How I Finally got Shredded after Years of Failure

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Hey everyone, in this video I want to share my personal story
of how for 5 or 6 years I struggled to build a body
that I would be proud of and how I eventually achieved this goal.
I don’t want to convince anyone to anything and I don’t want to prove anyone wrong.
I don’t have any agenda.
I just want to talk about my own personal journey and share my own experiences.
Let’s start from the beginning.
Here’s the picture from my very first calisthenics training.
Or rather street workout, because this is how we called it back then.
The picture was taken in June 2012.
At this point I was 20 and I was about to finish my first year of the university.
In the uni I had to choose a PE class and I picked training in the gym.
So at that point I had been lifting weights regularly,
twice a week if I recall correctly, for about 8 months.
I’ve never had trained anything consistently prior to that,
although I always liked to move a lot as a kid.
In my opinion I looked accordingly to what an average person with my experience should look like.
I built some muscle and size overall,
although I had a lot of fat.
Besides that, I had a rather poorly developed chest.
Recently, I’ve discovered that the probable reason for it was my bad posture,
namely pulled forwards shoulders.
I know, I know my face looked completely different
and I actually had some hair on top of my head, not just under it. But that’s irrevelant for this video.
At this point I was a couple of months into a diet that was a very basic bodybuilding diet
of a student on a tight budget.
I focused on eating a lot of protein
and the most budget-friendly products to accomplish that goal
were chicken breasts, eggs,
cottage cheese and whey protein powder.
The rest of the calorie intake was filled with cheap carbs
such as potatos, rice, pasta, bread and some vegetables.
Oh, and quite a lot of booze.
Like the most freshmen did, I was partying a lot and drinking a lot
That’s what we all did, most of us living on our own for the first time.
Somewhere around this time I was introduced to the vegan diet by a friend of mine.
I liked the idea of not having to take part in the factory farming
and getting the supposed health benefits.
So I decided to experiment with the diet and see if it works as people claimed.
At the beginning I liked it a lot and I was discovering a lot of new flavours and foods
such as lentils, chickpeas or tofu.
I kept on training hard
and I was getting stronger and even built some more muscle.
I was really happy with this vegan diet and that’s why I went on with it.
I still didn’t look great
but I thought it’s because I was training for the strength and skills,
not necessarily for the looks.
However after around 2 years of consistent training,
I still looked pretty much the same
Some of you are probably screaming to the screen now:
“Of course you didn’t look very good, it’s because you didn’t eat meat”.
Well, I didn’t believe that to be true, because the internet was full of people
who were claiming that they follow a vegan diet and looked great.
Like this guy
and this guy or this guy
or this guy.
So during these couple of years since I started training
I think I tried every type of plant based diet there is.
I was eating high fat, I was eating low fat
I was eating raw, I was eating cooked
I was eating frutarian
I was trying to limit calories and I was trying eat as much as I could
and nothing really gave me very solid results.
I tried supplementing with protein powders
I took vitamin D and injected myself with B12
Believe me, when I say that I tried everything I could think of to make it work, I did just that.
The best results I had were when I tried eating as much protein as I could.
The best results I had were when I tried eating as much protein as I could.
in large amounts all day in every meal, plus the protein shakes.
I didn’t feel great on this diet though, because I was stuffed and bloated most of the time.
But at least I was putting on weight
although that weight was probably half fat and half muscle.
Apart from trying to optimize my diet,
I started experimenting with my training as well.
I thought to myself that maybe I wasn’t training hard enough
I thought to myself that maybe I wasn’t training hard enough
So I’ve tried all the different types of hypertrophy training
both calisthenics and weight lifting
in combination with various kinds of cardio
and was never satisfied with the results.
Oh and speaking of cardio
during one summer I left the city where I was studying
and went back to my hometown for the vacation
That was more than 2 years after I started training calisthenics
All my workout friends had stayed there
and my motivation for working out was pretty low
so I stopped doing it almost completely
I think I just did some handstand practices.
At the same time I got interested in cycling and bought my first road bike.
During those 3 months I rode something close to 2000km in total
sometimes riding several hours a day
I lost around 15 kg of weight, if I remember correctly
moso of that course in muscles.
These pictures were taken right after that period.
Despite of doing so much cardio
I still had pretty high body fat percentage
Not that I was fat, because I never was
but I was expecting to be much more shredded after doing so much cardio
The muscles were gone, but the fat stayed with me
At some point I just gave up on the idea of trying to make myself look good
blamed it on the poor genetics
and tried to focus on building strength and skills
The next couple of years had passed very quickly
and around 5 years after I began training calisthenics
I started loosing my love for it.
