The “Muscle Hustle” Experience! Interview with AT10 Winner Tim Heaton

Here’s your new interview with one of the winners from the 10th Adonis Golden Ratio Transformation Contest.

Today we get to examine the “Lessons Learned” from Tim Heaton who placed 9th in our last 12-Week Transformation contest.

As Tim states in his essay, he is no stranger to hard work. In just 12 short weeks Tim was able to add a significant amount of  “muscle” with the help of his “hustle” mentality.

Coming from a diverse background in both SCUBA diving and marathon training, Tim launched his AT10 journey with a clear goal in mind.  That goal simply was to progress from start to finish.

For a visual journey of Tim’s 12 contest weeks which consisted of: developing focus, overcoming obstacles, and achieving desirable results, simply check-out Tim’s AT10 Pictures:

Tim Heaton - AT10 9th Place - Before Photos

Tim Heaton – AT10 9th Place – Before Photos


Tim Heaton - AT10 9th Place -Transformation Image

Tim Heaton – AT10 9th Place -Transformation Image


Tim Heaton - AT10 9th Place - After Photos

Tim Heaton – AT10 9th Place – After Photos

Tim’s Transformation Essay:

When entering the contest, I had no intentions of winning anything, or placing in the Top 10. This was only meant as a way to progress from start to finish, with a clear goal in sight. Having been an active person throughout my life, I was no stranger to hard work and intensity in training, although I found many obstacles to overcome. From 24-hour fasts and tracking of all food intake, to 6-day-per week weight-training sessions that lasted up to 2 ½ hours, I found the twelve week process more intense than training for a marathon.

In contrast to marathon training, I look better, I feel much better, and most important…I am injury free! After trying a multitude of strength-training protocols and sport-specific systems, many years went by in frustration at not being able to achieve a lean muscular body. I have had more change in the last twelve weeks than ever before. After three years away from ANY kind of training, working on SCUBA-dive boats in the Caribbean, I started the AI program on 13 Dec 2013. I went from Muscle Building Foundation (MBF) to Final Phase. These, along with the other protocols within the system, all seem to be sustainable, incorporating things that work to gain an incredible physique AND strength, yet changes often enough to keep one from getting bored.

But, the biggest surprise and change came from nutrition and fasting. I have learned more about these two things than I ever thought possible. This aspect, especially, has changed my life forever. Sure, I will still eat chocolate, drink red wine, eat a burger & fries or pizza, and indulge in ice cream, but over the days, weeks and months, it will not happen as often (except for the chocolate and red wine – ok ice cream, too). I am truly impressed with the knowledge and support of the AGR/AI community.

I utilized the Forum to gain insight into training philosophy and nutrition from real people who have gone through the process before. The podcasts and information available from the Adonis Index system provided information AND inspiration to keep me dedicated to giving myself a healthy, strong and lean body, along with a well-rounded mindset to train smarter. THANK YOU!!


Tim’s Top Five Lessons Learned:

  1. Muscle Building Foundation is a great place establish a baseline for you AI goals.
  2. The 12-Week Transformation process was more intense than Marathon training.  The only difference is I LOOK and FEEL much better!
  3. 24-Hour Food Fasts and Tracking of my caloric intake, helped keep me accountable to my nutrition goals
  4. Utilize the AGR forum gain additional insight and training philosophy from real people who have already gone through the transformation process.
  5. Listen to the podcast and read the blog posts to remain informed and inspired.

How Low Can You Go? Interview with AT10 Winner Saul Celis

Here’s your new interview with one of the winners from the 10th Adonis Golden Ratio Transformation Contest.

Today John talks to Saul Celis  who placed 8th in our last 12-Week Transformation contest. Saul explains to John his motivation for joining the contest. After realizing that at 193 lbs and 33% body-fat, change was in order; he diligently began to search for answers.  A testament to Saul’s transformation described in his own words is, “I’ve achieved in 12 weeks what I couldn’t do in 4-years!”

Saul found a fellow member in the community who resembled his body shape and began to set goals during his transformation.  His turning point came when he gave himself permission to be light, and began to lose weight in order to reach his Golden Ratio.

