Follow Wes on his 12 week transformation journey
With most transformation stories, we just see the before and after, and we hear all about the successes after all the hard work has been done. Rarely do we hear about the setbacks and feats which have brought our members to where they are today, and at PureGym, we believe these are worth sharing and celebrating.
It’s at these points along the journey where we can uncover what incredible journeys our members have gone through to make their health and lives better, which is why over the next couple of months we will be checking in with Wes and his PT Chris, on his 12-week progress to lose weight and get back into shape.
Every couple of weeks we’ll be updating this page so you can follow Wes on his transformation, and who knows - our member might inspire you to make a start or step up your fitness, and you might learn some new things along the way!
Read Wes' and Chris' progress updates:
Meet Wes, and his PT Chris
“A few hours after finding out I had been selected to help train a member for 12 weeks, I coincidentally get a call from Wes, who had previously been one of my online clients in 2015.”- Chris
“After I had lost my way with my training and diet, I decided to contact Chris to see if he could provide one to one training. He told me about the 12 week transformation competition and asked me if I fancied it. The additional pressure of being in a competition seemed the perfect opportunity to give me the focus I wanted!’ - Wes
In order to track and monitor Wes' progress throughout the next 12 weeks, we took some ‘before’ pictures and some measurements which came out as follows:
After reviewing Wes’ health, body composition and activity levels, we decided to set a nutritional goals using MyFitnessPal to monitor his calories and protein intake to help him achieve his goals of losing weight and building muscle. It’s important to get this balance right because if we set his calorie target too low it will negatively affect his ability to build muscle and if it’s too high he won’t lose body fat.
“I’ve found that my eating habits have formed very quickly and by incorporating more protein into my meals, I have stayed comfortably full for longer. I rarely feel the need to snack after dinner and reducing my alcohol consumption was easier than I expected.”- Wes
Wes has been doing great in his first week. Training is going well, although we had a small hiccup in the first session. I think Wes was a little too eager to get started and pushed himself a little too hard too early.
“When I started my first session with Chris I pushed myself too far. Needing to take a break to finish the workout knocked my confidence. Chris explained that resting between sets was critical to ensure that I could lift the right amount of weight and that resting was a good thing. He said that it wasn’t about working hard but working smart.”- Wes
Our second session went really well, Wes trained hard and we got through everything planned. Wes has really got to grips with his eating plan and has managed to stay under his calorie target and reach his protein goal every day. We have planned a session for him to do alone this weekend.
“The next workout, with Chris’s help, I took my time between sets. Since then my confidence has increased and I’m looking forward to improving as much as I can.”- Wes
I feel like I’m making good progress in the gym and the weekly weigh-in is helping with my motivation and keeping me focused. Chris is pushing me and I’m working much harder in the gym than I would have previously on my own.
“So far so good this week. Wes has lost 1.1kg from week 1, his training has been great and his eating has been on point too.”- Chris, PT
We have 3 training sessions planned each week. I have 2 PT sessions with Chris per week and one training session on my own. Chris has structured my sessions to allow me to train each major muscle group twice a week for optimum results in muscle growth.
I had a colleague’s leaving drinks on Thursday and so we slightly reduced my calorie intake on Tuesday and Wednesday so that I could enjoy a work night out with a few more calories. The most difficult part of doing this was fighting the cravings for unhealthy junk food the following day.
It would’ve been easy to give in, but I fought through it and managed to end the day on my nutrition targets. I don’t think I would have done this if I didn’t have to be accountable to Chris and knew that we would be having a weigh-in next week.
“Wes is already looking more confident in the gym and has learnt to pace himself much better. He is working hard and asking lots of questions which I always find helpful as I think if he understands why we are doing things, he is more likely to stay on track.”- Chris, PT
Wes has had another great week this week and everything is going to plan. He has stayed under his daily calorie target and reached his protein target. His training has been going well too.
He weighed in at 84.2kg which means he’s lost another 1.6kg this week. That’s a lot for 1 week and if we were to consistently see this over the next few weeks, I’d suggest slightly increasing his daily calorie intake.
The rate for optimal weight loss will depend on your body fat percentage, starting weight and goals. It is generally recommended that you should lose an average of 0.5-1% of bodyweight per week to ensure that you can simultaneously maintain or build muscle. For where we are right now, I’m happy the rate of Wes’ weight loss.
