Abel was rapidly approaching his 50th birthday, and his dwindling fitness was gnawing away at him.
A medical check-up showed his body fat levels were heading towards the danger zone for his health.
Going through a lockdown and close to turning 50, he thought this was the moment of ‘reckoning’ when he needed to act.
He hated the thought of going to the gym, but seeing his friend’s transformation at Ultimate Performance convinced him this was the right place to invest in his long-term health.
Training with weights for the first time has been a revelation. It’s not only helped him lose 16kg and get his body fat down to healthy levels, but it has wound back the clock to make him feel younger and full of life again.
“I’ve achieved a significant weight loss, significant loss of body fat, and I’m now much slimmer, have far more energy, and I look younger.
“I don’t remember ever seeing my abs, but the last time would have been in my 20s, so 25 years ago.
“My energy levels are actually what I take away the most from it. Looking younger is that cherry on the cake because that’s a nice compliment to hear. For me, this new energy I have is great.
“That’s what it’s all about, having more energy so that you can live healthier and be more productive in everything you want to do in life.”
Here Abel talks about his transformation journey, training with weights for the first time, and the lessons he has learned that will keep him in shape for the next 20 years of his life.
How did you first hear about Ultimate Performance?
I think I first heard of U.P. from a friend while I was in Singapore. Actually, I think he went through a transformation that was quite impactful for him, and that’s how I heard about it. When I was in London, I thought I should get into training.
I never really liked going to the gym. I think the few times I’ve been to the gym before. I gave up very quickly. Honestly, I never liked the training, never liked going to the gym, never liked sweating. I’m more of an outdoors person. I was into running. But now, through this friend, I thought, ‘Well, maybe I should try it out’.
What was your motivation for starting a transformation with Ultimate Performance?
My motivation was actually quite simple. We were in lockdown, I was getting close to my 50s, and I thought, ‘Well, maybe this is a moment of reckoning’, and my reckoning was to get fit.
Actually, I thought my goal was very ambitious. From where I was last year, I was 26% or 28% body fat at my medical check-up. I thought, ‘well, to get down to 17.5% body fat is very ambitious’.
Since working with my personal trainer at U.P., I’ve accomplished far beyond that, which I’m quite happy about. That was my motivation – lockdown. My thoughts: ‘There’s something happening in life, something happening in my life, I’m going to turn 50 years old soon, so let me try it out’.
Are you happy with the results you have achieved so far?
I’m investing in myself and actually investing in being healthier for my family, too.
Given the fact that I feel healthier, I feel more energetic, I have the motivation to keep going, and I’m sure I’ll keep at it in 10 years’ time, in 20 years’ time, but even more so now.
So, I am happy with what I have achieved, although I have the drive to progress further.
What was your lifestyle like before your transformation?
I think I’ve always had a relatively healthy lifestyle. I’ve never eaten anything crazy, and I’ve always eaten pretty well. However, I do like carbs and cheese, and I’ve always allowed myself to indulge in a bit of wine, although never too much.
Without exaggerating, I never really had any discipline. Now I think I’m far more disciplined. I still indulge a little bit from time to time, so I’m not 100% on target, but my wife would say I’m 90%, which I think is amazing.
I’m happy with that, but whatever happens, I think I’ll have far more discipline going forward and still enjoy some indulgence from time to time.
How does the training at Ultimate Performance compare to your previous training?
In terms of exercise, I mean, it’s a massive difference, because I would do a little bit of exercise before. I would go for a run, but now I feel more determined to meet my daily step count. My training now is really good.
I’m walking as well as running, and I’m far more consistent than before. My new training regime helps to clear my mind, and I feel healthier. It helps to actually organise things in one’s mind. So, I really like it; it’s time well spent.
Setting a goal and achieving it is a massive boost in confidence in terms of mental resilience. The process and discipline you must encompass to get to that goal are really important for success, and it is a confidence booster. It reflects in many aspects of your life.
What have been some of the biggest benefits you have experienced as a result of your transformation?
I look 10 or 20 years younger. That is a great compliment. It is also great to hear, no doubt about it. That was not my objective in the first place, but getting feedback is always positive.
