Diet Articles

80 Results - view all

Glory Days Again

Former High School Athlete Recovers His Rock-Hard Physique

Call it "Former Athlete Physique Syndrome."

You see it at every level, from high school to the pros. Athletes live a highly active lifestyle. They work hard, play hard ... and eat a lot. Then comes the day when the uniform comes off. Suddenly, the practice sessions in the hot sun are over, time spent in the weight room declines dramatically. But the former player still eats like an athlete at the training table.

The result? Yesterday's rock-hard athlete is today's soft couch potato. Just ask Anthony Varano.

"In high school I played baseball through my junior year," Anthony remembers. "After that my level of fitness and my health were in a downward spiral. I was working 50-60 hours a week, I had no time for exercise and I was eating fast food every day. My weight skyrocketed up to 235 pounds at my heaviest. My waist grew to a 38 (and getting snug). The gym was the last thing on my mind.

"I was really embarrassed to take my shirt off.  In fact, the 'before' picture I sent is the only one I could find with my shirt off. I would avoid going to the beach or pool with my friends so I wouldn't have to take my shirt off. The other thing that really bothered me was how my clothes were fitting; I had to buy everything big so you couldn't see my stomach bulging out.

"It wasn't until a doctor visit when my blood pressure was extremely high that I knew it was time for a change. My family has a history of being overweight, with all of the high blood pressure and diabetes problems that go along with that. And I was right on track to getting the hat trick."

Anthony knew something had to change. Fortunately, he found himself in an environment conducive to altering the bad habits he had picked up.

"My first year in college is when the change started," he says. "I had to take a fitness class which forced me to be in the weight room a few times a week. This is where I really found out how out of shape I was. During a strength test I could only do 2 pull ups. So I decided to give it my all. I would do a circuit on the machines then move to the treadmill or bike for 20 minutes. After a short period of time I began to notice real results. Before I knew it, I had lost 20 pounds and my BMI had dropped from nearly 30 to 17. Needless to say I was excited and being in shape again was in my sights. I got a membership at my local YMCA and continued focusing mainly on cardio and circuit training. Soon after, I had lost 60 pounds in 5 months and I thought it was time to start working on my muscle mass."

Of course, Anthony's diet needed a major overhaul as well. "I completely revamped my diet," Anthony recalls. "Fast food and pizza were out; fruits, vegetables, grilled chicken, salad, and tuna were in. When I was really craving something sweet I grabbed a  Supreme Protein bar, something I still do daily. They taste just like a candy bar, but I don't have to feel guilty about it because they are loaded with protein and low in sugar and carbs, which is perfect for me. My diet was low in carbs and fats and high in protein. I tried to eat 3 meals a day along with snacks in between.  For my snacks I always found myself reaching for fresh fruit or a 15-gram-protein  Supreme Protein bar ."

Anthony then provided the finishing touches to his radical transformation with his first foray into sports supplementation. "A lot of people were talking about supplements at the gym and I had no idea what any of it was. So I began to search the Internet and read magazines. One thing I saw that was consistent was Jack3d as an intense pre workout supplement. It really jumpstarts my workout.

"I usually stick to  ProSource brands for Creatine , BCAA's, glutamine , and  protein. You can't beat ProSource for quality of ingredients and price. For preworkout supplements , I like to mix it up.  I have tried N.O. Xplode , Super Pump 250, Jack3d, and Xpand Xtreme pump.  By far my favorite supplements have been Jack3d, the ProSource supplements, and   Supreme Protein bar . I use these products daily, some of them I do a 6-months-on, one-off cycle such as the creatine and Jack3d.

Today, Anthony weighs 177 pounds and is a self-described fitness fanatic. He has his old athlete's physique back and he's never been happier.

"I am now one of the people at the gym that the beginners and even veterans come to with questions," Anthony says. "I get noticed much more by everyone, and my confidence has gone from the gutter to through the roof.  I try to motivate everyone I come in contact with, and tell them that if I did it, so can they. It is just as much mental as physical. Even if one person is inspired by my story it would be worth all of my hard work, because I have been there and know how it feels.

I am working on getting my personal training certification as of now.  When I do get it, I hope to be able to inspire even more people to get into the best shape possible. Because this is my passion and I want to share it with as many people as I can."

Friend Anthony on facebook and follow his workout and nutritional regimen at
Anthony Varano

[ Editor's Note:   Do you have an inspiring success story related to bodybuilding, fitness, sports performance or an amazing physical transformation? Tell us about it and send some pictures here. You could be the next Featured Athlete!]

Anthony's Workout Regimen:

  Exercise  Sets   Reps

  Bench press   4   6 to 12
  Incline press   4   6 to 12
  6 to 12
  flies   4   6 to 12
  weighted dips   4   6 to 12


  Bent over rows