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Body For Life 2003 Challenge
Brandon Purcell's Before and After Pictures
Jan 12th - Apr 6th

My Long Term Tranformation: 2 Years
Weight: 175-205lbs
Bench: 185-275lbs





Recent Photos



If you want to be successfull in your workout program a key part will be supplementation.  When you are consuming 5-6 meals a day you will find it difficult to accomplish without supplements.  Supplements can be expensive though, but with the right choices and shopping at the right place can make a world of difference.  My favorite source is they have some of the best prices around and the service is great.  I will outline some of my favorite supplements and point out the ones that everyone should use no matter what your goal.

The Bare Necessities: Here are the supplements everyone should use no matter what your goal.

Vitamins: Multi Vitamin, Vitamin C and Vitamin E
Essential Fatty Acids (EFA's): Udo's Choice Oil or Stuctured EFA, Flax Seeds or Fish Oil
Protein: sources (bars, powders,..etc): Myoplex, N-Large II, Optimum Nutrition Protein
MRP's: (Meal Replacement Powders): MRP's come in both powders and ready-to-drink versions.  My favorite tasting one is Myoplex. Myoplex comes in many versions (Myoplex Lite, Myoplex, Myoplex Deluxe, and Myoplex Mass) depending on your goal. All MRP's provide a quick meal and all of the necessary nutrition.

Others: My focus in the past has been gaining muscle, the following supplements have been intstrumental in that accomplishment (still working on the full detailed explanations)

Creatine Monohdrate: Phosphagen HP or XP.....more
ZMA: ZMA HP ...more
Glutamine:  Most abundant amino acid found in the skelatal muscle and is heavily metabolized under intense training conditions.  Studies reveal that Glutamine supplementation can halp support recovery after intense training and improve your immune system. ..more
Hard Gainers: The weight gainers of old contained a ton of Sugar saturated carbohydrates.  That is no longer the case.  Look for one with at least 40-60 grams of protien per serving.  My favorite is N-large II, great price, great taste and great mix of contents.

What supplements do I use??
EAS Myoplex Mass
EAS Myoplex Deluxe
EAS Phosphagen HP
EAS Phosphagen XT
Prolab N-Large 2
Prolab Glutamine
Optimum Nutrition 100% Whey
Opti-Pro Meal Bars (taste great)

Viewing by Category: Working Out / Main
August 29, 2003

This last Spring, Body-for-Life was a success but now the summer is coming to an end and it is time to embark on some new ideas for my workout plans.  Last fall I decided to focus on gaining mass and I have the same goal this year but I have different plans to accomplish that goal.  I gained 15lbs last year but a lot of it was unwanted body fat.  I gorged myself for several weeks.  This year I plan on taking the cyclic approach by cycling a high calorie diet two weeks on then a medium-low calorie diet for two weeks for a total of eight weeks.  I have seen similar plans in old issues of Muscle Media, I plan on using those ideas along with a few things I have learned over the last few years. 

Goal: Gain 10lbs of muscle while minimizing the amount of fat gained

Diet Plan and Supplements:  During my gaining phase I need to focus on consuming most of my calories early in the day.  I will do this by taking a gainer shake (N Large II) twice a day. The first around 9-10am and the second right after my afternoon workout. I will also consume a lot of milk during this time to add calories. My last meal of the day should be primarily protien based with a small amount of carbs.  Here is a sample of a days meal schedule during the gaining phase

Morning: Eggs, Wheat Toast, Glass of Milk (~400-500 cal)
Mid Morning: N-Large II Shake with Skim Milk (800 cal)
Lunch: Turkey Sandwich with Apple (~400 cal)
(Workout) ZMA, Phosphagen HP (150 cal)
Mid Afternoon: N-Large II Shake with Skim Milk add 10 grams of glutamine (800 cal)
Dinner: Chicken Breast, Peas, Brown Rice, glass of milk (~600 cal)
Night Snack: 8 boiled egg whites, yogurt (~200-300 cal)
Total Calories: ~3500-4000 calories

Supplements: Multivitamin, ZMA, Phosphagen HP, N-Large II, Glutamine Powder,

I will consume the above high calorie diet for two weeks then switch to a lower calorie (2000-2500 cal) diet.  After the first four weeks of this routine I will examine my gains and adjust the calorie total accordingly. My thought is to try this program for 8-12 weeks and see how it works. I have always been a hard gainer but I have noticed lately that my metabolism has seemed to slow a bit.  I hope to take advantage of this to gain some mass.

