Copping Some Size

Daniel Garcia’s lean frame led to a lack of confidence, but he built a world-class physique to serve not only himself, but the wider community too

Art of transformation

I was extremely skinny at school – about 115lb soaking wet – and lacked confidence. I first started working out in my senior year of high school in my best friend Brandon’s basement. We would train together after school, just benching and curling. I was then given a free month’s membership to a local gym where I began to fall in love with training the entire body. I noticed my body was responding and growing and quickly realized the art in building the best possible physique. It was making me a better person and I transitioned to becoming a personal trainer. I began to learn about anatomy along with the role of nutrition in achieving fitness goals.

Policing my fitness

My goal is geared towards gaining lean muscle, yet staying functional. As a police officer in Maryland, I like to view my body as an instrument rather than an ornament. Training has not only been a hobby of mine for over a decade, but also my duty in order to perform my job at the highest level. Being a police officer, I am highly aware that we face many more health risks due to the large amount of stress we face, and the overall nature of the job. It is my hope to reach as many first responders as possible, with the hope that I can contribute to them living a longer and healthier life.

Flexible diet, flexible life

I follow an If It Fits Your Macros (IIFYM) diet philosophy. It has allowed me to sustain good nutrition over a long period. I tried the whole chicken, rice, and broccoli approach before, which I quickly realized wasn’t sustainable. IIFYM allows me to have flexibility with my diet while focusing on the three  major macros (fats, proteins and carbs), but it also allows me to get enough micronutrients and fiber. This style fits my lifestyle well, making it easier to balance eating with having an unusual work schedule. Some days my schedule only allows for 3 meals, and others I can get 4-5 meals. Ideally, I aim to have 3-4 solid meals a day, with snacks in between. I see many people let fitness and diets consume their entire life. They begin to think that they can’t socialize, restrict themselves to certain foods, have to eat every 2-3 hours, and it inevitably diminishes their life. I used to be that guy. Fitness should enhance your life, not restrict it.

TRAINING REGIMEN

My current routine is a Legs, Push, Pull, Rest day and repeat split. I used to follow the old-school approach of one body part per day, but realized I was only hitting each muscle group once a week. Following an LPP approach allows me to get more volume throughout the week, while also allowing me to hit each muscle group twice a week.

Legs – Day 1

Squats or Leg Press 4 x 8-12 reps

Weighted lunges 4 x 8-15 reps

Stiff leg deadlifts 3-4 x 12-15 reps

Leg Extensions 3-4 x 12-15 reps

Lower back extensions 3 x 12-15 reps

Standing calf raises 5 x 8-15 reps

Push – Day 2

Incline DB press 3-4 x 8-12 reps

Flat DB press 3-4 x 8-12 reps

Cable fly 4 x 12-15 reps

DB shoulder press 3 x 8-12 reps

Side lateral DB raises 4 x 12-15 reps

Overhead DB extensions 3-4 x 8-12 reps

Rope push-downs 3-4 x 8-12 reps

Pull – Day 3

Wide Grip Pull ups 5 x 10 reps

DB row 3 x 8-12 reps

Close grip pull-downs 3 x 8-12 reps

T-Bar row 4 x 8-12 reps

Rear delt flys 4-5 x 12-15 reps

Cable curls 3-4 x 12-15 reps

DB hammer curls 3-4 x 12-15 reps

Rest – Day 4

Repeat

Cardio

When cutting: I’ll aim for about 3-4 x 30 minute HIIT (high intensity interval training) sessions weekly on the Stairmaster. HIIT gives me more calorie burn in a shorter time than LISS (low intensity steady state).  When bulking/maintenance: Two 20-30 minute LISS cardio sessions a week for hearth health.

VITAL STATS

Before

• Age: 17

• Weight: 115 lbs

• Body fat: 7-8%

After

• Age: 28

• Weight:

165-170 lb

• Body fat: 11-12%

TRAIN

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