I’m really excited to share with you BuiltLean success story Kenny Lazar.
Kenny and I went to high school together in Long Island, NY. What I really love about Kenny’s story is how approached his transformation as being about changing his habits. He made the decision to change his body, and the rest is history.
While Kenny never used the BuiltLean Program, he was able to leverage the free information on the BuiltLean website to help transform his body. Please leave a comment to let Kenny know what you think of his transformation.
Name: Kenny Lazar
Residence: Colorado Springs, Colorado
Hometown: Syosset, New York
Why did you get out of shape?
I haven’t really been “in shape” since high school, and even that was questionable. I have had bad eating habits my entire life. I enjoyed pizza, beer, burgers, fries, and all of the stuff that you should not eat in surplus.
What sparked you to make a change?
I have always been lifting weights pretty seriously, 5-6 days per week. I decided that for all of the work I put in at the gym, I should look leaner/better than I did. I met somebody at school who lifted at the same gym that I did, and he helped me understand the beginning of nutrition, and calorie counting, and all of the tools that I needed to lose some serious weight.
My clothes were all getting tight, and I found it labor intensive to do things I really enjoy. Skiing, walking the dogs, and hiking were a lot more tiring then they should have been for me.
How did you come across BuiltLean?
It was a while back, so I don’t quite remember the sequence of events that lead me to builtlean. I went to high school with Marc, and heard that he was into nutrition and fitness so it seemed like a program/website I should check out. This was about the time that I decided to get serious with my diet. It worked out well because I was able to get ideas from builtlean and use it as another reference point. For dieting, the journal and tracking idea from builtlean really helped me put my eating into perspective and created accountability in my eating decisions.
Can you describe the results you experienced after making changes to your diet and exercise?
August 2011 I weighed 235lbs and had a waist size of 38.
August 2012 I reached a final weight of 179 and a waist of 32, and a final body fat % at or below 9% (When I was 186 it was 9.4 and I didn’t take it at my final weight)*
What have your friends thought after seeing your results?
Mind-Blowing! I look like a different person.
Training & Nutrition
What did your exercise program look like?
During the “cut,” I lifted 6 days a week, and did cardio 6 days a week. I began lifting at 5am with a buddy, which certainly helped motivate me, as I did not want to leave my lifting partner hanging at the gym. I used a split routine and trained each body part multiple times a week using different rep ranges and weight ranges depending on the day of the week. For lifting, I focused on form through each rep and concentrating on using the particular muscle that I was working. One exercise that drastically changed was my squat. I went from doing a shorter motion heavy weight squat to the squats that I saw on the builtlean youtube channel which made me go lower into the squat causing my weights to cut in half until I built up the muscles needed for such a long range of motion.
I did cardio the same 6 days a week, and varied the type. As long as I was sweating, I figured I was working cardio hard enough. While I was cutting weight I came across one of the articles that was on Builtlean the discussed the benefits of HIIT training over static state cardio. I tinkered with different interval lengths and combinations but ultimately focused on ratio of sprint to walk and worked on increasing the sprint time and lowering the break time. I did HIIT on the elliptical instead of the track or treadmill because I found it easier on my knees. Also I worked in stairs, walking, box jumps, and a the leg cardio circuit from Builtlean that Marc suggested I check out primarily for cardio. My cardio time varied based on the exercise I did that particular day.
Sample Routine – On heavy weight days, I did rep range of 4-6 and concentrated on large movements such as bench, squat, military press, and rows. On light days I did 10-15 reps and concentrated on stretch movements such as flys, pull-ups, leg extensions, and single arm curls and tricep extensions.
Did you have any favorite exercises, or workouts you would like to share?
Favorite exercises include:
A shoulder exercise that I did laying on my stomach on the incline bench…15 reps straight arm kick back, 15 rear delt lateral raise, 15 reps arms out front like a “Y”, 15 reps front raises
Can you elaborate on how your eating habits changed?
My eating habits were the biggest change in the transformation. I began keeping a food journal and tracking basic calories to begin with. I first set myself to 1800 calories a day, and did not focus on the type of calories. At the weight I was at, the calorie deficit alone would have made my drop serious weight. As I got more serious and closer to my goals, I began tracking protein and carb intake. I used the different diet balances from builtlean and experimented with different percentages of protein/car/fat intake until I got what worked for me. I increased my vegetable intake 10-fold and started to eat “clean.” It was shocking to me how much I was eating before I began tracking calories. Snacks turned from potato chips, to brown rice and vegetables. Towards the end of my cut down, I was eating 1800 calories a day consisting of no more than 100 grams of carbs, lean meats (chicken and turkey), and a lot of vegetables.
Did you experience any challenges as you tried to change your eating habits with a busy job? Any tips to share?
The hardest part of making changes was figuring out how to eat healthy no matter what I was doing for the day. I had to plan out meals in advance to help me stay on track. Mix vegetables in with as many meals as you can, it’s a great way to get more veggies in your diet. I mixed peppers (red, yellow, green), broccoli, onions, and carrots in with a lot of meals. They mix in great with egg whites and rice.
What would you tell someone who is contemplating getting in shape?
When it really comes down to it, you really have to want to do it. Reading and talking about getting in shape doesn’t get it done. Eat what you know in your head is healthy and avoid what you know isn’t healthy, all of the little tips help, but you know what you should and shouldn’t eat. Diet is the most important factor. Exercise helps, but if you don’t eat well, you will not see the results you want. It is a slow process, but if you are doing it correctly, you will lose weight and notice an increase in your energy levels. Make sure you have a support from friends and family, it goes a long way. I realistically read builtlean daily just looking for little tidbits of information I could pick up that I could employ in my workouts. Also, I viewed builtlean as sort of another support group because it was cool for me to see that a lot of the readers had the same questions on articles that I had. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to the builtlean team or anybody you see at the gym!
* Results may vary. Proper diet and exercise are necessary to achieve weight loss and muscle definition. See our Results, Testimonials, & Risks Disclaimer for more information.