Our Robin to Nightwing Path went live just in time for Brian to tell us about how HE unleashed his inner Nightwing.
And yes, his favorite character is Nightwing (more on that later).
Brian is a comic nerd turned six pack having comic nerd from Wisconsin and dwelling in Minnesota.
This is the story of how he was able to take his physique from skinny-fat to toned and defined.
He also utilized diets that range from keto to intermittent fasting and calorie counting.
And, lucky for us, he took the time to write a TON of information about the entire journey.
Weight: 200 down to 175 lbs
Age: 26 years old
1. Who are you? (If you’d like, tell us about you. Work, other hobbies, Etc.)
I’m Brian and 26 years old at the time of writing. I’m a Wisconsin native currently living in Minnesota for work. Since high school I’ve had a drive to do something worthwhile with my time and my life, and went into criminal justice in college, which is when I decided I needed to get into shape. I started to do P90X with my father during my last years of high school, moved into Insanity and 10 Minute Trainer, and mostly stuck with mixes of those three programs.
I was briefly employed as a police officer and then budget cuts came through. I finished my Bachelor’s Degree and ended up working with AmeriCorps (basically a domestic Peace Corps.) and worked with kids. I loved it, and it gave me an outlet for some of my comic book and superhero loves because kids really love that stuff too. I spent a few years with the organization and some time after working with kids, and now supervise group homes and adults with disabilities. I greatly prefer this direct service to what I would have been doing as a police officer.
My primary hobbies are writing (I have a few book ideas), working out (especially in the summer and being outside biking, paddle boarding, kayaking and jogging), reading (books and comics, though I’ve been binge-reading a lot more comics lately), and games (love my Steam account, my Switch and I love playing Yugioh. In Yugioh I mostly play Hero decks because of all of my comic and superhero love).
2. Tell us about your transformation (weight loss, goals, etc)
When I started my working out in high school, I wasn’t too big, but I definitely had weight I wanted to get rid of. I honestly don’t know what my weight would have been, but probably something like close to six feet and probably shy of 200 pounds. Like I said before, I worked mostly with P90X, Insanity and 10 Minute Trainer, and loved biking. Combining that with following some better food planning (though nothing like meal prep, calorie counting, or anything of the sort) and cutting soda, I started to lose weight, but could never get rid of a lot of my stomach fat.
Over the years I would do whatever. I started to look into different workout plans online. After the start of Arrow, I wanted to look up what Stephen Amell’s plan was, and that was probably my first dive into the superhero workouts. But I still didn’t calorie count or do anything like that, and while I could sit there and go “All that chicken I just had is fine”, the calories added up, and I couldn’t shed the weight I wanted to. I know I was around 185 though, so I’d lost some.
Then I discovered Superhero Jacked at the end of college. I started to run different routines, but still didn’t pay as much attention to macros or anything. But then I started to live at the family cabin, and decided I wanted a better body for the beach and everything, so I ended up buying the Cut and Shred routine. I’d tried briefly to calorie count, but like my father before me, I ended up quitting on it. But the Cut and Shred got me into it again, and it helped me to meal prep. I loved living alone at that point because at least I got all the fridge space I wanted!
Cut and Shred led into alternating routines every 3 weeks to avoid boredom or plateauing, and it also led me to reading more articles, such as Intermittent Fasting, and about Keto. I started up Keto and got really into it, and kept up all the counting. But then I moved states and dropped Keto, because doing it while moving and starting a new job seemed like a hassle, especially when I moved before having a living space (and I didn’t think the friend who was willing to put me up would be appreciative of me taking over the fridge with meal prep). I ate a semi-Keto diet, gained a little weight back, and then gained some more weight through the holidays at year’s end. New Years parties suck for healthy eating, especially with all the drinking my friends and I get into at these things.
January 2019 I started calorie counting again, I would do a routine a week, and try to imitate the food plan that was included (if it was an actor), and started Intermittent Fasting. The first week was a bulk week, the second, third, fourth were cuts (trying to lose two pounds per week). Then I’d reset. But quickly I realized the bulking wasn’t helping, and I just kept the straight cuts up with one cheat per week. I tried Keto again, but failed in about three days. Not my finest hour. But I watched the pounds drop from 185 to something like 178…back to like 183, and then dropped the bulk weeks. I managed from the second week of January and something like 185 to 169 in late March, and dipped as low as 165. I unfortunately slipped up a little by becoming a bit lax and allowing myself a little more room for error, but have managed to hold firm at the 175 mark while experimenting with heavy cardio (including up to 70 mile bike rides during the summer) and heavy weights work through mixing Academy programs together. I’m right about where I want to be, and slowly just refining my build. I also started the Mediterranean Diet not too long ago, and found it very sustainable and helpful, because I don’t get bored with it, and that helps make it easy to follow instead of straying off course too often.
