If you want to understand the true power of an Ultimate Performance transformation, then Jade Bucklow’s story tells you all you need to know.
Before she came to UP, she admits she wasn’t in a ‘good place’ – she suffered from stress, anxiety and panic attacks. Even having the confidence to come through the doors and start her transformation journey was an emotional battle for her.
But it’s inspiring to see what can be achieved in just 15 short weeks and for the Manchester lawyer, it has genuinely changed her life.
It’s clear she has developed an incredible physique with the expert training and nutritional guidance at UP – after all, this is the reason hundreds of people, who want exceptional results, sign up to work with our world-class personal trainers.
But for Jade the transformation has been more profound and far-reaching than just getting in the best shape of her life.
Her 15-week journey has made her stronger and more confident, and she says she’s now much happier in her life.
As a Coeliac Disease sufferer, Jade has also finally been able to take control of her diet and has conquered cravings for food that previously damaged her health.
“Things today since starting at UP and completing this journey, I’m a completely different person,” she explains. “I do have to step back and look at how far I’ve come.”
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“I don’t know what it was that made me come through the door because to come through the door of UP when you’re feeling the way I was feeling, was quite overwhelming.
“But it’s such a positive environment when you come in. There’s an energy that’s infectious, and you leave feeling accomplished and a little bit more confident every time you leave the door.
“I feel like I know I can do anything now. If I can do what I can do in there (the gym), I know I can do anything.”
A landmark moment for Jade was having the confidence to do a photoshoot at the end of her 15-week journey – something that previously she would never have felt able to do.
She was stunned by the results.
“Seeing myself physically is so surprising. Doing a photoshoot and seeing the photos and thinking ‘wow’ that’s actually me, because a lot of it was a mental journey for me.
“But even that process of putting shorts and crop top on and walking around the gym and having photos taken…if you’d told me I was going to be doing that, but not only that I’d be doing it, but that I’d enjoy it, I wouldn’t have known that, and I’ve surpassed expectations of what I had in my own personal confidence, but also how I look.
“Other people tell you all the time as well – everyone wants to know what you’re doing to look the way you do, but I don’t think they can quite believe it just comes from personal training.”
The narrative of a fitness ‘journey’ is one people hear often, but for Jade it truly was.
“At the time I started UP I was crippled with anxiety and low self-esteem,” she said. “I had been through a difficult experience in my personal life that had emotionally floored me and left my self-confidence rock bottom.
“I was suffering from panic attacks, I wasn’t sleeping due to nightmares and my body and health were showing the effects of being in a constant state of stress. I joke with Chris that in my ‘before’ picture I look like I had been attacked by a vampire, I didn’t realise how visible the stress was.”
Now though it’s a different story – Jade says she’s a completely different person after her 15 weeks with UP.
“I am so much happier and confident in myself, I feel healthy and it shows. My anxiety is completely under control and I feel like I have got my life back. Training at UP taught me a lot about my own capability that I had either forgotten or simply didn’t know.
“The confidence and physical strength I gained in the gym has come out in other areas of my life; I am more confident and assertive in social situations and I am performing better at work. It has shown me I can achieve anything if I put my mind to it.”
Every journey begins with a first step – and for Jade that first step was the hardest. It took a real leap of faith for her, but it’s one that has changed her life for the better.
She recalled the way she felt after first coming through the doors at UP Manchester to start her transformation.
“I came in for an introductory session with Chris, and we talked about the kind of changes that I’d need to make to my diet and the level of commitment it would take for me to be organised with food or organising around my work.
“Coming into a gym full of people who know what they’re doing, I felt clueless, and I had a big cry actually, and I felt utterly overwhelmed, and I felt it was something that I wasn’t going to be able to do.
“The fear kicked in, and I just felt I was going to take on too much and I was scared of failing.
“At the stage, I was at in my life, I really wasn’t in a good place; I was lacking confidence, and I felt that it would knock me backwards if I failed at this.”
But UP isn’t like any other gym in the world, and the support network clients have when they embark on their transformations is what sets us apart.
