Actress Gemma Atkinson is taking on a 12-week transformation with Ultimate Performance. Her goal, to get in the best shape of her life.
The Emmerdale actress and Key 103 Radio Show Host is blogging her progress every week, so make sure to follow for all the high and the lows, tips and tricks and inside knowledge of a UP body transformation…
Why am I doing a transformation at Ultimate Performance?
So many people ask me this question – and it’s certainly not just to ‘lose weight’ which seems to be the textbook answer when anyone starts a new health kick.
I’m training because I love it; I love a challenge.
I love feeling strong and athletic, and that’s how training with weights makes me feel.
But somewhere along the line, I lost this spark in my training and the motivation to push myself beyond my limits…and I wanted it back.
My simple goal on this transformation journey is just to become the best version of myself I can be…and I’m going to train as hard and eat as well as I can to achieve that (and blog about the highs and lows along the way).
Week 1 of my journey with UP was a real eye-opener for me…
We had my first weigh-in and I was quite shocked that I was the heaviest I’ve ever been in my life. I was 73kg and 16.9% body fat, which doesn’t sound a lot, but for me it was.
I’m normally around 70kg and around 15%; I didn’t ‘let myself go’ but I kind of got into a rut with training whereby I would do the same thing every day and get to my certain rep number and just stop, even if I just had more in the tank.
I just felt that I needed to have a kick up the backside and I thought there’s no better place than UP for that.
Even though these guys are your mates, they’re not your mate in the gym. For those 45 minutes or an hour, you’re the client and they’re the PT and they get you through it and push you to a level where you’ve never been – mentally as well as physically.
So the first two sessions were really hard and I was literally going home thinking ‘what on earth am I doing? Why have I done this?’
But then as you start getting into the routine of the food prep it becomes second nature.
People often think it’s daunting that you have to cook food every day and prep it all and stick to your macros, but I actually love that side of it. I love having a routine. That’s how I work better under pressure and being told what to do.
So the first week went really well. Then when I got my first weigh-in and I’d lost what I lost, it was such a buzz.
It was such an amazing feeling. I lost 5lbs in the first week and dropped 2% body fat…in a week. I’ve never done that before.
That wasn’t cutting out loads of food – all I did was cut out chocolate really.
I still have my oats, I still have my banana, I still have my sweet potatoes.
So it’s four days training in here and then just two cardio-type sessions where I just walk the dogs or I go for a bike ride. Then a rest day – it’s nothing too strenuous or that’s not do-able for me.
It is hard when I’m in here at UP training, and I do struggle – but I get through it and then I do feel great. I feel pleased that I’ve done it and then I look forward to the next session.
I think the thing that has made the biggest difference for me is just the consistency with which you work on the gym floor; there’s not a lot of rest time.
Whereas the gym I used to train at, I would do my set and then maybe go and send a text message or go and speak to some of the girls – I was plodding.
I would be in there for over an hour. But here I’m training for about 45 minutes or an hour because you don’t get much rest – it’s relentless. You’re super-setting and you’re just going and going, so you don’t go stale. You keep that intensity that you need and you’re working so much harder without really realising it.
Obviously, your diet is tracked and monitored – you’re eating to fuel your muscles, not your tastebuds. That’s a great point to remember for me.
If you get into that mindset that everything you do and everything you eat is for the benefit of your body – physically and mentally, then you enjoy doing it, because you know you’re doing good.
After Week 1 I’m feeling great, I’m feeling motivated and I’m ready to do whatever it takes to get leaner and stronger.