How Former Army Commander Josh Built His 12-Week Body
A former British Army commander has lost 15kg and built a lean and muscular physique with UP's online training
Josh, who was a captain in the Army, was always fit and in shape - but once he left the Armed Forces and his activity levels dropped, he quickly piled on weight.
He says he felt 'overweight and embarrassed', didn't feel comfortable with his body and wanted to finally make a change. He decided the excuses had to stop and it was time for real action when he signed up for UP's online training.
The 31-year-old, who travels the world with work, wanted some discipline and structure back in his busy lifestyle to help him get back on track.
That's exactly what he got working one-to-one with his UP personal trainer online.
After just 12 weeks he achieved what he thought was impossible - and looks incredible.
"The results were more than I could have hoped for and the pictures speak for themselves, he says. "I couldn't be happier with more confidence in my own body and I'm extremely proud of what I have achieved."
He dropped six inches off his waistline, dropped 15kg to a lean 75.3kg and carved out six-pack abs.
One thing Josh said was he'd felt 'out of kilter' since leaving the Army - but this 12-week transformation has helped everything fall back into place.
"My health improved significantly," he says. "This was noticeable within a few days. I felt less bloated, tighter, cleaner and my skin was much better. I have a lot more energy and my sleep pattern became more consistent.
"My clothes were quickly becoming too big for me which was an instant motivator along with friends and family noticing the changes in my body.
"I felt more in control of my personal life and my output from a business perspective also made a noticeable improvement."
Josh explains how online training with UP transformed his body, improved his health and helped get his lifestyle and diet back under control...
What were your expectations going into the programme and what were your motivations?
I had very high expectations as I have followed UP for some years and in particular Nick Mitchell and Charles Poliquin.
I followed Nick Mitchell's original 12-week body plan a few years ago and managed to get myself in reasonably good shape, but injuries, a change of job, different lifestyle and generally making excuses meant I soon became unfit, unhealthy and very out of shape.
I knew if I could get myself in reasonable shape on my own during the 12 week body plan, then with the help of an UP-certified trainer I could get myself into my best shape yet.
I had enquired into the one-to-one courses and the online courses a few times but convinced myself that with the amount of travelling I do and the cost of the course that I couldn't commit or afford it.
Eventually, after being in a bad place physically and feeling the effects mentally on a daily basis, I decided enough was enough and excuses were not going to cut it anymore.
I took the plunge and signed up to the three-month online course. Additionally and probably more pertinently, my girlfriend gave me the ultimatum of getting my abs back or being single again.
Harsh, but maybe the motivational push that I needed.
Can you tell me how you were feeling both physically and mentally before starting with UP?
Physically I felt overweight and embarrassed. Having served in the Army for six years I have always kept a reasonable level of fitness without having to worry too much about what I ate.
It was when I left the Armed Forces that my diet remained high calorie and my training diminished.
A break from routine was welcome but then I became too relaxed and I craved routine back in my life.
I was out of breath, sweaty and my clothes sizes were getting tighter and sizes bigger. I was embarrassed to get my swimming shorts on and generally didn't enjoy or feel comfortable with my body.
What was your diet and lifestyle like before you started your transformation with UP?
My diet was inconsistent. I would often eat bad high-calorie foods. I would go through phases of trying to eat healthier with a reasonable knowledge of what I needed to do but not quite enough to remain consistent and see changes.
I became lazy with cooking and preparation and would eat out regularly due to work. I travel a lot which meant taking the easiest option eating badly and frequently.
My lifestyle was sporadic and still remains that way and my relationship with alcohol was purely on a binge drinking party level.
I pretty much fly on a weekly basis all around the world and it can be at short notice.
This meant planning was hard and excuses were easy to make. I needed to try and find consistency to suit the new lifestyle I was living but I didn’t believe it was possible.
How did your diet and lifestyle change when you started your transformation with UP?
Everything changed. It started with me taking responsibility of my body, my training and my diet by signing onto the UP online transformation programme.
