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Sean Kozak

He did Bodybuilding.com's $250K Challenge using the Shortcut to Shred program and diet plan. The results speak for themselves!

Sean Kozak

Written by Sean Kozak

I faced major health concerns the year I started my transformation. I had had a drug overdose as well as a seizure, during which my lungs mainly collapsed, and I had a heart attack. I was also diagnosed with a lung infection and nearly died.

This near-death experience led me to turn my entire life to focus on health, wellness, and fitness.

My goals were simple:

  • Complete a program for the first time, start to finish, then repeat this as a new lifestyle.
  • Lose as much body fat as possible while maintaining muscle and strength.
  • Increase cognitive function so I can have a healthy mind, body, and spirit.

I began training for my transformation on September 17, 2017. I entered the 250K 2018 Bodybuilding.com transformation contest. I ended the competition on April 15, 2018.

I started at 240 pounds and my final weigh-in was 187 pounds. My total transformation was a loss of 53 pounds, while building a large amount of muscle and strength.

I went from a size 38 waist to 32, for a total of six inches off my waist. I also went from an XL shirt size to Medium.

I did Shortcut to Shred/123 lean two times, back to back. Before I started, I did my own training program with weights and boxing.

I did a combination of intermittent fasting, juicing, and the nutrition program that was recommended in the Shortcut to Shred meal plan. I also took Alpha JYM, Shred JYM, Omega JYM, CLA, Pre JYM, Post JYM, and Pro JYM.

I didn’t want to die or go back to the old lifestyle I was faced with. I also wanted to finally love myself for the first time. I wanted to build self-esteem, get the confidence to date the right women, as well as believe in myself.

Once I proved I could do it, I wanted to lead by example so that my friends and family could be a part of my new life. This has been a huge part of my success.

I had to put my fitness first: I literally made my daily calendar around training. If I knew I had work, I changed my routine. I eventually started adding morning cardio before work so I was always ready to take on the day. I changed my routine from doing training at lunch to late evenings, depending on my responsibilities, but no matter what, I always train!!!

I remember the biggest commitment that was noticeable was when I went on a work trip and I took my entire week's meal prep with me. I made sure I never failed on my diet regardless of where I was or what I was doing!

It was my mindset. I knew I had to change my surroundings and stop listening to people who didn't have what I wanted. I started to realize how negative people are and how lazy the rest of society can be when you’re achieving the goals you set for yourself. I realize it’s critical to only listen to others who have what you want and lead by example!

My biggest challenge was the halfway mark when I finished the first program. I knew I was only halfway into my transformation, so I went through depression because I felt lost. I had to reflect on how far I had come and what was necessary to keep going. I simply decided to re-do the same program that kept working for me.

Now that I am finished, I'll make sure my health never suffers again, at least not with anything I can control.

I was never big on social media. However, this transformation gave me the courage to post my journey the entire way. As a result, I have made new friends, joined a gym where I feel at home, and I have helped my family and colleagues start transforming their lives.

What advice would I offer others looking to achieve similar health and fitness results?

This is the most important part:

  1. Define the exact goal you want. If this is mixed, you will get mixed results.
  2. Find a program designed for your goals. Don’t swap or go back and forth. (I did this; it doesn’t work).
  3. Have a meal plan in place to make your workout goals a reality.
  4. Meal prep every weekend (no excuses) so you have your week’s food planned out for the goals you want!
  5. Train no matter what. I would train even when sick — I just went half speed. But as long as I went, I got better faster and my immune system became stronger.
  6. Have a cheat meal but never a cheat day!
  7. Surround yourself with like-minded people. Ditch the haters!
  8. Talk positive to yourself daily. It’s normal to feel like you’re not accomplishing your goals — until you do!!! The more you jack yourself up, the faster it becomes real!
  9. Write your workout down and reflect on the gains. You need this going into each new week!
  10. Plan your workouts the day before and make sure your mind is focused heading to the gym so when you get there you’re on point!
  11. Don’t be the statistic of gym people on their smartphones. Listen to music and train!!! You can Snapchat your friends later. Sweat more, talk less!

By participating in as many competitions as possible, designing my own programs, and surrounding myself with like-minded people, I can hopefully transform other people’s lives by the changes I make.

I love fitness, I love teaching, and I love talking about how to train and how I keep succeeding.


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