- Name: Blake O’Guin
Why did you decide to transform yourself?
It wasn’t an isolated decision. My whole life I had an idea of what I wanted to look like. Being in really good shape was always super important to me, however for whatever reason I just couldn’t execute consistently. Furthermore, I struggled immensely with the concept of dieting. I would diet consistently for a few months and then fall off right when my body was starting to see real changes. Every year transforming was my New Year and Summer resolution but something would always get in the way. Last year I made it a huge priority and that is when the transformation commenced.
How did you do it?
There were two absolutely essential elements in my transformation. The most important was having an accountability system that offered me a visual reference of what I was actually accomplishing every month. For me, I started to use a blank calendar that I would fill in every day with a different colored highlighter. I originally got the idea from 24 Hour Fitness. If I worked out and ate healthy I would color the day with a green highlighter. If I worked out or ate healthy I would color the day with a blue highlighter. Finally, if I did neither, I would use a red highlighter.
In addition, I would track which muscle group I worked each day in order to make sure I was developing my body proportionately. This calendar was essential to my transformation. Also to provide me extra accountability I resolved to post my calendar to facebook at the end of every month no matter what. Knowing that my actions every day would be seen by all of the people whose opinions I value was key in keeping me on my best behavior. I believe that creating a system that tracks your progress as well as creating a manner in which you are held accountable to that system is extremely important. If the Facebook scenario is a bit too extreme for you, I recommend finding a trusted friend or hiring a professional that will hold you accountable to sticking to your plan. The first person we break promises with is ourselves.
Any supplements that helped you through your journey?
I generally only use 2 supplements which are protein and a pre-workout. Although I don’t believe that either one is absolutely necessary, I think they can make your life a bit easier. Furthermore, I cycle on and off of each one because the longer you take a supplement the less effective it becomes simply because your body gets used to metabolizing it. I will generally use pre workout for 2 months and then cycle off of it for 1 month. If I need stimulants during this time I will use black coffee before a workout. I generally use protein only when I am trying to “bulk” (increase muscle). If I am trying to lean out and therefore, am on a restricted calorie diet, I prefer to get all of my protein from whole foods.
Give us a summary of your diet plan that guided your transformationI usually eat 6 times a day, I cook almost all of my own meals, and I try to have ALOT of variety in my diet. People very often do meal preparation, and eat sufficient calories. However they eat the same things every day, week in, week out. I try to ensure that I am eating at least, 3-4 different types of protein and 3-4 different types of carbs every day. I also ensure that I am varying up my vegetables. I also cycle on and off certain foods (just like with my supplements). For example, if I have had a chicken-heavy diet for a few weeks, I will spend an entire week without eating chicken. I have found that my body really reacts well to this sort of variety and I think it is very important.
I think one of the other problems I see when most people go on a “diet” is that they don’t provide their body with enough calories or fuel. Even when on the aforementioned “restricted calorie diet”, I am still taking in 2900 calories a day. These are all quality calories from whole foods rich in nutrients. Keep in mind as well that I lead a VERY active lifestyle (therefore, my calorie count is probably a lot higher than many peoples). I have noticed that my body is more prone to lose fat, retain muscle, and “look better” at around 2900 then around 2200 (a number that I was at for a long time).
Give us a summary of your training regimeA lot of people think that I spend “all day at the gym”. Well, that is true but most of that time is spent training clients. As far as working out goes, I only spend about 1 hour a day lifting weights and I usually lift 4-5 days a week. I personally don’t believe in full body exercises as a way to affect dramatic aesthetic change so I split my body up into 5 groups (Chest, Back, Shoulders, Arms, Legs). I usually start my week doing legs as I know it is the most challenging muscle group and the most likely to get skipped if I put it off. I usually do about 1 hour of cardio a day. The only cardio I do is dancing and this is much more than exercise for me. It is by far the most important part of my day. It provides me with both an emotional and creative release and appeals to me in a way that nothing else does. I believe that it is essential to find a cardio activity that helps burn calories and that you really enjoy. This will help with staying lean become much easier.
What aspects challenged you the most?For me the absolute hardest aspect of transforming was the diet. People these days find it hard to believe, but a few years ago I had one of the worst diets of anyone you will ever meet. I would eat candy and cookies for breakfast. I would sometimes eat multiple pints of ice cream in a day. Changing these habits was extremely challenging and took years of trying and failing. However, the most important thing is that I did it. If you have poor eating habits, don’t look for the quick fix. I believe that anyone can change their diet no matter how bad it is, but it takes time, a lot of effort and the ability to get up when you fall down. There is no straight line from point A to point B when talking about transforming your body. You will fall down, and you will go backward. The only reason I got to where I am today is because I never stopped trying. It won’t be easy but it will be worth it.
What are your future fitness plans?Stay humble and stay hungry. By that I mean stay humble about being in good shape and stay hungry to get in better shape. The better shape you get in, the more likely you are to think “oh I can eat this food right now” or “I can skip my workout today” however, every time you take an action like this you are taking a step towards a new habit. A bad habit. The key to maintaining great fitness results is to never be fully satisfied. The second you are, you start slipping backward or at the very least you stop moving forward.
Share a cool fact about yourself
I speak Spanish fluently.
What do you like the most about San Diego?
This is easy one for me. Mission Bay. To me there is nothing more peaceful and tranquil then taking a long walk around mission bay, especially around sunset. The boardwalk and the beach are awesome too but there is just a level of tranquility that I get from the calm, smooth waters of the bay that is unmatched.
Do you have any suggestions for aspiring transformers?
Don’t go for the quick fix, don’t go for the easy route. It will take time and it will be difficult, but embrace the struggle. The true reward that you will get from transforming your body is not how you will look in the mirror when you are done, but the person you will become (within) during the process. The discipline, self-control, and confidence is the true prize that I have yielded from transforming my body.
Top 5 music tracks you enjoy listening to while at the gym?
Anyone you want to thank that has helped you accomplish your goal?
Anthony Kurup and Shawn Hanson. Two of my best friends. Each one struggled with transforming and achieving their fitness goals for a long time (just like myself). Then each one broke through their mental barriers and made a major transformation. Sometimes all you need to see is someone else you know just do it, to realize that you can do it as well.
What’s your favorite local gym, and why?
24 Hour Fitness Balboa. I like it because it is the biggest gym in San Diego and because I worked there for 3.5 years. It will always feel like home to me.