Weight training won’t make you ‘bulky’ – this is something Nicole found out for herself after making a stunning 15-week body transformation at U.P.
Nicole had never lifted weights before, nor even considered it as the best tool for fat loss and toning up, and feared she might become too bulky.
But quite the opposite – she sculpted the lean, athletic and feminine figure she had always wanted with the help of her U.P. personal trainer.
“My body fat went from 21% to 15% in just 15 weeks, and I not only looked leaner but with good muscle definition and no bloatedness.
“Eating a healthy diet also showed in my complexion as my skin was a lot clearer – I looked and felt like a new, improved Nicole, than when I started.”
Nicole’s training and nutrition plan didn’t just change the way she looked – but the way she feels and her day-to-day energy levels.
She has gone from feeling sluggish and tired every day to feeling strong, energised and motivated – and that comes from learning about how to control her diet, the optimum amount of protein and carbs, and being able to make the right food choices when eating out.
Nicole no longer needs to focus on the number on the scales and says that crash dieting is a thing of the past now she has the knowledge on nutrition she needs to maintain her svelte new figure.
She explains her first experience of weightlifting, the diet changes that helped sculpt her new body, and how working with U.P. has changed her life, below.
What were your motivations going into the program?
Although I was excited about starting the program, after reading about and seeing other people’s body transformations on U.P., I was initially a bit nervous and apprehensive because I had never really lifted weights and was worried that I wouldn’t be good at it.
I wanted to not just lose fat, but actually look fit, athletic and feel stronger.
How were you feeling both physically and mentally before starting with U.P.?
Physically, pretty sluggish, unfit and lacking energy.
Mentally, I felt the same – I think becoming bored with my previous workouts at home and at my local gym didn’t help as it led me to lose interest, become less motivated which meant I was less likely to get moving and so the cycle went on.
Weight training for the first time sculpted Nicole’s body in 15 weeks.
What was your diet and lifestyle like before you started your transformation with U.P.?
Diet-wise, I would start off with good intentions but then slack off at the end of the day.
Because I had quite long commutes for work and didn’t often get home until late in the evening, I’d feel stressed or tired and it was easier to just buy something ready-made from my local shop each day that was not fresh or really healthy.
Night times were the worst, because I tended to snack more, and at the weekends I didn’t exercise at all.
What kinds of things were you eating every day and how did this affect you?
I never really had much of a breakfast in the morning – it would normally be buying something on the way to work like a croissant or a flapjack. Lunch would normally be a salad, but then I would always have to have sweets or a few biscuits afterwards or through the afternoon.
Often I didn’t cook or make a proper evening meal so would either just have some crisps, a stodgy ready meal like spaghetti bolognese and more sweets or biscuits!
Eating a lot of sugary treats and carbs just made me generally feel more sluggish both mentally and physically.
How did your diet and lifestyle change when you started your transformation with U.P.?
Pre-packaged, processed food pretty much disappeared.
I started to eat more fresh food, vegetables and fruit, prepared and cooked proper meals from scratch and actually was starting each day with a decent breakfast.
I still had snacks but they were nutritious and healthy rather than just sugary.
Lifting heavy weights is the secret to Nicole’s new body.
What effect did this have on your health, performance, lifestyle and energy levels?
Because I was eating well and planning my meals, I felt like I was being more active in taking more control and responsibility for my health and this motivated me to carry this over to other areas of my life.
My energy levels and motivation increased and I felt inspired to try new exercises and classes outside of the gym that I enjoyed rather than feeling that it was a chore.
Working to a structured weight training and diet programme, and tracking my progress every day suited me really well because I could actually see positive changes which gave me even more of a boost to keep on going and getting better!
How did you find the training and did it fit around your busy lifestyle?
The first two weeks of training were the toughest and were a real test of inner strength for me. My body wondered what had hit it!
I had never had my body pushed to its limits to such an extent before, and at one point earlier on I actually asked myself ‘why am I doing this?’ I didn’t think I could get through it but I did, and it was a good feeling to be constantly challenged each session, get through it, and know that I was progressing.
Training in the mornings worked better for me because I felt like I was set up for the rest of the day.
There was flexibility to change sessions around, but when you are on this program you find that training takes priority and you will always find the time to fit it around your lifestyle because you are so committed and motivated by the physical and mental changes that are happening to you as the weeks go by.
What were the most important things you learned during your journey and what really worked for you in helping you make your transformation?
My trainer was great in educating me on, for instance, how important a role protein has in my diet and that you can eat a decent amount and still progressively lose fat and not have to feel hungry all the time.
I also learned to focus on losing fat and building lean muscle rather than just relying on the scales.
Trying to be patient and consistent with my diet really helped me.
In the past, I had been used to going on really unrealistic restrictive diets and getting what I thought were good results, fast. But this transformation program has made me realise that if you want to make long-term changes, you have to be prepared to be realistic with making changes that might take longer than you are used to, but will ultimately be easier to achieve and maintain.
How has doing this transformation changed you and do you think it will benefit you going forward?
Doing this transformation has completely changed my attitude towards food and most importantly weight training. I know I can eat well, make healthy choices but also still eat out and have a bit of what I like in moderation.
I also understand more about what foods I am sensitive to, or how they can affect my energy levels and that weight training will not make me transform into Manchester’s answer to a female Incredible Hulk.
Would you recommend U.P., and why?
I would 100% recommend U.P. because they really are committed to helping you get the best out of training and achieving your goals.
You will always be challenged and pushed but in a way that will make you feel that you are realising your potential and gaining maximum results, whilst making positive changes that will impact on other areas of your life, as I was.
James was very knowledgeable about health, fitness and weight training and had lots of interesting tips and advice which helped me and I know will still help me going forward.
He kept me motivated even on the not-so-good days when little set-backs in my progress could have gotten the better of me. Just know that U.P. will support you throughout your transformation journey, whatever you set out to achieve.