“I was so used to feel tired, stressed and low in energy, it had been going on for so long that I actually didn’t know any different! I could tell that whilst things had been going south for a while, that suddenly it was happening at an exponential rate. Aches, pains, lethargy… it was beginning to affect my mood and my confidence.”

Who is Pupinder and what were his intentions for his transformation?

Pupinder was fully aware that things were not right and after seeing the incredible transformation achieved by a family friend, Opinder, and following me on Instagram for a while, he decided it was time to reach out!

With a beautiful family, multiple businesses, a stream of social occasions and a seemingly endless mountain of stress and pressures externally from this, there never seemed to be a right time to start for Pupinder, although he had been trying a few things with limited success. From the initial consultation process, Pupinder and I wrote down at least 20 factors that were potential obstacles to him seeing success within the first 12-week period of us working together.

It can be an extremely cathartic experience to discuss these obstacles and look at why they may play a role within your journey and it is something that I encourage everyone to do. In some instances, this will highlight what is real and what is not when it comes to achieving success. It will also help you shape your strategy for the next 12 weeks, which is crucial for long term and sustainable fat loss.

Now we were aware of the potential limiting factors to success, we had to delve into what caused Pupinder to pick up the phone to me in the first place. Without disclosing Pupinder’s obstacles in their entirety, they were enough to knock anyone down and keep them down for a very long time. As a coach, the last thing I wanted was for his journey to better health, happiness and confidence to become another chore in his journey. We set out to understand Pupinder’s intentions from working with me and they were very clear.

  • I want to drop body fat around my waist and lose weight.
  • I want to feel strong and powerful in my training.
  • I want to gain muscle and be in the best shape of my life.

Once Pupinder outlined these intentions, my response shocked him a little…

“Of course you do, it is the dream… Work all day and night without stopping, earn all the money in the world through the hours you are putting in, be an amazing family man and still look like an athlete… But why do you want to do this? You are already married, successful and its not like you want to be shredded for a beach holiday, so what will you gain from this journey?”

Pupinder had already mentioned his family about 20 times since we had got on the phone and it was apparent that none of what he was doing on a day to day basis was for him. The work, the hours, the stress and the pressures, it was all for his wife and children. It was no surprise that he wanted to take this journey on for the betterment of them. But his words were so strong and so powerful I knew right then that he was serious about a life changing transformation.

“I want to be alive to see my daughters get married.”

If you have children, this statement alone is powerful enough to ensure you follow through on anything. It also stopped me in my tracks, because nothing is more intense than creating an emotional attachment to your goal and the welfare and happiness of family.

We spoke at length about the other reasons Pupinder felt that he was ready to make these changes. He knew that it was not normal to feel bloated after every meal, that foods he had eaten since his childhood, including Indian foods like curries and roti were suddenly causing symptoms of intolerance was a clear sign something wasn’t right.

Pupinder also felt that each day was becoming more of a struggle, with energy levels low through the day and suddenly peaking in the evening when he wanted to wind down. This of course was interrupting his sleeping patterns and exacerbating the issues of fatigue through the day, leading to further inactivity, binge eating and impacting his productivity.

Although Pupinder had been extremely successful in his business ventures, he knew he had another gear or two in there somewhere to take him to the next level. He also new that since increasing in bodyweight it had impacted his confidence in a way, because suddenly he was wondering how others would perceive him in meetings, which had never been a problem in his youth.

Ultimately as we discovered more about his reasons for really getting on the phone, the ones that ran deeper than looking good on holiday or feeling more muscular, we were able to begin to develop a pathway to success.

What did we look for and where did we start in Pupinders journey?

The next steps in Pupinders journey was to review exactly what was occurring in the next 12 weeks that may impact his ability to move forward in his journey. Another simple exercise that helped us map out the dietary and exercise approach that we would be taking. An example table below is something you can try for yourself! Colour code the days you will commit to specific events like check ins, food prep, training and map out which days are going to impact your ability to follow through without some fore thought!

In a world where we are constantly asking for the optimal training, the perfect diet, the most adventurous supplement plan on the planet… It was pretty clear straight away that we had to go back to basics with Pupinder and simply work out what were his abilities and capabilities!

There is no point trying to force a square peg into a round hole because it creates nothing but resistance in a situation that is already complex!

Pupinder was prone to frequent bouts of illness, he was extremely deconditioned, complained of inexplicable joint soreness/ pains and had a high amount of stress to deal with.

