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Success Stories

Today Marks the Start of the New You!

Diabetes reversed and 16kg lost

Some awesome news today chaps! So happy!

Last February a month before I joined ManAlive I went for a blood test and was told I have type 2 diabetes. Blood test showed my blood HbA1c was 67 - Super High. Both my parents have diabetes and I know how hard it is to live with this.

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4 months after joining ManAlive 16kg lighter I went for another blood test which showed I had gone back to 40 HbA1c.

Today I went in after a blood test only to find out I have reversed it. HbA1cc came back at 36!

Man I am super duper happy and thankful for ALL of your support over the past 10 months. All that hard work and sweat has paid off.

 

Dee, 41

Harrow, Photographer

Robin - Is it life-changing? You bet!

I joined ManAlive in October 2015. Since then, I've attended over 700 sessions. Is it life-changing? You bet!

Before joining ManAlive, I lived in the USA, in NY. I did attend an outdoor boot camp similar to MA, so I thought the transition would suit me.

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It did. However, the main difference is the holistic approach of ManAlive. Previously I thought working out was enough. From the photo, you can see it wasn't!

The tailored training, the nutritional advice, and the camaraderie of the group help keep me focused on my goals of maintaining strength and stamina and being beach body lean. (Well, as best as).

I try to attend a minimum of three times a week, often four, as there is something special about getting up early on a freezing winter's morning and joining other like-minded lunatics in working out.

We laugh, cry and occasionally drink together.

Robin, 68

St Albans, Company Director

I could also clearly see that my weight was increasing, and I just knew I had to do something

My journey with ManAlive started in early 2017. At the time I was suffering from constant heartburn and reflux which meant I had to avoid certain foods, had to sleep sitting up and took Gaviscon like sweets. It was just miserable. I could also clearly see that my weight was increasing, and I just knew I had to do something.

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I'm not from the Watford area originally so I didn't know anyone at ManAlive but after reading the testimonials online I decided to give it a shot. My first day was interesting to say the least, not having done any real exercise for the best part of 20 years really showed. After a couple of weeks, I began to question whether I was able to keep up.

I'm glad I stuck with it. The encouragement from the coaches and the other blokes who were in the same boat as me, or had recently been in that position, played a big part. At no point have I been made to feel like I've failed in each area, but rather gives me the focus to try again.

For me personally it's about the comradery, which you don't get from a gym or working out alone. It's about having a laugh with like-minded people and at the same time pushing yourself to be a better you. There are no posers.

Ryan, 40

Watford, Graphic Designer

Today Marks the Start of the New You!

Down from near 15st to 12.5st – I don’t think this weight loss tells the full story

So I joined the 100 club today..

Time to reflect and to set new targets

For me the goal was two fold

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1) Get my life back – I recognised that the deterioration of my physical health was impacting lots of areas of my life most of all my mental well-being. My confidence was down, on occasions I’d dread meeting up with friends (especially those I haven’t seen in a while) because I felt embarrassed, at work I’d be concerned about meeting new clients – I’d always been a sporty social guy and now I was a podgy office worker with low self-esteem.

2) create a positive body image for my boys – my second son was due in a October 2018, I want the absolute best for both of my boys but how could I ask them to be healthy if I wasn’t – it’s hypocritical right! In fact ManAlive was recommended to me by my physio after I threw my back out pulling my son along on his scooter. I need to be fit and healthy for them as much as for me.

Results:
– Down from near 15stone to 12 1/2stone – I don’t think this weight loss tells the full story as have put muscle back on during this
– XL tops to M, 34/36” waist to 30” (new wardrobe)
– Ran 22 miles over a mountain
– 28k nuts OCR challenge
– Half marathons
– Black band

Targets:
– Not focusing on weight loss per se – but am transitioning to a vegan diet to support training goals and shed remaining fat it’s all about remaining healthy and stacking on a bit more muscle. I’ve got lazy on diet as know I have training in the bank – need to change that mindset.
– Spartan race in Nov (upper body focus for those rope climbs and monkey bars)
– Gold Band by April
– Sub 4min 1k by April
– Half Iron Man in 2020
– Full Iron Man 2021

Thanks to Craig O’Toole Ben Peters and all the other coaches and of course the tribe for making training fun and focused no matter the weather.

Rob

Steven's Testimonial

Firstly apologies about the finger, something I have always done. I thought I would share my story as it's been a year since I started my journey. I started my journey on losing weight from a bad place in my life where I split from my wife and got myself into a place where I was drinking and eating as a way to deal with it, at my heaviest I was 120kg+ these two pictures were taken 1 year apart, 36.5kg difference!

