Weightlifting the Secret to Louise's New Body at Age 45
If you’re stuck in a rut, you can make a change - age, sex and previous training experience don’t even matter.
Louise had trained for 10 years doing circuit training, but was unhappy with her body and couldn’t lose the weight she wanted.
She had feared she would be 'too old' to make the big changes she wanted - but at 45, she’s back incredible shape after 20 weeks at UP.
Training with weights and following a diet tailored to her body helped her lose 5kg, halve her body fat and sculpt her amazing new figure.
"Ladies need to get in much more of a mindset that weight training and using weights is not going to bulk them up. I think this is the perception that they have.
"It doesn’t do that; it gives you lean muscle where you are defining your muscles, but also streamlining and getting lean and getting fitter.
"It’s for everybody! It doesn’t matter what age you are - I’m 45!"
Here Louise explains how she made her transformation and why women and men of all ages should use weightlifting to change their lives and build the body they want.
What was it that motivated you to join UP?
I’ve worked out for a long time, but I got myself into a bit of a rut, and I wasn’t really seeing results.
I lost the motivation. I wasn’t feeling good, I had no energy, and I really needed to turn myself around, and that’s really what instigated me to get myself back on track and get back to fitness.
When you started, how quickly did you begin seeing results?
I started to see results within the first two to three weeks. I noticed the weight loss, and then I started to see more muscle definition.
What changed when you came to UP?
When I started the programme, the changes that I saw were on diet, which was quite significant. Changing the way I looked at food, portion sizes, the balance between protein and carbohydrates - that was a big change for me.
Also, understanding how to actually work out properly with the machines and focusing on the specific muscle groups.
What training had you done in the past?
The previous training I'd done before was more high-intensity interval training.
It was more like a circuit training format, which was good, but it wasn’t really specific, and I wasn’t really seeing the results that I wanted and had pictured in my mind.
So being at Ultimate Performance has actually been a complete flip on that and it’s been absolutely amazing so far.
How do you feel physically and mentally now compared to when you started?
Now we’re starting my ninth week this week. The best thing I can say is that appearance-wise, I’m really on track to how I pictured myself and where I wanted to be.
I’ve got more energy. I feel a lot more confident and a lot happier and healthier in general.
I feel a lot more motivated. I enjoy coming now because it is serious.
It’s a serious regime. But what you see and the results you see, they do come quite quickly - and they’re the best thing ever.
So it’s keeping me motivated, and I’d like to keep on going with my programme for the next few weeks.
What was your lifestyle like before your transformation?
Before I stated, I always thought my diet was good, but I always used to track off a little bit; weekends were the worst.
Having the occasional takeaway and alcohol had a significant impact as well - not that I drink a lot of alcohol, but just having that occasional wine and then doing it on a daily basis, you really understand how it has a massive impact, not just on your weight, but your energy.
I was relying on alcohol a lot to get rid of my depression because I just didn’t like myself.
My meals were very unbalanced, so I thought that by eating a lot of fruit or having salad was the best way to go about nutrition - and it wasn’t.
So for me, I stopped alcohol because it became more of a habit - I thought I would miss it, but I haven't.
My body feels a lot cleaner. Mentally, I feel a lot more focused and clear.
I have a lot more energy throughout the day.
I think in nine weeks - it’s not a long time when you think about it - I have literally transformed my whole outlook on food and how I want to look after my body and what I put into my body.
What physical results have you achieved so far?
My physical results are mostly strength and stamina. I’ve got a lot more endurance. My cardio is much improved. The lean muscle mass I have now gained and the body fat too.
So far I’ve lost just under 4kg, which has been great and I feel so much better for that.
My body fat is just about 7% down.
What did you think about the UP results wall when you first came in?
When I first heard about UP, I don’t know if it happened for a reason, but I’m a great believer in fate.
This particular day I was in my car stuck at the traffic lights. I happened to glance at my phone.
My Facebook came up, and the first thing I saw was this lady, ‘Ultimate Performance 4-week transformation. Then and now.’
I was like ‘really?!’ So I was a little bit sceptical, but it got my attention.
So I thought ‘maybe this is what I need.’
I did the research; I went on to the website of Ultimate Performance, let’s go for it! Let’s do the consultation and take that first step.
Then when I came to the Ultimate Performance gym here in Dubai and saw the array of people with all of these photoshoots from before and after, I thought 'maybe this actually could be true!'
Now I’m living that experience! My goal now is also to be on that wall!
What are the most powerful lessons you’ve learned?
The most important lessons are on nutrition, definitely.
Although the food I’m eating is not something I haven’t eaten before, it’s actually understanding the balance of protein and carbohydrates.
It’s not complicated. That’s what I found really refreshing.
Obviously working full time and seeing if you can do it yourself afterward, it’s very easy.
