Getting in the best shape of your life can happen in a matter of weeks.

Paddy took just 11 weeks to forge his dream physique at Ultimate Performance after years of average results in commercial gyms.

He was always in good shape for his age, but work stress, a wedding and a three-week-long holiday in Asia had taken its toll on his body and he wanted it back. 

The real difference was made by having one of UP's expert personal trainers create a tailored nutrition and training plan for him and push him beyond what he thought was capable of.

This is what create such an exceptional body transformation for Paddy in a matter of weeks. Now he has a holiday body he can be proud of…

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"I knew my way around a gym, knew diets, ate pretty well, and was at that level where I thought if I could just focus for two or three months I could get myself in decent nick," he says.

"It goes to show when you're getting that right guidance you can make these really significant changes to the way you look and the way you feel."

Paddy had tried every diet going, knew about healthy eating and was au fait with the gym – but it was the consistency, accountability and the keen eye of a master trainer he needed to bring it all together to get him the incredible physique he wanted. 

In just 11 weeks he dropped 4kg and saw shredded body fat to reveal his abs – an outstanding result.

But the thing that surprised Paddy most was how the training and diet was simple to follow and fit seamlessly into his life.

"The incremental changes have been quite small, but putting them all together, the speed of progress is amazing. 

"It goes to show when you're getting that right guidance you can make these really significant changes to the way you look and the way you feel, but on your part it involves very little."

Paddy explains here how the training at UP was devastatingly effective at helping him build muscle and how his trainer's nutritional know-how helped him shred off the fat to reveal his incredible physique….

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What was it that made you come to UP?

Like a lot of guys, I've had a gym membership all my adult life and could probably tell you about most diets and how they work. 

I always thought I was in good shape. But I always thought I'm probably 8-10 weeks from being in really good shape.  But I never stuck to a diet properly or maybe giving up because I didn't see results quite quickly. 

Then last year, a combination of getting married and a stressful job, and then finishing the year going on a three-week-long holiday in Asia…while I was out there, I had noticed then that the person who thought he was in good shape, I had probably started looking on par for my age now. 

I thought 'I'm going to do something about it.'

So I resolved to myself that when I get back I'm actually going to do it and get in really decent shape. 

Had you done weight training before you came to UP? 

I knew my way around a gym and could name you most exercises. It wasn't like I was wasting my time in the gym, but over time it's quite easy to get into a routine. Maybe the intensity isn't there. 

For me, it was a combination of that and the diet thing. 

I could name you loads of different diets and I've probably tried them all. 

It's quite easy for people to get disillusioned when after a couple of weeks you might actually be onto something that is working for your body, but you don't see visible changes and so you don't continue with it. 

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What was different about UP's approach to training and diet than what you had done before? 

It's weird. I thought I knew my way around a gym. But it was little things on some of the core exercises were very different. 

Little things where you'll read it in a magazine or have most gym instructors tell you if you're doing bench press you have to keep your back flat to the bench. 

But you come here and you learn that they say absolutely not. 

Arch your back up, shoulder blades together and start doing the exercise with literally no weight in your hands – 'Wow! I can actually feel my chest working here!'  

Then with the diet, it wasn't anything revolutionary; it was actually kept quite simple. 

The first week was low carbohydrate. There was a meal plan which you can do some substitutes with. 

With things like portion control, it's amazing how you can get that so very wrong. Especially with calorie-dense foods – you have to be so careful with that. 

So getting routine and discipline in place, getting a structured meal plan and then because you're getting measured every week with callipers in 15 different places, having that and then the next week being told 'all your measurements are coming down' is great. You know this diet is working for you. 

It's amazing what that does for you just in the space of a week. 

That is something I wouldn't be able to see myself in the mirror, but having someone tell you that, who is making a log of it and saying 'all your measurements are coming down. 

Did you find the workouts were intense at UP? 

The training was so far removed from that bodybuilding-style where you go in and hammer chest one day and then repeat again a week later. 

It was at first split upper body/lower body supersets which are exhausting. 

I was never at the point where I felt physically sick. It was never that you dreaded coming back to sessions. It was always the right balance. 

At the end of the workout you feel exhausted; you are sweating; you feel like you've done a proper session. 

Having had all those years in a gym where you'd go along for a session and you'd get home and your other half says 'you don't even look like you've sweat'. 

You realise then that you're perhaps are not pushing yourself the way you should. 

Getting to the end of the workout where you're genuinely exhausted and you've got a good muscle pump and when you're making progress on the weights, and that's coupled with hit measurements coming down, it all feeds into that feeling that the training is going well.

Paddy 11-week transformation

Did you learn and benefit from the knowledge at UP?

Definitely. The little tweaks like having carbs in the evening, seems like a simple thing and it flies in the face of the majority of what you will read, something like that you wouldn't initiate of your own accord. 

Little things like measuring food. Knowing how to introduce carbohydrates into your training and when to have it. 

That's all been really useful and I've seen the way my body has responded to it. 

Also, it's not the form of diet where you're having to measure and weigh every single thing. Just make sure if you're having your salmon in the morning, it weighs 200g 

You don't need to measure out all the veg. It's something that's practical and that you can then take forward. The idea here is not that you're using these trainers for the rest of your life, day in, day out. 

It should be that you come out of it and you're able to structure your own sessions and you're able to follow the diet. 

The changes to the diet have been manageable and definitely something that I feel I can take forward. 

The fact you can do that and then going forward maintain that decent physique while eating sensibly, that has been really useful learning that. 

