Joseph's weight loss transformation

by Joseph Rivera | Sep 16, 2018

I've always struggled with my weight. I was an overweight kid, an overweight adolescent, and an overweight adult.

After my senior year of college, I decided that I didn't want to weigh over 250 lbs anymore, and I started to lift weights and diet. I had no real idea what I was doing, but I built some muscle and eventually dropped down to 185 lbs. I felt great, but I wanted to look like I actually lifted weights. An ill-planned mass, a few serious injuries, and depression eventually brought my weight back up to 295 lbs.

Around this time, I learned about the ketogenic diet. I dropped from 295 to 205 lbs but didn't retain nearly as much muscle as I had hoped, and I wasn't nearly as lean as I wanted to be. I wasn't after just weight loss; I wanted to lose fat and hold onto my muscle. I hovered between 185 and 200 lbs over the next couple of years, and wasn't able to ever able to drop the rest of the weight.

In January of 2016, after seeing my wife's results with RP, I decided to give 1:1 coaching a shot. I was assigned to Derek Wilcox. I later told him that working with him was the best training decision I'd ever made, and I was right. For the first 3 months, Derek handled my nutrition, and I handled my training. At the end of my 12 week cut, I weighed 165 lbs and had maintained my strength and muscle. I'm not going to say that cutting was easy. It wasn't. Mentally, however, it was the easiest cut I'd ever done. I saw results constantly, and knew that everything I was doing was working. I'd done just as much hard work during my previous attempts to lose weight, but this time my efforts were being guided in the right direction. Every day brought me closer to goals that I'd wanted for years, and, by the end, I was ecstatic.

I turned over my training to Derek as well at this point, and worked on getting stronger and building muscle over the next year. I competed in my first Power Lifting competition during this time, and was stronger than I'd ever been (even compared to when I weighed 100 lbs more). All I had to do while working with Derek was get under the bar and meal prep the food I needed. I didn't have to worry about how to improve my form; Derek refined my technique every training session based on videos I sent. I didn't have to worry about whether or not I was eating enough or too much to fuel my goals. I didn't have to worry about the source of my nutrition and programming: everything Derek and RP do is backed by science.

I'm currently massing while using RP training and diet templates and the Renaissance Diet book, and I'm bigger, stronger, and feel better than I ever have. I see a lot of people in the gym that work very hard and don't ever achieve their goals; for too long, I was one of them. Without Renaissance Periodization, I might eventually have reached my goals, but it would have been a much longer, much more painful process.