Men nationwide have finally
begun admitting their insecurities with their bodies, but with over a third
willing to give a year of their life for an ideal physique what does it
Kris Gethin, ‘People often
ask me what I think my worst body part is? But they never seem to understand
that I’m too busy fixing it to answer’.
It’s 5am. You’d think it was midnight, still dark outside, drunken students still
wandering town after falling out of Camel. There’s a hard knock at my door and
it suddenly swings open. ‘Come on Mikey, get up mate’ my flatmate Sam wakes me
up for our morning cardio. I roll out of bed in my gym shorts, stumble into the
kitchen to mix up a protein shake and within 5min we’re outside. My eyes still
half closed, the brisk air quickly waking me up. 3 Miles later we’ve looped
down and along the beach back through town and into the gym for the days
training session. Then back home for egg whites on toast and its only 7am.
So a recent survey from Bristol University has God forbid highlighted men’s
insecurity with our bodies. 4 in every 5 men ‘regularly engage in conversation
about another’s body’ and most of these men are also unhappy with their body.
Meanwhile in a newsagent not far away Men’s Health has begun out selling the FHM
and LOADED. Now whilst you would be a fool to realise that these facts go hand
in hand it begs the question. What are we using Men’s Health for if we’re all
still unhappy with our bodies? I mean, they promise everything in 6 sometimes
even 4 weeks and Men’s Health became the market leader 3 years ago. Now seeing
that said survey also notes that 35% of men would sacrifice a year of their
life for the ideal physique my curiosity is wandering.
Or should that be got me wondering 11 Weeks ago my flatmate (Sam) and me began our
‘Transformation’ shall we say. A 12-week deadline in order to dramatically go
for broke and transform our bodies from the booze demolished, pizza saturated
lumps we’d become over the past couple of years. It can’t be that hard can it?
6 weeks? 4 weeks? We’ve given ourselves 12. Surely by the end of it we should
be able to dip our selves in grey paint and play statue in a Greek mythology
Now at the start I weighed just shy of 81kg. Sam weighed in at a mighty 91kg. I’ve
just weighed in at 73.7kg and Sam’s at 76.4kg. Now I hear what your thinking
‘Sam’s catching up for someone who was 10kg’ heavier at the start, we’ll get
onto that later. Safe to say we’re well on the way to accomplishing our mission
but how did we do it I hear you ask (or at least hope you’re asking otherwise I’m
pretty much talking to myself).
We decided to go straight back to absolute basics. The issue we had however was
that though starving yourself will get the same results, the survey notes that
men aren’t just unhappy about a beer belly (74.5%) but their muscularity. That ‘’I
could steal your girlfriend out of your arms physique’’ that the Men’s Health
cover model and fitness models alike all share. Muscular without over doing it
and ripped enough to pull off the Bay Watch run minus any jiggle. So after some
research we set our diet.
One – Whey Protein w/ Oats
Two- 6 Egg Whites w/ Seeded Toast
Three – Chicken Breast, Brown Rice & Mixed Vegetables
Four – Whey Protein Shake
Five – Chicken Breast, Brown Rice & Mixed Vegetables
Six – Whey Protein Shake
Alongside this we drank 4 litres of water a day, green tea and black coffee.
We decided it was best to keep things as simple as possible avoiding all fat
burning supplements, pre-workout training enhancers etc. etc. As these just
complicated matters when keeping to a strict calorie intake, although we needed
to take whey protein throughout the day in order to supplement our protein
needs if we were to gain/maintain muscle while cutting fat. A list of things I
miss: sugar (In all its glorious forms), milk, chocolate, fruit, crisps, beer,
rum, vodka, all alcohol, pizza, cereal, bacon, sausages (pig in all its sublime
forms), cheese, anything battered, anything coated, anything fried, anything
remotely satisfying, all forms of gravy, sauce or marinade (we do use spices
though). So other than what was in our meal plan we avoided everything. Now I
understand there’s a couple of things on the list that would surprise most
people so the obvious; Fruit. Simple when you think about it we need to avoid
all forms of sugar, fruit contains ‘fructose’ so its out we have however kept
multi-vitamins daily to avoid scurvy. Milk and all other dairy products are out
because of their high calorie/ fat content. You do however need fat in order to
maintain healthy brain function and aid in the absorption of vitamins however
they need to be ‘good’ fats gained from omega-fat tablets or small portions of
flax-seed oil added to meals. What could go wrong?
Now how about some basic figures? Roughly a pound of fat is thought to work out at
3500 calories. Now at 81kg. and living a moderately active lifestyle my body
needs around 2935 calories a day to maintain my weight. You can discover your
daily calorie requirements using calorie calculators online all use the same
equations based on your; sex, weight, age and level of activity. With 2.2
pounds to the kilo and my original goal of 74kg (A loss of 7kg. equalling
53,900 calories) I would need to train for 54 days with a deficit of 1000
calories a day in order to hit my goal, without considering any type of muscle
growth. So with this in mind we did the math and began cooking our chicken
meals in bulk for the week, measuring out to the gram; chicken, rice and
vegetables in order to meet our nutrition needs. This actually turned out to be
a massive benefit in saving time, yet unbelievably dull after a while. But once
you begin to see food as fuel for your goal instead of something to indulge and
actually enjoy, it becomes bearable. Personally I think it depends on the
person which approach they take, you’re either in it for the run or your not.
Our training. We decided to that frankly we’ve been going to the gym for years and
it hasn’t really gotten us anywhere so after a little search Sam discovered
Kris Gethin. An author of Body By Design,
Gethin has established the ‘transformation’ as his master class to we began
following his 12-week training programme. 40minutes of cardio every single day
divided in to 20minutes each morning and evening and then building to 50minutes
a day and then 60 as we progressed. Our gym sessions have consisted of very
high intensity training in order to aid in burning fat whilst also gaining
muscle. It’s hard to put into words the pain felt during some of these sessions
but they have without a doubt worked and I recommend the plan to anyone.
So far the results have shocked both Sam and myself. We’ve both cut fat at an
incredible rate and are well on our way to achieving our goal. But its not been
easy, at times our diet and fat loss has caused us to become incredibly
lethargic and tired which is not the best when writing your dissertation or designing
your final year project. You become increasingly forgetful for the first couple
of weeks as you get use to a low fat diet. We are accustom to the food now,
seeing it as purely a fuel source for our training. Whilst the training has
been tough, the results each week simply spur you on further. Time has never
been an issue. Many people complain about the way they look and never push to
do something about it, often conjuring up lame excuses like they have no time
or they have bad genetics.
Sam and me are currently in our final year at Bournemouth University. Sam’s final
year design project and my dissertation and full time weekend job all add to
our already busy final years and have pushed the boundaries of time management
during our transformation but that’s exactly what it comes down to in the end.
Time management. If you’ve got time to sit and watch Deal or No Deal or the to time
complain about your physique then just do something about it. Magazines,
websites and advertising all show us these transformations can be done in just
a few weeks but the realism of it is that to do it safely and to achieve
results that will last it takes a little bit longer. But you can still get it
done before summer hits and for those men who were willing to give up a year of
their life for that physique, how about 3 months?