How Werner Van Wyk Dropped 29KG In His 30s

14 months later and 29kg lighter, he tells us how he did it.

Kirsten Curtis |

When you’re a career-focused 30-something with a tight schedule and busy work days, like Werner van Wyk, sometimes weight sneaks up on you. But the marketing manager wasn’t going to let those extra kilos take up permanent residence. With the help of his coach, JJ Botha, he started making subtle lifestyle changes. Now, 14 months later and 29kg lighter, he tells us how he did it.

Werner Van Wyk

  • Location: Jeffrey’s Bay
  • Occupation: Marketing Manager
  • Age: 34
  • Weight Before: 113kg
  • Weight After: 84kg
  • Time To Goal: 14 months
  • Recommended Fat-burning Workout: Mountain Climbers

The Reality Check: “One day at the office, my pants ripped in front of colleagues and I had to go home to get changed. Needless to say, I was embarrassed. More of these moments would follow. Even my pants buttons would pop off from time to time. I’m quite tall, so I never realised how much weight I’d gained; I felt humiliated and ashamed inside. A colleague and I decided to start planking at work. Baby steps, you know? During this time I consumed fewer kilojoules; and within three weeks I’d lost 7kg. That was a great start that I was incredibly proud of. But I knew I could do more.”


Werner recruited the help of personal trainer JJ Botha to help motivate and guide him, and to help him keep his training consistent.

Eyes On The Prize

Werner told his coach that his goal weight was 95kg, and that he wanted a toned and chiselled chest. JJ’s reply to that was: “You’ll have a six-pack by December.” He also advised Werner to ignore the negative comments that he’d inevitably get from some people. “You’re doing this for you, no one else.”

Find Your Balance

At the age of 30 and up, you need to re-evaluate what your body wants and needs. Werner did cardio training for six mornings a week, and sessions with his coach five afternoons a week. Rest days were vital, as he needed his energy for work as well. And his coach made sure he didn’t overwork himself.

Engage Before Exercise

After three decades, your body has bad habits that can lead to injury. Spend 10 to 15 minutes warming up, stretching tight tissues (think hip flexors and pecs, if you sit often) and awakening dormant muscles (like the rhomboid muscles in your mid-back) with resistance-band drills.


A few beers every weekend didn’t help Werner achieve his goals; but following the dietary guidelines given by his coach made the difference.

Take It Slow

“Although Werner was very focused, at times he was too hurried to achieve his goals. He soon realised that there’s no fast-forward button, and that he should remain consistent in order to see proper results,” says coach JJ.

Tackling all your goals at once could easily result in feeling overwhelmed. Choose a goal a week. One week you focus on drinking more water, the next you cut back on kilojoules, and so on. As the weeks go by, you accumulate the beneficial behaviours with far less stress than if you’d taken on multiple goals.

Visualise Your Meals

Coach JJ says that summer bodies are made in the kitchen. Werner needed some help in this regard. So with the guidance of his coach, he backed off the booze and junk food. By envisioning and planning more nutritious options early in the day, he made it more likely that he’d stick with it later. He even ditched the weekend round of beers.

Check In With Yourself

The number on the scale isn’t your only marker of progress. Even if that number hasn’t changed, what else about you has? Are you sleeping better? Feeling more confident? More energised? More motivated?

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