My energy coming out of it is higher, so that can only be good for confidence. But again, doing something that one has never done before, taking the time, taking the discipline, doing things differently from what I’ve personally been used to doing for so many years, it’s actually a great achievement. And that’s something I would encourage everyone to do because it can only serve in many fields of life.
What have you learned during your transformation?
I’ve learnt two lessons whilst at U.P. The first one is understanding the different categories of food and how they impact both your objectives and your energy levels. That’s not something I had any idea about before.
And the second thing is really that discipline. I think there are a number of things we all have some discipline over in life, but I think it provides a bit more discipline in everything we do. Discipline is not a bad word. I think discipline is actually liberating because as you have discipline, then you are freer to do the things you want. You have more energy to actually do many other things. So for me, that’s the key out of it.
What impact has your transformation had on your lifestyle?
I’ve discovered the adrenaline rush that you get out of training. The steps are something you can do on your own, which is very powerful. I would say the training at U.P. has positively impacted me both in and out of the gym.
What surprised me the most was actually the impact outside the gym – learning that all the things you have to do outside the gym are essential in aiding your progression inside the gym. So, in terms of work involved, I would say it’s 75% effort outside the gym and 25% in the gym, contributing to a successful transformation overall.
Although that 25% of work in the gym is very hard, it’s really good because it has a tremendous impact on your whole lifestyle, which was quite surprising to me.
The diet and the discipline that I try to have outside of the gym is really impactful. I mean, I wouldn’t say I deprive myself of enjoying a good meal, but I pay more attention to what I put in my body. I almost have more pleasure now in being far more deliberate about what I eat and organising my diet across the week. That is good.
That has a good impact – knowing that I have an objective to aim for in terms of steps and knowing that the number of steps actually matters to get me out of the house and away from my desk. It’s a way of making sure that you invest in yourself all the time. As you invest in yourself, you actually invest in others. By taking care of yourself, you can take better care of the family and feel better for it. So yeah, that’s the impact, I think.
When I’m not in the gym, my trainer is always with me. I think that’s the magic ingredient. Training at the gym is important, and that’s what I thought it would be. But out of the gym, nutrition, being there, asking questions, saying what’s right, what’s not right for the training is what makes the discipline.
What progress did you make, and what results did you achieve?
So far, I think I am 16kg lighter. My body fat has dropped. I am, of course, much slimmer. When I go and run, it’s much easier. I was not obese before, but I was slightly overweight. I mean, I’m older, and I run better than probably 20 years ago, and that’s something I like doing, running, so I notice a difference in a tremendous way. So that’s really good.
I’ve had to change all my wardrobe, so I had not budgeted for that, but that’s still nice. Nothing fits me anymore. I had to take my wife shopping so I could buy a whole new wardrobe. That was quite nice and quite impressive. You only realise how much you’ve changed when you actually wear your old clothes. You realise that you are too slim for your own clothes, which is really nice.
What changes have you noticed since your transformation?
I feel less lethargic and fatigued. That feeling I used to have is no longer there anymore, and that has massive a positive impact.
I’ve achieved a significant weight loss, significant loss of body fat, I’m now much slimmer, far more energy, and I look younger. My energy levels are actually what I take away the most from it. Looking younger is that cherry on the cake because that’s a nice compliment to hear. For me, this new energy I have is great.
I feel like I can say ‘no’ to myself more often, in a good way. I will always indulge a little bit in things I like because life is too short, but at the same time, I mean, I’ve surprised myself by actually resisting temptation far more often. And at the same time, I enjoy the things I’ve always enjoyed. Slightly less often than before, but I still enjoy them. So actually, being in control is liberating, and the energy it provides, I think, is massive. That’s what it’s all about, having more energy so that you can live healthier and be more productive in everything you want to do in life.
I don’t remember ever seeing my abs, but the last time would have been in my 20s, so 25 years ago. That would have been the last time.
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- Your results are a function of time spent following the plan; your genetic response to the right exercise and diet program; how hard you train; how consistently you come to the gym; how disciplined you are with your diet; & your starting point.
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