Mind Control

Adam Besick was a man at war with his perception of himself and it affected everything. This is how he got into the best shape of his life.

VITAL STATS

Before
• Age: 31
• Height: 6’2”
• Weight: 265lb
• Body fat: 13%

After
• Age: 31
• Weight: 250lb
• Body fat: 7%

Getting Too Lean

In my early 20s I overtrained and dropped my body fat too low for too long (4.1% measure on Dexa scan) and became hypogonadal. I lost muscle and was sidelined for months while doctors tried to figure out what was wrong with my hormonal system. It was a chronic combination of eating disorder and a warped body image. At that point I dropped to a low of 165lb. The depths of mental struggle I went through for six months were serious. Clinical depression led to feeling suicidal. This is where hormone replacement came in. After it was apparent that my pituitary gland wasn’t functioning I was prescribed testosterone and I can literally say that it saved my life. I would like to say I learned a lesson from this episode but honestly I can’t say I did at that point, as I didn’t fix the root problem. The silver lining was that I did gain great empathy for those who go through similar struggles with eating and body image.

New struggles

Years later I was still struggling with body image while at 260lbs. I was in good shape, and strong, but hated how I looked. I completely ripped my left pec major off my chest. Obviously I couldn’t train for quite some time. The emotional struggle was intense again and going through a pretty nasty relationship at the time didn’t help. However, something flipped a switch. I accepted where I was at and learned how to “re-frame” my situation and work on the things I could control. My mom had always preached the serenity prayer to me and it was at this time it actually started to sink in. Don’t get me wrong, I was depressed, I lost the ability to do what I love, but my ability to cope with my depression had matured just as I had.

These struggles have shaped who I am today. By no means have I beaten the mental/emotional battle with body image, but I can honestly say I have a better handle on it. The tools I have learned to cope have made me a better man.

Finding limits

My body image has held me back from progressing. It seems counter-intuitive but in reality many of the things that people think they need to do to stay in their best shape actually hinder their ability to do so in the long run. With my most recent transformation it was a case of working around my shoulder dysfunction as it still is limited even though it’s been put back together. The tools I have learned in that regard, as well as focusing on health first helped me lose body fat faster.

Catalyst for Change

After shoulder injuries I had finally been cleared to train my upper body again and was in the worst shape of my adult life. It didn’t even feel like I was in my body. After gaining more experience in my craft, I needed a rethink to focus on health first, and so that’s what I did. I needed to get healthy, not just look better. I focused on getting a bit more sleep, eating whole foods, staying away from foods that I knew didn’t work well with my gastrointestinal system, and did an appropriate amount of exercise. I added some aerobic conditioning, focused on weight training to regain upper body function and continued to do the same for my lower body. I dropped my blood pressure a good amount by doing this and felt a lot better. The funny thing is my fat loss came at a faster pace than previously.

My supplements

  • Multivitamin
  • Fish oil
  • Greens powder
  • Beef protein isolate

My diet

Meal 1 (1 hour after waking)
40g protein from beef protein isolate (NutriDyn paleo protein)
1 scoop greens powder
1 tbsp MCT oil

Meal 2
170g cooked weight turkey breast
1½ cups sautéed spinach
250g cooked weight jasmine rice
100g avocado

Meal 3 (1 hour prior to training)
8 large egg whites
1½ cups sautéed spinach
100g dry weight cream of rice

Meal 4 (1 hour post training)
170g cooked weight lean grass-fed ground beef
250g cooked weight jasmine rice

Meal 5
170g cooked weight lean grass-fed ground beef
1½ cups green beans or zucchini
100g dry weight cream of rice
100g avocado

Advice to others

The quicker you move from a mental space focusing on the problem to a space working on the solution the better. Aim to be as healthy as possible before you want to lose body fat and or gain muscle. The quickest way to short circuit or to make your results short lived is to put those aforementioned goals ahead of being healthy. It’s great to see a physical transformation, but if you haven’t nurtured your body to a certain extent the results will inevitably reverse.

TRAIN

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