How this Manchester man lost 6 stone with pure bodyweight training and Paleo diet 5 years ago

How this Manchester man lost 6 stone with pure bodyweight training and Paleo diet

There's more than one way to skin a cat, as the old saying goes.

And there's more than one way to lose fat as well as Manchester lad Matthew Murray has proved.


The 26-year-old managed to lose an incredible 6 stone in just 12 months - but his body transformation was anything but conventional.

Matthew didn't just start running or hitting the weights like most people looking to get in shape - he started a callisthenics programme.

Callisthenics is basically pure bodyweight training using your own mass instead of weights to put resistance on your muscles to make them grow. Think press ups, plank and muscle-ups.

After watching Callisthenics routines online (seriously just google Hannibal for King and watch in awe) he joined the gym in Kirkstall near where he was living and started training hard.

Matthew Murray BEFORE & AFTER

“Joining a gym was a scary thought at first, but one day I just bit the bullet and walked into my local Xercise4Less, he says.


"After studying lots of different workouts on YouTube, I decided to use a callisthenic approach to my training, which focuses on moves which use your bodyweight alone.

"Every morning I would start my day with a fasted run before heading to the gym to do my callisthenic routine.

"At first I couldn't run for more than five minutes and struggled to do a single pull up once I got to the gym - but that changed, as I got healthier. I can now do things I thought were impossible.”

Motivated to push his body to the extremes, Matt’s specific style of training kept him driven to shed the extra pounds.

“The more I learned about callisthenics the more motivated I became to excel in it," he explained.


"I knew I had to lose some fat to be able to do some of the moves I’d seen on YouTube, like muscle ups and human flags, so I became determined to shred down and superhuman strength became my aim.

"Pushing your body to such extremes was difficult, but it’s a great achievement to know that I’m 100% calisthenics built.  With so many people lifting and chasing weight in the gym, I pride myself on mastering my own body weight first.”

Matthew Murray AFTER 2

One big thing that changed about his lifestyle was his diet - at 18 stone he admits he was hooked on junk food and ready meals.


But to help him shed the 6 stone he cleaned his diet right up. He started off by following a Paleo diet (basically following what our Paleolithic ancestors would have eaten before McDonald's was everywhere.)

This meant cutting out all processed foods - yes even bread - and just eating lean meats, vegetables, nuts, seeds, berries and good fats.

“I was always a chubby guy but I just enjoyed my junk food too much! It’s hard to give up the food you love, even when you know it’s bad for you.

“Before I decided to change my body I was a complete binge eater and would eat two ready meals a night.


"I knew I had to transform my nutrition so turned to a Palaeolithic (or caveman) diet to support my weight loss. This meant I had to cut out all process foods and eat nothing but lean meats, root vegetables, nuts, berries, fruits and seeds."

Before (1)


His compete dietary overhaul was a big part in him shedding so much body fat so quickly.

Over the past six months his diet has changed even more, with Matt phasing out meat altogether and now he's moving further towards a meat-free, dairy-free vegan diet.

“I decided to take my diet a step further about six months ago and have now cut meat from my diet completely. Today I’m striving for a vegan lifestyle, although I’m finding cheese difficult to give up - especially when eating out with friends.”

Matt's transformation is pretty incredible. Yes it's changed the way he looks, but it's changed his lifestyle, his health, his mindset and his whole outlook on life.

He has now become a personal trainer to help other achieve their own transformations - and he is set to enter his first callisthenics competition.

“Looking back, it's crazy how much my weight was affecting me. I’ve gone from barely being able to jump up in the air to being able to standing backflip.

"Simple tasks like running upstairs have also become so much easier.  Now that I’ve seen the difference that a healthy lifestyle has made to me, I feel very passionately about helping other people enjoy the same result."

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