You’ve done your fad diet, been on your annual trip to the sun, drunk too much and eaten even more, morphing from beach seal to beached whale in a week. This was me a couple of months ago. The only silver lining of being back to work? I could eat like a Queen again because my week in a bikini was over and it was nearly time for jumper season.
I am now addicted to UP Fitness
My partner (Craig) had other plans. Within days of us touching back down in Manchester, we were sat in the consultation room at Ultimate Performance with Head Personal Trainer, Mark. He was on a mission to shed some serious weight before an upcoming operation that would leave him inactive for a period. Over copious amounts of holiday sangria, I’d agreed to join in the fun. Let’s just say the hangover was kicking in…
I think of myself as a fairly healthy eater and I trained 3 times a week at my local gym doing the usual classes and cardio sessions. The weekends were my let down – Indian takeaways and too much red wine.
I had heard a lot about UP Fitness, but I didn’t think it was for me. Here’s why:
- It’s ‘too expensive’ for me
- If I train with weights, I’ll look like a man
- It looks scary
We handed over £399 each and felt overwhelmed but excited. Our 20 sessions were going to be spread over six weeks. The figure is daunting but you’re not paying for gym membership, you’re paying to drastically change your lifestyle and your body within a six week period. Plus, if you break it down, it’s £20 per session which is cheaper than many personal trainer rates in the city centre.
Before our first session began, we were weighed, measured and posed for those all-important Before Photos. Yuk.
Exercises at UP Fitness are based around weight training with free weights and also machines. They look scary, but once you’re shown how to use them it becomes second nature.
There were four of us in the first session with Matt (max. six per class) which included pull downs, chest press, goblet squats (squats with your heels raised holding a kettle bell or Dumbbell in front of the body to you and me), leg extensions and lateral raises. We also had to use the Watt Bike (think spin class) and Ski Erg – a machine that replicates the skiing motion. This is where the cardio and resistance comes in.
Being a gym bunny, I thought I would cope quite well with the class, the first round was almost a doddle and I barely broke a sweat. Oh, how I regretted being so cocky. By the third round, having been pushed to my limit on the watt bike, I wasn’t sure I could remain standing and my partner had gone outside for air. With Matt’s motivation, we recuperated and pushed on for the fourth and final round.
The session was a revelation. I’ve never seen PTs work like this. Matt constantly reminded us to squeeze - I’ve squeezed muscles in my body where I only thought there was flab. Their emphasis is on posture and precision not to do 34,495 reps in a minute. Slow and steady wins the race.
After the 45 minute session, there was fifteen minutes for advice and questions. In this time Matt explained that on a daily basis we needed to track our daily weight, sleep, food, mood, positives, negatives, cravings and (for me) menstrual cycle.
A key to the six week programme is food prep. UP give you a meal plan to work from based on your body weight. Essentially you cut out carbs and eat little and often. On a typical day we would have:
Breakfast – Pint of water with lemon and 4 eggs scrambled mixed with onions, peppers, tomatoes for taste
AM snack – Chicken & veg
Lunch – Pork salad
PM snack – hummus & celery/nuts (if it was a training day, this would be cut out and a post-training protein shake would be put in instead)
Tea – Chicken & veg/ salad
I’m not going to lie, meal prep is hard but it really is worth it. My tip, replicate your evening meal for the next day’s AM snack and lunch. Then you’re only prepping food once a day. At first the food seemed very bland but James, another UP trainer, explained that salt, pepper and garlic can make a world of difference. He also said to use common sense with our meals; the food programme wasn’t a Bible but a guideline.
Being on this journey as a couple, it was good to have someone to go through the process with, to share the pain of the gruelling sessions and to take it in turns on the meal prep. However, there were moments, particularly half-way through where we were both tired, hungry and ratty. Half-way is the hardest point, you’re the furthest point in but you still have just as far to go so keeping up your motivation is important.
Craig struggled with weighing himself daily as did I but he was more disheartened. The daily fluctuations are frustrating but can be affected by stress, water intake and toilet trips. We brought this up with Matt who said to look at the weight change over a one-week period and you’ll see it slowly dropping. Don’t get too hung up on the numbers
Cake. All I wanted was cake for six weeks. Craig wanted sandwiches.
Matt explained that if we were to do a prolonged period at UP, your moods and cravings are tracked so your meal plans can be tailored to counteract the urge for a bacon butty.
With each session at UP I genuinely felt stronger and leaner. I was upping my weights each session and whichever trainer took the session constantly pushed you for 45 minutes. When my mind said ‘No’, Matt said ‘Yes’ and my body somehow came through.
Personally, I am now addicted to UP Fitness. I have booked on for another 6 weeks to carry on my transformation. Craig’s operation was successful and he’s also planning to do another 6 weeks once he’s recovered. And as the saying goes, couples that train together, stay together…
If you go to the gym and aren’t seeing results, or hate the gym and want a new challenge, UP Fitness will give you what you want. It’ll be the best money you’ve ever parted with.
So, after 6 weeks, 20 sessions and lots of protein, here are our results:
Start date - 28.3% body fat - 73.8kg bodyweight
Finish date - 23.9% body fat - 69kg bodyweight
Start date - 48.6% body fat - 104.6kg bodyweight
Finish date - 36.8% body fat - 96.8kg bodyweight
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