Not too bad for a 53-year-old Australian, who confessed that up until now his abdominal muscles had “never seen the light of day”, had body fat of around 22 per cent, and never really felt great.
“If someone had said to me on March 11 this year, that in 85 days time, at 53 years old, I would be less than 8 per cent body fat and in the best shape of my life, I would have had them committed,” he said.
“My transformation stands as a testimony to everyone that it is never too late and anyone can do it, regardless of their age and genetics.”
Steve said 2012 was the most difficult year of his life, with him returning to Phuket after teaching at a primary school in Iraq. Both he and wife Deb were out of work, and son Daniel was involved in a serious accident involving ongoing medical treatment.
“I set some goals and headed into 2013 full of hope and optimism.
“These goals included regaining my health and healing my body of the niggling and persistent injuries I had been plagued with for the last 15 years. But three months into 2013, I was further than ever from achieving any of these health and personal goals,” he said.
Then on March 12, he received an email from Bodybuilding.com (he had signed up a long time ago) advertising the Summer Shred Challenge, and the chance to win US$10,000. This was Steve’s catalyst, and he downloaded English trainer Kris Gethin’s 12 week body transformation programme, which he used as a guide, regularly updating his progress to the site.
Fast forward 84 days to June 3, and Steve’s completed the challenge. “I’ve lost 28lbs, reduced my body fat by 14.2 per cent and am in the best physical shape of my life.”
So how did he do it? Steve says he worked out twice a day, doing both cardio and weight training using a TRX suspension trainer, and training at Tiger Muay Thai.
He cut his calorie intake down to 1,500 calories per day, and stuck to egg whites, tuna, chicken breast, oats, brown rice, vegetables and fruit.
He also took up hot yoga in Kata.
“I only had a week to go and I thought I would go to hot yoga to try and shred the last kilos. The first workout I did there nearly killed me. I walked out of there and my legs were jelly and I felt like I’d been tortured. Two hours later I felt really good, and I’ve been back every day since, and twice on some days. Now I’m doing a 30 day challenge.
“It has certainly not been an easy 12 weeks, but it has been most rewarding. I have far exceeded the goals I set myself at the start, and I am well on the way to achieving all of my health and fitness goals as well as my personal goals for 2013.
“Once I got into the rhythm I started eating well and I started enjoying it. Once I saw the weight coming off and things happening, that was a reward in itself.”
What also helped was support from the HeadStart PE department – at the time fellow teacher Kayleigh Damant was training for the Laguna Marathon, and another teacher Jen Campbell was in training for her first Muay Thai fight since giving up for two years while she had a baby.
This support was integral to Steve’s success, he says.
“There are no secrets and no short cuts. I hear about it every day – young guys using steroids and taking this and that and trying to get into shape.
“As a PE teacher my job is to try and motivate and inspire students to live healthy and be active. But I was far from being an example with the weight I was and how I was living.
“This competition was the motivator for me to knuckle down for 12 weeks and show people what I could do, with my own effort and without having to cheat or use steroids.”
And as for his future training, Steve plans to keep up the same workouts, with less intensity, and estimates he will go up to around 10 or 11 per cent body fat which is more sustainable.
“People don’t realise what they are capable of, if they put their heads down and follow the process. It’s a case of cutting calories, eating properly, and working out.
“The only secret is commitment and hard work, and that’s really no secret.”
For more details about Steve’s journey, visit his page at bodyspace.bodybuilding.com/sketz/