Darren Johnson/Ultimate Performance
Darren Johnson, who lives in London and works in investment banking, gained weight during the pandemic and a football injury exacerbated the problem. In order to regain a healthy weight and reduce the stress on his lower back, he decided he needed a little help. Here, he says men health How did he do that.
I’ve noticed my weight gain during the pandemic and haven’t been able to get it under control despite dieting and exercise. Later, I tore my ligaments playing football, which made me less active and I soon reached a weight of 100 kg. I’ve only been there once before when I had a herniated disc in my lower back which resulted in severe back pain. And then there was the Euro final when I put on my new mid-size England shirt, which historically would fit well, and found it was so tight it was hard to take off one of those bodypaint shirts differentiate.
So my goals were twofold. First, I wanted to lose weight and most importantly, help reduce the strain on my back. Second, I wanted to tone down and get physical results I couldn’t get before, like seeing if it’s possible to get some pecs. Also, I wanted to learn more about nutrition, nutrition, and the best supplements to support fitness training. And finally, the holy grail for me was to see if I could learn to sustain results without living like a monk.
Darren Johnson/Ultimate Performance
I applied for a transfer at London City Gym by Ultimate Performance and got to work. The pain in my sciatica was terrible: it took me 10 minutes to get out of bed and many everyday activities, like wearing socks or getting into the car, were incredibly painful. Back pain can also be very draining mentally, as can sleep pain, lest there be defeat. That’s how I was when I started and something my coach kept in mind as we went on.
I lost 14 pounds in my first two weeks despite having back spasms early in my program which meant I had to take a week off weights. My trainer, Rees, quickly revised my plans so I could still make progress, including my nutrition plan.
I didn’t find my pre-programmed diet that bad, despite my love of pizza. Most of the time my eyes were bigger than my stomach. I’ve learned a lot working with the program and Rees has really given me a great foundation for understanding nutrition, from the basics of macros to supplement guidance to the realities of food prep. Keeping track of food and knowing what I’m putting into my body helped take things to the next level and held me accountable when I wanted to get lost.
If you don’t have the time or inclination to cook your own food – yes, I am – doing a fitness food prep business for you is really worth it. I couldn’t have done it without customizing my macros and getting someone else to do the work for me. This should be considered when determining the best and most realistic diet and nutritional approach for your needs.
I had never done a program like this before, so I was also excited to learn a lot about the workout. Proper technique is a big deal; I learned very quickly that I had poor form on many exercises, which meant I was less efficient and more likely to injure myself. He was an eye opener. I started going to the gym regularly 2-3 times a week, along with daily cardio.
Even just running helped avoid a calorie surplus and kept me moving. And one trainer has pushed my sessions to an intensity level I’ve never done before – training with Reece was probably 50 percent more intense than anything I’ve ever done, and I’m sure I could. This helped me a lot in getting the results. I did it within the deadline. I’m still working on maintaining that level of motivation myself.
In all, working with Rees and UP, I lost 16 kg (35 pounds) and dropped 5 inches from my waist. My body fat percentage went from 26 percent to 11 percent. I came out of it feeling stronger, fitter and leaner than ever. To cite just one example, when I started I could do three or four pull-ups, now I can do four sets of 10 reps.
Looking back, I see how well this program worked for someone like me who came to it looking for knowledge, inspiration and accountability. Anyone who wants that structure would really benefit from a program. And if you’re not sure if it’s for you — if it sounds too “manly” or pretentious — then I think when you see all the different types of people that work, it should show that nobody is really does. Can do.
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