I wasn’t getting much stronger anymore and I felt unsatisfied with the way my body looked
considering how much I was working out.
The feeling of trying to make something work very hard
but seeing no results was slowly killing my passion
At this point I already started my calisthenics channel, so I still trained regularly
but for a long time it felt like I was training the minimum amount, just to stay in shape.
So approximately a year ago
I was at a point where I knew that if I want to continue on the path that I chose, I needed a change.
Or at least I needed to validate the doubts that were building up at the back of my head
What if the reason why I’m not performing
or looking as good as I’d like is my diet?
This question started popping into my mind more and more frequently.
After years of living with the mentality that vegan diet is just as good for developing a body
I really didn’t want to go back to eating animal products again
But I needed this for the sake of my mental health.
So at first I reintroduced eggs into my diet
To be honest, I didn’t see much difference overall
but I liked the way I felt after eating a meal composed of
couple of boiled eggs and a bunch of vegetables
Comparing it to an oatmeal or some other kind of
high carb meal, I didn’t feel so stuffed and heavy.
It didn’t take much time until I took another step forward
and started eating fish from time to time.
The outcome of that decision was very similar
no noticeable changes in my body or performance
but not having to eat carbs all the time was refreshing
This continued for a couple of weeks until I went to travel through Asia.
My diet during that time was all over the place
I wasn’t able to cook for myself, so I was eating mostly street food
which almost always included some kind of meat
t this point I removed all restrictions from myself and ate whatever seemed tasty
Lots of tropical fruit and typical asian meals were the base of my diet.
To be honest I expected to experience more noticeable changes after eating meat again
but that wasn’t the case
I felt pretty much the same and my body looked the same as well
People were always saying that the problem of plant based diet was ‘not enough protein’
but after adding it back I still didn’t see any significant change.
Now let’s fast forward to the end of 2018
My daily life had finally stabilized
so I started to experiment with the diet again
What I knew so far was: vegan diet doesn’t work for my goals
but just adding meat or eggs didn’t change much either.
So I began experimenting with the different approach, thinking:
“what if I tried limiting my carbs”?
I’ve never tested that, because it’s almost impossible to do so on a vegan diet
because all the plant foods are mostly carbs
At first I cut out the products that were just pure carbs
such as rice, pasta, bread and potatoes
When I wanted to eat carbs it had to be something high in protein
such as beans, lentils or quinoa
To my surprise, I started noticing some minor improvements in the way my body looked and felt
With this newly acquired motivation I decided to push this diet to extremity
and eliminate all the carbs, which basically meant a low-carb diet
All I was eating was meat, eggs
fish, nuts and seeds, different oils and vegetables.
And that was the moment when everything started changing more rapidly.
I started losing fat very quickly and the muscle mass stayed the same
or was even increasing slowly
I felt very light and agile throught the whole day
and my energy levels were stable
On top of that, I stopped having any cravings whatsoever
so keeping this diet was quite easy.
Now it’s been around 3 months since I started following it rigorously
and these are the results so far.
I think the difference is huge and now I look and feel
the best I have ever looked and felt in my whole life.
As far as my understanding goes
the problem of my diet wasn’t the lack of protein,
it was the significant excess of carbohydrates
Probably people have different capacity for storing
and processing carbs and mine has to be pretty low.
Others may have it way higher
and that’s why they can succeed on a carb heavy diet.
And by succeed I mean build lean muscle mass
and generally a body that performs well in strength disciplines such as calisthenics.
What is worth adding is that my training hasn’t changed at all since I adopted the new diet
I’m just able to do more reps now, since I don’t have to lift all that fat weight anymore.
Although I’m very happy with the progress so far, I can feel that it’s only the beginning of my transformation
I’m still learning and trying to figure out all the details
but at least I can see that it’s all going in the right direction.
Now to sum it all up, let me just say that I would love if the vegan diet had worked
just as good for my current goals.
I don’t really care about the taste or texture of the meat
I was perfectly happy with these aspects of a plant based diet.
If I didn’t care about building lean muscle mass and my performance
I would probably continue eating this way, because the vegan diet
is simply far better from the moral standpoint.
Of course there’s an argument that there are people who feel the same way I do
but choose to sacrifice their goals for the cause
I honestly admire that kind of altruism
but I just don’t have enough empathy to do so.
The final point I want to make
is that the most important thing that this whole experience has tought me
is that you should never blindly follow other people’s advice
You should just use it as a reference point for your own experimentation
and get to your own conclusions
People are different and have different goals
o what will work for one person, may not necessarily work for you