3. How did you find SHJ?
I was searching for new programs, and already had a version of the Stephen Amell workout after falling in love with the early seasons of Arrow. I don’t remember quite which workout I found first, but I remember wondering about the website and what it had. I didn’t read into a lot of the articles at first, but slowly started to do a deeper dive as I realized just how great of a resource this was going to be.
I probably Googled something like “Batman workout” or something of the sort, in all honesty. It had to be a generic search that eventually drew me in, but I’m so happy that it did.
4. What program did you start with?
I don’t remember what I started with when I first found the site, but it may have been Stephen Amell, since he was the reason I started to look into the various superhero workouts. The first program I purchased was Cut and Shred, then 3 Hours to Superhero, and finally The Academy so I could have access to a lot more material I would use.
5. What is your favorite superhero (or character)?
I’m a big DC fan, so my favorites are all in DC’s realm. Nightwing all the way! I love the progression of Dick’s character, and his lightheartedness in stark contrast to what Bruce is as a character. Green Arrow is a close second, because his liberal socialist tendencies and sense of humor speak to me. His Rebirth run definitely helped him almost surpass Nightwing, but I don’t think I’ll lose my love of Dick Grayson.
Just in time for our launch of the newest “Robin to Nightwing Path” to launch in The Academy!
Hm…It’s almost like I planned that….
6. Favorite Superhero or Nerd Show/Movie (Can give top 3 of each)
I’m a big fan of Logan, which is probably my favorite superhero movie. Might be tied with The Dark Knight, I guess I’m not entirely sure where those two stand in contrast to each other.
Favorite nerd show? Easily The Expanse. Take some Game of Thrones politics and character development and such, throw it into space and apply realistic physics and science, and you’ve got The Expanse. And the lead (who’s basically “Space Jon Snow”) has an amazing build, but no workout info online. His routine and diet are like my white whale…
Favorite superhero show is easily Doom Patrol, and possibly Swamp Thing. Both are so good, especially Doom Patrol. I just can’t say enough good things about it, and it’s just something that you need to see and experience firsthand.
I guess to just give one more, my other favorite nerd show is a franchise. The Kamen Rider franchise is a lot of fun, basically Japanese superheroes, karate bugmen (usually) who ride motorcycles (usually), and are more armored Power Rangers. They come from the same parent company and such, but Rider has also veered into dark territory with a Dark Knight style reboot, and an Amazon Prime series (which came to the US as well, Amazon Riders) that delves into the dark and mature themes that the show can pull off when the monsters and heroes are basically cannibalistic monsters trying to either defend humanity, or purge humanity.
7. Whatever else you’d like to add (Maybe some of your own tips for the SHJ Army)
I guess the only tip I have is dedication, and follow your plan. When you decide to fall off the wagon, so to speak, and stop calorie counting, or stop your fasting, or whatever it may be, it’s hard to get back into it. You might think it’s just a day or two of not paying attention, but that makes it so much harder to get back onto. That, and find a sustainable diet for yourself, one you’re not going to mind following, because then you’re far less likely to slip up.
One thing I want to quote is how Brian signed off:
find a sustainable diet for yourself, one you’re not going to mind following, because then you’re far less likely to slip up.
It’s all about sustainability.
In almost every success story we have at SHJ our awesome members, like Brian, remind us that sustainability is key.
Right before that Brian says:
When you decide to fall off the wagon, so to speak, and stop calorie counting, or stop your fasting, or whatever it may be, it’s hard to get back into it.
And I agree completely.
Creating the habit is one hundred times harder than breaking the habit. Once you have your plan and you find what is sustainable for you…sustain it. Once you stop tracking, or decide to binge eat and “start again Monday” the plan begins to unravel pretty quick.
Find what works for you like Brian did, and before you know it you’ll have six pack abs like him.
Thanks for motivating us, Brian!
SHJ’s Nick Fury