Growing up I was an extremely fat kid. I was wearing XXXL sized shirts from Spin (a kids clothing store), sized 38 pants jeans, and an L adult-sized jacket for style (more for covering the fat) at the age of 11. I was about 5’4” in height back then (my growth spurt came early) and I weighed over 200 pounds. Every time I played tag or ice-ice-water (local game here in my country) I would already be panting and gasping for air in just over 30 seconds (I held the world record for the highest stamina in the game). It was a no-brainer that my friends loved to play with me, simply because whenever I became the “It” everyone already won the game.
I remember always wearing a huge, oversized jacket in order to try to make myself look thinner. It didn’t work, though, as I was clearly sporting a double chin. I wanted to lose weight, so I enrolled myself in some sports like basketball to get my body burning. Badminton was my sport at that time. This officially marked the start of my fitness journey.
During my high school years, I began to become more aware about how food plays a huge role in losing weight. I slowly began cutting out some food such as the sandwich that my mom always forced me to eat (the sandwich comprised of white bread, with two slices of ham, one fried egg, mayonnaise, and a slice of cheese – extremely high in calories). I also cut out on a lot of rice, and was feeding off cabbage, lettuce, all these leafy vegetables, and steamed chicken breast every single day.
I also increased my cardio at this point. I got into playing football, and I would play almost every single day. On top of this, I ran an extra five kilometers every other day to keep my body burning. I thought to myself, the more I do cardio, the more fat I would burn. Boy, how wrong did I realize this in the later years.
I noticed some progress in terms of how I looked, however, I was still chubby and wasn’t really looking anywhere near my goal. Still, I kept continuing this habit of cutting out a lot of food and doing extreme cardio to keep burning. I was also still playing Pokemon at this point (talk about commitment!). This carried on to my earlier years in college.
Early College Years
My first year in college was officially the year I began weight lifting.
I wanted to impress a friend of mine for the longest time ever. We’ve been friends for over two years already and we had some great memories in high school. I remember that during the summer after I graduated from high school, I took my first step inside a gym and immediately went to the weights area (10 points for bravery!!). I remember being extremely scared of going to the weights section at that time. What if people judged me? What if some big guy would laugh at me for “trying so hard”? What if everyone would mock me for doing the wrong form? All these thoughts raced in my mind as I grabbed on to a 10 pound dumbbell. I did some arm exercises that I had watched on YouTube a few hours prior. Was I doing these right? What if my form was wrong? There was no way I could check than on the mirror.
And then it hit me. I thought to invest in someone experienced to accelerate my progress.
But before that, back to story with my high school crush. So I went to the gym for around three months to train on my own. I probably gained a pound of muscle or two. Or not. I really did not know how to tell as I was lifting and then doing intense cardio after. I really wanted to impress and show that I had undergone massive physical changes during summer. How did it go? Well, you’ll just have to keep reading.
The second night of our university seminar (it was a two day long orientation seminar), just before everyone left, I grabbed all of my guts and confronted my crush. I thought I was already this big guy (I mean who wouldn’t? After three months of beginning to lift and do intense cardio almost every single day… I thought I was the king of the world who could do anything and get anything). I went up and gave my confession.
The response? “Thanks, but no.”
I was crushed by the very person who motivated me with fitness. What did I lack? Was there something I did wrong? Was I not “enough”? All these thoughts poured into my head for months. And then this idea gave birth to what I would say gave me the very strong foundation I have with fitness today.
What if I invest in a trainer so that I can look better, feel better, and be better?
I immediately got a coach the following day.
Now why did I do that? It’s because I realized that if I wanted to turn decades into days, I would have to learn from somebody experienced. I realized I needed to learn the right forms, eat the right food, and have someone to keep me accountable for my own progress. Where did this coaching take me? It took me to my first ever bodybuilding competition the following year.
My First Taste of Competing
My first competition was hosted by a popular gym in the Philippines. At that time I was lifting weights, doing intense cardio, getting my protein in check all the while studying for my oral examinations that happened the day after my competition! (yes, I like to live dangerously) It was my first intense experience with fitness. I closely monitored my food intake and made sure my workouts were in check.
Come competition day, I hit the lowest weight I have ever been in years. I was 159 lbs that night.
It was nothing short of amazing. That night was my first time to wear nothing but only my underwear in front of so many people. I couldn’t even change in front of my siblings (yes, I was that shy)! I never imagined I could do such a thing. But that night was different. I felt strong. I felt magnificent. I felt that I can overcome any obstacle.
The competition came to a close with me landing a spot in the Top 6 of the Men’s Division. Not only that, but I was fortunate enough to have my story featured in the local newspaper!
This experience changed me. For the first time in my entire life, I was proud and confident of my body. I could show my hard work to people and make them believe that nothing was impossible. If someone like me, who used to wear triple XL shirts as a kid, could lose the unwanted fat and be in a very fit state, then I believe that anyone can do it! It was during the competition that brought about my belief in myself that I was capable and that I had the potential to change my own life – that I was finally in control of my own life. I could achieve my dreams if I wanted to! Since then, I have become an advocate of fitness and health, sharing my knowledge to friends or strangers who are just starting out in their fitness journeys.
