Lifting Weights Helped Me Lose 35 Pounds After Years of Just Doing Cardio

Sebastien, 38, shares the changes he’s made to lose weight and get stronger so he can be a better father and role model to his children.


I have always striven to be physically fit, doing a lot of Muay Thai, kickboxing, running and swimming, however I have never managed to lose weight (and more importantly fat). During Covid, I was in a constant state of sluggishness from lack of physical activity, so I decided to sign up for 12 Week Ultimate Performance Program. I had seen my wife and brother-in-law achieve impressive results with Ultimate Performance Transformation Challenges. More importantly, I wanted to make sure I could keep up, enjoy playing and entertaining my two boisterous little boys. I did not want them to have a tired dad who after a busy day at work could not pay attention to them, participate in sports and fun activities.

I would have defined myself as moderately fit in terms of cardiovascular capacity, however I carried too much fat and had no defined muscularity. I thought I was strong, but clearly I wasn’t, and building muscle strength takes time through a consistent resistance training routine. I wasn’t familiar with resistance training as I was only doing cardio and had to learn about sets, reps, execution, form, and rest periods. It takes some getting used to, but the good thing about beginners (like me) is that you can get good results pretty quickly. My best conclusion regarding resistance training is that it is the best type of exercise for efficient fat loss, along with good nutrition.

Nutrition-wise, I had to make some major changes in the way I approached food. I learned about calorie control, starting by getting into a calorie deficit phase for efficient fat loss and carefully tracking my macronutrient intake. Before UP, I didn’t know how many calories I ate each day. Training at UP convinced me to change my diet forever: I now have a careful, yet more intuitive approach to calorie intake, macro compliance, and generally making sensible food choices. I cook whole foods like meat, fish, green vegetables, good fats like nuts, avocado, and healthy oils and other sources of fat, completely eliminating processed or sugary foods/drinks.

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I trained four times a week for an hour with my trainer Marc, who designed an efficient full-body German Volume Training (GVT) program that consisted of full-body resistance training that allowed for a faster rate of fat loss. aggressive and an improvement of the metabolism. Examples of large compound movements that engage large muscle groups include hex bar squats, bench presses, Romanian or regular deadlifts, associated with more isolated exercises such as lat pulldowns, rows, biceps and triceps curls, lateral raises, Bulgarian squats, and pushups. Chin. I found the powerful but incredibly efficient ‘Pendulum’ exercise, which works the leg muscles, the hardest of all.

My journey was primarily focused on fat loss while slightly increasing my lean body mass. I started at 170lbs (77.3kg) with 27.1% body fat and ended up 34lbs (15.3kg) less at 136lbs (62kg) and 9% body fat. (When my family in France saw the new photos of me, they thought I Photoshopped them!) The biggest benefits, aside from enjoying a slimmer figure, were better mood and mental health, less stress, and better habits. of dream .

snhfoto, sebastian delaval

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This experience has also given me a new confidence to face life and has taught me to enjoy social events and food without feeling guilty or worried about gaining weight, as long as I follow a clean and consistent diet associated with regular exercises. I feel more able to play with my children and even carry them for long periods of time. All parents know that taking care of children requires an incredible amount of energy, and my reward for training at UP is being able to keep up with my energetic children.

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I decided to continue training with Marc at UP to build on the successful transformation and push myself further into a longer-term muscle building phase. I now split my training between UP and on my own as I feel more experienced and continue to benefit from Marc’s training and nutrition advice. Building muscle mass is a much slower process but now I have the confidence and trust in myself to be successful.

sebastian delaval

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My number one advice to anyone would be: don’t give up, believe in your ability to follow your trainer’s program and nutrition plan. Even with the best trainer in the world, only you can fully deliver on your meal prep, calorie/macro tracking, plus completing 15,000 steps per day to accelerate fat loss. And what is just as important: try to enjoy every second, like I did!

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