After 280 550 of your votes and 1 038 entries, we’ve found the 10 finalists from the Belly Off Challenge. Together they lost 169kg and 179cm in their quest to become better men.

BELLY OFF FINALIST: Tankiso Motsohi

20, Bloemfontein, Law student
BEFORE: 121kg
AFTER: 99kg
WAIST BEFORE: 102cm
WAIST AFTER: 91cm

Belly Off Rule

A healthy lifestyle can sidestep surgery

“My goals were to lose weight, but more importantly to gain full fitness. When I was 16 I fractured my back playing rugby and had to learn how to walk again. During that time I gained weight (which I couldn’t seem to lose), so I saw this as a chance to lose the weight and get back my fitness levels. It was the discipline required to push through the pain barrier that helped me to believe in my own abilities again. My injury was always in the back of my mind when I trained, but it eventually faded. Thanks to my training and healthy eating, I don’t have back pain or spasms anymore. In fact, my neurologist said I could play rugby again. My high blood pressure has gone down and I’ve stopped most of my chronic medication. Now I’m playing rugby, doing weightlifting and about to start MMA (Mixed Martial Arts). I find that the more active you are, the more your mental and emotional being benefits, and the more efficient and resilient you become.”

Belly Off Fact

“You’ll need new clothes and nicknames.”

“The ladies find my new look very appealing and most my friends need new nicknames for me as the old ones, like my clothes, just don’t seem to fit me anymore. It feels good being a size 37-38 as I can shop at normal shops now. I’ve kept a few of my old size 44 jeans as a visual reminder and look at them whenever I feel like quitting.”

Belly Off Exercise

The barbell squat.

“Works your glutes, quads, calves, back and your core. It forces your midsection to work on stabilising your body.”

BELLY OFF FINALIST: Joe Geldenhuys

43, Fourways, Project Head
BEFORE: 112kg
AFTER: 95kg
WAIST BEFORE: 114cm
WAIST AFTER: 93cm

Belly Off Rule

Free weights are better than cardio when it comes to burning fat

“I never wanted to do free weights, I always relied on a few excuses to justify not doing them. I didn’t want the big guys to laugh at me. I didn’t want to “bulk up” – I just wanted to get definition and I thought that machines and cardio were the only solution. I was wrong. Free weights build strength and not necessarily just bulk, and that the big, bulky guys around me doing free weights with a massive dumbbells were the extreme, and not the norm.”

Joe is spot on with his theory, a fast-paced, full-body workout with free weights (with little rest periods) will build muscle, speed up your metabolism and torch fat faster than cardio sessions.

Belly Off Fact

Research your trainer.

“It will make the world of difference to your results. My personal trainer was great, every day was a different workout and she kept pushing my limits. Start by getting references. No one wants to pay for a supervisor to chat to you about the weather while you’re on the treadmill. You want someone who can push your boundaries and still know what your limitations are.”

Belly Off Exercise

Swimming.

“It’s a great all-over workout to train and it will stretch your muscles at the same time. I also like it because I can’t hear Liz, my personal trainer. Seriously though, I also think it’s very relaxing.”