100 comments

  1. Hey everyone, it's good to be back! Sorry for not giving you any updates during my break, but I needed to completely free my mind from my online presence. I had to resolve some issues if I wanted to continue making videos for you, but it seems now that everything is going to be ok. I was close to quitting from the whole youtube & calisthenics thing, but now I'm back with new motivation and new goals. More details in the video. Enjoy!

  2. you just narrated my life story, i too have tried all different types of diets and workouts it seems to by my metabolism from what i can tell. i will give this a try and follow up with my results

  3. I've been trying to get shredded for 40 years. Now, at 55, I impress more with a full set of hair and a modern undercut haircut than with a shredded midsection. lol

  4. this dude gave out the most obvious fucking advice out there smh, i cant believe people out there re so stupid that it takes them years to understand the proper way of building muscle and losing fat

  5. It's not necessarily morally superior to eat coconut that was imported from thousands of miles away that to eat a mostly grass fed cow from your country

  6. Did you ever count calories? Or was all of your years of effort just intuitive caloric intake? One thing I wanted to point out to you is that, not all "carbs" are equivalent. Some are more complex and have a low glycemic index, others (like sugar) are simple and have a high glycemic index https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glycemic_index This index (along with other factors pertaining to the structure of the food itself, and how it is prepared) can have dramatic impact on the endocrine effects of a food during a relatively short period of time after consumption. Most of the foods you mentioned in your list of things you consume now (the group which produced the shred) including the predominantly carbohydrate items (like "vegetables") would tend to have a low glycemic index. If you want to learn more, look up "Zone diet."

  7. People are commenting on here asking about how many calories did he consume. Let me suggest something based on 30 years of experience in helping nearly 50,000 clients get fit and healthier in the process. IT'S NOT ABOUT CALORIES! I know, you just fell out of your chair and said BS! Well, I use to think the same thing when I first started out in the industry some 30 years ago. BUT, let me tell you this. 1000 calories from processed foods and white carbohydrate foods like breads, pastas, potato, etc. will react differently in your body than high fat and certain protein foods and vegetables. In other words your body processes the foods differently. For example, in the presence of insulin the body CANNOT burn or utilize fat for energy or turn on a process called lipolysis.

    When you eat certain carbohydrate foods you get an insulin spike whereas if you eat fatty foods you don't. So, all things created equal, if you eat 2000 calories per day from one group of good fat foods and low/moderate protein and the right vegetables and some fruits, your insulin/sugars remain somewhat stable which allows your body to turn on lipolysis so fat burning can occur 24/7. So, while you may eat the same amount of calories, you can gain or lose weight based on how your body processes those calories. I've had clients who came to me eating 1000 calories per day from processed foods and bad carbs and I changed their diet to good fats/protein/good vegetables eating 2000 calories per day and they started losing weight. What? Yes, they ate more calories and lost weight. So much for the cutting calories theory to lose weight!

