Anand · Checkpoint

How Anand Went From Skinny Fat To Shredded At 43 Years Young

This Dad joined RNT and got into the shape of his life!

In this case study we’re going to dig deep into Anand’s transformation. If you missed part 1, you can read Gita’s case study here.

Anand’s goal was simple: He wanted to be in the best shape of his life at 43 and obtain a physique similar to Brad Pitt in ‘Fight Club’.

Starting Point

Prior to starting at RNT, Anand had used different home workout DVDs for years obtaining modest results but never quite achieving the physique he wanted.

His motivation was up and down, and he found himself constantly wasting his time on training plans not tailored to him and diets that weren’t sustainable in the long run.

This was what he was following:

Training – Occasional workout at home using exercise DVDs – nothing structured or planned.

Cardio ­– None

Diet – 3 meals a day with no real portion control. Breakfast: porridge, Lunch: sandwich, and Dinner: meat and rice. On top of this, his weekends were spent over indulging on takeaways and sweet snacks!

Starting Bodyweight ­– 143lb

Starting Umbilicus – 85cm

“After fracturing my foot over the summer I spent the recovery weeks eating, drinking and being generally inactive and soon piled on the weight. I was not in good shape and I decided I needed to take action so set myself a challenge to get into the best shape ever. The problem I had was my previous attempts at getting fit using home DVDs were just not working. That’s when I came across RNT Fitness and after reading and contacting them I decided to sign up! It was the best decision! RNT devised an extremely detailed workout plan which I could follow to the letter. Being a details man myself, I loved the plan as it eliminated any guesswork. It was my blueprint and I was ready!”

Initial Changes

To start Anand off, here’s what we did:

Training – We started with 4 days a week of weight training, using our favourite training splits for guys looking to build muscle:

Day 1: Chest/Back/Delts Strength

Day 2: Rest

Day 3: Legs/Arms/Abs Strength

Day 4: Rest

Day 5: Chest/Back/Delts Hypertrophy

Day 6: Legs/Arms/Abs Hypertrophy

Day 7: Rest

Diet – His starting macros were as follows:

Protein – 180g

Fat – 60g

Carbs – 140g

We also provided Anand with a meal plan, which included the exact same structure and meals as Gita’s diet, but with different portion sizes. This allowed them to batch cook and prepare their meals together.

Meal 1 – 3 Large Whole Eggs, 50g Oats with Unsweetened Almond Milk

Meal 2 – 35g Whey, 25g Almond Butter, 2 Rice Cakes

Meal 3 – 150g Chicken Breast, 50g Rice, 1 Teaspoon E-V Olive Oil, Greens

Meal 4 – 35g Whey, 25g Almond Butter, 2 Rice Cakes

Meal 5 – 150g Chicken Breast, 50g Rice, 1 Teaspoon E-V Olive Oil, Greens

Supplements – Here’s what we used to begin with:

  • Whey Protein (Reflex) – as per meal plan
  • Vitamin D3 (Reflex) – 2000IU with breakfast
  • Creatine Monohydrate (Reflex) – 5g with any shake
  • EAAs (Anabolic Designs) – 1 scoop during workouts
  • Fish Oil (Aliment) – 1 tbsp with breakfast

If you’re wondering why we opted for EAAs over BCAAs, check this article out here.

Cardio – No traditional cardio to begin with. All we aimed for was a daily step target of 10,000 a day. This was from general day-to-day activity, and Anand tended to clock the majority during his commute to and from work. To read more about the benefits of increasing your step count, read this.

Week 1 – 145lbs

Anand didn’t have the smoothest start. While he was adhering to everything, a couple of issues cropped up immediately.

Firstly, his bowel movements had slowed down and he was feeling quite constipated. To combat this, we added a teaspoon of psyllium husk powder twice a day.

The second problem was that before starting with RNT, he had fractured his 5th metatarsal, which made squats and split squats very difficult to perform. He essentially couldn’t bend his right ankle, and the injury needed time to recover. As a result, we switched to predominantly machine based movements like leg curls, leg extensions and leg presses until we could get more range.

