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Darrin Hills Shares the Secrets of His Amazing Transformation In an Exclusive Interview
What happens if you set an extremely ambitious goal and then you achieve that goal? If you're Darrin Hills, you just move the goalposts and keep on striving.
Darrin Hills is a living testament to the notion that it's not necessarily the specific goals in life that matter, but the journey. Approaching his 50th birthday, Darrin achieved a transformation that has inspired the admiration of so many members of the extended ProSource family.
Utilizing a comprehensive program of clean eating, high-intensity resistance exercise and targeted supplementation, Darrin gained an amazing amount of rock-hard muscle mass and trimmed his bodyfat considerably. When we first met him, shortly after his 50th birthday, he had already achieved physique and performance improvements that would have been amazing in a man half his age. You can read all about that transformation here.
But Darrin wasn't content to rest on his laurels. He knew that fitness is a lifestyle, not an arbitrary goal.
So he simply kept going. Today he weighs 224 pounds and the vast majority of that new mass is rock-hard muscle. It's an amazing story and we sat down with him recently to talk about it.
ProSource: Darrin, we've been following your inspiring story for a little while now, and we're aware that you've made even more progress in recent months. Can you catch us up on how your workout regimen and physique have evolved in recent months?
Darrin Hills: That’s a tough question. I guess I never see myself looking all that great. ProSource is such a well-known supplement company that has customers all over the United States that, in my opinion, look so much better than myself and that I feel work much harder than I do. So to be picked by ProSource for a feature has really lit a fire under me.
I’ve become much more focused than I ever have because of the recognition ProSource has given me. To see the article on the website and the mailer arrive was a surreal moment. I never really felt like I was giving a full 100% seven days per week, but with the recognition it has driven me to give 100% all of the time to see where my limit is. The changes to my program have been very minor; I added an extra NytroWhey protein shake per day, did a two-month cycle of AndroTest, and make sure that every set counts fully. If I don’t feel productive on a set I add another one until I feel like there is nothing left for that exercise. I read a lot of articles about the mental side of training and the one that sticks with me the most is that your final rep needs to be like your life depends on it and then add one more.
You've mentioned that you've had a cold (or two) recently. How has that affected your workouts? How do you manage to motivate yourself when you're feeling less than 100%?
Every day that I miss for a cold drives me crazy. I feel down, cranky, and feel like I’m losing muscle. Eating and sleeping quality declines, it’s tough. I’m usually okay with taking a couple days off for a cold but I take the downtime seriously. I prioritize rest and fluids, and try really hard to eat as normal as possible.
But after a couple of days I go out there and feel myself out by lifting light and working up in weight. Generally I won't be able to go 100% but I still get as much of a workout in as I can, same routine just lighter weight, say maybe 80% of normal and then straight to bed after my MyoZene and a meal.
Sometimes this backfires and a wake up a day or two later feeling bad again but then I just go through the routine again. My mentality is that I am in control of my body and I’m going to win. I actually tell myself that, sometimes with some anger behind it, “I win, you’re not going to beat me! This is my body and my life and I’m doing this!” It may sound strange but I find I need to talk out loud and be a little angry in the weight training world. Adversity has a tendency to tick me off and motivate me. It is so hard to gain and I refuse to go backwards. This may not be true when I have a cold but I do believe that your best days are had when feeling your worst; I’ve won the mental battle.
The last time we talked to you, we were very intrigued by your morning supplementation. You've got a lot going on there. (And you're up very early!) Can you explain how your supplement regimen in the morning sets you up for a perfect mass-building day?
Yes, up early and to bed early, I’m just a morning guy plus my job requires a lot out of me. Even on the weekends I will get up at 3:30, take my supplements, eat and go back to bed. If I don’t do that for a week or two I actually lose strength and weight. I’m asleep, not taking anything in for 7-8 hours and the body needs nutrients, it’s depleted, especially when you work 50+ hours per week and have a very intense weight training routine.
I have two shot glasses in my cupboard, one for night supplements and one for morning supplements. I’ll load them up when I get home while I’m putting my pre-workout together. One of the things that makes ProSource so unique is that you have so many different amino acids and single ingredient supplements in general. This allows me to load up on what works best for me instead of predetermined mixes that have mostly fillers with less than desired amounts of the aminos, nutrients, and vitamins I truly need.
