Tech start-up founder Zhuang always has his head in the future with data, computers and artificial intelligence.
But his focus on building his business took his eyes off the ball with his long-term health.
Over nine years, 37-year-old Zhuang gained significant weight – and while he should have been in the prime of his life, he felt like a man in his fifties.
He did little exercise, he would need to nap several times a day, and keeping up with his two children left him tired and out of breath.
As a ‘tech guy’, he was attracted to the data-driven approach to training and nutrition at Ultimate Performance.
Avidly tracking his data and progress metrics with U.P.’s own app technology helped him methodically lose an incredible 20kg over 25 weeks alongside his wife, Fion.
He is thrilled with the results he has achieved and the difference it has made in his life.
“I would never have imagined that at 37, this would be the time I’d be in the best shape of my life.
“I’m going on to 38 in four or five months’ time, and as you grow old, it would be expected that you’d have less energy levels.
“After undergoing my transformation with U.P. and working with my trainer, my energy levels have actually gone up.”
Before he started his incredible transformation journey, life was different for Zhuang and his family.
Fitness, exercise and a focus on health weren’t even a factor in his day-to-day life, and he was always low on energy.
Zhuang’s wife, Fion, who took on a transformation program alongside him, said they were both feeling the effects of their lifestyle.
“Before we joined, it was party nights; we’d have lots of drinks, we’d eat unhealthily, snacking.
“There was no such thing as watching your diet. Our energy levels were at an all-time low.
“So, joining U.P., our lives have really changed, 180 degrees.”
Working with an expert trainer, Zhuang got the support and education he needed with his diet and pushed in training.
Week by week, he saw his strength increase, his fitness improve, and his body change before his eyes.
As the founder of a tech company, Zhuang was really impressed by the app technology developed by U.P.
Not only did it help his trainer make data-led decisions on how to adjust his diet and training program, but it gave Zhuang real-time feedback on his progress that kept him accountable.
“Right at the start of the transformation, I spoke to my friends about why U.P. is the most elite gym – it’s very simple.
“It’s not because it is elite for the sake of its name, but because of the structure of the programming, the mobile app, how it tracks your data.
“I’m a start-up founder – a tech guy – so this matters to see your weight drop, not just from the scales but seeing it on the graph as you log it in on the app.”
Zhuang knows the power of good data to elicit positive outcomes – and on his transformation, it was no different.
He says the U.P. app gave him the power to closely track a host of key progress metrics that were integral to helping him achieve outstanding results.
“I am learning the importance of logging the data, not just to see your progress but because it holds you accountable, that integrity.
“I’m in tech, we deal with data learning, with artificial intelligence, we know that whatever nonsense data you put in, nonsense results you will get out.
“So, if I’m not consciously, diligently, truthfully, and honestly putting in my weight daily, whether it is high or low, if I ate crazy the night before, I’m going to have a lousy result going forward.
“So, holding yourself accountable is something that I feel, other than the physical and aesthetic changes, is the key quality that U.P. and the training have taught me.”
Zhuang’s physical transformation has been nothing short of remarkable. He is 20kg lighter, he is stronger than in his 20s, and he has built up a raft of lifelong healthy habits.
“I joke that it is much harder to go from fit to fat. It took me nine years, in which I never worked out, I never ran, never went to the gym, but it only took me eight or nine months to completely turn my lifestyle around and complete my transformation.
“We are very focused on making sure that we are healthy, not just to look good.”
It’s something he doesn’t just see in the mirror – he can feel it in his daily life as an active father.
“One of the key things that I noticed after the transformation was this; when I was fat, and my kids would sit on my shoulders, it was tough.
“After my transformation, I remember this one time my son sat on my shoulders and started doing lunges with him, all 15kg of him. I was quite surprised that I could finish three reps!
“We can be a little bit more involved physically with the kids, rather than me being a fat dad lying around.
“In terms of what I can accomplish in the gym now, I can bench press about 60kg. I’ve never done deadlifts in my life, and now I can do 95kg.
“When I was 18 or 19 years old, when I was in the army, the maximum pull-ups I could do in one go was 7, which is not a lot. But now, at 37, I can do 10 in one go, and that’s all due to U.P.’s structured programs and the data that we put into the app.”
He is a different man now from the one that walked into the gym 25 weeks ago.
His wife has a new husband, and his children have a new father – one that is fit, active and motivated.
Fion has noticed the difference in her husband, too – he is energised in everything he does.
“Oh wow, a lot has changed; it is a very long list. The biggest change in Zhuang is his level of activity has significantly increased. Because he works from home, he has the freedom to do anything he wants. He used to nap three times a day.
“His activity level used to be very low, and he didn’t really want to walk around. He drove everywhere. After he joined U.P., he insisted on walking everywhere.
“I can see the difference in terms of his energy level; it’s really good. He now has the energy he is supposed to have as a dad in his 30s. Before, he was more like a dad who was 50 years old.
“I can see in his eyes he’s powered up every day to go and hit another milestone and go for anything. This is really a significant change, in a good way.”
It’s clear Zhuang is seeing the benefits in business and as a fit father.
But doing a transformation alongside his wife has brought them closer together too.
“Whilst undergoing our transformation, the natural thing is to be focused – to be focused with every lift that you do.
“This focused mindset brought about a transformation in our mentality, as well as our physique. This reflects in my mentality as a husband, father, and son, to focus on the relationship.
“This tuning of the mindset not only transforms your body when in the gym. It translates from weight training into our husband-and-wife relationship, which builds a whole new layer of our equality and mental clarity.
“This was really what this whole journey has brought us. It’s helped to improve ourselves.”
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