Warren Sheds 'Dubai Stone' in 20kg Transformation
The sky is the limit for what you can achieve at Ultimate Performance.
Warren thought he was relatively fit and healthy at 47 – but 16 weeks training with UP has helped truly transform his body and his health.
Before UP he was training CrossFit five time a week and eating well – but found he was still carrying 20kg of excess body weight.
He was motivated to get real results, lose weight, shed body fat and finally get the physique he wanted.
Warren, who is a finance company partner in Dubai, has achieved all that and more during his 16-week transformation – and he has the six-pack abs to prove it.
He has lost 20kg, shed two-thirds of his body fat and is leaner and stronger than he was in his twenties.
“Carrying around all that excess weight is really not good for you over the long term for someone of my age, 47.
“So getting back down to a weight which I haven’t been since I was teens or early twenties has been fantastic.
What was your first impression of UP?
The pictorial results you see online are very impressive, but like so many things you see online, you’re very sceptical.
So, coming into the gym and meeting the team and seeing the other results on the wall of actual people rather than things on the internet, gave you more confidence and seeing the other people who’d achieved the results they’d achieved proved it to you and got rid of the scepticism.
You start to see it yourself as soon as you start; two weeks or three weeks in you can see the results if you stick to the plan.
What was your motivation to start?
I’ve been going to the gym, doing CrossFit regularly and enjoying that.
But it’s different skill sets to this, but also complimentary.
It’s very much focused on the individual and getting the body results they want; lose the weight, lose the fat and feel good about themselves and that was exactly my motivation.
What was your lifestyle like before UP?
I was still very active. I still am. I was doing Crossfit four or five times a week.
But it’s a different skill set. With this it’s so focused on the individual and the need and the requirement, that’s what makes it work.
Before, I wasn’t hugely unhealthy, but it just shows you how wrong you can still be doing things. Even if you’re not doing all the right things, you might as well not be doing any of them.
It’s a combination of getting everything right and the right advice, otherwise, it just won’t work for you.
People say they are active and fit and healthy. What led you to take that step further?
Just the physical changes that I wanted in my body; I wanted to lose body fat. I perceived myself to be reasonably healthy and reasonably fit and active. I had no idea I was even carrying around the amount of weight I’d managed to lose in the time so far here. I didn’t even think it would be anywhere near that; not even half that.
It just proves how wrong you can be.
That was the goal really. Carrying around all that excess weight is really not good for you over the long term for someone of my age, 47.
So getting back down to a weight which I haven’t been since I was teens or early twenties has been fantastic.
When I started with UP, my weight was ranging from 104-107kg. It’s now down to 86 or 87kg so there has been a whole 20kg lost.
Body fat has dropped from 30% to just under 10%.
What has the translated to in terms of clothes and body size?
From waist size, it’s 36 down to, when I bought some new shorts the other day, they were 32s, but I think they’re too bad. I think it’s going to end up closer to 30, so the cost of a whole new wardrobe is going to have to come into it.
But it’s all good.
How has losing the weight make you feel?
It’s good. Losing the weight has helped with my aerobic exercise, improving my mobility, my running and my walking. I was active anyway, but it’s increased the other aspects of physical exercise as well. Not carrying around they extra 20kg has helped me with the mechanics of those exercises.
What does something like this do for you on a deeper level - whether that’s emotionally, mentally or physically?
I can see how it would. I wasn’t a person who was hugely overweight and had confidence issues. It’s made me happier in my appearance, happier in my abilities and happier in my fitness.
It’s given me an insight into how I want to manage my diet and my lifestyle going forward. Those are all positives.
I can see the benefits massively.
Have family and friends noticed your progress?
Yes, they are shocked. They think there’s something wrong with me because there’s such a sudden change. People who have seen me gradually change, know what I’ve been doing. But people I’ve not seen for a few months and they bump into me they think ‘what’s happened!’ Because the weight loss has been so dramatic.
I’m telling people I feel great and that I’ve been doing some hard work and exercise to get in this condition.
They’ve seen a huge difference.
How has your relationship with your UP trainer helped you get your results?
When you come in, you know you’re in for a tough session every time.
You can’t achieve the intensity on your own. Simple as that. Even with the best will in the world, you won’t do it. You can’t push yourself through those final reps; you can’t push yourself beyond those limits. So having Nathan there to guide you and mentor you in the techniques and the correct form is vital to it and makes the most out of every minute and every session.
Also, monitoring the external aspects on the food and things, you can get in touch at any time of day through email or text or phone to get a bit of advice on things and stay on top of your goals.
It’s really invaluable.
What did it feel like for the first time seeing the initial changes or the change from Week 16 to Week 1?
It’s massively rewarding. I don’t want to get up at ridiculous hours every morning four days a week and not see any changes.
