Sue (June 2016)

Sue websize (1)

I REMEMBER clearly earlier this year returning from the gym having watched 43-year-old mum-of-two Sue Saunders work on her corrective exercises in her bid to return from shoulder surgery (May 2015). I said to my wife, “I can’t see Sue being ready [in time for the Amazing 12]”.

That was my judgement based on what I had seen to that point. The start of the Amazing 12 was only weeks away. But then something happened: Sue made miraculous progress. The shoulder loosened up and felt much better. Kudos to the team at Core Results for that. And, all of a sudden, Sue went from being a ‘No way’ to a ‘she’s ready’.


It was a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity for her. Sue’s worked with me on the Amazing 12 as my photographer since I started. She had seen all my previous graduates. I’d also worked with Sue as a coach, so there was already a strong element of trust both ways.

Sue had talked about the Amazing 12 with her father shortly before he passed away. This gave the challenge added significance. Naturally, she was concerned about the shoulder flaring up or not being up to the task. She had other concerns also: finding the time; devoting fewer hours to her photographic business; the impact on family life; coping with the sense of guilt from focusing on herself; not wanting to let anyone down.


Her husband told her to go for it. Her two children were supportive from the get-go. We scheduled some time in the gym for me to take her through some movements to test out her body and there didn’t seem any problems. I gave her the green light. Sue then made the decision to proceed.

She didn’t know precisely what she was letting herself in for, but knew she wanted to do it. I reassured her that the intention was – and always is – to enable her to become stronger, fitter and in better shape without causing injury. This program is adaptable.

As you can see from the photos, Sue did staggeringly well. Look at the photos and realise the difference in weight lost between the start and finish was only 3lbs, yet the transformation and increase in strength was impressive.


It wasn’t smooth sailing – and something like this seldom is. However, Sue missed only one day of training and she was gutted about that. She really wanted to be ever-present.

This was an adventure and all adventures, almost by definition, are lined with uncertainty, moments of joy and times when you have to dig incredibly deep and feel close to the edge of your comfort zone. Sue had several of those moments. The key is to keep going – and she did. There was never any question of that. Hopefully, I can coax her to explain in her own words in due course how the experience felt and what she gained from it.

There were some specific goals she had which were overcome. For example, her previous best deadlift (for one rep) was 82.5kg, yet by week 7 Sue was knocking out reps with 80kgs. By the finish, she had nailed 92.5kgs for multiple reps without putting down the bar.


Five days after her photo shoot I got her back in the gym and we did some strength-testing (above). She managed a single-rep deadlift of 102.5kgs (225.5lbs)!

To say Sue became stronger is an understatement. I remember the first day I ever trained her shoulders (going back a few years) and her grimacing as she pressed overhead a 7.5kgs bar with 1.25kg plates dangling on either side. To show how far she has come, by the end of the A12 she was shoulder-pressing for reps and sets with 16kgs dumbbells in each hand – and with more comfort than she is even aware of.

I watched her display tremendous grit to better her squatting with a weight that had left her stumped the first time we tried it. Her fitness levels soared as well. I recall Sue saying one day how amazed she was by the speed with which she was able to recover from day to day without ever feeling sore.

In the strength-test session, Sue hit 60kgs (bodyweight) for one rep on her bench press and did a chin-up from a dead-hang (arms straight) with 14kgs attached. As a fitness test, I had her do a 10-length challenge with an empty prowler after five weeks of training. She recorded a time of 2mins 45 secs. When we retested at the end of the program, her time was down to 2mins 27 secs for the same distance. Clear improvement!

I can’t deny Sue was challenging to coach, but I mean that in the nicest possible way. Sue undoubtedly helped me to grow as a person and coach. She asked questions every day. That’s just how she is – wanting and needing to comprehend the hows and whys for everything. She kept me on my toes. In return, I enjoyed encouraging her to challenge her perceived limits and prevail.