    Much more to this, BUT remember this. Your body handles calories differently from everything that goes in your mouth. Do you want to find out how? Okay, this is for free. Check your blood glucose levels before you eat using a glucose meter you can pick up at your local pharmacy and write down the number. Eat your usual meal and wait 30 minutes and check your blood glucose levels and write down the number. Check your blood glucose levels every 30 minutes thereafter until they return to baseline. If it takes more than one hour for your blood glucose to return to baseline then you need to investigate what food is causing the problem. If your baseline is 90 and you eat and it shoots to 150, then you have a problem food. Figure it out and eliminate the food OR eat less!

    Every person is different and I do this on an individual basis with every single one of my clients. Once you eat a meal and your blood sugars don't spike more than 20 over baseline and/or your numbers return to baseline within an hour you are on your way to losing some body fat. Write down all your offending foods and eliminate them from your diet OR eat less and experiment until you know EXACTLY what you can and cannot eat.

    If you want to cheat with your favorite dessert – take one tablespoon of fiber (Metamucil for example) in 16 ounces of water. Wait 15 minutes then eat your favorite dessert. What? Yes, what this does is slow down the absorption of the dessert which dramatically prevents a blood sugar/insulin spike. What does sugar have to do with insulin? Well, insulin is used by the body to shuttle sugar into the cells. So, if you have sugar above 90, then most likely you have insulin present in your blood. Remember, in the presence of insulin your body CANNOT turn on the process called lipolysis. Also, if you are really having problems losing weight then I suggest checking your fasting glucose, fasting insulin, and A1c. If your fasting insulin is above 3 that MUST be fixed first. To give you an example, my fasting insulin is 1 and I can eat whatever I want to gain some fat in my midsection then I can turn around and eat right, exercise, and within 7 days lose 5 pounds and be shredded. Insulin levels MUST BE LOWER than 3 and preferably a maximum of 2 when fasting. If not, work on getting it down!

    BTW, this only works if you are an otherwise healthy individual. If you have diabetes, high BP, thyroid issues, hormonal issues, etc. then there are different methods you need to follow. This is where you need a professional like myself to guide you so you know exactly what to do for your particular situation and goals! Take care.

    https://www.tbfinc.com

  8. I don't understand why you talk about vegan or carnist diet, it has nothing to do with that… You can have a high protein, low carb vegan diet, with the same macros you have now. Maybe start thinking about macros instead of ideasof "diets".

  9. Even if people are different, its just a variance in some human field. The problem is usually an insulin management. Proven from year 1945 but the social concept of 3 meals a day just does an information block here. So u can clearly return to your vegan diet. All we need the protein intake for is to break them to essential amino, so cover that need with whatever (beans, lentils, peas etc. (watch for soya, especially in US is almost all genetic modified and therefore harmful)) and complete the limiting amino with whatever (for example for legumes is limiting methionin and cystein but u can find these in grains where the limiter is lysin, but theres a lot of lysin in legumes). Then do the most important. Fast for atleast 16hrs each day and only eat through an 8hrs or shorter eating window. U dont need to fast every day, but it is much more easy to make a habit. The goal is to bring the body into a ketosis state where the energy needs starts to fulfill through our fat supplies (and therefore you will lose your fat and get shreded). You will get much more health benefits, for example in that ketosis state the body cleans itself much quicker and better, you will probably feel much more energy and less fatigue etc. Workout at the end of fasting window before you break your fast with afternoon breakfast 🙂

  10. It's easy to get jacked, don't see how could fail with consistent exercise, even a simple home routine can produce great results

  11. Good for you for finding balance. I was a Vegan (non-ethical.. –wild game meat doesn't bother me and i could care less about any one person's carbon footprint) and felt extremely healthy but I'm a carnivore at heart. Although I felt great on vegan, I was miserable until i decided to return to incorporating meat into my mostly plant-based diet. I could care less how shredded i look. I train to compete not for 4% body fat. A little fat goes a long way in attrition. I feel today's social media generation is about extremes. Took me well over a decade to get over this mentality. We often lack perspective when it comes to diet and exercise but to each their own.

