“The thought that anything is possible is my main drive. I don’t set limits for myself, and I think that is what made me able to transform my body in the first place” -Merijn
Name: Merijn Schoeber
Start age: Started at 15 years old, but starting taking training/dieting seriously when I was 17 years old.
Current age: 20 years old
Start weight: 67 kg / 148 lbs
End of transformation weight: 82 kg / 181 lbs
Height: 185cm / 6ft1
Total weight lost or weight gain: 33 lbs in 3 years ( And less bodyfat)
Why did you decided to transform?
I wasn’t a born fitness enthusiast or a big sport player. Believe it or not, I was addicted to playing video games. I never cared about what I ate, and I was a big fan of chips, fast food and ice cream. I never got fat though, I could eat whatever I wanted and not gain weight. When I first started lifting, I didn’t actually notice much results the first 2 years.
I didn’t eat regularly, I had no knowledge of lifting and especially dieting and after 2 years of lifting 4 times a week, I was still skinny. I started to realize that I was doing something wrong. I was a so called “hardgainer” and I needed to eat BIG in order to put on muscle mass. It took me 2 years to find out how important the nutrition aspect is.
I kept dreaming about obtaining an amazing physique and decided to turn that dream into reality. I stopped wasting my time playing video games and started prepping meals, following proper routines in the gym, tracking every single food I put into my body, and most of all, doing ENDLESS hours of research on training and nutrition. I went from a gamer to a full-time lifter. When I started eating properly, I actually noticed results within weeks.
What keeps you motivated?
It is funny because this changed completely over the last 3 years. When I started out I was motivated by building muscle, getting bigger, impressing girls and basically looking good. It’s completely different now. I don’t see fitness as just a sports, or just a tool to change my physique anymore. Fitness has had an impact on so many aspects of my life that I can safely say that it has turned around my life for the better. Lifting weights is just the start. Once you live the lifestyle, trust me, you won’t ever feel any better physically and mentally.
I wouldn’t say I am “motivated” to go to the gym, because that is just part of my life now, and I LOVE it. I am, however, greatly motivated by the results of my clients and all the fan support that I am getting from all over the world. Getting e-mails from people that tell me that I’ve changed their life is just amazing.
The thought that anything is possible is my main drive. I don’t set limits for myself, and I think that is what made me able to transform my body in the first place. The last six months I have been starting up my own company (Student Aesthetics) and was able to grow pretty rapidly in only a short amount of time. I have a constant feeling that I need to make more moves, step my game up, and I believe this is part of my succesful work ethic. I’m just never satisfied. My dream is to live in America one day, and I believe that the harder I work, the bigger my chance will be to make this happen.
How often do you workout?
I currently workout 6 days a week.
Please share your workout routine:
When I am trying to lose bodyfat, I usually follow a Push/Pull/Legs/Rest/Repeat split. When I am bulking, I focus on bringing up lagging bodyparts. This is the routine I am currently following to bring up my Chest, Legs and Calves (lagging bodyparts).
Flat DB Press 3 sets of 8 reps
Paused Bench 4 sets of 5 reps
Incline DB Press 3 sets of 10-12 reps
DB Flyes 4 sets of 10-15 reps
Cable Flyes Rest Pause 4 sets of 15 reps (15 seconds between sets)
Ab Roller 4 sets of max reps
Weighted Knee Raises 5 sets of 15-20 reps
Cable Crunch 5 sets of 15-20 reps
Hip Abductor/Adductor Superset 3 sets of 15 reps
Squat 4 sets of 5-8 reps
Stiff Legged Deadlift 4 sets of 8-10 reps
Hack Squat 4 sets of 8-10 reps
Leg Extensions 4 sets of 10-15 reps
Glute-Ham Raises 4 sets of 10-15 reps
Seated Calf Raises 5 sets of 15-25 reps
Leg Press Calf Raises 5 sets of 10-15 reps
Wednesday: AM Shoulders/ PM Arms
Seated Side Raises 4 sets of 10 reps
OHP 3 sets of 5-8 reps
Machine Press 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Facepull 4 sets of 10 reps
Cable Side Raises 4 sets of 15 reps
Reverse Cable Fly 3 sets of 15 reps
Barbell Shrugs 5 sets of 8-10 reps
Pushdown 4 sets of 8-10
French Press 4 sets of 10-12
Triceps Kickback 4 sets of 15 reps
Close Grip Bench Press 4 sets of 6-8 reps
Cheat Curls 4 sets of 6-8 reps
Seated DB Curls 4 sets of 10-12 reps
EZ Bar Reverse Curl 4 sets of 8-12 reps
Hammer Curl 4 sets of 10-15 reps
