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Award-winning produce
Freshly prepared for you
Rated Great on Trustpilot
Next day delivery available

Zach Trowbridge

Vital Statistics Before Current
Height 5ft 8in (1.73m)
Weight 12st 3lb (77.6kg) 10st 12lb (68.9kg)
Body Fat 10-12% 4.9%

The gym bug first bit 30-year-old Zach Trowbridge at the tender age of 14 after a rather embarrassing first day at gym class.

At 108lb and 5'7", his teacher was expecting him to be able to bench 95lb for 8 reps. He couldn’t even press one. Zach was then moved to the women's station to try benching a 45lb empty bar – he was promptly pinned to the bench on his first rep.

It was this first day that spurred Zach to get fit, build muscle and transform his life for the better. In fact, he started lifting weights regularly that same week, and put on a lean, muscle bound 25lb (11.4kg) by the end of his freshman year.

Zach Trowbridge - Before & After

Now, Zach is the co-owner and head coach of All Strength Training in Chicago, IL, a personal training center for busy professionals unlike any other.

Zach and the team not only provide a training service to help people get fit and build lean muscle mass but they encompass all aspects of strength from muscular, to your heart, your nutritional habits, self-confidence, and everything in between.

A father to three young boys, when he's not honing the physiques of others, Zach can normally be found working out during the small hours of the morning or late into the night to keep on top of, what he calls, his skinny-fat body type.

Oh – and winning Physique Of The Week too!

Here's his interview…

Neil Davidson

Training Plan

Monday: Chest & Back

  • A1 - Incline DB Press - 5x6, 4010, 10 sec rest
  • A2 - Incline Barbell Press - 5x12, 3010, 10 sec rest
  • A3 - Flat DB Flye - 5x25, 2010, 90 sec rest
  • B1 - Kneeling 1-Arm DB Row - 5x6, 4010, 10 sec rest
  • B2 - Incline DB Row, Neutral Grip - 5x12, 3010, 10 sec rest
  • B3 - TRX Row, Elbows Out, Pronated - 5x25, 2010, 90 sec rest

Tuesday: Hamstrings & Quads

  • A1 - Glute Ham Raise - 5x6, 4010, 10 sec rest
  • A2 - Barbell Hip Thrust - 5x12, 3010, 10 sec rest
  • A3 - Back Extension - 5x25, 2010, 90 sec rest
  • B1 - Front Squat - 5x6, 4010, 10 sec rest
  • B2 - Back Squat - 5x12, 3010, 10 sec rest
  • B3 - DB Squat, Heels Elevated - 5x25, 2010, 90 sec rest

Thursday: Shoulders & Arms

  • A1 - Seated DB Press, Neutral Grip - 4x6, 4010, 10 sec rest
  • A2 - Seated DB Lateral Raise - 4x12, 3010, 10 sec rest
  • A3 - Standing DB Lateral Raise - 4x25, 2010, 90 sec rest
  • B1 - Standing DB Curl - 4x6, 4010, 10 sec rest
  • B2 - Lying DB Tricep Extension, Neutral Grip - 4x6, 4010, 10 sec rest
  • B3 - Incline DB Curl, Supinating - 4x12, 3010, 10 sec rest
  • B4 - Seated Overhead DB Extension - 4x12, 3010, 10 sec rest
  • B5 - Facedown Incline Bicep Curl, Supinated - 4x25, 2010, 10 sec rest
  • B6 - Bench Dip - 4x25, 2010, 90 sec rest

Friday: Legs

  • B1 - Glute Ham Raise - 4x6, 4010, 10 sec rest
  • B2 - Safety Bar Squat - 4x6, 4010, 10 sec rest
  • B3 - Bent Knee Back Extension, Toes Out - 4x12, 3010, 10 sec rest
  • B4 - Close Stance Barbell Squat, Heels Elevated - 4x12, 3010, 10 sec rest
  • B5 - Stability Ball Leg Curl - 4x25, 2010, 10 sec rest
  • B6 - Walking DB Lunge - 4x25, 2010, 120 sec rest

Meal Plan

Sample of a daily diet plan:

Statistical breakdown:

Calories – 3300
Fat – 100g
Protein – 250g
Carbs – 350g


Interview with Zach Trowbridge

Congratulations on your Physique Of The Week Win! So tell us, why did you enter Physique Of The Week?


I saw the previous week's winner posted by Ultimate Performance. He was one of their clients and they also handle my own training and nutrition program online.

What was your reaction when you
found out you’d won?

Pretty surprised - I started the week toward the bottom of the pile and ended up winning by a considerable margin. I credit most of it to friends and family who shared the link through social media, as well as, again, Ultimate Performance, who promoted me through their social media as well.

Would you recommend others enter the competition?

Absolutely. If nothing else it's a good way to get your name out and show off the work that you've put in.

Why did you want to get fit?

I started weight training my freshman year of high school. I was 14, 5'7", and a whopping 108lbs at the time. The first day of gym class the teachers had everybody go to the weight room to do bench press testing. At my size they were looking for 95lbs for 8 reps, at which I failed miserably - couldn't even get one rep.

At that point one of the teachers moved me to the women's station, with an empty 45lb bar, where I was promptly stapled to the bench on my first rep. I started lifting regularly that same week - not very well, mind you, but when you're 14 you don't have to have a great program to make progress quickly. I gained close to 25lbs that first year.