Scroll down to tune into the podcast and find out how Saul was able to attain his “Enter the Dragon” look.

But first, check-out  Saul’s AT10 Pictures:

Saul Celis - AT10 8th Place- Before Photos

Saul Celis – AT10 8th Place- Before Photos


Saul Celis - AT10 1st Place - Transformation Image

Saul Celis – AT10 1st Place – Transformation Image

Saul Celis - AT10 8th Place - After Photos

Saul Celis – 8th Place – After Photos

Saul’s Transformation Essay:

I was 193 pounds at 5’5” because of my “addiction” to video games. I played on average 5hrs on weekdays and 16+ hrs on the weekend. A co-worker of mine suggested we start working out. I use to work out in my twenties after I finished my time in the Army. I thought no problem I need to take care of my health. I’m 36 years old and obese. We checked out LA Fitness and signed up. A personal trainer gave me my measurements and I discovered I was at 33% body fat.

That literally meant one third of me was fat. I began my fitness journey  by following basic exercises for upper and lower body, along with a standard cardio routine. I worked out for six months and only lost three pounds. I knew what I was doing wasn’t working. I ended up watching some videos on youtube and that is where I found John Barban, Vince DelMonte, and Patrick McGuire talking about an Empowered nutrition meal plans. I purchased it and saw results pretty quick.

I was losing a pound a week and was really happy about the way things were going. I got down to 155lb and that’s when everything started going wrong. I started listening to people telling me I was getting to skinny. The co-worker I started going to the gym introduce me to a workout called permanent muscle by Ruben Bajada where I “learned” the bulk method. I started that and ballooned back up to 165. I keep telling myself once I’m bigger I know how to slim down again. In the back of my mind I remember looking at the Adonis Index. So I looked into in and it didn’t make sense to me because the principle was the direct opposite of bulking.

Nevertheless, I concluded that you can’t build a house without materials. So I purchased Vince’s stuff, then Kyle’s, then Joel’s, Dave Ruel’s recipe’s which I actually still use. I finally purchased Adonis Golden Ratio but then MI40 came out and I put it on the back burner. I gave myself the permission to be fat again and used bulking as an excuse. I listened to a lot of scientific podcasts and thought let me see if there are any good fitness podcast. I found the Adonis podcast and started listening. Everything finally made sense! I realized that the body stores fat for future needs. I was always scared if I didn’t eat I would lose the hard earned muscle (fat) that I gain. I started MBF and was losing a pound a week using the free advice you guys gave away on the podcast (fasting) lol. When I began the program my weight was 170 in September 2012. When the contest started I was down to 142. I joined contest AT10 for motivation, I never really thought I would get down to 123lb and about 8 to 9% body fat. It was the hardest easiest thing I have ever done but well worth it.


Saul’s Transformation Interview:

See below to listen to Saul’s transformation podcast interview:

It’s All DeGood! Interview with AT10 Winner Mike Degood

Here’s your new interview with one of the winners from the 10th Adonis Golden Ratio Transformation Contest.

Today John talks to Mike Degood who placed 6th in our last 12-Week Transformation contest.  Mike has a story similar to most, he grew up working out  but never really attained the ideal physique of working out.  Granted even as an adult  he continued to follow his passion for fitness by becoming a personal trainer and his wife  a sports nutritionist.  Nevertheless, it wasn’t until he  began following the diet /workout principles of “Eat Stop Eat” &  AGR that his goal of gaining lean muscle mass was realized and John Barban claimed Mike’s Physique as being “Competition Ready!”.

Scroll down to listen to his podcast interview and find out when it comes to lean muscle mass, why Mike is, ” All “DeGood!”