However, I didn’t just want to stop there. I wanted to see how much farther I could push myself. As a result, I decided to enter another competition to push my physical capabilities to the limit. This time, it was not only a competition of physique, but for overall holistic fitness involving performance and stamina.
My Second Attempt At Going Beyond My Limits
My second competition happened two years later, hosted by another popular fitness gym in the country. For this competition, candidates not only needed to look amazing; we had to perform terrific as well. Each candidate had to prepare a one-minute creative posing and a one-minute aerobics routine. It was the most intense preparation I’ve had my entire life.
As someone who only cared about his physique for the longest time, my flexibility suffered. A great amount of time of the first two months of the preparation was dedicated to stretching. I needed to become more flexible to be able to perform the necessary moves and steps in order to give me a higher edge over my fellow contestants. Every stretch given to me by the trainers at the gym led to tears being shed due to the extreme pain my body had to face. Thankfully, my body adjusted and cooperated. Below are some photos of my progress, physique and fitness-wise.
This was the first time in my entire life that I had to do aerobics and perform in front of 1,500 people! From someone who could not bend down to touch his toes, I was able to transform into someone who could perform an L-sit (although not perfect!), do a straddle planche, and arrive at a split from mid-air! I even got to learn to do a one-hand pushup, which is a pretty cool thing to do in my opinion!
I was grateful enough to have received awards both from sponsors and the hosting local gym. I am extremely grateful for the opportunity to represent your brand!
From the once obese and overweight kid who would gasp for air immediately after traveling up a single flight of stairs to someone who could suddenly perform a series of aerobic moves in one minute in front of more than a thousand people… Wouldn’t you say that’s amazing? Having participated in these competitions have given me information on how much I could grow and change in a short amount of time if I wanted to, and it also made me realize and see the potential of my body’s physical capabilities! Our bodies really are something.
In the past few years in my journey I have enrolled in various training programs and have tried out numerous diets to get myself to where I am today. And it is because of these that I was able to learn a lot. I also read up on books, and invested in various coaches to learn a lot more about my body.
After lacking the self-confidence but having the will to want to, I officially began my coaching career and launched Hustle With Russell on September 6, 2017. Now, I go by RT24FIT.
It was during this time that I began to share my knowledge and experience to people by:
- Providing free workout routines to friends and strangers starting out in their fitness journeys
- Giving free Body Health Awareness Sessions to increase knowledge on people’s physical healths
- Accepting and mentoring people who want to learn my secrets and techniques
And in a short amount of time, I was able to give people these results so far:
These results are amazing, aren’t they? These are some of my clients who have achieved results in a matter of weeks just following my teachings I have acquired over the years. This is what can happen to you when you have the proper nutrition, exercise, and coaching!
I am sharing this with you because I want you to be inspired the same way I am inspired by their own progress. And I am telling you that because they are able to achieve these kinds of results, you can have these as well!
It is my passion to share to people this gift I have. I want to be able to help people be a step closer to their goals, minus all the confusion and the BS that’s out there on media. Why waste all that time and money in trying new things out only to find out that it doesn’t work? I believe that my years of experience and knowledge will be of dear benefit to you in achieving your goal physique and level of fitness.
Why “Hustle With Russell”?
It was actually my co-coach who thought of the idea, and I really feel that the term describes me very well.
I want to help people achieve maximum results in the shortest amount of time possible. Getting fit isn’t easy, and I understand the struggle of putting in so much of the work while achieving very minimal results. I want to show people that you can get the best results while still enjoying life.
I want people to have fitness as a way to boost their lives, not have fitness consume them. I used to live at the gym (I worked out 5 to 7 times a week) and it really killed my gains. I had the mentality to always “go hard,” but I did not know that I was digging even deeper holes for myself. I am not saying that exercising every day is bad, but I am saying that based from my experience I have moved on from that thinking and have actually begun to enjoy life with friends and family.
Fitness coaching should not be misleading. In an industry filled with false information and fitness celebrities using banned substances to enhance their physique, my advice is backed by years of scientific research and experience and will greatly help you with your fitness goals.
I do not entertain BS, nor do I give them out. My goal is for my clients to be able to understand and immediately implement what they have learned so that they can be two or three steps closer to their own goals.
So if you would want to jumpstart your progress and begin achieving the body you’ve been long dreaming of, I suggest following the next steps to get you started.
Step #3: Learn More About My Signature Program
Along with my free nutrition and fitness posts, I also offer additional services and products for those who want to take their fitness goals to the next level.
If you are tired of trying out diets that don’t work and want to achieve your ideal physique or you don’t know where to begin, then my Signature Program is for you.
Is it really possible not to spend most of the time at the gym, enjoy the company of friends and family, and still be able to eat whatever you want while getting results you’ve always dreamed of? Absolutely.
My Signature Program is going to give you a boost towards your fitness goals. This is the program that will finally answer all your questions with fitness and will save you a lot of time and money that you’ve lost.
This program is my blueprint in being able to eat whatever I want while still enjoying the results I desire.
That is all!
I hope you enjoyed reading my story as much as I had fun sharing it. I also hope that it inspired you to finally take action to get closer to your fitness goals!
I wish you all the greatness in life and I am looking forward to serving you!