It’s 7am and I am sitting in front of a pint of lager. Don’t worry, I’m at an airport bar – the only place it’s socially acceptable to drink any time of the day or night outside of Las Vegas.
The reason for ordering a pint with breakfast is that this is the last chance I’m going to get to have a proper drink for a little while. Three months in fact. That’s 12 weeks.
The timeframe ’12 Week’ has a special place in my heart – and in Nick Mitchell’s – because it comprises 50% of the title of the book we wrote three years ago. The other two words were ‘Body Plan’. It spent the whole of 2013 and 2014 at the top of amazon.co.uk’s best-selling fitness book chart.
And Nick is the reason I am at an airport. I am heading to Spain and his UP Marbella gym because tomorrow we are starting another 12 week transformation programme. But it’s not just a repeat. It’s something far bigger than that. I’ll let Nick explain to you why this follow-up book is going to so much bigger and better. He’s the man that has spent 30 years accumulating the knowledge to put it together, after all.
Instead I am going to briefly answer one, if not the, most common question I get asked since the book was released. And it’s this: ‘Have you maintained your cover model body?’.
The answer is a resounding ‘no’. Leaving my job as deputy editor at Men’s Fitness and launching a brand new magazine – IronLife – meant that hard training and clean eating fell down my list of priorities until my hard-gained muscle started shrinking and my belly started to re-accumulate layers of fat.
In fact, almost three years to the day since my cover shoot at the end of the first 12 week challenge, I am unrecognisable from not only that photograph, but also from the ‘before’ shot. I am not sure Nick realises just how out of shape I am. Am I nervous about seeing him again tomorrow? No. I am absolutely terrified. But if there’s one man in the world who can whip me back into shape in such a short time frame it’s him.
Right, my flight is boarding. Next stop, Spain. The only way is UP.