If you’re looking for an impressive example of a males weight loss transformation, then look no further.
This article will take you through the 12 week fitness transformation journey of a FORM user, and should inspire you on your own journey to success.
From Lean to Extreme – Starting my 12 Week Body Transformation
12 weeks ago, I set myself a challenge to see how lean I could possibly get by following a FORM 12 Week Body Transformation program. In that time, I managed to lose a whopping 33 pounds, a shocking amount of body fat and learn a lot about both my body, and the human body in general.
Here are the results from my 12 week body transformation:
If you choose to climb Mount Everest, run a marathon or cycle the length of the country, you do it to challenge yourself, even if the moments along the way are painful. Now, I’m not comparing what I did to climbing Mount Everest (although it felt like I was at some points), but I knew that what I was attempting to do wouldn’t necessarily improve my life or health in the short term. So, you may be asking yourself why did I bother doing this 12-week transformation? Well, that is a very good question!
So, here’s my experience of male weight loss transformation, and what I will take away from my journey.
My experience of the fitness industry
I have been a person trainer for over 11 years, which means that I have seen countless trends come and go in the health and fitness industry. From functional training and cave man style diets, to eating anything with the word protein on the label, or performing booty exercises on every piece of gym equipment, I’ve seen it all.
Today’s trend is all about the 12 week body transformation, and having impressive before and after pictures to share across social media. It’s amazing how a 40 year old man who has never had a gym membership in his life can transform from the classic dad bod to Brad Pitt in Fight Club after just 12 weeks.
The constant question though: are these 12 week body transformations real, and what is their impact on society?
With my experience as a personal trainer and 15 years of gym attendance, I believe that these examples of male weight loss transformations are poisoning the health and fitness industry. The first name of the industry says it all – health. This should always be at the forefront of everything we do, instead of focusing on social media posts.
Why did I pursue my 12 Week Body Transformation?
Previously, I had only trained for sport performance reasons. I had only learnt about fat loss via educational content, and I was encouraging my clients to follow a process that I had never experienced for myself. I had never gone through a phase of weight loss because I had never really needed to.
When I started this process, I didn’t really need to lose weight either, but I wanted to appreciate how difficult losing weight really is, and I wanted to understand what it takes to drastically change your body shape in a short period of time. For me, it was important that I learn from this experience so that I could become a better personal trainer and be of even greater benefit to my clients.
You can read all of the books, attend all the seminars, and gain all of the qualifications that you want, but nothing beats having hands on experience and practical knowledge gained from participating in a challenge yourself – so this is what I did with the 12 week body transformation.
It’s difficult to respect a coach or trainer if they have never played the game themselves, so I felt I owed it to my clients. I also love a challenge – I love to see how far I can push both my mental and physical limits.
We’ve seen a shift in the industry, especially in the type of customer enquiries we’re receiving here at FORM. Many people want a 12 week body transformation, because the dramatic change and short timescale is appealing to them. It sounds easier – how difficult can a 12 week commitment be?
For me, the commitment wasn’t the difficult part – perhaps that’s just because I’m a stubborn and determined person. However, the process itself was definitely not easy.
My 12 Week Body Transformation Experience
Weeks 0-5 of my 12 week body transformation
For the first 4-5 weeks of my 12 week body transformation, I actually enjoyed the process and didn’t find it too difficult. My calorie intake was dropped, but they started at a very high level so the change wasn’t too difficult to cope with.
I trained with weights 4 times a week, with cardio training on the days in between. Since I retired from professional sport, I hadn’t completed any regular cardiovascular training which was now on the program for the next 12 weeks. With this new change, I realised how enjoyable it can be to go out for a run, and exercise beyond the house or the gym.
My weight also dropped quite nicely during this phase of my male weight loss transformation. I lost weight at a rate of approximately 2 pounds per week, but I didn’t find this particularly inspiring or motivating because I didn’t look much leaner.
Weeks 5-8 of my 12 week body transformation
These were the weeks where things started to ramp up (and the calories went down!). Food allowances dropped, and as a result, so did my energy levels.
