Trent Lambert, Durban
"I am a cautionary tale; a walking cliché if you will. Fitness magazines and supplement companies love me because I’m lazy and looking for a shortcut to my youth. I’m a former personal trainer that now pays for one, a former athlete that still has 4.40 speed and a wicked right cross (in my own mind)... I’m the guy in pre-midlife crisis that yells at the Sharks that they’re slapgat and then dies after 10 minutes walking on a treadmill. Yeah, I’m that guy. Even worse, I’m the guy that finished 2nd in this competition in November of 2011 at 74 kg and 6% body fat only to put 6 kg of FAT back on by May!
Immediately following my first competition I took a ‘break’ while on vacation. Next was Thanksgiving, Christmas and New Year - which became my new target to get back to training. Soon it was March and work was to blame because of entertaining, or travel, or whatever the excuse de jour happened to be. Bottom line is, in less than six months I’d destroyed everything I’d worked for. I couldn’t remember how good my success felt, only the work that it took to get there. To make matters worse, I had no idea how far I’d fallen – in fact I don’t remember ever being the guy in my before photo! That’s the danger having loving friends and family that accept you for who you are in that they won’t always tell you it’s time to make a change.
Fortunately, my friends have no such issues when it comes to speaking their minds. In May a group of them decided that daily self-loathing and avoiding mirrors wasn’t going to cut it anymore and joined the competition and they dragged me with. It was the beginning, I was committed, more like the chicken than the pig, but over-time I started feeling the results. Then I started seeing them".
You have a chance right now to have a better life. Today. If you truly want that you have to accept two truths:
- You are the one responsible for the way you look and feel today
If you’re not willing to take responsibility for that, then you won’t be willing to commit to what it takes to change.
- You have to make real changes in your life if you want to see permanent results
If you enter this challenge thinking a few salads and a couple of minutes of treadmill time will make a change, you’re setting yourself up for failure. Believe me I know; I failed miserably in this.
- Use the resources available to you
You have a wealth of resources available to you through Fitness Maniacs and the folks at BodyGuru... use them! These people aren’t here for their own amusement – these are professional fitness freaks! They want to help you so get off your butt and let them! Your fees for this contest give you access to multiple trainers who are absolutely brilliant in their fields and you will see results!
- If you want to be more fit, work with your trainers. If you want therapy, see a shrink
Always remember you are attending these classes to tax your fitness level, not your trainers patience. Forget about talking – if you can even think anything other than, “I’m dying and I have no idea how I’m going to finish” then you’re not working hard enough! You only have 12 weeks to make this happen! Don’t waste even a minute of that standing around talking; but if you do, talk to yourself otherwise you’re dragging someone else down with you.
- Have a support group
This may well be the most important thing I can offer you. Without the people I have in my life, there would be no way I would have finished this challenge in the condition I did. There will be days you won’t want to gym or do cardio, and while you may hate them at the time, you’ll be happy you had someone to give you the push in the end. You will be making changes to your diet, not going on one. This means those around you will have to accept the changes you are making, and I hope for your sake they are supportive. It’s not uncommon for these challenges to have positive effects on couples or families as a transition to a healthy lifestyle benefits everyone involved. You should endeavour to incorporate your family into as many aspects of this challenge as you can. If you’re not willing to do this for your own success, then do it for the health of your family and their quality of life.
- Don’t try this on your own
It’s gonna hurt. No. Seriously. If you try this on your own you are going to hurt yourself. Reading about the latest inverted chest press while hanging from a chin-up bar may look great with the model in the magazine, but it may not be in your best interest to try. If you really want change and are going to put in the effort, then maximise that effort and hire a trainer. If you’re new to training, a professional trainer can design a program around your current abilities and tailor them to your goals. Moreover they keep you safe, and your results will be exponentially better. Etienne Schutte at BodyGuru (Umhlanga) is responsible for causing me more pain and tears than all my ex-girlfriends and the Sharks combined, but he delivers results and so will your Fitness Maniacs coaches. Combine a couple of sessions a week with you Fitness Maniacs classes and you will be shocked at how dramatic the changes are, and how quickly they come. Oh, and don’t use the cost of the trainer as an excuse. You spend more on takeout a month than it costs for a trainer so it comes down to making good choices. Besides, think about what you spend on clothing – and remember your body is the only thing you wear every day.
- Stop lying to yourself
Don’t kid yourself, you do. Whether it’s the extra beer or desert you convince yourself it’s ok to have because you trained ‘really hard’ today, or the session you skipped because you ‘just don’t have the time’ you are lying to yourself. It’s OK to reward yourself or to miss a session, but make it the exception and not the norm.
Many thanks to Fitness Maniacs for giving me the motivation to change, to Etienne for the means, and to Sindy, Alan, Zania and Laura for keeping me honest!".