How Adam Thomas got ripped in just 12 weeks for the I’m a Celebrity jungle 2 years ago

How Adam Thomas got ripped in just 12 weeks for the I’m a Celebrity jungle

It’s amazing what you can achieve in 12 weeks.

Most people spend years wasting time trying to add muscle and burn fat at the gym.

But I’m a Celebrity star Adam Thomas, who finished third on the show behind Joel Dommett and Scarlett Moffatt, had just 12 weeks to get in shape for his stint in the jungle.

Before he went on the ITV reality show he went to body transformation specialists Ultimate Performance to get the job done.

Adam, who had just become a father, wanted to carve his 'dad bod' into the ultimate physique for TV.

The 12-week plan created by UP personal trainer Matt Warner was aimed at building the maximum muscle and burning the most fat, in the fastest time possible.


He made some big changes to Adam’s diet which helped fuel his training to help him start packing on muscle and melting off the layer of fat.

The training he underwent was pretty hardcore, to say the least – but in just three short months he managed to drop more than a stone of body fat.

JOE spoke to Ultimate Performance trainer Matt to find out exactly how he helped Adam with his TV transformation.

What state was Adam in when he came to start his transformation and how did you make it a success?

Before starting Adam’s transformation, we had to identify and acknowledge the key stressors that had resulted in his condition going into the process.

An unpredictable and sometimes long filming schedule, alongside being a dad, had pushed Adam into some poor nutritional habits, ones which needed addressing in order to maximise his results.

The key to such a drastic transformation was making his daily nutrition work around his family and work schedules, along with consistent communication and tracking of important factors such as sleep, energy, mood, daily food and training.


This allowed him to make more consistent, optimal food choices during filming and travel, while ensuring his recovery was adequate. These were key contributors to Adam’s transformation.

What was he eating before he came to UP and how did this affect his physique?

Adam’s daily nutrition before embarking on the transformation was very similar to many we see from our clients. With his busy work schedule alongside his family duties, convenience foods were extremely prominent in his daily diet – in particular things like chocolate and processed foods.

What changes did you make to his diet and how did this start making improvements to his body?

Consistency and food rotation were important changes to make to ensure we made maximum changes to Adam’s physique. With a 12-week time frame, cementing these habits quickly was extremely important.

Processed foods were the main contributor to Adam’s excess body fat. In order to get the best result possible in the 12-week time frame we had to completely remove these from his daily nutrition.

Processed foods are more often than not, pro-inflammatory for the body. This means that nutrient absorption and transport could potentially be inhibited, thus slowing results. That, combined with the caloric density of these foods, makes for poor progress.


The foundation of Adam’s nutrition was based around good quality, nutrient dense foods. Varying sources of animal protein, namely red and white meat, with oily fish alongside dietary fats like avocado, nuts and healthy oils and green, cruciferous vegetables.

Why were fats and green veg important to his diet?

The archaic notion that all fats are bad is extremely misplaced. Yes, processed fats are extremely poor for your health, but good quality fats from natural foods are vital for health and changes in body composition. They aid in optimal cell function as well as nutrient transport and nerve protection amongst others.

For Adam we calculated his macronutrient intake based on his initial body fat assessment and introduced fats at the right amount (fats have 9 calories per gram compared to 4 calories for protein and carbohydrates) throughout the day. We increased fats along with protein early in the day to improve satiety and focus for the day.

We then added carbohydrates at appropriate times throughout the transformation based on daily feedback, sleep quality and energy.

Why did you add carbs, at what times and how did it help him?

Carbohydrates were important for Adam’s progress but were not present throughout the whole process. We added carbohydrates mostly with his last meal of the day to improve sleep quality through the increase Serotonin output that the carbohydrates bring (as Serotonin helps regulate the sleep/wake cycle.


We then added the occasional higher carbohydrate day when Adam’s energy levels dropped significantly due to the intensive training.

Having a higher carbohydrate day can up-regulate many of the hormones needed for optimal performance in the gym and improved health, in particular testosterone and thyroid function.

What was his training like before he came to UP?

Training for Adam prior to his transformation was sporadic at best. With work and family being priorities, his own training had taken a back seat. Getting Adam moving and training with weights regularly were important for the best change.

What did Adams training regime entail?

Adam’s training programme revolved around 3 – 4 weight training sessions per week with added cardiovascular work in the form of both steady state and High Intensity Intervals.

Each session would have a full-body focus, combined with body part specific training to improve the overall aesthetic.


Weight training sessions would typically last 60 minutes and have a full-body focus, with added frequency on weak body parts that would provide an improved overall physique.

Any additional cardiovascular work was periodised and prescribed based on assessment results, progress and daily feedback.

What were then key movements that helped you focused on to help him build muscle?

Adams sessions were predominantly based around big movements for maximum energy expenditure.

Presses and pulls for both upper and lower Body set the foundation and supplementary exercises were added to improve the body parts that we felt we needed to work on to give a better all-round aesthetic.

How important was cardio in bringing his body fat down?

Movement is key in any body composition change. With Adam we combined some High-Intensity Interval Training (HIIT) using sprints, along with increasing daily movement through walks to aid recovery and increase energy output.

Cardiovascular work does not exclusively mean walking or running. Cycling, swimming or any form of exercise that increases heart rate for a period of time can benefit fat loss. Doing what you enjoy will mean increased compliance here.

If you want real body transformation results like Adam Thomas speak to Ultimate Performance about a Personal Training plan.

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