Its been a journey for Buckley. Even though he had never been overweighthe was 61 and 150 poundshe decided to try to optimize his eating with the keto diet after seeing a documentary about it. It didnt work for him. By cutting carbs, he dropped his weight down to 145, and I felt extremely ill and lethargic, I actually ended up passing out and hitting my head on the bathroom sink.
Putting keto behind him, he focused on a more sustainable overhaul of his diet. He balanced protein, carbs, and fats, and started tracking his calories to make sure he was eating enough. He planned to run a small surplus of about 300 calories, training hard to put on muscle and get back to a healthy weight.
He started with calisthenics and dumbbell exercises in his house. Hed do pull-ups, press-ups, shoulder presses, and curls three or four times a week. After about a year of that, he started to plateau.
So he joined a local gym, doing free weight exercises to push through the plateaus. He began with three full-body days while he looked to increase volume. Then he moved to an upper-lower split . Now he does mainly a push-pull-legs program . Hes flexible but doesnt laud any one approach over another. I dont believe it matters as long as youre training correctly and following proper progressive overload in the gym, he says.
He settled into a diet of 80 percent whole unprocessed foods and 20 percent whatever I wanted. That simple rule made for an easy-to-follow routine. He could stay consistent without worrying about too many rules.
In six months of following his plan, Buckley added 50 pounds to his frame. Hed also gone from working as a restaurant manager to pursuing a career in physical training, so he got to work alongside a great trainer who taught him a lot about workouts and nutrition. And, he knows, he has pretty good genes. I have always had really good muscle symmetry, he says, and found it quite easy to grow my pecs, arms, and shoulders while staying relatively lean. He never had to alternate between bulking and cutting; he just trained hard over a long time. Hes planning to keep pushing on, seeing just how far he can go with muscle and strength.
As someone with a tried-and-true, long-term method, he says being consistent is the key. And what works for one person may not work for everyone; dont be afraid to find your own rhythm. The best piece of advice I can give someone whos just starting, he says, is to structure a routine which suits you.