This is what I really learned.
But also the portion sizes - they’re very filling and very satisfying, and it’s really nice, clean food as well.
The other thing, although I’m not new to machines and weights, what I have learned is how you’re using the weights to target specific muscle groups.
So it’s not a case of just sitting at a machine and pushing and pulling, but how you’ve actually really got to mentally focus on what muscle group you’re working, then working that muscle properly.
My trainer always tells me not to yank it, but gently work the muscle and really focus on that, but that’s been a really key difference for me.
I think that has been the key to getting the definition I have now achieved.
What would you say to people who say these results aren’t possible?
The results are definitely there; they’re possible, they’re achievable for everybody!
Recently I came back from a business trip and while I was going through the airport and duty-free, the amount of comments I got from complete strangers asking me ‘where do you train? You look really fit!’ I was just explaining to them how I fit it into my lifestyle. It is possible.
I adapt it, so I start before my hours of work, but everyone has a busy life and works long hours - that’s life today.
But if you want to make that change, you’ve got to find that one hour, which I’m sure everyone can make in their daytime, to fit in and get fit and get healthy.
Anyone can do it.
I put my hands up, I was negative and felt very low; even in my first consultation here, I got quite emotional, because I really didn’t like what I was seeing and I didn’t like what I was feeling like.
Now in nine weeks, I’m like a different person.
How did strangers saying how good you looked make you feel?
When I was confronted by people I didn’t really know who were commenting on my physique, I was actually really taken aback and quite surprised.
These were complete strangers. One lady was serving me at the duty-free.
I had a jumper on, but she noticed my arms and I was really taken aback.
She said ‘Wow! You look like a really strong, fit lady.’
It was very complimentary, and I did walk away feeling very happy with myself. I thought that even now, strangers are noticing.
Then the other lady was at a business meeting. I finished the meeting, and she said ‘if you don’t mind me asking, where do you work out?’
I can see the changes, but when you have complete strangers saying that, it really put me on a high.
I was really happy. All the pain and the soreness are all worth it!
How has your personal trainer supported you on this journey?
Since I started, my relationship with my trainer has been tremendous. The support that I get on a daily basis has been more than what I anticipated.
I think, to me, that is the key to how people achieve those results.
Not just the diet, the education and the training, but actually having that support mechanism. It’s a very strong support mechanism.
Yes, you have to track your food, which is a two-minute job on a daily basis, but it’s knowing you have someone there if you’re having a bit of a low day, or if you’re struggling, to have someone there to give you that extra push.
It has happened to me. I did get a bit on the low side; I was sneaking in the occasional yoghurt and piece of fruit. I did fall back a little bit for a couple of days.
My trainer was there to say ‘Hey! Let’s get back on track and refocus’.
To me, that’s what defines Ultimate Performance as the gym that it is today.
You’ve got the trainers that are genuinely concerned and want to really help you the client; they’re not just normal trainers. That’s something very influential in the gym industry today.
What would you say to women struggling with the same issues you were or who are afraid of weightlifting?
Ladies need to get into much more of a mindset that weight training and using weights is not going to bulk them up. I think this is the perception that they have.
It doesn’t do that; it gives you lean muscle where you are defining your muscles, but also streamlining and getting lean and getting fitter.
It’s for everybody! It doesn’t matter what age you are - I’m 45!
It doesn’t matter what background you’re from or if you haven’t done weights before.
It’s the whole learning process, and it’s the education aspect, so anyone can do it.
I would vouch for any lady out there, who is reading this, to take that first step, give yourself that first couple of weeks and rest assured you will feel a million dollars.
What is the magic ingredient at UP that gets results?
For me, Ultimate Performance, it’s the training and the trainers. It’s having that strong support, which is absolutely vital.
It’s the level of trainers that are here. I’ve worked with many personal trainers in the past when I’ve worked out at gyms. But the attention you get from your trainer at UP is 110%.
I find that that has been a big differentiator for me.
I’ve been in good shape over 10 years ago, but not like this. This is completely different - the training, the advice you get, the meal plan you get, which I have taken advantage of, purely because I needed that assistance and understanding on diet.
That is another aspect of Ultimate Performance; it’s the diet. Because, for me, I’m seeing the lean muscle mass and I’m getting toned and getting fit, but understanding about your diet and how that has an instrumental effect on how you look, not just the exercise component.
No other gym that I’ve ever come across focuses on the diet element like this.
Are the results sustainable?
Definitely. I signed up for a 12-week programme. But I’m going to be doing another one.
I now can say that I enjoy coming.
It was painful at first, but I’m now seeing the results, and I want to keep going because I am enjoying it. I’m feeling very fit, I’m feeling healthy, I’m feeling energised, and I want to continue.
I think the diet component is going to be easier now to do myself.
