We should spend more time celebrating the success of others. In this case, it’s Tyler Richmond, who has managed to lose over 100 pounds in the past year, all while earning his Masters degree. When Tyler shared his story on social media, I had to reach out and congratulate him. Little did I know he’d feel like sharing his methods and the things he’s learned along the way with me.
Today’s article will start out with the basics of Tyler’s routine, diet, and supplements. After Tyler shared this with me, I secretly hoped I could get more info out of him. Luckily, he agreed to answer a few more questions. Continue reading to learn about how Tyler trained, ate, and stayed motivated during his 100+ pound transformation.
I would contribute consistency making up over 80% of the success. I go to sleep (9:00) and wake up at the same time (4:30) every morning and go to the gym. Found a lot of sleep studies that contributed to weight loss and overall health and this aspect is commonly overlooked. I may be too consistent because I do the same movements over and over but I continue to see results. I saw the most results when I lost my ego and quit powerlifting and went for a higher rep range in every muscle group. Yes, I’m weaker now but there is a lot more definition. I absolutely hate cardio machines so I get my cardio by never resting between sets and doing the higher reps.
I eat chicken or beef for pretty much every meal. I may splurge and do cod or some type of pork but it’s rare. Went keto for the first three months, but it was not feasible and I realized that I hated dieting and could not maintain it. I added in healthy carbs such as aromatic rice and legumes (black beans, lentils, chickpea). I quit drinking alcohol and believe that has raised my test levels. Also, I do not eat a meal after 5:30 which gives me a good fasted workout. If I’m working a major muscle group and feel weak when I wake up, I’ll take some BCAAs prior to going. I’ve also always done what your latest article talked about where I limit calories during the week if I have plans for the weekend and know I won’t be able to stay consistent.
I make my preworkout because I hate the crash and under dosage from store bought products. I use a 200 mg caffeine tab, 6 grams of 2:1 citrulline malate, 3 grams of beta alanine, and 1 gram of agmatine sulfate. I take a shot of apple cider vinegar and d-aspartic acid after breakfast. I also take a blend of green coffee bean and Garcinia Cambogia from bulk supplements for appetite control.
MW Note: There’s more info on supplements in the Q&A below.
Below you’ll find the Q&A portion. Each question will be followed by Tyler’s response and any additional notes/resources to follow up on any relevant information.
Q: Any tips for waking up and getting out of bed? How about early workouts – any tips for gettin’ up and goin’ in the morning?
I have no advice for waking up and getting out of bed. I would say that it gets easier with time but it really doesn’t. I just know that I’m bettering myself if I wake up and make it to the gym and that is the only motivation that is needed.
Q: Did you have a support system or someone motivating you during your transformation?
Definitely. I’d like to thank Dillon Cox and Michael Fogleman, my grad school classmates. These guys took me in, gave me advice, and kept me motivated. Having a good support and motivation system will help you reach your goals. Someone there to push you harder and squeeze out those critical last reps or just someone to not get mad when you turn down a trip to your favorite restaurant in order to keep your diet on track. I would recommend a certified trainer or a reliable gym partner.
Another thing I picked up from Dillon and Michael was how to isolate muscle groups. Being a former athlete I had never actually isolated muscle groups, even though I worked out all of the time. Most movements for athletes tend to be compound and explosive movements, which is great for the purpose it is meant to serve, however, isolation is a key component for definition.
Q: Have you trained fasted the entire time?
I have trained fasted and non-fasted. I see better results working out fasted but I feel a lot better when I workout in the afternoon and have had a couple of meals. Fasted workouts just work better for me because I have a goal of weight loss and definition. If you are bulking and looking for strength I would not recommend a fasted workout at all.
MW Note: Here’s a video exploring training fasted and nutrient timing, if you’re interested.
Q: I noticed the MyFitnessPal on your transformation photo. Have you been tracking the entire time or since stopping keto?
