Articles » Motivation » Fitness Motivation » 29-Year-Old New Yorker’s Amazing Body Transformation (See Video)

29-Year-Old New Yorker’s Amazing Body Transformation (See Video)

By Marc Perry / February 19, 2016

I’m excited to share with you a very impressive body transformation.

Eric Mandelkern from NYC lost nearly 50lb and transformed his body so dramatically that he now looks more like a men’s fitness model than a busy professional.

Eric and I both grew up in Port Washington, NY and I know Eric through his brother Kenny who is my age. When Eric reached out to me for training last year, I was extremely excited, especially because he had a lot of enthusiasm.

Eric worked very hard with his awesome BuiltLean trainer Jessica to completely transform his body and boost his self-confidence. Check out the video to hear from Eric about his story, and also the Q&A below for even more detail.

Age: 29

Occupation: Junior Partner/Sales Manager @ Printing firm

Residence: New York City

Hometown: Port Washington, NY


Why did you get out of shape? What happened?

I stopped caring about what I ate and really just enjoyed drinking and partying with friends and eating whatever I wanted. I was in the beverage business which was a lot of entertaining clients (drinks, dinners etc.) and lifestyle did not allow me to eat healthy.

What sparked you to make a change?

I had trouble sleeping, I felt self-conscious in the summer time taking my shirt off in front of friends. I did not like the way I looked or felt. I also had very high cholesterol and was too young to go on meds.

How did you come across BuiltLean?

My brother Kenny told me about Marc’s program.


What results did you get with the BuiltLean?

I went from 22% body fat to 12%. I went from 230lbs to 179lbs while building muscle at the same time.

How did BuiltLean help you reach your goals?

Builtlean made me think of fitness as a lifestyle not just a diet/workout program.

What did you like most about the Program?

I like one on one attention you receive to achieve your goals. I also like how the workouts are constantly changing to shock your body and see more immediate results.

What are the workouts like?

The workouts are challenging yet always different from the last so you do not become bored of doing the same thing over and over.

Can you elaborate on how your eating habits changed?

I no longer eat any cheeses or fried foods which were my kryptonite. I now eat low-carb, high protein and high fiber. It makes me feel great by not having that bloated feeling and supplying me with energy throughout the day. I eat 4-6 meals per day now.

What have your friends thought after seeing your results?

They are incredibly impressed by my results. My friends now come to me asking me to train them/give them nutritional advice because of the results they have seen from Builtlean.

What would you tell someone who’s on the fence considering training with BuiltLean?

If you want to make a change, this is the way to go.


  • Jp says:

    Wow. This is truly inspiring. Thank you for sharing!

  • Carl says:

    Amazing transformation. Congrats man!

  • Oliver says:

    Way to go, man!

  • Steve says:

    Excellent. Eric mentions that the workout changed after each 8 week segment to avoid plateauing. How can Marc's program be modified to accomplish these types of changes? Specific suggestions? Thanks.

    • Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT says:

      Steve - Great question, Steve. The idea is that the exercises he completed changed along with the rest between sets and the amount of weight he lifted. If you have already purchased my BuiltLean Program, I'm working on the 2.0 version that will go into much more detail about how to structure workouts and change them over time. It's really tough to discuss all the variables in a comment because there are so many facets. But the short answer is constructing workouts based on movement patterns and changing up the exercises for each movement pattern (i.e. for vertical pulling motion, chin up vs. pull up vs. underhand grip lat pulldown vs. single arm cable pull).

  • LT says:

    I'm curious if somebody could elaborate on how it is possible to eat low carbohydrate and high fiber at the same time since fiber comes from the foods which are generally high in carbohydrates. Which foods are best when trying to limit carbs but still eat high fiber?

    • Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT says:

      @LT - Eric ate relatively low carb. Fiber is technically an indigestible carbohydrate, so many nutritionists actually subtract it from the total carbs of a given food. So for example, one cup of brocolli has 6 grams of carbs and 2 grams of fiber, so the net carbs is really 4 grams. In addition, you can eat relatively low carb and high fiber by focusing on fruits and veggies and less on starchy carbs. Hope this makes sense now.

  • Larry Norby says:

    My hat's off to you young man..I've decided to go for the same results...even at this age, 57. You're video inspired me and I thank you for sharing. I did get a little confused on one of your comments...Marc tells us losing fat and gaining muscle at the same time is not his approach..you mentioned that you both lost fat and gained muscle at the same time??? Have I misunderstood something?? Again, so glad you caught this before you reach my age and great job!!! Larry

    • Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT says:

      @Larry Norby - Thanks for leaving a comment. In my opinion, focusing on losing fat and building muscle at the same time is not a smart strategy, but I did not say it's impossible, or even unlikely for someone who hasn't worked out in a while. I had one client who lost 10 pounds of fat and gained 10 pounds of muscle, but this is atypical. Most of the time, for someone who hasn't worked out in a while who needs to lose body fat, that person will lose let's say 15-20 pounds of fat, and gain somewhere around 3-5 pounds of muscle. The key is focusing on muscle gain, or fat loss, not both at the same time.

  • Raul says:

    Well done!
    I'm curious how he built muscle when before(22%fat,230lbs)the fat free bodyweight was 179lbs and after(12%fat,179lbs)the fat free bodyweight is 158lbs?Did I misunderstand something?
    Thank you,

    • Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT says:

      Thanks for pointing that out. Eric started with us after he had already lost some initial weight. At 230 pounds, he was probably around 30%+ body fat. Sorry for the confusion, I included this information in the intro paragraph, but should have probably highlighted it.

  • ajay says:

    I had hernioplasty 6 weeks back , when can I start your program.

  • Mark says:

    What a stunning and inspiring transformation, I am really happy for him.
    Hey Marc just a quick question, would your program be suitable for someone who is 'skinny-fat ie 6"1 and 210 pounds and 19 years old with twig arms and a big belly. Also do you have any advice for someone who is skinny-fat. I have literally tried anything. I used to weigh 308 pounds 2 years ago by doing only excessive cardio (idiot mistake) and now I have just given up on anything and everything. Please if you have any advice on what to do please can you help me out? :)
    Thank You

    • Marc Perry, CSCS, CPT says:

      Hey Mark, congrats on losing all that weight, but I wouldn't give up on everything! Whether or not you can see changes in your body, consistently exercising is absolutely necessary, and even essential.

      With that said, I think with the "skinny-fat" body type, it's key to be patient, because you have two difficult things to do (1) build muscle and (2) lose fat. If I were you, I would focus on losing body fat while increasing strength. One of my favorite methods is creating strength targets, so maybe it's 35 pound dumbbell curls for 10 reps, or incline DB Bench for 10 reps with 55 pound dumbbells. At the same time you are still creating a calorie deficit, but taking advantage of your anabolic window after you workout (within 30 minutes you have a protein shake or high protein meal). This gives you a chance to build muscle as you are losing fat. The program I developed is progressive so it really helps make getting stronger easier.

      Exercise is a lifelong pursuit, so sounds like you have hit a rough patch, but that's ok. It happens to everyone.