Transformation Story: Raynard Holmes


Raynard Holmes, of Cleveland, Ohio, went from over 300 pounds in college to nearly 100 pounds lighter and preparing to compete in his first bodybuilding physique competition this year! Ray is proud to have embraced health and fitness as a lifestyle and looks forward to continuing his journey. Read his inspiring story below! 

Growing up I was always a tall kid with a medium build. I was not a huge kid, but I was not skinny either. I was very active and always participated in sports. My main sport was basketball.  My body went through serious changes between 7th and 8th grade because of two broken ankles, where I gained between 30 and 40 pounds. By time I got to high school I still played basketball, but football became my new sport. I graduated at 260lbs before heading off to college to play football at a couple of Division III schools. My position changed from high school to college, which required me to put on even more weight. Unfortunately, I did not know the healthy way to achieve this, so I simply ate any and everything I could, and by my sophomore year of college, I weighed in at a whopping 305 lbs. That was heaviest I have ever been.


By my junior year of college, I stopped playing collegiate football and was all about my academics. I stayed active in the weight room and played a lot of basketball with friends, but I was not dropping the weight I needed to. By my senior year in college I weighed in at around 280 lbs.

I simply came to the conclusion that I did not want to carry around the weight anymore. I started reading up and doing some research on how to lose weight. I found websites and testimonials from others on how they did it. The method I found most appealing was counting calories, so I gave it a shot. I learned how to read food labels and how to prep my snacks and such, so that I consumed no more than 1,500 calories in a day.  I mixed the calorie counting with working out seven days a week with five days of weight training and two days for core work and cardio. I saw results fast! Seven months later I was 70 lbs. lighter than where I began. I became “addicted” to health and fitness and continued to read and research developments in the field. The best piece of information I found out was that I could actually eat a lot MORE than 1,500 calories/day and not put on body fat. I learned about eating “clean.” I discovered good, healthy foods that I could eat more of and put on muscle, which in turn would raise my metabolism, and burn even more body fat. It sounded like a win-win to me, so I took that information and ran with it. 

Currently, I fluctuate between 212-219 lbs. with 10-15% body fat. I still eat clean, but I have my periods of time where I do enjoy the “finer things in life” mainly in the fall and winter months. In the spring, I like to run 5K’s and would love to do a half-marathon at some point. I am going to begin my training for my first bodybuilding physique competition soon. I’m EXTREMELY excited to begin that journey.

Health and fitness has become a part of who I am. My friends and family all know me as “the healthy guy,” and I LOVE it! I can’t imagine giving this life up for anything. Exercising does as much for me mentally as it does physically. I owe my life to fitness. 


Do you have a “Transformation Story” or know someone who does? Submit your information to be featured on our website! For more information click here


Ilen & Lauren Bell are the husband and wife team behind Black Fitness Today, born, in 2011, out of their motivation to change culture, build a platform and lead the charge. Their purpose is to help change the culture towards health and fitness in the African-American community, showcase those who are making an impact, and promote healthier living. They also aim to serve as a platform for African-American fitness and health professionals and enthusiasts who are otherwise overlooked in traditional fitness media.

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