Initially, strength was her focus in order to regain the confidence to use her body as she could pre-injury, but then her attention switched to body shape and wanting to get an elusive six-pack, drop body fat, feel confident and lean enough in her body to wear shorts again and achieve a physique that reflected how hard an effort she had made.

I had to keep reassuring her that the program will deliver if you stick with it. It’s only normal when you haven’t been somewhere to ask or wonder what is around the next corner. Then we hit the final week – the peaking stage – where preparation is everything. Sue continued to display great strength. She knocked out 45 quality chin-ups in fairly short time in one particular session and told me on a scale of 1-10 for difficulty (with 10 being tremendously hard) that it felt like only a 5 or 6!

Sue’s an extraordinary and multi-skilled lady. She juggles a lot of balls. She’s a perfectionist. She also confesses to not liking change. But she’s also very funny, determined, committed and delivered results which exemplify what the Amazing 12 is all about.

I’m proud of her and grateful to have had the opportunity to work with her to write this chapter in her life. I hope enough of my philosophy has rubbed off on Sue to help her recognise this as the beginning and not the end and that with the right mindset and patience she has the potential to continue taking on and conquering any challenges she dares to set for herself.

*Want to be the next candidate for the Amazing 12 Chichester? I am taking applications for the wave beginning September 4 at Core Results, Chichester. Contact me at

Week 12: It’s not the gold medal that matters most


AND so it ends. Sue (above) and Kari have crossed the finish line. Photo shoot done. My work is done (for now). What an experience. I am delighted with their results. They both looked amazing. They achieved their goals. I’m very proud of their efforts.

The photos are souvenirs, mementos of the journey, the hard work, focus and accomplishment. It’s like a gold medal, a reminder of what you achieved.

Athletes and sportsmen compete for medals, but a medal isn’t won in one race or contest. It’s won each day over months and years by training smartly, often hard, eating the right foods, getting the right amount of recovery, taking care of your body, overcoming obstacles, picking yourself up when you fall and cultivating a successful mindset and making sacrifices.


Training is a process by which the intention is to make progress towards a given objective. In the Amazing 12 I have ONLY 12 weeks to get the best out of those I coach.

Like Sue said a few times this week and before the final few days of the peaking stage, “this [pointing to herself and her body] is what we worked hard for [not the photos].”


It’s true. You can’t remain at your peak. It’s physically impossible. That’s why it is called a peak. But you can, by continuing to train and eating sensibly, maintain a physique and fitness and strength levels within touching distance of optimum. It’s a balancing act. We have other things in life. But I hope I have helped Sue and Kari to realise a few things: the value of health and a strong body; how food affects our systems; how much our thoughts determine our outcomes; that to make advancements doesn’t mean we have to repeatedly hammer ourselves close to the point of no return; that intelligent training needs to be progressive and structured and success comes through discipline, commitment, patience and not giving up.

I know these impressive ladies have been through a lot these past three months – which have passed so quickly – and I hope to share with you what they have learned and experienced. I will post their pictures and full stories in due course.


They are thinking of what comes next. They have the gold medal and gold medals create opportunity. What will they decide to do with it?

Thanks for following their adventure. The next group will commence at Core Results on September 5. Would you like to be a part of that? Would you like to see how far this program can take you in three months? I’m taking applications for the next wave.

Drop me a line at for more details. I’m happy to answer any questions.

Week 11: Deadlifting, mindfulness and the impending finish line


WE have reached the stage in the Amazing 12 program where it is noticeably tougher. The deadlift, in particular, presented some challenges this week at Core Results. Sue felt as if she was nearing her limits. She pulled 92.5kgs off the ground repeatedly. That’s more than she has ever done. Kari did the same with 72.5kgs – way more than she has lifted before starting the program.

However, Kari’s form broke down during some of the sets. So we lowered the weight and practiced the technique with a lighter weight. This was a valuable experience and not a failure by any means. The deadlift may seem straightforward – and it is – but it can also be very technical and those fine details are essential when you begin asking your body to overcome heavier loads. To ask that question of a body that hasn’t been already primed is courting disaster. Body type and mobility make a difference to how easy it is to master the deadlift. But nothing beats practice and patience.