There are articles all over out there that say just eat and you will get what you need. I’ve tried that and had less than desired results. If you are truly taxing your body day in and out then you will need more than most people can eat in a day. I say why not load up on the purest nutrients, in the simplest, almost predigested form. This gives my muscles the nutrients and energy they need without having to put on excess bulk through eating a ton per day. It helps me build and stay relatively lean year around. Only ProSource allows me this option.
Let's talk post-workout. We know you're a big fan of MyoZene. Can you explain what specifically about MyoZene's combination of ingredients helps you steadily maintain growth the way you have?
I’m a huge fan of MyoZene. MyoZene’s formula is based on a rare and highly specialized whey hydrolysate technology, which is a direct result of extensive hydrolysis, yielding extremely low di- and tri-peptides that are absorbed directly into the bloodstream, and are more directly utilized for muscle synthesis.
In the bodybuilding world you can read all about the insulin injections and abuse in the sport. I think messing around with these drugs can have adverse side effects that are potentially life altering. This is where MyoZene shines the most in my opinion. In addition to its unmatched whey hydrolysate, BioQuest MyoZene also contains potent amounts of Creapure® creatine monohydrate, a highly bioavailable N-acetyl-L-glutamine, and L-Carnitine L-Tartrate, which upregulates androgen receptor content and helps augment luteinizing hormone secretion.
MyoZene also contains an advanced carbohydrate matrix crucial to extreme muscle growth. Carbohydrates raise blood glucose levels, potentiating insulin release, which in turn plays a key role in skeletal muscle protein synthesis by activating ribosomal activity and growth initiation factors within skeletal muscle. Elevated insulin levels also appear to prevent muscle protein breakdown, which contributes to the overall anabolic effect of not only insulin but insulin-like growth factors as well. Higher insulin levels will help keep skeletal muscle in a state of positive protein balance before and after a training session if carbohydrates are ingested. If I were to be limited to one supplement, MyoZene would be the one I would I chose.
We read your Instagram posts, so we know you're a serious student of supplementation science. A lot of workout warriors will take a protein formula and maybe a pre- or post-workout, too. Can you name one or two lesser known types of supplements that have had a big impact on your physique and tell us why?
One or two lesser? Everything I use I feel is equally important and/or compliments the other but up until my introduction to ProSource and studying each compound, I can say I was a workout warrior that liked fancy labels with pro bodybuilders on them. What I have learned is the pre-made or pre-loaded post- this or pre- that have a bunch of fillers and lesser-quality primary ingredients.
Lets take ProSource Leucine for example. In clinical testing, leucine has demonstrated a remarkable capacity to decrease protein degradation and improve protein synthesis, especially after intense exercise. In fact, leucine is an essential component to building muscle as well as preserving gains by also providing anti-catabolic recovery. ProSource L-Leucine is one of the few leucine supplements available in a 100% pure, high-potency form.
Taurine is another favorite of mine; This conditionally essential amino acid is the second most abundant amino in muscle tissue and has a number of important benefits to bodybuilders. Taurine has demonstrated profound muscle cell volumizing effects, which can help to enhance protein synthesis. Taurine also provides support as an insulin mimicker, which can help enhance glucose and amino acid metabolism.
These are two of many “lesser” known supplements I take that can only be bought at ProSource. My question is this; do you want a company to decide your dosage because of the many other useless ingredients in their formula or do you want to decide how much of each compound is best for you and your goals? The question is very easily answered in my mind. ProSource has allowed me to set my intake to what works best for my weight and strength gains while also keeping relatively lean.
You're working out in your non-temperature-regulated garage in February! Which is a greater challenge for you -- the cold of winter or the heat of summer -- and why?
Believe it or not the greater challenge is on a nice moderate day. I’m not sure why but the extremes drive me harder. I think it’s the mind state I get in when the temps are really low or high. I generally get all amped up knowing it's going to be a tough one.
I don’t know if you saw one of my videos describing my setup but I do like to think of myself as Clubber Lang in Rocky III, sweating it out in a wet basement with substandard equipment while Rocky had this state of the art facility with all these fans and beautiful women wandering around watching him. You know what happened? Rocky got his butt kicked and went back to the basement to train for the rematch. Once again it comes back to the mental battle. Use whatever it takes to go beyond your body’s current capacity. My main reason for working out at home is due to my location. I live 30 minutes from the nearest gym. My second reason is my job, I work a lot of hours and its easier for me, prep wise, being at home, plus I can focus, no distractions.
