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Success Story: Olympic Fencer Slashes the Fat

Fencer Tim Morehouse won Olympic silver in 2008. That won’t be enough in London.
James Farrell

TIM MOREHOUSE
Hometown: New York, NY
Occupation: U.S. Olympic Fencer
Age: 33
Height: 6'2"
Weight Before: 218 Pounds
Weight After: 200 Pounds

Remember that scene in The Mask of Zorro, when Zorro deftly carves a “Z” into his opponent’s chest? U.S. Olympic fencer Tim Morehouse could sign his full name on your body with a fencing sabre before you’ve had the chance to blink. He and his Olympic teammates, however, weren’t always considered medal contenders.

“Years ago, people thought Americans couldn’t fence,” Morehouse says. “We could never compete with the Europeans.” That perception changed with the fall of the Soviet Union, when some of the best coaches in the world headed to the United States and slowly began changing the mindset of American fencers.

Morehouse’s career went through the same evolution as the team for which he competes. “It wasn’t until my sophomore year of college that I asked myself, ‘How far can I take this?’”

TIM'S ADVICE
Make Plans

"Planning is essential. If you just go into the week and you don’t have it planned out, it’s hard. The people around you are important, as well. If I’m around people who eat poorly, I eat poorly. If I’m around health-conscious people, I’ll eat better."

Progress came slowly, as Morehouse’s training regimen outside of fencing practice wasn’t exactly world class. “I did more of an appearance workout,” he says. “I was always benchpressing and doing crunches, but my diet wasn’t ideal.” He trained all over New York City, and instead of planning out his meals, he’d simply grab what was around lots of street fare and junk food.

Morehouse knew he needed to completely overhaul the way he approached his training and nutrition, so he connected with the best in the industry: the team at Peak Performance in New York City. That’s when he started to notice major changes, both with his fencing and his appearance. “I wasn’t spending more time working out, but I was getting much more out of it,” he says. “The training became more functional and effective.”

To clean up his diet, the Olympian signed a sponsorship deal with Bistro M.D. Each week, they deliver him a box full of meals and snacks. “Obviously, not everyone can get their food sponsored,” he says, “but it’s helped.” Now, his meals are designed around lean meats, veggies, and quality carbs, and he snacks on protein shakes between workouts.

The tighter diet and smarter exercise helped Morehouse completely reconstitute his body, taking him from slightly doughy fencer to ripped Olympian. Most important, though, the changes have improved his performance. “I’m moving a lot faster,” he says. “When I’m eating correctly, my recovery is better, as well. The biggest thing is having more even energy, though.” As for the Olympics, Morehouse feels better prepared than ever— and he’s hoping he can take his sport to the next level. “[My] goal is to go out and win a gold medal in London,” Morehouse says. “I want more people to notice the [fencers], know their stories, and want to follow us. It’s about knowing what we’ve overcome.

GOT SUCCESS? Show us. E-mail your story, your contact info, and any pictures that help illustrate your progress to successstories@mensfitness.com. You’ll be considered for both the online and print edition!

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