Paolo Carpaneto has always been the type of guy who was interested in getting in shape, but he just didn’t know where to begin. Like many others in his position, he didn’t come from a background of weight lifting or gym training and only briefly practiced sports in his youth.
“I always wanted to start any activity to get back in shape, but I didn’t take it seriously,” Carpaneto said. “I didn’t have the support that I needed to continue and progress on my goals.”
But in 2020, when his weight started to balloon and his daily activities began to become hindered, Carpaneto knew that he needed to act, and act now.
“At the time I was 227 pounds. Climbing the stairs, lacing my shoes, and finding clothes were all issues,” he said. “I think this was my ‘low point’, and I said to myself: it’s now or never.”
Many people have experienced the type of low-point that Carpaneto is describing, and it can be made even more tough by not having someone in your corner to motivate you to get your life back on track. This is what ultimately spurred his decision to contact Ultimate Performance Singapore.
“One day, my boss described the UP Fitness method and suggested I give it a try,” he said. “I remember that during the conversation he mentioned: ‘Hey, they have a small package of 14 sessions, you can try’. These 14 sessions become 2 years.”
Joining a new workout program is not always easy and can be daunting for many people who aren’t in great shape. For Carpaneto, this was also certainly the case. He goes on to describe the shape he was in before he started his training plan.
“I think the correct definition is ‘unbalanced’,” he said. “Physically—because there was no diet or any planned activity, I was eating whatever was ready and when was possible, and mentally—because I was focused only on what was easy for me without challenging myself in new activities or goals.”
It’s important to recognize that everyone feels a little overwhelmed when starting a new training plan, but the key is to stick with it. With the help of his trainer, Owen, Carpaneto was able to remain consistent in the gym and add strength fast.
“I usually have three sessions with Owen every week and one or two running /jogging alone,” he said. “I had several weight programs too. The first was to learn the basic movement, then I had the 5×5 program and then high repetition. We gave them funny names such as Arnold Mode and TROY, but all of them are full body workout.”
While Carpaneto found success in his new strength training routines, he also needed to get his diet on track too. This is often the step that people neglect when starting a new workout plan. As they say, six-packs are made in the kitchen, not the gym.
Prior to his transition, he would usually start the day with black coffee and finish it off with high- calorie and carb foods for lunch and dinner. This was something his trainer knew Carpaneto immediately needed to stop.
“It was not easy. Owen put a lot of effort on teaching me how to track the food, the calories and the macros,” Carpaneto said. “He started from the basics. He gave me four meals per day and suggested a basic menu with plenty of options. He also sent me a lot of podcasts and articles that explained the importance of nutrition and being consistent to see results.”
Having someone like Owen during a weight-loss transformation is vitally important to achieving the desired results. Exercise trainers are often well-versed, experts in all-things nutrition and weight-loss related, so their advice should be trusted.
During his transformation, his diet included the following:
3 large eggs and coffee
Chicken breast, broccoli or cauliflower or any vegetables to reach 150 grams
White fish/salmon or Chicken breast with vegetables.
This strict diet mixed with multiple days of full-body workouts and cardio per week helped Carpaneto lose unwanted fat and gain muscle in its absence. In total, he lost just under 64 pounds and lowered his body fat percentage from 31 percent to 15.5 percent.
However, not all of the changes he’s experienced are purely physical. Carpaneto said that his weight-loss transformation has helped him feel more confident and full of energy—even giving him what he describes as a “Navy Seal mindset.” His new life has also spurred his love for a long-lost sport—running.
“Before the transition, I wasn’t able anymore to run for more than 100 meters,” he said. “This was something that made me depressed. Now, I can perform a 5K in a reasonable time. I ran in a competition here in Singapore, and I did my 5K in little more than 30 minutes. Not bad for +40-year-old at his first competition.”
Despite all the progress Carpaneto has made during his weight-loss transformation, he’s not done achieving his goals yet.
“I’m not yet finished,” he said. “At the moment, I have one session every week with Owen, and we are working to build more muscle in a long term project. This will challenge me more on staying consistent and try to put in place what I learned until now.”
This interview has been edited for clarity.
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