Full disclosure: This article is contributed by a long-time friend and early adopter of Dr. Muscle.
Hi, I'm Fred. Just like many people approaching 40, I found myself trapped in a body riddled with injuries, constant pain, and the burden of extra body weight. If you're struggling with similar issues, come with me as I share my first 14 days of returning to the gym with Dr. Muscle.
I used to be athletic and ate like there was no tomorrow
Ah, the glory days! When i was 18 my job as a bike courier had me pedaling 40-50 hours a week. My bike and I were inseparable; it was my livelihood and my workout all in one. With the constant biking, I could devour 4,000 to 6,000 calories a day without an ounce of weight gain. Sound like a dream come true? It was!
You see, back in those days, McDonald's had this Monopoly contest, and the grand prize was a million dollars. Being a young and ambitious fellow, I really believed that if I ate at McDonald's three times a day, supersizing every meal during the entire duration of the contest, I had better chances to win the contest. Breakfast, lunch, dinner - you name it, I supersized it to get the extra sticker that would give me a chance to be millionaire. My friends joked that I was on the "McMillionaire Diet."
And guess what? I won! No, not the million dollars, but the uncanny ability to pack away fast food without any immediate consequences. Talk about life skills!
These habits, though funny in hindsight, set the stage for something much more serious. After a particularly nasty bike accident that left my knee in shambles, my biking days were over. But my eating habits? Oh, they continued. And without the physical activity to balance them out, I quickly ballooned from 170 to 260 lbs.
This transition wasn't just physical; it marked a loss of control and freedom I hadn't anticipated. Suddenly, my body became a stranger, a burden, and those fast-food feasts turned from triumphs into traps. If you've ever felt invincible only to have life remind you of your limits, you might know what it's like to stand at the edge of this precipice.
Ever tried getting back in shape and failed?
At 28, a moment of clarity struck. I looked in the mirror and realized that it was time to take my life back into my own hands. The injuries, the weight gain, the pain – it had all gone on long enough. But where to start? I knew I needed guidance, and I knew just the person to turn to.
A friend from my high school days had blossomed into a fitness guru. Completing a Ph.D. in public health and armed with a baccalaureate in exercise science, he ran Quebec's most popular exercise blog and was known for his tailor-made workout programs. If anyone could help me, it was him.
Our reunion wasn't just a nostalgic catch-up; it was a turning point. We dove into an intense training regimen, and the results were astounding. He was part scientist, part motivator, and part miracle-worker. Everything was calculated, planned, and analyzed. The weight started dropping, the muscles started building, and I felt strong, perhaps for the first time in my life.
But all good things, as they say, must come to an end.
Eventually, our paths diverged, and I was left to my own devices. Confident but perhaps a bit too cocky, I tried to replicate the magic on my own. Without the meticulous guidance and the watchful eye of my friend, I overreached and got injured.
Sound familiar? How many times have you embarked on a fitness journey, full of hope and determination, only to stumble and fall when left to your own devices? My story, filled with highs and lows, echoes a struggle many of us face. The desire to change is there, but the knowledge, support, and discipline can sometimes be lacking.
Dr. Muscle: Need a helping hand?
Fate has a funny way of connecting the dots. As I approached 40, the nagging thought of getting back in shape never left my mind. As luck would have it, I found myself traveling with Carl, my old training partner and friend. Our paths had crossed again, and it wasn't just a coincidence.
Carl had been working on something extraordinary for the past four years. He'd taken all the knowledge, expertise, and passion that had once helped me and was pouring it into a workout app called Dr. Muscle. He wanted to recreate that one-on-one magic but on a grand scale, helping not just one person at a time but thousands.
As he explained the mechanics of the app, I could see the spark in his eyes. The app utilized Artificial Intelligence to apply the 24 best exercise principles, generating personalized workout plans in seconds. What once took him an hour per client, the computer could now do effortlessly.
But what really struck me was Carl's genuine excitement about helping more people. Here was a way to take his hands-on approach and share it with those who might not have access to a personal trainer. Dr. Muscle was more than an app; it was a mission.
"You know what, Fred?" he said with a knowing smile. "Let's do the first 14 days together. I'll show you how it all works."
And just like that, I was back on the path to fitness, guided by an old friend and an innovative app that felt like something from the future. It was a second chance, a helping hand when I needed it the most. And it was a promise that this time, things would be different.
First 14 days: Worried about overdoing It?
