My name is Ollie, I’m 24 years old and live in Sheffield with my girlfriend. A part from now being a gym freak I am also the singer and guitarist in local Indie & Rock n Roll band . . . Adelphi.
12 months ago I decided I must take my life in a new direction. One of my goals involved transforming my body. Here is my story, an honest account of my journey the past 12 months with LEP Fitness.
By hearing my story I hope you will gain insight as to what I have been through and how I have made positive change in my life. Ultimately I hope that by reading this I will help others just like me, those seeking self improvement, a better body, and a wealthier life in general.
My Muscle Building Journey . . .
Before I came so see Nick, I was fed up of working out, and seeing no results. I had also reached a stage in my life where I wanted more, and had grown tired of the . . . . living for the weekend’ mentality!
I researched ‘personal trainers in Sheffield’ and straight away LEP Fitness caught my eye. Initially, Nick looked so much more approachable than some of the other personal trainers. Aside from his ‘ZEUS like physique’ and ‘CRACKING QUIFF!, I didn’t feel as though I would be uncomfortable in his presence. I found his website informative, and the testimonials page inspiring. I quickly sent him an email to book in for a consultation and I have not looked back since . . .
Fitness always felt to me, and I said this statement to Nick in my first consultation, . . . a ‘secret that everyone is keeping from you’, almost a MAGIC CIRCLE situation. The truth is, there really are no secrets, there is no magic wand, or life changing diet pills! Ultimately it is about having the right plan of action, and following through with that plan, making adaptations along the way to ensure continuous progression. If you are struggling to make the change yourself . . . hire a personal trainer.
For me the hardest parts of the journey have been preparing my nutrition, eating frequently, and trying to complete workouts whilst still managing to work a full time job, and keep my music band commitments. Fitting everything in, getting organised and balancing areas of my life has been by far the toughest overall challenge I have faced.
As I also play in a local cover band, I often have to prepare and take evening meals to eat between the break of the first and second music sets. There is also the added social pressure, being in a ‘alcohol fuelled’ environment, and eating ‘chicken and kale’ raises more than a few eyebrows!
But you have to accept that there are going to be obstacles in the way, you have to face areas of your life that make you feel uncomfortable if you really want to transform your body.
Eating differently to others will always provoke comments from fellow employees, friends and family. At these times, you have to remind yourself of your individual goal. Remember why you started, why you wanted to make a change. I constantly have the body image in my mind that I want, and will achieve in time. Nothing will stand in my way, and derail me. You need to have a desire, a point that you can always reference back to when you really wanted to make that change. If you can remind yourself of this in the ‘darkest moments’ when Nick is not there to hold your hand, you will never fail. Strength of character is key.
When you apply strength of character your body starts to change and you realise all your hard work is paying off. Your not only looking better, but your feeling better, and the same people looking at you funny whilst you ate your meat and veg are now giving you compliments!
After training with Nick for 1 year, I have achieved so much, so much more than I thought possible. Initially, I went on a cutting phase, in order to get my body fat percentage right down, and start from scratch. Since then I’ve been bulking slowing, and have gone from strength to strength with my training intensity. Subsequently this has put me on the right track towards my dream physique, which is to get bigger muscles, and improve my strength.
After my cutting phase (month 1) I weighed 74kg, 12 months later I weigh 92kg! That’s a big leap, but when you break it down it works out around 2kg added per month. As I said earlier Nick has taught me that progress is about consistency, frequent small steps, repeated over time.
It’s Amazing How Much You Can Progress In Just 1 Year . . .
My proudest achievement is making a complete lifestyle change, whilst still enjoying the activities and hobbies I had before I started with LEP. Yes, there have been sacrifices, but they have all been for the better.
I have completely changed my life and learned loads, especially in these 3 key areas . . .
Training : Starting on a basic gym plan, with no free weights, was a fantastic starting point. I’d been into gyms previously, but not with a plan. I learned quickly about eccentric (lowering phase) contractions and concentric (lifting phase) of each movement . . . for the first time in my life my gym time felt effective! I’ve since moved on to using nearly every piece of gym equipment, at some point. Getting the most ‘bang for my buck’ by asking questions, researching, and never being afraid to learn new moves and techniques.
Lifestyle : As I touched upon earlier, my life has changed dramatically. I barely drink alcohol anymore! I initially went on a 8 week detox in order to prove to myself I could change my life. As you can imagine, with previous university habits, and a strong friendship group, changing was not easy. I do still drink from time to time, but very rarely in excess. The two lifestyles counteract each other, and you simply cannot train all week, and get drunk at the weekend and fall off the wagon. To start with it is about dedicating yourself 100%, then when your body gets into a healthier state you can start to incorporate more of a balance.
Nutrition : From 4 meals to 6 or 7 a day was initially a massive change. Preparing a number of meals in advance, shopping online; local butchers; and local supermarkets. Recently, I’ve found that eating different meals to your partner can be a strain. So I decided to make sure on a Wednesday night, we sit down for the same meal. This breaks up the week, and has improved my relationship. It is easy to make excuses, anybody can look for reasons why they cannot do X,Y and Z, but you have to look for the reasons as to why you can, you have to say how can I make this happen? otherwise your going to remain unchanged . . .
I know this is just the start of my journey. I believe the saying you see posted everywhere is . . . . ‘keep on and carry on!, and that’s exactly what I intend to do. For me, this is just the start. I want to see how far I can push my body, how much mass I can put on, while still retaining a similar condition to what I have at present.
Short term, I want to hit the 15 stone mark (95kg). Long term, me and Nick have spoken about doing a fitness photo shoot next summer. However, there will be many hurdles to overcome before then. But having this realistic long term goal in my sights, will keep me progressing day in day out.
If I could give one piece of advice to anybody starting out on their fitness endeavour it would be . . .
Initial goals such as . . . ‘I want a six pack’, or . . . ‘I need to lose body fat for summer! are great, but are part of short term thinking. It’s the hardest part of the fitness journey, and I still question myself, but you NEED TO THINK LONG TERM! The health benefits, your mood, the discipline you must show, will long out weigh your initial desires. Stop reading magazines that claim to give you a ‘six pack in six weeks!, or words to that effect, hire and start listening to a coach, a mentor, a personal trainer somebody with the ability to educate you properly, and somebody with the power to change your life.
Nick, is a guru, a great personal trainer, and one of the greatest people I have ever met. One of the best life decisions I have ever made was sending that first email to him last year . . .
I hope you enjoyed reading about my muscle building journey I wish you the very best of luck with yours.