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Location: Cape Cod, MA
Seneca Falls, NY
Time: December, 2018
My name is Benjamin DiNobile, and I am 23 years old. My passion for health and fitness stems from when I was very young, always enjoying being active. The feeling I receive from exercising is simply amazing. The combination of adrenaline, confidence and discipline has always caused me to strive to new heights, and feel as though I am becoming a better version of myself each and every day. When I was in sixth grade, and my physical education teacher implemented a warm up jog at the beginning of every class, that was when I initially had an epiphany that I enjoyed exercising and being active. The endorphins that this caused by body to produce, along with a few other factors drove me to pursue long distance running, going on to compete on cross country and track teams from grade eight to the end of my freshman year of college.
As my competitive running career came to an end, I started to introduce certain types of resistance training, while also running for health and fitness purposes. I continued this style of exercise throughout the rest of my college career. Upon graduating, I decided that my relationship with long distance running was over, and that I wanted to pursue heavy resistance training as my primary form of exercise, supplemented by light cardiovascular endurance. Having a bachelor’s degree in kinesiology, I was moderately successful in terms of gaining strength and muscle by implementing strategic weight training week by week, but soon enough, I hit a plateau with this. It was then after this that I came across a new approach to weight training developed by a very reputable and credible fitness author named Gregory O’Gallagher. He is the CEO and founder of a fitness and health company called Kinobody. I have seen many different fitness gurus all over the media promoting all kinds of fitness and nutrition plans, but there was just something about Gregory that stood out to me. He makes it very apparent when he markets himself that life should not be about being a slave to the gym, nor should it be about living an obsessive-compulsive life dedicated to fitness. He created an approach to fitness that allows people to enjoy their life, while also being very serious about attaining their fitness goals. I know, this sounds too good to be true, and that is what I thought at first too, but after getting outside of my comfort zone to try it, I saw better results than ever before.
Over the past year, I have been on two of his weight lifting protocols, implementing the nutrition to a T, and I can quite honestly say without a shy of doubt, that I am attaining my fitness goals of gaining muscle and staying lean week by week, as well as enjoying my diet and life outside of fitness and health. I know what you are thinking, “Come on, share this approach with us already!” Well, I cannot give you every bit of information that the protocol provides, as it is very detailed and is not mine to begin with, but I will narrow it down for you. I lift heavy and intensely three days per week, focusing on exercising and movements that add muscle in the right places for an attractive, lean, and proportionate physique. On the days I do not lift, I go for a 3-mile walk; sometimes on the treadmill, sometimes on the track, or sometimes in a beautiful nature filled trail. This is a great way to burn calories while letting the central nervous system recharge from the previous day’s high intensity lift. I utilize intermittent fasting in a way that allows me to still enjoy large and deeply satisfying meals. As long as the right number of calories and protein intake is accounted for, it is extremely easy to do this in an enjoyable fashion.
The training regimen really boils down to building strength in certain areas of the body to support a nice, aesthetic, and proportionate physique. The upper chest, back width, shoulders and legs are the main muscle groups I like focus on in terms of adding size to in a strategic fashion. As a natural weight lifter, the main driver of muscle growth is strength gain. With this said, I mainly use reverse pyramid training on these muscle groups in order to accomplish these goals. The way this works, is that I will pick a weight that I know I can put up with maximum effort for 4 to 6 repetitions, and then rest 3 minutes. After I rest, I will take 10% of that weight, subtract it, to then go for 6 to 8 repetitions. I will then do the same thing, using 10% of the top set weight to subtract it again from the medium set weight, and then go for 8 to 10 repetitions. Now I know what you are thinking; what do I do to warm up? I will take 60% of the top set weight, and do 5 repetitions, rest 2 minutes, and then take 75% of that top set weight, and perform 3 repetitions. I will then rest 3 minutes, and now I am ready to go into the first working set. The whole philosophy behind this training style is that while being fresh, I will be able to fully optimize as much muscle fiber recruitment from the heaviest set with the lowest amount of reps, and slowly taper off with the subsequent sets, because the way the body works, is that it becomes fatigued progressively throughout the duration of the workout. With this said, training must be optimized in the most effective way possible.
Now as much as this training style values reverse pyramid training and strength building as the main driver of physique development, it also calls for a few different styles of training to compliment and/or supplement this one. The first few exercises of the workout will be reverse pyramid to optimize my body’s full potential, and typically I will follow up with a few exercises of either strait sets of rest pause training. For movements that do not support heavy weight, this is optimal to cause a physiological release of sarcoplasmic fluid in the muscles to help induce that great “pump” that we all know and love, but unfortunately, this wears off after about 24 to 48 hours of not training the muscle group. So, for strait sets, it is pretty self-explanatory. I will pick a weight that I can perform 10 to 15 repetitions for 3 consecutive sets, with 2 minutes of rest in between each set. For rest pause training, it is a little bit more complex. I will pick a weight that I can perform 12 to 15 reps for what is called and activation set, and then I will perform 4 more sets with the same weight, only performing 3 to 5 repetitions of these 4 sets, giving myself a 15 second rest period in between each set as well as from the activation set to the first of the 4 sets. This induces a physiological response to really bring out the maximal amount of sarcoplasmic fluid in the muscles, optimizing the pump, but these two training modalities are best used after heavy reverse pyramid style weight training. Otherwise, I would not be able to optimize my body’s full potential.
