Here’s your latest essay interview with 6th place winner Colin Doyle from the 14th Adonis Golden Ratio Transformation Contest.
Colin’s Transformation Interview:
1- What workout or nutrition routine did you do before Adonis Golden Ratio (AGR) System? What kind of results did you get?
Before I discovered AGR I had never done any regular workout routine. I used to play various sports quite regularly up until about six or seven years ago, such as soccer, swimming, surfing and lots of other ad hoc sports when the opportunity arose. When I started to slow down, as work and family began to consume more of my time, I started playing squash once or twice a week. But all of this was just general activity to maintain some semblance of fitness. I had never really worked out properly, and had never been a member of a gym. Honestly, I thought that just wasn’t for me.
With regards nutrition, I had never followed any kind of formal nutrition routine. I have always eaten a fairly balanced and healthy diet – lots of vegetables, never too much junk food – but as I got older the fact is that every biscuit or pint ends up going straight to the gut. I’ve always had a sweet tooth and have a fairly hearty appetite for social boozing. I could keep the impact of this relatively in check when I was more active and younger, but in the last few years this lack of routine (and knowledge) meant that my belly had quite literally gotten out of hand. Out of both hands actually!
2- How did you find out about AGR?
I think it was Google. Last November something just clicked in my head and I decided I wanted to primarily get rid of my belly, and secondly become more fit. Honestly at that point I figured I was too far gone to actually get into really good shape. I just wanted to lose the belly. That seemed like a monumental task at the time and so I wasn’t really thinking about weights or getting into optimal shape. But when I found AGR I just knew instantly that this was what I was looking for.
3- What was most appealing to you about AGR?
The most appealing thing to me was how pragmatic the system is. There was no fluff, quick fixes, or short-term-easy-results promised. The message was simple and easy to understand: eat less, work out more. But the important feature was that once you got that simple message, AGR has the full apparatus to help you achieve this, namely:
- The nutrition calculator: to give you plain and simple guidance on your diet.
- The workout programs: based on your specific measurements, and excellently tailored to progress you toward the perfect physique. I loved the fact that there were exact measurements for the Golden Ratio too, so you could measure progress.
- The member community, forums and blogs: originally I didn’t think this was for me. I had thought I was on a solo journey, all about me. But the community is absolutely vital, and extremely valuable. The contributions from all of the other members proved immeasurably helpful and instructive. The questions, pointers, solidarity, guidance and support from fellow members is so important that I do not think that I would have made as much progress without it. For that I am extremely grateful to all my fellow members who regularly contribute and help others – a huge thank you to all those guys!
- The podcasts, particularly the whole backlog of coaching calls: when I started to make progress I started to really believe I could go the whole distance, and become Golden. Listening through the whole backlog of podcasts, and particularly the coaching calls, was hugely beneficial because I kept learning, even about questions and issues I hadn’t encountered myself yet. I downloaded them all and listened on my commute or anywhere. That’s when I figured out why it was called ‘Immersion.’ How appropriate that name is! In order to achieve the best possible results, for me anyway, immersing myself in the whole AGR system and lifestyle was essential.
I’d like to emphasize again, that when I started out I don’t think I really believed I could become like some of the other guys whose amazing pictures and transformations were on the site. I kind of dreamed or wished, but it was not until I started to see some results – relatively quickly – that I started to really BELIEVE. And then the whole framework above, last but not least, the positive momentum I got from the forums and blogs, propelled me to first believe and then to work harder to achieve.
And the great thing is that the more I progress, the hungrier for ultimate success I’ve become. It’s a really positive cycle of life-improvement.
4- Were the any concepts or approaches you were skeptical about?
I’d say the thing I was most skeptical about was whether I could really do it. I was so far away from fit, had become very unhealthy and was so many belly inches away from being in good shape that it just seemed highly improbable that I could consider myself in the same company as some of the guys whose pictures I was looking at in the forums and blogs.
I didn’t really know much about nutrition or working out, so there was definitely an element of blind faith that the system could do for me what it had done for lots of others. But it is all spelled out in such an accessible and straightforward way that it was easy to understand the logic. Once I started then, I could see the progress relatively quickly. I started on AGR Category 2 and was amazed at how effective it was at targeting fat so quickly. So I think my mindset pretty quickly became “well I don’t really know much about this stuff, but these guys clearly do, so I’m just going to stick with the program.”
5- When did you decide to jump on board full fledge with AGR?
I jumped on board right away, having read the background material and looked at the AGR Category 2 training program, that it seemed to me like you just needed to get busy and that’s what I did. The results began to show almost immediately. That provided momentum and I’ve never really looked back.
