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Three Months of Full Body Workouts Helped This Guy Get Shredded at 40

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Three Months of Full Body Workouts Helped This Guy Get Shredded at 40

When Mat Smith and his wife started a family, he decided to cancel his gym membership in favor of what he calls “The MatCave.” The 40-year-old senior design engineer from Cheltenham, United Kingdom, turned the garage into his own carefully arranged workout space. But then, as often happens, life intervened. Three years later, looking to have a second son, Smith and his wife realized they’d need to move to a new house; the MatCave came along, but Smith devoted most of his time to renovating the new place.

Over four months working in the hot summer weather, he lost 8 pounds, mostly muscle mass. His barely ate while he worked, and spent his days stressed out. (He has obsessive-compulsive disorder, which made rearranging the new place especially challenging.) By the time he finished, he was completely worn down, mentally and physically.

Around that time he happened to see an Instagram post promoting LiveUP, a twelve-week online coaching program for men. He recognized the names involved; he’d followed Ultimate Performance founder Nick Mitchell’s program once before to get in shape for his wedding. He hadn’t been able to afford the personal training program, but when he saw there was an online option, he immediately signed up.

It was a new experience for him. Used to working out alone and designing his own programs, he this time gave himself over to his trainer. He cut his workouts from four or five times a week to three, moving from split-body training to full-body workouts. He ramped up his cardio with two interval sessions a week. Along the way he submitted weekly progress photos and found a supportive community of fellow members online.

Smith’s trainer had him focus on a balanced diet rich in whole foods. He stopped counting calories and honed in on quantifying serving sizes. He dropped dairy and caffeine. “Since starting the nutrition plan I have noticed significant improvement in my overall health and wellbeing,” he says. Even still, he admits at the beginning he cheated on the diet because of special social occasions.

He quickly saw changes, and when he finished the program 12 weeks later, he’d lost nearly 14 pounds, while his body fat percentage had dropped from more than 15 percent into the eight or nine percent range.

“My biggest motivation for maintaining a healthy lifestyle is our 4-year-old son,” Smith says. He wants to set a positive example, and remain an active part of his son’s life. He’s also discovered a new confidence and belief in himself. He’s eager for the next challenge: maintaining his healthy lifestyle with the impending birth of a second son.

He’s even using his Instagram account to inspire those who, like him, came to fitness later in life, who may find the traditional gym setting intimidating, and who may find exercise useful for their mental health—“in the hope that exercise can help others manage their health, the way it has helped me.”



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