12 Weeks to Abs – Thomas Moore

NPC Week 1:
Hello everyone. For those of you who don’t know me, my name is Thomas Moore and I was chosen for “12 weeks to NPC Stage” at His & Her Fitness.

I was first introduced to the His & Her Fitness team through my girlfriend, Aja James, who had been working with the trainers there for a couple of months. Since she started with His & Her Fitness, Aja has really gained an appreciation for living a healthy lifestyle — and she motivated me to improve my own. After being invited for creative cardio a few times and a weight training session, I was told about the competition that was going on for the “12 weeks to NPC Stage.” I immediately signed up for the opportunity to compete in the same show as Aja.

The first time I met with Christina she took measurements (weight, height, and body fat) and gave me a short run down as to what to expect for the next few months. At that first meeting Christina also set me up with a personal meal plan and had me start doing cardio 6x/week for 20 minutes/day. Now, being someone who mainly does weight training with little to no cardio, I was a little reluctant to stop lifting — but as a good athlete should, I did what my trainer said to do. The meal plan for the first week was easy to maintain, especially as Christina was so specific on what and how much I should be eating. Also the creative cardio she put together for me actually made the exercises enjoyable. I really started to notice my overall mood was improving. (I was happy to be working towards a fitness goal!) To my surprise, the following week of measurements I weighed an additional three pounds, but had lost 3.5% body fat. I was super stoked; it felt great to see actual numbers showing improvement. The results after just the first week motivated me even more to stick with the meal plan and continue to work harder towards my goal. And I am fired up to start weight training and share more of my story over the next few months.

NPC Week 2:
It’s the end of week two and I am feeling great. I have continued doing cardio and dieting — and I’ve also started to work weight training into my schedule. Just over the past week I have noticed even more results — I am leaner than I’ve ever been and my muscle definition is really starting to become noticeable. As more results are starting to show, I’ve been thinking back on previous personal attempts at dieting and weight training. Those efforts seemed to result in muscle shrinkage, joint/muscle pain, and eventually binge eating. But since I’ve been training with Christina, I haven’t had any of the negative effects I had previously experienced with dieting/exercising. The biggest difference I’ve noticed is that my energy level could be a little low on some days, but nothing I wasn’t able to overcome with a short nap or some Amino Energy.

Now I wouldn’t be telling the whole story of I didn’t say something about food cravings. This being only the second week, I have gone through a few cravings for different foods (usually junk food) that definitely aren’t on my meal plan. The moments when I craved something came at times when I was off schedule with my meals and extremely hungry. I would feel so hungry at times that I felt like I could have binged on something that would be quick, but not so healthy. To prevent myself from having these urges to eat anything in sight, I’ve learned to prepare my meals for the entire day so I wouldn’t be tempted. (And I would also think about my trainer and how I wouldn’t want to disappoint her by cheating on my meals — especially since she would know when she did measurements for the week!) Another way I kept myself from deviating from my meal plan was to think about how well I was doing and how much further I wanted to go to succeed.

I would say that my own accountability is the thing that has helped me most to stay focused — and maintain my meal plans. I didn’t want to let down my trainer after all she’s done for me, I didn’t want to distract my girlfriend from attaining her goals, and I didn’t want to set myself back from my own progress. I know I want to continue to drop my body fat and I want to continue to build lean muscle — I want to be prepared when that time comes to be up on stage.

NPC Week 3
Week three accomplished and I am excited to say that my fitness journey has inspired others to live a healthier lifestyle. A long time friend of mine, Ian, has really gained interest in being fit and has decided to stop drinking. He said he was worried about the long-term health effects from drinking and didn’t want to affect his workout routine (hangover, dehydration, and sleep depravation). Ian, since starting my meal plan with Christina, has also been trying to clean up his own diet by eating healthier and spreading out his meals throughout the day. I’m proud of Ian and his decision to live a healthier life—he has been a good friend and I wish him the best of health. Another friend of mine, Zach, has also decided to take his athleticisms to the next level and started training with the His and Her Fitness team. Not only did Zach start with the His and Her fitness team but he also brought along his father, Phil, who is just as excited to see some real results (measurements, pictures, and diet plan). Personally it feels nice to inspire and motivate others to be healthier. Phil and Zach both thanked me for getting them started with the H & H Fitness team but it is just a pleasure to share my experience with them. I really care for people and their well being, I hope Zach, Phil, and Ian is just the beginning. I want to motivate others to start their fitness journey and achieve their ideal goals.

