In his younger years, Russell, a town planner from London, England, used to have no issues whatsoever with his body and the way he looked.
Despite the fact he didn’t pay too much attention to his nutrition, his active lifestyle enabled him to stay slim and free from any kind of body negativity.
But, shortly after he turned 30, he caught sight of himself in the mirror and was faced with a very harsh truth –
He had acquired a very undesirable ‘dad-bod’.
Thanks to having spent the previous 4 years in a relationship, his physical appearance had played a very minimal role in conscious mind.
But as a newly single man, Russell had to face the reality that he hadn’t been taking care of himself.
He enjoyed way too many ‘calorie-dense’ foods and neglected the gym in favour of spending his evenings on the couch…
The result was an unflattering excess of body fat and zero signs of any athleticism.
Since his arrival on the dating scene was imminent, and he feared that many girls may be put off by his physique, he decided to do something about it.
Not having any experience of getting into shape, since he’d previously never needed to, Russell was well-aware this was not a task he wanted to undertake by himself and professional expertise would be required.
So he asked me for help.
Keen to help out any guy who wants to blast off body fat and feel more confident about their appearance (regardless of whether they’re single or not), I had a look at the options I had available for him.
At that time, I was about to run a 6-week online group coaching programme, which I felt would be perfect, so I invited him to join in and take part.
The format was simple –
- He had a training programme, which he followed in his own time
- He had daily calorie and macronutrient (protein, carbs and fat) goals, which he had to try and stick to as closely as possible
- Along with all the other guys on the programme, he had to check-in daily to a Facebook group so he could tell me his plan for the day and how he was going to overcome any potential hurdles
- Once a week, he would give me a full progress update
In essence, what he had was the following: –
- A plan of action (that worked)
- Accountability (to make sure he stuck to the plan)
- Ongoing support (to help him, when needed, to ensure the plan continued to work)
Regardless of whether someone’s training goal is to drop a shed load of body fat, build a ton a muscle, or develop insane levels of strength – they must have those 3 things.
Russell was in need of an effective plan of action that would generate the results he needed to feel awesome about himself again. But bearing in mind he’d never followed a training or a nutrition plan before, there was every risk he wouldn’t be able to stick to it from start to finish…
So it HAD to be enjoyable and as far from an extreme and restrictive plan as possible.
For his training, he simply went to the gym 3-4 times a week and followed a programme that primarily revolved around getting him stronger – although there was some conditioning included, he didn’t have to torture himself with endless and exhausting circuits every time he trained.
Regarding the nutrition, he was allowed to eat and drink ANYTHING (yep, anything) he wanted – no food was considered ‘off-limits’ – as long as he stuck as closely as possible to his daily calorie and macronutrient goals.
Secondly, he had to be held accountable for his own training and nutrition…
…and that is where the power of having a coach and a support network of guys following the same programme comes into play.
By checking-in daily, and engaging in the group chat he was much more likely to stick to the programme as it easily became a part of his daily routine for 6 weeks.
Furthermore, I was on standby to help the guys at any time they needed, so there was minimal risk of them falling off the wagon, and on the rare occasion this happened, I was there to provide an immediate plan of action to help them get back on track and keep moving closer to their goal.
Over the course of the programme, Russell’s body made some pretty drastic changes –
- As the body fat started to melt off, muscle became more and more visible
- His arms and shoulders, became increasingly defined and anyone who caught even the slightest glimpse of his upper body would compliment him on his results
- His belly, which had once hung over his waistline, receded to give him a flat stomach with noticeable abdominal definition
As great as results like this are, there’s always a risk that someone is going to revert back to old ways when they finish a programme like this and lose everything they worked so hard for.
But not Russell.
Because it hadn’t been an extreme programme, and he’d learnt how simple it was to drop body fat, he was able to continue training and stay on top of his nutrition.
Within a very short while, his dad-bod soon became a thing of the past and he’s now in the best shape of his life, which means his confidence has soared to brand new heights and he’s no longer self-conscious about his physique.
As you can imagine, all of this worked out incredibly well for him when he finally got back onto the dating scene…
Russell’s Top 5 Lessons From His Journey
1) Accountability is crucial
Being part of a group that share a common goal and having a coach on standby to provide help when needed were so important to help him stick to the plan. Going at it alone can be a lonely journey and you don’t always reach the final destination.
2) Mindfulness is essential
Actually being aware of the calorie content of foods can help you to make much better choices. Just because a food is branded as ‘healthy’ doesn’t always means it’s a good food choice.
3) Social events don’t ruin progress
You can still have a social life whilst staying on your plan. Ensuring that you fill up on protein beforehand can help to prevent temptation when faced with a buffet and opting for lower calorie drinks can help to stop you from going over your daily calorie goal.
4) Eat your protein!
It keeps you full and helps you to recover from hard training – win-win.
5) You need a plan for the gym
When you have a plan, you don’t waste time. You’re clear on what you’re doing and have no distractions. You get in, do the work, get out and feel great about yourself.
“When I saw myself in front of the mirror, I actually felt embarrassed –
“I’d let myself get to the biggest, heaviest and fattest I’d ever been in my life. For the first time ever, I was actually ashamed of myself.
“But the results I’ve been able to achieve – less body fat, more muscle definition and more strength – are so good for my confidence and well-being.
“I definitely would been quite nervous about taking my shirt off in front of any onlookers… now I can do it confidently and without worrying and thinking ‘they’re going to think I’m fat’.
“When you see results and you know how to achieve them, it makes you hungry for more and helps you to keep going further. I’ve now set new goals and am looking forward to achieving them.”
(Russell, town planner, London).
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