Rob was fast approaching his wedding day and his milestone 40th birthday…but he wasn’t happy with the shape he was in.
He wanted to look and feel his best for his wedding, but lockdown life had taken a heavy toll.
A poor diet and weight gain had left him unhappy with his current state – and looking in the mirror, he decided enough was enough.
As a former pro kickboxer, 39-year-old Rob was no stranger to hard training – and had even worked with Ultimate Performance back in his fighting days.
So, he was confident that U.P.’s world-class team could help him achieve the results he wanted ready to walk down the aisle. He was right.
Halving his training time to three hours per week, he doubled his results and lost 14kg over 14 weeks.
“Anyone who’s been around me over the last 14 weeks, will tell you, I trained an hour a day, three days a week. I went for a 30-minute run, three days a week. I’ve done no more than that. I’ve gone out for dinners. I’ve had birthdays to go to. It’s infinitely possible.
“When people look at the transformations at U.P. and say “It can’t be done,” they’re putting limitations on themselves.
“It can be done. I’ve done it. And it’s not as hard if you’ve got the right coaches, the right protocols, and the right training behind you.”
Here Rob explains his goals, the training and diet changes he made, and what marks U.P. out as the world’s leading trainers.
What was your motivation for starting a transformation with U.P.?
My motivation for signing up to U.P. was twofold. Initially, I was due to get married in September 2020, so I signed up to be in the best shape of my life. It was as simple as that, vanity.
We were going to have a beach party or a pool party, the day after the wedding. I wanted to be the guy that looked in the best shape on that day. Not just for me, to make my other half proud. To make everyone around me proud. I’m knocking on the door of 40 – I’ll be 40 next year.
Lockdown happened. The wedding got cancelled. I kept my motivation up slightly during the first phase of lockdown, then it was a disaster, frankly. The first lockdown was fine. The second lockdown was terrible. I think I walked in the door 85kg and north of 20% body fat. And you notice it because you carry it.
I had one morning when I woke up and looked in the mirror and said “no, I need to get back into shape.”
Sometimes you look in the mirror and go “Hold on a minute. This isn’t me”. I wouldn’t usually let myself get to that level. That’s just not how I am. There’s something not right – I’ve not got a target or a motivation, something to move me on.
So, it’s an indication to me that you’re not firing on all cylinders. And with me, particularly, that’s reflecting my skin – my psoriasis (an autoimmune disorder) flares up.
How did not being in good shape affect your self-confidence, your life, your personality, and everything else?
So, I don’t value myself, per se, by how I look. But because I have trained my whole life, there’s an element of pride involved in being in relatively good shape.
So, when you’re not in good shape, it may impact the way you think and perceive yourself slightly. I’m quite confident, so it’s not as if I was depressed, tired, or anything.
However, my skin and my psoriasis were bad. It was clear that my inflammation was high. I had cholesterol markers that were saying that I was knocking on the edge of bad. My food habits had just become poor, and when you look back on it now, there was no interest or variety in my food. It’d almost become monotonous.
For me, coming back to training adds a bit more structure and puts you back in shape. It’s cleared up my skin remarkably. The information coming out is a big change, and it lifts you and makes you feel better.
The process itself is amazing for many reasons, but I think once you get to the level that I’m at now, there’s a positivity that says I can work from here. I can enjoy my training, enjoy my food, and enjoy my life in a different way now from a really solid base.
When you started to see the changes, how did that make you feel physically and mentally? And how that helped with your psoriasis as well?
I think I began to see changes quickly. Probably within the first four weeks, my psoriasis was down to 25%. Beyond that, add a bit of sunshine – no psoriasis. It’s remarkable. I found, generally, that my digestion and everything was just working better, and more comfortably. I wasn’t as bloated as often. So physically, I felt better. Autoimmune-wise, I was much better. And then visibly. I mean, that’s going to fill anyone with pride and motivation. You know you’re doing a good thing, and you know you’re doing the right thing.
