Steve didn’t want to be the chubby 42-year-old dad anymore.
But father-of-two Steve felt like his chance to finally get in shape was slipping away from him.
He had tried everything to get in shape before – diets, personal trainers and exercise programmes – but nothing got him the results he wanted.
But when his company gave him the opportunity to do a body transformation at Ultimate Performance as part of their ‘Bucket List Adventures’ programme, he grabbed it with both hands.
Now Steve is the lean, fit and athletic dad he’d always hoped he could be – all it took was 14 weeks training at UP.
London head of sales Steve lost 10kg and shed two-thirds of his body fat – but what changed his life was finally becoming pain- and problem-free from the Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome he had suffered with for nearly 10 years.
“My trainer managed to transform me from a pasty, overweight 42-year-old into something that looks like it belongs in GQ magazine.
“The level of detail is amazing and the constant tweaks to my diet and exercise program has lead to a drop from 31% to 12% body fat in just 14 weeks.
“I still can’t believe the pictures! I sent the pictures to some colleagues I have not seen face to face for a while and they believed they were photoshopped!
“The company I work for got a professional photographer to take pictures of me working out with Dominik and those pictures are even more unbelievable than the before and afters.”
Here Steve explains the diet changes he made on his transformation, how it helped his TMJ and why it was so effective sculpting his impressive new physique…
What were your motivations going into your transformation?
I have always wanted to be in peak condition and have tried various programmes, diets and personal trainers over the years and felt as a 42-year-old father-of-two my opportunity was slipping away.
I had an operation last year that left me with hip problems and for the last decade have suffered from severe TMJ (Temporomandibular Joint Syndrome) which has caused muscle problems in my neck and shoulders adding further complications to any workout programmes.
My company Paymentsense Ltd had started a new benefits programme “The Bucket List Adventures” to support employees in personal life goals so I took this opportunity to cross this one off my list.
I was the first one to do it and had always wanted to be ripped basically, even if just for one day so I could take a picture.
We politely called it the Peak Performance Challenge, but it was basically a hunt for a six pack.
How were you feeling physically and mentally before starting with UP?
I knew I was slightly overweight but still thought I was in shape and looked good. Looking back on the before pictures, it is clear I must suffer from some type of reverse, positive, body dysmorphia as I looked terrible.
I suppose although I exercised a few times a week, my lifestyle and diet weren’t good enough for it to make any real impact and you get stuck swimming against the tide, you gain ground some weeks and lose ground others but ultimately you don’t go anywhere.
What is TMJ and how did it impact on your health and fitness?
TMJ is a chronic condition (at my stage anyway) caused by teeth grinding etc. The disc in my jaw locked about six years ago meaning I can only open my mouth halfway, this luckily doesn’t hurt but does cause muscle spasms down my neck and into my shoulders.
At points, I have had to be heavily medicated with painkillers and muscle relaxants as the pain became unbearable.
I have tried Chinese herbal medicine, acupuncture, physio, chiropractors, osteopaths, among many others, with varying degrees of success, and although I have had better control over it recently, I have never had all the muscle spasms disappear.
My trainer Dominik spent a lot of time focusing on my upper back and shoulders which must have either strengthened or released something as they feel completely normal now.
What was your diet like before you started your transformation with UP?
I had porridge every morning and felt my diet was pretty good but once you start recording it you realise the impact of snacks and alcohol.
Again its very easy to remember the good meals and healthy days which gives you a false picture of your overall diet.
How did your diet and lifestyle change when you started your transformation?
My trainer Dominik started me on a low-carb diet to help reset my insulin levels and then slowly reintroduced them a few weeks later.
This was a huge change to my usual carb-heavy diet, but I can honestly say I didn’t miss them and never once felt hungry.
The key for me was preparation, I planned out my meals for the week and then just took them with me.
I even took my own food to three black-tie events which got some strange looks but I was determined to get the best result I could in the timeframe I had.
What effect did this have on your health, performance, lifestyle and energy level?
Cutting out all the processed rubbish really makes a difference to how you feel, I felt more energetic and very clear of mind. I was also surprised that after the initial pain of using new muscles my body just felt like it functioned better.
How did you find the training and did it fit around your busy lifestyle?
The fact that my work was supporting me made it very easy to fit it into my day. My trainer Dominik gave me lots of workout options from home if I wanted to supplement the fat loss and all of them could be done whenever I got home from work or at the weekend.
What were the biggest benefits you experienced from doing this transformation?
It’s the first time in years that I have not had any shoulder and neck pain from my TMJ, as I said before my body just works better.
I can’t tell you how much that improves my life, I would have happily gone through this entire program just for that benefit alone.
I feel great inside and out. Apart from the health benefits, it’s just nice looking good and you just feel more confident.
What were the most important things you learned during your transformation?
I learnt a lot about diet, the science behind food and how it impacts my body. Its this knowledge that means this isn’t just a three-month transformation, but something I will be able to benefit from for the rest of my life.
Would you recommend UP and why?
I think it’s the almost-scientific approach and attention to detail that separates UP from everyone else. It is not an off-the-shelf programme and my trainer made many tweaks to both my exercise and diet based on the feedback my body was giving.
It was clear that the trainers share their knowledge and it’s this combined knowledge that enabled my trainer to tailor my program and get the end result.
I would recommend UP to anyone, at any fitness level because whatever amount of time or hard work you are able to put in their formula will give you the best return.