NPC Week 4
Week four passed by without a hitch. The further I am getting into my training and meal plan the less I have to actively think about packing my meals or the fact that I have early morning weight training or cardio—it is becoming more routine. Sticking to a routine, I am now even leaner at almost 3% body fat and have started to maintain my weight. I am extra excited for this week because we started to lower the number of repetitions and increased the weight to add as much size as I can before the NPC show. The cardio hasn’t changed much but the lifting has been great. I haven’t experienced any muscle pain, which is a blessing–the trainers have really critiqued my muscle balance and improved my overall posture. Along with improving my balance I am lifting even heavier. I have been able to really push my self with the His and Her Fitness team next to me. All the trainers have motivated me to try harder and push my limits. I am grateful to have such a knowledgeable team of trainers. Eight weeks out and I am looking forward to the future. I am still continuing to lean out and have started to see vascularity and even more muscle definition. The training isn’t easy but I try to remind myself that great things don’t happen over night and that it will take time and perseverance to be successful in anything that is difficult.

NPC Week 5
Seven weeks out from the NPC show and I am starting to feel normal. The overall feeling of being exhausted is no longer a factor. Also, staying on track with my meal plan, I haven’t had any cravings for random junk food. Another thing I have noticed is that I am not constantly hungry, I don’t feel skinny, and I still have time to live my life and be a full-time student, work part time, spend time with family, relax, and apply to dental school.

I feel really fortunate to have gotten the chance to work with the His & Her Fitness trainers. Christina and her team heave really pushed me to work hard everyday and in turn I have seen some great results. Not only have they transformed my body but have also improved my overall happiness. I look forward to continuing to workout at the His & Her fitness gym. Being around positive and outgoing people at His & Hers, I always find myself in a good mood, smiling, and having a good time. The His & Her trainers really do leave an effect that lasts throughout the day and even though it is a struggle sometimes, they push you to work hard, be healthy, and be happy.

NPC Week 6
Halfway through the 12-weeks-to-NPC competition and things are coming together nicely. I am at a point were I don’t need to lose any more body fat and whatever muscle I can gain before the show is going to be a plus. Everything is routine now and my job for the next few weeks is to maintain.

This week I did experience a little bump in the road with some muscle pain. Thursday, after a heavy leg training session, I started to notice pain in my right shoulder blade. I was definitely concerned about it because it wasn’t the first time I had dealt with shoulder pain. Previously, during high school, I had shoulder surgery for an injury I received playing football. Although I was a little worried to tell Christina about my shoulder pain (because I didn’t want to take a step back from training), but I decided to do the right thing and tell her. After describing my discomfort, she relieved my concerns and also made some minor adjustments for my Saturday training session. She put me through a workout routine to loosen up my shoulder and increase some blood flow. Post-workout and my shoulder felt much better, the pain decreased substantially, and I felt mentally much better about it. It’s three days after noticing the pain in my shoulder and I am much relieved – my strength is still there and every day I am noticing improvement with the discomfort. And I also consider myself lucky to have a supportive girl friend that can rub out any muscle pain!

Christina also thought I should post my progress pictures. I think the results are pretty impressive, to say the least.

thomas_week6

NPC Week 7
Week 7 is finished up and I am feeling well. My shoulder, after having some discomfort last week, is back to normal and I didn’t even have to take time off from training. Looking back on what started my shoulder pain, I realized that I got a little tired and started to use bad form. Fortunately it wasn’t anything serious, but it did remind me to use proper technique.

Along with focusing on my training, I was also able to adjust my meal plan. After six weeks of keeping a consistent diet with weight training and cardio 4-6 days per week, I have finally been able to change up my diet with a “cheat meal.” However, this isn’t the cheat meal you see on social media of people eating massive amounts of pizza and ice cream — this was a modest meal to increase my caloric intake to maintain my muscle mass. I had tried the “cheat meal” idea before I started training with Christina, but what I didn’t realize was I had been cheating the majority of the time! I was either over-eating or I unknowingly made bad food choices. After having my “recommended cheat meal,” I actually felt a little guilty. My brain had built up my expectations — only to be let down. I almost felt like the cheat meal wasn’t worth going off my meal plan. To my surprise the next day I did notice more muscle thickness. I guess the best advice I can give after last week’s shoulder pain due to bad form and this week’s guilty feeling about the “cheat meal” is to listen to your H&H trainer… they really do know best!

NPC Week 8
Another successful week and we are now only four weeks out from the show. I feel great and have been able to gain some muscle thickness, so I don’t feel so skinny. Ha ha. Now, being so close to the show, it is time to focus — no more eating out and all meals must be homemade.

