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Zack went from skinny to buff

YOU-CAN_LOGODriving through doubt and disappointment.

This follows the story of my evolution from a hung-over highschooler, to a matured muscleman (in the making). Sounds rough doesn’t it? Let’s get to the point and find out…



16-19 years old and  67-70kg’s

A short, yet clichéd, description of my younger years , especially at school, would simply be – shy, pale, introverted, quite the loner, with a lack of proper guidance, trying to fit into the WRONG peer groups.

Needless to say confidence was non-existent at that stage, and any form of “showing off” with my body was way out of the question. Right up until my Matric year, and mostly the following 2 years as well, my life consisted of the typical “living for the weekend” mindset. Drinking, partying, trying all the wrong things & even smoking for 2 years. That all started changing in 2007 when I started doing ballroom dancing (which my girlfriend forced me into).

I’ve always been lucky enough to be lean and have some muscularity on my legs. Through dancing, it improved quite a lot. I also started learning about, & adapting to, living a healthier lifestyle. This change was largely thanks to my dance instructor, who got me on the right track.


The drive to excel in dance, eventually led me to attend my first gym session. At the very same gym I still am today – Biokinetika, a small house, converted for the purpose of rehab, where I found my place in  a new family.

A few years of unstructured and ignorant training ensued, which although lead to disaster, laid the foundation for something epic. A few years on and the proverbial “common sense” of maturing  started to take hold, and I steadily broke free of the chains that bound me as a youth.



The year of enlightenment. Like a raging the tidal wave, I flooded myself with proper fitness information, training programmes, essential techniques & principals, correct nutrition advice & the dedication that came with it. My first, and still #1 idol, was Greg Plitt. His methods and physique inspired me to be more than I am, and so I started to get serious.

Alas, aforementioned disaster struck. As a result of incorrect techniques in dance and/or the gym, going to heavy to fast & not listening to my body, my elbows steadily gave in. One at first, then the other. This was devastating, not even being able to reach for my mouse without extreme pain, saw my motivation crushed.

After examinations, X-rays & CT Scans, the doctor decided to operate, with the intent of removing some “small pieces of cartilage” that broke off… Much to my surprise, when I woke up, he informed me there was a bigger problem. Most of the cartilage lining the elbow, had disintegrated, leaving only bone.

This meant that I wouldn’t be able to do any exercises that place pressure on the elbow – Bench Press, Pushups, Preacher Curls etc. – all gone from my routine. Somehow, I pushed through the minor depression, and trhough what I think was pure stubbornness, found my track again, and got back on it.

Screenshot 2014-03-20 07.57.18

Picture 291


21 years old, 1.85m, 93kg’s, 6.8% Bodyfat (Optional stats – Curling 50kg, Squatting 160kg, 1:32 on 500m row & fully motivated.)

After recovering as best I could, having learnt as much as I could, major changes happened from late 2013. I even “train” 2 of my friends who needed the push, and my boss as well (payback time 😀 ).

It was only recently that I discovered & joined Sleek Geek, and I can honestly say I’ve never been happier. The support & togetherness of the group is amazing, and I can’t describe how great it feels to be part of such a family!

With a structured, self-made, training program, I’m on the track to where I want to be. I thought I wouldn’t make my dream a reality, but now I know – there is hope, there is always hope.

Nutrition wise – 7 or 8 meals a day,  mainly consisting of chicken breasts or mince,  with either Broccoli or rice. The rest include eggs and oats in the morning,  yoghurt & jam sandwiches as a snack, and about a cheat day each week. But nothing too strict,  if something isn’t available or whatever, I don’t fuss too much. Just pack in protein!

The most important things I’d like to pass on –

  • Check your ego, be willing to listen & learn.
  • Accept who you are and what your capable of, you will improve.
  • Be a DO-er – put maximum effort in to everything – your training structure, your breathing technique, your rest periods, your nutrition & your unyielding dedication.
  • And finally my most recent philosophy – “Live simply, so others can simply live.”


Credit where it’s due – thank you, to everyone who stood by me, not only in the good times. And Elan, thank you, for your effort & support, it means the world.

And that, is my story. Make it your own, devour the motivation, and climb your personal success ladder.

All the best, from a changed man..




SUBMIT YOUR STORY AND WIN R500 Wellness Warehouse Voucher


Zack wins a R500 voucher courtesy of our sponsor for the “YOU CAN live life well” series Wellness Warehouse to be spent on their online store with free delivery nationally.

I believe very strongly that ordinary every day people like you and I derive great inspiration from the achievements of people who seem similar to us. If they can do it.. damn.. so can I! Right?

So through this program we will continue to tell people’s personal stories.

I want to great an archive of hundreds of stories of people who have changed their lives while others believe they cannot.


Submit your story to with the Subject line “You can live life well”

We require:

  • Your story in your own words covering at least (How you got to a point of change, how you made the change, tips and advise for others)
  • A selection of before and after photos
  • As many words as you need to tell your story

In advance, we regret that not all stories may be published. Your story is as important as anyone’s story but we can only publish one a week and the editor will make decision on this.

If your story is published you will receive a R500 voucher to the Wellness Warehouse online store with free national delivery.




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