It’s not rocket science. It is easy.
When you first come, you might feel a bit overwhelmed. But once you get through the first week and you get into a routine, it’s so easy.
I hope if people see my video, I hope I can influence at least one person.
Because the lady that I saw on UP website, just by seeing her picture, gave me that motivation, then I hope I can have that influence on someone else as well.
What’s the gym environment like here?
You feel really welcomed and part of the team.
It’s not all serious; there is a fun element. There are times when you can have a laugh and a joke.
It is a nice component of the team at Ultimate Performance - yes you have a trainer, but you’re all on the same path.
All the clients are on the same path: all the trainers are on the same path - getting everyone fit and healthy.
You feel the trainers enjoy what they are doing - that’s a nice feeling as a client.
I don’t think I’ve ever really met a team of trainers that really are genuine about what they’re doing.
It sounds a bit of a cliche, but the trainers here are very genuine people; they’re genuine about what they do for a living, they live and breathe what they do.
You can see that when they’re training a client, they’re really 110% focussed on the client.
How does it make you feel seeing your progress pictures from the start to now?
When I first took that first shot - I call them 'mug shots' - I hated it.
I knew what I looked like, but when you see yourself in a picture, it was quite upsetting for me because that’s just not what I wanted to look like.
Then as the weeks have gone on, we have taken more shots to see how we’re progressing, and the last few shots have been a significant difference.
You see yourself change in your clothes, but when you see yourself in a picture, you see the front and the back, that gives you a real motivational push when you physically see your body changing, and you see the muscle definition coming. You think to yourself ‘Wow! That’s actually me!’
You never think it’s going to happen to you. You never think your body is going to change.
You think it’s going to happen to someone else. But when you see your own body transforming in front of you in pictures it’s very very satisfying.
I really like that about what Ultimate Performance do - it keeps pushing you. It keeps saying ‘look where you were and look where you are now.’
All these little elements are quite powerful.
It's not only feeling and looking healthy and fit, but it’s also given me a lot more energy to sustain throughout my day.
So sometimes I have a lot of meetings, and I have to be mentally focused, but it’s allowed me to be a lot more focused in my work.
I’m a lot more clear-headed. I feel I’m a lot calmer. I feel like I don’t allow myself to get so worked up about things. It’s really helped me to be more balanced.
I’m a lot more happy in myself. I feel a lot more confident as a woman as well. I needed that, and I need to feel more confident - not in a vain kind of way - but just for my own self.
I wanted to feel confident and not feel as if I had to shy away from not wearing certain clothes I wanted to. This has really elevated my confidence.
What would you say to people who think it’s too late to transform their body, fitness and health?
I am now 45. I’ve always been a person who has wanted to be fit and healthy. That’s always been part of me.
I did feel at some point before I instigated this programme whether I was too old to do something like this.
Was it just for somebody that was in their 20s and 30s?
Then I thought no! I’m still going to pursue this and see where it takes me.
I want people to understand that I’m 45 years old and I’m from Yorkshire. I’m a normal working-class girl.
I don’t do anything different to anybody else.
I want to be able to get the message out there that whether you’re a man or a woman, no matter what age you are, whether you’re in your 40s, your 50s, or even your 60s, you can still change your body. Nothing stops.
People have to get away from this age factor. I don’t feel 45. Up here, I still feel 21. I don’t act 45 sometimes.
I think people need to get away from the stigma of their age.
If people do look on the Ultimate Performance website, and I look at it on a regular basis, there’s a lot of emphasis on working out above 40.
Even with lots of the clients I’ve seen on the wall, the majority of clients are over 40.
Their results are absolutely amazing.
What you find with these clients is when they’ve finished their programmes, they actually look 10 years younger.
I think people need to get away from this attitude of ‘I’m past it’ or ‘I’m too old’ because that’s not the mentality you need to get fit.
Anyone can get fit. Everyone’s got muscles. Anyone can find those muscles.
I found mine! I’m still finding them!
I really hope that people in my age group - especially the ladies - can not be so closed to the opinion that it’s not going to work for them.
It certainly can! Hopefully, I’m living proof of that!
Has the experience met your expectations?
My experience with Ultimate Performance so far has exceeded and is off the chart of my expectations!
I did really still feel ‘I’m not going to see any changes.’
My body is going to be the one that I’m going to be a complete nightmare, and it’s going to be puzzling for the trainer, and the trainer is not going to see any results.
I really thought I wasn’t going to see anything.
Even now after nine weeks, I’m seeing amazing changes.
I just can’t thank UP enough.
You’re around the world, and I just happened to find you sat in my car, stuck at a traffic light. It’s really turned my life around.
That’s why I don’t want to let it go now; I want to keep going because it’s been my saviour! It’s been a big part of my life.