Body Transformation: Ahmed Taher Went From Joke To Yoked

Lifestyle Prior To Change

What was your lifestyle like prior to your transformation?

I was that lazy boy who had nothing to do but watch TV and play computer games. I hated something called “gym” and whenever my dad used to tell me to start working out, I would get pissed and start arguing with him.

I just used to play basketball for fun in the P.E. class in my high school. Being weak and thin at that time, whenever I saw a fit guy I used to think it’s impossible for me to reach that physique, and that it would take time and effort and I did not want to go through that.

What was your low point or turning point?

The main reason I started my transformation was because my biology teacher in high school used to joke with me in front of the whole class by saying that I lacked multivitamins, whenever the subject comes up. My dad also used to tell me “I wish I could see you look like one of these fit guys someday,” whenever he saw a fit guy on the street. I didn’t want to let him down.

Another factor was watching one of my close high school friends change his body throughout the summer in a very good way. That got me motivated to start working out. With all these things taken into consideration, I decided to change my lifestyle, transform my body, and live as a healthy individual.

Ahmed Taher

Were there any unique challenges or circumstances that made your transformation particularly difficult?

Yes, there were. I had a very small body frame. I was also thin with a big belly. That made it hard for me to decide which nutrition plan and workout program I should go with. I needed to increase my calorie surplus, but at the same time I was afraid my belly would get even bigger.

Moreover I wasn’t able to decide whether I should do cardio or no, since I was already thin. These things made it really hard for me to decide which supplements, workout routine and nutrition plan I should stick with.

What was your transformation timeline?

  • Transformation Start: 2009 – Weight of 123 lbs
  • Milestone: 2010 – Weight of 134 lbs
  • Milestone: 2011 – Weight of 147 lbs
  • Transformation End: 2012 – Weight of 156 lb, 15% Body Fat

Ahmed’s Training Approach​

What was your weight training approach and split during your transformation?

I went through different workout routines, as not all workout plans I have tried worked for me. However, I used to focus on doing weights I could for 8-10 reps with for every exercise. My favorite split was Chest/Biceps, Back/Triceps, Shoulders/Traps, and Legs on a separate day.

Please add a workout that worked best for you:

Exercise Sets Reps
Bench Press 4 12, 10, 8, 6
Incline Dumbbell Bench Press 4 10, 8, 8, 6
Incline Dumbbell Flye 4 12, 12, 10, 8
Cable Crossover 5 15, 15, 12, 12, 10
Back and Cardio
Exercise Sets Reps
Pull Ups 3 Failure
Bent Over Row 4 12, 10, 10, 8
One Arm Dumbbell Row 3 12, 10, 10
Seated Cable Row 4 12, 10, 8, 8
Reverse Grip Lat Pull Down 4 12, 12, 10, 10
Treadmill Interval Training – 25 minutes    
Shoulders, Traps and Cardio
Exercise Sets Reps
Push Press 5 15, 12, 10, 8, 6
Standing Dumbbell Press 4 12, 10, 8, 6
Seated Lateral Raise 4 15, 15, 12, 10
Seated Dumbbell Front Raise 4 15, 15, 12, 10
Bent Over Reverse Dumbbell Flye 4 15, 12, 10, 10
Barbell Shrug 4 15, 15, 12, 10
Dumbbell Shrug 4 10, 10, 8, 8
Treadmill Interval Training – 25 minutes    
Exercise Sets Reps
Leg Extensions 4 20, 15, 15, 12
Squat 5 15, 12, 10, 8, 6
Leg Press 4 15, 15, 12, 10
Narrow Stance Hack Squat 4 15, 12, 10, 10
Leg Curl 4 15, 12, 12, 10
Biceps and Triceps
Exercise Sets Reps
Close Grip Bench Press 4 12, 10, 8, 6
Weighted Dips 4 12, 10, 10, 8
Skullcrusher 4 12, 12, 10, 8
Cable Tricep Extension 3 20, 15, 12
Barbell Curl 4 12, 10, 8, 8
Preacher Curl 4 12, 10, 10, 8
Incline Dumbbell Curl 4 15, 12, 10, 10
Hammer Curl 4 12, 10, 8, 6

Ahmed TaherPlease detail your cardio approach during your transformation?

I do cardio 2-3 times a week, for 20-25 minutes. I keep switching every two weeks and I normally do interval training. I switch between treadmill, stationary bike and jumping rope. For the Treadmill, I walk for 2 minutes and run for the next two minutes, and so on.

For the stationery bike, I do 2 minutes on level 2, and the next 2 minutes on level 10 or 11 and so on. For the jumping rope, I keep skipping until I feel tired, take a break for a minute or 2 and continue.

