It was more than just a flex: Drew Manning wanted to see if he could experience first-hand the difficulties his clients face.
Just when we think we’ve seen every possible iteration of body transformations here at DMARGE hit the headlines in recent weeks — from an American man who shed a massive 160kg before revealing a pretty shocking side effect to a septuagenarian who puts us all to shame — a PT who wanted to get inside the heads of his clients has managed to gain an incredible amount of weight before shedding it all in the blink of an eye… twice.
New York Times best-selling author and personal trainer, Drew Manning, first captured the world’s attention in back 2011 with his transformative journey, ‘Fit2Fat2Fit’. The bold experiment involved gaining and then losing 35kg (75 pounds) over the course of a year with the aim of gaining valuable insights into the mental and physical challenges faced by his overweight clients, as reported by Muscle & Fitness.
WATCH: When you see the transformation at speed, it’s hard to not be impressed.
Then, at the ripe old age of 40 back in 2020, Manning decided to undertake the experiment once again. This time, the aim was to determine how age might affect his ability to get back in shape. Manning gained 27kg (60 pounds) over the course of a year, only to shed it all once more. Remarkably, he finished the experiment weighing one pound less than when he started and with a body fat percentage that had dropped from an already-impressive 8.4% to an almost inconceivable 4.5%.
The personal trainer attributed his success to a Paleo- and keto-based diet, which played a significant role in shedding fat during the experiment. Manning confessed that the process had given him a newfound empathy for the challenges faced by clients struggling to lose weight. As you might expect, he emphasized the importance of making sensible choices while striking a balance in one’s approach to weight loss.
When asked about the most intimidating aspect of becoming the most out of shape he had ever been, Manning admitted that the idea of quitting exercise entirely for six months was hugely daunting. While there was definitely some fun to be had in the initial stages of “letting himself go”, that feeling soon wore off as things became more challenging. Being overweight was a humbling experience for Manning, who had never had to deal with the emotional and mental stresses that come alongside the purely physical difficulties of being overweight.
Manning emphasized that the road to getting fit is not always a linear one. It involves ups and downs, and the key is to adopt a “dimmer switch” approach: instead of being either fully “on” or “off” with both your training and nutrition, allow yourself flexibility and adjust your approach according to the demands of your daily life. If you have a cheat meal or cheat day, simply dim the switch a little, and then get back on track the next day.
Most importantly, however, Manning came to understand that health and fitness are about far more than just getting skinny or lean; it should also be about mental clarity, positive emotions, and overall well-being, a drum we’ve been banging for quite some time here at DMARGE.
So next time you pack your bag for the gym, remember: health isn’t just about looking good but feeling good too. With Manning as our guide, let’s shed the pounds of self-doubt and gain the confidence to conquer any challenge that comes our way.