Bernardo Barbosa, 31, shares with Men's Health how he transformed his body and his mind after making some lifestyle changes post-Covid.
Following the end of a relationship in the middle of the pandemic, I realized I wasn't happy. I was no longer the confident, outgoing guy that people were used to. I'd reached a real low point, which then affected my friendships and relationships, and I knew I wanted to make a positive change.
I signed up for a 12-week transformation program at Ultimate Performance Manchester, and started working out with my trainer, Christian. With someone on your side, it is so much easier to stay motivated: they are there to push you when you think you cannot do it. We only trained three times per week, in hour-long, full-body sessions. For the first four weeks, I did these workouts remotely, and then after I started to lose weight and see promising results, I joined Christian in the gym.
I overhauled my entire diet and nutrition. I weighed all the food I ate and started paying attention to the times when I was consuming caffeine, how much water I was drinking, and especially to my macros per meal. I cannot say I had a bad diet before, but I didn’t necessarily know what I was eating, and what my body needed in order to develop. I was doing the standard diet that everyone does when they are looking to develop their body—but I learned that each body needs a different approach.
Over the course of 12 weeks, I went from 158 pounds (71kg) to 132 pounds (59kg), a total loss of 26 pounds (11-12kg). I also cut my body fat by 4.6 per cent.
In the beginning, it wasn't easy. I lost a lot of weight, and my friends and family were not used to see me like that. It was a complicated process when you do that for the first time and when you are not used to managing your macros, going up or down when needed. But after my photoshoot, everyone was shocked by the difference.
It was definitely more a non-physical change than a bodily change. With this experience, a workout is important, but it a small fraction of our whole transformation.I gained a lot more confidence, and I got more active during the day with more energy. But most importantly, I feel happier with myself. My next goal is to enter a bodybuilding competition, Men’s Physique, in 2022. I will apply everything I have learned during my time at Ultimate Performance to keep improving myself.
If you are at the start of your own fitness journey, I would highly recommending getting the help of someone trained, who can help you to understand exactly what your body needs Don’t think it will be an easy process, and stay focused on what you want to achieve.
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