Logical ProgressionThink getting the body of a god takes too much time and effort? In this weekly blog, our man is out to prove that a couple of months of hard graft can be revolutionary. With a month gone, our man in the field has already lost 4% body fat, and is ready for more punishment.
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.
Week 4 – Changes
I’m back from holiday and back to reality at the Embody gym to begin my fourth week. I’m about to face the dreaded callipers again, as Chris has invited me for a mid-way assessment.
I think I can see changes in my body, and I’ve definitely lost weight. But I am regretting those Dairy Milk chocolate squares I ate while I was away. Will Chris be able to tell that sugar has passed my lips? I try not to look too guilty as I walk in. But it turns out I needn’t have worried.
I’ve lost four per cent of my body fat since I began the transformation challenge, and built lean muscle. Plus from now on I’m allowed a handful of either brown rice, quinoa, oats or sweet potato with my post-workout meal – my first regular carbs in a month!
I never thought I’d see the day when I got excited by brown rice, but I’m salivating at the thought. Bring on the workout.
Chris does say that he wants me in the Embody gym for the full eight weeks of the challenge, however, so my break in Cornwall means we’re adding a week on. Not as close to halfway through as I thought… But at least it’s eased my chocolate guilt.
My new trainer is Natalie, who immediately sets me to work with a foam roller before the heavy lifting begins. We’re changing things up a bit after the first phase, which is designed to increase general fitness. While I’m sticking to a lot of the general fitness elements like the dreaded plank, there will be a bigger focus on muscle building from now on.
One of the first new pieces of equipment I’m using is trap bar, a punishing-looking hexagon of metal with weights attached at two sides, which I’m about to deadlift. Natalie demonstrates the proper form – keep a straight back, bum out, bend your knees – and I feel like I’ll be OK: Natalie is very petite and seems to be lifting the weights with no trouble, so I shouldn’t have a problem, especially with my new-found muscles.
Except that isn’t what happens. I step into the centre of the trap bar, bend down and take hold of the handles and attempt to lift. Damn, this is heavy.
Stay on top form
We all know we’re supposed to have ‘good form’ when weightlifting, but Natalie explains to the real importance of sticking it. Not only does it help prevent injury, it also allows you to progress to heavier weights as you build resistance. If you don’t adopt the right stance from the start, you may not be working the correct muscle groups, and will get stuck at one weight. To see the results you want, always check with a trainer or get searching on YouTube for examples of how you should position yourself before picking up the dumbbells.
Turns out Natalie is deceptively strong! I manage 10 reps with great difficulty, letting out involuntary grunts as I go. My earlier confidence in my progress is starting to wobble.
But after a week out of the gym the truth is I’m glad to be back. And I am ready to work as hard as I need to in order to become as ripped as the ‘after’ shots on Embody’s website.
Natalie explains that to build muscle you have to cause damage, micro-tears, to your existing muscle fibres. Your body then repairs this damage and adds to the muscle to stop it happening again.
Essentially, if it hurts, it means I’m getting somewhere. After three very testing and sweaty sessions, I feel like I must have doubled my muscle power. I’m feeling good. I’m ready for five chocolate-free weeks of pain.
Proof is in the pudding
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