The votes are in and Mike Pendergrass is the 2015 Rock Hard Challenge Champion!

Name: Mike Pendergrass
Age: 26
Starting Weight: 187
Ending Weight: 180
Height: 5’9″
Location: Westchester, IL

Check out our Q/A with this year’s champion:

Muscle & Fitness: What motivated you to take on the Rock Hard Challenge?

Mike Pendergrass: I was in a slump and looking for a program that could help me achieve a body I was proud of. The guys at my firehouse had planned on giving the RHC a shot and I couldn’t pass it up. I had a competitive environment to help push me past my comfort zone. It was worth it! 

M&F: Did you make any adjustments to our recommended plan? If so, what else did you add to your workout and nutrition program?

MP: I struggled with nutrition because of my sweet tooth. I had to make minor adjustments to the workout adding supplemental cardio (sprints, long distance runs, hockey) to make up for a cheat meal here and there.   

M&F: What was the most difficult part of the challenge for you?

MP: Diet has always been my struggle. My wife is an incredible cook and the guys at the firehouse love heavy meals and late night ice cream. I gained support from my wife and the guys and soon it was in my favor to have a team behind me. Both at work and home I was held accountable. 

M&F: How has your exercise and diet regimen changed since you completed the challenge? Do you hope to continue your transformation?

MP: Since the challenge I have started a new program that allows me to work split muscle groups 4 days a week. This leaves 3 days a week to prepare for an upcoming marathon this fall. I have continued to see growth and definition while rebuilding an athletic body that puts my high school self to shame. 

M&F: What are your overall fitness goals?

MP: I plan on using the tools and confidence I gained through the RHC to create a body that reflects my fitness goals. I will continue to develop a functionally strong body that aesthetically represents my hard work. 

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