  12. so basically going vegan doesn't work lmao reality you need meat to look great i respect this guy for saying the truth.

  13. 6:27 me currently (and in past 3 weeks).. thats why i am watching this lol

    Edit: But i am a student.. carbs are 50% of my daily diet… i dont have enough cash for olive oils and fish… eggs and cheapest hot dogs are my main meal lol and noodles/macaroni of course

  14. My first reaction wasn't that you removed carbs, but you removed a ton of estrogenic foods from your diet.

  15. thank you very much for making this video. I have had pretty much the same experience. I tried all the diets you mentioned. I did have some good success with lots of coconut milk and pea, hemp, and other plant proteins. That was the only way I could get enough calories to gain weight. But it was very high fat and I don't think that is good long term. I eat lots of eggs, meat, and rice now and that seems to work well for me. I tend to need lots of carbs and I do fine. Always had a very fast metabolism. i'm really glad I found your video.

  16. Veganism is selfless.
    Bodybuilding is selfish.

    Of course a vegan diet will not help you build a muscular physic.

  17. 2012 – almost a man, young masculine look, then somehow went downhill into a soyboy… no offense, just looks this way

  18. Excellent video! This is the first time I have come across you and I have been very impressed so thank you! I have been advising my patients about low carb diets for a little while and they have been seeing good results in the same way. Many thanks!

  19. hey bro thats part of the process man,no matter how many videos you watch of people who workout,at the end of the day you have to experiment and keep trying all different types of ways and diets and finally you will find what works best for you we fail and learn theres not one size fits all in fitness we are all different.
    in a way.Great video.

  20. Most Vegans are anemic plus other nutrient deficiences.Humans have eaten meat for 1000s of years.Its essentiel

  21. Try going all carnivore and you will see a very big change in mental state. Vegetables are literally trying to kill whomever is eating them. Chemistry is their only defense.

  22. I have been watching all of your videos and I think they are interesting, this final video I personally think your body looked much better before you new routine. Just an opinion

  23. 57 and 20 years of not being able to get my 6 packs back….until I started intermittent fasting 16 months ago. Add that to your program and see just how easily it is to get even more shredded.

  24. I was not getting the type of body i wanted until i switch to steroids… after that things really started to happen…. hahhah

  25. My mom would always say you have to eat a lot of rice with your meat, and so I just went along with it. Man. Thank you for telling me bro. I'm going to try out this low carb diet.

  26. Animals eat animals ;;;mankind are animals …maybe not all people "need" meat or even if they do, dont eat meat for their "moral" reasoning

    It is in fact good morally to eat meat to take care of oneself to the highest levels they can

  27. Farming kills more living things than all the slaughterhouses in the world and it's not even close. The moral argument for veganism is absurd.

  28. You could always see your abs though… Some would argue you looked better with a bit higher fat percentage

  29. We have similar bodies, and I eat a lot of carbs like bread, rice and pasta. I'm also probably 10 years older than you. The most important is hard and consistent excercice over many decades and enough protein, and not much sugar.

  30. Humans are not herbivores we are true omnivores and thrive best on a mixed diet. This is a biological fact and from a morality standpoint this all you need to consider… The best way to maintain optimal health is to eat a mixed diet of meat and plant… to eat meat in my mixed diet an animal needs to be killed… I need to kill to maintain optimal health. To elevate animal suffering to that of human suffering is to deny your own human existence and what it takes to be the best human you can possibly be. Our ancestors understood this truth and hunted animals to get the nutrition they needed. If they could have existed healthily on plants alone they wouldn't have hunted. I can easily justify this by universalizing it… Pigs, many birds, badgers, bears. etc are omnivores but will kill and eat meat if they can and although they probably have no concept of the notion of morality they'd be morally justified in their doing so because it benefits their existence. Why should a bear go and expend energy trying to catch salmon if they could walk around all day digging up roots and eating berries? 😀

  31. So you decreased your total calories, increased your protein (which sounds like an average cut to me) and probably reduced some water retention from reducing carbs.
    Doesn't sound like any of it justifies getting back into animal products, it's all possible on a vegan diet.

