Wednesday, November 17, 1999

Fitness 'no magic pill'

Oxford man changes lifestyle, works into shape and, hey, wins a Corvette

The Cincinnati Enquirer

        It took a snapshot to underscore the harsh reality.

        In May 1998, Brandon McFadden of Oxford was clad in swimming trunks. He didn't suck in his gut or maneuver to an angle that would camouflage a waistline that had grown thicker with time or the muscle obscured by a layer of flabby flesh.

        “As you get older, you tend to have this picture of yourself in your head,” Mr. McFadden, 50, says. “You think you're not far away from the physique you had in college, but in reality you're a long way from that. It's a slow, but progressive process, so the weight just creeps up on you.”

        He didn't like what he saw in the photo, and he set out to do something about it.

        While his goal was to attain a healthier, fitter body and alleviate the chronic back pain that had plagued him for years, the chance to win a car and an endorsement from Experimental and Applied Sciences' Physique Transformation Challenge buoyed his determination.

        In eight weeks, the Talawanda High School teacher and football coach had whipped himself into such stellar shape that he was one of 10 national winners of the contest sponsored by EAS, a Golden, Colo.-based sports nutritional supplement company. Selected from a pool of 200,000 entries, Mr. McFadden is the reigning champ of the competition's 40-54 age division and the winner of a pewter-colored 1999 Corvette and $10,000.

In book, video
        To inspire others, Mr. McFadden has made it his mission to share the story behind his dramatic “before” and “after” photos which are featured in the new exercise/nutrition bestseller Body-For-Life (HarperCollins; $25) by EAS founder Bill Phillips and Michael D'Orso. Mr. McFadden also will appear in an EAS video Body-of-Work, a documentary video of contest winners.

        “Now I get calls from people all over the country and the first thing they want to know is if the pictures are real,” he says. “Yes, it's what you can achieve through hard work and discipline. There's no magic pill.”

        He discovered the contest through his chiropractor. Though he had been active as a member of the Miami University football team and as a Marine, he never considered himself an exercise enthusiast. When he did work out, his routines lacked structure.

        “I never progressed,” he says. “I did some weight training, but I never reallly learned basic technique. There was no plan, and I wasn't giving much thought to what muscles groups I worked and how much on any particular day.”

Muscles reappear
        After signing up for the EAS competition in May 1998, the company sent him free guidelines and information for a sound exercise, nutrition and supplementation program. The principles are detailed in the Body-for-Life book.

        There's nothing like developing the lean, rippling abdominal muscles known as a “six-pack” in bodybuilding circles to rev up the motivation.

        “It was exciting when I started to lose the fat and my abs started showing — first there was the two-pack, then the four-pack and finally a six-pack. I never had a six-pack before, even when I was in college, because I didn't pay much attention to what I ate. Nutrition and training have to work together if the goal is maximum definition”

        Mr. McFadden, who is 6 foot 3 inches tall, started the competition at 235 pounds and 18 percent body fat. At his peak, he had lost 35 pounds, slashed his body fat in half, lowered his cholesterol level five points and no longer suffered from back pain. Sixteen months later, he's relaxed his approach a bit, but has maintained good conditioning and is still pain free.

Under contract
        “I can't let myself go completely because I'm a spokesperson for the company,” says Mr. McFadden, who is married and has two daughters. “I signed an endorsement contract that requires me to stay in shape as long as I'm the 40-54 champ. But this wasn't just about winning a contest. I made a lifestyle change. Exercising and eating differently has affected the way I view lots of things and improved my priorities. I will continue to stay in shape for longevity and vitality.

        “I think it's also important to be a role model for students about setting goals and going after them. And I'd like to let people my age know it's never too late.”

        Experimental and Applied Sciences reports that it has received more than 500,000 entries for the 2000 shape-up challenge.

        Ten grand prize winners will receive $100,000 endorsement contracts and 100 more will win Hawaiian vacations.

        For more information, write to: EAS, 555 Corporate Circle, Golden, CO 80401.


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