By Liana Jacob
MEET the hunky athlete who used to be embarrassed to take his shirt off due to his weight and now has lost an astonishing two-stone eight pounds in six months revealing a six-pack that has gained his confidence to post topless selfies.
University biology professor, Alex Menke (25), from North Carolina, USA, has always been sporty when growing up, but after swimming professionally for 18 years and all through university, he put on his peak weight of 15st, while consuming unhealthy food consisting of over 3,400 calories a day.
This resulted in his confidence plummeting, feeling too embarrassed to reveal his torso, until he came across a bodybuilder on Instagram that sparked his interest in bulking up and changing his lifestyle.
After revamping his exercise routine to weight lifting six days a week, Alex began to show a more defined six-pack and shrunk to a 12st 6Ibs and consuming an average of 2,700 calories a day. He also won the NCAA Division II National Championships in the 1650-yard freestyle.
“It was a lack of self-control that led to my previous shape. I lost my willpower because I had no more extrinsic or intrinsic motivators,” Alex said.
“I saw no reason to take care of myself after swimming. I gained a lot of weight when I quit. I was never confident about how I looked; I was strong, but embarrassed to take my clothes off.
“I had a revelation after seeing Tavi Castro on Instagram; he has been my role model for two years now.
“I fell in love with bulking and cutting cycles and did research on biochemistry and dietetics, as well as biomechanics. Armed with knowledge, I set out to change my life.
“Going into a caloric deficit from my total daily energy expenditure (TDEE; calories burned at rest). I lifted six days a week and supplemented cardio workouts three times a week.
“It has given me a very good goal to beat next year. It has provided me with confidence that I can change my body shape dramatically.
“I feel great overall, but mostly I just feel very confident.”
The result wasn’t easy to achieve, as Alex says that keeping up his hard work was hard.
“Staying consistent is the most difficult part. Not cheating on your diet is somewhat challenging,” Alex said.
“I did keto for the last six weeks, which means no carbohydrates at all and that was tough.
“People now notice how defined my muscles are compared to when I had a lot of fat surrounding them; most are genuinely happy for me.
“My advice is to get in contact with someone who can help you stay accountable. Research the methods of losing fat (not just ‘weight’), and keep yourself in a shallow caloric deficit and lift heavy weights.”
For more information visit: https://www.instagram.com/strongfrog_fitness/