10-week fitness challenge | The get-fit diary of an out-of-shape office worker

Steve Dinneen
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Steve is undertaking a 10 week “total body transformation” programme with No.1 Fitness, which involves four sessions at the gym a week, a strictly-controlled diet and absolutely no alcohol under any circumstances whatsoever (not even a little bit, just to take the edge off...). Here’s how it’s going:

I’VE never been a fit man. I made it on to the school swimming team once but only because they needed an extra man for the relay. We came last. By a lot. A genetic slimness and general apathy towards chocolate means I’ve never looked massively out of shape, but close inspection reveals... well, very little shape at all. No pleasant, sloping triangle from the shoulders. More a loose cylinder starting at my neck and ending around my shoes.

I’m now a full month through what is, by a country mile, the most intensive bout of exercise I’ve ever undertaken. And, really, what a difference a month makes. Before I started, if you’d told me the latest set of photographs (which I pose for every week, like the braying narcissist I am) were the finished product, I’d have slapped you on the back. As it is, I’m only 40 per cent of the way through. Come week 10 I’m going to be insufferable (OK, more insufferable).

Where once there was the beginnings of a paunch, there are now abs. I have traps (the muscles that go from your neck to your shoulders), where before there was nothing. I can’t notice much change in my thighs but there must be some difference given the daily agony they are subjected to.

The speed at which my body became attuned to the exercise is pretty astonishing. I could barely walk after the first couple of sessions, now I shake it off almost immediately. This morning I discovered I can now do tricep dips. Loads of them. Like, 30. Three weeks ago my trainer had to hold my feet, and even then I couldn’t manage 10 at a time. There is a very primal satisfaction to be gained from being able to haul yourself up and down.

I’m not struggling too much with the diet. Any underlying cravings for sugar (which is banned, barring berries and the small amount that’s in pretty much everything we eat anyway) have pretty much vanished, and relying on protein as my major source of fuel has had a positive effect on my overall energy levels.

It’s not all roses: giving up booze is like driving a wrecking ball through your social life. The last day before the bank holiday weekend my colleagues all went for a drink in the sun. Much as I try to persuade myself otherwise, San Pellegrino is no substitute for a Peroni. I sloped off home.

Visit no1studiotraining.co.uk or call Tower Bridge studio on 020 7403 6660 or City studio on 020 7621 1312.

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