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My bother put that into perspective for me, that's 17 two litre coke bottles as my brain could not process the weight loss. I
struggled to see the weight loss as I just saw the same person I have always been and thought I would always be. People always say you are so strong for achieving the weight loss, it's not about being strong it's about holding yourself accountable each day, don't focus on end goal focus on today what can I do today! I can't credit man alive with all the weight loss but I can say that it has helped me loss 10kg and I am able to maintain my weight loss which is the next journey I am on!! I hope this post will inspire 1 person to believe that it's possible to be the person you want to be!! sharing stuff is not easy for me but I really hope this helps 1 guys realise this is possible!

 

Steven Karner

I’m 11kg lighter and hardly wobble when I run now!

“When I had my phone call with Cam about joining ManAlive he asked me what I wanted to get out of it. I told him “a chin and a belly that doesn’t hang over my belt”. He told me he reckoned he could help with that.

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12 weeks later and the ManAlive guys are well on the way to delivering on their promise – I’m 11kg lighter and hardly wobble when I run now! What I didn’t bank on was getting a whole lot more into the bargain.

I think that this “thing” (I’ve had real trouble describing to normal people what I’ve been doing 3 times a week for the last 3 months) is really special. The help and advice from the coaches & the gutbuster emails that drop in your inbox before each session telling you how to eat well or sleep better are great but I think the thing that made ManAlive properly special for me has been the guys working alongside me. The welcome, the encouragement, the swearing, the banter, the farting – they’ve all played their part in making the last 36 sessions memorable.

It’s fair to say I’ve loved every painful minute of my ManAlive experience so far and now I’m ready to set (and smash) my next goals.

Thanks guys”

Stuart

Today Marks the Start of the New You!

Not a regular ‘before and after weight loss’ story…

The truth is I’m probably about the same weight as I was when I first started back in 2015. At the time just going to the gym was becoming a bit mundane, so I was looking for a new training regime, something a bit more challenging, both mentally and physically.

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For me MA ticks all the boxes, getting up at 5.15am and training outdoors all year round, whatever the weather, with great coaches. 

I’m totally committed to it (some would say obsessed with it) and the innovative programme allows me to push myself in the sessions as well as set my own personal challenges and targets. I enjoy the camaraderie and working individually, in pairs or in teams. There’s an underlying competitive element amongst some of us during the sessions which I relish, and it’s great to still be able to challenge some of the youngsters on the strength exercises (but definitely not running). 

Now in my seventh decade I have the added challenge of fighting the natural muscle loss that comes with ageing. It’s very much a case of ‘use it or lose it’ and at the same time hopefully put some credits in the bank for later life. So it’s all about consistency and maintaining/building on what I’ve got. Long may it continue.

Andrew F.

I have trimmed off 20lbs and 4 Inches from my waistline

In 2002 I weighed in at around 19stone, the heaviest I’ve ever been, my son was a year old . At that time I was busy building my business but always driving everywhere or sat at my desk with no exercising at all whatsoever! I was eating all the wrong foods along with too many milky coffees though the day along + far too many beers at the weekends!

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Decided that I had to seriously change my ways and get myself healthy again as I wasn’t happy with how I felt and looked and more than anything wanted to stay around- be alive-around for my wife and son.

Signed up to a local gym and got with a PT and made my daily sessions there a MUST and part of my daily routine.. My PT was great and really helped me with my diet - especially sticking to it I made some great improvements..  I lost around 3 stone and was generally feeling great.  However in 2014 I seriously hurt my back, split - shattered 3discs and this really hindered my training and healthy eating . In Jan 2016 had back surgery and then had to learn to walk properly again.

After lengthy Physio I went back to light gym training in late 2017 but found it just became quite monotonous and difficult to stick to.. so was looking for a change.

I had heard about ManAlive when it started through some old mates from my rugby club, I decided in April 2019 to give it a go and see if this programme would work for me. When I signed up I was around 16stone and thought that I wouldn’t be able to trim down any more. But was keen to develop my fitness- strength and nutrition.

Glad to say that I have trimmed off 20lbs and 4 Inches from my waistline and feel stronger and much fitter than ever. The sessions are always great fun- great team dynamics. The help and support from all the coaches is superb and the guys I’ve met and train with these past 3 years have become good friends! I’m really enjoying ManAlive - it ticks all the boxes for me - I encourage anyone that wants to make a positive - enjoyable-healthy- fitness change to give the MA programme a go!

