This man dropped two stone and got shredded over lockdown with just three pieces of equipment 1 year ago

This man dropped two stone and got shredded over lockdown with just three pieces of equipment

He didn't want lockdown to delay his progress

This man lost over two stone to get shredded during lockdown. What's more, his seriously impressive weight loss transformation was aided by only three pieces of gym equipment.


While many people experienced some weight gain over lockdown, personal trainer Merat Tafreshi wanted to keep himself and his clients motivated.

Merat got himself absolutely shredded using just a set of 15 kilogram dumbbells, a kettlebell and a set of resistance bands.

He credits his transformation to nailing the basics - in particular, diet and daily step count.

He said: "Even when things are limited you can always make the most out of the situation. Focus on what you're able to control. Diet and steps are two things we all can control and actually will play a significant role in body composition goals."

In total, Merat went from between 79 and 80 kilograms at the start of lockdown to 67.5 kilograms now. He booked himself in for a photoshoot to give himself something to work towards.


Diet for losing weight during lockdown

At the beginning of lockdown, Merat found that many of his diet staples, such as rice and chicken breast, were scarce due to the spike in panic buying.

He therefore switched to other foods such as egg whites, tofu, tinned tuna, and healthier carb sources such as cous cous, lentils and beans.

Merat, who works as a trainer for Ultimate Performance in London, says: "The following is a sample of what a general day during lockdown looked like for my diet."


Meal 1: Breakfast

  • 95g Ground rice made into cream of rice

  • 1 Serving of UP Whey

  • 30g Natural peanut butter

  • 15g Raspberry Jam

Calories: 674

Meal 2: Lunch (post-workout)

  • 500ml Egg whites (scrambled or in an omelette, using 1kcal spray as an alternative to oil/butter)

  • 10 Low-fat plain rice cakes

  • 200g of Microwavable Cauliflower Rice

  • A drizzle of reduced-sugar ketchup on top for added taste

Photo: iStock

Calories: 610


Meal 3: Afternoon Snack

  • 1x Protein Bar

  • 1x Apple

Calories: 250

Meal 4: Dinner

  • 200g French cut green beans (for convenience I used canned green beans)

  • 170g White fish (usually haddock, cod or plaice)

  • 1x Medium avocado

  • A drizzle of reduced-sugar ketchup

Total calories came in at just over 2,000.

Training to get ripped during lockdown

Merat's workout plan was split into two phases. For the first few months of lockdown, he focused on endurance sessions. This helped to get him shredded by kickstarting the fat-burning process.

Later on into lockdown, he turned his attentions towards building (or at least maintaining) muscle mass. He did this by training each muscle group frequently, with lots of volume.

He says: "I live in a small, studio flat, so the space I had available was quite limited. But nonetheless, I made it work and focused on what I could do effectively with what I had to work with."

This is an example workout from phase one of his training plan, using all three pieces of equipment:

Full Body A

  • A1) Dumbbell Split Squats
  • A2) Single Arm Kettlebell Floor Press

4 sets of 15-20 reps

  • B1) Single Arm Kettlebell Row
  • B2) Seated Banded Leg Curls

4 sets of 15-20 reps

  • C1) Dumbbell Bicep Curls
  • C2) Banded Overhead Tricep Extensions
  • C3) Banded Side Lateral Raises

3 sets of 15-20 reps

Alongside his resistance training, Merat set himself a minimum daily step count target of 10,000 steps. This works out at around 60 to 90 minutes of walking.

Merat and his Ultimate Performance team are based in Kensington, but you can train online with them too.

If you know someone who deserves to have their transformation or fitness journey featured on JOE, get in touch. Email [email protected].