He was up two pounds in the first week, but this was no issue.This happens a lot at the start of transformations with guys who have finally started eating and training properly. It tends to hold steady or increase before going down. Something similar happened in Shyam’s transformation too, which you can read here.

Changes to be implemented: Add psyllium husk, modify leg training

No changes to diet or cardio.

Week 2 – 141.5lb

Weight normalised and dropped 3.5lbs from week 1, producing a net loss of 1.5lb from the start.

No changes were made at this point. Because Anand had been out of the gym for so long, a lot of our time at this point was spent refining his technique on the key lifts. He was using our RNT exercise library to learn the form, before filming and sending it to me for critique. This was an important part of laying the foundation for the training ahead.

No changes to training, diet, supplementation or cardio.

Week 3 – 140lbs

A pound down this week. Anand’s weight was fluctuating all over the place, and while we weren’t worried, Anand was getting frustrated. The fact is that the scale doesn’t always tell the full story! You can read more about this here.

We made a few tweaks this week to keep things ticking along.

On his three rest days, we dropped carbs to 100g by shaving some carbs off each meal on this day.

Protein – 180g

Fat – 60g

Carbs – 140g or 100g (3x rest days)

On the same days, we also added 20 minute low intensity cardio sessions (LISS) where the aim was to get his heart rate up to around 120-130bpm throughout.

The daily step count was increased to 11,000 a day.

Changes to be implemented: Introduced carb cycling by dropping rest day carbs by 40g to 100g. Added 3×20 min LISS sessions on rest days, and increased step target to 11,000 a day.

No changes to training or supplementation.

Week 4 – 141lbs

A pound up this week. Anand’s adherence was high, but the scale was bouncing all over the place.

This week we pushed on the cardio front by increasing LISS to 4 days a week of 25 minutes, and introducing 20 minutes of HIIT on one of his rest days.

For the HIIT, we used the bike with a protocol of 20 seconds sprint followed by 1 minute 40 seconds at a moderate pace.

At this point both Anand and Gita had a trip to Bournemouth for 3 days. While out there, they dropped their meal frequency to 3 times a day, and focused on making good choices, and using the principles of travelling outlined here.

No changes to training, diet or supplementation.

Week 5 – 140lbs

After the trip to Bournemouth, Anand was down a pound and back at 140lbs.

Momentum was starting to build, and this week we made a few tweaks.

We dropped fats by 10g everyday by replacing a whole egg with egg whites, and reducing some almond butter.

Protein – 180g

Fat – 50g (-10g)

Carbs – 140g or 100g (3x rest days)

We continued to push on the cardio front, now increasing LISS to 4 sessions of 30 minutes, and adding one round to HIIT, making it 22 minutes.

Changes to be implemented: Drops fats by 10g, increase LISS to 4x30min, increase HIIT to 22 minutes.

No changes to training.

Week 6 – 139lbs

Another pound down.

Hunger was starting to kick in by each meal time, which is about the right level to be at around the 6 week mark.

Anand was making great progress but we still had a goal to achieve, so we continued to push Anand.

We started by making everyday 100g carbs, essentially following the same diet everyday.

Protein – 180g

Fat – 50g

Carbs – 100g

Steps were bumped to 12,000 everyday, and HIIT was pushed up to 24 minutes.

At this point, he was beginning to find he couldn’t handle the same weight across multiple sets in his training, so we began to implement more ‘reverse pyramiding’, as discussed here.

Changes to be implemented: Drop carbs on training days to 100g, increase steps to 12K, add two minutes to HIIT.

No changes to training or supplementation.

Week 7 – 139lbs

It was Anand’s birthday this week, and he said it was the first time he remembers not eating cake on the day!

His focus and motivation was sky high now, and nothing was stopping him from achieving his goal!

No changes on the diet this week, but cardio was increased again.

HIIT was up to 26 minutes (additional 2 minutes), LISS was up to 6 days a week of 30 minutes with yohimbine & caffeine taken before, and steps were up to a 13,000 average.

Changes to be implemented: HIIT up to 26 minutes, LISS up to 6×30 min, steps up to 13K.

No changes to training, diet or supplementation.

