Meet the overall winner of the Men’s Division of the Burn the Fat Body Transformation Challenge (season 16), Fred Hausmann! In this interview, Fred shares some of the secrets to his success, including details about mindset, nutrition, and workouts, that not only led to an impressive physical transformation, but huge improvements to his health, all in only 14 weeks.
The Tipping Point
Thank you Tom for interviewing me for the Burn the Fat website. Completing the summer challenge and obtaining the results I did have truly changed my life.
In the weeks before starting the challenge, I was at the heaviest weight of my life, and my health was suffering as a result. Within the previous year, I had been diagnosed with severe sleep apnea, caused in large part by my excessive weight, and had been prescribed a breathing assistance machine (CPAP) to help me sleep at night.
Also, I had learned that I have partial blockages of my carotid arteries due to my elevated cholesterol and body fat levels, putting me at a high risk of having a heart attack or stroke.
Oh, and I was pre-diabetic.
Clearly, I had plenty of good reasons related strictly to my health for wanting to make a major change in my diet and fitness regime. But there was something else nagging at me as well.
My mother died prematurely from a stroke. Her early death pained me deeply, and I wanted desperately to avoid inflicting similar suffering on my wife and son.
The slow build of all these factors had brought me to a kind of tipping point. The time had come. I had to do something.
As it happens, in my early 40s, I discovered Tom’s book Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle, and by following his advice, achieved excellent health and fitness results for a couple of years before I stopped.
Recently, while Googling weight-loss strategies for inspiration, the website for the Burn the Fat Challenge popped up on my screen. Instantly, I recalled my positive experience reading Burn the Fat Feed the Muscle and following Tom’s strategies for getting in shape.
The foundation of what I did was to follow Tom’s four principles:
My first step was to set goals for myself, both bigger goals for the longer term and smaller, easily attainable goals for the short term. I’m pleased to report that I stuck to my goals, with occasional updates, as circumstances warranted them, to my short-term goals.
My long-term goal was to achieve the best shape of my life and ingrain a healthy lifestyle into who I am. From past experience, I knew that mindfully changing my self-perception was essential for me to be able to transform my lifestyle in such a big way – and to stay with it for the rest of my life.
My medium-term goal was to win this challenge.
In the short term, my goal was to do everything right each day to improve my chances of achieving my medium and long-term goals. This meant eating properly, being physically active and being mindful.
At the end of each day, I recorded what went right and what I could have done better. By tracking my progress in this manner, I was better able to adjust my short-term goals and keep my motivation levels high.
Managing my diet was a big part of my fitness regime. I followed Tom’s principles of eating, targeting two pounds of weight loss per week and carefully adjusting my carb and protein intake to break plateaus.
One thing that worked exceptionally well for me was Tom’s zig zag calorie rotation (i.e., every couple of days, have a really low-carb day) and carbohydrate tapering (i.e., have most of the carbs in the morning).
Also, I drank a lot of water each day. To calculate my hydration needs, I used the chart in Tom’s book that shows the amount of water required to support different levels of caloric expenditure. I estimated that I was burning 4,000 calories per day, which meant I needed to drink from 116 to 174 oz. of water per day.
From reading success stories, I knew that for prior challenge champions, calorie counting was a powerful tactic for losing weight and keeping it off. My experience bore this out. I tracked every morsel of food that I consumed. It was time consuming and not a lot of fun, but it allowed me to carefully manage my macronutrients (i.e., protein, carbohydrates and fat).
For example, whenever my weight loss slowed, I had the information necessary to adjust my food intake and break through the plateau. I could not have continuously optimized my diet in this way had I not been carefully monitoring everything I was eating.
Going into the challenge, I knew that restricting my diet would be vital to success, but some flexibility would be necessary for both my own sanity and that of my family. On a small handful of occasions, we had fun nights out when I ordered meals that theoretically – I should not have eaten. But I was mindful to strive to make the benefits of those indulgences exceed the price that would ultimately have to be paid for them.
Cardio and Resistance Training
For my cardio, I followed a program based on HIIT (high intensity interval training). In his book, Tom explains that extended HIIT workouts raise your excess post-exercise oxygen consumption (EPOC). In other words, after a workout, your body at rest will continue to burn calories at a higher-than-normal rate. To make my workouts as efficient as possible, I often added HIIT to my weight-training routine by running on the spot for one minute during the final rest period of each exercise.
Every few weeks, I changed my workout routine so that my body wouldn’t have time to adapt. Mainly, I followed the four-day split routines for advanced training that Tom recommends at the Burn the Fat Inner Circle website. In the beginning, I gave myself two rest days per week.
Then, for a few weeks, I switched to just one rest day per week. Finally, for the last three weeks of the challenge, I went back to two rest days per week.
Taking part in this 14-week Burn the Fat challenge has been a phenomenal experience. Without a doubt, it has had a life-changing impact on both me and my loved ones.
For starters, after a long period of being in the dumps about my health, I feel great about myself. Moreover, I’m putting more energy and focus than I have in a very long time into being a better husband and father.
In terms of my health and fitness, the improvement has been remarkable. My body fat has dropped dramatically and I’ve added a reasonable amount of muscle. Obviously, I’m pleased by these results, but it gets much better!
At the start of week 13 of the challenge, I had another sleep study and my artery blockages were re-measured. Two days ago, I got the results and they were fantastic. The number of incidents of interrupted breathing during my deep sleep dropped from 30 per hour to 8. Fewer than 5 per hour is considered normal, while 30 per hour is considered severe. Getting down to 8 events per hour is terrific.
Besides the fact that it reflects an important improvement in my health, it means that I can occasionally skip using my CPAP machine without concern. This will allow me to do things with my family that I wouldn’t otherwise, like going camping.
In addition, the re-measurement of my artery blockages showed they had shrunk by 80%.
This fitness challenge has been one of the best things that has ever happened to me. I feel so much better about myself and, hopefully, my improved health will mean that I’ll be around a lot longer for those I love.
Thank you Tom!!!
You Could Be The Next Success Story
There’s nothing like a big goal and a big challenge for ramping up your motivation (the chance to win great prizes doesn’t hurt either). And, when it’s done inside an online community like our Burn The Fat Inner Circle, the camaraderie and support skyrockets your chances of success compared to trying to do it alone.
Join us for the next challenge and join us in the Burn The Fat Inner Circle members area to stay motivated and connected to positive people all year round. Click Here To Learn More About The Inner Circle.