We talked with 24-year-old Brandon Newman about his weight loss and physique transformation.
I’ve been interested in fitness since I was a youngster, and it’s always been the light that has guided me along the correct path. I’ve had my fair share of sad times throughout my life, from being clinically depressed to taking various medications to nearly killing myself in 2020. I was also given an inflammatory bowel disease diagnosis after leaving the British Army, which caused chronic pain and anti-inflammatory steroids with awful side effects including cyst acne. At the time, everything appeared to be pointless. I’d been taking this medication for a long time until I discovered one that keeps it under control and restored my life. I believe going through these difficulties has given me the greatest appreciation of how fleeting life is, and in recent years, I’ve made some substantial changes in my own fitness.
I’ve always been a “follow the science” type of guy, and I’ve looked at what works for those who lead the field. For many years, I’d done a push-pull-legs split and worked out six days per week in the gym, but I eventually discovered that it was too much on both a mental and physical recovery front.
I’ve experimented with a lot of different dieting methods throughout the years, including paleo, low carb, and intermittent fasting. What I’ve figured out is that the “if it fits your macros” approach works for me. I also maintain a spreadsheet that will calculate my weekly weight gain/loss and daily calorie intake. The greatest diet is one that you can live with and enjoy for the rest of your life.
I’ve never had a personal trainer, and everything I’ve learnt I’ve learnt on my own through calorie counting to exercise regimens. There is so much free information available that it essentially implies you don’t need a trainer at all. Getting in shape was simply as simple as staying consistent and making good decisions that would reward me in the long run. A solid workout regimen with progressive overload, as well as tracking my calories and macros.
The most challenging aspect of my journey for me was at the outset, when I decided I did not want to look like that anymore and realized I had to take responsibility for my daily decisions. That’s difficult because you understand how simple it is to go home, sit down, and pick the short-term buzz over your long-term well-being. So those early weeks when you have to say no to the things that used to make you feel good are the most difficult. The brain becomes a rebellious youngster. But, if someone asked whether it was worth it, I could answer without hesitation: Yes! When you care for yourself properly for long enough, you’ll get a high that can’t be replicated with drugs or short-term eating. Because it’s well-balanced, I now experience food in its purest form.
I dropped a total of 32 pounds, from 195 to 162, during my transformation. The biggest change I noticed in my progress was in my appearance: people keep telling me how much different I look now. Of course, seeing a bicep vein is great as well. Aside from the physical benefits, I also have more self-confidence and am better at my job; I feel like I’m worth more as a result of it all.
I’m still a long way from finished. While preparing for a vacation to Ibiza, I’m in the midst of a cut phase because I want to be thinner for that. Then, when I’ve shown myself that I can do it and am feeling brave enough, I’d like to start a YouTube channel and some fitness-related social media so that I may assist others in doing the same.
I’d suggest that anybody who is just starting out, like I was, should aim to put themselves in the greatest possible position to make the adjustments they desire. If you frequent pubs and clubs on Fridays and Saturdays but wish to be something different, you must begin by creating the appropriate climate. When you don’t have to continually reject things, everything becomes much easier. You start by deciding that you want a change in your life. Do what’s necessary for yourself before attempting to help others. You can’t assist or love others until you first look after or help yourself.