New Body Plan author and Men’s Fitness Editor-in-Chief Jon Lipsey lost 10kg of fat in just eight weeks and transformed his body into cover model material. Here’s his remarkable story – and how you can emulate his results
My name is Jon Lipsey, editor-in-chief of Men’s Fitness magazine and I have a six-pack. That’s not very surprising, is it? You’d expect me to be the proud/smug owner of chiselled abs. In fact, you’d be disappointed if I didn’t have a washboard stomach. It’s just as well, then, that you didn’t meet me eight weeks before I wrote this because, oh boy, would you have been unimpressed.
You see, two months ago, I didn’t have a six-pack. I didn’t have T-shirt filling biceps and I didn’t have broad shoulders. I did, however, have a belly. I had love handles too. And big, dark, sleep-deprived circles around my eyes. I was stressed, I had low energy levels and, according to any metric you care to choose, I was overweight. Here’s how I found myself in that position, what I did to get in cover model shape and what you can do to emulate my lardy-to-lean transformation.
What shape were you in before you started?
I could tell you that I got a bit “soft around the edges” but the truth is that I got fat. I ate too much, I said “Fancy a swift one?” too often and I moved too little. It didn’t happen overnight. It never does. In my 20s I was slim but as my responsibilities grew – I started my own business five years ago and I’m due to become a dad for the first time later this year – so too did my waistline. The realisation that I needed to do something about it came when I saw a photo of myself on holiday with my shirt off. In my mind I was in decent shape. Reality begged to differ.
Takeaway tip: It’s so easy to get out of shape. Life’s busy and stressful but you can make a change. The first step is to identify what you want to achieve and make a decision to do something about it.
How did you feel about starting a transformation?
Intimidated. And scared. I was scared that I wouldn’t be able to stick to the diet and exercise plan and I was scared that, even if I did stick to it, I wouldn’t get much of a result. I worried that I’d either spend more time in a bar than lifting one, or that my before and after shots would look like a spot-the-difference competition. The final, and perhaps biggest, challenge was that if I failed to make a significant difference to my body shape I’d be exposed as a fraud. Someone who talked a good fitness game but, when it came to the abdominal crunch, couldn’t put their muscle where their mouth is.
Takeaway tip: One of the keys to staying motivated is to believe that you can make a positive change and that there is a correlation between effort and outcome. Even if you don’t fully believe this at the start, keep telling yourself that it’s true and over time your mindset will change.
How did you train?
I wanted to prove that if I could do it then anyone can do it. That meant no personal trainer, just me and the gym floor. I did four workouts per week of between 45-60 minutes. The plan was split up into four two-week blocks and it worked because they were progressively challenging, so as my fitness levels increased so to did the demands of the sessions. I was also smart about manipulating the key workout variables, such as exercise selection, sets, reps and rest periods, to maximise the return on my efforts.
Takeaway tip: If you commit to following a smart and sustainable plan, like the New Body Plan, then the results will come. The crazy thing is that it really isn’t rocket science. It’s about focusing on the stuff that is proven to work.
How about nutrition?
This was actually a lot easier than expected. Instead of living on quinoa and lettuce leaves for a couple of months, I used the New Body Plan 90% Nutrition Rule, which means that for 90% of your meals you follow a portion-based approach that includes a balance of protein, carbs and fats. The rest of the time you’re free to eat what you like. And when nothing’s off limits you don’t crave the stuff you can’t have.
Takeaway tip: Fad diets and restrictive eating plans make you miserable and set you up for failure. A sustainable approach to eating, that doesn’t cut out any food groups, is the way forwards.
Did you cut out alcohol?
Not at first. I probably had about five or six drinks in the first four weeks of the plan. But by the halfway stage I could see that I was making good progress and decided to tighten things up a bit for the home straight. One of the biggest unexpected benefits of doing the New Body Plan was that it completely re-set my relationship with booze. I still drink. I just drink much less than I used to and I appreciate what I’m drinking a heck of a lot more.
Takeaway tip: You don’t have to go teetotal but reducing your alcohol intake will have a massive impact on your results. A break from the booze will also allow you to create new habits around when and how much you drink.
What was your final result?
Over the course of eight weeks I lost 10kg of body fat and transformed myself from an overweight 37-year-old into a Men’s Fitness cover model. What you don’t see from the before and after images is the fact that I became less stressed, I slept better and I felt happier. I also proved to myself that if something really mattered to me then I could make it happen.
Takeaway tip: Don’t write yourself off before you start. Ignore the doubting voices in your head, commit to the plan and follow the process. If you do that then you’ll get the results you deserve.
What would be your advice to anyone thinking of doing New Body Plan?
It was the best thing I ever did. I got the confidence boost of a brand new body. I could look forward to (rather than dread) that moment when you take your shirt off at the beach. But I was only able to do that because I knew why I started. I started because I was about to become a dad and I was gaining weight. If my weight gain continued at the same rate then in another few years, when my child would be wanting to run around and kick a ball in the park, I’d be flirting with a BMI of 30 and about to join the 28% of the British public who, according to figures released last year, are clinically obese.
Takeaway tip: Ask yourself why you want to transform your body and think about how you’ll feel when you achieve your goal. Then, whenever the going gets tough, just remind yourself of those two things.
Yup. This: there will never be an ideal time to start. If you wait for a time that feels like the right time, you’ll never do it. The reassuring thing I can pass on, having been through my own transformation, is that the hardest step is the first one. But once you take that first step it gets progressively easier. I know how powerful a plan like this can be, and that’s why we created the New Body Pack, which contains everything you need to make massive changes to how good you look and feel.
Takeaway tip: The right time to start is right now! And once you sign up me, and our team of experts, will always be on hand to give you the support you need to get the body you want.