How long was it before you were happy with your physique?

I'm still not happy with it, and would be surprised if I ever was. Like most people I think there's always something that I'm not satisfied with - when I'm lean I'm not big enough, when I'm bigger I'm not lean enough - nice little vicious cycle going there.

What role did nutrition play in achieving your physique?


Huge - I tend to slant toward the "skinny-fat" body type, so if I'm not paying attention it's pretty easy to let it drift toward either very skinny or very fat, or some combination of the two. I have a pretty low appetite, but at times I've had to take in 4500+ calories daily and 450 or more grams of carbs every day for months at a time.

It took a long time to get my body to handle that volume of carbs - there was a time where I would just look at a picture of a pear and start getting fatter. Periods of controlling carbs and food volume made it so I can handle much greater quantities than most people.

Although like I said, I don't have a huge appetite, so there are times where it's a huge pain to eat at the level I have to. I actually enjoy dieting because I get sick of chewing after a while.

Do you ever train fasted? If so why, and what benefit does it have?

I have - because I own my own gym and at times work 10-16 hour days, I don't have the luxury of training at normal times. I've logged quite a few 4am workouts with nothing in my system but some black coffee and branched chain amino acids. I'm not a fan of fasted training though and wouldn't recommend it if you can help it.

What three whole foods could you simply not live without and why?

  • Steak - I probably have it 6-7 times a week if possible. Skirt steak is proof that there is a God and that he loves me.
  • Red potatoes - probably my preferred carb source. Roasted with a little butter and thyme, I may go through 5-10lbs a week.
  • Bacon - does this really need an explanation?
Essential Foods

What diet advice would you give to someone wanting to get in shape?

Hire a good coach. I tend to psyche myself out on my diet when left to my own devices and it's much better to have a neutral third party keeping an eye on things that can make tweaks when needed, or just occasionally talk me off of a ledge when I feel like things aren't moving the way I want them.

Coming to your training now, who is your greatest workout inspiration?

I could probably watch Ronnie Coleman training videos pre-workout for the next 20 years and never get tired of it.

I could probably watch Ronnie Coleman training videos pre-workout for the next 20 years and never get tired of it.

How do you keep yourself motivated to train as hard as you do?

I have 3 sons, ages 6, 4, and 1, and work ethic is something that I want them to understand from an early age. Combine that with 90 clients who see me several times a week and I have to set an example for them; just because you're busy doesn't give you an easy out..

Most of my workouts come at the end of a 10-hour day, or at 4am before our first client has even gotten out of bed.

What’s your end goal to your training?

Not really sure. I'm just beginning to compete and I would like to see where things take me over the next few years. Obviously I'd like to continue training hard for the rest of my life, so I'm trying to maximise what I do in the gym without risking significant injury and derailing myself down the road.

What were the three biggest workout lessons you learnt during your journey?

  1. Don't stop when it hurts.
  2. Have a plan going in. Making up your workout as you go along doesn't get you very far.
  3. If you want to put on muscle, for the average guy, train A LOT. I've made some of my best gains training twice a day. Overtraining is real, but most people don't work hard enough to ever get there. On the flip side, when it's time to rest, REST.

What training advice would you give to those wanting to go through a transformation?

Have a start and finish date and don't stop until the finish date, no matter how you're progressing.

Don't set body fat goals or weight goals, just push as hard as possible for a predetermined period of time, and once that time passes, give your mind and body a break. Even if it's only a very moderate break before you go at it again, everybody I've ever trained does much better when going up against a ticking clock.

It’s been said that cardio doesn’t really have a place for those wanting to burn fat and build lean muscle – what’s your stance on this?


Cardio should be reserved for later on in the process when you need an extra boost to your progress. For most people you should be able to make significant progress off of a smartly designed training program and a solid nutrition plan.

If you use up all of the tools in your toolbox too soon, then you won't have much choice but to add more and more as you go. I may not add cardio in until the last 6-8 weeks of a diet, and even then it's used pretty sparingly. You can't outrun a bad diet and lazy training.

What’s more important – the gym/working out
or eating right and why?

Both - you can't just do one or the other. You may as well ask which is more important in hanging a picture - the hammer or the nail?

You can't outrun a bad diet and lazy training.

What three things would you tell people to focus on to make sure they’re starting their transformation as they mean to go on?

  • Track your food. If you want results fast, guessing won't cut it. It's fine for lifestyle change but for fast movement more accuracy is always better. You wouldn't hire an algebra tutor without being able to show them your work so they can help show you where you're going wrong.
  • Take pictures. Consistent lighting, consistent clothing, everything. The mirror can be too deceptive and will start playing tricks with your mind after a while.
  • Have a plan, but be flexible. Sometimes you have to deviate from the planned course as you go based on the results you're getting (or not getting).

What impact has your fitness journey had on your life as a whole?

It's instilled a work ethic that I may not have had otherwise. Some things come reasonably easy to me, but every pound I've ever gained and every bit of body fat I've ever shed has not come without a lot of hard work. That same mentality has had to carry over to other parts of my life - being a father, husband, business owner.

Muscle Food Final Thoughts

Every transformation story featured on Muscle Food outlines that a good diet and a good workout plan are essential to achieving the results you desire. All transformation stories, exercise routines and diet plans are provided by the customer and have not been checked by a nutritionist or doctor. Results may vary for different individuals.