Mark fought his way back to optimum health by losing 15kg (33lbs) with Ultimate Performance Dubai after major heart surgery. When he was 44, Mark suffered a heart attack and underwent surgery. His fitness background, including 23 years in the military and triathlon training, helped on his road back to health post-operation.
But slowly, he slipped back into bad lifestyle and diet habits which caused him to gain weight and worsen his rheumatoid arthritis. Mark, who is a training consultant in Dubai, got to the point where he needed to turn things around and salvage his health.
That’s when he came to U.P. Dubai to start a structured body transformation program with a personal trainer to get back on track. He went from 91.5kg (202lbs) down to 76kg (168lbs) over his 24-week program, and halved his body fat to get lean and strong. But it was the impact it has had on his lifestyle and health that has made the biggest difference.
His arthritis is in remission, his medication has been cut right down and he is able to carry on doing the activities he loves most, like scuba diving.
“My body has changed and my strength and wellbeing has improved 100%.
“Overall, I feel a different person with greatly improved energy levels, endurance and capacity.
“I am thoroughly enjoying the program and the challenging training.”
Here Mark explains how U.P. has transformed his health, helped get control of his weight and diet, and enabled him to live life to the full again.
What was your motivation throughout the whole experience?
“My motivation was my wellbeing, as I had put on weight to an unhealthy level. I suffer from rheumatoid arthritis, which I struggled with for several years until I was diagnosed and began treatment.
“It took a toll on my wellbeing, with fatigue and inflammation being quite debilitating. Then, when I was 44 years old, I suffered from a heart attack which resulted in major bypass surgery.
“I was fortunate that I came through this experience very well, with minimal damage to my heart. I adopted a very healthy exercise and diet program for a number of years following the heart surgery.
“Unfortunately, in recent years, I lost sight of my wellbeing and adopted a less healthy lifestyle which lead to weight gain and inflammation. I decided to change this.”
What was your diet and lifestyle like before U.P.?
“It has been up and down really.
“Generally I eat well and have always exercised. But in recent years, I had let myself go and normalised this.
“Snacking on poor food choices became common and eating out increased. My exercise level had also dropped off significantly.”
How were your previous lifestyle habits making you feel?
“Unhealthy. We tend to normalise how we see ourselves, but the fact is my inflammation had increased and the arthritis was beginning to flare up routinely.
“For a person with my medical history, this was not acceptable. I am a keen scuba diver, so maintaining a level of health to ensure that I could continue to do this hobby was important, but I was putting this in jeopardy.”
What was it that motivated you to take that first step to join U.P.?
“Taking responsibility for myself and my own wellbeing. I also knew that to achieve results, a personal trainer was the best path to take for me. I had used professional trainers before and achieved good results.
“I know I do not push myself as hard as I can when I train alone. I was also seeking a more structured program with technique correction as well as being pushed.”
How did the heart attack affect your training and lifestyle before U.P. compared to now?
“Initially, I undertook a program with a sports physiologist and was training with a triathlon squad. I achieved great results and was extremely healthy.
“As I mentioned, I was fortunate that my heart had minimal damage which allowed me to renew my training at full capacity. I also knew that I needed to be on a heart-healthy diet.
“So it was not the heart attack that affected my training and lifestyle, it was my personal choices – something that is within my control.”
What changed when you came to U.P.?
“Having a personal trainer makes you accountable to yourself and your trainer.
“Accepting the challenge and adopting the diet that supports the program is important to success. Not only did I lose weight and see body change, but over time my health improved dramatically.
“This is now evident in that my rheumatoid arthritis is in remission, and my medications have been reduced to the minimal amount.”
What training have you done in the past and how does it compare to U.P.?
“I have trained for many years. I spent 23 years in the military. I have done triathlons and always played sport – but I have never been one to simply do weight training by myself outside of more structured classes.
“I like to have a personal trainer, as this works for me. I get pushed and I train in a more structured way which is aligned to my goals. U.P. provides this in a very professional manner.”
How has training and diet improved your life outside the gym?
“My health is now very good. My medical results for diving, rheumatology and cardiology are all very good with no restrictions placed on me and my medications have all dropped. This is a result of diet and lifestyle changes.”
What overall physical results did you achieve?
“I currently weigh 76.6 kg (169lbs) with a body fat percentage of 16.8% compared to 32.5% when I started at U.P.”
What would you say to people who say the results aren’t possible?
“Not true. I certainly did not expect to see these changes and my initial goals were nowhere near what I have achieved.
“Give it a go. Provided you accept responsibility and become accountable you can be sure to exceed your expectations.”
What would you say to people who may have gone through similar health issues and think they can’t achieve a great result?
“Everyone has a different outcome from health problems with differing complications. However, using professional trainers and adopting a healthy lifestyle will allow you to achieve amazing results while working within your limitations.”
What are the most powerful lessons you have learned about training and nutrition?
“Nutrition and consistency are key to success. If you cheat on the nutrition you will undermine your own results.
“Following the program and being consistent in all that you do will see you achieve your goals within a relatively short time frame.”
What does it feel like being stronger fitter and leaner than ever and in control of your diet?
“Fantastic. Mainly for me it ensures that I can continue to do the activities that I like, such as training and diving, in my own time. My health improvements have been fantastic and to be at an ideal weight again is very rewarding.”
IF YOU DON’T KNOW WHERE TO START TO GET FIT, PUT YOUR HEALTH IN OUR HANDS LIKE MARK AND SEE WHAT YOU CAN ACHIEVE. ENQUIRE ON THE FORM BELOW…
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- 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.
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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.
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