But  first, check-out  Mike’s AT10 Pictures:


Michael DeGood - AT10  6th Place - Before Photos

Michael DeGood – AT10 6th Place – Before Photos


 Mike Degood- AT10-Transformation Image

Mike Degood- AT10-Transformation Image


Michael DeGood - AT10  6th Place - After Photos

Michael DeGood – AT10 6th Place – After Photos


Mike’s Transformation Essay:

I’ve been working out ever since high school with minimal results. There is a myriad of reasons why I didn’t get the results I was after, which was tremendous gains in  lean muscle mass. If it wasn’t my nutrition being completely off, it was my workout regimen being unspecific, my intensity levels to low, improper rest, you name it I screwed it up.
Now, over twenty years later I have finally started to get the results I’ve been working out practically my whole life for. I was introduced to The Adonis Index through Kyle Leon’s Somanabolic Weight Training (another fine workout regimen). He had an interview with John Barban and they talked about the idea of ideal proportions, it totally made sense to me in fact if gave words to the REASON I worked out. Never before had someone made a workout geared specifically toward an ideal proportion. Most workouts are either to lean you out or bulk you up.
So, in the beginning I only bought the 3.0 module, because I was skeptical. I should also add that I’m a certified personal trainer and a strength and conditioning coach and my girlfriend is a sports nutritionist, so we are not new to physical fitness. After doing the strength and endurance cycle and reading ‘Eat Stop Eat’ I started to notice small changes happening. The first thing was my waist began to shrink and my arms and shoulders grew half an inch, and from there I was hooked.
Entering the contest was more of a way to keep me in the gym than it was anything else, I didn’t think I stood a chance of placing. I took the Immersion Prize for placing and I’m doing the Category three workout now. I will always strive to find new and exciting ways of shredding muscle to grow new and improved muscle, but up to this point I’ll have to say the Adonis Golden Ratio has been my absolute favorite workout and my” go-to regimen” for guys who train with me and want to put on lean muscle mass.


Mike’s Transformation Interview:

See below to listen to Mike’s transformation podcast interview:

Pain & Gain: Ex-Rugby Player Tackles the AGR Systems

Here’s your new interview with one of the winners from the 9th Adonis Golden Ratio Transformation Contest.

Today John talks to James Sanders who placed 4th  in our last 12-Week Transformation contest.

James comes to AGR from a very physically demanding sports background including Rugby and Mountain Climbing.  However, he was still looking for other ways to  challenge himself and got some awesome results after tackling our AGR Systems.

Read on to find out how “Pain & Gain” has shaped his amazing physique.

Check out James’s transformation pictures:

James Sanders AT9 4th Place Before Photos

James Sanders – AT9 – 4th Place – Before Photos

James Sanders - AT9 - 4th Place - Transformation Image

James Sanders – AT9 – 4th Place – Transformation Image

James Sanders - 4th Place - After Photos

James Sanders – 4th Place – After Photos


James’s Interview:

How old are you?  26 (25 when I took part in the contest.)

When did you first start working out? If it was before finding Adonis Golden Ratio Systems (AGR) can you briefly explain the types of programs/workouts you did before finding AGR?

I’ve been training in one form or another since I started playing rugby when I was 13. Initially this involved training once a week (2-3 hours) and playing a game once a week. When I was 15 I started playing at a higher level and trained twice a week at the training ground, 2 sessions a week in the gym (pretty unstructured with no real goal or way of tracking progress).

After breaking my leg at 17, I stopped playing rugby and worked out sporadically at the gym. At 18 I went to University and started going to the gym 3-4 times a week. This was more structured although I tended to do whole body workouts.

After 2 years of inconsistent training I started rock climbing. At about 21 I had the bug for climbing and started training/climbing heavily (5-6 times a week). After 4 years of beating up my body I had to stop as I was in a significant amount of pain and I’d come to have a very odd looking physique. It was at this point, being totally unhappy with the way I looked, that I decided I wanted to make a change.

Did you follow any sort of diet programs before finding Adonis Golden Ratio Systems? If so what were they and how did they work for you?

Other than having a healthy outlook towards my diet I had never really followed any specific protocol.

How did you find Adonis Golden Ratio Systems?

I had known about AGR for some time after Andrew Peters (another AI user and former contest winner) had been following the program and made an awesome transformation. This was when I first heard of AGR, however, the concept of ideal proportions are something of which I have come across during my education.

What made you decide to enter the contest?

