Brenden was never particularly sporty, even when he was a kid. In school, he stood out as the tiniest, least muscular kid who struggled to lift heavy objects. He used to play baseball, but he eventually gave it up because he never changed much while the other kids around him did. In high school, Brenden stayed away from the gym and thought it was not really for him and weightlifting was something he wouldn’t be able to do.
The Turning Point
Growing up in Long Island, New York, Brenden had a buddy, Chris, who was a race car driver and started his career when he was 14. Brenden had volunteered to be his pit crew and had worked with him for ten years. Although they are not as fast as those in the F1 pit crew, they still have to do a lot of heavy work, such as pushing the car around and lifting a bunch of tires that could be around 50 to 75 lbs. Once, when Brenden was about 24 years old, he had just tightened up a bolt and then had to loosen it. For the life of him, he could not loosen it; he had tried jumping up and down and using all his body weight and still couldn’t loosen it. His friend came over and saw him struggling and with two fingers, pushed down on the wrench, loosening the bolt, he then turned to Brenden and said, “we’re going to the gym on Monday.” And this nudge was the beginning of Brenden’s fitness journey.
Chris had shown him the ropes on how to work out in a gym. He had shown him a couple of exercises and how to use machines, and from there, things progressed naturally. Brenden went to the gym four to five days a week, and that went on for a year and a half until the pandemic happened. Following that, he could not continue going to the gym, was laid off from his job, and spent the subsequent five months sitting at home doing nothing productive, eating junk food, and playing video games.
The Big Move
When Brenden’s girlfriend Claudia found a job in West Chester, PA, where she went to school, the couple relocated there in August 2020. Both the job and the move caused an increasing amount of stress. They weren’t taking care of their health, not eating right, and not exercising, so they decided to make a change.
So, in the summer of 2021, they tried going to the gym together but quickly lost interest. Brenden had to deal with self-esteem issues; he worried that other people were judging him or that he was doing something wrong while he worked out at the gym. The two of them consequently quit working out around November of 2021. When they started the new year, the couple looked at each other and realized they had to lose weight, get help, and keep going. Soon after, Claudia searched online and came upon Bent On Better Personal Training.
Being the short and tiny kid that Brenden once was, he felt intimidated seeing friends and other people working out or being able to play sports at a competitive level. He thought he was not able to compete with them. This same weakness, however, became the fuel that pushed Brenden to improve himself. While he may not have any major physical issues like a knee surgery or a particular illness that he had to endure, his mental state, such as overcoming insecurities or finding motivation, can be a different challenge he has to go through to change his lifestyle.
Besides ensuring he gets one percent better each day, Brenden kept track of his nutrition. Brenden admitted that before joining the Bent On Better gym, he usually consumed a whole row from a family pack of chocolate chip cookies. With Matt’s help and Brenden’s dedication to improving his diet, he could make gradual changes in his diet every day and see significant improvements without completely giving up his favorite foods.
3 Simple Changes You Can Do With Your Diet
When Brenden started with Bent On Better, he thought he would need to cut out everything he liked to eat, eat salads for the rest of his life and maybe do a lot of strenuous exercises. But instead, it was just three simple changes that Matt asked him to do; three easy, simple changes you can do with your diet that, when done consistently, will have positive results:
- Change of bread – like choosing sprouted whole grain bread instead of white bread.
- Adding any kind of green vegetables to his diet like broccoli, asparagus, and brussels sprouts
- Increase protein intake
According to Brenden, he didn’t have to make big changes; these were easy little changes he could do every day. He also didn’t have to cut out soda entirely. But what Matt did was to give a better alternative, and it did minimize his soda drinking habits.
“Change sounds intimidating at first, but it’s really not that bad at all. It’s super easy.” – Brenden M.
When you make small changes that are easy to stick to, they become permanent. Make small changes and stick to them. Gradually, these little things will add up to even more significant habits that turn eating healthier into a lifelong habit.
How Brenden Changed In Six Months
Sometimes change can be a startling concept, maybe even a little intimidating. However, it can also be as easy as making a resolution and then slowly but surely putting your new habits into practice, one at a time. For Brenden, he would never have guessed just how much of an improvement he was able to make in six months.
He lost 10 pounds of fat while increasing his lean body mass and gaining muscle, which is remarkable. When Brenden first started training in January, he still needed to use bands to help him deadlift a 20-pound kettlebell. Now, he can do 135 lbs on the trap bar, but if you told him that six months ago, he would have said it was impossible.
“As long as you can continue to look at what you’ve accomplished, where you’ve been, what you’ve done, what you’ve overcome; and just know that if you’ve done that, you could do what else is ahead of you.” – Matt April
By all accounts, Brenden is a very hard worker who has put in the time and effort to make serious progress in his fitness journey. Kudos to him for finding the motivation to do so and for looking for ways to become better. If he hadn’t changed his mindset from “it’s impossible to get bigger” to “I have no limits, I will do whatever it takes to become better,” his progress would have been nonexistent.
Remember, don’t lose sight of what really matters: the difference between how you are today and how you started—wherever that may be. And for those of us with a similar mindset as Brenden six months ago, remember that anything is possible as long as you put in the time and effort.
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