Jim Back in Peak Shape at 60 After Major Heart Surgery
It's never too late to get in the shape you want.
Jim has turned 60 with a lean physique most men half his age would want to achieve after 12 weeks at Ultimate Performance.
His physical transformation is staggering - but it's perhaps the way it's changed his life that is most profound.
Jim says he was at the lowest point of his life as he approached his milestone 60th birthday.
He was trying to get back to health following quadruple heart bypass surgery.
But then he was left emotionally devastated after a sudden break-up with his wife.
Starting a transformation at Ultimate Performance was a chance to draw a line under this and give him a positive new focus back in his life.
Twelve weeks later and he is revitalised both physically and mentally.
"My results were remarkable. My weight dropped nearly 7kg from 69.6kg to 62.9kg and my body fat reduced from 19.1% to 12.4%.
"Just about every person who knows me commented on a marked change in my appearance and vitality.
"When I look at my miserable and depressed photos from the first day of the programme and compare to the optimistic and confident photos of the last day, I feel these are a window into the more remarkable transformation that was achieved deep within me."
Jim explains what motivated him to take the plunge and start a body transformation with Ultimate Performance.
It was a mixture of 'now or never' as his 60th approached and the fact he needed something positive to focus on after the heartache of a marriage break-up.
"My 60th birthday was fast approaching, I was in okay shape but really felt I could do a lot better than just average. And it was just over nine months since I had completed quadruple heart bypass surgery and I wanted to draw a complete line under all that.
"UP offered the possibility of real transformation with an individual programme tailored to my needs and capabilities. “Ripped at 60!" “60 is the new 50” I liked the idea of that intensely.
"The second motivation was that my wife had just left me suddenly. I was devastated and finding it difficult to focus on anything positive in every aspect of my life.
"I decided that having this additional focal point of activity for 3 tough sessions a week over 12 weeks could be just the thing to help me turn my attitude around."
Jim thinks back to how he felt before he came to UP to start his journey.
"I was probably at the lowest point of my life on all fronts. Recent traumatic rejection, milestone birthday looming and facing an uncertain future.
"I had got bored with my regular exercise routine of outrigger canoeing, hiking and Ashtanga yoga, so my fitness levels were dropping alarmingly just when I needed to be at my best to cope with the challenges facing me."
Jim says he started his transformation with a touch of trepidation because of his age and the fact he'd never trained weights before.
It felt like a big step into the unknown at the time - but he took it to help change his life.
"I was quite nervous and unsure whether I would be able to cope with the demands of the programme, given my age and complete absence of previous weight training experience.
"I had seen all the amazing images of transformation that other clients had achieved and was drawn by that but wondered if that could really happen for me.
"I also worried what kind of atmosphere the gym would have (although I had visited it once). I am not very competitive or macho and expected to be quite a bit older than everyone else in there. I suppose I was concerned I might feel a bit of a weirdo and outsider."
But actually, Jim found Ultimate Performance to be the exact opposite to the preconception he had in his head.
He thrived in the focussed, results-driven and supportive environment among a culture of clients all striving for the same goal and personal trainers uncompromising in their quest for excellence.
"The whole experience was an uplifting one for me. Being part of a training community of such positive and motivated individuals, both trainers and clients, was quite inspirational.
"The place just oozes effort, concentration and focused purpose."
"A community of very diverse individuals - I wasn’t even the oldest one there, much to my great surprise!
"Talking with some of the other clients old and young, I could see there were so many different stories of transformation that were quite inspiring. I found it a joy to be part of it. The absolute opposite of other gyms in my experience."
Even though Jim was new to this style of training and had never worked out with weights before, he soon found his feet with the guidance and keep coaching eye of his personal trainer.
"The training was quite tough," he says. "I found myself pushed myself outside of my comfort zone frequently.
"But always with the trainer's eyes on my safe-zone as well."
Jim says while the training was tough, it was the perfect tonic to take his mind off things.
"A lot of days (particularly in the first few days and weeks) I came to the gym, not in the best frame of mind. Distracted and frankly still grieving for my relationship loss and feeling a bit (a lot!) sorry for myself.
"But once we started the programme that all faded away and what I had hoped for in finding a new positive point of focus came through just about every time.
"My trainer Jacky had a laser-like focus and never let up on driving me to remember my original motivation for doing this and why it was worth my total effort and attention."
Jim started seeing results in a matter of weeks as his body changed before his eyes.
"Within just a few weeks I could feel improvement on all levels that just kept building.
"This sustained my commitment. And people quickly started to comment on my growing vitality and asking me what I was doing."
One huge change that Jim was able to make during his transformation was his diet and nutrition.
Before UP, he was primarily a vegetarian, eating virtually no meat or dairy, but lots of fruit, veg and bread...along with cakes and sweet treats.
"I started my day most days with a large bagel with my coffee. I ate carbs with every meal and snacked on chocolate and raisins at night time," he explains.
But his trainer helped him make a big overhaul to his diet and got him eating a diet high in protein, rich in good fats and healthy carbs which supported his body transformation goals.
A huge help for Jim was being able to use EatUP's gourmet meal prep service which offers macro-nutrient calculated meals designed to help clients achieve maximum results on their transformations.
Jim says: "At first I tried to prepare my own meals following my trainer's advice, but soon changed to the meal plan and prepared meals offered by UP.
"This was quite varied and very convenient. I was never hungry. I cut out snacking, bagels biscuits and cakes and booze realizing what an important part adhering to the eating regime is for the effectiveness of the programme.
"It wasn’t as hard as I imagined it to be. I could feel the benefits very quickly and as I was on a bit of a personal mission I found it quite manageable to embrace it all."
In fact, Jim says his the education he received on nutrition was one of the key things he has taken from his 12-week journey and something that will help keep him in shape for years to come.
"I learned so much about diet that I will make a part of my life forever," he says. Adding: "Weight training will also be a part of my life."
But the biggest thing this transformation has helped Jim achieve is feeling like he can achieve anything - something which has been revelatory as he turned 60.
"I learnt beyond the physical transformation that I have the power to control my attitude and overcome any challenge that is put in front of me.
"The ability to change my attitude to life and recover from setbacks through the help of this programme gives me additional confidence to take on new challenges and be able to face whatever life puts in front of me in the future."