Shredded for Summer Challenge: Final thoughts
Ben sprint training

The journey is over! It’s been an interesting couple of months. I started this challenge thinking that I was in fairly okay shape, that I knew what I was doing in the gym and that my diet was pretty good. I was wrong on all counts. I looked at my ‘before’ photograph the other day and compared it to how I look now, I didn’t think I looked too bad before but the difference is quite drastic! I shouldn’t be surprised though, my diet has been super clean and my training has been really intense, if that doesn’t work then nothing will.

Over this last week I’ve sweated more than I can describe and experienced sprinting on a track for the first time. I discovered that I am not built for sprinting, Usain Bolt has nothing to worry about at Rio 2016.

I also learned a really cool trick that my PT, Terry, showed me; he pulled out a deck of cards during the final 10 minutes of our chest session and told me to pick a number higher than 10. I had a feeling that I’d be shooting myself in the foot if I picked a really high number so I opted for 12. Terry then said that Aces, Jacks, Queens and Kings were now worth 12, all the rest of the cards have a number anyway.

187 push-ups

He pulled cards out of the pack at random for the full 10 minutes and whichever card he pulled, that’s how many push-ups I had to do. Within 10 minutes I had done 187. Terry said it’s an excellent response to anyone who says they’ve only got 10 minutes to exercise, “What can I do in 10 minutes?”, “You can do 187 push-ups, that’s what you can do!”

I’m really, really looking forward to giving myself a bit of a break now. My final shoot is on Wednesday and I’m going to have from then through the weekend to be more relaxed on my diet, let my hair down and enjoy myself. I’m calling it my cheat weekend. After that though, I reckon I’m going to be back into it, just on my own this time.

I’d be silly to lose this strength that I’ve gained and I’ve really enjoyed the weightlifting so that will be something I’ll be doing more of. My diet will be permanently cleaner too, I’ve kind of purged the cravings for greasy and fatty foods out of my system so I’m not bothered about that anyway now. I’m still crying out for sugar though. Unsurprising considering it’s eight times more addictive than cocaine.

Huge thanks to Terry Longmore for all the guidance throughout, he seriously is a fantastic personal trainer and I would recommend him to anyone. Also to The Gym Group, Ignite and Genesis for letting me use their facilities. A final thanks to Reflex Nutrition for providing the best quality supplements which have helped me recover and build throughout the whole process.

See you in the September/ October issue!