3 Months to Get in Shape

Sounds like the latest in a long line of potentially unrealistic challenges we see in the media these days, but that’s the point...

School Of Personal Training Posted Jul 20, 2015 Future Fit Training

With ‘body transformations’ aplenty in our social media feeds these days and no shortage of trainers and fitness experts offering their own version of this new trend, I want to see just what the reality is.

Despite health and fitness being my career for the last 12 years, I’ve only ever trained for enjoyment, with a few sports and occasional events along the way. I’ve never focussed purely on aesthetic development in terms of fat loss and muscle gain, so I’m intrigued to see just what I can achieve without compromising my health – or indeed whilst improving it.

There’s extra motivation for me too - with my second child due just before Christmas, I’m mindful of the fact this could be my last opportunity to explore my potential before sleepless nights and two kids under two compromise my progress for the next couple of years!

So I’ve hired my own personal trainer to see what is possible for me in the next three months, and what it takes to get there.

‘But you know what you’re doing, why do you need a personal trainer?’

Paul Swainson: Start of 3 month challengeThis has been a common question from my friends and family. As an experienced fitness professional it would be easy to assume I don’t need help when it comes to exercise and healthy nutrition, but there’s two very good reasons why I will be working with a PT myself:

  1. As all fit pros should be, I’m well aware I don’t know everything there is to know about the human body and how it works, and there will always be someone I can learn from
  2. In any case, most of the clients I have worked with had goals based around moderate levels of fat loss, muscle gain and overall health and fitness improvements. They weren’t looking to get on stage at bodybuilding shows or appear on the cover of magazines, so I don’t class myself as an expert on the requirements for more extreme body composition targets. Although I’m not aiming to get to competition level (the chest waxing puts me off for a start), the type of training will be similar, so I need guidance from someone who really knows their stuff in this area

The bottom line is, if you look at any good athlete at any level, they will have a coach, and for good reason. No matter how great you become, you will always be better with direction and advice from an expert.

I believe it’s the same in our field - even a PT benefits from having a PT.

So I’ve signed up with the best the business – Ultimate Performance have a worldwide reputation for getting results when it comes to improving body composition, and it just so happens my trainer Shaun Estragó is a Future Fit graduate, so we’re keeping it in the family!

Shaun is a Senior Trainer at Ultimate Performance in Marbella, the same location at which fitness journalist Joe Warner has just completed his own 12 week transformation under the guidance of Nick Mitchell, UP’s founder.

My journey will be slightly different – as I can’t neglect my Head of School duties for Future Fit, nor my role as daddy and husband, Shaun will be training me online, sending me my programmes and nutrition guidance via email and keeping in regular contact to make sure I’m staying on track back here in the UK.

I’m looking forward to putting myself back in the client’s shoes after many years as the trainer – it should give me lots of insight which I’ll be passing on.

It’s worth noting that I’m aiming for this to be as realistic as possible – while I’ll be making many sacrifices and changes for the 3 months, I won’t be doing anything that isn’t in theory sustainable for longer, or that I couldn’t practically and easily repeat. Will that mean slightly compromised results? I guess we’ll find out, but if that’s the case then so be it – I’d rather that than achieve a phenomenal physique that I can’t maintain for more than a week!

This will be an interesting part of the process and one of the things I’ll be blogging about as I go through the three months. Shaun will also be contributing from the PT perspective so make sure you check back here regularly.

Another key member of the team is Future Fit partner MuscleFood.com who will be supporting my journey with quality food to complement the training.

Now I’m off to the gym to get started. If you want to keep updated with my progress, follow me (@PaulSwainson), and @FutureFit_UK on Twitter – look out for the hashtag #ProjectPaul.