Today at 5P, we are dropping the all new “Eat What You Want, Lift What You Want” workout and nutrition program!!! Below is the story of Adee Zukier, the person who inspired it all. Sign up for the newsletter to get all the details.
My name is Adee Zukier. I am a 63kg/138.6lb weightlifter (weighing in daily within 1kg of my weight category). I eat ice-cream every day, and enjoy the occasional slices of pizza. I squat 315lbs snatch 176lbs and clean and jerk 220lbs. I’m not sure about my percentage of body fat but the pictures can speak for themselves. #comeatmebro
In order to put this story into perspective I may have to go back and start this from the true beginning. 16 year old me would eat 1 to 2 meals a day. My go-to foods were hummus (the entire tub, usually in one sitting), Cool Ranch Doritos, and Jamocha Almond Fudge Ice cream (Yumm). I was always athletic in the sense that I played sports and enjoyed being active but once I got into high school, I became more interested in gossip then team sports, I lost control of my health when it came to my diet.
My mother sent me to a nutritionist who immediately made me get on the scale. I weighed in at a whopping 187lbs, let me remind you I was 16 years old and 5’6″. I knew I needed to change. I began changing my eating habits drastically by tracking my carbs, fruit, protein, and fat intake with the help of a nutritionist (I was counting my macros and didn’t even know it!). I avoided processed sugar, any “junk food”, and became obsessive about following my meal plan. 5 months later I had lost 50lbs and could only attribute the loss to my diet as I had barely exercised. Feeling confident and ready to take on the world I headed to University with new found nutrition skills and a slimmed down physique.
In 2008, my first year of University, I began hitting the gym. I was a typical girl who ran on the treadmill and feared the weight section where all the guys grunted and groaned while slamming down protein shakes. In retrospect I am not sure if it was the “getting bulky” I was afraid of or looking silly doing something improperly. I vividly remember seeing this woman named Greta doing back squats with the “big” plates on each side as I stood by watching in awe. She was strong, beautiful, and full of confidence. I fell in love with the barbell that day.
In the initial phase of training I tried to learn as much as possible from whoever would provide me with information. One recurring topic was that I needed to gain weight in order to get stronger. Apparently I was watching my diet “too” closely. Words like GOMAD (Gallon of Milk a Day) were being thrown around along with “strength now, aesthetics later.” I couldn’t understand after trying so hard to get my diet in check why I would need to get fat in order to get strong. Was there no other way? For the next 6 years I experimented with my eating and my training. Back-Bi, Chest-Tri, and Shoulders-Legs paired with the See-Food diet turned into CrossFit/Paleo which then turned into Weightlifting while counting macros.
The unique aspect of Weightlifting is that you need to maintain a weight-class. In the weightlifting world there is no real consensus on what diet works best. Starting out I fit perfectly in the 63kg weight class but I am 5’6″ and a half making me “too tall” to be a 63. My coach was adamant that I move up a weight class, gain strength, and be more successful as a 69kg lifter. Again I was hearing this get big and get strong mentality. Can increased size help increase strength? Yes. Is it optimal? No.
Being an extremely loyal and trusting athlete I tried it. 1 year later I went from around 140 lbs to 157 lbs. It would be pretty amazing if I could say that I was rock solid and had gained 10kg on each of my lifts but I was really only marginally stronger and a lot “puffier”. I know as an athlete I should not care too much about how I look but I was uncomfortable in my own skin. I am a firm believer that being confident and comfortable will add kilos to the bar, I call it “style points”. You feel good, look good, and therefore will perform well.
May 9, 2012 I headed to North Carolina to meet my now Coach, mentor, and good friend Travis Mash. I had no idea how amazing and influential our relationship would end up being. Travis helped me realize that I needed to #dowhatiwant so I once again began to track my macronutrients (with the help of John Hollywood). This means every day I knew how many grams of fat, carbohydrates, and protein I needed for optimal performance. Every week my macros would get adjusted based on weekly weight-loss, mood, energy levels in the gym, and over all body composition changes. This meant I could literally #eatwhatiwant and no longer had to be too concerned with “eating clean” or drinking gallons of milk. As long as it fit my macros of course (IIFYM).
Slowly, slowly, my body started to change. What was most surprising is that I felt stronger then ever! Who knew that having the right ratio of macronutrients could produce greater performance? 🙂 I can go through the science as to why you need certain amounts of each macronutrient but I have written a post about that before.
But wait, hold on, one thing needs to be said. My diet was under complete control. I knew what I was eating daily and could then adjust it to optimize my performance in the gym. However, another essential piece of the puzzle was Travis. Travis completely understood my goals and took the time to understand my weaknesses as a weightlifter. His program changed me as an athlete not only physically but mentally. Over the 4 months I spent with Travis I became stronger then ever and gained a new understanding of what I was capable of. Pairing the nutrition with the programming led me to see successes that I had not seen in my previous 2 years of weightlifting.
4 Month PR’s – Body Weight at the start 156lbs at the end 137lbs
Squat – 115kgs/253lbs –> 143kgs/315lbs
Clean and Jerk – 97kgs/214lbs –> 100kg/220lbs
Snatch – 77kgs/170lbs –> 80kgs/176lbs
Jerk from Rack – 100kg/220lbs –> 100kg x 2 and 102kg/225lb
To Find Out More about the Program, sign up for the Newsletter! The Program drops Sunday September 7th at 5p! Whether you are into general fitness, weight loss, at home workouts, weightlifting, powerlifting, CrossFit, or whatever, this program is for you!