"I’ve been training with Adam for a couple of years now and I’ve learnt a lot about nutrition and training along the way, but my progress has been inconsistent and I’ve never come close to the physique that I want for a number of reasons (or excuses). The primary reason was a lack of self-belief – I didn’t really think I could achieve a great physique and you could say that I wasn’t really prepared to put in the necessary effort. The excuse I told myself was “it’s genetic, out of shape runs in the family (as does high blood pressure, stroke and heart attacks)”.
My diet was inconsistent. Combine this with a stressful couple of years both in my personal and professional life and I had some great excuses. Consequently, my photos from when I first started training with Adam (I’d describe myself as ‘skinny-fat’ at that time) compared with my photos before I started the 12-week challenge (I’d describe myself as fat and out of shape) don’t really show progression towards my goal and can best be described as a nutritional misadventure.
I’ve had ups and downs, and at times I’ve thrown in the towel, sent text messages to Adam saying “I can’t do this anymore”, I’ve walked out of the gym mid-set etc. (proper drama queen sometimes). But throughout this time, Adam continued to encourage me, send me nutrition plans and train me three times a week. He was honest: “you need to train more, Manoher”, he would say or, “get to the gym four times a week” or “be consistent with your nutrition” etc. to be fair he also sent me post workout text messages saying “well trained today, Manoher”. In other words, even when I thought I couldn’t do more he would encourage me to do more – ergo, he believed I could do it.
So what changed? Why did I do the 12-week challenge? The reason is simple, I was rapidly edging towards 40 and I had been dreaming of achieving a great physique since I was an underweight, skinny teenager. Did I really want to enter middle age looking and feeling terrible? No! So, I decided that I wanted to be in the best shape of my life at 40 and beyond. I shared this with Adam and he was determined that I was going to reach my goal. So we resolved to do the 12-week challenge and I mean ‘we’ because Adam worked really closely with me and I couldn’t have done it without him.
When the 12-week challenge started Adam asked us to take a before photo and weigh ourselves. He set up a secret Facebook group and invited everyone on the 12-week challenge to join it. It allowed him to keep in contact with us and before long we’d all got to know each other. I can honestly say that having the support of a group of people on the same journey was invaluable throughout the entire process.
Adam sent out training and nutrition plans to everyone via email. He was available to us all the time via, Facebook and emails so we had all of the professional support that we needed. What surprised me about the individual nutrition plan was that it was tailored specifically for me. Adam had taken my shortcomings in following nutritional plans into account. He gave me different options for each meal and included a Carbkilla bar and 85% dark chocolate in the plan which made it feel like I was getting a daily treat to satisfy those cravings.
The hardest thing about following the training and nutrition programme is staying motivated when you’re tired, had a hard day or when you’re feeling ill. But you have to be strong, which I wasn’t on occasions when the craving for cheese on toast got the better of me. But most of the time I stuck to the plan because I didn’t want to get to the end of the process and think that I could have tried harder. I made the meals as tasty as I could, making sure that I hit all of my macros and without adding extra calories. This was really important for me because I knew that in the past the reason I’ve not stuck to a diet plan is because the food has been bland. So I learnt to cook using herbs and spices.
Having Adam waiting for me at the gym meant that I had to get up and train and at times I just wanted to lie in. In the 12 weeks I don’t think we missed a training session. Adam adjusted the training to take into account my lower back injury so I wasn’t doing deadlifts and back squats, but that didn’t make the workouts any easier. I must admit, doing lunges in the street with chains around my neck was great fun because I had an audience… we took photos so I could see how ‘hench’ I looked. I even bought short-shorts and leggings.
12 weeks go by very quickly, and as the photoshoot approached we were given peak week nutrition plans. Adam basically prepped us as though we were going to compete on stage. The biggest decisions to make for me were, what colour turban to wear and what clothes to take to the shoot. I got a little carried away and bought new underpants - because you know, I’m a muscle model now! I couldn’t really decide on what to take with me so I ended up with a boot full of clothes!
At Matt Marsh’s studio, Adam put me through a short workout. I was really nervous. But having the others on the challenge there to talk to really helped me to relax. I’m really glad that Adam was there, he had some good ideas for the photos and to be honest I didn’t really know what I was doing. Matt was great with giving direction and it didn’t take long before I was having fun – I may have enjoyed it a little too much. You’ll be thankful to know that we ran out of time so we couldn’t take any nude photos. What I hadn’t anticipated was just how much hard work it was going to be, breathing, smiling, flexing, showing off my abs. This modelling malarkey isn’t easy. It gave me a new appreciation of how difficult it must be to perform on a competition stage.
The entire 12-week journey has been amazing, not only did I find out what I was capable of, but I also made new friends… we’re still in touch post-shoot, supporting each other and having some banter on WhatsApp.
I’d say the 12-week challenge is a great way to set a short term goal and achieve it, and with Adam as your coach you will achieve it. I’ve had other personal trainers and what stands out about Adam is his work ethic, commitment to his clients, his nutrition and training knowledge, and professionalism. He knows his stuff. But there is one lesson I’ve learned from Adam which has changed my outlook in life - consistency is the key to success. In short, he’s become a good friend and role model and I couldn’t recommend him enough as a coach. I’m planning on doing another 12-week photoshoot challenge in a year’s time. We’ve already set new goals and started working on areas I want to develop so watch this space."