It got me thinking, because while we don’t do deadlifts too often on the program, we deadlift practically every day of our lives. Some of us realise it and some of us do not.

Whenever you take from the ground a weighted object you are effectively performing a deadlift. Mothers and fathers picking up their children are deadlifting. Labourers at work. Children at play…

It is not always enough to go to the gym. The gym is just the beginning. It’s how you lead your life that matters most. The gym is where you learn and refine the skill under supervision. Out in the world is where you get to put your gym skills and gym strength to use.


The time spent in the gym is relatively little. But if you do not apply what you learn you aren’t really changing much. If I train you to deadlift once per week and the rest of the week you lift objects from the ground with bad form, which movement pattern do you think will prevail?

If you workout every day, but spend the vast majority of your time seated or slumped at a desk or on a couch, what shape will your body adapt to?

I see all the time people lifting by using their backs and they complain about having a bad back. Figure that out.


Changing a movement pattern is tough in the beginning. It requires almost continual thought, devotion and concentration. Kari found it a little overwhelming at times trying to focus on all the components of the deadlift to be able to execute the movement well. But with practice comes change. She’s made tremendous progress from when we started.

Over time that which we once had to think hard about becomes second nature and a new pattern emerges.


The Amazing 12 tries to teach that. We’re honing skills and eating habits week in, week out. You get good at what you practice the most.

“I’m more mindful of my body now since starting the Amazing 12,” said Kari. “I’m more aware of how my core influences my posture and how important it is to engage core muscles when lifting.


“I have also learned to listen to my body and not push it to pieces – that it’s not just okay to have rest days, but crucial.”

For Sue the injury she sustained more than a year ago was enough to make her more conscious of how she moves day in and day out. “Once you’ve had an injury and been debilitated, you become more mindful,” she said.


“But coming from a place of injury and movement recovery, the Amazing 12 has given me back my confidence in the way I move. I no longer hold myself stiffly to protect my shoulder or worry about lower back pain when picking up something heavy.

“Lifting heavy weights teaches you to respect your body. I am proud of what my body has accomplished during these three months and I’m now confident of being ‘fit for purpose’.”


Next week Kari and Sue head towards the finish. It’s about getting them to peak for the photo shoot. The aim of the program is to achieve the best results possible – strength, fitness and shape – in 12 weeks. The photo shoot is just a way of illustrating the change in shape. But the real gains are made in strength (intelligent programming), fitness (conditioning work), technique (from practice), confidence (reaching the finish, overcoming challenges), health (eating better) and training knowledge (self-sufficiency).

“The 12 weeks have flown by quickly,” said Kari. “It’s unbelievable to think we have only one week left. I’m going to miss the training sessions. But I’m looking forward to building on what I have learned and to include more cardio in my training. My legs are craving a long run.


“I’m also looking forward to having a cleaner diet. I’m more mindful of nutrients and how to fuel my body. The Amazing 12 showed how head-strong and disciplined I can be when required. I was fortunate enough to share the experience with a lovely training buddy, too. She [Sue] is an inspiring lady.”

Sue has mixed feelings. “I will miss the training,” she admits. “I have loved it, despite it being tough at times and pushing me way out of my cautious comfort zone. I will miss the friendly banter and comradery of my training sessions with Kari and Claude.


“I am anxious about what happens next and where to go from here. Now I’ve climbed Everest [well, nearly], I like the view. I will, however, be glad to have more time to focus on other important things in my life. I’m looking forward to getting back to ‘normality’ in terms of my family and running my business.

“There is no doubt you have to make sacrifices for the Amazing 12 and that is why it is an accomplishment for those who undertake it. Nothing of real value is easy to come by after all.

“While I am sad the Amazing 12 is nearly over for me, I am happy I did what I set out to do and more. I have achieved something I didn’t think was possible a year ago and, what’s more, come this Friday I can eat cake!!”