Leg Press Calf Raises 10 sets of 10 reps (30 seconds rest)
Seated Calf Raises 4 sets of 20 reps
Standing Calf Raises 4 sets of 20 reps
Hanging Windshield Wipers 5 sets of max reps
Weighted Crunch 5 sets of 10-15 reps
Leg Raises 5 sets of max reps
Friday: AM Chest PM Legs
Incline Bench Press 5 sets of 8-10 reps
Incline DB Press 3 sets of 8-12
Incline DB Flyes 4 sets of 15 reps
Incline Hammer Strength Press 4×10-15
Lower Cable Flyes 4 sets of 15 reps
Front Squat 4 sets of 8-10 reps
Paused Squat 4 sets of 6-8 reps
Stiff Legged Deadlift 4 sets of 10-15 reps
Leg Curls/Extensions Superset 3×15
Weighted Pullups 4 sets of 6-8 reps
Barbell Row 4 sets of 10 reps
Reverse Grip Pulldown 3 sets of 8-10 reps
DB Row 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Close Grip Pulldown 3 sets of 10-12 reps
Machine Row 4 sets of 15 reps (15 seconds between sets)
What is your diet like?
I follow the IIFYM (Flexible Dieting) style of dieting, which means I look at macronutrient/calorie targets per day and not at “good and bad’ foods. A bad diet is not the result of eating “dirty” foods, it’s a result of a poor macronutrient split and caloric intake. I often eat ice cream, pizza, McDonalds, KFC, and all kinds of other “dirty” foods while being able to build muscle and lose fat just as effective. I do have some principles I apply to flexible dieting for me and my clients that ensure health.
- 80% of your daily calories should be from healthy (micronutrient-dense) foods.
- LIMIT the amount of trans fats you eat.
- You should consume 10-13 grams of fiber per 1000 calories.
- Meal timing does not matter. You can eat either 8 times a day or 3 times a day. As long as you hit your set macro and caloric targets, you are fine.
You could not follow these rules and still get shredded. But does being shredded really matter if your hormone profile and immune system are messed up and if your body is starving for nutrients? Health is always more important.
I do not have a set meal plan right now. All that matters is that I hit my macronutrient and caloric requirements every single day before I go to sleep. This is the way to get results. I usually eat about 90-95% clean foods. One day I’ll have some ice cream, the next day some chocolate. I switch it up.
When I’m cutting I usually follow Intermittent Fasting, which basically means I postpone my first meal as long as possible. I usually eat my first meal at around 3 o’clock. This enables me to eat 3 HUGE meals a day instead of 5-6 small meals and therefore doesn’t give me the feeling that I’m dieting. It may sound hard at first, but your body adapts quickly to it and your cravings for breakfast will dissappear.
Are you taking any supplements?
I use the following supplements
- Creatine (I use Creatine pretty much year round. Sometimes I take a couple of weeks off. I feel like Creatine is the only supplement that will REALLY help you build muscle and improve strength, and this has also been proven by countless studies.)
Any advice or tips for aspiring transformers?
Before you start your transformation, ask yourself this one question: “How bad do I want this?” Write down your goals for the next coming months and make sure they are realistic. Take progress pictures throughout your transformation, and anytime you feel down or want to quit, look at your list of accomplishments and the progress you have already made. There is no way you will give all that up because you are feeling down for a minute. Make fitness your lifestyle. You have to see your diet and training as something you have to do. I like to have my clients approach it the same way as school. Even if you don’t want to go, you still have to. This is how you should approach it when you start out. After a couple of months when you start noticing real progress, you will find yourself needing to go to the gym. You will get addicted to it. I’ve seen this happen over and over. Progress is a HUGE motivator.
What’s most important is that YOU take control over your life and what you want to do. Do not let people from the outside influence your ideas negatively. People in general do not want to see you succeed. Once you start doing something that
other people are impressed by, and jealous of, the hate will stack pretty quickly. Don’t ever pay attention to it, you should see it as a reward for your hard work. People actually want to be in your shoes. Like Zyzz said: “Dont ever pay people out or put people down. Instead just put yourself up and let the haters do their thing. I’d rather be a person that’s hated on, than a person that does the hating, a wise man once said. Haters gonna hate.”
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Be sure to watch Merijn’s transformation video