So much can change in 10 years.
Over the course of almost a decade, everything has changed for Victoria – everything except the incredible body she sculpted at Ultimate Performance.
Victoria left her job as a London lawyer, became a figure athlete, and even went vegan three years ago – but what has remained constant are the amazing results she achieved during her original transformation at U.P.
What’s even more incredible, and shows the power of true body composition change, is that Victoria’s bodyweight is still exactly the same now as it was in her ‘before’ photos all those years ago – proof that the number on the scales doesn’t always matter.
Now a figure competitor, Victoria shares the secrets she learned at U.P. that have kept her in sensational shape after almost 10 years.
It starts with lifting heavy weights, optimising her lifestyle and following a few dietary rules.
What was your motivation for starting your original transformation and what was your goal?
I had been trying to change my body for years and despite a huge amount of effort, I just wasn’t seeing the results I wanted. I wasn’t really overweight – I was wearing a clothes size 8/10 – but I was “soft” looking, carrying a lot of body fat around my stomach, and just didn’t have any real shape.
Frustrated, I went online looking for personal trainers close to my then office (I was a lawyer working in the City) and hit upon the U.P. website.
After taking a look at the client testimonials and results, I went in for a consultation with Nick. Keen to work hard and try something new, I signed up right away.
I articulated my goal as pure fat loss, but now know that what I actually meant was fat loss and lean muscle building – i.e. body recomposition.
What results did you achieve in terms of fat loss, weight loss, muscle building and strength?
During my initial transformation (which lasted around 12 weeks) I went from a little over 24% body fat to 14% body fat and completely changed my shape.
I also saw a significant increase in my strength and improvements in my sleep quality, mood and, most importantly, mindset and confidence. Notably, I didn’t lose any scale weight at all – I started at 70 kg and ended at 70 kg (I’m 5 ft 9in).
Almost 10 years on from her life-changing transformation at U.P., Victoria is in better shape than ever.
What were the most powerful lessons you learned about training?
1. The fastest way to change your body is to lift heavy weights. Weight training doesn’t make women “bulky” – it strips off body fat and builds an amazing feminine shape (I definitely ended up looking “long and lean”).
2. It doesn’t work unless you do – but workouts don’t need to take hours. U.P. taught me how to really push myself in the gym – and that I could train just three days a week and keep my sessions under an hour and still get incredible results if I put the work in when I was in there.
3. That training intensely with weights is an incredible mood-booster and confidence-builder. I have completely changed as a person since I started lifting and the positive impact was immediate.
What were the most powerful lessons you learned on diet and nutrition?
1. The best food is real food, not powders, pills and other expensive supplements. One of the things that I was advised to change on day one of my transformation was breakfast – instead of my usual high-priced, celebrity trainer-endorsed meal replacement shake, I ate real food. This made a remarkable difference to my energy levels. Replacing all the packaged stuff with whole food “from the land” was a game changer.
2. You don’t need to weigh and measure foods to get strong and lean – you just need to learn some basic principles. Tracking “macros” is all the rage, but I didn’t track anything during my U.P. transformation. I learnt how to pick the right foods at the right times of day (e.g. protein and fat for breakfast, carbs late in the day) and to choose nutrient-dense foods that would improve my overall health and metabolic function. This was super empowering.
3. Quality counts. Buy the best you can afford and spend on improving food quality before buying supplements. It’s worth it.
Key lessons Victoria learned with U.P. have laid the foundations for a lean, fit and healthy lifestyle almost a decade on.
How has your lifestyle changed after your U.P. transformation?
The U.P. transformation really marked the start of a whole new lifestyle and I never looked back. I still live by the same key principles my U.P. transformation taught me: lifting heavy, fueling my body with solid nutrition, making time for recovery and relaxation, prioritising sleep, drinking plenty of water and being mindful of toxic overload (right down to the products I use on my skin and in my home).
I also still use several of the same foundational supplements that I started using when I began my transformation. U.P. taught me to look at my fitness goals holistically – i.e. that it’s not just about training and nutrition, it’s about the bigger picture.
How has what you learned at U.P. helped keep you in shape?
U.P. gave me the skills and knowledge I needed to be able to progress my own fitness goals – an understanding of how my body works, what it does and doesn’t respond to, and how to dial in what I was doing to either lose fat or build muscle. It was really an empowering experience – I knew enough to make intelligent choices when my trainer wasn’t there.
Weight training is still a cornerstone of the fitness regime Victoria follows to stay in amazing shape.
What does your training plan look like now and how has that helped you build on your original results?
I train in a very similar way to how I learnt to train at U.P., but with some more advanced training techniques thrown into the mix to maximise muscle gain/retention now that I’m competing (I work with John Meadows, so I use his style of training). I’ve also worked up my overall training volume over the years. I currently combine lifting and HIIT sessions (usually on the Versa Climber or assault bike) five days a week and practice yoga when I feel like it.
What fitness goals are you now working towards?
I started competing in bodybuilding in 2015 (I actually did my first two contest preps with U.P. Online). After a couple of shows with the WBFF, I decided to switch to compete with the NPC/IFBB in the US.
2019 will be my first season competing in Figure Class, so right now I’m working on building up my upper body and getting myself in the best possible place to start my prep for my next contest.
The key to happiness and good health for Victoria is lifting heavy, eating well and getting quality sleep and relaxation.
What does your diet look like now?
I went vegan in 2016, so I eat a 100% plant-based diet – however in terms of general principles it’s much the same as it has been since I first started out at U.P. – I focus on high-quality foods, choose simple whole foods wherever possible and make sure my diet includes plenty of protein and good fat. I have been completely gluten-free since 2017 when I was diagnosed with celiac disease.
To give you an idea of what I actually eat day to day – I do eat some soy but avoid processed soy or soy isolates. I don’t eat a huge amount of fruit but I do include berries and a lot of vegetables.
Carbohydrates are foods like sweet potatoes, oats, buckwheat, rice and quinoa. For fats, I opt for different types of nuts and nut butters, pumpkin seeds, avocados, nut milks and coconut and for protein I combine the protein I get from the veggies and other foods I eat with non-GMO tempeh, plant-based protein shakes or desserts, a few carefully chosen and minimally processed meat alternatives and, occasionally, non-GMO tofu.
Recently I have started incorporating more fermented and sprouted foods into my diet in an effort to improve my gut health.
What does it feel like being in control of your diet and knowing how to train properly to stay in great shape?
What are the key lessons that you learned in your original transformation that are still part of your routine today?
Fuel the body with proper nutrition and hydration, train hard, recover harder.
What would you say to anyone who thinks results you get at U.P. are not sustainable?
U.P. will give you the tools to sustain your results. It’s not just a quick fix – it’s an education and it has the potential to be completely life-changing. I cannot recommend the experience highly enough.
- We show you the best, we don't show you the worst.
- We show you people who follow the plans, not those who are all talk.
- We show you those who inspire even us with their commitment to their results.
- You cannot get results exactly like these. You are unique and that means you can only get your own best possible results.
- 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.
- Oftentimes the lower your starting point (poor fitness, terrible body composition) the better your results.
- We cannot do the work for you and the results you see here are a testament to the work ethic of our clients.
Our reputation is that we are the best trainers in the world for helping you to unlock your potential, & we can lead you to the door, give you the key, even turn the handle and push the door open, but we cannot walk through it for you.
In the end the result is down to you.
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