This week the Stronger U Member Spotlight is shining on Chris Palmer. Chris was coached by David A. Schneider.
What’s your name? (First and last names, pretty please)
Tell us a little about you in 5 sentences or less. Where are you from? Are you a parent? What are your hobbies? Anything unique about your life that you want to share?
I’m from Washingtonville NY, a brand new daddy, and a member of the NY Air National Guard. I’ve always been into weight lifting and fitness. I find working on my strength and physique to be an incredibly satisfying, therapeutic, and rewarding experience. As part of my job in the guard, I get to travel a lot, among the most remote locations I have reached are Diego Garcia, Thule AB in Greenland, and Christchurch, New Zealand.
What led you to join Stronger U?
As I said, I’ve always been into fitness but I have had plenty of lapses where I let myself go. Normally I’ve been able to master myself and get my butt in gear but this time was different. I needed help in a bad way if I wanted to achieve my goals and ensure success on my next PT Test. My back was against a wall so I decided to try something different.
What dieting experience have you had previous to Stronger U? Was there a reason you were or were not successful? Why did you stop?
In all honesty, I have never used a regimented diet before turning to Stronger U. I was able to moderate myself well enough that I got into decent shape on my own but I never achieved, what I would call, anything remarkable. The last time I let myself go it was due to a lot of stress in my life including buying and moving into a new home, beginning to work full time at a new job, and trying to care for my newly pregnant wife. Fitness and diet were low on my priority list and I decided to go all out in changing that.
It’s clear Stronger U worked for you. Why do you think Stronger U worked so well when other programs or diets may have not?
It worked because it allowed me to find my own way. I had standards that I was expected to meet each day but I was able to find my OWN way to achieve those standards. I found the foods that I could come back to over and over without getting bored of them while sprinkling in a variety of other stuff to spice things up. Stronger U also forced me to really reconcile what I was putting into my body. There was no way to rationalize that I needed more of any food when my logs told me “You hit your numbers for today, you’re done.” It required investment in your own nutritional education and I can honestly say I’m far more knowledgeable than I was when I started, unlike any other diet I’ve ever used.
Can you give some insight on your eating habits BEFORE joining Stronger U?
I think my problem was inconsistency and a general lack of discipline. I didn’t track my macros, sometimes I’d forget what I ate for breakfast. My lack of being proactive and forethought led to some pretty brutal dinner time binges. I’d easily eat 1,500+ calories in a sitting as a source of comfort before bed. It’s tough to do that now.
Now that you’ve joined Stronger U, how have your eating habits changed?
I’ve become far better at portioning my food out and understanding my body’s TRUE needs, rather than giving into what amount to no more than temptations and cravings. I know when my hunger is satisfied and I can tell myself “No more” at any time. I have a hard time bingeing even during a cheat meal, it’s physically uncomfortable to do. My goal is to give my body the optimal fuel sources it needs to complete the jobs I want it to be able to do.
If you exercise or train for a sport, what does a typical week look like? Did Stronger U have any impact in your decision to start exercising or training for a sport?
I train for power bodybuilding. Essentially I want my body to be muscular, like a bodybuilder, but be able to generate the raw strength of a good powerlifter. I train on a 5-day split. Day 1 is Back and light legs, Day 2 is chest and calves and light shoulders (usually cleans), Day 3 is Legs and light back, Day 4 is Shoulders and light chest (usually a bench press variant and light flies), and Day 5 is Arms and Core. I have never competed, personally because I have never felt I could get lean enough or strong enough to do so but Stronger U has led me to believe that it’s only a matter of time before I step on the stage and a platform… I have the confidence that I can excel in both sports now.
Has your change in body weight or composition improved other areas of your life? If so, explain what areas and how.
I just feel better and more motivated to actively engage in life in all areas. I was pretty passive before but now I am interested in taking on the world. The same goes for my work. My mind feels sharper and I always have the energy to do the things I love.
Are there any tips or advice you’d give to new members of Stronger U to help them succeed early on?
Find healthy, pure food sources (protein, fat, and carbs) that you can eat every single day without getting tired of them. That’s your foundation. Slowly work to mix in other foods that will keep you from wanting to take a break. Use MyFitnessPal, it’s a godsend and TOTALLY worth the $10 a month. It makes keeping track of your macros so easy! Don’t be terrified to go to Chipotle, their food is excellent and if you’re careful it’s pretty easy to work a double meat rice bowl with guacamole, mild and medium salsas, and fajita veggies into your macros for the day!!
If someone is thinking about joining Stronger U, what would you tell them?
Treat this as an investment in yourself in the way you’d treat a college class you’re passionate in as an investment in yourself. There’s the financial aspect, true, but what really matters is that you invest some of your time into the program. You are making the decision to invest your money so for 12 weeks you have to be willing to invest your time and brain power into getting the results you want. If you make a vigorous effort each day to learn and improve then you give your body no choice but to adapt and improve. Anyone CAN do this, it’s a matter of will.