People rarely have a clean break with their good intentions. They disappear gradually, a death by 1000 cuts. “I’m too tired to make lunch for work tomorrow.” “It’s too cold to walk to the gym.” “I don’t have time for a run today.” Self-styled “body genius” and personal trainer to the stars (well, Katie Price and Billie Piper), Mark Anthony thinks he has a solution. The VIP Body System is a six week regime that includes a chauffeur-driven car to pick you up and drop you off (I went from home to gym to office), an hour-long workout and delivery of all of your meals directly to your home or office (breakfast, two snacks, lunch and dinner) I tried it out: here is how it went.
DAY ONE: LEGS AND ABS
I wake up at 7.30am to the sound of my driver calling to let me know he’s waiting outside. I almost fall over the gigantic box of food sitting on the doorstep (the day’s food consists of honey granola, smoothie, chicken and quinola salad, flapjacks and Keralan prawn curry). I drag it into the taxi and promptly fall asleep for the entire journey to the West End studio. We start with an uphill walk to warm up before embarking on a punishing leg routine. Half way through my third rep of bar-lifting squat thrusts my thighs feel like they are on fire, lactic acid searing every muscle. The ab exercises – again, split into three reps of 15 or 25 – are worse. My trainer misses a few numbers as he counts down, which we both pretend not to notice. I get through three leg and three ab routines before I waddle to the treadmill for a 20 minute uphill hike. I feel nauseous, drenched in sweat, surprised by quite how unprepared my body was for this. My driver takes me back to the office, where I can barely walk. The food, though, is delicious – it’s clearly low fat but isn’t insipid, as I’d expected.
DAY TWO: ARMS AND ABS
Roast pepper and sweet potato frittata for breakfast (later: fruit, turkey noodles, Szechuan chicken bites and beef stew). The treadmill warm-up is a killer after the leg exercises yesterday. The arm routines are even tougher than the leg ones yesterday – free-weight bicep curls almost finish me off. Even on the light weights, the machine work is excruciating. If I didn’t have someone telling me to carry on, I would have packed up and left after the warm-up.
DAY THREE: DAY OFF
Blackberry “yoatie” for breakfast, cashew nuts as a snack, carrot and lentil soup for lunch, a muffin in the afternoon and steamed fish for dinner. Everything hurts.
DAY FOUR: HAMSTRINGS AND ABS
The day off has given my body some time to recover. I wake up in plenty of time for the cab. The warm-up isn’t so bad, especially after a few days without drinking. However, after a second day of leg exercises, I’m sure I can actually hear my thighs crying. The 20 minute hike, though, is easier, even on a steeper incline. The nausea has gone.
DAY FIVE: BACK AND ABS
Getting up is easy. I feel energetic and chat to the driver for the first time. The warm-up doesn’t tire me out, although my arms are still painful from Tuesday. The back exercises, one of which uses a machine that looks like Hal from 2001: A Space Odyssey and probably costs as much, are tough and by the end my muscles are burning again but the daily climb is actually quite fun. I leave feeling elated – for the first time in my life I understand the attraction of going to the gym. I’m absolutely ravenous and the food (salmon and scrambled eggs, cherry muffin, risotto, turkey roll and stuffed peppers) barely satisfy my hunger.
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After a week I was exhausted and in pain but completely sold on this way of getting fit. While five days isn’t enough to notice much of a physical change, I was amazed by how quickly my body adapted to the routine. Six weeks of the VIP Body System would have a big impact, especially if weight loss is your goal.
The VIP Body System Package is £750 a week. Go to markanthonysuk.com for more information, call 0207 221 8625 or visit the gym at 57 Ossington Street London, W2 4LY