At the beginning of February 2017, I took 21 individuals under my wing to coach them through a 12-week transformation challenge. I wanted to do this to demonstrate to those individuals how they are able to live their life’s whilst still getting themselves in shape. I wanted to show them that they could ‘go out to eat with friends’ and ‘include some alcohol on a night out’ whilst they still chipped away at their goals.

What did the ‘challenge’ involve?

The challenge was simple in its set up; perform 4 workouts a week and stick to the number of calories you are told to in the nutrition plan. You were required to check in with me once a week where you would have to inform me with how your week went. You would also need to take your progress pictures on the morning of your check in day and weigh yourself (before eating or drinking anything).

How did the challengers know what to eat?

The nutrition plan was individualised to each of the participants in the challenge. I worked out their starting macros and educated them on how to track the food they are eating and how to hit their protein, carbohydrate and fat targets each day. If you want a bit more information on how I did this; then you can read my previous blog explaining all about macros here:

The main problem that nearly every single individual had at the start of the challenge was eating the amount of food I asked them too. Not a bad place to be in. If you are able to reduce body fat whilst eating an abundance of food then that makes ‘dieting’ very easy. A large amount of the 21 challengers (at least 90%) had never tracked their food before. This meant that the first 2-3 weeks of the challenge was more educational than anything else. The challengers found out exactly what they were (or weren’t) eating each day. The main macro nutrient that the challengers found they were extremely low on…..PROTEIN! This macro nutrient is the key to getting results (in my opinion). It is the building blocks of the human body and so many people do not eat enough of it. To read more about the benefits of protein; read my previous blog here:

So, once the challengers became accustomed to the macro nutrients they were supposed to be eating it was plane sailing from then onwards. They checked in with me every week and let me know if they’d hit their macros, done the workouts required, recovered from the workouts and how their stress and sleep was. If ticks were in all the right boxes I was able to make adjustments (if needed) accordingly. The changes I made were extremely small throughout the 12 weeks. I wanted to demonstrate to the challengers how you can nudge your body to change rather than trying to starve or beat it into submission. The average drop in calories over the 12 weeks was 200! That’s 200 calories from the high calories they started on. The average weight lost over the 12 weeks was 10 pounds (bear in mind that 3 of the challengers wanted to gain muscle and not lose weight). This shows you that you can eat a lot of food and still get amazing results if you know what you are doing.

What did the workouts entail?

The workouts that the challengers followed was from this very website that you are reading this blog on ( They followed my online programming and used the workout plan (beginner, intermediate or advanced) depending on their individual level of ability. This allowed me to have a huge amount of control on exactly what workouts they are doing each week. I wanted the challengers to get at least 4 workouts a week in. Some of the challengers missed this requirement some weeks, but, those who were religious with getting their workouts in were also the most consistent with their food. These individuals also got the most out of the 12-week challenge and transformed their bodies. Funny how consistency, accountability and a measured approach resulted in the best results!

So, the 12-week challenge was most definitely a learning experience for everyone involved. The challengers have a much greater understanding of exactly how much food (and the macro breakdown of this food) they can eat in order to achieve the desired result. They also found how following a structured exercise plan that concentrates on getting you stronger in a variety of rep ranges keeps your body composition moving in the right direction. I didn’t set ‘traditional cardio’ workouts for any of the challengers. Instead, I got them to increase the intensity of their weight training sessions to increase the output. As the 12 weeks progressed so did the strength numbers of every single member of the challenge! Get strong, get your nutrition on point, be consistent and watch how your body will change for the better.

Anyway, that is enough talk. Let’s look at some of the amazing transformations…

As I am sure you will agree, these results are nothing short of outstanding. I will be writing some articles focussing on certain individual’s journeys. I think this will be extremely beneficial in helping others who are currently feeling a little lost on their fitness journey. Keep your eyes peeled for those coming in the not so distant future!

Thanks for reading, and as always, if you have any questions about anything then please let me know.

Written by: Adam Wakefield

I have been working as a personal trainer for over 9 years. I began my career in the fitness industry after completing a degree in Sport Science where I graduated with Upper Class Honours. I have always had a thirst for all things related to health, fitness and nutrition and it wasn’t before long that I owned my own gym.

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