Sam Explains How She is Still in Incredible Shape

Ultimate Performance always delivers exceptional results for our clients. 

But what happens next? What happens after those famous UP 'before' and 'after' images are taken?

Can these incredible results be sustained when 'normal' life resumes? Is there even such a thing as 'normal life' again after going through a UP transformation?

It seems not. Clients who come to UP develop life-long knowledge and skills that enabled them to master their own health, fitness and physique along with a passion and drive to train.

This is what we found when we revisited some of 2016's most incredible transformation stories in new mum and tax advisor Victoria Ferris and PR Agency boss Dave Gee.

Needless to say, months and months after their 12-week UP programmes, they're still in incredible shape and they're still growing, learning and achieving their goals both inside and outside the gym.

It's the same story with UP social media manager Sam McGowan who achieved stunning results in 12 weeks at UP Manchester.

More than four months after she completed her own transformation journey with UP it's clear to see those amazing results have not faded.

Sam has well and truly been bitten by the UP bug. The fire and intensity that drove her on to achieve her results still burns bright.

We spoke to Sam about what happened after her 12 weeks and how she's now stronger, fitter and more motivated than ever.

Why did you come to UP for a 12-week transformation in the first place?

Nick made me do it. 😉

Honestly? Originally it was just a work thing – I felt that to really understand my job and the service our clients receive I needed to be able to experience it myself, to be put through my own paces. I soon realised it was going to be so much more than that.

I'd actually struggled for a good while before UP. The year before I had to end my career in gymnastics after an Achilles injury, but it was all I ever knew.

Gymnastics was my childhood, my life, 'my thing', and it never once felt like exercise because I loved it, so when it ended I genuinely didn't know what to do with myself.

Losing such a big part of my life took away my confidence, I lacked motivation to do anything else and I'd always relied on the amount of training I did to burn off the crap I would eat, so it soon took its toll on me.

I was tired, I was becoming unsociable and my confidence was at an all-time low, but you never actually realise that's how you're feeling until you're shown that's not how it should be.

How did it compare to any training you'd done before?

I was useless in a gym. Throwing myself in the air was my workout for close to 20 years, so if you stuck me in a gym with weights I'd have absolutely no clue! Believe me; I tried it. I would walk into a gym, crack on with the cross-trainer (I couldn't run because of my foot), have a wander around, realise I didn't know how to use the majority of the machines, put my hoody back on and walk straight back out.

Let's just say it wasn't much of a workout.

My first training session with a UP personal trainer genuinely blew me away. I'd always had in my mind that I could do myself what a personal trainer could do…count reps. So when I was pushed to a limit I never knew existed, it made me realise just how much value a good personal trainer could bring.

The level of knowledge my trainer had meant they knew exactly where to make me squeeze, exactly how much further I could be pushed and I could feel my body doing more than I thought was even possible. I'd gotten more out of that one gym session than I had for that last year, 10 times over!

I also threw up…twice.

What was the whole 12-week experience like?

The whole thing was a rollercoaster of emotions, but I can tell you now it was 100% worth it.

Not only did it get me in the best shape I've ever been in, but it also opened a window of opportunity for me. It's given me an identity I thought I'd lost, I've met people who inspire me and push me to be a better version of myself, but most importantly…I'm happier.

My experience as a UP client made me understand exactly why UP does what they do and why they're so successful. They're not just personal trainers, they're not just there to train you, they are there to get you results you've been trying so desperately to achieve yourself for so long. I think if you really imagine what that feels like, to finally achieve that…it's something you can never put a price on.

It's not surgery, it's not a shortcut, and although it takes some serious commitment and dedication, more than you're probably ever used to, it is easy. It's easy if you are ready to put the work in – if you're ready to do that, just turn up and do as they say, that's it.

What were the results you got during the 12-week programme?

Physically, I reduced my body fat from 22.5% to 11.6% in just 12 weeks and went from having what I thought looked like 'puppy fat' to having an athletic body I was happy with.

Don't get me wrong, that's not everyone's cup of tea, I know, but I've never been happier with the way I look – it's a smashing feeling!

What has your UP transformation done for you?

It's funny – we're talking about my 12-week transformation but it wasn't for my job at UP I would be in a very different place right now.

Before I got the job at UP I was completely lost. My home, my career and my personal life was up in the air and it was a tough place to be; a tough place to be when you're usually so focused.