Week 8 – 137lbs

Body fat was flying off now, but it was becoming clear that Anand had a lot of stubborn lower abdominal fat that would require a lot of grinding to shift off.

To start with, we reduced rest day carbs to 50g by making breakfast protein and fat only, as well as dropping some of the rice cakes out.

Protein – 180g

Fat – 50g

Carbs – 100g or 50g (3x rest days)

HIIT was increased another 2 minutes to 28 minutes now, and LISS was stepped up to a daily 35 minutes.

We also pushed steps up to 14,000 a day.

Changes to be implemented: Introduce carb cycling again on rest days, HIIT up to 28 minutes, LISS now 35 minutes everyday, and steps up to 14,000 a day.

No changes to training or supplementation.

Anand’s Comments: “The past 8 weeks had flown by and I was loving it. I was losing weight, feeling slimmer and my clothes were beginning to feel less snug.

The team at RNT was always there to answer my questions, providing support and guidance; the weekly updates were a great way to monitor my progress. I was learning a lot too from reading the RNT articles and was really enjoying tracking my nutrition and training. As each week went by, I was understanding more and more the importance of good nutrition and structured workouts.

To begin with it was definitely challenging fitting everything in, but I soon worked out that being organised and planning in advance made a huge difference, and I very quickly got into a good rhythm. I was looking forward to the month ahead!”

Week 9 – 135lbs

Another two pounds off.

Hunger was kicking in hard now, but body composition and strength were both improving rapidly. One of the best side effects of being lean is your body weight strength really takes off. Anand was now adding weight to his chins and dips and it’s when people start doing this that their physique begins to develop exponentially!

No diet changes this week, but cardio went up.

HIIT was increased another 2 minutes to 30 minutes now, and LISS was stepped up to a daily 40 minutes.

We also pushed steps up to 15,000 a day.

Changes to be implemented: HIIT up to 30 minutes, LISS now 40 minutes everyday, and steps up to 15,000 a day.

No changes to training, diet or supplementation.

Week 10 – 133lbs

Another two pounds off.

Anand messaged us this week saying ‘Man I’m so hungry I feel like eating my toothpaste!’

Our reply? ‘Embrace & push through it!’

It’s tough but this was the ‘prime time’ to continue pushing. It’s after grinding a couple weeks with hunger like this that dramatic changes to your physique begin to take place.

No changes this week on the diet. Only thing we did was add 5 minutes to the daily LISS, making it 45 minutes.

To give an extra boost during these LISS sessions, we also pushed caffeine up to 400mg.

Social events were picking up with Diwali around the corner, but with buffers in place and strategic tweaks to the diet, we planned to continue making progress throughout.

Changes to be implemented: LISS up to 45 minutes a day, caffeine up to 400mg.

No changes to training or diet.

Week 11 – 132lbs

Anand had a little slip up this week with a few extra drinks than planned while out one night, but we still got a pound off this week.

He was at the point where he was looking lean, but to make it a ‘complete’ transformation, we needed another 4-5 weeks of hard dieting.

It was time to push hard and begin the famous #VaghelaGrind and bring it all together!

To start with, we brought protein down to 160g, and dropped fats everyday to 45g.

Protein – 160g (-20g)

Fat – 45g (-5g)

Carbs – 100g or 50g (3x rest days)

LISS was now pushed up to 50 minutes daily, and we added in a second HIIT session, which was 20 minutes long with the same protocol.

Changes to be implemented: Protein down to 160g, fats down to 145g. LISS up to 50 minutes daily, and 1 extra 20 min HIIT session was added in the week.

No changes to training or supplementation.

Week 12 – 131lbs

A difficult week for Anand this week with a sudden increase in life stress that meant energy and mood was a little lower than normal.

There were also a few family events because of Diwali, but despite all of this, we still got a pound off.

The idea of the photoshoot was being thrown around more now, but Anand was hesitant, he didn’t feel comfortable in front of the camera!

I thought we should still do it regardless, so kept pushing them both in case they changed their minds!

The only change this week was to push steps up to 16,000 a day.

Changes to be implemented: Steps up to 16K

No changes to training, diet or supplementation.

