Success Story: Conquering "Fat Genetics" to Drop 82 Pounds
This chubby student made a serious change and inspired his entire family to do the same.
Hometown: Layton, UT
Weight Before: 245 lbs
Weight After: 163 lbs
Most people pack on the flab once they hit college, and again when they get married. Imagine the stress of being expected to do both at the same time. “I knew a guy who got married the day after he graduated high school,” says Kyle Olson, 20, of Layton, Utah. “I [saw] a lot of people getting married, going to college, and putting on weight.” Olson, who was his high school football team’s starting center, didn’t necessarily need to adhere to a strict diet—he just needed to be as strong as a bull. Couple that with his family’s “fat genetics” (his words), and it’s not hard to see how he became a 5’5”, 245-pound high school senior. Unlike with many of our success stories, it didn't take a life-threatening health scare to get Olson in the gym. He had enjoyed weightlifting for football, but after his career ended, Olson realized that it didn’t make much sense to keep his body doughy. Early sessions in the gym saw him lose some weight, simply because he was becoming more active. He was hooked. “When I started to see some of the weight come off, it gave me more motivation,” Olson says, “I don’t see any point in building muscle if [its going to be buried] under layers of fat.”
“If you don’t have that desire, you wont put all your effort into it. And then you’ll cheat more often. Cheating will turn into eating whatever, whenever. Keep at it.”
One of the first things he did was clean up his diet. Instead of sticking to his usual routine—“Whatever sounded good, and as much as I wanted—he made small changes, eating less fried food and sweets. His 20-year-old metabolism helped, as the simple changes to his diet began yielding quick results. But he wasn’t content with just losing weight. He wanted definition. “As time went on and I really started wanting to look better, that’s when it really started to change,” he says. “I ate a lot more complex carbs, a lot more protein and a lot more vegetables.”
Olson also tweaked his routine in the gym. While in high school he had stuck to a high-weight, low-rep routine, focusing almost exclusively on power. He changed things up when he got serious about bodybuilding. “I went from doing only three lifts to hitting each muscle group once a week,” explains Olson. “[With my current routine] I’ll hit every muscle every sixth day.” But that doesn't mean Olson hasn't remained a beast in the weight room—he’s still benching 315 pounds for reps and squats over 400 pounds. And Kyle isn’t the only one in his household whose made a serious change. “[Everyone in my family] has gotten into this lifestyle,” Olson says. His father weighed over 300 pounds for most of the '90s but after going on a “nearly perfect diet,” he too has managed to cut down to 164 pounds. Following suit, his mom has cut over 100 pounds over the course of two years. It pays dividends for Kyle as he knows he wont have to worry about his diet when he gets to the dinner table. “My mom cooks healthy meals and buys healthy foods, so it makes my life a lot easier,” he says. After two years of bodybuilding and dieting, Olson’s cut down to a shredded 163 pounds and is strongly considering entering his first bodybuilding contest next April. If he keeps up this pace, he may not have too much competition.