Four years ago, I was at university (of Manchester) and close to turning the ripe age of 25. Ever since I was little, I’ve always believed that turning 25 was really significant and that I’d have an awesome 25th year alive! I therefore needed to make sure that I had skills required to live it to it’s fullest. So, with just 9 months to go until April (that’s my birthday month!), I started to do some soul searching.
I spent time exploring what it meant to ‘be a man’ (check out David DeAngelo’s On Being A Man series). I realised more and more that in our society, manhood is assumed by age rather than by behaviour (sometimes exhibited through rights of passage), mindfulness or spirituality (A New Earth by Eckhart Tolle). As I explored further, one thing kept on coming to mind - a thing that most men desire - getting a 6-pack!
I don’t mean a 6-pack of beers to drink away the night; I mean some ripped abs. Beach-body abs. I’ll never forgot the present my little brother gave me for my 21st birthday - a picture of himself, showing off his abs, with the caption saying ‘Maybe this year you will have this…’. LOL - it makes me laugh just remembering when he gave me that picture. Joker!
For me, getting a 6-pack seemed really difficult. I’d never had one before and I didn’t know what was required. I was a little lost.
In the past, I had always tried gyms. Every January, I’d commit to getting fit and sign up for monthly membership at my local Fitness First. However, without a real programme of what I should be doing in the gym, the results didn’t materialise and my motivation dwindled. But this time, not only did I want to get ripped, I wanted to be healthy and alive so that I’d be able to handle all that was coming at that ripe age of 25. I wanted to do something different this time. As they say, ‘insanity is doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results’.
So off I went to Google and began looking for information on health and fitness; specifically on how to get abs. I then remembered a 16-minute routine called Ab-Ripper X that my friends had shown me a few years back. I later discovered that this was part of a wider programme called P90X - a 90 day home fitness programme. I was taken aback by people results, thinking to myself: 'is this really possible in just 90 days?' I was skeptical.
However, one success story videos on Youtube really struck me - it was of a guy called ‘daBigShow’ who weighed roughly the same as me and his results after 90 days were just insane. I was sold! All my friends can attest to how ‘sold’ I was as I would not stop showing and telling everyone about this cool programme (I was really telling them because I wanted a partner-in-crime to take this journey with). Well, it worked and I was joined by my mate Edward who decided it would be a fun experiment.
If I was going to do this then I’d give it my all and stick to the fitness and nutriution plan to the ‘T’ so that if I didn’t get the results it wouldn’t be down to my slack. I don’t like doing things by halves. This would be all or nothing. So, I got the DVD’s, purchased my food (which was quite expensive as I was going to have to eat more calories than ever!), got a water bottle and stocked up on some recovery drinks. For the next 30 days, I committed. I was eating around 3,300 calories and drinking around 4-5 litres of water each day!
There were times when I was tired. When all I wanted to do was sleep. But the motivation to getting ready for the year ahead was so high that there were times when I’d start working out at 1-2am because I hadn’t done my workout for that day. The results were worth it.
This was me after 30 days:
Pumped! The programme was really working. I kept pushing play, and then by day 50, I was stunned by the results…
Close to an 8-pack here, I was A.B.S.O.L.U.T.E.L.Y S.H.O.C.K.E.D at what healthy eating and drinking loads of water could do in such a short space of time. I felt so alive! It gave me both physical and mental strength - I believed I was ready for any challenge and now fully believe that anyone can fulfil their goals if they work hard enough.
Only 3 months later, something even more amazing happened… watch this space for part 2 of the story!
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There is only one power in the universe. It doesn’t matter what you call it. You can call it God, you can call it Soul, the Universe, Kwame, Louise, Jason, whatever. It’s not what you call something that gives it meaning. As one of my friends (who loves accounting!) often says it’s substance over legal form. This one force that flows through everything is indivisible. You can’t cut it in half, you can’t divide it. It’s ONE.