Richard Lovett is a 30-year-old Capetonian who took on an 8-week Health Challenge so that he could be more fit and more self-confident. And he knocked it out the park. We caught up with him to find out how he pulled it off. Was it his determination and competitive drive, or was it the Iron Man tattoo?
What Made You Decide To Be Healthier?
“I’ve always enjoyed playing sport, hiking, running and being fit in general. However, when my life got busy and complicated, that healthy lifestyle took a backseat. Along with a poor diet (sweets and junk food), I started neglecting my body. Running and training was slowly being replaced by unwanted weight gain.
I got to a point where I was “grossed” out by my reflection. And seeing photos on social media where I’m topless (and clearly shouldn’t have been) didn’t help with my confidence. I felt embarrassed and ashamed.
I had chubby cheeks and love handles… Me? Love handles? No sir, something had to be done.
I stumbled upon a health challenge on SleekGeek – it was an 8-week transformation challenge. And it was exactly what I needed.”
What Kept You Motivated Throughout The 8 Weeks?
“I’m a naturally competitive person and decided to use this challenge as a tool to change my lifestyle and mindset for the better. Whenever I felt like skipping gym, or quitting halfway through the session – I reminded myself that I would be the only one to blame for not completing the challenge.”
How Did Your Daily Routine Change Throughout This Process?
“This was a lifestyle change. There is no quick fix, tablet or special crash diet. Consistency is what really produces results. 8 weeks is not a long time at all, but I promise you, with the correct balance between a healthy diet and good, regular exercise, extraordinary results are possible.
Preparation is key as well – I didn’t have time on my hands to cook every night when I got back from gym. So meal prep on Sundays was a winning move.”
What Was Your Workout Plan And Diet For The 8 Weeks?
“I followed a training programme called Jim Stoppani’s Shortcut To Size. It is a programme designed to increase muscle mass in the shortest time. The routine comprised of training 4 days a week to attack each muscle group. I, unfortunately injured my anterior tibialis in the second week.
“Yes, the tattoo is a reference to Mr Tony Stark. It’s his attitude and persona which appeals to me. I wont pretend that every single tattoo has some deep heartfelt meaning, because some just looked cool.”
Initially, I was pretty devastated because I thought I wouldn’t be able to train further – but I didn’t give up. I excluded leg training from the 4-day cycle, and then trained each muscle group twice a week with one rest day. In the 6th week I slowly started cardio again to introduce a bit of cardio to my routine.
I followed a ketogenic diet for the duration of the challenge. I worked off a 21-day keto meal plan. The meal plan offered daily meals with under 20g net carbs. As much as eating bacon until you are blue in the face is fantastic, you’ll learn that a keto diet is more than that.
I recommend doing lots of research. You really need to know what your body requires according to age, weight, goal weight etc… and adjust your diet accordingly.
The body is an amazing specimen and all you need to do is listen to it.”
Your Go-To Workout/Exercise?
“Due to my injury, I was not able to train legs or run, but that helped me improve my upper body, especially biceps, which used to be my worst session but is now my favourite.”
What Advice Can You Give To Others Who Wish To Pursue Such A Transformation?
- Set yourself goals you think you cannot achieve, and then work until you knock them out the park.
- At least showing up is 90% of the battle won.
- Be prepared and put a plan in place. Not planning at all, is planning for failure.