I have tracked using MyFitnessPal (free version) the entire time. I log weights, progress pics, and every meal. I have tracked total calorie intake and macros. Both ways are great because once you start tracking, you always have an idea of what you are taking in whether you log it or not. The app has made me much more aware of how unhealthy certain foods are and greatly improves your portion control.
MW Note: I LOVE this. Tracking, even for a short period of time, is an extremely valuable educational experience about food and nutrition.
Q: Are you cooking all your meals at home? Prepping ahead of time? What’s your go-to if you’re in a pinch?
I cook my meals at home. I use meal prep containers from Amazon. I cook once a week and eat the same meal for lunch and dinner the entire week. Breakfast consist of three hard-boiled eggs about two hours after a post-workout protein shake.
MW Note: Tyler is training fasted but limits muscle breakdown by having a post-workout shake and meal shortly after training.
Q: Any tips for making the same thing taste better or more enjoyable? Or is it just a mindset shift from “purpose instead of pleasure” in terms of eating.
I use a lot of spice in foods, cayenne pepper, Tony’s, slap-ya-momma, or lemon pepper. I alternate my main protein source every week (chicken or beef). I have not found a way to eat for pleasure when you are looking for results. If you find a way, please let me know. I eat for a purpose and when I get tired of eating the same food, I look up C.T. Fletcher’s eating advice on YouTube.
Q: How many days/week are you training?
I train every day that I am able. I firmly believe consistency is key. My typical training week is:
Wednesday-shoulders, biceps, triceps
Thursday- legs and back (conditioning-very light weight and high reps)
Saturday- shoulders, triceps, biceps
Sunday-legs and abs
MW Note: Tyler has obvi been killing it in the gym. Remember, the best program is the one you can stick to. Don’t think you have to train 7 days a week to see great results, though it definitely helps. If you’re unsure of where to begin, you can read this for ideas on creating your own program. You could also take the 14-Day Strength Training at Home Course for free by clicking here.
Q: You mentioned you’re doing the same movements in higher rep ranges with no rest. What’s your general program look like? Bodybuilding style strength training or more circuits, etc.?
I would say that my style is more bro or bodybuilding. I always start with compound movements for the muscle group that I am working that day and work down to isolation movements throughout the workout. I do not do circuits unless I am working abs. As far as reps, it varies on the movement and muscle group.
Chest – Flat, decline, and incline bench – 14-18 reps for four sets while increasing the weight each set. The last bench movement of the day I burn out on the last set with at least 30 reps. Reverse grip benches are a great moment to include if you are not. Cable tower flys are one of your best friends for development.
Arms – Superset different grips with the same weight. Each set 10-15 reps (30 total for a single weight). Do that movement 3 or 4 times while increasing the weight each time. Do negatives (slow eccentrics or lowering of the weight) on your last sets with the heaviest weight.
Legs and back – 12-15 reps for compound movements (squat, leg press, hack squat, deadlift). 15-20 reps for isolation movements (leg curls, leg extensions, etc.).
Q: How long have you been taking the supplements like apple cider vinegar, d-aspartic acid, and green coffee bean extract? Would you recommend them to someone on a budget (i.e. noticeable benefits for you or extra icing on the cake, so to speak)?
I have been taking apple cider vinegar for about 5 months. This stuff tasted disgusting but I firmly believe in it. It suppresses your appetite and is very affordable. Be sure to use apple cider vinegar with the ‘mother’ present.
As for d-aspartic acid, I have just recently started using this and have not noticed much change when on vs off of it.
Green coffee bean extract is affordable but it tasted terrible. GCB does give an energy boost and mental focus, which is perfect for taking after lunch.
Keep in mind, these are just icing on the cake and the effects are minor compared to just having a healthy and consistent diet with a good workout routine. If you just start taking supplements without changing a bad routine, you will not see results. There is no miracle supplement other than your own motivation to eat and move right.
MW Note: I love Tyler’s answers about what he’s taking. I recommend you check out any supplement you’re considering on Examine.com for research, dosing recommendations, and any safety concerns. You can check out this video to learn how you can research popular supplements like Plexus to see if they’re worth their salt and if you could make your own.