Andy had mentioned that there was a contest just about to start and it might be a good idea to enter, as it would be great motivation and get things off to a running start. After considering it I thought ‘why not?’ I wanted to see just what was possible in 12 weeks and if could make an as impressive transformation as previous winners. I also knew that it would keep me accountable to myself. Having to put in the work in order to know I’d given it my best was certainly a big driving force for me!

What did you expect from yourself during this contest?

Initially, I tried not to put any expectation on what I wanted from myself. I find that placing expectations can be a route to self-sabotage. It can give you the opportunity to think of reasons why you can’t achieve that expectation, e.g. I’m a hard gainer, I don’t have what it takes to train that hard, I’ve never achieved what I truly felt capable of etc. The list of reasons why you can’t do something are usually easier to come by (for me at least) than reasons you can do something. All I knew was that I was going to give it my all and do whatever it required to have a look that was what I wanted.

How did you fit the workouts into your daily routine?

As I was used to training on a regular basis, usually for longer than the AI workouts take, it wasn’t difficult to train, although it certainly wasn’t the type of training I was used to. I had initially planned to integrate both AI and rock climbing but I decided this wasn’t a good idea. The AI workouts are intense and I thought it would have a negative effect on my training, both rock climbing and AI, so just stuck to AI. It’s probably only now that I can start to think about cross training. This also meant I was less likely to have any excuses for not going and achieving what I wanted. I then trained 4 days a week and did something else, which wasn’t AI, over the weekends. I stuck to 2 days on/1 off/2 days on/2 days off split. I found this worked well both physically and mentally.

What did you do from a diet standpoint?

I followed an intermittent fasting (IF) protocol of 16 hour fast and 8 hour eating window 5 days a week and relaxed this over the weekend, having no set fasting/eating times. Again this worked well as I tended to do more social things over the weekend. Towards the end of the contest I kept my calories at the same level as I had throughout the contest but cut carbs down and increased the fasting window to 18hrs a day.

What did you find most challenging along the way and did you have any setbacks?

There were a number of areas which I found challenging. Firstly when I first started the program I was skinny fat! Although lots of people said I was in great shape, I just wasn’t happy, I knew I didn’t look the way I wanted. I remember my first session in the gym, I looked in the mirror and man did I think I looked bad! I’d even being kidding myself saying that I had a good physique but it was in the harsh light of the gym mirror that I truly realized what I looked like.

I thought about giving up there and then; there was no way I was going to be able to make any serious gains in 12 weeks, let alone place in the contest. But I continued on and allowed myself the chance to succeed; if we don’t start from somewhere then we never start at all! Second, the whole lifting light issue. You have all these ‘shirt on’ big guys who are lifting super heavy dumbbells and I’m there with my tinny 12lbs, getting all kinds of looks – he won’t gain nothing lift those pathetic weights; “go heavy or go home” right?

Again I gave myself the permission to lift light and focused on the contraction; the mind muscle connection plays a big part in my training and I think it can make a huge difference to your results. I think the last thing I really found difficult was actually realizing that at the end of the contest I looked dramatically different during my photo-shoot. Although my body had responded to the training my mind was still in the same place it was 12 weeks prior, thinking I was skinny fat and that I looked terrible. It’s perhaps only now I’m starting to realize that I look OK and have a body that I can be happy with, for me!

How did people in your life react as your body started to change?

Most people had little idea that I was trying to transform the way I look. I kept it under wraps really. I’d rationalized this in two ways; (1) I didn’t want people to know what I was doing in case I didn’t make a transformation (2) It reduced the stress and general requirement to try and convince people that what I was doing is a good thing. It’s all to easy to be feeling like things aren’t going great and if someone then adds that what you’re doing isn’t working you can use this as an excuse to stop.

Also people can become very negative about what your doing as it makes them realize that they aren’t happy with their appearance and rather than congratulating you for your efforts, they want you to feel bad, by saying things like, “What your doing is crazy, not eating at all and doing all this exercise” or “you look ill, I think what you’re doing is not having a positive effect on you”, etc.

For these reasons I didn’t tell too many people and even those I did I underplayed what I was doing. The real reactions came after the photo shoot once people saw the transformation I had made.

When did you realize things were really starting to change?

