Get fit in 8 weeks

No pain, no gain

Words: Tom Cunningham 
Photo left: Taz Darling

Think 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 Tom knowing that he has to put in two extra weeks of hard work, things start to get painful, in more ways than one 

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 8 – No pain, no gain 

get fit in 8 weeks

For any of you reading this who have ever doubted the wisdom of the tips I give out each week, I’m about to prove one of them to be very true: keeping good form.

This week I’m still training with Tim, lifting progressively heavier weights across a range of exercises including hack squats, trap bar deadlifts, lat pull downs and dumbbell bench presses to name a few.

But after a couple of sessions I’m aware of a pain in the lower right-hand side of my back. I sleep on it, hoping it will die down. But in the morning I wake up wincing and realise I need some advice from Tim.

We think I may have hurt it during a set of trap bar deadlifts that Tim had to stop as I arched my back and lost form. Luckily, Embody have a great physio, Sophie, on staff and I get an appointment the next day.

After weeks of workouts I don’t feel as self conscious whipping my t-shirt off in Sophie’s physio room – until I realise she’s used to working with the French national rugby team. “Oh this is much easier than usual,” she tells me. “Rugby players’ muscles are almost too big to work on – this is way more manageable.” Seems I still have work to do. 


“Before starting this transformation, a massage from a talented blonde would have sounded like a great prospect…”

Sophie is very helpful when it comes to my back. She can feel the knot that’s developed and, from doing a check on the rest of me, concludes that it’s a compensation injury. My left hip is considerably weaker than my right, and the right side of my lower back has been helping make up for that by working twice as hard.

Heart work 

To get the most out of a workout session, choose exercises that work very different muscle groups to maximise the benefits. Select a muscle group at the opposite end, and opposite side of your body so your heart has to pump blood the furthest possible distance for maximum fat burning effect. For example, if you’re working your quads, pick an exercise like lat pull downs to follow it. Or if you’re doing hamstring curls, follow that with some dumbbell bench presses. 

When doing exercises like trap bar deadlifts which require swift hip movement at the top, it means my lower back is far more open to injury if my form drops even for a second.

Before starting this transformation, a massage from a talented blonde would have sounded like a great prospect. Now I realise that a sports massage done right is an eye-watering experience.

After pushing thumbs, elbows and quite possibly any blunt instruments that come to hand into my back to disperse the knot, I leave, a little more mobile and a little more in awe of Sophie. From now on I’m going to be doubly aware of my form when lifting weights. I’m not sure I can handle another session in the physio room…

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:

Before and After: Adam is one of Embody’s many success stories

© Embody Fitness 

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