Hitting his 40s was tough for Mark. Working in an industry full of young and trendy millennials started to make him feel his age.
When he started to feel like the perennial old man in a much younger crowd, he decided it was time to seriously get in shape and ditch the ill-fitting black T-shirts.
Mark was weighing 75kg, his heaviest, when he signed up to Ultimate Performance Manchester.
In the end, he left behind 15kg and brought his body fat down to a lean 13%.
“When people se my photographs, they keep asking me if I was using some dodgy app!
“They can’t believe that I could achieve these results in such a short time.
Even though he had two gym memberships, Mark was quite unfit and his weight was creeping up.
Once he joined U.P., he quickly realised that years of going to the gym on his own were absolutely worthless.
“I was just doing the wrong things and training in the wrong manner for years. I came here, and I didn’t know what to expect.
“Obviously, my personal trainer was wonderful, and I found straight away that real training was really hard.
“However, I saw improvement fairly early – probably within 2-3 weeks, and as the weeks went by, I saw even more difference.
“I’ve spent years going to the gym where you’re surrounded by a group of young guys who are mostly doing what they do, and you don’t seem to achieve those results. Also, over the years, I’ve had quite a few injuries, and that is something that you can’t hide because that affects your training.
“It was really tough at first; the first two or three weeks were horrible – I didn’t look forward to coming, but then after that, I started enjoying the training, and I think it was about finding the right techniques, you know.
“If there were certain things that I didn’t think worked for me, I spoke to my trainer, and we tried something different and, touch wood, I am injury-free.”
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Apart from training, Mark’s other big challenge was diet; as a vegan, his food choices were quite limited, and initially, he found it difficult to include enough protein in his diet.
“I’ve been a vegan for two years, and I think that combined with the lack of training and the social aspects is how I gained that heavy amount of weight.
“The vegan side of my diet was very heavily carb-based and didn’t have a lot of protein.
“I didn’t want to eat meat; that was a definite no-no. But I realised that I had to make certain sacrifices, so we added fish to my diet, but now I feel like I’m in a place that if I want to tweak things I will be able to find certain substitutes to take its place
“I think I’ve gained a lot of knowledge on the diet side of things. Now I am in a place where I know what works for my body type and my training routine.”
Long work hours that involved socialising was tough while on his results-focused diet plan.
But Mark managed to stay strong and stick it out and it really paid off.
“At first, the social side of things was a little bit difficult you have to make changes because otherwise, you’re not going to get the results and when you go out you’ve got to be quite strong-minded and say ‘no, I’m not going to have a drink’, or drink something soft, or just don’t put yourself in that situation.
“U.P. is a big investment coming here, and I’ve saved up to do it. I think when you see the results and when you start to change your lifestyle, you see that it makes sense financially to do it.
“Especially when you look at the amount of money you spend on gym memberships that you don’t use, on food and drink that you stick inside you just because it’s there. You also see the benefits you can get in your personal life with the changes you make – be it your training regime, be it your diet.”
Working in a young, image-based industry had left him feeling self-conscious, and a U.P. body transformation had a direct and positive impact on his work life.
“I was feeling old in the game. After coming here, I’ve now got this confidence to go into rooms with young people and not feel like an old man.
“I’ve also got loads more energy – absolutely 5-10 times more energy than I ever had.
“The amount of clarity I’ve got in my head in all aspects of my life goes right across the board – from personal life to work. All those benefits have come from coming to U.P. and making these changes.
“I’m ecstatic with the results! I never thought I could have achieved this, and I just want it to keep coming!”
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