Ash

4 stone lost & happier in my own skin

"Christmas 2015, I was overweight and unfit. I have 4 kids (17,15, 7, & 5) and wanted to make a change to be fit, active and healthy for myself, them and my wife. We had just lost a family member to a stroke aged 44. With me being 42 it was a massive wake up call that it could happen to me. I saw ManAlive on Facebook and made the call...

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I have been a yo-yo dieter for all my adult life and always struggled with my weight. I lost a good amount of weight 5 years ago using a "shake" diet, but this wasn't sustainable and over the next few years put all the weight back out. In recent times work had taken over, life got in the way and I made excuses not to do anything about it.

Joining ManAlive was a step into the unknown, I didn't know anyone, I was surely going to be the biggest and most unfit person there... why would I put myself through that.. because I wanted and needed to make a life change.

I would still be where I am if I hadn't joined ManAlive. unfit, unhealthy, overweight and unhappy.

Results: The first thing people see is the weight loss, 4 stone since 4th Jan (my ManAlive start date), many cm's loss in all areas. I've also become fitter, stronger and more determined. But, the most important is I'm happier in my own skin, more confident when in meetings at work, and at home my kids and see what I'm (and my wife) are doing with our change of diet. change in routine and the results. This is educating them to a healthier lifestyle.

Also, the coaches and the lads on the course are second to none, without them I would not be doing what I am today. The accountability and motivation given within the group is amazing.

On the 12th June I ran a half Marathon in 2:14:58, my first in 5 years and a PB by 13 minutes

Goals: I want to lose just under 2 more stone, Increase my health/fitness , run a marathon, do a Tough Mudder and enjoy life.

Advice: If you are thinking about doing ManAlive you are half why to making a life changing experience. Take on the program, be on point with your diet (70% is diet) and work hard at each and every session. There is no magic wand, the more you put in the more you get out.. Fill out the form, set yourself a 1, 3 and 6 month goals and see the difference it makes to your life and the loved ones around you."

Darren

18kg lost & a group of friends gained

"For all the new guys and any one thinking of joining, if I can do it and if the mighty Man of Steel Rob Stevens can do it then there is no doubt that you can to, just keep pushing on and it will happen.

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I am 5 months in Man Alive and I have lost 18 kilos, stomach 18cm, hips 16cm, chest 12cm, gained friends, confidence and a whole new wardrobe. Cheers Craig O’Toole, Matt Stratten, Chris Cook and all of the MASA Posse, new and old."

David C

Life has changed considerably since joining

"I applied to Manalive because I had been quite ill for a few years before hand with various different complaints. Firstly I found out in 2013 that I have 3 dehydrated discs in my lower back, and 2 cracked vertebra. This used to cause severe pain. Because of this I suffered with sciatica in my left leg. In 2014 my leg was bad, I fell down the stairs and broke my coccyx (tail bone). This was also really painful and just added to my back misery.

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At this point I had given up on any form of exercise and healthy eating. The following year (2015) I had a burst stomach ulcer followed by a kidney stone (AGONY!!) 8 weeks later. 

I was browsing Facebook and an advert for ManAlive popped up. I was certain that things needed to change as I had now put on a lot of weight and had generally let myself go. I decided to give MA a try.

Before joining MA I had been a member of a gym and also PT.

My main concern about joining MA was the condition of my back and whether I would be able to work out. If I hadn't have joined I would no doubt have still been unfit, a lot heavier, and very unhealthy.

Since joining MA I have increased my fitness levels so much, I never thought I would get here. I'm now determined to take it further and push myself to do things I would never have dreamt about, such as tough mudders, weekend runs, skiing trips, maybe even camping and canoeing. 

My life has changed considerably since joining, not only have my fitness levels increased, my weight decreased, but I have found a group of new friends, who socialise outside of training sessions and do things that my usual group of friends don't do. I have also recently given up smoking, a massive goal of mine, and it's totally thanks to MA that I have been able to achieve this. The effects of smoking became apparent in my run. I feel less out of breath, and I don't cough anymore!

My goals for the future are to achieve black band, then black white, black red and possibly double black. Also I want to experience the activities some of the lads put on such as camping. I want to possibly run a marathon in the next couple of years, depending on my back.

My advice to anyone in my situation would be to take a long hard look at how you are living, and the probable outcome it will have. It is very possible to change. It does take a lot of effort and perseverance, but it is rewarding. 