I also had a few social events during these weeks, and they felt a little bit awkward. At one point, I attended a charity ball, and didn’t know many of the attendees, and the majority of people were rather intoxicated – alcohol has calories, so no drinking for me. There was also a point where I stayed with a friend for the weekend, and whilst I was there I stayed on track with my 12 week body transformation meal prep – my friends claimed to understand, but I think deep down they were convinced I was crazy.
My training ramped up at this point too – the time that I needed to exercise throughout the weeks became challenging, as I’d find myself alone in the Salford gym on a Friday evening so that I could get the 45 minute bike ride in.
The good thing was that I was losing pounds – I lost weight rather drastically over these weeks, and I felt leaner. Unfortunately though, I didn’t feel like the results were worth the level of effort at this point during the 12 week body transformation.
Weeks 9-11 of my 12 week body transformation
Another phase brought another lowering of my calorie intake – I was limited to 1000 calories on non-training days, and was allowed 1700 on the days that I was training. I can’t remember a time when I ever ate this little during the day!
In addition to the calorie challenges, I was pushed to my physical limits during this phase of the transformation. I needed to complete 45 minutes of cardiovascular training every day, lift weights 4 times a week, and walk 10,000 steps every day.
Coffee became the only thing giving me any sense of personality or animation, and I experienced ‘hanger’ (anger caused by hunger) for the first time.
This was the point where things became really challenging and difficult – going for a run on a cold Sunday evening with just 750 calories to sustain you, and knowing you can only have 250 more when you finish, is really not fun. However, this is the phase of the 12 week body transformation where most people fail, so I kept reminding myself of this to help me push forward.
I realised that it was important for me to enjoy the process as well as the end results, but this male weight loss transformation was putting a strain on my relationships, and I was struggling to be productive at work. It wasn’t that I was too lazy to go to work, or that I didn’t want to talk to my girlfriend, but I was just so exhausted that I didn’t have the energy reserves to do these things. It felt like my body was shutting down.
Surprisingly, my motivation was quite high during these weeks – I was in the final weeks, and I could see the end in sight, plus my results were becoming visible. I could see muscles that I’d never seen before, and I was definitely visibly leaner.
Week 12 of my 12 week body transformation
This week wasn’t as bad as I had thought it would be, except for Wednesday. I had a photoshoot coming up on the Saturday, and the Wednesday before this was definitely the worst day that I experienced during my male weight loss transformation journey. If I wasn’t so close to the finish line, I believe there was a good chance that I may have quit the plan.
On this Wednesday, I sat in a really important meeting with the fourth coffee of the day in my hand – caffeine didn’t seem to be having any effect on me that day. My concentration and patience were at an all time low, but I knew the end was near. I was ready for the photo shoot to be over, and to devour the burger that I had planned for the Saturday evening.
What did the 12 Week Body Transformation teach me?
This entire process taught me how stubborn I can be, how easy it is to lose weight with the right attitude, and what it takes to get super, super lean. My male weight loss transformation also taught me the skills needed to complete this transformation, and some really useful tips that I could pass onto my clients:
- It’s essential to make sacrifices
- Being hungry is okay!
- Having a good support network is critical to success
- Stubbornness helps!
- 12 weeks is definitely harder than 18
- Have a long term plan once the program finishes to maintain results
- Find an accountability partner
- A programme this extreme is not maintainable, and isn’t really healthy
The biggest lesson I learnt from this 12 week body transformation was that in a world of weak minds and self pity, you’re the only one who can make a change for yourself. You can only achieve this with hard work and discipline – nothing more and nothing less. Now, I know that I am capable of far more than I ever believed possible.
If you want to achieve something, you need to be fully committed to the process by making sacrifices – and stop making all of those different excuses! This is true for any goal, whether it’s to get lean, improve your heart health, drop a couple of dress sizes, or run a marathon. Trust the plan, and take each day at a time for long term success.
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