Workout Program: The next major part of my mass gaining program is the workout portion.  I am attempting  a low rep, high weight program for gaining mass.  I will start off with a ladder program that works all of the major body parts.  The ladder starts with a low weight, 10 rep warmup to get the blood flowing then uses a 1-2-3-4-5 rep approach.  I will start with one rep then rest for a few seconds then do two reps, rest, three reps...and so on up to five reps.  After the 5th set of 5 reps I will rest for a minute and start over at 1.  This time around I should not be able to get to 5 reps.  I will get to 3 or 4 and start to strain. At that point I will start over at 1 rep and work up until I cannot get two reps.  I will start with a weight that allows me to do 5 full reps on the first time through but only 3-4 on the second time through.  If I get 5 reps on the second time through then it is time to increase the weight for the exercise.  Using this approach I will work all of the major body parts (chest, back, shoulders, triceps, biceps, Quads). I think I will use a three day rotation for the workouts.  Below is a sample schedule

Monday: Chest (Flat Bench or Incline Bench)
Back (Pull Ups or Lat Pull Downs)
Biceps (Preache Curl or Standing Curl)
Wednesday: Shoulders (Dumbell Press)
Triceps (Lying Extensions or Dips)

Quads (Squats) 2-4-6-8-10 ladder
Hamstrings (Standing Curls) 2-4-6-8-10 ladder
Calves (Seated Extensions) 4-8-12-16 ladder

Keys to success

  • Track diet and workouts in journal
  • Plan diet and workouts at least 5 days out
  • Keep myself motivated
  • Get plenty of rest 8-9 hrs a night (good luck with a new baby in Sep)
  • Push myself in my workouts and increase weight

I am in the middle of moving into our new house right now so I may not be able to start full fledged into this program for 2-3 weeks but once I get started I will provide weekly updates on my progress.  My longterm goal is to gain 15-20 lbs of muscle over the next two years by gaining in the fall and cutting in the spring and maintaining through the summers. Using this approach for gaining and the body-for-life program for cutting I should be well on my way.  After my successes over the last few years I think I have the experience to make this happens.  I believe......time will tell if I am right though.

Body For Life Challenge Details

This page is from 2003, I have updated results from 2007 on this page.

Body for Life is a complete 12 week program consisting of workout and diet programs. Many times you see the before and after pictures of diet/exercise programs and you say, "ya right thats fake". Let me be the first to say the the body-for-life pictures you see on the Body-for-Life website are real, as I have witnessed the tranformation of others. People of all ages have taken the challenge from 18-85+ years old. Some of the pictures on the website are truly amazing.

The easiest way to get started is to first buy the book. The Body-for-Life book walks you through the entire process of the program. Also download the exercise and diet docs from the website to help you with your journal. For inspiration read through some of the tips from previous champions.

Other sites worth checking out:
Hussman Fitness: This is an awesome site with lots of information on why this program works. other success stories
BodyforLife Support: Body-for-Life support groups My favorite supplement site
supplement wholesaler Great supplement prices
My Body-for-Life Blog - A journal I started in Sep 2003

Other Success Stories:

Muscle Media: Great articles on workouts, nutrition and motivation to keep you on track.
Energy for Women: Lets face it, womens bodies are different than mens and if you are looking for a magazine this is it. Energy is geared to motivate, inspire and educate women as they energize all aspects of their lives

Nutrition - Sugar and nutrition

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