Charles is determined to finally have the body he’s always wanted as the big 4-0 approaches
By Hasan Variawa

The situation: hundreds of Men’s Health readers applied to be part of the Transform Club 2017. We picked 6 guys to get free personal training and professional nutrition advice, and amazing gear from adidas as well as supplements from Nutritech. The only catch? They have to commit to transforming their bodies in 4 months.

Name: Charles du Plessis
Age: 38
Profession: Tech entrepreneur

Charles considers himself a pretty average-looking guy. He’s not fat, but he’s not ripped either. With his 40th birthday fast approaching, he decided to take on the Transform Club challenge to finally get the muscular physique most guys dream of but never achieve.

“I do not want to have any regrets when I am older,” Charles says. “Next year I will be 40. I decided that I want to do whatever it takes to make sure that, when I turn 40, I will have the one thing that I have always wanted, never had before and that you can’t buy from any shop (no matter how much money you have) – a good looking body!”

Check out his impressive progress so far:

body-statsCharles is tackling the Transform Club with the same grit as when he lost his job 5 years ago, and built his own company from scratch.”When I was chosen to participate in this challenge, I immediately took on the same attitude as the one I took on when I started my own business after losing my job – failure and quitting is not an option.”

We paired Charles up with personal trainer, Men’s Health cover guy and all round beast Trevor Lagerwey. Trevor is the owner of FITstrongSA and is no stranger to chiselling a phenomenal physique. See below.

Trevor is pushing Charles hard in 3 training sessions per week.

“I expect Charles not only to have lost weight, but in the same breath gained muscle, mobility, balance and coordination, core strength as well as cardiovascular fitness,” says Trevor. “(He’s going to be) an overall machine!”

Here’s how they’re gunning for that goal:

1. BUILD FUNCTIONAL MUSCLE

It’s useless looking aesthetically muscular if you have no functional strength or fitness. “A holistic approach is always the best approach,” Trevor says. “What use is it looking all muscular doing isolated muscle groups all day and then life steps in and you need to run 3km to get petrol for your car and run back carrying the fuel? You need to be strong, as well as fit to deal with the reality of life and what it might throw at you.”

He’s got Charles doing 1 day of strength training and 2 days of High Intensity Interval Training each week. In addition, Charles has to do 2 days of cardio on his own, keeping within a heartrate threshold for weight loss.

Here’s Charles and Trevor hard at work at FITstrong:charles-and-trevor

2. DON’T EAT RUBBISH

Sticking to a healthy diet is the single toughest part of the Transform Club challenge for Charles.”No jelly gummies or Lays and Doritos? Eish!” he says.

Trevor takes all his measurements every two weeks, and says it’s pretty clear to see if he’s been cheating. “There are 168 hours in a week. I see him for 3!” Trevor says. “Trust and honesty are monumental. If he is sticking to his eating plan, the assessments will show the appropriate response. If he is not, the results will speak for themselves. You cant beat the system on this one!”

Transform Club: How To Lose 10kgs And Muscle Up When You Don’t Have Time To Exercise

3. EXTRA GYM TIME DOESN’T MEAN YOUR WORK OR FAMILY HAS TO SUFFER

Finding an hour in your day to exercise means that something else has to be sacrificed, right? Wrong. Charles has found that spending time at gym has actually benefitted his business.

“I came to realise after completing the first month of the challenge that the hour a day I ‘steal’ in the morning before I go to the office has not lead to the downfall of my business, nor did it have any negative effects as I was scared it might have,” he says. “In fact, it has actually taught my employees to cope and carry on without me.”

Charles treats exercise as an investment in his future –  and that means family time is crucial too. “My family still receives the same amount of time as they did before I started training,” he says. “Being fitter and stronger will also ensure that I give myself the best chance possible to enjoy life as I get older.”

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4. HAVE A STRONG SUPPORT SYSTEM 

Get your squad on point, ’cause they’re the ones who are going to push you through those final reps and snatch the bag of chips out your hands.

“My wife and kids play a huge part in keeping my motivated and helping me to stick to my diet,” Charles says. “As far as staying motivated goes, Trevor (my trainer) and Jan Lategan (my nutritionist – referred to me by Trevor) are always saying the right things to praise my progress and results – no matter how simple or small I think they might be. This truly helps me mentally as there is no such thing as instant gratification during this process!”