UP and Beyond – Body Training

I have a gym membership but found lately that working out can become quite boring; especially if you get stuck in a routine and don’t know how to use half of the gear correctly. I also realised I wasn’t particularly focused as most of my time was spent glued to my iPhone. Sound familiar? I started spending more time in the yoga studio which provided me with renewed motivation to keep active.

I do enjoy good food and wines, but THOUGHT that overall I ate healthily.  I didn’t pay too much attention to my body shape other than to make sure I wasn’t very overweight. I knew my lifestyle wasn’t going to help me have a HOT body. But still… “Getting a six-pack” was one of my New Year resolutions every year. Of course, I would forget about it after drinking too much champagne on New Year’s Eve. I kind of accepted that it was ok to have an average body. Besides, I am not young anymore and I don’t have to take off my top when I go clubbing in Hong Kong!

ULTIMATE DREAM
Not many guys do yoga and I kept seeing these hot muscular guys wearing Ultimate Performance tee shirts on my way to yoga classes in Central. I assumed, incorrectly, that it was another crossfit hype gym.  As it was in the same building as my yoga studio (though it has since moved), a friend invited me to check it out.  Why not go up for some eye candy?

My first reaction to the gym was that it was not packed with fancy machines like my usual gym.  Then I noticed everyone was working out so hard. Wow! This was hardcore weight training, mainly “free weight” workouts instead of using high-tech gym resistance machines.  I saw some ‘before and after’ training photos on the wall. The staff told me they could change my body in three months. It sounded too good to be true.  Basically, I would only have to workout three hours a week and I could get a killer body like those photos on the wall. Is it even possible?

REALITY CHECK
After thinking it over for a few days, I decided I would try it out. It was only for three months anyway – and best of all, only 3 hours a week – which really isn’t a big time commitment. I met my personal trainer Jeremy for my first session and he discussed my diet and used body fat calipers to measure my body fat. This turned out to be quite tricky as the fat deposits around my love handles had hardened (a sign it had been there for a long time!) making it difficult to measure my body fat percentage. He took my topless photo and I faced up to the reality – it was finally time to make a change.  I told my trainer that my goals were to lose my love handles and have a lean, fit body.

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DIET
From the beginning of the training programme, I had a diet that was tailored for me and my body size, eating five meals and limiting my calorie intake everyday. I was taking a few supplements for my nutrients. Others may have a higher or lower target as it depends on your body so it’s better to get professional advice from Ultimate Performance instead of following my specific diet.

The diet program is mainly about learning how to eat right. So many food companies label their products as HEALTH products but these might contain high calories and not benefit weight loss plans. Most important was that I was to have NO CARBS and NO ALCOHOL, avoid processed foods and no more fresh pressed juices which have a high sugar content.

My trainer helpfully gave me a list of the foods I could eat and thanks to technology, I used the app “My Fitness Pal” to calculate my calories and nutrients for every meal, weighing each portion on food scales to make sure I had the right amount of food before I cooked it. It made my life much easier.  The trainer will adjust your diet plan as needed and you don’t have to worry about not having enough food as I was never hungry. I was also allowed one cheat meal every two weeks, which helped to keep my partner happy! The only problem was that I soon became bored of eating five meals a day. My tip is to go online and find different recipes and be creative. It did help me enjoy my diet meals more. I did try my best to stick with my diet plan.

TRAINING
When I go to my usual gym, I often see personal trainers chitchatting with their client while stretching which seems a pointless waste of time – why spend money on a personal trainer for a relaxing stretch? Ultimate Performance is definitely not a place to relax. I thought my trainer would go easy on me in my first training session, but it was straight up free weight training and he loaded up the weighted sled workout at the end of the session!  I had to sit down for ten minutes to rest before I left the gym. It was tough! For the first few weeks, while I was on my way to Ultimate Performance, I couldn’t help but think to myself, “Shit! I am going to get tortured again. Why I am doing it?” The training was much harder than I thought possible. I totally burned out every session. How could I pull it off for the next three months?  I kept my head up and carried on.

My trainer took a topless photo of me on week three. We both noticed my body shape had changed. My body fat was dropping down as it softened and I was happy to see some early progress. By this point, I was also getting used to my workout routine and feeling more energetic. I started enjoying my workouts a lot more and became obsessed with it. I was pushing myself to work harder and harder. My trainer Jeremy was very professional and patient. He was always pushing me and helped to build up my confidence that I could do it. He taught me the precise workout techniques to make sure I did every set correctly. He was with me every step and changed my workout program every few weeks to work on different muscle groups. It found it very important to build a good relationship with your trainer. He/She needs to know your physical and mental health to help you to achieve your goals.

IMG_2519Before & After

Result
The training was so addictive. I made the decision to add one extra month to my programme. In all, I have lost 12kg and my body fat percentage went from 28% down to 16% in four months. Best of all, I look like I’ve stepped back in time – loosing fat does make you look a lot younger and is far better than a trip to Thailand or Korea for nip and tuck!

I have had many friends asking me what is next (with the “you are going to put the weight back on” look on their face). The whole process was not just about weight loss, it was also learning about food and my body. I have changed my lifestyle and now train on my own from what I have learned from Ultimate Performance. One of the most important things that I learned was how to push my training boundaries and challenge myself. It was not an easy task. It was hard… very hard! It takes a lot of commitment and determination. I am 41 years old. It’s never too late to change of your life. I am happy to see my result today. Thank you to my trainer Jeremy and Ultimate Performance for this life-changing journey. Email alex.lamb@upfitness.com if you any questions about Ultimate Performance.

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Ultimate Performance Personal Training Team

Unicorn Trade Centre, 127-131 Des Voeux Road Central, Central

11th Floor Midtown Plaza II 1-29 Tang Lung Street Causeway Bay

Tel: 2798 9000
www.upfitness.com.hk

– Words by Joe Lam (Dim Sum Founder)
– Photo by Nic and Bex
www.nicgaunt.com

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