*Do you think you can do the Amazing 12? Would you like to find out more? The next phase of the Amazing 12 Chichester begins on September 5 at Core Results. Contact for more information and/or to book a free consultation.

Week 10: And then there were two…


TWO weeks and only two students of the Amazing 12 Chichester now remain.

Ross chose to drop out (for personal reasons) at the beginning of the week. Sue and Kari have soldiered on.

We had some hot evenings and gritty challenges this week. But the ladies did incredibly well. Sue’s deadlift has reached 90kg for repetitions. She even sneaks in the occasional pull-up when I’m not looking and then grins at me mischievously because they now feel so easy to her. Kari, too, is deadlifting beyond what she has ever achieved previously and her strength increased in all the other movements.

I’m turning the screw a little more, not because it’s necessary, but more because they are now ready.


These final two weeks will, much like week 10, skip by quickly. From my experience, this stage is what brings about the most significant results.

With the end in sight, thoughts inevitably turn to ‘what’s next?’ In reality, it’s a question that should have been asked (and answered) long ago.


If you run a business, you’d want it to grow. You would need to know your projections for years to come. Try to view your body in the same way. How do you want it to perform and look one, three, five and 10 years or more from today?

As with any business, neglect your body, too, and it will crumble. Feed it, invest in it and strategically create ways to nurture and challenge it and it will grow and provide healthy returns.


So for Sue and Kari this is really just the beginning and not the end.

“I have loved and am loving every second,” said Kari. “I will say this again and again…I don’t want this to end.”


It’s been a rewarding process for me to see these two ladies genuinely thrive.

“The Amazing 12 is getting tough now,” admitted Kari. “But I’m still loving it and amazed by how far I can push my body. Lifting could potentially become my drug, thanks to you.”

But I asked them both to think ahead to what could become their next challenge or to what they’d like to achieve down the road.


“If money and time were no object, I would love to do another Amazing 12,” said Sue.

“It wouldn’t be for a while, but certainly soon enough to capitalise on the progress I have already made. I’d also love to learn to box. I have always fancied that.

“I’d like to train for and get a kettlebell certification and take up yoga or pilates to sort out my mobility issues.

“And then, when I’ve done all that, I’ll enter Ninja Warriors UK!”

Kari, who’s always been more of an endurance-based athlete, said she’d like to get to Base Camp Everest, climb Mount Kilimanjaro, complete the Marathon des Sables, do the Big 5 Marathon in South Africa.


“I’d also like to spend a month in Kenya with a Kenyan athlete and learn how to run properly,” she said.

“And now, having nearly completed the Amazing 12, I’d like to compete in a Body Fitness competition (in my wildest dreams still).”

In the week that Muhammad Ali, one of my heroes, died and was buried, I think it’s only fitting to think big, as Ali would have done, and to be fearless in your approach, as he always was. For if a young, skinny black kid from Kentucky could grow up in racially oppressive times to become the most famous sports figure in history, doesn’t it make all our dreams seem more achievable?

My parting note for the week comes not from Ali, but John Maxwell, a leadership guru, who said: “Small disciplines repeated with consistency every day lead to great achievements gained slowly over time.”

Sounds almost exactly what the Amazing 12 is all about. But it can be applied to practically everything. The underlying message is that to make a difference you first need to get started, don’t give up and realise something is better than nothing.

*The Amazing 12 Chichester wave starts next on September 5 at Core Results Gym. Send an email to for more details or to arrange a free assessment. Spaces are limited, so make contact early to avoid disappointment. 

The Amazing 12 – why anyone can do it (Part 2, the girls)


COLLETTE, a 36-year-old from a little coastal village called Amble in the north-east of England, commuted over 60 miles daily to train with Phil Earley at ITS Fitness in Newcastle five days per week.

Not only is the distance demanding enough, the route was awful and Phil says she spent probably more time in her car than the gym being put through her paces on the Amazing 12. And on top of that, Collette runs her own beauty business and works long hours!

