I’m eating better, sleeping better and working better. Working out is a huge stress reliever for me.
Life as a lawyer was full of gruelling hours and stress for 31-year-old William.
Working 16-hour days, he could feel himself being sucked into a lifestyle of sacrificing sleep, not exercising and turning to comfort foods.
He had seen where this was heading, so he started working out back in 2019 with the goal of getting abs and losing 20lbs.
He lost some weight training on his own – but a worrying episode where he blacked out set him back to square one, and he regained all the lost weight.
Doctors put the health scare down to stress and poor sleep, so William wanted to change his lifestyle and health for good.
Ultimate Performance helped him achieve that – creating a personal training program that worked around his work and travel schedule, and teaching him to principles of nutrition.
The results have been nothing short of amazing. Not only did he hit his goal of losing 20lbs and getting a six-pack, but it’s transformed his lifestyle too.
“The biggest thing I gained was increased confidence in my ability to accomplish any goal I set for myself.
“So even as work stress has increased in recent weeks, keeping my workout schedule consistent has helped me adjust and cope with work in a much healthier way than in the past.”
Here William talks about how he accomplished his transformation goals with Ultimate Performance and what he has learned that will set him up for a healthier life.
What was your turning point? Was there a ‘lightbulb moment’ when you realised you wanted or needed to make a change?
My job is incredibly stressful and lends itself to late nights, poor eating habits, and alcohol abuse.
Fortunately, I saw those risks ahead of time and tried to head them off from the beginning. I started to work out in February of 2019 on my own with the goal of getting a six-pack and losing about 20 pounds.
I was doing it all on my own through a combination of running and weightlifting (mostly with dumbbells).
While I lost weight and gained some definition, I did not see the type of results I really wanted to see. I did that for a while through the middle of 2020 and ran my first half marathon on my own since races were shut down due to Covid.
In October of 2020, though, I had a health scare and fainted in my apartment. I went to the ER, but the doctors didn’t have a good explanation for why I fainted. The best explanation was likely stress and a lack of sleep.
After that, I was fearful of exercising again. I worried that I might faint again and be in a place where either I would seriously hurt myself or where no one could help me (or both).
Have you ever done any sort of weight training before?
I had done work with dumbbells but no barbell work. Honestly, I was intimidated by barbell work and worried about looking like an idiot at the gym or, worse, hurting myself due to poor form.
How would you describe your physical and mental state, before you started training with Ultimate Performance?
My physical state was not great. Before we started, I was around 169lbs with 27%. I don’t remember being embarrassed by the way I looked, but I wanted to change.
Mentally, I was in a very good place right before starting. After my fall in October 2020, I was dealing with a ton of stress and not sleeping well. But by the spring of 2021, work eased up, and I was focusing on getting better sleep. By the time I got to U.P., even though I was dissatisfied with my body composition, I don’t doubt that my reliance on comfort foods was helping me cope with life and contributed to my improved mental state.
What changes did you make to your diet and nutrition?
It’s so simple. But just because it’s simple doesn’t mean it’s easy. I cut out processed foods. I focused on eating whole foods with several servings of vegetables a day. I made sure I ate at least 165g of protein and day and tried to drink as close to a gallon of water a day as I could.
I also cut out alcohol almost completely. I like drinking, but don’t need it and didn’t really want anything to stall my progress.
I did attend a bachelor party for one of my best friends in the middle of the transformation, but my trainer Kevin and I planned for that, and I stuck to spirits rather than beer.
As the transformation continued, I had the occasional glass of wine or cocktail, but by then, I knew how to account for it properly and not let it get out of hand where it ruins my diet for the day or how my body’s feeling the next day.
What would a typical day be like for you in terms of your meals beforehand? And, during your transformation, how did that change?
A typical day of meals for me during the transformation was an egg whites and whole eggs omelette with spinach and onions for breakfast. Lunch typically was boneless skinless chicken thighs (which I prefer to chicken breasts, but had to account for with the additional fat) with cauliflower rice, zucchini, broccoli, or bell peppers. Dinner was usually similar to lunch, with the protein either being chicken, sockeye salmon, sea bass, or a lean steak.
How did you manage to find the time to train around your busy schedule as a lawyer?
Since the pandemic started, I’ve been working from home mostly. During the transformation, work for me had slowed a bit to a generally normal schedule of around eight-hour days instead of 16-hour days. I generally was able to make it to the gym in the late afternoon or early evening which allowed me to work most of the day and then also get home at a reasonable hour to do more work after the gym, if necessary.
However, I did have a trial in the middle of the transformation. My trainer worked with me to develop a program that I could use while I was away from Ultimate Performance’s facilities. But it was up to me to make sure I got the workouts in. What I realised is that even when we seem overwhelmed with work, there’s still time that we can carve out for the things we really care about. So I found a 24-hour gym, and most days, I would wake up at 4am to make sure I got to the gym, got a workout in, and then had enough time to get into the office to start working on things for the trial before court started that day.
What did you learn from your trainer? How did they change the way you ate/worked out?
My trainer really helped me with being consistent and patient. He helped me not overreact to fluctuations in weight but instead focus on the trends over time.
He also taught me so much about proper form and how to really get the most out of each exercise we did. I no longer feel intimidated walking into a gym, and I’m way more comfortable with barbell work than I had been before I started working with Kevin.
How did your trainer adapt your training to adjust to being in different gyms a lot of the time?
When I had to travel for work or anything else, Kevin created different programs for me depending on what I would have access to. I would tell him where I was staying, send him pictures of the gym, and he would alter the program in our app to make sure that I could stay on track even when I was on the road.
Has this experience had any non-physical results that you are happy with?
I think I’ve grown a lot in terms of improved confidence in the gym. I’ve never really lacked belief in myself, and I don’t think anyone who knows me would that I’m someone with low self-esteem, so that wasn’t a problem.
But my body composition now definitely makes me feel more confident about my physical attributes. And that satisfaction with how my body looks certainly positively affects my happiness.
What did your friends and family think of your transformation?
My family is really impressed with the changes, I think. But they also know me and saw me for parts of the transformation while I was in the middle of it.
My closest friends know how dedicated I can be to something when I get into it. So I’d say my friends are less impressed and more proud of me for making a change that I thought was important.
My wife was the rock throughout all of the transformation. She encouraged me throughout and helped me stay on track and focused. And while she’s definitely pleased with the results, I know she’d love me even if I was still overweight.
What’s the next goal you have in mind for yourself? Are you finished yet?
The next goal for me is to run the L.A. marathon in March. I started training for that toward the end of my transformation, and I’m looking forward to pushing my body in another way.
I’ll say I’ve noticed that all of the strength training that I’ve been doing has had an incredibly positive impact on my running. I’m recovering quicker and not dealing with as many lingering injuries or ailments. Hopefully, that good fortune continues.
- 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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