“I’m feeling pleased with my progress so far. Chris is pushing me, particularly during my last few reps and because of that I’m doing far more in the gym than I normally would. He knows when I can push myself that little further, and helps me challenge myself in a support way to get me through.” - Wes
Now that we have established a good training structure, we are focusing on gradually increasing the difficulty of each exercise. We can do this by either increasing the amount of resistance used or increasing the number of repetitions. By doing this we ensure that Wes’s body will have to adapt to keep up with the increased demand. In training terms, we call this ‘Progressive Overload’. These steady increases will also positively impact Wes’s ‘Training Volume’ to help him build more muscle mass.
“During my last workout, I felt that I didn’t have the usual energy to get me through. Although I completed the workout, I felt weaker than usual. After discussing this with Chris, he pinpointed the fact that being under my calorie goal for a few weeks now has contributed to this. He suggested having an extra 400 calories of carbs that day which meant more roast potatoes for dinner and I’ve been fine since.”- Wes
As Wes would be considered a beginner when it comes to lifting weights, we would hope to see weekly or fortnightly improvements in the weights used or reps completed in each exercise.
Unfortunately, this level of development slows as we become more advanced and an elite lifter will only see tiny progressions every few months. While things are running smoothly it’s my job to make sure that we don’t get complacent. Especially as our honeymoon period is almost over.
“I’ve now found myself looking forward to gym sessions as I’m able to impart my knowledge and wisdom on Chris, and I can tell he looks forward to his latest life lesson.”- Wes
We’re now a third of the way through our 12-week transformation contest and this week was a retest week. Wes has stuck to the plan so far so all his assessment scores were positive and we’re on track for a great end result. Wes has lost 3.8kg in 4 weeks which is great.
Wes’s circumference measurements have all decreased which is also a great sign. His waist measurement have had the most dramatic decrease. Fat held around our waist is generally visceral Fat which research links to a higher probability of illnesses such as cancer, cardiovascular disease and type 2 diabetes so I’m pleased to see the progress he has made. We wouldn’t expect to see a big decrease in Wes’s chest and hip measurements as his training is targeted to gorw muscle mass in his glutes, chest and upper back.
Wes’s training has continued to improve. One of Wes’s training goals is to be able to do 3 sets of 6 pull-ups. This week we added in small sets of 3 pull-ups.
Another consistent week in the gym from Wes this week. His training is still going well, he’s been turning up focused and ready to go each session and we are still able to make exercises progressively more difficult each week.
Wes lost an additional 0.3kg this week. It’s great to see his weight still decreasing and getting closer to our goal of 78-80kg. However this week there was less of a drop in weight than previous weeks.
An app Wes uses to monitor his activity levels shows that there has been a noticeable decrease in his daily movement as he had been working from home. This has decreased his daily steps to around 3000 compared to a typical workday of around 11000.
Regular daily movement can make a significant difference to the energy we expend. This is an important consideration for our general health and weight management. To amend this Wes is planning to go for a walk or run on the days he works from home.
“While my weight loss wasn’t as great this week, rather than be disappointed, I found myself more motivated to do more the following week. The results I have attained so far have kept me pushing myself to give myself the best opportunity to maximise our final results. I’m definitely starting to get how going to the gym can become addictive.”- Wes
“I do find the diet more of a chore than the exercise, especially on the weeks that I’m not prepared for the week. On weeks I have my meals planned, I find it much easier to meet my goals without any problem. As the weeks go on I know that I need to plan ahead to keep up with reaching my goals.”
Wes' training and daily movement has been brilliant this week. In addition to his normal training, he did a gym session with his wife, ran 5k and walked over 10,000 steps each day. He also continued to make improvements on the weights used during our sessions. He is now up to sets 3 sets of 4 pull-ups, with a little help on the last rep. This means we are on target for his pull-up goal of 3 sets of 6.
Wes started supplementing with Creatine Monohydrate two weeks ago and I think this is affecting his weight loss. Creatine is a molecule produced in the body and helps to release energy to aid cellular function during stress. It increases strength and power output when training and can also benefit the brain, bones, muscles, and liver. However, a potentially negative side effect is it can increase body weight through water retention. When taking higher loading doses this can exceed 2kg (Examine).
I think it’s safe to assume that his weight loss has been slowed down due to water retention. We have decided that Wes should stop taking creatine for a week to see how this affects his body weight. Although taking this supplement was having a positive effect on his training, the priority right now should be trust and belief in what we are doing. I’m pretty confident that we will therefore see a noticeable decrease in Wes’s weight next week. Hopefully the following week we can restart supplementing with creatine safe in the knowledge that all is going to plan and Wes’s hard work and commitment have not been wasted.
