Eight weeks is all it took for Nic to forge his impressive new physique.
Proving training is all about quality over quantity, Nic made his transformation at Ultimate Performance Manchester in just 16 sessions.
Just two months before, he was out of shape, unmotivated and said that going to the gym always felt like a chore.
He had no control over his diet, was enjoying too much chocolate and alcohol, and wanted to get rid of his ‘doughy’ midriff and ‘skinny fat’ body.
Seeing his dad’s transformation at U.P. gave 30-year-old Nic all the motivation he needed to start his own transformation journey.
Now eight weeks later and Nic, who is a director at a Manchester power firm, is a different man.
He is in the best shape of his life, he feels more motivated than ever in the gym, more productive in the office, and understands the diet and training that works for his body to maintain his results.
“I made huge improvements in both fat loss and adding a decent amount of muscle, alongside my trainer Richard.
“At the beginning, I was sceptical about the physical change we planned to make (we set a target to reach a single-digit body fat percentage) however, after the first few sessions I knew the results would be drastic. These guys know how to achieve results!”
Nic explains the key things that changed with his diet and lifestyle to help him make such a rapid transformation, and the biggest benefits he has experienced since starting at U.P.
What were your motivations to start a transformation programme at U.P.?
I had been a member of a gym for a number of years, but due to sporadic periods of motivation and poor training knowledge I never made any significant improvements.
It was just a monthly cost that felt like a chore, and when I did put the effort in any progress was quickly reversed due to poor habits.
My dad actually started with U.P. before me and after seeing his enthusiasm and change in physique, I knew I had to give it a try.
How were you feeling both physically and mentally before starting with U.P.?
I certainly wasn’t happy with the way I looked. I had become ‘doughy’ around the waist and had low energy levels, particularly during the afternoon at work, when maintaining concentration was a regular issue.
What was your health and lifestyle like before you started?
Prior to starting training with U.P., my social life was healthy and work life was extremely busy. Weekends were often spent attempting to ‘rejuvenate’ ready for the week ahead with little physical activity and lots of alcohol.
When I did push myself to attend the gym, the mentality was often ‘how quickly can I get out of here?’.
What was your diet like before you started your transformation with U.P.?
Before joining U.P., my diet wasn’t terrible but it wasn’t great either. I love to cook but lacked the knowledge and discipline to really put together a nutrition plan that would deliver results and found myself eating the wrong amount of the wrong things at the wrong time.
This, coupled with several heavy nights out a week, resulted in a ‘skinny fat’ body composition.
What kinds of things were you eating every day and how did this affect you?
I always skipped breakfast which resulted in significant overeating later in the day – mainly sugary snacks such as cereal and crisps.
Portion control was non-existent and the level of protein I thought I was consuming was massively underestimated.
White carbs, such as potatoes and pasta, made up a significant part of my diet, and were almost always eaten first. This, coupled with my love of chocolate and alcohol, was a recipe for disaster.
How did your diet and lifestyle change when you started your transformation with U.P.?
When my trainer Richard and I initially reviewed the nutrition plan it was instantly clear that the volume of food I had been consuming at meal times was far too much. Just by implementing better portion control I made a significant step forward.
We looked into the type of proteins, carbs and fats that were being recommended and I was pleased to see that it was not at all restrictive and actually fit well with the types of food and cuisines I enjoy.
I began logging my food intake using MyFitnessPal which really helped keep me on track. Even when I did give in to the cravings and had a chocolate bar or drink or two after work, I made sure I didn’t lie to myself and added it to the daily log.
Seeing the calories in a chocolate bar or bottle of lager keeps the motivation levels up. Richard always had sight of my food log and was quick to let me know when I slipped up anywhere also!
What effect did this have on your health, performance, lifestyle and energy levels?
I genuinely believe the change in approach and gaining a far better understanding of food and diet was the single biggest change that helped achieve the results we did.
When I started to eat more unprocessed whole foods, in portion sizes that were not excessive, I was more alert and didn’t feel like I was hungry again 30 minutes after a meal.
I felt energetic throughout the day and was fired up for every session at U.P.
I was getting to bed earlier and I was far less lethargic in the mornings, I noticed I also had clearer skin within a few weeks.
What results did you achieve following your transformation?
I made substantial improvements on all lifts and continue to do so. By understanding form and technique you are able to safely push yourself. The U.P. Manchester gym is designed around the training programs that have been proven to deliver results.
By using compound lifts, such as deadlifts and squats, supersetted with other effective exercises, results come quickly but not easily! Hard work is a must.
What were the biggest benefits you experienced from doing this transformation?
Confidence and greater energy. By feeling more positive about yourself, you are far more able to lead a positive lifestyle.
I now have the knowledge to make the correct decisions on food choices, and how intensely to exercise, meaning I won’t fall back into the bad habits I previously had.
What were the most important things you learned during your journey and what really worked for you in helping you make your transformation?
As already mentioned, getting the knowledge to redress my approach to food and diet was key, but I also really looked forward to the two weekly training sessions with Richard. He taught me the correct exercise form and how certain exercises complement each other to build a productive program.
The sessions were not easy at all. I was pushed to my limit every time I stepped into U.P., but I made progress we could track each week.
The improvements in performance, and the visible changes in body composition were all the motivation I needed to stay on track.
How has doing this transformation changed you and do you think it will benefit you going forward?
I genuinely have a far more positive outlook on life in general and feel that my experience at U.P. helped change the way I approach most things now. I feel more productive at work and have the desire and energy to do something active every day. Even at weekends!
What’s the best tip or piece of advice you’d give someone lifting weights for the first time?
Weight training contributes to a healthy and long life for both men and women. I would always recommend seeking out the proper technique and advice on exercises that will help achieve the goals you’ve set.
Whether it’s fat loss or muscle building, lifting weights should be the starting point.
Richard assessed my ability on the first session and ensured that we carried out each move with close to perfect technique with the correct weight. He was fully aware of how I was performing in each session and knew when to increase the weight further.
Would you recommend U.P. and why?
Without hesitation, I would recommend U.P. to every level of gym goer – from newbie to advanced lifter. The attention to detail at U.P. is unrivalled. You are coached in an environment that is designed to allow you to succeed.