Please list 3 things you learned about exercise, weight training and/or cardio during your transformation that helped you succeed:

  1. You have to keep switching your workout routine. A program might work for someone, but might not be suitable for you.
  2. Don’t attempt to do heavy weight if you are not mastering the correct form of the exercise as you might injure yourself. Moreover, increase the weights gradually in order to be able to know your limit.
  3. Never neglect cardio, whether you are bulking or cutting.

How are you currently training, and has your training changed since the completion of your transformation?

It just changed a little bit since I have a lot of studying to do this year. I’m now training 3 days a week only and do cardio twice a week. My current workout split is Chest/Legs on Monday, Back/Biceps on Wednesday, and Shoulders/Traps/Triceps on Friday.

Ahmed’s Diet And Supplement Plan

What was your diet/nutrition approach during your transformation?

I split my meals into 4 small ones throughout the day, and threw in 1 to 2 protein shakes in between. I never skip breakfast, and I usually take a high amount of carbs in my breakfast meal. I don’t rely totally on supplements, but I just use them for recovery and for that pre workout energy.

Post workout I would eat my biggest meal of the day, which is mainly high in carbs and protein. For pre-workout, I eat a small meal which consists of carbs and protein about 2 hours before working out. At night, I usually eat either tuna or cottage cheese.

Can you give an example of what your daily meal plan looks like?

  • Meal 1 (Upon waking up): 1 Tablespoon honey, 1 banana, 1 glass of milk.
  • Meal 2: 2 whole eggs and 1 egg white, 1 cup and a half Quaker’s oatmeal, 1 banana.
  • Meal 3 (Pre Workout): Chicken breast, whole grain bread, salad.
  • Meal 4 (Post Workout): Chicken breast, rice.
  • Meal 5 (2 hours before bed): Tuna or cottage cheese, salad.

Were there any diet/nutrition mistakes you made that you learned from?

Yes. At first I thought consuming a large amount of carbs would do the trick for me in order to bulk up. However, since my body stores fat easily, that was a big problem for me and it result in fat being stored around my waist and belly, which did not look good.

I also had in mind that the more protein you take, the faster the muscles gains which is completely wrong. Check your body weight and consume the right amount of carbs and protein, as the excess will be stored as fat or wasted.

Ahmed TaherPlease list 3 things you learned about diet & nutrition during your transformation that helped you succeed:

  1. Consume the highest amounts of carbs of your day during breakfast and during your post workout meal.
  2. A banana or a tablespoon of honey right after working out is extremely helpful.
  3. Divide your protein intake throughout the day and stay hydrated. Drink as much water as possible.

Did you allow yourself cheat meals?

Yes I did, you have to allow yourself a cheat meal in order for your body to not get used to your eating habit, and that would affect your gains.

What supplements did you use during your transformation?

Advice For Others

What are your best 3 tips for someone looking to make their own transformation?

  1. It’s never too late to start transforming your body. If you have the will, determination and drive, you will reach your goal no matter what.
  2. There are a lot of arrogant, ignorant and negative people nowadays. Some people might have a body that is better than yours (they might be naturally fit) and will keep discouraging you and act cocky, and that’s because they have no idea what you have been through in order to reach your dream physique. Simply ignore them.
  3. Don’t listen to people and do your own researches. Bro science won’t do you good. If a person is big or ripped, it does not mean that he’s always right.

How do you stay motivated? What advice would you give to someone who’s having trouble staying on track?

There is no doubt that I lack motivation on some days. If I want to get motivated, I sometimes check out transformation pictures for different people or watch bodybuilding/fitness videos on YouTube. Kai Greene’s videos really inspire and motivate me. 

Your Life Now

What is your life like now that you’ve made a transformation?

I’m really happy with the way I look and feel now. I’m so much healthier and happier than before. I enjoy doing anything once it comes to fitness and staying healthy. I would spend hours with friends and other people to inspire and motivate them and help them reach in goals. Just as people stood beside me during my transformation, helping others now is something I really enjoy.

What motivates you currently to keep improving yourself?

My mother, father, brother, sister and friends who keep giving me positive comments on my pictures and keep telling me “I know you could do it.” I’m humbled and thankful to each and every one of them. Moreover, by just looking at my old pictures and seeing how my body changed makes me want to make my current body a “before” picture in the future.

Anything else you would like to share?

Stay motivated and dedicated, be nice to people, never listen to negative people and set yourself a deadline to reach your goal. Don’t get discouraged if you stopped seeing changes for a while, that always happens. Keep switching your training program and eating habits and you will get to know what the problem is. Please don’t hesitate to contact me or ask me any question. I’m always down to help!

How Can People Contact You?

How can people contact you?

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