To get a little bit more specific about the exercises that I do, it varies from program to program, based on ability level. Currently I am on a program that has a chest and biceps day on Monday, a legs and abs day on Wednesday, and a shoulders and back day on Friday. On Monday I will perform 2 to 3 reverse pyramid sets of both incline and flat bench presses, followed by 3 sets of reverse pyramid style bicep curls, followed by 3 sets of reverse pyramid rope extensions for triceps. I will then do a combination of strait sets and rest pause style training to supplement this strength work. Exercises done with this training will vary, and include face pulls, upright rows, chest flys and a few others. On Wednesday, I will pick a squat variation, and perform 3 reverse pyramid sets. My favorites include the barbell squat and the Bulgarian split squat. I will then do the same for Romanian deadlifts, and occasionally leg extensions. I will then perform 3 sets of calf raises and pick two abdominal exercises, usually hanging legs raises, and abdominal roll-outs and do the same. Whether I do rest pause for this or straight sets will vary based on how I feel and what the program calls for. On Friday, the main focus is shoulders and back. I will perform 3 reverse pyramid sets of both standing military press and weight pull-ups. Which one I do first depend on whether I am focusing on building my shoulders or back at the current time. Following this will be a combination of a few more reverse pyramid exercises along with rest pause training. For example, if I am focusing on building my shoulders a little more, I will perform a medium and then light reverse pyramid set of both weighted dips and cable rows, followed by rest pause lateral raises. Standing military press will be performed as the first exercise of the workout with more volume and total tonnage to maximize the muscle fiber recruitment from the shoulders. Weighted pull-ups reverse pyramid style for 3 sets will be the second exercise of the workout, because the back needs some love too.
For my diet, I multiply my bodyweight times the number 15 in order to determine how many calories I would need to consume on a daily basis in order to maintain my body weight. To bulk, I try to shoot for 200-300 over that number; no more to avoid fat gain, but no less to consistently gain muscle. I aim for a minimum of 0.82 to a maximum of 1 grams of protein per pound of body weight per day. I will calculate the calories precisely from my protein source, having already approximated the macronutrient ratio, and once that is done, I just fill the rest of the calories, that I also calculate precisely, with fats and carbs.
Now of course, life is going to get in the way at times, but this can easily be accounted for. When going out with friends, most beers and drinks in general have calorie information right on them, so it is rather simple to drink in moderation, enjoy life, and stick to a healthy and nutritious diet. I will simply just leave room in my daily caloric intake for a few alcoholic beverages whenever the situation calls for it. Also, not every meal is going to be completely measured and calculated precisely. This day in age, most restaurants have their nutritional information online, however, some do not. By measuring and calculating macronutrients and calories most of the time, it is rather simple to eyeball how many I am getting in one meal just by looking at it. With this said, my general rule of thumb is to cook and prepare all my meals 5 to 6 days out of the week, sometimes 7, but enjoying life with my friends and family once a week, or once in a great while rather, trying my best to eyeball the nutritional info from an entrée or an appetizer is not going to kill my results. Life is not worth living if a regimen of fitness and health will control me in an obsessive and compulsive fashion. Life in my opinion should be balanced. It is as simple as that.
Upon acquiring a passion for fitness and health over the years, naturally, I have been anxious to share it by promoting myself via certain modalities of social media, such as Instagram. In doing so, professional photographer John of BBpics.com found some of my pictures and videos, and offered me some of his services. I looked at some of his work online, and was very impressed by the quality of the photos as well as the models in them. I was under the impression that not only was John an exceptional photographer, but also very good at seeking out the right people for the job. As this seemed to me like a very good opportunity to take my passion to the next level in terms of how I networked and marketed myself, we started communicating. John seems to know a significant amount of information about this industry, having been a judge for bodybuilding and physique shows, as well as working is this field for a very long time. I was very impressed by his resume, and to this day I have done two photoshoots with him thus far. I must say, that the experience has been very fun and eye opening in terms of what photoshoots endure and what the fitness and health industry has to offer in terms of a market and network. Looking at the finished product is great, but I now truly realize that very much hard work goes into this. John was very good about educating me on certain posing techniques which maximize the quality of the photo in the end, and I must say, it is much easier said than done. With my dedicated training regimen and his photography skills combined, I truly think the photos turned out to be exceptional. As I am new to this, I am sure they will only get better from here on out, as I think anything in life should be; a steady incline. I am very excited to be working with him and I am also quite eager to see what opportunities this may present me with in the near to distant future.
Benjamin's Photographer: BBpics.Com
Business Site: n/a