A SpotMeBro transformation success story
Name: Predrag Panic
Starting Weight: 178lbs Ending Weight: 191lbs
Starting Body Fat %: 11 Ending Body Fat %: 7
What was your life like before your transformation?
My transformation may have been different than most people’s as I didn’t have to go through a major fat loss process.
My transformation was based on two things: getting leaner and adding size during the process which is always a struggle.
Prior to my transformation, I had a pretty average body and I was far from satisfied with where I was. I had recently gotten out of a long-term relationship and found myself in a situation where I was far from where I wanted to be with how my body looked. I was training maybe 2-3 days a week, half heatedly at that.
I wanted to push and challenge myself to fully see what I could accomplish, I wanted to truly push my boundaries.
Could you detail your turning point:
I had recently gotten out of a long-term relationship. Just like most people in that situation, I felt a fire within to improve my body and the way I looked. From that point forward I was fully dedicated to my training and was in the gym six days a week.
What were your major struggles or challenges?
The main struggles I had throughout my transformation was ensuring that I had a proper balance in my nutrition and staying consistent with my training schedule while maintaining a full-time career which took up 50 hours per week.
Meal prep twice a week was huge for me; I would bring bulk lunches to work and store them in the fridge to stay consistent day-to-day. My routine was set in terms of training, and every day after work at 5:30 PM I would be going to the gym no matter what and getting my training in. After a while, it simply became a habit and something that I could not go without. At that point, it sort of turns into an obsession. I think any person who’s truly driven by this game can understand that.
Detail your workout and cardio plan during your transformation:
I would do a 6-day rotation in my workout plan, regardless of what day it was, it would simply rotate. I felt my weak points were my back and shoulders, so that’s typically where I would start my week if I was able to schedule it that way. A lot of my basic principles were taken from advice by the legend Mike O’hearn.
I would start each workout with a heavy compound exercise to really tear down the muscle and hit the nervous system; that would usually include at least five working sets in a rep range of 4-5 (rest time for this was however long I needed in order to be recovered for that next set). I wanted to put on mass while staying as lean as possible, so lifting heavy was key for me. After that first heavy exercise, I would then get into a higher rep range of 8-12 and cut down my rest in between sets to about 90 seconds. I would train each body part once per week, in this order:
Shoulders, back, active rest day, legs, chest, arms, off day.
With this split, I felt it gave me enough recovery time to be fresh for each training session. I would also do abs every other day after weight training for about 20 minutes. When it came to cardio, my active rest day would usually include a HIIT session along with an abdominal training portion. Aside from my active rest day, I would pick two other days during the week to do fasted cardio in the morning for 30 minutes, walking uphill on a treadmill. Here is a sample training week with exercises:
Here is a sample training week with exercises:
– Standing barbell press
– Sitting dumbbell press
– Side lateral raises
– Reverse cable flies
– Hammer grip dumbbell front raise
– Pullups/ Lat Pulldowns
– Bent over barbell rows
– 90 degree bent over dumbbell rows
– One arm reverse cable pull downs
– Dumbbell Pullovers
HIIT & Abs
– 20 Minutes sprints on a treadmill, 5% incline.
– Leg ups on decline bench, superset with knee ups
– Cable ball crunches, superset with decline bench sit ups
– Roman chair side twists, superset with side planks
– Squats (lower bar)
– Front squats or Leg Press
– Walking lunges
– Stiff leg deadlifts or Hamstring curls
– Quad extension
– Calf raises
– Incline bench press
– Flat dumbbell press
– Flat dumbbell flies
– Dumbbell pull-overs
– Incline cable flies
– Standing barbell curls
– Dumbbell preacher curls (individual)
– Cable hammer grip rope curls
– Reverse grip easy bar curls
– Tricep cable push down
– Close grip bench press
– Lying dumbbell extensions
– Tricep kickbacks, DB or cable
Detail your diet/nutrition plan during your transformation:
My diet was pretty basic and straight forward throughout my transformation. I kept the majority of my carb intake pre and post workout, and also in the morning. My intake concerning calories, protein, carbs would depend on the day and what I was training. For example on back and leg days, I would consume more carbs and calories because they were usually more demanding workouts which hit the nervous system more.
