Most of the people in my family (especially my mother’s side) don’t value exercise and live a sedentary life. At a young age I mostly played video games and studied (like the nerd I still am) and eventually got to over 140 pounds in 3rd grade. Talk about setting myself up for poor health. I live my elementary, middle school, and 1/2 of high school as ‘the fat kid’. Eventually I started exercising in high school thanks to my friends (many of them were the star athletes in my school).
In college I joined Ohio State’s club rowing team my freshman year and lost 50 pounds in my first quarter (I went from ~210 to 160). The next quarter I tried out for the varsity team, made the team and kept rowing until I graduated. At my peak fitness, I was about 160 pounds and had 7% body fat. I completely turned my life around healthwise.
Eventually, I started studying for my PhD in pharmacology (not pharmacy, think biochemistry focused on drug action). The combination of PhD candidacy and planning a wedding destroyed my nutrition and workouts so I ended up gaining ~25 pounds at the point when I got married to my lovely wife.
That was about a year ago. Soon after, I decided to get back to where I was, health-wise. I started using a lovely program called P90X. I made a lot of progress with this program; but it was slow because my nutrition/diet was very poor. I completed all the workouts and got stronger; but I only lost a few pounds through the 90 day program. That was when I finally realized that my diet/nutrition would be a key factor when it came to improving my overall health. After completing P90X, I moved on to another program called INSANITY. Here I made the switch regarding nutrition and I made huge progress toward my fitness goals. The great thing about P90X, Insanity, and all Beachbody programs is that they come with nutrition guides and online support. As I started Insanity, I used both. I stuck to the nutrition plan as much as I could and I started an additional accountability program through challenges on a website called FatSecret. Through the 60 days of Insanity, I got great results. I started at ~22% body fat and now am around 10%.
I continued with another cycle of Insanity and since then I have been completing Hybrid workouts that combine different workout programs. I’ve even combined Beachbody programs with other activities I love (i.e., marathons, 1/2 marathons, Karate). Since my 90 day P90X/Insanity Hybrid, I have completed a new program called ‘Insanity: The Asylum‘ which is the sequel to Beachbody’s Insanity. This is a great program and I feel that I’ve made some huge improvements in my speed, agility and strength. The program is only 30 days and in that time period I dropped a few more pounds of fat (now I’m at ~8% bodyfat). I repeated Asylum Once and Currently working through a new hybrids. As of right now I’m 163 pounds, at 6.7% body fat and I’m in better shape than when I was a varsity rower in college!
Right now I’m where I want to be, so my goals are to maintain where I am at. I’m now focused on helping others do the same. So if you have questions about how to get active, or improve your nutrition, please contact me! I would love to help you out.
Brandon Henderson, PhD
Division of Pharmacology, College of Pharmacy, The Ohio State University
440 Riffe Building, 496 W 12th ave, Columbus, OH 43210