Kyle Campbell: The Student Becomes the Master
Meet Kyle, a 24 year-old ironworker who pumps iron during and outside of his occupation. By investing in Fitbod, he’s paving a path towards powerlifting at the 2022 Arnold.
In just 12 weeks, Kyle went from 183 to 195 pounds. His winter goal was reaching 200 pounds in 24 weeks, so he’s well on track to hit that in short order.
But this came with hard work and sacrifice…
Learn how Kyle keeps his mental motivation going even after working long days and how he had to shed pounds and friends that were weighing him down.
Skinny to Sportif
Before we get into the incredible ins and outs of how Kyle has been super consistent with his strength workouts, let’s learn a bit more about the man behind the muscle…
Kyle was always the sporty type. As a junior in high school, he played defense at 6’1” and 160 pounds. He was “tired of being the skinny boy” and knew he’d excel if he put on some lean muscle.
He began hitting the weight room and upping his eating in order to improve his performance. In addition to a nutrition fueled growth to 6’2”, he packed on 20 pounds of muscle, making it to 180 pounds.
This was the beginning of Kyle’s motivation, marking his iron identity. Even though he was both attending school and working, he found the time to prioritize his strength workouts. This mentality moved him forwards.
Keep the Motivation Going
“If you want it, go for it!”
This is one of Kyle’s main motivating mottos. Even when Kyle was commuting an hour to Detroit and working 60 hours, he still found time to go to the gym. After a sometimes hellish workday, he let the fire ignite him by throwing on some gym clothes and popping on his headphones.
“The smell of a gym and the machines gets me ready. It’s like a healthy addiction.”
And it sure did ignite his fire. After work, he usually worked out from 7:30pm and until 10pm.
All the Way to Arnold
The Arnold Amateur is a sports festival that offers a unique opportunity for people to train and display their fitness success. It was founded in 1989 by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Columbus businessman Jim Lorimer as the largest multi-sport festival. Over 22,00 athletes compete for more than 80 sports and events.
Kyle previously attempted to place first place in Arnold when he was in high school. Not placing first only sparked his drive to try again. This time, he knew he had to reevaluate what was working in his life in order to support his highest self.
Cutting the Extra Weight
Sometimes we have to cut out the extra weight in order to reach our goal. In October, Kyle decided to cut things out of his life that weren’t serving him well. He knew this had to be done in order to help him reach his goal.
Kyle reassessed what was working for him and not only cut weight, but cut alcohol, sugar, and people who were weighing him down. Some people were causing unnecessary and stressful drama. He felt pulled down and prevented from reaching better versions of himself.
He made these difficult changes and almost immediately got attention. He started to get noticed in his inspiring instagram page. This included sponsors and of course lots of support and encouragement from Fitbod.
Bodybuilding vs. Powerlifting
Now for the how-to’s that steered Kyle to his strength and amazing physique. Kyle shared that it’s a process to move from bodybuilder to powerlifter.
Bodybuilders differ from powerlifters in the sense that they focus on appearance whereas powerlifters focus more on the sport of lifting as much as possible. Bodybuilders focus on weight training, nutrition, and cardio. It focuses on progressive muscle building. This usually focuses on training one muscle group at a time in order to promote muscle growth.
Powerlifters focus on the ability of being able to safely lift to max out. It’s about increasing a one-rep max so training for this is focused on developing more muscle strength.
Check out more here: Strength vs. Power: 5 Main Differences You Should Know
Nutrition is Number 1
Kyle is a firm believer in nutrition being number one when it comes to changing your body. He doesn’t drink and says that his body shows the results of what he fuels it with
He has previously eaten up to 5,000-6,000 calories per day. This is also due to his high activity job. How does he do it? He obtains this high calorie level by eating every few hours.
For instance, he’ll start with a 5am breakfast of oatmeal with peanut butter and toast, then move on to 9am eggs and oranges.
He keeps it clean though with only natural sugars. He doesn’t buy sugar and doesn’t drink. This is because when he’s previously gone out for beers, he has a voice in his head saying, “there goes leg day.”