“I had an amazing first few months with RNT and was feeling amazing! I had lost 12lbs and was over the moon with the results. People were asking me how I had gone from a broken leg to getting so trim in just a few months!!

I was happy with my results when my coach suggested I do another month to really push myself that extra mile AND finish with a photoshoot! I said let’s do it as I was loving the process, was up for the challenge and wanted to experience #The Vaghela Grind!! The photoshoot however I was not so keen on as it wasn’t really my thing. ”

Week 13 – 130lbs

Another pound off. Life was crazy right now for Anand but he was making no excuses at all and completely embracing the grind!

Only a few weeks left, so we pushed a little harder to get the last bits of stubborn fat off.

We dropped fats by 5g everyday, so his macros were now as follows:

Protein – 160g

Fat – 40g (-5g)

Carbs – 100g or 50g (3x rest days)

HIIT sessions went up to 30 minutes now, and the daily step average increased to 17,500 a day with the aspiration to hit 20,000 which would make a huge difference on shoot day.

We also added a second ‘half dose’ of yohimbine at 1/2pm in the day (in between meals, as fasted as possible) with another 200mg caffeine.

Anand had several meals out at this stage, so we were managing his diet on a daily basis with buffers, menu choices and making sure we stayed on track.

Anand had one slip with a few too many drinks; this is where the role of accountability and the strength in training as a couple comes in. Gita helped to keep him in check so he doesn’t lose sight of the goal he was so close to reaching.

Changes to be implemented: Fats reduced to 40g, HIIT up to 30 minutes twice a week, steps 17.5-20k a day. Added second ‘half dose’ of yohimbine & caffeine at 1/2pm.

No changes to training.

Week 14 – 128lbs

Another 2 pounds off.

During this week we had a big U-turn with the photoshoot. It went from being on, to off to back on! This meant 2 weeks to bring it all together and polish the final package!

No changes to training, diet, supplementation or cardio.

Week 15 – 126lbs

2 weeks to go. More social events but Anand knew that it was time to sacrifice drinking when out – we had a shoot to be ready for!

It was time for one final push on all fronts.

We dropped carbs by 25g everyday, and went for 20,000 steps everyday.

Protein – 160g

Fat – 40g

Carbs – 75g or 25g (3x rest days)

Changes to be implemented: Reduce carbs by 25g everyday, 20K steps everyday.

No changes to training or supplementation.

Week 16 – 124lbs

A message from Anand to us this week came in saying ‘I don’t even feel human at times – more like a machine! People think I’m nuts but I bloody love it!’.

THIS is what separates the wheat from the chaff, and what produces outstanding transformations.

You’ve got to love the process to be able to push yourself the way that’s necessary during a body transformation. Which is why discipline is a myth, which this article elaborates on here.

No changes to training, diet, supplementation or cardio.

Final Week

We got the final chunk of fat we needed off, so we were ready.

All we did in this final week was deload his training and cardio, and bring his carbs up a little towards the end of the week to help fill him out. He’d been pushing hard on all fronts for 4-6 weeks without a break, so it was time to give his body a little extra fuel to help bring his A game on shoot day.

It’s easy to get caught up in peak week with magic tricks etc., but it almost always goes wrong, as we’ve talked about here. Best is to keep it simple! Here’s what we did to peak for a Wednesday photoshoot:

Game Day:

7.30am (2 hours before) – 3 whole eggs, 70g rice mixed with soy sauce

During shoot – 2-3 scoops HBCDs from Raging Full

Lights, Camera, Action!

Final Stats / Testimonial

Final Bodyweight: 125lbs

Final Umbilicus Measurement: 71cm

Anand filled out nicely in the last few days before his shoot, and I think the final week went to plan perfectly.

These were his final comparison pictures:

Next Plan?

Build muscle!

Here’s what Anand has to say about his overall experience with RNT Fitness:

Overall it has been an incredible experience. I have gone beyond what I had hoped for and achieved what I felt was impossible. It has definitely been a challenge juggling family life and work but by being organised and making some changes made it possible. At 43 years of age let’s call it my midlife crisis and I aim to keep going.

I can’t recommend RNT Fitness highly enough!”

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