I’m Tom, I’m 29 and in terms of lifestyle I’m what I consider a fairly average guy – I spend a lot of time sitting down in front of a computer in an office, don’t make it to the gym much (twice in the last six months!), enjoy a drink and give in to the temptation of a takeaway a couple of times a week. Like everyone I’ve tried making a decision to eat healthily and do more exercise many times before, but Friday night comes calling and I’m back to square one. For my willpower to stand the test of time I need to see real results, fast. Is it possible to seriously change your physique in a couple of months? London-based transformation specialists Embody Fitness say it is, so I’ve decided to put it to the test. This is the story of my quest to become fit, healthy and, most importantly, buff as hell in just eight weeks*.
*In week 7, Tom found out the news that Embody Fitness were recommending he put in two extra weeks of hard work, and of course, he accepted the challenge.
Week 10 – Judgement Day
It’s arrived. The final week that felt so far off when I started this transformation. And, to underline the importance of the occasion, I’m being trained by head honcho Chris Walton, Embody’s Director of Personal Training.
He’s throwing everything at me in a tough final push for bodily perfection with some German Volume Training. It’s a power lifter’s staple, generally agreed to be the most effective way to build muscle mass. But it’s seriously intense. If I’d tried this in week one I’d have been on the floor.
The idea is to start with six reps with heavy weights, then 12 reps with intermediate weights, and finally 25 reps with light weights. Chris combines Iso rows, lat pull downs and cable pull ups, then starts me on a new set featuring dumbbell bench presses, bench presses and dumbbell flies.
And, just as I thought I’d dragged my last weight-laden metal sled, I find myself lugging it up and down the gym five times in an hour-long session. That is something I’ll miss even less than walking lunges.
Then it’s done. I am transformed! I may not be getting the call to star in the next 300 film quite yet, but I’m well on my way. Looking at where I was just two and a half months ago, I’m so different now. I’m leaner, stronger, faster and definitely more muscular. My whole posture has changed. My shoulders are less rounded as I’ve put on bulk, I stand taller.
And the change isn’t purely aesthetic either. I feel so much more alert and switched on. Taking carbs, sugar, dairy and processed foods out of my diet has been a revelation. It’s been a challenge to stick to, and I’ll definitely reintroduce some foods that I’ve been missing for months. But it’s hit home just how much what you put into your body affects you, from your mood to your body shape.
After facing the dreaded callipers again, Chris is happy with my final stats. I’ve built lean muscle, toned up and I’m down to 9 per cent body fat from a starting percentage of 17 per cent, so I’m carrying around half as much of it as I was – around 6.3kg (1st) to be precise. That’s roughly the weight of 30 Big Macs. Or an average-sized Yorkshire Terrier. Not bad eh?
When I started this process I really couldn’t wait for it to be over, as it was really tough going for the first couple of weeks. But I’ll miss coming into the gym at Embody to be put through my paces three times a week. Having a personal trainer who’s as invested in your progress as you makes a world of difference.
I’ll keep training on my own though. Now I’ve had an education in weight lifting, the weights room at my local gym is no longer an intimidating place to avoid - I can bench press with the best of them.
Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to the pub. Before my new healthier lifestyle begins in earnest, I think I’m due a refreshing pint and the best burger this town has to offer. But to all those at Embody Fitness that have helped me over the last 10 weeks, I want to reassure you that I won’t ruin all your hard work – I’m a new man. And it feels great.
Embody Fitness aim to deliver outstanding results whilst providing a client experience that is as professional and enjoyable as possible, and they have many success stories to prove it. Find out more on their website: embodyfitness.co.uk