For most of my life, I honestly didn't have a care in the world. I'd always be full of energy, I was always proud of the things I had achieved and I would just crack on whenever times got hard – I always thought I was a tough cookie.

That last year before I landed the job at UP it felt like everything I had that I was happy with was falling apart, and I was no longer confident in myself, in my ability and physically I didn't feel great. I wasn't my usual self, but when that happens you pretend…it's only behind closed doors that the cracks start to show.

Getting the job at UP instantly gave me a confidence boost – I'd done myself proud by getting through a Nick Mitchell interview and for him to see a reason to hire me. It only got better from there.

Having a personal trainer didn't just get me in shape. They helped me get my confidence back, they showed me I could do way more than I gave myself credit for and they taught me that it didn't have to stop there – I had it in me to do whatever it was I wanted to achieve.

Now you might not ever really appreciate what I'm saying here unless you've been there yourself, which is understandable – I didn't either. You might not appreciate that a UP transformation is definitely not just about 'going to the gym' but if it's something you are considering I personally couldn't recommend it more.

That sad version of myself is no longer around. I'm confident, focused, driven, energised, productive and most importantly…I'm happy.

What are the key things you learned from the 12 weeks at UP and the most useful knowledge you developed?

If you've read any of our other client stories you'll hear every single one of them tell you that they've learnt so much about how to take care of themselves – it's true.

UP made me realise just how much I didn't know. The most useful thing I can take away is knowing what my body needs, how much of it and just how much of an impact the right training and diet can have on both your body and mind.

My definition of being healthy was "I haven't had a McDonalds in nearly three weeks now" – Haha. How clueless was I?!

Even when I tried to be healthy, I really wasn't, but it doesn't mean that I've learnt that I'm not allowed to treat myself all the time – it's much simpler than that and UP have shown me just how easy it is to maintain a healthy lifestyle.

I think saying "I've learnt how to maintain a healthy lifestyle" is a very underrated sentence. What I'm saying is…UP have given me a life-long lesson in 'living well'…for life. For as long as I will live. FOREVER.

They taught me that in 12 weeks – where else would you get that?

How has this influenced the way you train now?

For starters, I actually know how to use gym equipment!

I'm lucky enough to be surrounded by individuals who specialise in knowing how to kick your ass into shape but even when they're not around…I imagine them pushing me, telling me "there's no way you're finished yet" or that unless I can hear my muscles screaming at me to stop, you're not working hard enough.

Having everything they've taught me crammed into this tiny little brain of mine means I know how to keep my body in the shape that they've helped me build. They've taught me that when I want to get stronger, I have to push myself, but they've also taught me that just when you think you're doing everything you possibly can, you can do more.

I honestly can't put into words exactly what they've taught me.

It's a lot, but what I can do is put it into practice, and one of the best things about all of this is that it doesn't take up every bit of spare time that I have to do it.

You don't have to be 'gym-obsessed' to stay in shape, far from it – if you're doing it right, you don't have to spend hours on end pointlessly sweating. Please know that it doesn't have to be like that.

What is your training like now and what are your goals?

The hardest thing about my 12-week transformation coming to an end was that it made me realise just how important it is to have a goal/goals.

Training just because you 'want to lose weight' will never be enough to make you want to workout, but training to achieve something specific in a certain amount of time gives you a reason to keep going.

Now I still train 4-5 times a week and keep setting myself individual goals that are challenging but realistic and that makes me want to train, it makes me enjoy it.

I'm looking for a new challenge at the moment; it's almost Christmas, so I'm just taking it easy until the New Year where I'm going to set myself something a little different…yet to be decided, so ideas are definitely welcome.

What would you say to anyone thinking of doing a 12-week plan with UP?

If you're thinking of doing one…DO IT.

But one thing I would say is that a transformation is for those who really want it. Now I don't want that to be confused with those who 'love the gym' or 'love to train hard' – that's definitely not it.

It's for those who struggle to get up in the morning, it's for those who feel like they're not themselves anymore, it's for those who have been trying so hard to make a difference but feel that nothing works.

It's also for those who have already reached a certain level but want to learn how to take it one step further. In fact, just writing this makes me realise just how many people can benefit from the positives that you take away from such a transformation.

But if I were to ask you to take away just one thing from all of this, it would be that signing up to UP is so much more than just going to the gym. So much more. And even if you're still sitting on the fence, come and talk to someone…tell us why.

We don't bite.