I think those first four weeks are so crucial because you see the momentum building. These kinds of processes aren’t easy. You must make changes to your life. You must be determined to get to a result.
When people give you positive feedback or you see it yourself, it’s just driving you on. It was quite nice to wake up and go ‘Oh, we’ve knocked another kilo off the scale’.
Did I ever think I’d get down to 71.2kg? No. I was 85kg. I thought ‘You know what? I might end this process at 77kg‘. It was remarkable. It’s remarkable to see how far I’ve come and how much I’ve lost. And it is visible, even though it’s a little bit at a time, it is noticeable. It fills you with pride. It fills you with motivation and the desire as you look forward to what comes next.
Do you find any difference now with this time versus the previous time that you trained with U.P.?
So I’ve trained with U.P. twice before, always with different motivations. So, the first time I trained with U.P., I was kickboxing. It was about strength and performance. It was back in the early days when U.P. City had a blue runway track before the red one was in.
A few years later, I moved to U.P. Mayfair, and again, it was a bit more performance-based. I was at a higher weight class, so we could put a bit more weight on. It was very successful, and I probably got down to about 73kg. I looked big, I looked full, but not a patch on where I am now.
I think the single biggest difference this time has been two things. One, I’ve been focused on getting into vanity shape – ‘Hollywood’ shape. That’s what I was going for. This was three hours in a gym a week – tough sessions, but easy sessions – then a couple of cardio sessions, but again, half an hour. I’m training less than I’ve ever trained in my life. And I’m seeing bigger results than I’ve ever seen. And that’s credit to my trainer. That’s credit to the process.
And the other thing that was really different this time is that I had no idea what weight I lifted any day. I came in, and I moved the weight. Jason, my trainer, told me “two more reps”, and I did two more reps. And it’s kind of helped. It’s quite simple to look in the mirror, look at the scales, see progress, and not stress out about shifting weight.
But other than that, professional standards have been the same; the quality’s been the same, support’s been the same. The app is new; it wasn’t there before. That point-to-point contact is great.
What are your plans for the future?
So my plans for the future, I think I touched on earlier, I’ll be 40 next year. From here on out, the plan is to be the best version of myself. That is kind of how I’ve always wanted to be in my life. I’ve realised that training six days a week isn’t good for your life. You’re too busy. Fine if you do it for fun with some friends, but going to a gym six times a week is too much, and you don’t need to do it.
What would you say to people that they’re saying that the results are not possible? That U.P. will produce results, and that’s not possible. They’re photoshopping, they’re doing whatever. What would you say to these people?
I always laugh when I’ve heard anyone say that U.P.’s results are photoshopped.
And I stand there and say, “Look, I was there at the very beginning. I sat in a chess press, often, watching Glen Parker train. And I saw what Glen did. And I saw the commitment that that guy had and the attention for detail that Nick at the time had for him.” And I could see that being conveyed from the trainers.
So I’ve seen it happen many times, and then now I’ve done it myself.
What do you think makes U.P. different? And why?
U.P. is different to other places because the focus is on results, whatever they may be.
They keep me honest, and that’s important for me. But equally, they keep me honest by being on it themselves the whole time. And that’s what makes it different. That’s what elevates it, and that’s what the service is. You pay to get the best service from the best professionals who know what they’re doing. That’s why U.P. do what they do.
Anything else you want to add?
If I look over my whole time, it’s been great. Did I think coming into this process that I’d be sitting here today sub 10% [body fat]? Yes, that was the target, so I had no doubt I was going to get there. Did I think I was going to be walking into a photoshoot? No, I didn’t. But it’s amazing how as soon as you start seeing that progress, you think ‘I want to record that; it’s a real achievement.’
And, overall, if you want to make a change and you’re serious about it, I can’t recommend it more. I genuinely can’t, and I’ve been an advocate for a while, but this time has proved it even more so than previously.
- 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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