“I feel that my training improvements have continued and so I am trying not to be too frustrated at the slow down, but it is difficult." - Wes
"Naturally, when I was seeing an initial big drop in weight it was great inspiration to keep going. Chris has reminded me that the weight is only one measurement of how the programme is going. This has made sure that I haven’t felt too disheartened. He has also gone through the importance of a good protein intake and if it was too low, then it could be detrimental to my muscle growth. Because of this, I have refocused on the full diet rather than getting caught up low calories.”
Our assumption last week that creatine was causing water retention which was affecting his bodyweight was correct. This week Wes lost a further 1.1kg on the scales. He now weighs 81.3kg meaning he’s lost 5.6kg so far.
Wes is now full of confidence again as he knows that his efforts are paying off. He is mentally back on track and he’s talking about what he wants to achieve once our 12-weeks is over. I think he might have the bug!
“During the work week, I have many meetings booked into my diary so I’m always careful to make sure my training is blocked out so I can get my training in.” - Wes
Treating my training sessions just as I do with any of my appointments has helped me ensure I never miss a workout.
“However recently work has been getting extremely busy and I found myself in a meeting that had overrun. I didn’t think I would be able to fit in a workout that day so I messaged Chris so that he know. Luckily he suggested I check my membership to see if I had access to multiple gyms. I logged into my account on the PureGym site, and found that I had access to gyms all over the country. What a result! I got my workout in and the streak of missing none of my training session continues!”
I’m really pleased for Wes as he has been working really hard in and out of the gym. This week was a reassessment week to review Wes’ progress.
Wes’s circumference measurements have all decreased further. In total, Wes has now lost 6kg but more importantly, his body fat has decreased by 5.76%. His results show a substantial drop in body fat from week 4, especially when compared to same test results from the start to week 4.
From Wes’s progress pictures it is clear to see that he is starting to become more toned and defined around his chest and shoulders. He has lost even more body fat from around his stomach, where he has lost most inches, and his posture has improved.
As our body fat gets lower it becomes more difficult to lose weight without losing muscle. So for the remaining 4 weeks, we have increased Wes’s daily calorie intake to help build a little more muscle. He will still be in a slight daily calorific deficit but it will be much closer to his maintenance intake.
I’m proud of what he has achieved so far and just hope we can stay on track until week 12.
“Taking my measurements and some photographs this week, has helped readdress my thoughts on the progress I’ve made. I had initially thought my progress was slowing even though I was training harder than ever as I wasn’t noticing much physical change so I’m really happy with the improvements in the photographs and probably even happier with my measurements. It goes to show the importance of recording all possible data. It’s difficult to really appreciate the day to day changes without it. With 4 weeks to go, it’s motivated me even more to focus on the final stretch."
With Chris increasing my daily calories, I am determined not to waste the calories on food which isn’t going to help my progression. Protein is high on the list, although I have to admit, shakes are becoming very tiresome. When I have time though, I have managed to cook eggs or protein pancakes which makes sure my diet hasn’t been boring and pretty easy to stick to. They just need to invent protein beer!”- Wes
Another good week from Wes. His sessions in the gym have been great, and his weight has dropped by a further 0.45kg to 80.45kg. His weight loss was a little surprising as we increased his calories and he also started supplementing with Creatine again but we’ll take it.
"This week I had a pre-arranged weekend away to meet up with some cousins.
Usually, when we catch up, it generally involves lots of food and drink. As I was aware of this, I had a chat with Chris in the week. I didn’t really want to reschedule but also I didn’t want the weekend to be made complicated as I tried to stick to my calorie and protein goals. To be honest, when I had the chat with Chris, I had already made my mind up that I wasn’t going to restrict myself for the weekend, no matter what he said.
Luckily Chris was in agreement with me, in that I had worked hard and been very focused through the program and so he thought the weekend wouldn’t do too much harm. The weekend has been and gone, and whilst I ate and drank what I wanted, I think subconsciously, I didn’t let myself get too carried away. I did definitely eat a lot more carbs than I would have done recently and by the end of the weekend, I was feeling more sluggish and not quite as sharp as I have been. Equally I actually felt a bit guilty and ended up going to the gym for an extra session to try and make up for the weekend excesses. The old me would be disgusted.
I think and I hope, that as well as the gym habits, these 12 weeks has helped me build new habits for how I eat and drink that will carry on permanently. That way it will help me push on and improve after the 12 weeks are up."- Wes
Stay tuned for more updates on how Wes is getting along with his PT Chris on his 12 week transformation journey! For a more detailed update on Wes' transformation with PT Chris, check out Chris' website.