I think I felt like I had made a change in the last 2 weeks as I started to cut down, do more walking and saw those last few pounds start to drop off. Even then though I really didn’t think I’d make the cut! The night before my shoot I was certain that I still didn’t look great and that things had gone wrong somewhere; that I hadn’t pushed hard enough! Even though a few people had said they couldn’t believe how lean and ripped I looked I was sure that it hadn’t been enough, it’s only now I understand what I’d done, so I’d say it’s now that I’ve realized I’ve changed and that I have a body to be happy with.

How did you feel when you looked at your before and after pictures side by side?

I couldn’t believe the difference, I looked so pathetic in my before photos. But that was exactly how I felt. I was really unhappy with the way I was. I could see the difference in my physique and it was great to see I’d achieved something. I always want more though and I was looking at my after shots and picking fault with my physique, what I needed to work on, what I could have done in the 12 weeks to make it more impressive. But after it had finally set in, I was very pleased with what I achieved. I set out to make a transformation and that’s what I did, I achieved a goal that I’d set for myself. Sometimes you have to congratulate yourself before moving onto the next thing, otherwise you forget that you’ve actually achieved something.

What advice would you give to other guys who are sitting on the fence not sure about entering a contest?

Get yourself entered, it provides great motivation. It makes you commit to the program fully, you have a clear deadline and you know how much time you have. It really does provide you with that driving force that you perhaps don’t get when you’re not in a contest. They are certainly intense and require complete commitment but you won’t regret it, it’s the reason I’m still lean and in great shape. It’s given that start and stepping stone to keep progressing and getting better with each day that passes. The contest allows you the opportunity to prove to yourself what you are capable of and if you have what it takes to be one of those guys with a great body and his life in order.

What’s next for you?

For now I’m finishing off the AI 3.1, I’ve got a few areas that I need to focus on with respect to having a fully proportioned physique so I keep chipping away with that. I stopped climbing while doing the contest but I’m slowly integrating climbing with AGR protocols as they fit really well together. It not only provides me with a great look, but it’s very functional. One problem I had from training purely from climbing were muscle imbalances. AGR has gone along way to even my body out and I feel a lot stronger now. Once I’m finished with a full 3.1 cycle then I’ll think about training using one of the other protocols.

I’d finally like to give a big thanks to all the guys out there for their support and advice along the way; it was instrumental in my transformation. For those guys who aren’t sure about the forums, it’s time for you to log-on. They provide you with all the tools to make your own transformation. A big thanks for all the congratulations and respect I received from the AI forum as well, I hope I’ve provided you guys with information and motivation to start your AI journey! Anyone that wants to know anything please don’t hesitate to contact me. Finally big props to the Adonis Lifestyle Staff for designing a great program which has allowed me to get to where I am today – which is a lot happier! Cheers Guys!!

You can catch up with James in our community. Here’s his profile:

Summary of James’s Best Tips:

  • Get yourself entered in a transformation contest, it provides great motivation. It makes you commit to the program fully, you have a clear deadline and you know how much time you have.
  • Most people had little idea that I was trying to transform the way I look. I kept it under wraps really. I’d rationalized this in two ways; (1) I didn’t want people to know what I was doing in case I didn’t make a transformation (2) It reduced the stress and general requirement to try and convince people that what I was doing is a good thing.
  • I followed an intermittent fasting (IF) protocol of 16 hour fast and 8 hour eating window 5 days a week and relaxed this over the weekend, having no set fasting/eating times. Again this worked well as I tended to do more social things over the weekend.
  •  I gave myself the permission to lift light and focused on the contraction; the mind muscle connection plays a big part in my training and I think it can make a huge difference to your results.

You can get the Adonis Golden Ratio Systems James used to get in shape HERE

“State of the Adonis Union” Inaugural Address by Allen Elliott

“The State of The Adonis Union is getting stronger.  And we’ve come too far to turn back to the couch.” – Allen Elliott, Adonis Lifestyle Ambassador

My Adonis Lifestyle Journey began when I made the Watch List in Contest AT3. I received tremendous support from members of the AI/VI community to pursue my fitness endeavors. After winning the AT7 Open Level 2 Contest Category I'm inspired to support and motivate others to begin their own Adonis Lifestyle Journey.

