Hardgainer Dan Packs on 2kg of Lean Muscle in 12 Weeks
Even hardgainers can pack on muscle with the right training and nutrition.
Dan, who had struggled for years to add size to his slender frame, not only packed on pounds of muscle, but he ended up leaner too in just 12 weeks.
"My goal was to look to put on around 1kg a month, and we've actually done that. I'm really surprised - because it's lean muscle and not just weight.
"My body fat has actually gone down and I've gained muscle, so it's perfect to be honest. I feel like I've hit the goal I had for 12 weeks.
"Now I just want to keep gaining."
His before and after pictures speak for themselves - but so do the cold, hard statistics.
He packed on 2.2kg of lean muscle over the 12 weeks while dropping his body fat by almost 1% down to 12.8%.
Impossible is nothing when you're training with the world-class trainers at Ultimate Performance.
UP has helped Dan revolutionise his diet and take his training to the next level that he needed to reach to finally grow some lean muscle tissue.
'Hardgainer' Dan says seeing these results really can be achieved has not only given him a new-found confidence, positivity and motivation, it has changed his outlook on life.
"It's given me faith," he says. "I've always wanted to put on muscle, but I've never really got close to that goal.
"But now they've proved to me what you can do in 12 weeks - it's given me faith and knowledge that I can achieve the body that I want."
This is how he achieved his 12-week transformation at UP...
When did you first start seeing results?
I think the first milestone was the first month - three or four weeks in. I think I started seeing changes and it's a really good feeling.
You're working so hard for something, it's that initial motivation you need to keep going, so you're thinking 'it is working.
They know what they're doing at UP. What I'm eating is right. It just spurs you on to keep going because you know it is working; you can get to that goal, you just have to keep working.
What was training like? How does this 12-week programme compare to the results you'd had training before?
Before UP, my training was a little bit lacklustre. I've followed training plans strictly for months on end but my nutrition wasn't on-point, and I didn't have the knowledge I have now.
I've done things in the past but never got to the stage where I was happy with my body.
These 12 weeks have just blown out of the water anything I've achieved in 12 months or 24 months. It's surprised me a lot what you can actually do in just three months time.
What has the training been like at UP?
The training has been really intense, but it's made a lot easier as they put the sessions together for you because I think a lot of people might be afraid that the training is too hard or they're pushed past their limit.
You just have to turn up and give it your all. It's just an hour.
As intense as it is, it's a lot more manageable than you might think at first.
Did you feel like you were getting stronger and more accomplished in the gym every session?
I feel like I continuously improved my strength. I could see the weights going up week on week. It's a good feeling.
You can see the progress in a lot of different ways. It's the same with people saying 'wow! You look different!'
There are a lot of progressive increases to keep you going.
What have been your headline results at the end of 12 weeks?
I started at 61.8kg, and now I've finished at 64kg, and my body fat is now just 12.8%. At the start, it was 13.5% which to drop body fat and increase my muscle is brilliant. It's perfect, and it's what I wanted to do.
It's been tough but what they do here really does work, and it's worth all the hard work I put in. I've really enjoyed it.
How has your relationship with your personal trainer been important to making such a great transformation?
Jamie, my trainer, has been brilliant. It's more of a personal relationship. I can drop him an email at night and let him know how I'm feeling.
It's really good because we've done a lot of experimenting with food and seeing how I react to it.
He is literally there every step of the way to keep you going and seeing how you feel and if anything needs changing. You get a really good connection with your trainer.
Do you think you could have achieved these results on your own?
I couldn't have achieved these results on my own, no. I've previously trained on my own for years and I've never been close to the results I've got now.
How did you find the diet and nutrition side of your transformation?
The diet is tough to get to grips with at first, but you just have to get on top of the food preparation.
You're learning along the way about the foods you need to eat, and why. You get to grips more with what you can and can't eat and what it's going to do to you.
At first, it's a bit tough, but once you get on top of the food preparation it does make it a lot easier.
My food is a lot different now than it was before. Things I used to think were healthy, are actually not healthy.
It's a big eye-opener to learn more about nutrition and the foods that might be advertised as healthy, may not actually be good for you.
What's changed with your diet specifically?
Previously I was eating a really high carb diet. The main thing for me was lowering my carbs and increasing my protein.
I'm feeling a lot more energetic throughout the day. I'm not getting peaks and crashes of energy levels.
I keep my sugar low so I'm not going up and down with my blood sugar levels and energy and at the end of the day I don't feel tired.
That's been a massive change just reducing my carbs and eating more protein.
What are the things that have surprised you on your 12-week journey?
What's surprised me most is how much I've actually enjoyed it. I just thought it was going to be a really tough process.
I just have to turn up, train hard for that hour, then go away and I know what food to prepare.
It's made a lot easier than it might seem at first.
It's nice to have someone there pushing and pushing and pushing you. They want you to achieve that goal as much as you do.
What are the most powerful lessons you've learned along the way?
The most impactful thing is I now know how much of a difference a good personal trainer can actually make.
The slight tweaks you make to your diet, actually how much of an impact it has on your performance, how you feel in your day-to-day life.
They're the things I know I'm going to stick to, and eating healthy.
I feel a lot better day to day now. It's been a massive eye-opener to realise how much your diet affects how you feel.
How much has changed for you?
There has been a massive change. The pictures do speak for themselves.
There's been a massive difference in the way I feel and the way I look.
My personality and the way I am as a person has changed - it has made me open up a lot more.
I do feel a lot more confident with how I am and I feel happier with where I'm at. It's helped me in so many different ways.
How do you feel after completing your 12 weeks at UP?
I feel really good after finishing my transformation. I know a lot more about diet and training.
It's good because I don't feel like I'm on my own - I feel as though my trainer is still there to give me advice and give me tips.
Now it's just made me want the goal even more just to keep gaining muscle and get the physique I've wanted for years.
We have nailed the first phase of my transformation; I couldn't be happier as quality muscle is really hard to put on as a 'hardgainer' but I've been given the knowledge and confidence to really go for my longer-term goal now.
If you're inspired by Dan's story and want to finally get the body you want in a matter of weeks, speak to us about our UP Personal Training Plans.