With some guidance and motivation along with going to visit my PT for an initial one-to-one session. I felt I needed the one-to-one session before starting due to numerous injuries sustained in the military and over my rugby career.
This proved to be extremely helpful to my trainer in helping him to put together the right exercises for me to do with my limited movement and mobility and my weaknesses which I always used as another excuse.
My lifestyle remained the same, but I managed to work with my trainer to find a training programme and nutritional programme that suited it. This was key in maintaining consistency and learning that it was always possible to achieve the results I wanted, I had just always refused to believe it.
My diet became much cleaner, more reliant on me making the right choices when eating out and understanding the importance of portion control which takes some real discipline.
How did you find the training and did it fit around your busy lifestyle?
I found the training motivating. Everything was designed with my trainer to fit in around my lifestyle. Because I spend much of my time travelling outside of the UK staying in hotels or apartments, the gyms and machines available were an inconsistency.
This was something that I needed to accept and work around. My trainer was excellent in helping me to formulate a plan around machines that were available in most of the gyms I had access to and then providing alternative exercises to gyms without certain machines included in my programme.
This degree of flexibility ensured that there was no time for excuses or messing around. A little bit of understanding on my part meant that I could also make the calculated decision of what exercise I could do to replace another.
The training exercises were formed around what I could and couldn't do due to previous injuries and restricted mobility. The exercises were both challenging and focused and I noticed improvements early in the programme which help motivate me to keep going.
What were your results like after your transformation?
The results were more than I could have hoped for and the pictures speak for themselves. I couldn't be happier with more confidence in my own body and I'm extremely proud of what I have achieved. A lot of the results were down to my trainer's knowledge, expertise and guidance and his belief in me.
This, in turn, helped me to realise what was achievable within a short time frame for someone in 'my situation'.
My body fat went from the 20s down to 10.1%, my weight dropped from 87.9kg to 75.3kg at its lowest.
I don't remember when I was last in the 70s. My clothes all need replacing (which is expensive) and I look for any excuse to take my top off.
What were the most important things you learned during your journey and what really worked for you in helping you make your transformation?
What really worked for me was having the knowledge of a trainer to help understand what can be done in order to fit around your lifestyle rather than fitting a lifestyle around nutrition and training.
It's because of this that I don’t believe anyone has an excuse to achieve whatever they want. The most important thing I learned is responsibility.
My trainer can give me all the guidance and tips but unless I want to make that change and take ownership for everything I put in my mouth and every rep I do at the gym, then the changes would be reflected by me.
UP helped me to take responsibility and achieve my Ultimate Performance in both the gym and the kitchen.
I also understand how important consistency is with everything, we are all different and its about making it work for you.
How has doing this transformation changed you and do you think it will benefit you going forward?
I have been made aware again of the importance of remaining healthy. I had some personal health issues which my digestive systems and with my liver and kidneys which I also needed to take account for when eating.
During this process I have had no issues and have felt far better than any medication has made me feel.
I now don't seek any medical remedies but just remain conscious of my diet and continuing to make improvements. Having completed the 12 weeks I will enjoy a week off with a couple of weddings either side and then I start the next phase.
I still have some areas that I want to work on but then I want to focus on shaping my body further.
For me, the 12 weeks was an initial phase in order to get me into a regular healthy lifestyle. I don’t see my UP nutrition programme as a 'diet' anymore, it has become my regular lifestyle.
A diet for me is eating treats and a cheat meal which are something that will happen only now and again.
Would you recommend UP and why?
Without a shadow of a doubt. I have already had friends sign up after seeing the results. I don’t necessarily need to recommend UP as people are so amazed by the changes they see, that they ask for the details in order to start their own journey.
I couldn’t speak more fondly of UP and I would urge anyone who has even thought about it, but not committed to them yet, to take the plunge and start the journey. You, like me, will never understand why you hadn't done it earlier.
If you want results like Josh, find out about our Online Personal Training Plans.