Hello, my name is Allen Elliott and I’d like to share my “Adonis Lifestyle” Story with you. While stumbling upon the Adonis Index website over three years ago, I could’ve never imagined the incredible amount of success and personal satisfaction this system has provided for myself and my fitness endeavors. As an ex-athlete, I’d hear the horror stories’ of guys who started off in great shape only to be de-railed later in life & never recovering.  Now that training for performance was no longer a goal or requirement, I was desperately looking for direction.  I found the Adonis Index Systems  to be straightforward and applicable to anyone desiring to improve their overall “Look” as opposed to specific performance training.

After completing the First Week of Workouts, I took the plunge and never looked back.  Training exclusively with Adonis Index Systems, I have competed and placed with top honors in Natural Bodybuilding/ Men’s Physique Fitness Competitions, graced the runway in several prominent fashion shows, and have published work as a fitness model. Following the Adonis Lifestyle has given me unstoppable confidence to pursue my fitness goals with a relentless tenacity.

Allen Elliott | Fitness Model Comp Card || Credits: N3K Photo Studios | Bertron Anderson Photography | Michael Martin Photography

When John contacted me and asked if I would like to become a guest blogger on the site, I was deeply honored and graciously accepted his offer. My Goal while giving back to the Adonis Index Community is to: Supply, Train, and Build.

Supply–As a guest blogger, I will post helpful tips for contest preparation, provide insight on making the transition from an AI Contest to a “Live Show”, and share updates from my Journey in the World of Fitness Modeling.

Train–I’ll also be active in the AI forums to chat with members about training styles, body-part specialization within the AI system, and any other topics that may arise that I can help with.

Build–Preparing for the road ahead, John and myself are masterminding to bring you the next Adonis Index workout.  This advanced workout will show you how I prepare for Fitness Competitions and Model Photo-Shoots, Adonis Index Style.

As we carry forward the plans and programs to better help you achieve your fitness goals I’d like to remind you to enjoy your fitness journey, the results are worth the effort. Stay Tuned! The best is yet to come.

Allen Elliott

The Lifestyle of being in great shape: Interview With Jason Gottlieb Part 1

There is some down time and recovery time that we all need after dieting and training hard and pushing our bodies to a new level.

Managing the physical and physcological states after recovery might be an even bigger challenge than getting in shape in the first place. You can trick yourself into thinking that maintaining your new shape is effortless but it isn’t. Staying in shape takes a new kind of effort compared to the effort it takes to get into shape in the first place. This is the elusive state of ‘maintenance’ that seems to be the hardest part for most people.

Jason got into awesome shape

This is the Adonis Index look

At some point you need to come to a realization that it has to become a lifetyle that you live and embrace. It’s something different from preparing for a contest or dieting for a photoshoot. In many ways it’s less strict and less intense, but it’s a new skill set and a new mindset that you must learn.

Once you’ve gone through a transformation you will know what it takes to change your body and you’ll know that you have it in you to do so. Maintaining that new body is a different step entirely. The physical effort isn’t has hard, but the psychological and mental effort will be a new challenge and new learning experience.

It’s not always going to be an all or nothing 100% blitz the way a contest or photoshoot prep is. Maintenance requires smaller changes but ones that must last for longer.

The real game of maintenance is not a physical one but a psychological one. It’s learning to see what you really look like on a daily basis. It’s learning to adjust your daily routine and your social routine to fit with your body ideal goals as well as your social goals. It’s learning to manage your overall stress and pick your spots when to push hard and when to back off.

This is the first part of a two part podcast were Jason and I talk about how he managed his condition and learning to maintain his shape from one contest to the next and got into phenomenal shape and won the open contest. We discuss how he is learning to deal with maintaining his new shape and some of psychological tricks he uses to objectively perceive where he is and not let his mind play tricks on him  (and believe me, your mind will play tricks on you)

This is something we all have to deal with after getting in shape. Making it a lifestyle and having the body you want on a daily basis while enjoying life is the ultiamte goal. Jason has made some major strides to making this a real lifestyle and he shares them with us in this two part interview. Today is part 1.