Rather than rushing him into a 6-7 day training split and a diet, we started with the basics and tried to pinpoint the complaints he had. Why was he feeling ill frequently? Why was he struggling to go about day to day activities? Why was he struggling with sleep? Why was he finding it difficult to get up a flight of stairs without his legs burning? Why was he feeling all these joint pains?

We went a looked directly at his health data!

It was pretty clear why Pupinder was feeling the way he was. It was also quite apparent that a traditional strength-based program was not going to be the first point of call!

With type 2 diabetes looming, hypertension present, an increased risk factor of cardiovascular disease and any number of diseases associated with obesity and chronic stress, it was apparent that we needed an integrative approach that could simultaneously suit Pupinders lifestyle and improve his health, rather than rushing into the gym to see what we could get him benching, squatting and deadlifting!

As you can imagine, from a CEO, a guy that has been used to rushing in, getting things done and moving on, it was quite a shock to Pupinders nature to hear that we needed to build a baseline first and that most of the important work in the early phases were going to be done through lifestyle changes specifically towards:

  • Developing a strong bedtime ritual
  • Learning to ‘switch off’
  • Working on daily activity
  • Building in rituals like forward planning
  • Placing key tasks into his calendar (something you all do every day for work but completely neglect when it comes to personal tasks that truly matter to you)
  • Ensuring there were times available to eat (not just put food in his face, but truly sit down, chew foods and enjoy the process of eating meals)

This was no smooth journey and there was plenty of back and forth early on until Pupinder started applying these techniques are saw they worked first hand. As a coach I loved this challenge, to get man who has been set in his ways for over 20 years to listen, apply and embrace this was extremely rewarding, but then to see the impact it had almost immediately on his health was absolute gold!

Pupinder did something that I recognise as a positive trait in all clients that achieve an incredible level of success when working with me, he asked question after question after question. The more he asked, the more he learned and the easier he found it to apply the principles of his programming around the meetings, the social occasions, his family and work.

He also repeatedly asked when we would move on with his training, always eager to get to the next step, but ultimately respecting the process of reversing 20 years of poor decisions in relation to health wasn’t going to happen overnight!

Pupinders early training phase was outlined with the following key areas of focus in mind:

  • Ability to perform 45 mins low intensity steady state (LISS)
  • Improvements in flexibility, mobility and posture
  • Introduce resistance training and develop an understanding of movement patterns


No deadlifting?

No benching?

No squats?

I know its not sexy, but its these foundations that allowed Pupinder to progress at the rate he did without damaging his health or his body further!

Improving his cardiovascular health gave him immediate benefits of improved energy levels, a clearer mind and even improved his sleep.

The introduction to resistance training, in the form of short bursts of circuit style exercises for 25-35 minutes, helped him feel stronger, changed his body shape visually in the mirror and he suddenly felt like he wasn’t as tired anymore after eating meals (including carbs).

Within the workouts we had him doing body weight work which slowly progressed into weighted lifts with the aim of getting into full ranges of motion with movements and improved his mobility and posture which was going to be key for the next training phase where the more traditional lifts were going to be implemented!

We identified that to truly progress into some of the more demanding compound lifts, there was a lot of work that needed to be done on strengthening his upper back, hips and glutes. This was programmed into his circuit work and later became a focal point of his training sessions as he built up to his heavier training sessions.

Can you see a picture of what we were doing in month 1?

We took the time to lay foundations that ensured he saw long term success, rather than the all or nothing and 0-100mph approach that causes so many issues for people in the early days of their transformation and ultimately they either crash out from over training, under feeding and under recovering or they just get a tonne of injuries that leaves them even lower in confidence and unable to perform!

Here is what Pupinder had to say:

“It is like being given a new lease on life.

I know that sounds dramatic, but I was going down a hole and whilst I knew things just didn’t seem right with me health wise it was easier to mask over it rather than face it head on.

I think it’s part of our culture to do this as I can’t think of many people in my peer group that will accept their health isn’t 100% until a doctor confirms it to them! I guess what Juggy did was give me the wakeup call that I desperately needed, shining a light on things I was ignoring and even highlighting how some of the digestive issues I was facing for example, wasn’t exactly normal and was down to my lifestyle, nutritional choices and my level of stress!

Juggy helped me find more than the goal of fat loss. In an interview I did with him to fellow Lean Indian Academy members, I called him Juggy Robbins (after Tony Robbins the motivational speaker) as he gave me so much perspective in this journey, he dragged me back up when I thought I was out and showed me exactly what I was capable of!