Kyle’s goal is to reach 200 pounds. Right now he’s between 189-195 pounds. He’s been remaining here because of his fierce metabolism but has a good mental stance on the situation. “If I can’t get heavy, I’ll get stronger!”
WHAT IS THE BEST NUTRITION FOR POWERLIFTING?
Just like Kyle claims, a powerlifer’s diet is essential for performance. In order to build muscle, you need to consume more calories than you burn.
Your diet should contain a balance of macronutrients and adequate calories. Your nutrition needs may vary, according to what phase of training you’re in. In order to meet your weight class for competition day, you may need to gain muscle, maintain your current status, or lose weight.
As a powerlifter, your diet should have a macronutrient breakdown of about:
Carbohydrates: 5-8 g per kg body weight.
Sources: potatoes, oats, brown rice, legumes, whole grain pasta and bread.
Protein: 1.4-2 g per kg body weight.
Sources: eggs, plain yogurt, dairy, poultry, beans, nuts.
Fat: 30% of total calories.
Sources: olives, avocado, nuts and seeds, plant-based oil, full fat meat, eggs, and dairy.
As for calories, these needs will vary depending on your goal. As a general rule of thumb, if you need to build lean muscle mass, aim for about 15% above your baseline calories. If you’re maintaining your body weight, such as during a competition phase, keep your calories where they are.
Want to learn more about the best diet for powerlifting? Check this: The Powerlifting Diet: Eating For Strength (Definitive Guide)
WHAT ABOUT WATER AND HYDRATION?
Kyle is a firm believer and promoter in getting enough water, and rightfully so. Consuming liquids replenishes fluids lost during exercise. Restoring them have been shown to maintain normal muscle function, help prevent a decrease in physical performance, and reduce the risk of heat stress.
It’s also important to replenish with electrolytes such as sodium, potassium, and calcium if you work out in heat, intensely, and/or for longer than two hours. Electrolytes are essential for regulating nerve function, rebuilding damaging muscles, and hydrating the body.
Learn more about electrolytes here: How Much Sodium Should Bodybuilders Have Per Day?
WHAT SUPPLEMENTS SHOULD POWERLIFTERS USE?
Research suggests that helpful nutrients and supplements for powerlifting include creatine monohydrate, caffeine, and beta-alanine.
Creatine monohydrate has been suggested to increase weightlifting performance when compared to a placebo.
Caffeine can improve exercise performance and decrease feelings of exertion, but this is typically for athletes who are new to caffeine. Meaning if you have a tolerance, you may not see as much of an impact.
Beta-alanine has been shown to enhance exercise performance including strength gain.
All of the above can also be found in your foods, which is oftentimes better for your body. You can get creatine and alanine from protein sources such as fish, meat, dairy, and soy. Caffeine can be naturally found in coffee, some teas, and cocoa.
SUPPLEMENTS FOR SLEEP
Kyle also takes some supplements such as AM and PM protein powder. He likes the melatonin at night to help with his sleep cycle. Sleep is important for recovering from high levels of fitness.
According to the Sleep Foundation, exercise not only has insane benefits such as helping sleep, but the relationship goes both directions. Studies suggest that people who get poor sleep are less active than those with healthy sleep cycles. People who are well rested will get a better workout and have better muscle recovery.
Need a workout program? Get 3 free workouts on Fitbod right now.
The Student Becomes the Master with Fitbod
Kyle describes Fitbod as someone who is always there for you. He loves the feature of being able to track his workouts. He has adapted Fitbod to fit his workout style. He creates his own workout which includes push and pull exercises and shares it with friends!
Kyle uses Fitbod as a way to help encourage and inspire others. Now that he has mastered the art of his own success, his dream is to become a personal trainer. He explains that the purpose of life is to uplift and educate others towards becoming their best. Way to go Kyle!!
Want to create your own Powerlifting and Weightlifting program? Check out Fitbod.