The UK's Samuel Urwin found all the motivation he needed for a complete physique transformation in a reader-run contest, right here at muscleandfitness.com


Little did we know, we would make one of our loyal reader's dreams come true when we chose Samuel Urwin of County Durham, England, as the winner from 25 contestants in the "100 Days MUSCLE AND FITNESS Challenge: 100 Days to Ultimate Transformation." Here, Urwin—board name SammyU—discusses how he won the challenge using his very own natural diet and exercise regimen, whittling his six foot-tall, 207-pound physique to an incredible 188 pounds with only 7% bodyfat, proving that you don't need to be Ronnie Coleman to look freakin' awesome.

M&F: What inspired you to enter this contest?

Samuel: I've always had a dream about competing in a bodybuilding contest, and this gave me an opportunity to realize my potential—to see if I was "good enough," so to speak, for the real thing.

M&F: How long have you had an interest in bodybuilding?

Samuel: I became interested when I picked up my first bodybuilding magazine at around 14 years of age, which, funny enough, was MUSCLE & FITNESS! I was always a slender kid, and after I realized I wasn't good enough to play tennis professionally, I wanted a bigger and stronger physique. So, I went to the local news agents and picked up the first magazine I saw, and became hooked from then on.

M&F: What was the first thing you did to begin your transformation? Did you start by cutting out certain foods? Did you have a set routine in mind?

Samuel: Initially, I kept my calories high but cut out all cheat meals and alcohol over the first 40 to 50 days, with the purpose of increasing muscle mass. Then, I set out a plan to cut my carbs to no more than 100 grams a day at around five weeks from the end of the competition. The first foods I cut out were brown pasta and whole wheat bread, which made a big impact. I then started to eat less and less starchy carbs to the point where I was just consuming rolled oats before and after my workouts. However, to compensate I ate more fibrous carbs, such as broccoli, cucumber, peppers and romaine lettuce.

M&F: Did you utilize the help of a personal trainer? If not, how did you formulate your diet and exercise regimen?

Samuel: A friend who is a personal trainer suggested the low-carb approach and pointed me in the direction of a few articles written by Charles Poliquin. I read about the subject and decided to give it a try. However, I devised my own diet and training program.

M&F: What did your daily diet consist of?

Samuel: I typically consumed the following during a standard day in my cutting phase: four scoops (80 grams) of whey protein, 12 whole eggs, three cans of tuna, a seafood mix of squid, prawns and mussels, rolled oats, oat biscuits, two tablespoons of olive oil, romaine lettuce, broccoli, sliced peppers, mixed nuts (peanuts, cashews and almonds), mixed seeds (sunflower and pumpkin), as well as water and green tea.

M&F: What was your workout routine?

Samuel: I worked out Monday, Tuesday, Thursday and Friday. There were six workouts that went in the following order: My first workout included barbell bench presses, upright barbell rows, tricep dips, pull-ups, and deadlifts. The second workout included squats, stiff-legged deadlifts, Smith machine calf raises, and preacher and hammer curls. The third workout included incline barbell bench presses, seated shoulder presses, close-grip bench presses, chin-ups, and barbell rows.

The fourth included Zercher squats, Romanian deadlifts, leg press calf raises, lying incline dumbbell curls, and reverse EZ-bar curls. The fifth included incline dumbbell presses, behind-the-head barbell shoulder presses, skull crushers, dumbbell rows, and barbell shrugs. The last workouts included dumbbell lunges, sumo deadlifts, standing barbell calf raises, barbell curls, and behind-the-back barbell wrist curls. I rotated these workouts over my split, performing them all in rest-pause sets of 17 reps.

M&F: What additional supplements were used, if any?

Samuel: I used low-carb whey supplements by USN, 100% whey protein, and Dymaitize Elite whey protein to supplement my protein intake and keep a positive nitrogen balance. On top of this, I supplemented with cod liver oil and glucosamine to protect my joints from the strenuous training program.

M&F: What are your future goals? Do they include bodybuilding or personal fitness?

Samuel: I'm currently in the second year of a sport and exercise science degree at Northumbria University. After graduation I would like to concentrate on getting ready to do a natural bodybuilding show. I want to take my passion for fitness into a career with the intention of becoming a strength and exercise coach in the not too distant future.

M&F: Is there anything else you would like to add?

Samuel: I'd like to urge everyone to believe in themselves. If you really want it, you will get there. It just takes a bit of dedication and hard work, and you will realize your dreams.

M&F would also like to acknowledge our second and third place selections:

2nd Place Tyler Hovda (screen name Tyler1) of Roseau, Minn., added 10 pounds of lean mass to his build, bumping his weight from 185 to a lean 195 in 100 days.

3rd Place Dan Charbonneau (screen name dchabby) of Ontario, Canada, dropped 10 pounds from his 5'10" frame, going from 196 to 186, while dropping 1.5 inches from his waist.

And barring any major setbacks with delivery, these gentlemen will be shipped the following prizes for their efforts.

1st Place:
>> Profile on muscleandfitness.com
>> M&F Training Notebook
>> M&F t-shirt
>> DVD of Joe Weider's Bodybuilding Training System
>> 1-year subscription to M&F

2nd Place:
>> M&F Training Notebook,
>> M&F t-shirt
>> 1-year subscription to M&F

3rd Place:
>> M&F t-shirt
>> 1-year subscription to M&F

Be on the lookout for more reader-sponsored contests on the M&F Boards. Also, gear your training calendar around the M&F-sponsored, 2008 Rock Hard Challenge in the July issue, due out June 2.