Quarantine life hit Ahmad hard, and every time he looked in the mirror his waistline was growing.
As someone who exercised regularly and looked after himself, it was hard to take.
Frustrated, 29-year-old Ahmad looked for a solution that would last – and he found it in Ultimate Performance.
He was sceptical about what he could achieve. But with a holistic approach that covered training, diet, habit formation and progress data tracking, Ahmad’s transformation was huge.
Losing 26lbs over a whirlwind 90-day period has given him results he can barely believe.
Even during Ramadan he was able to maintain his progress and now he has the knowledge for life on how to eat, train and live to stay in shape.
“Looking at myself in the mirror, I feel happy. I feel healthier than I was before. I’m happier in whatever I’m doing. It’s completely blown me away.”
Here Ahmad talks about how his diet, lifestyle and training have evolved during his life-changing post-quarantine transformation.
What were your reasons and motivations for starting a transformation journey with Ultimate Performance?
During the whole quarantine situation, when the pandemic hit, it was horrible, and there were no gyms. I basically stopped working out almost entirely, and that’s when the weight started to creep in.
Basically, I started to gain weight that obviously I noticed. I did not like it on myself.
Looking at yourself in the mirror, you always take care of yourself, and you want to fix it. But the longer the pandemic went on, the worse it kept going on. So, that’s eventually when I just realised it was time to change.
I got frustrated with the situation I was in, so this seemed like a very good way for me. I’m like, “I need to do something about it”. That’s basically when I’m just clicked with me, and it was time to work on it.
Can you compare your life prior to Ultimate Performance and what it’s like since completing your transformation?
There is a whole difference in my mentality. Before U.P., before getting into shape, I wouldn’t say I was an expert on working out. I was working out on my own for a couple of years, but with U.P., there was a different way of thinking about what I was eating and the way I worked out.
Before, I was not very organised with everything that I was doing, but with U.P., everything was almost set out for me – ABC.
I just needed to take action, and the results would be there. Everything would start to fall into place. My mentality, the way I would look at food, the way I would work out – everything completely changed. It gave me a boost to just keep on going forward.
What effect has Ultimate Performance had on your health, performance, lifestyle and energy in and outside the gym?
Growing up here as an Arab, it is very normal for us to stuff ourselves with rice. If you’re not eating rice or bread, you’re basically going to just remain hungry regardless of how much, for example, protein you’re taking in.
But ever since U.P., and ever since I started the diet, it’s become clear to me that there are so many other types of food you could live on, other than starchy carbs.
On the U.P. diet, the carbs that I started to consume were potatoes or sweet potatoes. I had grilled chicken, vegetables, fish, meat. Having no rice at first was weird. I was like, “But this is not how I was raised to eat”.
I did stick to it because I knew if I did not stick to it, it wouldn’t work. That’s what I learned; that you really can change. It is just going to take a few steps, in a few days which turn into months, but you can do it. It’s just about you really putting in the effort.
Did you have any concerns coming into Ultimate Performance, and what were your expectations?
I wouldn’t say concerns were a problem for me, because I did workout before. I was expecting to be surprised with what other stuff I would be doing here, like different exercises, different ways, and techniques – those that I knew I would love to learn.
I had in mind what I wanted to achieve, although there was a mental block. I never thought I would reach my goal of ‘the perfect body’. What I achieved at U.P. is as close to perfect to me, and that’s what matters.
If I am content in myself and happy with what I achieved through all the hard work, then yes, I would say it’s perfect.
Those were my expectations. It wasn’t until I eventually started to work out at U.P. that I realised how tough it would be. Tough, but definitely worth it.
Nothing easy ever comes by doing nothing. The result I achieved surpassed my expectations more than I ever thought. I reached the stage where I’m feeling content and happy with how much work I’ve put in and the results I’m seeing.
A large portion of your transformations was during Ramadan. How did you find the experience?
At first, I thought it was going to be shocking because, during Ramadan, we stay away from food until sunset. So, the thought that I would be eating less than what I was used to was ‘How am I going to manage this?’
Mentally, I did manage it. The first few days were difficult, but then it became smooth sailing.
It did also help me. It might sound tough for some people who aren’t used to having changes made to their diets but when it comes to Ramadan because they think, ‘Oh well, I’m fasting. It’s a month where I’m not eating as much. I’m avoiding lots of food.’
Because we have a short window eating, what tends to happen is the opposite; people stuff themselves more than they usually do. This is probably what I was doing as well but never realised it.
Another funny thing is when I was working with my colleagues, who are also Arabs like me, we were talking about weight loss. One of them mentioned that he wanted to start something over Ramadan – to try it at least.
I put out the knowledge that I picked up U.P. with my own diet; try cutting out bread and rice. I told him this as it really drastically changed my weight.
The guy looked at me, and the look on his face was, ‘That’s blasphemy. You cannot remove carbs and rice from your diet, especially during Ramadan. How would you be satisfied? You will be hungry for the rest of the night, and you will sleep hungry and wake up hungry. You will have a bad mood 24/7’.
I explained to him that for me, it worked, so I’m sure everyone can eventually do it. It’s just taking baby steps, basically.
How do you feel comparing your before and after photos? What have you learned during your transformation?
It was shocking just to see the images of what I’ve been able to accomplish. I was so happy with them. I was obviously sharing them with friends and family. It really took me by surprise because I remember the day when I started. I was telling my siblings about U.P. and my friends; this was three months back, so on day one, they were like, “Oh well, yeah, it’s going to be tough. We’re going to be eating this and that and doing this and that without you”.
Looking at the before and after photos really shows the difference between day one and the end of the 90-day transformation. By day 90, I showed my family and friends all the photos, and everyone was super amazed, just as much as I was.
How has your lifestyle changed after your transformation at Ultimate Performance?
I am way more active than I was before. Now I’m putting the effort in to do it. This new way of living has become a natural thing for me, to start just moving around every now and then. Like everyone, it’s a normal thing to just sit down. Sometimes you want to relax. For me, I really do try to, and now being active has become part of a habit.
I now watch what I’m eating. I don’t have the same urges to eat whatever food I was craving before. I would say that really changes your mentality. Your relationship with food will change everything. The way you think about many things, even how the day is organised, when am I going to schedule in my food, and when I’m going to have a run or coffee. I switch up my routine a little bit, which I think is a good thing because at least you’re not bored.
Would you recommend Ultimate Performance to your friends, family, and colleagues?
The easiest way to convince someone that U.P. is the best place is to look at me before and after photos – it’s evidence. If I can provide you with evidence, it’s up to you if you still want to say no.
U.P. is an excellent place. It really helped me a lot with the way I’m thinking about everything now. If you are someone who is not completely happy with themselves, I would say that U.P. is the perfect place to start.
It really changes everything the moment you step into the gym. At first, it is tough, but it’s always worth it in the end.
You really start to notice the many small changes, which eventually build up and they become one very big change in your life.
What has ‘wowed’ you the most that Ultimate Performance?
One of the things that amazed me is the equipment. It is sophisticated and well-advanced.
My trainer also; knowledge is always going to be one of the most important things when it comes to working out because it’s your health that you’re taking care of.
My U.P. trainer has the experience and the knowledge. I learned a lot from him, which really benefited me.
The knowledge he passed on to me has allowed me to continue on doing but also learning. It is a good process because at the end of the day, we’re all learning.
- 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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