After the first couple of months of working hard and sticking to the calculator, I got more curious and wanted to step up the pace of my understanding. That’s when I started listening to the podcasts and accessing the historical blogs. I felt I had kind of earned the understanding for some of the finer points of nutrition, supplements and workouts. I’d also search for some topics that I was experiencing first hand for myself, and the answers were always there.
I’m pleased with my own results to date. I know that I still have a huge amount to learn, and plenty of progress that I am determined to make and maintain. Whereas I’m going probably slower or faster than others, I feel like I’m at the right pace for me and it’s great that the system caters to each person in that way. I’ve been fully invested in terms of my own commitment since the start, and whenever I feel it’s right for me to fine tune a subject, up my skills on certain elements or add specific boosters etc, that is easy to do because it is all there.
6- When did you first decide to enter an Adonis Transformation (AT) contest?
AT14 was my first contest. During my first training program, AGR Category 2, I wanted to just stay focused on my own training and program and really prove to myself that I could do it. When that was going well I began to look around a bit more and started paying attention to AT13. At the time I had also started reading some of the blogs from a few years ago, of guys who were in the earlier contests. It was great reading through them and then shadowing the closing stages of AT13. I began to really appreciate that level of commitment and how amazing it must be to set a target like that and just go all guns blazing to push yourself to see what you could do. By the end of AT13 I had decided there was no point hanging about – I was all in for the next one!
7- What was your experience going through the AT contest? Challenges that came up? Things you didn’t expect?
I can safely say, it was one of the most enjoyable things I’ve ever done in my life. I am not making light of it – it was very tough! – but to have come that far in that relatively short space of time has been just immense. I have this feeling that I can do anything!
I was a little daunted at the start as to whether I could stick it out. And there were a couple of moments where I thought I would not finish. I had a holiday during the contest and didn’t really get to do a proper workout during that. I had tried to compensate beforehand, and worked hard afterward to make up for it. But for that week I had doubts as to whether I was truly giving it my all. But in hindsight, I realized that was no excuse. There will almost never be 90 days in my life where there won’t be some kind of excuse or obstacle or whatever. And this was a holiday for me and my son and that is way more important than anything. So I just worked around it. And it was a brilliant holiday too, plenty of water parks and swimming in the sea etc, so was pretty active.
Something else I experienced during the contest was that I have firmly progressed from just wanting to lose fat when I initially joined, to now wanting to really work on my shape, build muscle. To have made this much progress in a relatively short space of time has instilled a sense of confidence that this is the logical progression, and that I can achieve that too.
8- How did people react to your transformation? Positives and negatives (if any).
People have been almost unanimously positive and complimentary. Because I was coming from a starting point of having to lose weight rather than gain muscle, it’s probably more obvious to people at the start than if you’re trying to gain muscle mass. Most were full of praise initially which was great, and no doubt helped fuel momentum. I also found that as I continued to progress loads of people were intrigued to find out what the trick was. The answer of ‘eat less and work out more’ doesn’t generally cut it for people though….!
I will say this though. Whereas it was great to hear people say “you look great, have you lost weight?”, it’s absolutely exhilarating when people start saying “oh you are looking really toned there, you must be working out?”
9- How do you react to the “Brand New” you? Have you noticed changes in your outlook and attitude in general.
It would be impossible to overstate the positive net effect of the new me. Not sure I have the words to fully articulate (or anyone would want to read that much!) so let me say it as simply as I can: my life is so much better now than it was when I started.
It is great to achieve anything in life that takes hard work, but your body and health are the most important things so that makes making this kind of change amongst the greatest things anyone can do for themselves. I said this in my first post before I started and I fundamentally believe it.
It is also really great when people start reacting positively to you and how you look. That becomes another positive cycle because you reciprocate, and the world is a happier place.
But I think the most important change of all is a mental one. Having felt that I was so far away from where I wanted to be meant I was starting on a very long, steep uphill journey, with plenty of doubt in my mind. I am not where I want to be yet, but there is absolutely no doubt in my mind that I will get to where I want to be. I know what it takes, I know how to get there and I am armed with the system to get me there.
This is what AGR has done for me. It has given me a sense of self belief that I am applying to all areas of my life. The system itself with the nutrition and training routines, the podcasts, the forums, blogs and contributions from other members. I am extremely grateful to everyone who forms part of that system and community.
Thank you for you tremendous belief in the AGR system and the mental stamina to, “Stay in the fight” for your AT-14 contest goals. I’m a big believer in positive mental attitude and whole-heartedly believe this mindset eliminate a lot of barriers that hinder people particularly along this transformational period. I could totally relate to when you said there would never be a 90-day period when there wouldn’t be a choice of an obstacle to overcome or an excuse to set you back. It reminded me of a quote, “Winners never quit and quitters never win.” Keep striving for excellence Colin. We look forward to hearing more from you and your journey in the AGR community.
your brother in Iron,