Check out the astounding final photos of our “New Year, No Fear” makeover. The best part: You can do it, too!
They said it couldn’t be done. A physique transformation over the holidays—are you nuts?
No. More like big and hard, boasting a prodigious muscular frame, tight abs and bulging biceps. Happy New Year to us.
Thanks to the leadership and knowledge of Dave Hawk, and a supplement regimen of some of the best nutrition in the world, our “New Year, No Fear” makeover participants made stunning changes. They resisted the worst temptations at Christmas parties and New Year’s bacchanals. They stared down sugarplum fairies and gingerbread men. They looked the other way when platters of Christmas cookies and cartons of eggnog were offered. They hit the gym for a workout instead of watching “A Christmas Story” for the 20th time. They dismissed the Mayan Apocalypse as nothing more than hyped superstition. (That may not be fitness-related, but it is a prime example of their pragmatic instincts at work.) In the end, the hearty men who took on our transformation gave themselves the greatest holiday gift of all: a new, fit, muscular physique.
Sure, it wasn’t easy. Over the past three months, our recruits endured sometimes twice-daily cardio workouts, intense weight training, stringent protein-and-carb restrictions, and other fat-blasting techniques designed by Hawk, a former IFBB pro bodybuilder.
If you’ve been pursuing your own transformation, you know exactly what it took to make it this far. But it doesn’t end here. Hawk insists that you maintain the momentum. “While my program is aimed to help you see awesome results in only 12 weeks, it is a lifestyle program,” he says. “This means that even though you’ve made it to the Month 3 finale, it’s really just the beginning.”
You had a chance to follow along with them. If you did, we’d love to hear about your experiences, and maybe see some before-and-after pics. (Go to muscleandbodymag.com or visit our Facebook page to share your story.) But first, let’s see how our guys did it.
Every Body Type Excelled
All of our participants had phenomenal results, but we want to call attention to a few standouts who made the most dramatic changes. As Hawk has done throughout “New Year, No Fear,” the guys are divided into body types: ectomorph, mesomorph and endomorph.
• Ray, 55, our oldest in the group, lost 34 lb, took 7 inches off his waist and gained almost an inch on his arms and chest. Ray mentioned that he received a compliment from a 24-year-old at the gym, who said, “Hey, Mister, you look in great shape. You train pretty serious. How old are you, 40? I want to get into the shape you’re in. Can you help me find direction?” Needless to say, this made Ray’s day, as he worked hard to change his life for the better.
• John M., 38, another endomorph standout, regularly drove from Cleveland to Pittsburgh to participate in Hawk’s program. John lost an incredible 31 lb, gained 2 inches on his chest and back, and lost an amazing 7 inches off his waist. John did so well he actually looked like a bodybuilder. John’s girlfriend, Diana, participated in Hawk’s women’s program that ran in our companion magazine, WellBella. The couple said that their transformations brought them closer, and introduced them to a healthy life-style that they could enjoy together.
• David E., 29, lost 30 lb, took 7 inches off his waist and gained 1.25 inches on his arms.
• J.T., 26, lost 27 lb, took 6 inches off his waist and gained 3 inches on his chest and back.
• Adam, 26, lost 6 lb, reduced his waist by 3.25 inches and gained a serious 2.25 inches on his chest.
• Glenn, 51, lost 8 lb, took 7 inches off his waist and added significant muscle mass in his arms and chest.
• Giancarlo, 29, gained 3 lb of muscle, added 3.25 inches to his chest and back, and lost 3.25 inches off his waist.
• Chad, 36, added a solid 7 lb of hard mass, reduced his midsection and gained 1.5 inches on this arms. Chad accomplished this despite a bruised rib he suffered in a bicycle accident that almost knocked him out of the program. That’s dedication!
