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Martin is a physiology lecturer who is determined to prove to his wife and students that he can practise what he preaches
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.
In his prime, Martin was a track and field athlete. But when he joined the Transform Club, he was a physiology lecturer at the University of the Free State who weighed in at 105 kgs.
Martin joined the Transform Club because he wanted to finally practise what he preaches in his physiology classes.
“I want to live with integrity, especially since I teach most of my students about health (activity and eating choices),” he says. “I want my wife and my students to see that I do not only talk big, but that I walk in the footsteps of my words and hold myself accountable.”
Martin’s struggle with weight gain began when he moved cities. “I have steadily gained weight over the last 8 years since I moved to Bloemfontein and even more in the last two and a half years since I have been married,” he says. “I have lost the joy of being active and steadily looked for excuses to not exercise or eat healthy.”
Martin tried to shed the kilos every one of those years. He would start just before summer holidays, and sees some success over December, but falls off the wagon in January when his progress hits a stumbling block and he lost all motivation and gave up.
We paired Martin up with personal trainer and athletics coach Johan Swiegers. With two training sessions a day, plus a 5km jog and 20km cycle on the weekends, Martin has been putting in the sweat towards his ultimate goal: to lose enough weight to start competing again in veterans track and field.
With half the Transform Club challenge time elapsed already, Johan is pleased with his client’s progress.
“Double the power and double the speed; we are almost there in 2 months and we still have 2 to go,” Johan says. “Training-wise, we are improving his balance and speed work as well as focusing on running drills. It’s amazing how fast the body adapts and by pushing where needed every week, you slowly re-sculpt the body.”
The strategy is to get Martin in the gym twice a day: 5am weight training, then 5pm conditioning. He’s following a low GI diet to fuel his exercise while shedding fat. His biggest challenges so far have been getting up at 4am to hit the gym… and resisting the urge to tuck into a plate of ribs and chips.
Martin has already started seeing the benefits of living a healthy lifestyle when it comes to striking a balance between home life, work and fitness. “I try to put my family life first. My wife, Anneldé, is a group fitness instructor at the local Virgin Active, so we spend quality time during the rides to and from the gym,” he says. “I train in the mornings before work and gain some energy from it which helps me to complete my tasks at work more efficiently.”
Martin was inspired to make this change in his lifestyle for 2 reasons:
1. “My biggest inspiration is that I want to be a better version of myself. In the past I used to try and motivate myself by what I don’t want to be, which inevitably failed almost every time.”
2. “My wife and students. I want to live a life of integrity for her and them. What I teach and talk about has to reflect in how I live. Both are what keep me going.”