Ralph Puts His Trust in the UP Process
by UP Fitness, August 30, 2017
UP Client of the Month Ralph has been on a incredible journey of development, discipline, and self-discovery.
Before he started at Ultimate Performance, he described himself as being in 'poor shape,' and knew he had let the complacency of his lifestyle get the better of him. Then he saw the results posted by UP, and saw it as challenge: he wanted the results he saw others getting for themselves, and being naturally competitive he wanted a transformation as good as, if not better, than those in the pictures. By the time his transformation was complete his body fat dropped by almost half; that's an incredible achievement! The testimonial of his intense 16 week transformation is below.
What were your expectations going into the programme and what were your motivations?
I've grown up playing a lot of sports and have spent some time in the gym before, so I had some pretty high expectations going into the programme. I knew from past experience I could push myself (at least I thought I did!) and being naturally competitive I wanted to be as good as or better than the before/after shots previously posted by UP! Aside from that, my main motivation was to stop being fat and become the best version of myself since it had crossed my mind that I was not getting any younger!
Can you tell me how you were feeling both physically and mentally before starting with UP?
Honestly, I was a 'fat fatty' prior to starting with UP. I'm quite tall so this tends to hide or lessen the 'tubbiness' but there's no denying I was in pretty poor shape – I was about 10kgs over my regular weight and very weak. Mentally, my confidence was low and I was more motivated to figure out what my dessert that night was going to be then go work out or do some exercise. On a more serious note, in hindsight I'd say I was heading down a slippery slope to being quite unhappy and sad.
What was your diet and lifestyle like before you started your transformation with UP?
In the past I've generally 'nerded out' on the nutrition side of things and have been pretty good in that department. However, just prior to starting with UP I was eating everything and anything. I was addicted to sugar and although I exercised a bit, I was putting on more weight. I had a sedentary lifestyle which mostly consisted of eating, working and sleeping – not the healthiest by any means.
How did your diet and lifestyle change when you started your transformation with UP?
In the beginning it was tough. The smart people at UP always say to 'trust in the process' and I was probably guilty of giving myself too much leeway in the beginning, however after a few weeks I became fully committed to the point where I feel my diet was 'dialed in'. I began eating clean, cooking ALL my meals and really paying attention to what I was putting in my mouth. I saved a lot of money not eating out and became very good at making simple but delicious meals. In terms of lifestyle, I now make it a priority now to train and eat well. I take care of myself and make decisions about what I'm going to do based on how I'm going to feel after. All of this leads to being more relaxed and generally living a happier and healthier lifestyle.
What effect did this have on your health, performance, lifestyle and energy inside and outside the gym?
I think I'm a lot healthier now than I was before. Decreasing bodyfat and eating clean has no doubt reduced stress on my body. I'm a lot less bloated (and inflamed) than I was before. During the program I'd say my energy levels were probably much lower – mostly because I was so tired from training! But after a couple days rest, I feel I'm stronger and generally a better human being inside and out.
How did you find the training and did it fit around your busy lifestyle?
I had to tinker around with finding the optimum training time for me. I think everyone's different but I found for myself, the best time to train was in the morning. I took a lot of satisfaction knowing I had completed the hardest task of my day before the day had really started. Making time in the morning just required waking up and going to bed earlier than usual, which was not an impossible adjustment to make. What were your results like after your transformation? Pretty good! In terms of looks I'm stoked with the drop in bodyfat. In terms of strength I am a lot stronger than I was before. I feel I still have a long way to go – I have goals to improve my squat and lift heavier but for this first phase I am really, very satisfied.
What were the most important things you learned during your journey and what really worked for you in helping you make your transformation?
Probably the most important thing I learned during this journey was that it takes real discipline to get serious results. Training for an hour in the gym is tough and getting yourself to the gym is already a big win – however the real challenge is not the training – it's the 90% of the time spent outside of the gym and making sure you're eating the right foods, getting enough sleep and letting your body recover and grow. I found planning your meals for the week and spending time doing food prep on a Sunday is super important. (Also having sufficient Tupperware to take meals to work is critical!) Lastly, focusing on the 'wind-down' each night, turning off electronics and setting a regular bed time also helped me greatly with getting enough sleep.
How has doing this transformation changed you and do you think it will benefit you going forward?
As cliched as it sounds I've become a stronger person as a result of my UP program. I'm more self aware and I'm making smarter decisions when it comes to my training and diet. Moving forward I hope to live to 120 and be deadlifting 200 when I'm 50 but that's just my optimistic self now. I'll have to consult with my trainer, Leonard and go from there!
Would you recommend UP and why?
Yes, absolutely! If you want to get serious about your training and become a better, stronger human being then I can't recommend it enough. If you're like me and have some knowledge about training and nutrition but want to improve and learn new things then I would say the investment you make at UP will be greatly justified. I also highly recommend my trainer Leonard Van Santen, and the rest of the team at UP Sydney who have done an excellent job thus far!
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