I didn't really enjoy MA for my first couple of months. The early start, mixed with the weather mixed with my terrible fitness level made most mornings extremely unpleasant. However, as soon as I started seeing results, everything changed, and now I positively look forward to each and every MA session.

The last bit of advice to someone in the situation I was in - small steps. Don't set yourself up for failure by settings lots of unrealistic targets. Nail one small thing first, once that becomes habit, move on. Don't be disappointed if you fail - it's ok, just try again."

 

David

ManAlive has met and exceeded my initial expectations

I’ve often struggled to find a type of exercise that clicked for me. Of the many types I had tried, they were either too boring, too niche or the barrier to entry in terms of cost/equipment was too high. When I stumbled on to ManAlive, with its promise of a programme for someone just like me (over 30, time-poor and not a fan of gyms), I was hopeful that I’d finally found ‘it’ – exercise that was fun.

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My ambition wasn’t necessarily weight loss, but rather to get fitter and stronger, and find a routine to better myself that could fit in and around the balance of work and home life.

2 and a half years on, I can happily say that ManAlive has met and exceeded my initial expectations. Like a knock-off Daft Punk act, I am healthier, faster, fitter, stronger.

In regards to physical health and fitness, it has helped me improve and grow in every way imaginable. That said, I reserve most of the praise for what it has done for my mental health. ManAlive has been a calming, constant positive influence, especially in a world gone mad over the last few years! It is a place where people from all walks of life can come together as equals with the simple goal to better themselves. The MA community is incredibly supportive, with its members always looking to lift each other up. For what is, notionally, quite a “manly” pursuit (flipping tyres and carrying sandbags in all weathers) there is no toxic masculinity here! We work hard, have a laugh and feel the reward as a group.

Grant K.

ManAlive provided me with a chance to get back to my peak performance levels

All my life I was very active and quite fit, first as a member of a regional high school swimming team and then as a martial arts practitioner and instructor. But as life went on and I focused on my career my lifestyle became more and more sedentary.

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When I started ManAlive back in 2016 I was so out of shape that I couldn't even complete a 1km run without stopping. This was a wake up call that I needed. 

ManAlive provided me with a chance to get back to my peak performance levels... and beyond. Sessions are very methodically organised and coached at a high level. They are a great mix of strength and cardio exercises, while not neglecting mobility and stretching. The atmosphere is motivating and inviting to push beyond the comfortable. 

Now almost 6 years later I'm the fittest I have ever been, I feel healthy and more positive about my life, and look forward to any challenges the future might bring. 

Highly recommended. 5/5 stars

Jakub

Man Alive my son still can’t beat me

When I started coaching my son’s rugby team I realised how far my fitness had declined. I joined Man Alive & during onboarding Craig asked me why I wanted to get fitter? I replied that I was not quite ready for my son to be faster & stronger than me! That’s the problem with giving up competitive sport, you remain competitive…..

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Three years later, thanks to the strength & conditioning from Man Alive my son still can’t beat me. More importantly I’m back playing (Touch) rugby. 

Whilst I’ve tried going to gym, running in the park etc to keep fit I always stopped quite quickly. Man Alive is very different – you are part of a team where everyone is friendly and encouraging and the banter is sharp. It is the nearest thing I have found to be part of a high performing sport team, although we are all a bit older & now have less hair!

Jon B.

12 weeks later I am nearly 15kg lighter

Thinking back, this photo made me feel that it was time to change.
12 weeks later I am nearly 15kg lighter.
4 inches around the waist smaller and a hell of a lot fitter.
It is hard work but worth the effort.
If you are thinking of changing your life then I can’t recommend this program highly enough.
Craig O’Toole, the coaches and the morning gangs encouragement at Radlett make it easier.
Thanks lads, just signed up to continue.

Mark

I’ve lost about 12 to 14kg and feel so much fitter and healthier than I did before I started

I’m off on holiday and when I come back I’ll be taking a job on the other side of London. Unfortunately that means I will need to take a break from ManAlive for a while as I won’t be able to make the sessions with my long commute.

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I’m off on holiday and when I come back I’ll be taking a job on the other side of London. Unfortunately that means I will need to take a break from ManAlive for a while as I won’t be able to make the sessions with my long commute.

Its been a great experience for me. I never imagined that my health and fitness could be transformed in such a short time.

The picture on the left was about this time last year. I had put on so much weight that my wife would take unflattering pics and send them to me at random times to make me realise how massive I’d become. Fair to say she didn’t need to work that hard to make them unflattering but she certainly hit the bulls eye with these pics!