  32. we have the same age and aparently we started training at the at the same time, but i have stoped training now for almost 2y bcoz i never see any change and just been doing a cupple of exercise a week to not lose the strength.
    I nerver regulate the carb i eat, and i eat pretty much a lot of every thing never did any diet either and i always stayed with 15% or more body fat, BUT my buddy that did with me almost the same type of exercises every day for years was vegetarian and the son of bitch always with 10% or lower body fat. we didn't use whey protein coz is extremely expensive here where i live, so he didn't eat enough protein but he could hold up pretty much the body you have now

    every body has a diferent metabolism and we have to find what works for us and don't give up like me coz "i'm destined to have 15%"

  33. To be honest, it's probably not carbs that were your problem. By cutting out most carbs you probably cut your total calories and got into a calorie deficit which made you lose fat. If you had cut fat instead of carbs you probably would've lost weight as well. You could do a vegan diet while both tracking your calories and your protein. As long as you get sufficient protein and you do not increase your overall calories you will very likely stay very lean and keep your muscle even if you eat more carbs than you do now.

  34. very insightful video, thanks man. i feel like our bodies must react similarly to food intake. also 12:30… that fucking honesty dude. i respect that.

  35. You are probably killing less life now than before. "As a a former vegan farmer, I can tell you, beyond all reasonable doubt, billions of insects were killed in the farming of any plant, whether pesto ides were used, organic or synthetic, or protected by predator bugs. All result in the deaths of billions of insects every day."

  36. Answer was at the end, but I think it was important he told us his timeline. I am in his exact position. Everyone body is different. I got fatter when I went vegan because I consume too much carbs.

  37. visit a doctor and do as many exams as you can. a goos nutrologist and a good endocrinologist can do Wonders foe you

  38. Did you use dropping starchy carbs to reduce your calorie intake to create a deficit? You could easily put the carbs back in a different way by eating more dried fruits like dates and syrups like honey and by increasing fats from nuts to create a calorie surplus. So was it truly dropping the bread and pasta that did it or just that your calorie intake dropped? What else was going on, what stayed constant and what were the variables?

  39. Keto is a dumbass diet that shows extreme hardening of arteries in first year. Fat loss for a shredded look purely has to do with being a couple hundred calories under each day.

  40. Thanks man so much out there everyone loves beating there own drum so cool to see someone that gave everything a go and found the best results👍

  41. People dont seem to realize that we've been lied to about nutrition most of our lives. There is no such thing as Dietary carbohydrates in the human body. Tell me where your body stores whole carbs, I'll wait. We only have protein, fat and water. Now that's not to say you should never eat carbs as veggies hold essential vitamins and minerals, but for the most part if you eat a healthy amount of fat and protein and low carbs you'll fall into ketosis. Ketosis is why the fat fell off of him and he felt better. The brain functions better on ketones than straight glucose and the liver is capable of producing all the glucose you need. The only time you should be eating starchy carbs and sugars is when you legit want to store fat. Starchy carbs are like a quick fix drug for your body and since we're all so used to eating 3 square meals of it a day we get fatter because the liver and muscle can only hold so much glycogen or converted glucose. People think that because the body metabolizes carbs first it's essential actually it's the opposite the body runs towards toxins first. Example the body will metabolize alcohol before carbs should alcohol be an essential macro then? Hell no! Our bodies were made to run on ketones guys.

  42. Czesc David! I had the same issues and i used your video to make the change to a low carb diet. And damn!!!!! It worked!!!! Thanks man!!!!!!!!!!

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