Collette did it with a long-term (10 years) back problem that prevented her from performing any kind of hinge pattern (deadlifting, for instance, wasn’t possible) and hadn’t trained in five years going into the Amazing 12! That makes her results hugely impressive.

There’s more to her story that I can’t even divulge that would add to the enormity of her effort and drive to transform herself. She also got her results in eight weeks rather than the usual 12.


HOW about Lauren, only 4ft 11in, stubborn about her diet, inconsistent in her training and disappointed in her results and strength from previous training regimens? She’d had digestive issues, but didn’t want to make the necessary changes…until she did the Amazing 12 with Alydia Rose Bryant at Torque Strong in the US.

Lauren got leaner and stronger. Her digestive issues disappeared, her sleep became more normal, energy increased and her reliance on caffeine reduced.

“Seriously, ask anyone, I want the world to feel as great as I do,” she said at the end. “I exceeded my expectations and my mind and body are singing.”

Lauren lost 16lbs in bodyweight and 13.5in overall.

Kristin 2

KRISTIN is a mother of four with a full-time job. She has now done the Amazing 12 twice with Gan Power in Ireland. Why twice? She enjoyed it so much that she came back for more. As you can see, Kristin achieved incredible physical results. Her strength more than matched her physique.

At the beginning, she was strong enough to do five chin-ups. By the finish she could do 11 strictly. Her strength in other lifts, like the back squat, deadlift, bench press and military press, all went up, too.

As Gan says, “She built a physique that would probably place her on the podium of a ladies physique content. Her hard work and dedication is reflected in her photos.”

Kristin said, “Having done the Amazing 12 last year, I knew exactly the results this program gets, so the decision to do it again was an easy one. While I never stopped going to the gym, I found myself going through the motions. Getting involved in the Amazing 12 group again brought back the fun, motivation and incentive I needed to work as hard as I could. I defy anyone to find another gym where you can reap so many rewards.”

Clairecully 2

CLAIRE is another of Gan Power’s female graduates. She admitted that the first time she turned up at the gym she was intimidated before she stepped in.

“I could see the hooks from the ceiling, music thumping and people focused, in the zone and everyone lifting weights,” she recalled.

Claire, a keen walker, runner and member of what we’d called a standard gym with treadmills and rowers, was out that night to enquire about the Amazing 12. She’d never lifted weights before – a complete novice, therefore.

“To say I was intimidated and petrified is an understatement,” she said.

Gan put her at ease and explained to her what was required on the Amazing 12. “I knew this was going to be serious,” she said. “I wanted results. I’d had enough of being the shape I was, not fitting into clothes or being able to buy particular styles because it didn’t suit me. I’d also been suffering with sciatica due to a slipped disc. I wanted to strengthen my core.

“I felt the A12 was the way to do it. It was time for change and once I had made that decision I knew my stubbornness would win out.”

Claire admitted she was a hopeless vegetable eater, so knew the diet would be a struggle. “I made every effort, though. The program was easy to get used to. Gan was picky about technique [as all A12 coaches should be]. Gan selected the weights and all I had to do was lift.”

Soon enough Claire started to enjoy it. By the halfway stage she had shifted a stone and felt as if she was gaining muscle.

Then Claire injured herself and got pains in her back. To cut a long story short, she was referred for surgery because her troublesome disc was sitting on a nerve. She felt devastated.

“I’m not a quitter,” she said. “Gan was so understanding and kept reassuring me I could finish the program another time.”

Determined not to put weight back on, Claire joined Slimming World while she couldn’t train. Gan stayed in contact with her. Eventually, Claire was given the green light to begin any training program she was doing prior to the injury.

So four months after surgery, Claire was back in the gym. Gan tinkered with the program to allow for her back injury. Claire was more focused than ever. She knew what she was up against. As food was her greatest worry, she got herself organised and batch-cooked everything she needed ahead of time. “This made life so much easier,” she said.

