RR Client Chronicles: My story, how I got into fitness, and finding James and ATP (Part 1 of 6)

Hey Everyone. My name is Robert Ben Roqué and I have been a client with ATP Performance working with James since the summer of 2019. Over the next few weeks I’ll be releasing some blogs that encapsulate my story with ATP and the lessons I have learned along the way.

‘Lil background on me: I am 24 years old and am from Miami, FL. I currently live in West Palm Beach, FL and I graduated from Babson College (where I played Division 3 tennis) in the summer of 2018.

Throughout these posts I will be including some transformation pictures throughout so that you guys get a sense of where I started and where I have gone. Below is my full (and best) transformation to date, which occurred over the course of 2.5 years:

***Not pictured: Life and mental gains....but we'll get into that***


Part 1: My Story and How I got into Fitness

Part 2: Get Fit or Die Trying

Part 3: Finding ATP and Dirty Bulking

Part 4: Cutting and Building my best physique to date through lockdowns

Part 5: Lean bulking and Setting new goals - Chasing a 2022 Bodybuilding Season Run

Part 6: Lessons Learned So Far

Part 1: My Story and How I got into Fitness

Like most, I was coddled through the school system and in my early childhood. Most people go through lower school, then middle school, then high school, and then eventually college. At every stage, there’s the next chapter, something you get to look forward to. We all follow the same path at a very general level, leaving us comfortable in the notion that we will be ok, at least for another few years.

After college, however, it’s time for the real world. For most, this means getting a job, paying your taxes, finding a place to live, learning how to live on your own, and taking on a laundry list of real-world responsibilities that you are not taught how to handle in school.

After I graduated, these responsibilities came down on me pretty hard. I had no idea how to take care of myself. I had spent my last four years at college partying, rather than working on my goals and taking care of myself.

I mean, guys, when I say I couldn’t cook chicken for myself, I mean it. I still remember texting a photo of the first home-cooked meal I made (chicken and rice…been bodybuilding before I even started bodybuilding, lol) to my Mom letting her know I had made it. I was #adulting and crushing it.

Not really though. I kept up my habits of binge drinking on the weekends, getting blackout drunk consistently to avoid facing the true underlying issues I had known were beginning to become a problem: I had incredibly low self-esteem, I hated the way I looked, and generally felt like a loser. Now, these things weren’t true. They aren’t true for most.

I had a great job out of college, a great degree, family and friends that loved me, and a place to call my own home. All at the age of 22. I had it made, to be honest, compared to most. I was just a little out of shape and had to figure some stuff out.

Even knowing ‘on paper’ I was doing fine, I felt off. The heavy weekend drinking, the binge eating, not working out, not working on myself, etc. all came crashing down on me.

I remember waking up one morning after going out with some friends: Hangover started to kick in. I stumbled to my kitchen, got some water in me, showered, put some clothes on, and headed out to the grocery store.

I bought two things that day. Tostitos Lime Chips (all-time best chip, don’t @ me) and salsa. I got in bed, in the dark, with my computer next to me, and began watching Netflix while eating my bag of chips.

I finished the bag (yes, the family size, don’t shame me), in about 30 mins, passed out, and woke up a few hours later, still hungover.

I’m not sure what it was. I’m not sure why this time around I felt this way. But I just got to my breaking point. This day was the straw that broke the camel’s back for me.

I looked myself in the mirror and told myself that I knew something needed to change. I knew what I was doing was gross, unproductive, and led down a path of failure for me. If I kept this up, I’d never be happy.

This was the beginning of my fitness journey.

To be continued next week in Part 2: Get Fit or Die Trying.

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