How Charles Stays Beach Body-Ready All Year Round
Can you really stay ‘summer beach body ready’ all year round?
Charles’ incredible physique almost a year on from his 12-week transformation proves you can.
Despite turning 40, businessman and skincare specialist, Charles still has a body most men half his age would be envious of.
Staying in shape has been simple with the lessons he learned at UP about maximising his training and controlling his diet - and almost 12 months on, he is still an enviable 8-9% body fat and ready for summer all year round.
Learning UP’s training methodologies and being able to apply that to his own training has kept him in stunning shape long after his time at UP came to an end.
Here he explains the most powerful lessons he learned at UP, his best nutrition tips and how he stays so lean all year round…
What was your goal when you started your transformation journey at UP?
I wanted to earn a leaner physique and get serious about maximising all the time I was spending in the gym.
What results did you achieve during your transformation?
I turned 40 this year, and I can thankfully say that I've never been in a better shape in my life than now.
I've been able to sustain an enviable 'off-season' body fat percentage of 8-9%, with a healthy weight, good endurance and proportionate muscle mass. I'm ‘summer ready’ all year round.
What were the most powerful lessons you learned at UP?
Have a plan in mind. How many times should I work out this week? What sort of workouts?
What am I going to eat today? Am I going to eat out today? If so, what choices should I put on my plate?
What sort of food should I avoid? Have I planned when to indulge in my holiday treats?
Being proactive and having a plan that I can realistically stick to gives my life clarity.
How have these key lessons helped keep you in shape?
UP has shown me that being consistent doesn’t just apply to my work and my career. The word "consistency" psyches up my mind each time I enter the gym.
I'm not going to waste my time or create an excuse to miss a workout if it means risking losing the gains I worked so hard for at UP.
Keeping a realistic but sustainable approach to my dietary choices has also helped me strike a better balance between being the person I want to be in terms of lifestyle, health and physique.
What is your training and diet like now?
I train six days a week. Three days of resistance training and three days of cardiovascular training.
I supplement this with a monthly TCM tuina massage and cupping therapy to help reduce the tension in my body.
In terms of nutrition, I use a carb-cycling approach where I alternate between high, medium and low carb days which matches my food intake to how active I am on a given day.
And once every few months I'll go on a more specific fat loss diet to help keep my body in condition.
What does it feel like being in control of your diet and being able to stay in shape?
The feeling is empowering because I know exactly what I should be doing and eating. Working with UP has taken the uncertainty and guesswork out of my diet.
I plan, I buy, I cook, and I pack. There's no way I would ever be hungry because there's always a bento of ready-made meals with me wherever I go.
What nutrition tips have helped keep you so lean after your transformation?
I do not underestimate what I've eaten. It is so easy (for anyone, including myself) to reassure ourselves that "it's okay, it’s not much” or "just a few bites won't hurt".
But alas, calorie-dense foods are all around us. Most foods are produced in a certain way for the "manicured commercial palate" in order to generate consumption.
Also, everyone likes to have their poor choices and bad habits validated.
I might eat more liberally at times, but I will account for them as honestly as I can (e.g. breaking down a sandwich into its individual components, or right down into its base recipes etc.).
How do you stay looking so young at 40?
I'm a skincare researcher by profession. I truly believe in the benefits of wholesome plant-based ingredients, just like the effect of whole food on our bodies and physiques.
Besides this, having a good complexion boils down to being consistent, just like how one should be investing in health insurance with regular workouts.
I've been on the same skin care regime since my 20s, and I believe it has served me well. A little every day goes a long way.
What would you say to anyone who thinks that body transformations are not sustainable?
"Choices maketh the man", as I have said to some. I'm a real person, living a life that is wholesome and natural. I've made a choice, and I stuck to it.
How did being bullied as a child affect you and how did you change things?
I was pretty bitter about being on the receiving end of it while I was in my teens and early 20s. But I reached the point where I'd had enough of feeling negative and chose to focus on improving myself.
There were quite a number of pitstops and detours along the way because reliable information on health and fitness was pretty scarce during the 90s, especially in Asia.
Nevertheless, each detour was a lesson to me, and new knowledge was acquired.
As much as I knew what to do and how to do it, I had to sign up with UP because I innately knew that someone out there was on the same page as me.
I am still in contact with many of the friends whom I've "suffered under" during my formative years. They have come to me for advice on diet, lifestyle and workouts.
I'm wholeheartedly happy to offer them generic advice, but I truly understand that there is no one-size-fits-all approach to this.
UP remains as my only recommendation to those who are serious about self-betterment.
What are your best tips for anyone around 40 to stay in great shape?
Too much of something good isn't necessarily going to work for you.
Too many workouts will not allow your body to respond in the way you hope it will.
Too heavy a load lifted in the gym may result in unforeseen injuries which will put you out of action.
Too much of a diet break will cause your physique to give way.