Why did you decide to under go the Legion body transformation approach?
In 2009 I was a typical “lad”. I would go out binge drinking most weekends which was followed by the obligatory kebab or pizza. I gave no consideration to my diet and I simply ate what I wanted when I wanted which was often take away meals, chocolate and fizzy drinks. After finally tipping the scale at 86kg and with a BMI of 33, I decided that something had to change. For the next 3 years I tried to sift through the overload of information given to people trying to change their bodies and I tried many different diets and training styles. I made progress and lost weight but plateaued around the 71kg mark. There’s a lot of different information and I didn’t know what to believe.
It was watching Spartacus. That led me to find Legion Training. I secretly wanted to be as ripped as the actors but it seemed impossible. I told myself “They will have professional trainers, they are paid to look like that and will have time to train. I work 8am-5pm and have a young family, it would be impossible for me to do that.”
I looked online to see what training regime the actors followed and came across Legion Training and the transformation competition. At first I was sceptical, it seemed too good to be true. I was spending up to 90mins in the gym, how could 19 minutes make me look like a Spartan Warrior? But tempted by prizes for winning my wife and I signed up and started from day 1, and have never looked back.
What had you tried before (fitness, diet approaches, etc) starting Legion Training?
When I first started my fitness journey I had no idea about nutrition. I had no idea what I should be eating so I was easily led by anything that promised results. I tried the Dukan diet, the Atkins diet, the Paleo diet, the 5:2 diet and any food that was advertised as being the latest weight loss wonder. Nothing seemed to suit me and in some cases I even put weight on while on a diet! Just before Legion I was eating a “clean” Paleo style diet but had no idea about portion control so I was eating far too much!
I had tried a lot within the 3 year period before Legion. I had tried, high intensity weight training circuits, (similar to Cross Fit), functional fitness concentrating on natural body movements and sling patterns. Hill sprints sessions, and a lot of interval training. I did fitness classes with my wife and we both did Boxercise classes. I would wake up at 0400hrs Monday to Friday and run for about an hour. I had tried German Volume Training to increase muscle mass and eventually got into power lifting. I would typically spend around an hour and a half in the gym and would train 7-9 times a week. But nothing seemed to get me the results I wanted!
How did you implement your first 13 weeks of Legion into your current lifestyle and responsibilities?
I had discussed my desire to change my body with my wife and she agreed that if we were to be successful we needed to make Legion a lifestyle and not just a 13 week diet. So we agreed to change our lives together and she supports me fully, for the most part she eats the same meals as I do which makes it easier to prepare food and makes it easier for me. It makes it a lot easier to have the support from your loved ones.
Legion has actually given me more time with my family. Before I was in the gym for an hour a day at least, whereas now I do my 19 minutes and I’m out. Meals are planned and we know in advance what we are having which prevents the 5pm rushes to the supermarket after work for something quick and easy to eat. Legion has even saved me money on our weekly shop as we know what our meals will be so we don’t impulse buy anymore!
I had to allow myself more time in the morning to weigh out my food, and getting used to the new portion sizes was challenging (I used to eat a lot more before!) but I quickly got used to it and now it suits me and my family perfectly.
Describe your Legion journey to date (what training cycles, what challenges you found along the way and how you over came them)
After the first 13 week cycle I started the Ultimate Shred program, which was absolutely brilliant. I made a lot of sacrifices during this training cycle as you spend a lot of time walking. I was also very strict with diet, which at times was really tough, not just for me but also for my wife Steph. But it was only a 28 day program so we dug deep. After this I started the Legion for Life cycle with the goal of adding mass .It was during this period that I decided to compete and started to work on a bulk program. 12 weeks out from the competition I went onto a steady shred. Until now and I am currently on the Legion Back attack.
Some of the challenges that I have come across are mainly nutritional. I found it difficult initially to afford the meat that was required so both Steph and I did some research online and found a company that distributes meat to local butchers and restaurants, due to buying in bulk we are now able to get our meat at a trade price. Another challenge is being able to get meals eaten on time whilst out and about. I used to just use a carrier bag or ruck sack and carry my food for the time I was out in, I have now invested in a cooler bag which has been an absolute god send! It can also be awkward as not all coffee shops / eateries allow you to consume your own food. I like to use Costa Coffee now as they always allow me to eat and I can enjoy a nice black coffee! Whilst travelling I just make sure I schedule in stops to eat, for me, as I drink a lot of water, this is no hard ship as I would probably be stopping anyway.
People’s attitude towards what I eat and the amount I eat could sometimes be quite off putting, forever having people assess what you’re eating. I constantly have comments made about my diet. Extended family, colleagues and friends will all happily comment on the frequency of which I eat. I get comments like “Wow are you eating again?” “What are you eating now?” as they stare at my Tupperware boxes. When I first started I would be offered treats which I would decline and I would get comments like “Oh just have a little bit of …..” “Treat yourself!” “You only live once!”. It seemed that everyone became a nutritional advisor when I mentioned a change in my diet! But I stuck to the approach and reaped the rewards, whereas most people who made the comments still look exactly the same as they did a year ago!
It also took a little while to get used to preparing all my meals in advance. It was strange at first to have what sometimes felt like such a rigid diet, carrying around my meals for the day, weighing out all my food exactly to the gram! There were days when I craved “normal” foods so badly! But having my meals prepared helped with that as I would have a craving but think “Well I’ve already prepared my meal so I don’t want to waste it!” Now it is just part of my routine to prepare my food in a morning, it’s almost second nature!
Just over 1 year following the Legion way of life and you stepped on stage for the first time and won! Why did you decide to compete? What did it mean to you to not only compete but actually win?
I decided to compete because not only did I want another challenge after the transformation competition but I also wanted to reach out to people that may be in the same position I was in just over a year ago. Show them that your dreams of having a six pack are more than achievable. I will make no bones about it, although the change of lifestyle for the most part has been relatively painless there have been some very testing times, so to compete was to showcase all the hard work and sacrifices that have been made up to this point. I also felt a responsibility to do Legion Training proud, and showcase the results possible by fully adapting the Legion lifestyle. To walk away with the win!! Well, I have never won anything before, EVER!! So for me I was elated. I had a real sense of achievement and recognition for all the work before hand. I felt honored that I was considered to be the best on the stage, and excited for the possibilities that could come of this victory. Seeing my wife, father-in-law and good friends (Legion brother / sister) in the crowd then made me swell with emotion as it was a journey taken by not just me but all my family and close friends too. It made all the toils worth their while. Steph informed me after that she had emailed Ty to inform him of the result, so there after having being swept away with the moment of winning I felt proud that I didn’t let Legion down and was pleased that I had made steps to spreading the word and noise of Legion Training.
What are the plans now regarding competing and the fitness industry?
I am currently prepping for a photo shoot that I won with the competition for next month, so who knows where that may lead….watch this space!!
In regards to competing I have plans to improve on my certain weak points / areas and to then compete next year in the UK Body Building and Fitness Federation (UKBFF), again, who knows where this may lead. Depending on my success I do have ambitions to achieve a lot more, so, we will see where this road will lead us!
What advice would you give to those who are considering the Legion Training approach?
My advice would be: Trust Tyrone, trust the Legion approach, follow it to the letter and YOU WILL get the results you want. If you only follow it a little bit you will only get a little bit of the results. Everything that Ty says to do is for a reason, from the amount of carbs and protein to eat to the frequency of eating. He knows what he is talking about and you just have to trust his approach.
Forget what anyone else says about nutrition. When you start a new lifestyle it feels like everyone will try to tell you something different and it gets confusing. Just ignore the comments and what everyone else thinks and just stick to what Ty says.