The nine-point plan for transforming your fitness
Jack Andrews follow a strategic plan to slash body fat and build an impressive physique
As a youngster, Andrews was in decent shape and kept himself pretty active. However, with a metabolism that seemed to slow down, the situation started to slip.
He admittedly developed somewhat of a gut and lost what previous energy he had.
As is the case with everyone who makes a successful transformation, there came a moment of realisation for Jack. His was while on holiday.
"For me, it was when I saw a picture of myself on the beach on holiday.
"I was shocked at how much fat I had put on without realising."
Gaining weight without realising is an all-too-common occurrence - so Jack wasn't alone in that. The difference was that he decided to take action to get out of the rut he was stuck in.
What really set Jack on the road to success was having a concrete, discernible goal.
"I wanted to reduce my body fat percentage whilst maintaining as much muscle mass as possible.
"I wanted to look amazing."
Fitness goals must be SMART:
Jack had a distinct vision of what he wanted to achieve, which made realising those goals a hell of a lot easier.
He wasn't expecting to get jacked overnight or lose two stone in a week. Dropping a couple of body fat percentage points is completely achievable for most people - as is building and maintaining muscle mass.
It requires consistency, dedication and an adherence to training and nutrition plans.
One bad workout won't negate your progress, but similarly, one good session won't see you skyrocket to stardom. You simply have to turn up and get it done, repeatedly.
"I used to see myself as overweight. 30. Depressed. Not happy with how I looked. I needed to do something."
Jack enlisted the help of personal trainer David Kingsbury, and took on one of his online programmes.
Kingsbury convinced Jack to make use of progress pictures. They are a great way of taking responsibility for your health and fitness while providing a visual track of momentum.
Initially, Jack struggled but now the picture is far brighter.
"I now have to do a double take as I get used to my six-pack."
Jack's situation was made difficult by not having access to an on-hand personal trainer. Working out with a partner can help you hit your goals, but you often have to take the initiative independently.
Kingsbury's online programme was motivational and detailed enough to gain results, even when the pair had not physically met.
Online training can only work when the programme is completely tailored to the individual. Cookie-cutter, catch-all routines are less likely to get results.
An online plan actually proved more beneficial for Jack, highlighting the importance of an individualised routine.
"I chose an online plan because it was easy to use and fitted in with my timing. I work long hours and travel so it was really useful."
Kingsbury put a bespoke conditioning plan in place that built up Jack's fitness while providing the groundwork for muscle growth.
"I was out of breath walking up the stairs at the start. I could barely do 10 press-ups. Maybe 5 pull-ups."
The better your aerobic fitness, the greater intensity with which you can attack the weights.
Here's an example workout from the conditioning plan that combines strength training with cardio:
- Trap-bar deadlifts
- Narrow-grip chin-ups
- Weighted dips
- Upright row and press
- EZ-bar curls
- Hanging leg raises
Pick a weight that you can lift for around 12 reps. Your aim is to reach 50 reps on each exercise in as fewer sets as possible. Try and pair up with a partner. Your rest period is their working set, and vice versa.
These conditioning plans certainly paid off, Jack states.
"I can now do 100 press-ups. 40 pull-ups compared to 5 at the start. 100 sit-ups compared to 10.
"And I can run up the stairs of my townhouse easily."
Jack focused on compound exercises to build strength and lean size. These work more than one muscle at once, so you add mass and simultaneously burn a considerable amount of calories.
Deadlifts, squats and chin-ups were particular favourites.
In terms of diet, Jack knew quite quickly he had to cut down on the amount of food he was eating. Calories are crucial, but cutting them out is the hard part.
"Stopping myself eating what I wanted, instead of eating what I should, was by far the hardest thing for me."
The key to success on any diet is adherence - the easier to stick to a plan, the more likely you are to gain the results you desire.
On the few occasions each week that Jack wanted to consume his favourite foods, trainer Kingsbury advised that indulging was actually beneficial for psychological reasons.
Factoring favourites into overall calorie counts is hugely important, rather than constantly excluding a food. The latter is more likely to breed resistance, in the long-term.
Jack's trainer Kingsbury had him focus on eating the optimal amount of macronutrients (protein, carbohydrates and fats) for his body.
Jack's progress and eventual transformation had a positive knock-on effect for his social and family life.
"Everyone who knew me before has been amazed at the results".
In order to see success, Kingsbury supplied Jack with a helpful list of lessons to live by.
This is the nine-point plan that worked for him:
- Find your 'turning point'
- Select a SMART goal
- Use your mirror
- Pick a bespoke plan
- Ensure you strength train
- Be honest and reflect
- Watch less TV
- Social support - post your pics
- Start somewhere