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Fitness & Health

17th Jul 2018

Total Transformation: Week One

Join us on this journey, as one of JOE's writers attempts to transform his body

Reuben Pinder

I am an ectomorph

For those of you who did not endure the hardship of GCSE Physical Education, that means I am naturally skinny, with a fast metabolism. I therefore struggle to gain any sort of weight, whether that be fat or muscle. It’s been a blessing and a curse, but nobody wants to resemble a stick insect when they take their shirt off, regardless of how vain that insecurity may be.

It was time to change something. When the opportunity to embark upon a programme, aiming to transform me into a slightly more muscular stick insect came about, I felt obliged not to waste this chance. With the help of the good folk at Ultimate Performance, who have put together a diet and training plan for me, I had everything I needed to begin my transformation.

Except for a monster appetite, apparently. Have you every tried to eat a bowl of beef at 7am? You haven’t, because why would you? But apparently it’s necessary. This was the first obstacle I came up against that made me realise just how challenging this would be. I hadn’t even begun the training yet.

A typical meal for part of this plan comprises a chicken breast fillet, some basmati rice, and green veg. Quite mundane, very healthy, but the sheer quantity of food I need to consume will definitely take some getting used to.

The training has turned out to be the easy bit. And thats not to say that I’m not pushing myself in the gym. I am starting to learn to enjoy the post-workout burn and pushing myself to complete that twelfth rep. The satisfaction of completing a full workout is a new sensation to me, someone who has never before trained properly in the gym, other than a couple of one month stints a few years back.

However, and this is a big however, drinking a combination of creatine and amino acid supplements while working out significantly lessens the enjoyment factor. You can flavour these (highly beneficial) supplements all you want, but that chemical aftertaste will take some getting used to.

This regime entails two different workout routines, alternating between days to work different muscle groups. The first routine entails:

  • 4 sets on the leg press machine.
  • 4 sets on the leg extention machine.
  • 4 sets of wide grip lat pull-downs.
  • 4 sets on the seated row machine.
  • 4 sets of dumbbell shoulder presses.
  • 4 sets of dumbell lateral raises
  • 4 sets of seated dumbbell curls.

The weights I am lifting are almost embarrassingly small at the moment, but everybody has to start somewhere.

Now I have to admit something. For two days this week I completely diverted from the plan. Week One just happened to coincide with my university graduation. You only graduate once, so I hope you, dear reader, will forgive me for indulging in some celebratory shenanigans which ruined my diet plan for two days. What followed was a strong sense of guilt and dread that this challenge would be too much for me.

That was my first wobble, and it came early, but having come through it and got back into the routine, my confidence that I’ll be able to complete the programme and – fingers crossed – attain visible results, has been restored. Wish me luck.

*Disclaimer* – that is not me in the feature image.