Darren is one of our founding members at The Cut joining us at the beginning of 2019. Like many professionals in the city he had battles balancing his schedule. Darren is partner of a law firm and a family man. Over the last 12 months Darren has managed to consistently train hard and keep his nutrition in check, which has led to progression in both fat loss and gaining strength.
Q-Can you tell us a bit about your lifestyle prior to joining us?
I had always enjoyed going to the gym, but never had the willpower to do anything meaningful without a personal trainer pushing me and directing me what to do. As a result, I had used the gym and personal trainers sporadically, and convinced myself that I was fit enough because I would occasionally go for a run or play a bit of squash once or twice a week.
Q-What was your starting and now current stats?
Starting weight was 84kg in January 2019 and pre-corona virus hiatus in March 2020 I was 76.5kg.
Q-What was your first month training at the Cut like (easier or harder than you thought it was going to be)
The first month was very difficult. The training was probably harder than I expected and I was completely spent at the end of every session. I combined that with trying to get my nutrition sorted out and it was a lot to do at once. I started by training twice per week and really needed the days in between for my body to recover. I was seeing a little bit of weight loss by week 3, mostly from cutting out carbs, but that was enough to encourage me to keep going.
Q-What was your nutrition like pre training at The Cut?
My nutrition was very up and down. Too many carbs, including too much sugar, and I would eat badly and snack unnecessarily when stressed. It was too easy to find an excuse to have a chocolate bar or a bag of crisps when busy in the office and working late. I would go through periods where I would get my nutrition on track and lose a few kilos, but then revert to old habits when I was stressed.
Q-What has been the biggest change for you?
There have been two big changes. First, the habit of training and not finding excuses to not attend. I now train three of four times and week and just make it part of my routine. It is very rare that you can’t find an hour in the day to make it work, and Sean is incredibly understanding and flexible when it comes to shuffling things around. I schedule training in my diary just like any other meeting, and only move it when absolutely necessary.
Second, making sure I am organised with my food. I know that I snack and make bad choices when I am hungry and/or stressed. So I have learned that I need to make sure I have enough food with me to not allow that to happen, or to ensure that I can snack on something healthy. I’m still by no means perfect, but getting it right most of the time means the balance of the time doesn’t matter quite as much.
Q-How did your diet/energy/lifestyle change after you started training?
It’s a virtuous circle. Investing the time, effort and money into training encourages me to want to see improvement, so that means I focus on my diet, and as a result I feel better and have more energy. I can then train harder and do more, and the cycle continues.
Q-What are your working hours? How did training fit in with your day?
My hours are hugely variable. When I am busy I can work 16 hours a day or more, but when quiet it can be as little as 9-10 hours a day. Training is now just part of my day and goes into my diary like any other meeting.
Q-Do you feel your results are sustainable?
Yes. I am dedicated to the training and it is now a wired-in part of my week. My diet goes through waves, but even the periods of imperfection are less imperfect than before. My weight is relatively stable and my strength continues to increase. I may push for a “cut” look at some point to try to achieve a six pack, but I’m very pleased with the results.
Q-What advise do you have for anybody in the same position as you were pre joining us?
Just do it. To make it worthwhile, you need to surrender to the process and commit to the change. It is a financial and time commitment, but I honestly believe that anyone can do it.