Stephen is in better shape at 42 than he was back in his teenage years after making a remarkable transformation at Ultimate Performance Manchester.
Age, lifestyle, and an unhealthy diet had piled on the pounds on Stephen’s once-lean frame.
He let it slide until the weight gain started stretching out his clothes and just couldn’t be ignored anymore.
He wanted a radical change and decided that an intense transformation at Ultimate Performance Manchester was just what he needed to reset his life.
“This is probably the leanest and best shape I have ever been in! Even when I was training at 18-19 years old with some structure and a personal trainer, I wasn’t this lean; I wasn’t this strong. I’m in the best shape of my life, and I’m 42 years old!”
Stephen came to U.P. Manchester weighing 92.2kg and with 24% body fat. After training at U.P., his final numbers stood at 75kg and 8.1% body.
He had been dipping in and out of training for over 20 years, but now needed a structured regime to regain his past fitness levels. At U.P., his DIY approach was replaced with professional mentoring, and unsurprisingly results soon followed.
“I started noticing results, probably at the end of the first week. I had got myself to a position where I was pretty overweight, so there’s an immediate impact in the first week, and it felt good that you could achieve something so quickly.
“I guess weight sort of crept up on me over time. You don’t realise your own weight; I think I just got heavier and heavier and heavier, and I think I only recently realised that I am now actually overweight.”
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Stephen’s exercise habits were sporadic at best, and he felt like he was never getting anywhere. His diet needed a tune-up too.
What he needed was a goal-focussed plan and the support and knowledge to execute it and get results.
“I was doing bits of exercise, but they were unstructured; I wasn’t doing the right things and the lack of motivation, and that meant that I was not really getting the results that I wanted.
“My diet and lifestyle before I came to U.P. were probably okay. I sort of knew what I shouldn’t be doing, so I stayed away from the obvious bad things you know soft drinks, crisps, etc., but I probably ate too much.
Stephen was raring to get back in shape, so his commitment was never in doubt. All he needed was someone to show him the way, and U.P.’s time-tested programme gave him a plan he could trust and follow.
“I’ve done quite a lot of stuff with personal trainers for a few years, and since then, I sort of remembered all the programmes and put things together myself. I think that’s where I’ve lost my way a little bit. I cobbled together bits of what I had learnt over the years and I got into bad habits. U.P. is totally different; they’ve brought together the diets, the changes around the exercise regime, the rest periods, and put it all together in a structured programme.
“I have never encountered that before, and I’ve never trained as hard either before. So I think the way that they can push you, motivate you to train without giving up is far beyond what I’ve done in the past.”
Injury was a constant concern, but his trainer’s laser-like focus on perfect form and technique meant these fears quickly evaporated.
His trainer took a pragmatic approach to finding out where his weaknesses lay and finding solutions to work safely around them.
“My lower back is pretty weak, and over the years, I have pulled my shoulders in a way that prevents me from training properly. The pain of doing it and the worry about injury tends to mean I can train to a certain point, but then at that point, I trigger one of these injuries, and my reaction is to stop.
“The difference with U.P. is that we’ve just tweaked and managed around these problems. And I’ve learned you can actually train through this stuff. I have been able to train through it, so I’ve learned an awful lot around what you can and can’t do. Getting stronger and training despite all these injuries is, for me, the real success of the programme.”
Basking in the compliments, Stephen is now looking beyond the transformation. He got the body he wanted with U.P.’s flexible and holistic method and now has his eyes set on his next level of fitness goals.
“My wife put my photoshoot pictures on social media – I wouldn’t have done that myself – and the response from people has been absolutely phenomenal.”
“I’ve had people ring me up and get in touch and say ‘What have you done, and how have you done that? What can I do to get the same results?’ etc. Not only are people genuinely impressed in terms of the results, but they also want to mirror it and get involved themselves – so that’s pretty impressive.”
“I think initially it was about getting through this programme. I always had it in my head that would be the end of it, and I would regress a little bit back into my normal routines, but I’m so pleased with the outcome that it has inspired me to carry on and do more. The plan now is to carry and build on what we’ve done – increase size, continue to get fitter, keep the leanness, and so on.”
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