When Bryan started on his workout odyssey he weighed just 118 pounds and now he has put on 45 pounds of bulk. (Photo from Bryan’s Facebook page)
Bryan Parady became interested in physical fitness after watching Rocky movies in his early 20s. At that time, Parady, owner of Bones to Bulk, a local home-based virtual fitness coaching business, weighed only 118 pounds. Inspired by Sylvester Stallone and determined to build bigger muscles, he bought some weights at Academy Sports + Outdoors and started lifting at home. Initially, Parady’s results were almost nonexistent because he didn’t change his diet or workout consistently.
“Nothing changed because I wasn’t giving my body the nutrients it needed,” he says. “There was a lot of trial and error, but it was a good learning process to help others.”
Now a certified personal trainer, Parady says he never had a trainer of his own. Instead, he did his own research by watching videos and reading books on weight training and nutrition. While some people believe working out gives them the license to eat whatever they like, “You can never outwork a bad diet,” Parady says. “I don’t like diets. I like a more sustainable approach.” The problem is people often gain weight back when they stop the diet. When creating a meal plan for a new client, Parady always asks two important questions: “What foods do you like, and what foods do you not like?”
He helps clients choose healthy foods they like from a variety of food groups and even allows them to enjoy indulgences, such as alcohol or even ice cream. “I drink alcohol a couple times a week, so I wouldn’t expect my clients not to,” Parady explains. “I have a weekly cheat meal and a cheat dessert.” No foods, even pizza or chicken wings, are off-limits, but moderation is key to a healthy diet, he says.
Now, at age 35, the married father with two daughters, ages 4 and 8, works out six days a week and has packed on 45 pounds of muscle. Parady started Bones to Bulk about two and a half years ago to help his clients lose weight and build muscle, which he says can be done simultaneously. Parady tailors an individualized exercise and nutrition plan to meet each client’s unique fitness goals, such as losing 20 pounds or building larger biceps. He offers eight-week, 12-week, and 16-week coaching packages, and each includes custom meal plans, exercises, and individual weekly virtual meetings. Parady says he typically works with 5-15 clients each month, but that number varies.
While he devotes much of his time and energy to the business, “I have a day job,” Parady adds. He works in cybersecurity at Fort Gordon and serves in the Naval reserves. Juggling a full-time job, a family, and a side hustle isn’t easy, Parady says, but sticking to a schedule helps him get everything done. “My life is extremely scheduled,” he adds. His wife also owns her own business, so the couple devotes much of the weekend to running their businesses instead of “binge-watching Netflix,” Parady says. For that reason, he actually sleeps more during the week than he does on weekends because he says sleep is an essential component of a healthy lifestyle.
In 2017, Parady added published author to his resume when he wrote an e-book called “Bones to Bulk” – a practical guide to losing weight and building muscle through exercise and proper nutrition. It’s available on Amazon. He also hosts his own podcast, which discusses many topics, including motivation and the importance of taking rest days. He’d like to focus on fitness full-time in the future.
The workout plans are based on the types of fitness equipment Parady’s clients have access to at home or in the gym. He says one common misconception people have is they have to work out for hours every day to achieve results, but Parady likes to dispel that myth with his clients. “You do not need to work out seven days a week,” he says. Instead, Parady emphasizes that working out for 45-60 minutes three or four times a week is usually all it takes to achieve results. To help his clients with their workouts, he has created videos of himself performing a variety of exercises, such as bicep curls and squats.
Parady says he tries to make fitness simple for his clients, but he doesn’t offer them false promises. Parady is realistic with them about how much they can achieve in eight weeks. He says people often want quick fixes, but those aren’t realistic. “It definitely takes time,” Parady added