How Dave's Lost 24Kg In His First 9 Months To Become A Different Man

Dave, 50, Head Of Publicity, Disney Parks UK

Here comes one of my favourite body transformations of 2018. It might be far from finished as Dave’s defined a truly life changing goal for himself but we’re very well on the way, the results are showing massively and we’ve managed to build fantastic momentum in the last few months. Here’s what the progress looks like at the moment:

Dave's lost 24 of bodyweight and 18cm in his waist in the first 9 months of his training. 

Fantastic numbers. He’s done 3 workouts a week on average, been abroad at least 10 times for either business or holidays during that time and yet every time he’s come back to London he’s come back lighter. Apart from the physical change itself with all its health benefits, Dave’s identity has slowly started to shift, he feels better, collects compliments about his body transformation everywhere he goes, the now too large clothes have left his wardrobe for all, his confidence in achieving his ultimate body shape has grown tremendously and his habits now reflect the person he said he wanted to be before we had our first session. It’s been an absolute privilege for me to be able to witness Dave’s body transformation and the all round impact it’s had on his life and can’t wait to see further progress and Dave’s best shape yet.

Let's See How We've Achieved These Results So Far!

Defining goals and motivation.
Before we started to train we’ve set down with Dave to completely map out all his goals, motivations a lifestyle to decide on the best and most effective way to get him where he needs to be in a way that first and foremost works for him.

Sorting out nutrition.
The rules for Dave’s nutrition have been very simple from the beginning. Yet as simple they might be, it’s not always that easy to follow them as various factors like busyness, tiredness or lack of discipline can get in a way. The thing Dave excelled in however was keeping track of what he’s been eating by simply taking pictures of his meals. This way if we thought the progress was slow or plateauing a little, it was easy to identify the problem, correct it and keep moving on.

Regular and consistent workouts.
Dave’s been really good with his training. Pushing well on every set and making progress with his strength and fitness as we go. He’s managed to train well even when abroad and we’ve managed to follow our training programme all throughout the last 9 months.

Weekly measurements.
A very big part of success. Getting constant feedback on Dave’s training and eating in form of numbers on scales or tape measurements has been fundamentally important. If you’re not assessing, you’re guessing. We’ve been able to discuss all the numbers, reasons for them and possible adjustments in training and nutrition week in, week out.

Changing some habits.
Dave’s really taken his body transformation into another level by changing some small daily habits that got him into his previous shape before. Whether it’s adding more walking, shopping for better quality food or controlling his immediate environment a bit more, all these little changes have greatly contributed into making a difference.

Winner mindset.
Dave’s committed to his goals and that’s what makes all the difference. Working together has been a great experience and the results are there. Dave’s happy with the way it’s going and looks forward to more progress in 2019.

Proven system. Great determination from Dave. Brilliant results so far.

Dave’s Perspective On Things

Dave – My weight has fluctuated throughout my adult life, and on occasion when I committed to a “healthy eating” programme and exercise, both with & without PT, I managed to create short-term success, but I always floundered after a few months and put all the weight back on, or more, and got demoralised and therefore lazy again.

As I turned 50, I realised that I was so unhappy with my fitness and weight that I had to make change, I didn’t even want to throw a 50th birthday party because I felt so unhappy about how I looked. But I also really thought that I had tried everything out there – every diet, every eating plan - and so I started to believe that becoming fit and healthy was beyond my grasp. I couldn’t even walk up two flights of stairs without huffing and puffing and having to stop the conversation.

Milestones like big birthdays tend to make you take stock – and at the same time my father was ill in hospital – another key trigger to make you think about your place in the world and how you’re doing. This was my lightbulb moment, and at the same time, I’d been listening to various podcasts & books about nutrition, and the concept that was really making sense to me was low carb, keto, cutting sugar and grains out – and focussing on whole, real food. Most of the books and audio I was consuming all agreed that a healthy diet is complimented & maximised by a focussed exercise regime, and so I decided that to give what felt like my “last chance” of turning life around, I needed to do both – and so I looked for a local trainer who would be able to support my goals.

I’d had mixed success with trainers in the past, but once I met Vlad and we had the initial consultation, I felt as though I had met somebody who believed that change and results were possible & could work with me to achieve them. Looking back, that belief, support and guidance is what Vlad’s training plan is all about, and it’s what has made my journey a success. A previous trainer had laughed when I had mentioned wanting to use the assisted pull-up machine, suggesting we focus on things within scope. Vlad had me on that same machine within a month of starting training together. Slowly at first, but we’ve built on each & every achievement to create PB milestones and measurable success & results. Vlad also helped give me the confidence to feel capable and successful in a gym environment where (for the first several months) I was the heaviest and most unfit person there, which is no mean feat.

