Roger Sahonta

"After graduating from University in June 2009, I struggled to find work. I weighed a whopping 22.5 stone, wore waist 44" trousers and XXL size clothes. I had always been a large lad and was generally comfortable with myself. Happy to be fat joker in the pack, who drank lots and ate more. However, after leaving university and experiencing rejection from numerous employers which I can only attribute to my appearance. I always knew I had to lose weight but for the first time in my adult life I wanted to lose weight. This is the biggest differentiator in mind set. I started to train in December 2009, slowly started to lose weight, improved my appearance and my confidence in interviews, as the weight dropped off, I feel it is no coincidence I was able to land my first post graduate job 3 months after starting training. 

My first goal was not to only lose weight, but I wanted to fit in to a football kit which was XL and given to me as present. Once I achieved that goal I set a new one and so on. This approach has helped me as it has ensured I have never been satisfied with how I am and always made me push harder in the gym.

From 2010 – 2014 I lost a lot of weight doing conditioning type circuit training, at one stage I was even doing Thai Boxing. However even though I was losing weight I was not happy with my physique, I felt like I could improve my composition. 

Over time I have worked on improving my composition, I started to lift more and pro-actively do more weight sessions. I cut back on the circuit training, as I new I had to develop muscle. For the first time I was working closely with a training partner and following programmes to improve my composition.

I got to a stage in my training where I had lost 9 stone, but I felt I need to lean out further, lose stubborn body fat and develop muscle. Prior training had always focused on losing weight and my mind set had always been weight loss focused and never focused on developing my physique. Adam understood I had restrictions due to my excess skin on my abdomen after weight loss, however had confidence that I could still look lean and athletic. It was this confidence that Adam displayed, along with his knowledge, and strong catalogue of transformations which persuaded me to train with him. Family and friends who were clients of Adam spoke of his attention to detail and this is what I wanted from a coach. 

Adam envisaged long term goals, these were not just 12 week orientated but where I could be in 12 – 24 months’ time. He sold a journey to me and I was keen to be a part of this journey, one which I have enjoyed ever since I began training with him. 

I have been training with Adam since 2015. However due to Adam’s approachable nature at Ultimate Fitness Birmingham and online content, I was able to incorporate this advice in to my training, however since training closely with Adam the results have accelerated due to the attention to detail provided in personal training sessions.

I now have a passion for fitness, it is an important part of my life so I do ensure I fit it in to my busy schedule. This is due to where I have come from in my fitness journey at the start of a week I will plan my training schedule, realistically looking at what times I can visit the gym and what body part I will need to train. 

Depending on how motivated you are to achieve your goals you will automatically find time to train. When I really wanted to strip body fat and stop wearing size 44 trousers, I made sure I got up at 6am and did fasted cardio for 1 hour, I then made sure I was back in the gym for another session later on in the evening. 

Another decisive factor into finding time to train in your busy lifestyle is enjoyment. I am lucky enough to enjoy training. However many people find the gym as a chore and having that mindset will restrict the development. You need to find something you enjoy at the gym, whether it is traditional weight lifting, conditioning, cross fit or running and do that. However your body will eventually get used to certain exercises that is why I have always evaluated my training to push myself out of my comfort zone.

The best thing I enjoy about training is knowing that with each session I am one step closer to my end goal, at the moment if all goes to plan that goal is to compete at Pure Elite 2017 in the Body Transformation Category. Each session is bringing improvement to me whether it is reducing body fat, increasing strength or bringing an improvement to a body part. 

Due to my success at the gym I also enjoy helping others who have just started their fitness journey and are of a similar build to that I used to be. I offer them advice and where possible try to train with them. I was lucky enough to have a supportive gym social circle that pushed me consistently at the gym and I never felt insecure at the gym even though I was obese. However many people will feel insecure due to their appearance and that is what puts them off from making that change.

For me dieting has to be consistent, my body is used to storing fat, from the age of 9 I constantly over ate, indulging in junk food therefore now if I have a one or two weeks of not watching my diet my body stores the fat because of my history. Mentally it is a struggle but I always think back to what I used to look and feel like and use that as motivation to not slip on my diet. Since training with Adam he has made me find a balance in my nutrition so I am not constantly on low carbs or calories, in my nutritional plan there is room for sensible ‘cheat meals’. This the key aspect I prefer on the nutritional plans I follow is that Adam promotes sanity around dieting. 

In June 2016 I underwent an abdominoplasty to remove 3kg of excess skin due to my weight loss. This surgical procedure meant I was unable to train for approximately 8 weeks this coupled with life throwing various curve balls, meant training and dieting had to take a back seat for the first time in 6 years. Having to accept the fact I could not train due my recovery process or personal commitments was a hard pill to swallow. Over 12 weeks of not being able to train and not being consistent with my diet meant that I have put on approximately 7kg weight and the majority of this has been fat. 

Therefore my current goal is to lose this weight which I have gained due to inconsistent training and not controlling my diet closely. Whilst stripping body fat Adam wants me to focus on building my strength. For 12 weeks I will be on a strength building programme, weight sessions do have 20 minute HIIT workouts incorporated in to them for fat loss purpose. 

The overall goal is to compete in 2017 at Pure Elite in the Male Transformation Category. From now until then there is lots work to do, and a long term plan with certain milestones in place has been developed with the help of Adam to ensure I stay on track to achieve this goal. Primarily I need to build my strength, this has always been an area of weakness of mine. 

Without a doubt I would recommend Adam to anyone interested in transforming their physique. The best thing I like about training with Adam is the fact he does not plan his sessions to break you to the point you feel physically sick. A sensible approach is adopted where he ensures you are working your muscles correctly for maximum mind muscle connection as well as applying the correct form at all times. You walk away from a session more knowledgeable because you are learning how to lift better and train smarter as opposed to walking away from a boot camp style session. 

But before you approach Adam or any personal trainer you need to be prepared to put in the effort with the gym, kitchen, work and social life. Losing all my weight never came about over night and no personal trainer gives you the magic formula. They give you guidance, prepare plans and programmes that if you follow diligently you will achieve your goals. However they will only see you once or twice a week, all the other times you will be on your own. Therefore you need to find your own motivation and make decisions that will help you achieve your goals."