The 12 Week Challenge

Bodg, Matt and News Anna from the Capital FM Breakfast show agreed to take on the 12 week challenge from Alchemist Fitness...

They're blogging all about their experience so have a read and follow their progress! (Keep scrolling for the latest updates)


30/01/13 – Matt writes…

So often you hear the whole “new year, new you” bandied around during January. So many of us Google the latest fad diet, join a gym, and make this year ‘our year’ to get in shape.

In reality the diet lasts at most a week, or until the lure of the takeaway seems the only thing to combat the January blues, and amazingly the £30 we pay for the gym that we’ve been to once is making nothing thinner apart from our wallets.

This is the story of my life. Every year I make it my plan to get in shape, reminiscing of days when I was able to look in the mirror and appreciate the body that looked back at me. I guess being out of shape is one of those things that creeps up on you. Work takes over, you find yourself eating whatever you can on the go, and your general health and body takes a backseat to everyday life.

Well this year I’ve decided to make a change.

Bodg, News Anna and Me were talking about losing some weight one day when out of the blue we were tweeted by the guys at Alchemist Fitness asking if we fancied a challenge. The challenge they were referring to was their 12 week Body transformation programme. Not knowing what it was we had a look at their website…

“Alchemy is the art of inner transformation. As the Mind controls the body, we look to transform you both mentally and physically, leaving you in the best shape of your life. Body Transformation is a 12 week programme designed to produce incredible results in minimal time.”

The website is littered with images of successful examples of people who have undergone the Alchemist body transformation. Now I don’t know how you feel when you see these types of pictures, but I always feel a bit skeptical! How can those people have changed so much in only 12 weeks? How can they have literally gone from my sort of shape to these toned, ripped bodies?! I was intrigued to see if they could do the same for me! I’d also like to prove once and for all to all the skeptics out there (like me) that this type of rapid transformation can be done.

We are now just over a week in and I am already noticing changes.

It’s weigh-in day tomorrow so I’ll let you know how much weight I’ve lost officially, but I am already finding my clothes are looser. My face looks thinner and I’ve definitely lost some of the timber I was carrying around my neck!

So what is it like?

Ronan and Daire are great trainers in the gym. I’m not sure if it’s the calm mannerisms or the lilt of Irish in their voices but they seem to make you feel at ease as they help you through your training. We’re currently doing three sessions a week and the lads have an incredible knack of pushing you to your limit while at the same time making it manageable…all the time smiling as you sweat profusely!

The first question anyone asks me when I tell them what I’m doing is, “What food do you have to eat?” and I’m going to be honest, this was the first thing I wanted to know too! Well it’s pretty good!

Being part of a breakfast show with bizarre working hours means that eating the right stuff and being prepared enough to not just dip into the work tuck shop during and after the show is really hard. Or at least I thought it was. The diet we’ve been given from Alchemist Fitness is really easy to follow. They tailored it to our specific working hours and I’ve found it has made me really organized when prepping food, making sure I’ve got stuff ready for the next day. I’ve not been hungry and the meals are varied enough to keep me satisfied.

Don’t get me wrong, driving past Greggs everyday is not an easy task, but I’ve not succumbed yet. It’s only when you can’t have something that you notice it more, and News Anna and me have noticed how many tasty looking food adverts are on TV! However, part of the 12 week transformation is to address the mental side of fitness and I have already found my drive to succeed and my strength to abstain from food that will have a negative affect on the plan have increased. 

All in all it’s been a good start with noticeable results in under a week. I’ll let you know how we’re getting on very soon!



01/02/13 – Matt writes…

Ok then...yesterday was weigh day! Dum dum dummmmmmmm!

We all headed down to the gym...attempted to squeeze out that last bit of wee...and headed to the weighing room with Daire and Ronan. I am pleased to say we all lost loads of weight and it's only been a week and a bit of our new regime. Unbelievably I lost 11 pounds, more than I ever thought possible in such a short time!

Obviously the weight will change as hopefully I lose the fat and turn it to muscle. I may even go back up again but at least I know it's good weight not bad! I've been taking pictures of myself along the way so I can make a video of my transformation across the 12 weeks, but i'm already starting to see differences. If I get the guts i'll pop the pictures on here at some point!!

Anyway, just a quick one today...i'll update you all next week.




14/02/13 – Matt writes…

Here we are then…week 4 of our 12 week body transformation with the guys at Alchemist Fitness!

So how are we doing?

Well we're doing alright! Bodg, Anna, and I have started to notice real differences. When I look in the mirror I can see that i'm starting to get a bit more definition around my shoulders, i've lost weight around my face, and my tummy is definitely smaller! I am no longer so ashamed of what I look like. Hurrah! Obviously we're only one third of the way through our course but the results we're already seeing make it so much easier to keep focused. 

Now i'm not going to lie to you. There are days when all I want to do is stuff my face with a Big Mac…days when a krispy kreme seems like the food of the gods…and when the mere thought of a Chinese takeaway has me salivating. However, the diet is still going strong. We're all pushing each other as well as pushing ourselves. It's weird, whenever you're tempted to stray from the healthy food, your mind seems to say, "What are you doing?! You'll only get out of this what you put in!!" Needless to say, a Big Mac is not one of the things you should put in. We've also found it impossible to lie to Ronan and Daire, they have this ability to seemingly see into your soul and read exactly what you're thinking!!

We're still doing three sessions a week plus, but we've added in extra cardio everyday in order to burn some more fat. We have to do 15-20mins daily which sounds difficult, but the interval training we do doesn't take long and is really efficient. Bodg missed a couple of days as his girlfriend was up for the weekend and as soon as Ronan asked him how it was going he crumbled like a small scared boy!! As I say though, you get out what you put in, so you're only cheating yourself if you lie!

Today we have another weigh-in so we'll let you know how we're doing. If i'm honest i'm less bothered about the weight i'm losing now as i'm starting to see my body change shape. The thought that I may actually develop some form of muscle is unbelievable…yet apparently reachable for the first time in my life!!



P.S. Here's a lovely picture of us all working out yesterday!!

Bodg Working Out











Check out Alchemist Fitness and see what they can do for you!