Let's face it, you're 50 years old and your physique is astounding. We know you've had great results with the natural testosterone support product AndroTest. What was its impact on you in the beginning and how is it helping you sustain such unusual growth and physical performance right to this day?
Let me start by saying Wow! I like to do a bottle or two of AndroTest every three months or so generally but it had been about 6 months since my last cycle ( I do believe with all supplements you should take a break because the body adapts/adjusts and they lose effectiveness.) I did a bottle in November and a bottle in January and I had forgotten about the potency of this stuff.
Strength increases weekly and my weight has gone up 14lbs since September with a minor increase in bodyfat, about 2%! Unbelievable. I have tried other T boosters in the past and I can literally feel the difference with AndroTest. Stamina, strength, love life, ambition, you name it, it is very noticeable. I’m not sure what effect AndroTest can have on guys under 40 but I think every man over 40 should cycle this 5-6 times per year, if nothing else for overall well-being, not even for weight training, just for quality of life.
We know you're currently in a bulking phase. Do you anticipate a cutting phase this spring? What changes would you anticipate in your supplement and workout regimen to cut fat?
Yes I’m stepping out of my comfort zone and adding a little fat, I’m around 8% right now. I’m always so fearful of not being able to lose the fat so I try to stay lean year round, but I want to hit my goal of 225 at 5% by my 51st birthday. The only thing I changed for this bulk up was more consistent AndroTest usage and one extra NytroWhey Elite protein shake per day. This has boosted me to 224 at 8% currently, so I think it is definitely going to happen.
Five years ago, I was watching the Patriots play some other team and I saw Julian Edelman playing and thought that he looked amazing. So I looked him up, saw he was 5’10” and around 220-225. That’s when I made up my mind on how I wanted to look.
I do plan on cutting this spring for sure. I actually will start somewhere toward the end of March. Supplement-wise I want to add Vectron and not change anything else in my supplement routine. My body still needs everything I am taking now and probably some more if I hit my targets, especially at lower bodyfat percentage. Training wise I will probably change my rest times to a strict 60 seconds between sets and add a few more supersets and drop sets, that should do it.
So many people out there reach the age of 50, they encounter some physical adversity and they just give up. What keeps you going? What single bit of advice or motivation can you offer our readers who are tempted to give up?
Twenty years ago, I was diagnosed with a herniated disc from water sports activities and was told by my chiropractor that it was a good thing I wasn't into weightlifting because I would never be able to perform any types of squats or overhead lifting. What I learned from that is after being aligned, build your core muscles which stabilizes your back. Today I squat 450 and military press 160 weekly.
Five years ago when I started to become very serious about this, I tore 50% of my biceps tendon, opted out of surgery, and can lift just as much on either side. Only missed two workouts, by the way. I don’t think that was very smart but I just couldn’t stop. Granted when I flex I only have half a bicep on that side, but I still overcame it because nothing is going to stop me from progressing. I just want it I guess, it is something I want. I constantly compare myself to all of these younger guys and believe I can have that too. I never stop believing, I also never see what I want in the mirror.
Advice? Do you really want to change? Do you see this guy or that guy and say, man, I wish I could look like that? I don’t have the genetics, I know that, to be a Ronnie Coleman or Dorian Yates, but I do have the desire to create the best me possible with the means that I have. Don’t stop, even if you aren’t seeing results. Change something, just something little and give it a chance to work. Things don’t happen next day in this world, it may be next week or month, but don’t stop. If you have a minor strength increase or see a line you didn’t see before, it is progress. Use these minor changes to motivate yourself to give 110% in the gym.
When you realize the changes are happening, no matter how minor it will propel you to work harder and motivate you even more. When you reach this place, make sure to take the time to rest. I’ve done it so many times; I’m gaining, lines are coming in, I’m jacked and excited and then I over train. Be sure to listen to your body when you know you have been wide open for a month or two. Over training will ruin motivation and gains faster than anything.
Thanks, Darrin! We'll be checking in with you again.
Thank you so much ProSource for allowing me to share my experiences. There is no way that I could be where I am today without your products, articles, and support. You have a dedicated customer for life.