So seeing the results are the reward and the comments you get from family and friends on how you’re doing, that’s the reward.
That’s what you’re here for. It’s the aesthetic but it’s also the physical feeling from once increasing in strength, mobility, ability, and getting better. It’s the whole package. It’s a positive experience.
There are a lot of temptations in Dubai for eating out and socialising. Did you find your activity levels drop off when you moved here?
In my experience, everyone comes here and puts on the ‘Dubai stone’, as it’s called.
You’re out, you’re networking, you’re socialising and meeting new people and eating, eating, eating; brunching, brunching, brunching; drinking, drinking, drinking.
So, everyone you talk to puts on a huge amount of weight in the first year of being here. Some people shift it, some people stick with it. It’s not the healthiest city in the world. You’ve got to monitor it.
But there’s also a huge fitness industry here. But it’s important to pick the right one, there are lots of choices, but I feel that UP was the right one for me.
What is the magic ingredient at UP?
It’s the programme, the intensity and the goals. You’re very clear in what you want from the start. You’re measured, you’re monitored; it’s not just going to the gym three times a week ad hoc whenever you want to work out on your own. It’s not going to a trainer twice a week and then doing nothing for the rest of the week.
It’s a very intense programme and it’s for people who are very serious about what they want to do.
If you’re going to come in, so a few sessions and then live the rest of the week the way you were, then it’s not for you.
It’s not going to work. It’s a waste of time. If you’re going to come in, put the hours in in the gym and more hours outside of the gym in terms of monitoring yourself and your food, you will get results. There’s no way you won’t.
What are some of the top 3 take-aways you’ve learned on your journey?
Monitoring your intake against your output is vital; it’s common sense, but you just don’t realise.
Really looking at the foods that you’re eating, the types you’re eating, the calorific values. For me, what has worked is switching to a higher vegetable-based diet because you can still eat the volumes of food to maintain feeling full and to keep the hunger aside, but fewer calories basically.
It’s just watching all those things together.
What would you say to anyone who thinks their best days are past them?
You’ve got to put the effort into yourself and you’ve got to make time.
You might have family commitments, but if you’re not looking after yourself, you’re going to minimise the time you’re going to have with them.
It’s not just a selfish act. You have to look after your body, maintain a healthy lifestyle. This effort keeps you going and will keep you going a lot longer in a better way to spend time with your family.
So you’ve got to make time, get up earlier.
For people who often use cost as a reason for not joining, what would you say?
You pay for the quality. You pay for the attention you receive. You’re paying to train in a brand new, fantastic facility.
You’re paying for multiple assets for what’s very high quality.
Don’t trivialise what this is doing. It’s not a luxury. It’s actually improving your health, it’s getting you to a place where you’re never going to get in your own, so don’t underestimate the value of what you’re getting.
I didn’t think I had anywhere near enough weight or fat to lose as I did. But now, I’ll not go back to that. So it’s a life-changing event and what impact is that going to have on me in 5, 10 or 20 years time in terms of health? So I don’t look at the cost in that way.
What’s the environment at UP like?
It’s an open and friendly gym. I come here first thing in the morning at 6 am. There’s a mix of people of various abilities; ladies, guys, and everyone is very encouraging.
I’ve actually worked with two of the other guys when there’s been holidays and things - all equally supportive, knowledgeable and enjoyable to train with.
People are often deterred by the price or that it’s too advanced for them, what are your thoughts on this?
There are some really professional guys here at the very top of their game in terms of the training and their advice to you. You do get what you pay for in a top class facility. These courses are for people who seriously want to change their health, their bodies and their lifestyle.
It’s not a cheap thing to do. The cost factor will probably make you think twice about skipping that decision or not getting out of bed. I actually found it a more motivating factor the fact that it was not a cheap thing to do. After paying your fees for the month, I’m going to Make sure I’m going to hit every one and not miss one because I’m serious about what I’m doing.
Have you developed the tools and knowledge to stay in shape after your transformation?
You really become attuned with your body and your diet like you’ve never done before.
It’s knowing how different food groups affect you individually and I’ve learned from doing this now, from wearing different types of food, what it’s going to do to me and how my body will react to it.
If I eat X, Y, or Z, how much water or weight I’ll put on - it’s not necessarily bad weight, I’ll know the reason - because it will absorb more water than a different type of food.
That education helps you better manage your change in the future.
It’s not all about diet and losing weight in the future, it’s getting a healthy balance and before I didn’t know what that balance was.
It wasn’t necessarily eating bad food it was just the wrong quantities, portions or ratios and now I feel much more attuned to that.
Would you recommend UP?
I would recommend UP and have done to friends already for people who are keen to improve themselves.
It might not necessarily be for weight loss, it might be to improve their all-round ability and mobility.
But for people who are serious or who really want to make change, absolutely it’s been an invaluable experience with the trainers.
I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.