I’ve starved, sweated, crunched, pumped, pulled and pushed my body to the limit for the last three months or so in what seemed, at first, an impossible mission to sculpt my body into that of an Olympic athlete before the Games open in London at the end of July, 2012.
Changing the bad lifestyle habits of a lifetime was never going to be easy, but while I may have fallen at times I picked myself up again and reminded myself of my dream – to stop traffic with my ripped, shredded, torn, diced and sliced physique, making Tom Daley look like Homer Simpson.
And the results are in! While you may not be able to grate cheddar on my washboard abs quite yet, nearly all the flab has vanished, my pecs are considerably more perky and my butt was pinched at least three times last Saturday night!
But, as I discovered, there’s no quick fix to getting the body of a God. It takes time, effort, patience and perseverance. And most important of all – consistency. When the going gets tough, reaching for a custard donut is only going to make things worse.
It is all worth it though. Not only do I feel healthier and stronger, I’m considerably more confident in my shiny new skin, much to the chargrin of my green-eyed friends.
So, here are my own top six tips to manscaping and turning flab into fab.
1 Diet, diet, diet
Make no mistake, you’re never going to crack walnuts in your vice-like buttocks without giving up a few guilty pleasures. That means cutting down on refined carbs such as rice, pasta and bread and filling up on protein and vegetables instead.
If you want to slim down first, the most important thing to remember is to have a calorie deficit. In other words, you need to burn more calories than you are consuming. So don’t be afraid to get a little anal and start counting.
Once you’ve shed the pounds, it’s time bulk up and build muscles. And the best way to do that is to gorge yourself on protein. This is when you can safely forget about the calories. As long as you’re pushing yourself hard enough in the gym, your body will need all the energy it can get. Stick to lean red meat and chicken.
Of course, it’s unlikely I would have made such rapid progress in such a short space of time without a little extra boost from Maximuscle, the UK and Europe’s number one sports nutrition brand.
To slim down, I took the company’s lean definition protein shake Promax Diet, as well as daily supplements CLA-1000 and Thermobol, both proven to help with weight loss and preserving lean muscle.
And to bulk up, I used their Promax Cyclone shake, Maximuscle meal bar and Thermobol supplement.
2 Join a good gym and find the right routine
A good gym is hard to find and can be a big expense if you are living on a budget. But if you’re serious about getting fit, it’s an investment worth making. After all, like your bed and shoes, if you’re not in one of them, you should be in the other. Scout around first but make sure it’s not too far from your workplace or home. That way, there’s no excuse to bunk off!
Once you’ve found the gym of your dreams, it’s time to start working on the body of your fantasies. To do that, you’ll need a workout regime that is going to achieve your goals and push you to your limits. Three or four times a week in the gym is enough and make sure you’re doing plenty of abs exercises at least once a day. Tip: if you have time to read a book or gossip on Facebook while you’re working up a sweat, then you’re not pushing hard enough!
3 Hire a personal trainer
Unless you are a saint, it’s unlikely you’re going to be motivated 100% of the time. We all have our off days and sometimes the temptation to give in and accept defeat is too strong. A personal trainer can, therefore, help us exercise to our maximum capacity, tailor making a program which suits our individual needs and pushing us to work harder. An army drill sergeant may not be for everyone, so choose a PT that fits with your personality. Will Pike’s firm but gentle approach was what pushed me on. Even when my body cried out no, I screamed back ‘Yes, I can!’
4 Mind over body
Sport and fitness is not just a physical challenge. It can also be a mental mountain which is a struggle to climb at times. However, do Mother Superior proud by strapping on your hiking boots and scaling that insurmountable peak. No matter how slovenly we may have been in the past, we all have the ability to tap into our inexhaustible reservoir of will power to keep our bodies moving, our hands gripping that barbell tighter and our mouths saying ‘no’ to the endless cakes and biscuits being trollied round the office.
For me, mindfulness meditation really helped me focus during my workouts and allowed me to push through the nagging pain which begged for me to stop and helped me reach my full physical potential.
5 Find the fun and life’s a game
As Mary Poppins advised, ‘A spoonful of sugar helps the medicine go down.’ In other words, if you can find an element of fun in your workout regime, you’re much more likely to stick to it. As well as finding movements which you enjoy, try mixing in a sport or fitness class to your weekly routine. As well the social benefits, the competitive element of a team sport or group run will spur you on to be your best.
6 Your body is a temple, so take care of it
No matter how careful you are to stretch before and after or maintain the perfect posture during weight training, you are bound to feel the odd ache and strain now and again. It is, therefore, important you rest your body sometimes and take measures to ensure you don’t have a serious injury. Sports massage can not only help prevent you from harming yourself during exercise, it can keep your muscles healthy and, therefore, help you achieve your fitness goals.
Ultimately, the secret to achieving the body beautiful is not about celebrity diets or fad fitness trends, it’s about ditching those old unhealthy habits and developing new ones.
It won’t be easy, but darling, beauty is suffering and if you want the world to orgasm at your lovely bumps, lumps and humps, you better brace yourself for a generous dose of delicious agony.
Along with a healthy diet plan recommended by Maximuscle nutritionist Gareth Nicholas, I have been working out three or four times a week, including taking the Maximuscle Promax Cyclone shake and Thermobol supplement.
Follow my Olympic body challenge progress on Twitter @matthewjenkin
Maximuscle, the UK and Europe’s no.1 sports nutrition brand. Protein is essential to help aid recovery and build muscle size and strength. Maximuscle products enable their athlete’s to optimize their training and performance by combining the best ingredients, best science and research. For more information visit www.maximuscle.com
Maximuscle is the UK’s leading sports nutrition brand. The Hemel Hempstead-based company, which is part of the GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) owned Maxinutrition group, Maximuscle is now the choice of over 1,000 elite athletes and professional sports teams including the England and Wales Cricket Board, the Welsh Rugby Union, the Rugby Football Union, Everton Football Club, London Wasps and Northampton Saints, as well as individuals such as Courtney Lawes, Stuart Broad, and European gymnastics champion, Daniel Keatings. For more information visit www.maximuscle.com