From start to finish (including the break due to surgery and recovery), Claire shed more than 3st (42lbs). “My body shape has changed. I eat some vegetables. I am way more conscious now of the food I consume. I am leaner, stronger and can even do a chin-up!”

Training on the A12 and at GP Fitness was as much a psychological as physical experience. “I had so many doubts, fears and much trepidation,” she admitted. “It was a long and winding road, but one that made me undoubtedly a stronger person both mentally and physically.”

Claire admits her back still gives her the odd twinge, but that her physio told her recently her back is in the best condition he had seen it in the two-and-a-half years he had known her. “That, in itself, made the journey worthwhile,” she said. “I can’t believe how far I have come. Now I feel amazing.”


ANN decided to take the Amazing 12 journey after winning a battle with cancer. At 57, she admitted, “I needed to get in shape and become strong and healthy.”

Having worked with Amazing 12 coach Amanda Hudson previously at the Pure Strength Studio in Mississippi, USA, Ann knew she was in good hands. “Ann was always dedicated,” said Amanda. “I knew what she was capable of.”

Over the three months of training, Ann dropped 20lbs in weight and two sizes around the waist (18in overall). Although her strength had been compromised from her cancer treatment, Ann soon overcame that. She more than doubled the weights she could lift in the bench press and shoulder press. She made big leaps in her back squat and deadlift also.

“The Amazing 12 was all about me,” she said. “It offered me all the things I needed to accomplish my goals [strength, health and shape]. I dedicated myself and received great rewards. It’s a way of life now. I achieved my goals without ever starving myself and one day each week I could eat whatever I wanted.

“Amanda has given me the improvements to my self-confidence and self-esteem to keep charging on and facing the challenges of life.”

Next step for Ann is another six weeks on the program. “It’s become a way of life now. I will do the six-week program and become more grounded in what I have learned.”

THE next round of the Amazing 12 Chichester begins at Core Results Gym on January 9, 2017. Do you have what it takes? Want to find out more details? Want to book your place? Send me a message at

