In 2017 embarked on a 24-week body transformation program, to get in the best possible shape in the shortest space of time.
I like to keep fit but just like everyone else, it is easy to fall into bad eating habits and let the training slip.
When it comes to food, even though I am a qualified nutritionist and personal trainer I still like to have convenience food.
I know it isn’t great for my health but tastes nice and is quick and easy. A burger here, a pasty there and the odd packet of sweets can easily become day-to-day snacks on the go
Socializing and fitness
Socializing with friends and never-ending events like birthday parties and celebrations can all hold me back if I have a fitness goal I want to achieve.
KEEPING YOUR PERSONAL GOALS IN MIND
I love what I do and most of my time is spent training people and helping them achieve their fitness goals.
I also like to work towards my own goals and at the same time, learn more about the steps needed to transform the body and change your body composition.
By committing to a program and following a structured plan I was sure to shake up my training, and keep clients motivated at the same time because I simply feel fitter, stronger and more energised when I train regularly.
I hope that comes across when I am taking small groups or delivering personal training sessions.
To change your body shape you have to decide: decide what you want to achieve and decide to take action. Here is how my program went…
The first phase of the program was mainly about strength building, but as I was already in OK shape I could get straight to increasing the intensity and got off to a great start.
I did feel weak having not trained properly for quite some time but I knew it wouldn’t be long until my strength was back up.
The nutrition side of things was very new to me as I had never been so disciplined and had to cook and prepare the food in advance with such precision.
I got some fantastic advice and plans for my nutrition which broke down what macronutrients I would need and gave me a detailed plan of when to eat the meals.
Everything was in measurements for my body type, and after weighing the food once to see what kind of portion size I was best sticking to, I simply kept with estimates and didn’t get too hung up on weights and measurements.
SO WHAT ABOUT OFF PLAN MEALS
I could also have an off-plan meal each week, which loosened the reigns a bit so I still had some freedom at the weekends.
The end goal was in mind so I stuck to the belief that “if it is not on the meal plan do not eat it” and I was fine.
I wanted to measure progress in how I looked and felt, but for the record, I lost 10kg and 5 inches from my waist, and dropped around 10% body fat, with improved muscle definition all over.
My body fat was around 18% at the start so for my body type 10% is quite significant and I was happy with it.
My weight went from 80.3kg to 70kg fluctuating along the way but again, weights and measurements were not my primary focus.
The novelty factor was still motivating me to cook and prep the meals into Tupperware so I was never caught without a meal.
I was later to find out that not preparing your meals can throw your program off track and have you reaching for convenience food that will not help with your goals.
So if you are on a fitness program BE PREPARED!
PERIODIZING YOUR PLAN
Periodizing your training will keep your progress consistent.
The plan was to break this program down into 4 or 6-week blocks so that my body could get used to the movement patterns and make progress in terms of strength and technique, then to periodize/change the workout plan.
There were many variables within each cycle, so the routines were always fresh and progressive.
I have done a similar program in the past which changed every 2 weeks but I found the consistency of training 4-6 with focused nutrition more beneficial to progress this time, as the results came fast.
A body transformation program is so much more than losing weight or building muscle.
It really occurred to me while going through this process the importance of how it can make you feel.
The extra energy and focus through endorphins flow into your personal and work life so it’s win-win.
I felt energized with extra confidence, which really helped me to make the best out of what I have in life and give my best each day
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This phase was tough and I upped my training to 6 sessions a week to really see what I could do and how my body would respond.
There was the odd day that I really didn’t want to train but I told myself that I would just go light and not make the session too intense.
Once my heart rate was up and I was “in the workout” I was going for it with the same amount of energy as one of my best days.
Although meals were a little bit of the same they were still as varied as I was prepared to make them, with plenty of choices.
Lots of green vegetable and varied protein sources along with spices from around the world to keep the meals interesting.
If anything, I felt like I was eating too much food and was never hungry.
Many people believe that to lose weight you have to starve yourself and go hungry but that is not the case.
KEEPING IT FRESH
Eating fresh foods that are not processed and rich in nutrients will allow your body to quickly digest them and get so much more health benefits from them.
This keeps your metabolism going to burn the fat when you do exercise, so cooking fresh food is vital.
This was a lot more about how to achieve results with a balanced approach so if I felt I really needed something sweet I would have a little dark chocolate and didn’t feel bad for it.
I promote a healthy balanced life-style, not so much one of restriction.
Progress may slow down slightly but home life and relationships are more important, so I wasn’t too hard on myself.
I was determined and disciplined with a fitness goal in mind, so if I did go off track it wasn’t far and I immediately came back to the program.
Planning and preparation are key to your success.
These were probably the toughest as the carbs dropped to start to burn off some excess body fat and maintain lean muscle.
I found the biggest challenge was preparing the meals because surprisingly, more often than not you will eat more food than normal.
I was eating 6 meals a day. It is eating the right combination of healthy fats, carbohydrates and good quality protein that will help you get results.
The training also intensified in the final 4 weeks but by now. I had more muscle size and was ready to drop some body fat and get toned up to show more definition.
This was the only time I really craved food on 3 strict, low-carb days but relating this process to carb cycling kept me focused enough to see it through with no treats or cheats.
This was probably the most important week of all so I wanted to give it my best shot for the final push.
DRUG-FREE MEN’S PHYSIQUE BODYBUILDING WITH THE UKDFBA 13/8/17
The program was a fantastic experience and I have learned a great deal that I can apply to my own training and training for clients.
I have massively improved my knowledge of effective nutrition planning by becoming a qualified nutritionist and have learned some incredible techniques to burn fat and have a great workout at the same time.
If you too would like to get into the same shape that I did, or maximize your results with the time that you have, then get in touch and we can get to work on your fitness goals.