I remember taking the first pictures of myself and looking at them in disbelief before sending them to Juggy. I was shocked, embarrassed and even a little ashamed that I had let things slip to such a degree, but Juggy was actually proud of me for following through with the initial tasks he had set me. I guess this was a sign of things to come as we celebrated these small wins each day, week and month.

I said to Juggy in the initial consultation that I was a little sceptical of how all this would work alongside my work commitments and the crazy amount of social gatherings, travel and day to day stress that made up my week, but with a simple task he set, we were able to get ahead of these obstacles pretty early on. Juggy even mentioned at this point, that these learning curves would be powerful for the long term success and he was right.

I am now at a point that I don’t necessarily need to give him a call or drop him a message when the ‘perfect meal’ isn’t available. He has educated and empowered me enough to make an informed choice in my meals, training and lifestyle! Although I will be continuing my work with him as there are always new levels to reach!

As I write this, I can finally say I am proud of the things we have achieved to date. A pat on the back is not something I usually afford myself, but looking back at losing such a huge amount of weight, building muscle I thought was well out of my reach, changing my lifestyle to the point I make better choices each and every day without even considering it but most of all, I am proud that the things I am doing right now, have positively impacted my families life.

From my daughters going to school and being able to point out that a meal is lacking in protein, to being able to come home from work full of energy and vitality which meant I could actually spend more time engaging in activities the kids wanted to do and even the ability to go out to families over weekends and socialise, without feeling absolutely drained of energy!

This transformation has positively impacted so many areas of my life, it is difficult to write it down in a few paragraphs and express it! It is amazing to know that my journey has positively impacted those around me and I hope my story can inspire a few more people to accept the help they need and move forward in their lives!

Check out Pupinders incredible progress in pictures and numbers:

Start Most Recent
Weight in kg: 73kg 65kg
86cm 77cm
Hips in cm: 91cm 81cm
Resting Heart Rate (Weekly Average) 78 (optimal 55-65) 61
Heart Rate Variability (Weekly Average) 44 (optimal 70+) 72
Blood Pressure (Weekly Average) 148/92 (115/75) 116/69
Blood Glucose (Weekly Average) 6.8 (optimal 4-4.8) 4.1
Sleep Efficiency 60% (optimal 85%) 89%

Personal Thoughts on Pupinder’s Transformation

It is a great honour to work with a man that sticks to his word and is so absolutely and brutally honest about everything he experienced in his journey.

I say to every member at the beginning of the coaching journey, communication is key, if you don’t talk, I won’t know what is going on with you, what you are struggling with and what we can do to overcome the obstacles. I am glad Pupinder took this advice on board and reached out when he knew he didn’t have the tools in his tool box!

I know how much of an impact this has had on him personally and I feel blessed to have been given this opportunity.

Next Steps

Pupinder has taken on a few more demanding work projects so the intensity of his training has been pulled down in the short term, with a view to improving his recoverability. In the next few weeks, we will see the focus on volume go back up with his sessions and look to move forward with his physique development!

He has a great baseline right now to move from, even on limited training he is comfortably consuming 300g of carbs on his training days with no issues in maintaining weight!

So the next steps are pretty much nailed on for more improvements!

Would you like to be coached by the Lean Indian Academy Team?

We provide coaching tailored to your requirements to allow you to see incredible life changing results just like Pupinders!

There are four simple steps that you will need to go through first and within 14 days you will have a completely tailored approach to moving closer to your goals and seeing the success that you deserve.

  • 1.Contact- message us on this link.
  • 2.Call- set up a free call to determine your goals, capabilities and timeline for success
  • 3.Critique- review your current habits, health and lifestyle using our recommended applications
  • 4.Create- we will create a tailored program specifically to meet you where you are right now that will easily integrate and enhance your quality of life!

As a coaching team, we know you are not robots and we know this can take time for you to get embed within your lives to see success, therefore we are committed to working with you on developing the key skills you need to transform your body, life and mind-set towards nutrition and health forever, no matter how much support you require.

Whilst you may be working with a specific coach in your journey, depending on your choice, we all work together to provide you a unique service which includes valuable insights from our team of medical and research experts Dr Harbinder Sandhu & Dr Shilpa Patel of Health Psychology Services, Head of Research at Oxford University for Cardiovascular Health Dr Jyoti Patel. We work as a team to ensure you are catered for in every step of the way and provide feedback to enable you to overcome the daily challenges that you will inevitably face. 

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