My name is Mark Ellebracht.
My goal is to help each one of you achieve your fitness dream.
But what is your dream? Before you say "world peace" or something along those lines, let me be more specific: what's your dream as it relates to health and fitness?
Do you want to build muscle? Lose fat? Do you just want to feel better in general? Or maybe you want to develop a lifestyle that will help you age well and enjoy the later years in your life.
Regardless of what your goal may be, this website is here to help.
This isn't a strictly bodybuilding website. I'm not here to sell you some overly complicated workout routine that rips you off and doesn't do anything for you (quick tip, by the way: if anybody, I mean anybody, tries to sell you a routine for money, try the ones I have on here for free first).
Most people underestimate how far they can take themselves physically. In fact, anybody could end up with bodies like mainstream models (both male and female) if they push themselves enough.
And push myself I did. I got pretty strong for somebody my size, despite never being someone who was a naturally strong kid.
I wasn't born with the genetics of an NFL linebacker or Olympic sprinter. Honestly, even now my wrists barely measure over 6 inches. Before I started lifting, I couldn't do one proper Pull-Up. Not even ONE!
Despite being skinny with small joints, I was never RIPPED either. I envied the guys in high school who could drink beer and eat like crap yet still have six pack abs; looking back now, I realize how pointless that jealousy was.
But over the years, I learned techniques that helped me put on nearly 30 pounds of muscle and cut down my body fat.
8 years ago, I was nearing the end of my freshman year in high school. I hadn't finished puberty yet (didn't fully go through it until the summer after sophomore year). Any trace of muscle I had was from a lackluster diet, inadequate genes, and a season of sprinting on my track team:
In that photo, I wasn't even 5' 9" or 130 lbs. I had mostly finished puberty at that point, but grew a tiny bit more over the following summer.
Part of me thought that maybe a final growth spurt was waiting for me, one that would put my body over the edge and give me a more respectable physique.
By the end of junior year though (at which point I was far past puberty) my body didn't look too different:
That's me in the green shirt at 5' 9" and just under 135 lbs. My body fat was probably around 15%. Sure, it wasn't the worst body in the world. But it was in this awkward gray area. Way too skinny to be remotely considered muscular, but not lean enough for my abs to even show.
So I took things more seriously. I started committing myself toward the end of high school to lifting weights and eating the right way. Honestly I had no clue what I was doing my first year of serious lifting; as luck would have it though, I still had some success even though I didn't fully know what I was doing.
After 2 years of lifting, I saw a more noticeable difference in my appearance:
I was nearly 170 lbs in that picture, but my body fat was a bit high (about 16%). Not to mention, I was holding on to excess water weight since I was eating way too many carbs (over 60% of my daily caloric intake).
My arms were big, but I could barely Bench Press 205 or Deadlift 315 despite training with fairly low reps.
The years since have been filled with trial and error. I've tried all sorts of approaches in building muscle; from solely performing Bodyweight Squats (with both legs, not one at a time) for mass to cutting out all chest exercises other than Pushups.
A lot of those ideas hurt me more than they helped.
So I stopped trying to be creative and got back to basics: low volume workouts with limited variety of exercises.
Currently I'm about 170 lbs and about 10% body fat. This means that I've gained 40 lbs of muscle since puberty.
None of the photos on this page were taken after a weightlifting workout; they're just how I've normally looked at different points in my lifting career. I still want to push my body further and gain more muscle.
But I'm thankful for where I am now; I feel great! I can't help but appreciate the body I've built when I wake up every day, and YOU can get to that point as well! With this increase in size over the years, my strength has increased dramatically on major compound lifts.
I didn't have to do anything insane to achieve this transformation. Even today I only exercise about 5 hours each week. Plus, this fitness website is NOT MY FULL TIME JOB! And fitness doesn't have to be yours either just for you to get in great shape.
I started this website mainly concerned with aesthetics. All I cared about was my muscle size and my body fat percentage. But I've come to realize that there's so much more to your health than that. In fact, even looking good is more than just muscle and fat. What's the point of being jacked if your skin and hair look terrible? The choices you make with your diet and lifestyle influence these things as well.
Looks aren't everything. You need a lifestyle that keeps you energetic so that you can focus at work and perform well in your job... a lifestyle that enables you to age well so that you can enjoy retirement at a later age... a lifestyle that
The Instagram fitness stars with millions of followers don't understand this. Most of these guys are steroids; they might look great now, but by the time they're 50, they'll either look like garbage or be dead. And I'm not being dramatic; several bodybuilders have been infamous for dying young (Rich Piana and Dallas Maccarver being the most recent examples).
When taken to extremes, bodybuilding undermines your health and your lifestyle. Even natural bodybuilding can take a toll on you. I have friends who need to eat 4,000 calories a day just to maintain their physiques and 5,000 when they bulk; could you imagine scarfing down that much food everyday??? I don't care how big I would be; I wouldn't want that at all.
I want to achieve my fitness dream and help you achieve yours as well. If you want to join me in this journey, then take a look below:
These are my main outlets for providing you with ESSENTIAL fitness information, so check them out!