected in his body” – Bahai Faith


Today I’d like to introduce a friend of mine, Sean Goodman, who has undergone one of the most dramatic body transformations I have seen in a long while.

Understand something. This is not some photo-shopped image from a Mens Magazine advertising some cure all supplement, but a real dude who I personally know, just living his life every day like you and I.
I haven’t personally seen Sean in a long while, but I was recently on social media and he grabbed my attention with his transformation picture (above). I automatically had the idea for this article, and asked Sean if he’d mind answering some questions.
So here we have it. I asked the basic questions I thought you’d be interested in knowing more about. Pay particular attention to the last question, because it is a shot of wisdom you don’t want to be forgetting any time soon and will help you in everything you do!
Q&A with Sean Goodman
Sean, introduce yourself to the men reading The Art of Selfhood. Who are you, where are you from, all the usual stuff.
I’m a native Californian with a crazy wanderlust and I try to go somewhere new at least once a year. I graduated from the University of California, Los Angeles in 2013 and I have just been accepted to teach English in Armenia for the Peace Corps.
It’s pretty obvious from the picture that this transformation is dramatic. How long did it take to achieve this level of fat loss and what did you do to achieve it?
My health and fitness lifestyle is a constant work in progress. I’m focusing less on the aesthetics since it comes with the work. I’d say that my biggest transformation was my senior year of college, which took about 8 months. I combined a lot of anaerobic workouts and calisthenics, which I will elaborate on later.
Was it a consistent thing? Like did you lose a steady amount of weightmonth by month or did you lose a lot to begin and then it got harder? In muscle building we have a term called “newbie gains” where guys will gain a fair amount of muscle fast, then it gets tough and they have to fight for every oz. Is shredding fat the same?
I’d say it was consistent. I didn’t have a scale in my apartment, but every month I’d go home and weigh myself and I would lose roughly 5-10 pounds. There definitely is a plateau reached in both muscle building and losing fat. My advice for avoiding a plateau would be once you get there and feel like you can’t get to the next step – change up your routine.
My diet has been helping me, so I’m staying consistent with it. But I know carb cycling is huge. I don’t know the science behind it but I’m curious and might try it out myself.
As for working out – change it up every three months. Can you already do a lot of reps? Pull-ups not a problem for you? Well instead of doing many, pull yourself to the top of the bar and stay there for as long as possible. It’s called static holds and it’s what I’ve been doing since the New Year and it’s been awesome so far. Change up your workouts to shock your muscles so you don’t become accustomed to your workout.
What specific role did diet play in the process? What major changes did you make?
I would argue that diet is almost everything. 80% diet, 20% gym. Hell I’d even go as far to say 90% diet, 10% gym. My diet changed 360 degrees. I would do a lot of anaerobic exercises so my metabolism shot through the roof. Now I am still pretty consistent with my diet – breakfast: eat like a king, lunch: eat like a prince, dinner: eat like a beggar. Though I got to admit – I still cheat, I just had an awesome pizza with donuts!
Do you use any supplements to aid you in your fitness goals?
Nothing. Zero. Zilch. I don’t trust anything in pill form – something I developed as a child over a distrust for Adderall and Ritalin. Good food is all you need unless your body naturally lacks something like iron.
And exercise? Talk us through your routine.
My exercise routine is a combination of anaerobic exercises and calisthenics. It’s been years since I’ve gone to an actual gym. I try to workout five days a week, 3 days one hour, with two in between to work on strength. My one hour days will consist of 30 minutes of jogging while sprinting for one minute every 5 minutes. After that I will do calisthenics (pull ups, dips, push ups, squats, lunges, and make variations for all of them)
So now that we understand the physical side of things, let’s delve into the mental. What drove you to do this? Was it a rejection? Was it an inspiration? Heaps of men have the desire to do this but not the follow through, what made the difference for you?
It was definitely a combination of inspiration from friends who were living healthy lifestyles and a lack of respect for myself. I didn’t like the way I looked, so I wanted to change it.
I think the changing of the tides began when I started to feel better after working out, and feeling like crap after I ate bad food or got drunk. I knew I didn’t want to feel like crap – so I started exercising and eating healthier, and avoided drinking heavily and eating fast good and junk food.
How did you stay motivated? Again, many start strong but then gradually it dwindles away to nothing and old habits slip back in. What would you advise the other men out there to do in order to keep on track?
When I wake up in the morning the first thing I check is my Instagram. I follow a ton of fitness and diet accounts showing what hard work can achieve. I see guys like Brendan Meyers, BarStarz, Stregnth Project, and personal friends of mine doing muscle ups, hand stands, L-Sits, and I think – DAMN – time to get to work! I also look at my old pictures whenever I’m bored and know for a fact that I will NEVER go back to my old ways. It’s like being sick for an exceptionally long time – and knowing that you never want that feeling again.
I did three things to keep myself on track, try these out and see if they worked for you:
i) Take a picture of yourself at the beginning of your first workout, and take a picture every month during your new workout and diet.
ii) Weigh yourself every day, week, or month. When I was home for the summer I weighed myself every day.
iii) WRITE DOWN YOUR GOALS, and make a list of your daily activity making sure there is some kind of physical activity involved. Don’t use not having a gym membership as an excuse. Do some push ups and sit ups at home if you have to – any kind of movement is awesome. Your health should be your number one priority. There is a Russian proverb, “Health is greater than wealth.” Understand this, apply it, and you will understand.
How has your life changed since you transformed? Have you noticed changes in your confidence? How does this affect your life in positive ways?
It has changed astronomically. I think clearer, feel better, and am way more confident than I ever was – in all aspects of my life. When I’m done with a workout I feel like I can conquer anything – nothing else has ever made me feel that way before.

Where are you going from here? What’s the next step?
Physically I am happy with my weight so I don’t want to lose anymore. As far as my work out and strength goes I am nowhere near where I want to be. I can do roughly 12 pull-ups – I want to get to 15-20, but I also want to transition from pull-ups to muscle ups. Then I want to learn how to do Russian dips and holding an L-sit for 20-30 seconds by the start of 2016.
What one piece of advice would you give to those who are struggling with their weight and fitness? If you only had one thing to say to them, what would it be?
Love yourself. It’s more important than anything else. Do it because you want to feel better, not because you want to look better. I’ve met some guys who look great but can’t do a pull up or run 3 miles if their lives depended on it. I’d rather feel better than look good any day of the week – and don’t worry about physique. If you take care of your body your body will take care of you.  
So there you have it lads.
Sean is living proof that if you set your mind to something and you have the right motivation, you can basically turn your life around in any direction you want to go. All you have to do, as I’ve said a million times, is put in the sweat.
I said pay attention to the last point because it’s important. It isn’t corny or fool hardy to say “love yourself”. If you don’t like the language, just use the word “respect” in place of “love”. I you don’t love and respect yourself, nobody else will. 
Over the many years of working out I have noticed that I consistently go to the gym when I focus on how good it feels, rather than any secondary goal or agenda.
Human beings crave pleasure and do all sorts of things to get a hit of it. If you can link your exercise with feeling good, it is an unlimited source of motivation. 

In fact, I would argue it becomes addictive and that rush of endorphins and feel good brain chemicals is something that, after a while, you can’t live without.
As always,
Desire. Decide. Persist.

ed, no money for the gym, workout from hom

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