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From the start, I realised that things wouldn’t work if I resisted any of the guidance and training – so I committed to saying yes to everything Vlad suggested, or at least try it first before maybe requesting modification if it wasn’t entirely possible during set 1.

And so, with at least 1 x and usually 2 x PT sessions each week, as well as additional cardio gym sessions on my own, and sometimes a solo weight session, we set off on a 10-month fitness journey which has been the most successful one of my life.

For the first time, I can honestly say that I enjoy training and exercise. I look forward to the PT sessions, despite knowing they will be tough – and I believe that’s because Vlad carefully pitches everything we do to ensure it is continually challenging, just within reach, but always at the upper end of ability to drive continued progress & results.

Other trainers create a whole lot of drama and noise over their programmes – you see (and hear) them in every gym going through the pantomime routine – and that has always made me cringe. Thankfully Vlad’s sessions are the complete opposite of that – low key, focused, firm yet encouraging, and all the while building results without drama, which is awesome. It feels professional and motivates me to try harder every time.

Asking Dave About His Experience

So Dave, well done for all the progress made in 2018. How do you feel right now compared to 9 months ago before we did our first session?
It’s night & day – I feel like a different person. As I mention above, I was so unfit at the start I could barely walk up two flights of stairs without stopping for breath. Now I can run up those stairs, and I can put in an hour of cardio at the gym without stopping. The resistance training has also shown really positive results, both in physique and strength – and now I am excited to see how far we can take this in 2019.

Just for anyone who’s reading this to understand what has your training and progress been in the past?
I'd go to gym on & off across the years, but never a sustained any long-term effort. On occasion I would train with PTs, with variable results, and now I realise most didn’t believe we could create success and were just taking the money. My number one piece of advice now to anyone is to find a trainer who believes you can achieve results together. Because my results weren't consistent I would always just try and then relapse. I’d just give up and get really unfit again, and then try over. My main obstacles were just work and life generally and not carving out time to keep fit and achieve goals. I now realise that for everything to work, you need to set time aside for health, fitness, balance & wellness just like you do for work, family, friends & socialising. So, the balance of my week looks a lot different now, and that is great. I do 2 x PT sessions each week, and try to add three or four solo gym sessions to that as well – which I plan ahead so that they fit around work commitments and friends/family. I try to avoid early morning training because I loathe it, so I generally train after work in the evening or at weekends – and if realised that’s what works best for me.

What was the pivotal moment that made you think ok let’s do this?
Turning 50 and taking a good hard look at my life – I’d also had my gym membership cancelled through a work scheme that ended, and I realised that I needed to make some changes in order to achieve results – so I googled for trainers near where I lived – and it was our first meeting and consultation that made me decide to proceed

What’s the most important factor for you when training?
Very simple – working in an environment in which I felt comfortable enough to try something new, and not be scared to fail. It’s simple but it’s an important factor for any PT to create for their clients, without that feeling of safety, you can’t excel and challenge yourself. Feeling scared only works short term for most people, so I don’t need to be shouted at, thank you. My priorities were to create physical change to my body – initially just focusing on weight loss, but as we progressed I’ve realised we can do more than that and have started thinking about building muscle and toning, which is exciting

What about Sets In The City contributed to your achievements? What are your thoughts about training?
Vlad’s personality is key to the success of Sets In The City – it creates a positive, motivating environment that drives results, and accountability without being so heavy handed that you’re tempted to rebel. Everyone cheats from time to time, and Vlad is understanding of that, yet always coaxes you forward to the next goal, so you don’t stumble too hard along the way. I was pretty sceptical about trainers after past experience & lack of results, and Vlad has changed all that. The most important thing I've learnt from training together was that I wasn’t a dead loss when it came to fitness, particularly now I’d reached 50. I honestly didn’t think that success was going to be possible, and I’ve learned now that it is. This programme has been at the core of everything that has changed positively in my health & fitness over the past 10 months. Can’t imagine life without the Sets In The City PT sessions now.

What is the greatest value training together has brought to you?
Hard to pinpoint just one thing, as training has created such a positive change in my life, I feel fitter for life, for work, for everything really. I can focus more now and I feel I deliver better results in all parts of my life, and I’m excited to see how far we can take this.

What are your top 3 pieces of advice/tips for people in a similar position that you were in?
Give Sets In The City training a try. Be completely honest from the start about goals and what you think is/was standing in your way and don’t give up, results will come.

In your opinion who is Sets In The City perfect for?
Anyone serious about improving their fitness, even if you’ve given up hope – give it a try, and see where this can take you.

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Ron, 31, Virtustream
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Ron’s lost 5.6% body fat in the first 11 weeks of 2019!

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