Today we have an interview with Al Sandoval who placed 6th in the Open category in the latest Adonis Index Contest.
Check out his pictures:
And in case you forgot how Al looked when he originally started, check this out:
This was Al’s second contest. He won the transformation category in a previous contest.
There really seems to be a pattern in this. It looks like guys get rid of a few pounds, get into a contest, get lean and then they focus on building more muscle and moving towards a specific shape.
If you’re like Al, you might actually be just two contests away from your ideal body shape.
Al’s Insights from His Second Contest
Al was very proud of his final pictures and incredibly impressed with his first change. He wanted to take some time off, but convinced himself to do next contest.
What is is like going from one contest to another one?
Hard, but doable.
He says motivation was tougher this time. Which is understandable, because putting so much energy and focus into this for so long without any break is really tough.
It doesn’t mean that you will do just one contest and then you are done for the rest of your life, no not at all, you obviously will have to maintain your look and will still have a lot to work on, but getting ready for a fitness photoshoot requires way more energy and attention, which is why most guys don’t do two back-to-back contests.
When you take some time off and just work out and eat to stay where you are, your desire to take your physique to the next level and compete gets bigger.
But Al decided to give this a shot and showed up with some amazing pictures.
During the preparation for the first contest he would look at his before pictures and at his “hate handles” as he calls them to keep himself motivated and to stick to his diet plan. This time he knew he looked good, so there was the temptation to slip a bit, since it wouldn’t do any damage.
And that’s exactly it.
Just because you get from overweight to a decent shape, it doesn’t mean all of your life problems and everything will be solved. No, that’s not how it works.
Once you get over one challenge the next one will appear and so on, this is how you move forward and with a bit of determination you can get some amazing results. Most people will give up after a while, even if they get past the first few challenges…and with that said “most people” don’t have extraordinary results and don’t live extraordinary lives, do they?
Once Al got in shape, his new challenge to face was finding a reason why he should continue when he already looks good, what goal should he aim for.
He decided that he want’s a six pack, because that is something he never had in his life and that’s a goal worth pursing. And even now he is still on track and determined to get to that goal.
The Leaner You Get, The Harder It Is to Lose Weight
To get decent muscle definition and a six pack, you need to be willing to persist and take it further than most people.
This is a point where we are seeing similar feedback from pretty much all the contestants. The leaner you get, the harder the fat loss actually becomes.
When you have to lose 50 pounds, it will be quick and pretty easy compared to slow progress of going from average/lean to ripped/shredded.
Water plays a huge role in this. When you are overweight, your body retains literally pounds of water that wouldn’t normally be there. Second reason why it’s easier at first is because your body has enormous energy storage that it can use. When you get to about 12% bodyfat, this changes. Suddenly there is very little bodyfat on you, your desire to eat increases because your body wants you to eat at your energy expenditure and it’s really hard to limit your calories intake.
On top of that when you get lean, certain metrics like the scale or waist measurement suddenly become useless.
This doesn’t mean it’s impossible to get ripped, it just means it’s a bit harder and there are different challenges you will face along the way.
You may have to reduce the hours of your fasting, you may have to optimize your calories on eating days closer to your maintenance and probably use exercise to create the deficit.
It will take a longer time and will be harder to measure, but you absolutely CAN get there.
Another thing that goes hand in hand with this is the idea of maintenance. Once you go from overeating to eating for fat loss, the only way of eating you need to learn is eating in a way to keep you where you are. Sounds simple, but is tricky.
There will always be some ups and downs, however the idea is to be in striking distance to your contest body.
If your waist is 34, but for the contest was 32,5, you should be able to get there in 4-5 days if you were going to the beach or vacation.
Maintenance allows flexibility in your diet, enjoying more food on a few days and limiting yourself on others a bit.
Take home message from Al:
- Maintenance is a work in progress, a way of living your life
- Muscle takes years to build
- You can get your weight under control in a matter of weeks and months
- Diet should help you condition your body for less food and bring your appetite to its optimum
- After contest aim for staying in ‘striking distance’, meaning you should be able to get to that exact state in several days
- Your new you will be incredible and awesome, you are gonna be happy with yourself once you transform
- You can still enjoy the food you like, Al still eats ice cream, chocolate, just keep the amount in a healthy range
- Adonis Index 3.0 – Workout Al used
- Al’s Fat Loss Journey: Math Doesn’t Lie - Al’s first interview
- AT5 Pictures – Pictures of all contestants from Al’s first contest
Listen to the interview here: