I started with Mark at pure performance in the middle of June after he approached me in the gym, we spoke for half an hour as to what my aims were; the need to lose weight to have the proposed liposuction to remove excess breast tissue (the condition known as guynaecomastia), this also came with my personal desire to become physically fit in time for University. After discussing what my goals were, we set up a date for my consultation.

During the consultation Mark asked me why I confined myself to the treadmill. I explained how I did not have the confidence to approach the free weights, and how I was under the impression the use of weights was for muscle building and not fat loss. Mark talked me through a training session explaining the benefits of free weights over fixed weights and how they can be more beneficiary than cardio when it comes to weight loss. I signed up for a block of twelve training sessions over four weeks with a tied in nutrition plan.

The first week was a testing ground establishing what I could and couldn’t lift, including identifying a restriction of movement in my left shoulder, in which certain over head and behind the back movements would cause a spasm in my left bicep locking my entire arm out. As a result, Mark tailored my sessions to avoid such movements, including the use of front squats over the conventional behind the head movement. I also had my first body fat test, with at the age of 17 weighing 98 kilograms and a body fat percentage of 17.5%.

The first two months consisted of a concentration on fat loss, with four sessions a week, three with Mark and one guided session using the personal program he had posted on google docs. The google document gave me access to every training session through out the course of my program, giving me a framework for the development of my own sessions at University. In terms of nutrition, I cut out carbohydrates, focusing largely on a vegetable and protein diet, with use of the online tool to gauge calorie intake. I also began to consume post workout shakes, with organic fruits.

During the second month I began sprints following Mark’s advice to do so, they provided an effective and extremely intense fat burning procedure. It consisted of a 45 second sprint, followed by a five-minute rest repeated six times, twice a week, followed by a 45 second sprint and a four minute 45 second rest six times, twice the following week. Whilst intense it did improve both my speed and stamina, as well as accelerate the rate of fat loss when combined with my four sessions a week in the gym.

In the third month we moved to muscle building, increasing the weight and decreasing the number of reps. This came having achieved a body fat percentage of 14% following the first two months. The sessions in the third month were the most intense but also the most rewarding by far, and combined with the sprints I had continued with, I was accelerating fat loss and developing a fitness needed for further sporting opportunities at University. By the end of my program with Mark I had achieved a weight of 78 kilograms and a body fat percentage of 12.5%, but not only this, I now had a new presence and confidence in the gym, with the ability to develop my own training session tailored to my specific goals and a new found understanding for nutritional value in maintaining a healthy lifestyle.

I never thought I could achieve what I managed to with Mark in a year let alone in the three months, and even though it was a hard program I am so pleased I stuck with it, and with Mark’s training I achieved amazing results, to the extent that my Mum having seen how much fat I have burnt has begun training with Mark, with the similar aim of improving physical fitness. I would recommend Mark to anyone whether their goal is fat loss, muscle building or even weight gain, it has changed my life.

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