Starting anything new can be a daunting experience, especially when it comes to fitness. My past was littered with injuries and setbacks, and the fear of overdoing it loomed large. But with Dr. Muscle and Carl by my side, I was ready to dive into the first 14 days.
Carl had an interesting approach; he wouldn't directly coach me. Instead, he wanted to observe, like a scientist watching an experiment. You see, I had become something of a UX guinea pig. His goal was to see how everyday users would interact with the app. Was it user-friendly? Would it inspire and motivate without direct human intervention? I was about to find out.
The plan was simple: show up at the gym and follow the program, but with very little weight. I was in "wake-up" mode, restarting the old winter beater, so to speak. It wasn't about challenging myself or risking injury; it was about building a habit.
I approached the workouts with caution, mindful of my past, yet there was a growing sense of confidence. The app did all the hard mental lifting for me. Calculating the weights, the reps, organizing exercises and workouts, rest times, rest days - it was all there. It was like getting back in shape on autopilot.
The benefits started to manifest quickly. Better sleep, more energy, a newfound belief that I could do this for the long haul. I felt surprisingly strong, empowered by a digital tool that seemed to know me so well.
But it wasn't all smooth sailing. The challenges were there, especially when it came to controlling my ego. Not putting on too much weight, following the app's recommendations, trusting the process – it was a lesson in humility and patience.
Carl observed it all, occasionally jotting down notes, always encouraging but never intervening. Dr. Muscle was the coach now, a testament to science and innovation. And in a way, it felt like cheating - but in the best possible sense. I was optimizing every workout, making the most of every sweat and strain.
As the first 14 days wrapped up, I couldn't help but feel a shift. The frame of the app had helped me maintain discipline. I was getting back in shape, and it felt natural, almost effortless. And in the process, I had helped shape something that could change the lives of many others.
While the first 14 days were inspiring and motivating, there were still underlying issues that I had to be mindful of. My body was a battleground of injuries, each with its own story and each a potential stumbling block on my journey:
- Lower Back: Pretty sure I have a herniated disc, never treated due to the onset of COVID. Stayed in bed for 3 weeks and followed up with physio. It's an ever-present concern.
- Wrists: Recurring tendinitis in both wrists, a lingering reminder of that attempt to bike again in 2018. I did 1000 km across France untrained, thinking it would get me back in shape. Wrong!
- Knee: That bike accident from years ago still haunts me, leaving my knee feeling off at times.
Each of these injuries could have been a roadblock, a reason to quit before even getting started. But Dr. Muscle was different. It wasn't just about lifting weights and building muscle; it was about understanding the body, working with its limitations, and finding a path to fitness that was personal and unique to me.
The app seemed to know my pains and tailored the exercises to ensure that I could still work out without aggravating my injuries. It's not just about following a random program; it's about having a virtual coach who understands your individual needs and designs a program accordingly.
This personalized approach made the gym a welcoming place, not a chamber of potential pain and setbacks. I was able to work out and feel strong without the worry of waking up the next day in agony. It felt like a partnership, a collaboration between technology and my body's unique story.
With every rep and set, I was not just overcoming physical challenges but also confronting the mental barriers that had held me back for so long. Thanks to Dr. Muscle, I was able to push past my injuries and start rebuilding my body, all the while knowing that I was doing it the right way.
A new beginning, a promising path
As I reflect on the first 14 days of my journey with Dr. Muscle, it's hard not to feel a sense of triumph. Starting this path was about more than shedding pounds or building muscle; it was about reclaiming control over a body that had endured much.
From a young and energetic bike courier with a devil-may-care attitude towards eating, to a man weighed down by injuries and bad habits, the road has been anything but smooth. Yet, with Dr. Muscle, I found a way to turn things around.
The app provided a framework, a guide that understood my unique challenges and needs. It wasn't just about throwing weights around but nurturing a body that needed care, understanding, and gradual rebuilding.
The first 14 days were filled with small victories, a renewed sense of confidence, and most importantly, a belief that I could do this long-term. The challenges were real, but they were met with determination and trust in a scientifically designed program.
As I pen down this part of my story, I know it's just the beginning. There's a longer road ahead, filled with more challenges, triumphs, and learning. The first 14 days have set the stage, and I'm excited to share what the next six months will unfold.
Want to walk the path I took? Why not start today? Try Dr. Muscle with a 14-day free trial and embark on a journey to a better, stronger you. Click here to start your free trial!
Stay tuned for the next article, where I'll dive into my 6 months of transformation using Dr. Muscle. There's a lot more to tell, and I can't wait to share it with you!