And, getting closer to the show, it was time to do something about my extremely pale skin/farmers tan! I went tanning for the first time EVER and I wouldn’t say it is my favorite part of prepping for the show. Afterwards I realized that I tanned a little too long — sleeping the first night was a little uncomfortable on account of my backside being burnt. Tanning wasn’t the most exhilarating process, but it really brought out the definition of the muscles. Prepping for a show, like tanning or dieting, isn’t always the best and I wouldn’t be telling the truth if I said I have been 100% motivated the entire time I have been training. What does keep me motivated is the support of my girlfriend, friends, family, and especially the H&H trainers. I don’t think I could be consistent during these 12 weeks without a good support system to keep me on track.

NPC Week #9
This week I can officially say that I am a college graduate. I’m glad to be done — and now, just three weeks out, I can focus more on the show. The past few weeks it has been relatively easy to maintain my weight and body fat, but thinking about the next couple weeks of prepping for the show makes me a little nervous. I consider myself lucky to have a trainer who is consistently motivating and makes me want to stay on track with the meal plan and training. Also, I am thrilled to have Aja as my teammate — it has been a long time since I’ve participated in any athletic competition and I am glad she will be at the Muscle Mayhem show with me.

This week I sent in the form for my NPC card and registered for the muscle Muscle Mayhem show. I can’t thank Christina enough for helping me out with the entry fee — it really means a lot. She has done so much for me and Aja. Personally I would never have thought I would be stepping out of my comfort zone and doing a fitness competition if it weren’t for Christina. She is always responsive and motivating. I really hope to do well and make Christina proud.

NPC Week #10
It’s the final two week push and I can’t wait to step on stage! All of Christina’s athletes received their individual pre-show meal plan for the next two weeks. The show diet doesn’t look too intense, although eating everything plain might get a little tough. As good or bad as the diet may be, I am curious to see how my body changes the next couple weeks. Kind of funny because most of my clothes already don’t fit and I’m sure I will drop a few pant sizes before the competition. Christina makes the tedious parts of competing relatively easy by letting us know what to expect in the weeks ahead. She has been totally supportive and continues to give of herself to both Aja and me. As our trainer, Christina has really shaped up our bodies and our eating habits. Aja and I both enjoy eating, so without proper food choices 90% of the time, we wouldn’t have dropped our waist sizes.

NPC Week #11
I can’t believe it is already one week out from the Muscle Mayhem show. The past eleven weeks have flown by so fast. Looking back at my “before” pictures, it is almost hard to recognize myself. This was the first full week of the pre-show diet and so far it has been pretty simple. I haven’t noticed much of a change in my body, but from what I have been told, it is pretty obvious. Christina has really dialed in our bodies and has started to prepare our minds for the show. She has told us everything we need to know and a few things that might happen. The H&H team is ready with bags packed and show schedule set. I would have to say that I’m pretty nervous, but also excited at the same time. With the effort and time I have put into these past eleven weeks, of course I hope to come home with a trophy — but I am also just grateful for the whole experience. I have met some great people and learned a lot in such a short amount of time. I can’t wait for my friends and family to see us on the stage. I hope everyone can make it to the show. It is going to be an experience for all!

NPC Week #12
I can’t believe the “12 Weeks to Stage” has already came and gone. The past 12 weeks have flown by so quickly!

I can’t begin to describe the excitement and energy of the show. Stepping onto the Muscle Mayhem stage was a great experience. Everyone that I personally met was really nice and more then willing to talk with you. All the competitors looked great — you could really see the hard work everyone had invested in this show. I tried not to compare myself to the other athletes too much because it was really competitive. I was just really proud of the progress I had made over the past 12 weeks. Although I didn’t get a medal, I was still happy to be there and see the His & Her team kill it. Even though the show was a long day, I was still buzzing after the show — I laid in bed reflecting on my whole experience over the past 12 weeks. I thought about Christina and all the hard work and sacrifice she put forth to make sure we all had a good time. She was always there to give advice, motivate us, and then cheer us on while on stage. Christina is truly an awesome trainer with an even better personality.

The whole experience was very team-oriented which made the process fun and stress-free. I really enjoyed the team — everyone was more than encouraging. One person that I connected with right off the bat was Frank, another physique competitor — he was always supportive and friendly. Frank is truly a great guy and if I didn’t get anything else out of the show besides meeting Frank, it was all worth it.

I really appreciate everything the His & Her trainers have done for me. I am in better shape both physically and mentally than I was before I met Christina. I feel like I knew nothing about healthy eating and the many benefits of proper nutrition. The people that I met over the past 12 weeks would be enough reason for me to do another show. Honestly, I was a little bummed out that the 12 weeks had came and gone, but as she always does, Christina had a different outlook and said “It’s never over.”

IMG_2008

IMG_1948

IMG_1927

IMG_1955

IMG_1947

Application for the 12 Weeks to NPC STAGE!!

His & Her Fitness thanks you for your interest and looks forward to the interview process. Good luck!