Luckily I saw the Facebook ad for ManAlive and embarked on the 3 month gut buster. My body had the shock of its life but it allowed me to lose a significant amount of weight in a short amount of time. But I’m even happier that I continued with ManAlive after the gut buster came to an end. In this second phase my body shape changed further as I put on more lean muscle. And my core and upper body strength (my two weakest areas) improved significantly as did my general fitness.

I’ve lost about 12 to 14kg and feel so much fitter and healthier than I did before I started

Of course, its great programme with a great bunch of lads to train with. But just want to extend a special thanks to our ever present coach Cam who really makes it what it is.

I’m expecting that once I’m settled into my new role, I will be able to work from home a little more. So hopefully some of you will get to see my green headband before the end of the year ?

Naz

Try ManAlive out

I applied to ManAlive because it offered a guided format without the gimmicks or fluff of a gym/personal trainer. While I wasn't overweight, I did feel lethargic. Those moobs were  slowly appearing and I felt self-conscious on the beach. I needed to get fit without injuring myself.

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This programme is tough and everyone is floored by it at first. Just hold on tight, it really works when you put in the time. You are enduring the same race as that guy next to you and he drives you on to push yourself more.  Both members and coaches want you to succeed and if you're struggling, they'll help/adjust your technique.

I've been doing this for over three years, now. It is a commitment, however you get maximum burst in that time on the pitch.  If you think three hours per week of intense training is a lot, just pick up your mobile phone now and see how much screen time you used  last week.

I am in my late fifties,  I have never been a sportsman and I wasn't looking to be Charles Atlas - I just needed to get fit and active. ManAlive has improved my staying power.  Just last Saturday,  I cycled over 100km. That was unthinkable - if not impossible,  beforehand. 

Try ManAlive out.

Rick J.

Where’s it gone??

Doing ManAlive 3.5 years and gone from 127.5kg to 88kg, that’s 39.5kg!

Shocked is not the word when I see the pics – imagine what my insides were looking like back then and how long (short) I would have lasted?

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Had some serious personal and professional challenges along the way but anything is definitely possible with the right mindset and support!

Paul

Putting on socks, wiping my backside etc… was an effort

Today was my last session of my 12 week “Gut Buster” course. I shall be continuing……

I am a vain so and so and was super hacked off with the way I looked and felt having done no exercise, bar an annual bike ride, occasional game of tennis and the odd round of golf, for the last 8 years or so.

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Putting on socks, wiping my backside etc… was an effort. But, could I find anything to keep me motivated to exercise? Could I bollox…..until I found Man Alive.

I weighed in at 106.4 kg on Monday Sept 3rd. I am less than 6 ft tall. Check out a couple of pics from the week before I started the course (one might not be me!). I’ve kept at it. I took a month off for a dodgy back (entirely my own fault because I ignored advise on “form”) and have now completed my 12 weeks. This morning, I weighed in at 95.3kg (a loss of 11.1kg or 1.75 stone) and I’ve lost 13 cm around my waist. I can see something I haven’t seen in a long while! ?

I can honestly say Man Alive has motivated me to improve myself both physically and mentally in spades. I can do things I never though would be possible. It’s not been easy though. Fitness is tough. If it wasn’t, we’d all be Olympians. Where MA comes in though is that you are surrounded by like minded fellas who get on with the job and at the same time offer huge encouragement and support, no matter your shape and however unfit or fit we may be. It has the feeling of team sport training sessions, with great camaraderie – a feeling I’ve missed more than I ever thought since I stopped playing rugby 24 years ago. It allows you to set your own goals and everyone seems willing to help you move towards those targets, whatever they may be.

In addition to the blokes who I train alongside, what also makes MA so very special is the support, guidance, encouragement and excellence of Cam OConnor and George Selwood, our regular coaches. 2 top drawer guys who have made a real difference to my well being.

Thanks to everyone who has attended the morning MAWA sessions over the last few months. Even though I may not have had a chat with you, just being there and getting your head down has helped push me. It’s not easy getting to know people very well at 6 am when its pissing it down and all you can hear are a lot of grunts, moans, panting with the odd fart and school girl giggling thrown in, but I am looking forward to continue developing friendships next year.

If you struggle to drag yourself out for a run or to go down to the gym, you could do a lot worse than check out Man Alive.

Right, enough of me, I’m off to buy a new F’ing wardrobe as none of my clothes fit me anymore!

Have a great Christmas everyone and be strong in 2019.
???????

Nick

Today Marks the Start of the New You!