Hometown: Folsom, CA
Weight Before: 289 lbs
Weight After: 228 lbs
Body Fat Before: 30%
Body Fat After: 7%
When Chad Sargent left junior college to work for his family’s steel business in Sacramento, Calif., he didn’t think much about his diet. He played lots of basketball, so he always ate whatever he wanted and never gained weight. That all changed once he entered the workforce. He had less (or no) time for hoops and sank into a gut-swelling routine of high-calorie soft drinks and fast food. “I couldn’t get enough soda in me,” he says. He’d snack on candy at the office and shovel Oreos when he got home from work.
His relationship with his father (also his boss) soon became strained, which led him to quit in 2002. He was 24 years old and just shy of 300 pounds, a full 55 pounds heavier than when he left school. “I saw my life going down a path I didn’t want to travel,” he says.
Desperately out of shape— and now unemployed—Sargent craved physical activity, so he picked up a part-time job teaching waterskiing and tried to exercise more often. It was during an innocent game of pickup basketball that Sargent realized just how far he had let himself go. “I was winded after half a game,” he says. “I knew I had to do something.”
Sargent understood that his key to working out regularly was staying motivated. That’s why he turned to Prime Time Boxing, a local boxing gym. Almost immediately he was hooked on training like a fighter. Twominute intervals of running,jump rope, plus extensive mitt work had him shedding fat at an incredible rate. As he found a routine, Sargent took his training even further.
“I started taking 15-pound dumbbells out on runs,” he says. He also signed up for extra conditioning sessions twice a week, focusing on explosive exercises like box jumps paired with complex movements like pushups on dumbbells, followed by rowing exercises after every set. “It was mainly plyometrics stuff,” he says.
To complement his new regimen, Sargent completely overhauled his diet. He began eating fi ve smaller meals a day, spread out evenly. At breakfast, he substituted oatmeal for cereal and introduced himself to whole-wheat products. Hardest of all, he abandoned nighttime eating. “If I’m not going to be active for the rest of the day, I’m done with carbs,” he says.
“It’s really just veggies and protein for dinner now.” Within a six-year time period, Sargent had dropped to 228 pounds and just 7% body fat. Today he’s in the best shape of his life. “If you know what you’re eating and you know what you’re doing, you’re going to be OK,” he says. “It’s a process and a lifestyle choice. It’s really not that hard—if you have patience.”
Chad’s Secret: Don’t Stop Eating!
To augment his training, Sargent overhauled his diet, focusing on smaller, low-calorie meals eaten more frequently during the day. “That way, you never go into starvation mode.”