This support is something that Jade found was the key to keeping her on track towards her goal.
“You’re not left when you leave your hour in the gym, your diet is sorted for you, you’ve got a point of contact to ask any questions, you’re not left to flounder around your own gym at home. You know what you’re doing and when you’re doing it. It’s a full-time commitment for both you and your personal trainer.
“They also learned how to get the best out of you and how to work with that. It’s a much more personal relationship than it would be and it’s unique and I feel that they genuinely care – every trainer, not just my own.
“It makes you comfortable to be honest about how you’re feeling. I think that’s where you can fall off training plans is when you’re not open about what’s going right for you and what’s going wrong for you and when perhaps you’re just a number.
“There’s nothing about the experience of UP that is ‘production line’. It’s all tailored to you – your life, what your goal is and what your strengths and weaknesses are. It’s tailored to you.”
So many people struggle with their diets in life – and Jade was no different.
In fact, having Coeliac Disease had made the struggle even harder for her in the past.
But UP personal trainers are experienced at working with clients with a host of conditions from diabetes to Polycystic Ovaries Syndrome.
The support of her personal trainer helped Jade not only stick to her nutrition plan to achieve her incredible results, but gave her lifelong knowledge of how to take control of diet to remain healthy and stay in shape.
“Food-wise I did have a few wobbles,” she admits. “But the best thing about it was that I felt comfortable enough to say to Chris ‘this is where I’ve fallen off’, this is where I’ve gone wrong today’ and he would quickly put it into perspective for me, so it didn’t escalate.
“I didn’t keep it a secret and then just slowly fall off the waggon.
“I was open and honest about it and I actually have Coeliac Disease and in some ways that can make it quite difficult to organise a diet and one of the first things I said when I came was ‘well I’ve got this, will it be all right? Can we work with this?’ Nobody was phased by it at all and it hasn’t had any negative impact.
She added: “Once you start focussing on what you’re eating and how it makes you feel, which is a natural part of what you do here, you begin to recognise ‘well I’m not going to do that because it’s going to have a negative impact’.”
The most challenging part of the 15-week UP experience, according to Jade, was actually explaining to friends and family what she was doing and getting on board.
She explains that she was met with a bit of resistance from friends the first couple of occasions she turned down drinking alcohol so she could focus on getting results in the gym.
But she says once they saw the impact on her life of her programme at UP, they were soon right behind her.
“For me, I’m a crowd-pleaser, and suddenly I was finding myself feeling like I was letting people down, but after the first couple of times, people begin to accept it and actually when they begin to see how your life is changing.
“I mean my friends were just seeing a complete transformation in me – I was healthier and I was happier and I was very much more confident in a social situation. And those questions dropped and new questions started – questions on what I was doing, how I was finding it and everyone really got behind me. “I’ve got fantastic support – as soon as people saw the change in me and all the good it was doing for me, I quickly got over that part of it.”
Once you start seeing results, it really motivates you to keep pushing towards your goal. This was something Jade experienced.
She was commuting to Manchester from York to work – but seeing the results, she was soon commuting the long distance just to train at UP.
“When you walk into a UP gym, the atmosphere here is like no other gym that you will walk into. There is an energy amongst the staff and the clients that’s infectious; that motivates you and you know you’re going to be pushed.
“When I have had personal training before, I didn’t feel like I was pushed in the way that I am pushed here. It’s almost like the trainer kept me within my comfort zone, and it showed me a couple of things to use around the gym.
“Here, I was immediately taken out of my comfort zone and doing things that you wouldn’t do yourself.”
One of the key things Jade has noticed since joining UP is how effective the training is.
As a lawyer, she has an incredibly busy schedule, but she explains that just investing a small amount of time each week in improving your health and fitness can have a huge cumulative effect on your whole life.
“I would tell other people that were thinking about whether they should or shouldn’t come to UP, that it’s the best gift you can give yourself.
“To give yourself that time I don’t think it’s something that we do in this day and age.
“You’ll see the knock on benefits in every aspect of your life, and it’s just a tiny piece of your time that can change the rest of your life.”