I kept my calories in the 2,600-3,000 range in all my days except for my off day where I would drop that number down to about 2,000. This may not work for everyone but it was a good way to keep my body guessing and also to help me stay leaner during this process. In terms of carbs that would also fluctuate on what I was training, but it was typically in the 175- 200g range. With protein, I always tried to keep it at 200-230 grams as my goal was to add lean muscle mass.
Here is a sample of a full day of nutrition with training scheduled in the middle of my day:
Breakfast: Oatmeal with protein and peanut butter, Or 10 egg whites with toast.
Snack: Protein bar or cottage cheese.
Lunch: 6-7 oz Chicken breast or a lean meat combined with some greens and avocado.
Snack: Greek yogurt and almonds.
Pre-workout meal: Oatmeal with protein powder, Or a banana with a protein shake.
Post-workout shake: Protein shake along with a simple sugar (I chose dried dates, dried figs as my favorites).
Post-workout meal: 45 minutes later; 6-7 oz Chicken breast or lean meat, with yams and spinach.
Snack: Protein shake and almonds.
Detail your supplement plan during your transformation:
1) Protein Powder, 100% Whey Isolate
5) C4- Pre Workout mix
6) Multi Vitamin
7) Fish Oil
What was your major accomplishment or major milestones?
Throughout this process, I wanted to get up to a body weight of 190 pounds while staying lean and adding muscle mass. I was able to accomplish that and it took me about 15-16 months to achieve it. I wasn’t a believer in bulking up and then going through a huge cutting phase. I wanted to slowly add mass while shedding
I wasn’t a believer in bulking up and then going through a huge cutting phase. I wanted to slowly add mass while shedding fat slowly along the way, and I proved to myself that it was possible. Right now I’m about 192 pounds and I’ve been able to maintain a lean shape since I started this transformation.
Right now I’m about 192 pounds and I’ve been able to maintain a lean shape since I started this transformation.
Detail your 3 biggest training mistakes:
1) When I started, I definitely got a bit too eager with the weights and trying to lift much heavier than I should have. I felt by doing this I wasn’t getting as good of a muscle contraction and had to really get back to basics to focus on strict form with lower weight. This was a marathon, not a sprint — and learned that quickly!
2) For a long time, I was not warming up properly for my weight training sessions. Instead of just getting straight into the first exercise, I changed my approach and started with a very isolated light warm-up for that muscle just to get blood in there and make sure it was warm. This not only helped with getting the muscle ready to lift but it also really helped with allowing me to feel the muscle working better during that first exercise.
3) My lifting tempo. This is a common thing I see with many people and for me, it might have been an ego thing. I would essentially just push the weight up and down with the same tempo on the up portion as well as the down portion — it was just too fast.
After watching countless videos, I decided to really slow things down on the negative portion of my reps and really feel that muscle work on the down portion — this was huge for me once I got my head around it. Initially, I had to lower the amount of weight I lifted, but long term is really helped with my muscular development and also with my mind muscle connection. Controlling the weight is completely different than moving the weight, that was a huge light bulb that turned on for me.
Controlling the weight is completely different than moving the weight, that was a huge light bulb that turned on for me.
Final words of advice for others looking to make a change?
To anyone attempting any sort of transformation change, whether is fat loss or muscle gain, I would tell them that they need to stay consistent and to give it time. Nothing happens overnight — you need to put in the work on a prolonged and consistent basis. If you have the mental stamina to do that, there’s no doubt that you will eventually get to where you want to go. Have a goal and know what you want; then set out a plan to achieve and make sure you follow through on it!