The problem with most diets is that people use them as a quick fix. Actually, while they're on them they know that that's not sustainable. 

Did you find the diet had an effect on you? 

There were definitely benefits I noticed. For example getting your head around in the morning for breakfast you're not having sugary stuff. 

By sugary stuff, I don't mean just having a bowl of Frosties. I also mean carbohydrate-based breakfast. 

Getting your head around the fact that having salmon or steak for breakfast is a bit weird and your house will smell weird at weird times in the morning, but what I found was that if I had salmon and green vegetables for breakfast you wouldn't instantly feel what your body thinks of as 'awake'. 

But what you come to realise when you think you're waking up, that's actually your blood sugar level going up as you have your muesli or granola. What I found whereas normally if I have that at 6 am in the morning, by the time I've cycled to work and it gets to 930-10am, there no way I can get to lunch without having some form of snack.

Whereas with the salmon and green vegetables, you didn't feel yourself waking up as quickly because your blood sugar levels weren't rising as quickly but you were satiated and you could get through to midday no problem. 

So six hours without food for someone who is quite labrador-like with food was actually normally quite challenging. 

But this way it was amazing the difference it made. Your energy levels were more stable right through until lunch. 

Paddy 11-week transformation

When did you first start seeing results in the mirror or in the gym?

We would do a weigh-in before a session. I noticed my weight decreased for the first couple of weeks and then pretty much plateaued. 

But my measurements kept coming down. It's the holy grail, isn't it?

You're trying to change your body composition, not your weight. Actually what the scales are showing you isn't important. 

It's about what's happening to your body composition.  

The first two or three weeks for me it was less noticeable visibly. But having that reassurance that you're actually making really really good progress. That was great. 

I did the first photo then under the same light, same shorts, same everything, at the end of the session – when those photos are put side by side you can notice little things around your waist or places you're predisposed to store fat, you can see things are a bit slimmer. 

Then at work, after five or six weeks, I did have people saying 'your face looks thinner.' 

Little things on a daily basis you don't notice but then having people saying 'Hey! You look like you've lost weight'. 

After six weeks you do another photo you start to see abs poking through a bit. That's the first time ever and I was like 'Wow! This is really working!'

When you get something like that it spurs you on a bit more. 

Have you found the holistic approach to sleep patterns, diet and lifestyle has helped?

Yes definitely. All of that feeds in. If you're not sleeping well for a bit you can maybe get away with it, but that feeds into how well you train, that you're more likely to get injured, that if you're tired you're more likely to make bad food choices, so they all do combine. 

So it's really important that the trainer is fully invested in all those areas of your life. 

They're only with you three or four hours a week, but they're always available by email and my trainer Adam would always be emailing me proactively. 

It's little things like emailing him my weight every morning when I got close to the end. 

He would send me plans of how to structure eating, training plans, which days were going to be low carb days and which were going to be high carb days. 

It's that constant interaction, that even though you're only with them three or four hours physically, actually there's a constant dialogue with them. That means you don't compartmentalise it and just see it as three or four hours a week where you focus on diet and training and then the rest of the time I'm on my own. 

If you're more aware of it more of the time it means that when you're making food choices, for example, you're more likely to make the right ones. 

What were the most challenging parts?

The most challenging was probably the diet – because that's the thing that is 168 hours a week as opposed to just three hours pushing yourself in the gym. 

Everyone can push themselves in the gym, particularly if you've got a good trainer there too; it's not finding the time for the training, it's fitting in the diet. 

You do come to realise that so much of your social life revolves around food and drink. It's a sociable thing – you eat out with friends and you drink. 

It's not a case of going out and drinking 15 pints – I don't tend to do that anymore. It's more meeting friends after work and having a few beers. If you're in a maintenance phase and you're just trying to keep your physique in line, you can manage that. 

But if you're trying to make noticeable changes and lose body fat, then that you have to be more careful with and thoughtful around. 

That's where the challenges are. 

For me, having a desk job, the diet at work was actually fine. 

Most people pop out for a sandwich at Pret or Eat, but you can go to somewhere like M&S and make smarter food choices with your diet. 

You're not eating something totally at odds with what everyone else is eating and it's not like we go out for lunches all the time. 

That part of it is quite manageable; it's more the socialising aspect. That's where all the dangers are. 

You go out, have a few drinks and think 'I'll just have X' and before you know it you've put away 2,000 calories. 

It goes back to portion control. You come to realise that bad foods or foods you buy from restaurants or fast food chains are very calorie dense and it's very easy, especially if you're trying to lose weight and shave 500 calories off a day, to just have a burger and completely blow it. 

What has surprised you most?

The thing that has taken me aback if I actually step back and analyse what I've done, it's not been a life overhaul. 

I've not had to start going to bed two hours earlier or change every food I like or give up an aspect of my life. 

The incremental changes have been quite small, but putting them all together, the speed of progress is amazing. 

It goes to show when you're getting that right guidance you can make these really significant changes to the way you look and the way you feel, but on your part it involves very little. 

It's a bit of smart eating and training a bit harder and just having a bit of guidance on things like food choices and training. 

For me, I wasn't being sent away and told to do 10 cardio sessions a week. 

There's wasn't much more I had to do beyond the three hard training sessions I did at UP. 

This shows to me that when I'm done and when I'm in a maintenance phase, I actually don't need to be in the gym seven times a week, because people who don't go to the gym and see someone with a good physique must think 'oh he must spend all his life in the gym.' 

But what you realise it's smart eating and smart training just three hours a week.

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