• Mike, 19, our youngest participant in the program, gained 7 lb and took close to 2 inches off his waist, while adding 2.5 inches of muscle to his chest and 1.5 inches to his arms. Now that Mike has built his physique, he wants to take it further and compete in a teen bodybuilding contest. Go for it, Mike
An Upward Spiral Of Awesomeness
What our participants learned is an important lesson of the healthy, fitness lifestyle: Working out is not an imposition that’s difficult to fit in the day. Once it becomes routine, fitness makes everyday life easier to handle. Our guys learned that making time for workouts and choosing healthier foods didn’t prevent them from fulfilling their holiday obligations or detract from their enjoyment of Christmas and New Year’s festivities. They had increased energy, more confidence and a stronger resolve to fulfill commitments to themselves and others. A disciplined life is a happy life. And when you look good, you feel good—and others notice. It’s an upward spiral of awesomeness.
During the pursuit of any goal, especially an ambitious transformation, it’s inevitable that bumps in the road will happen. And it was no different for our recruits. During the past three months, all of our participants had to deal with family, work and school issues. “Some participants got sick, hurt in an accident, injured themselves at the gym lifting, some had business trips that interfered and restricted them from their regular routine,” says Hawk.
Things happen in our lives, and you have to take care of your priorities, but remember that a fitness lifestyle can have a stabilizing effect during stressful times, notes Hawk. “Many of our participants found that their daily workout actually acted as a buffer for everyday upsets, creating a healthy touchstone for calm,” he says. “And with this perspective, you won’t dread a workout—you’ll actually crave the much-needed ‘me’ time.”
Think of exercise and eating healthfully as a way to stay centered, and it will quickly become second nature. And no matter what curveballs life throws at you, your fitness-focused lifestyle will enable you to handle it better. Congratulations! Now keep up the good work!
Photo Secrets Of The Stars
If you’ve completed a successful transformation and want to display that hard-earned physique to its ultimate potential, you need to heed some advice from the pros. As any competitive bodybuilder or fitness model will tell you, there are a few insider secrets to looking your best as you count down the few days leading up to your competition and/or photo shoot.
If you haven’t yet taken your Day-90 “after” photo (and remember, we want to see your before-and-after pics), you may consider trying a few of Dave Hawk’s time-tested tips the week before picture day. “Try these techniques before any big event, such as a wedding or reunion, not just a competition,” says Hawk. “While these tips may seem minor, they’ll make a big difference in how your body looks on the big day, especially in photos.”
• Slash that sodium. It’s imperative to reduce sodium intake the last seven to 10 days before your big moment. Do not add unnecessary salt or high-sodium products to your diet, which can cause water retention and bloating. Eat clean, natural foods with no added preservatives, and if you’re using herbal blends to season your food, make sure they’re sodium-free. For the final weeks of a makeover, use only vinegar or balsamic vinegar on salads and veggies.
• Drink up to a gallon of water daily to cleanse the body of fat and toxins. “The more you go the bathroom, the more you are actually losing and not holding water,” says Hawk. “Then, the day before your event or photo shoot, cut your water consumption in half. Limiting your water for a day helps to tighten you up a bit more.” Note: Only limit water for the day before the shoot or event. Afterward, return to normal water intake.
• Avoid diet sodas. In the final week, it’s important to drink only water if possible, and avoid diet sodas or other sugar-free beverages, as some artificial sweeteners and chemicals may cause your body to retain water. Drinking natural iced tea, hot tea or coffee is fine, but be sure to nix the sugar, artificial sweeteners and creamers.
• Try MHP’s Xpel. Xpel is a safe, natural diuretic that will help you shed those last few pounds of excess water. It’s available at GNC or GNC.com, along with the other supplements used in this program.
• Use ProTan. This self-tanning product was used by our makeover participants, and it’s extremely popular with bodybuilders, dancers and models. ProTan delivers a natural-looking tan that works well to highlight muscle tone. Simply apply in the evening before bed and wake up with a natural-looking suntan that looks as good as a real tan.
The “New Year, No Fear” Power Supplements
• Testosterone booster BADDASS Ignite
• Pre- and postworkout BADDASS Stack
• Thermogenic MHP Dopamite
• Nighttime protein Dymatize Elite Casein XT
• Digestive support/weight management BarnDad’s FiberDX
• Safe snacking BarnDad’s Natur’s Diet Biscotti
• Multivitamin GNC Mega Men Sport
• All-day protein Dymatize Elite Fusion 7
• Natural diuretic MHP Xpel
• ProTan Competition Color