Week 9: Habits and Six-packs

WHAT makes us successful or unsuccessful? One thing I know that plays a significant role is our habits.
Do you have winning habits or ones that lead to failure?
For example, if your aim is to lose weight and your habit is to indulge in a tub of chocolates or stuff your face with fast food or down 2 litres of Coca Cola every evening, it’s not exactly a winning combination.
Habits are not just physical. If your desire is for less stress and your habit is to fill your to-do list each day to the brim or leave everything until the final minute, again it’s counter-productive.
So ask yourself how do your actions and does your lifestyle support your goals?
As an  Amazing 12 transformation coach, I have to do my part and deliver the program in the gym, offer guidance and instruction on technique and manage the weight and reps for each movement. I have to advise on diet. But to get the most success from this program for my clients, I need to adopt successful habits: I aim to be punctual; I plan each session ahead of time; I pay attention when my clients are lifting….
If you are doing the program, winning habits might include preparing your food ahead of time; bringing a protein shake to each session; clearing your mind of worries before training; arriving early to warm-up and do some foam rolling; eliminating foods from your kitchen that you know you shouldn’t have in order to avoid temptation etc…
I am not talking here about the need for an overhaul of lifestyle, but more how we can be derailed by habits that undermine what we want to achieve.
They say it takes 21 days to change a habit. The Amazing 12 consists of 60 training sessions. There’s a deliberate routine, structure and almost ritual to the Amazing 12 training and diet. Habits are changed and established through repetition. Excellence follows practice. Good, productive habits are what deliver results.
Think about this quote from Craig Ballantyne, who wrote an excellent book The Perfect Day Formula: “When you eliminate bad habits, it becomes easier to stick to good ones, which in turn allows you to make better decisions and secure faster results.”
Sue, Kari and Ross have now completed week 9 and each has faced challenges along the way. We’ve worked on ‘bad’ training habits and we continually talk about mindsets. We are now approaching the final three weeks – the home straight, so to speak.
As I’ve detailed in previous weeks, some have struggled more than others. But “success is simple when we accept how hard it is”. That acceptance is what enables us to walk through any walls that come our way. When you don’t accept it, you are more likely to quit or falter.
While all 12 weeks in this program are important, for me the final three are where the greatest changes occur. It’s the climax of the journey. However, you need to put in the work for the first nine to be able to scale those walls in and reap the benefits of the final quarter. There are no shortcuts.
The A12 is a program where you get out what you put in. This week wasn’t the best as far as attendance is concerned. Through work, Ross skipped two sessions and Kari one.
Strength gains have still continued, but every day missed (unless through injury) is an opportunity lost to gain more strength and achieve your best.
By ‘best’ I don’t mean achieving a six-pack! That’s just a bonus for those who by the end have a lean and muscular body and depends largely on your starting physique.
The six-pack has become a bit of a fixation, however, like it’s a badge that represents true strength and fitness.
My fellow Amazing 12 coach Jon Compton, who runs the Wimbledon Strength and Fat Loss Club in London, put out a video recently about the obsession with gaining a six-pack which seemed quite timely as Sue and I this week had quite a few conversations about it.
But I think it can (wrongly in my opinion) be regarded as the dividing line between success or failure, which I think is missing the point of what training and the Amazing 12 is all about.
Jon articulated it in more industrial language than I care to that while the aim at the end of the Amazing 12 is to reach a peak – which is illustrated by photos of the start and finish and very specific to each person – the program is about much more that isn’t always so visually noticeable.
Having a six-pack is sustainable, but only if you are prepared to make sacrifices or are genetically predisposed to a body that doesn’t hold much fat. However it’s not as useful as being strong and fit. Is it?
“Having a six-pack is a consequence of completing exercise and diet, but does not demonstrate strength,” said Ross.
“Having strength, both physically and mentally, is a particular goal of mine and the six-pack, which has always eluded me, is simply a visible by-product, much like having big arms or a chest.
“Strength is hard to measure, as mental strength is down to the individual and can change through many variables. Physical strength doesn’t necessarily mean the individual has mental strength.”
For Sue, the question of the importance of strength and aesthetics has changed from when she started the program.
“It’s not because I’ve changed my mind, but more because I’ve changed my body,” she said. “I’m as strong as I want to be – I have achieved what I set out – and now I want the next three weeks to deliver something more.
“My other goal starting the Amazing 12 was to shed 5% body fat, so that is what is driving me. A six-pack would be the icing on the cake, though I’d choose leaner legs over the abs.
“It will be interesting to see what happens there. In the 25 years since I started exercising, I never shed fat from my legs until I started running, so let’s see what the A12 can deliver.
“Interestingly, going into week 10, I feel like I almost want to put the brakes on in terms of strength development, because I build muscle quickly and my arms and shoulders are now well developed.
“So aesthetics are important to me. Strength and six-pack both matter because they have an affect on how I feel about myself. But I could live without the six-pack (I have until now!)
“However, I couldn’t imagine life without strength. It’s such a big part of who I am. It is my hobby, my stress-relief, my armour, my empowerment.”
Kari also feels as if there’s a tipping point with strength gain, which is a common and hard-to-budge mindset for women who falsely fear that gaining strength from lifting weights equates automatically to big muscles.
You only have to look at the lighter weight categories at the Olympics in weight-lifting to see that strong women aren’t overly muscular.
“I want to be reasonably strong, but not very strong,” added Kari. “I don’t want to look like a man, compete with their strength or come across as intimidating. I still want to ask a man to open a jar or a bottle top for me when I struggle. I never want to lose my femininity.”
In terms of appearances, Kari is after the strong and lean look. “I want to be toned and have nice abs,” she said.
While the focus always seems to be on the obvious – that being aesthetics – I think the hidden but equally important prize of the Amazing 12 is in developing physical and mental strength, training competence and honing habits which can lead to a healthier, better, happier, more capable, skilful, confident and productive you.
Just don’t let the six-pack image obscure your sight of that.

The Amazing 12 – you THINK it’s beyond you? Think again (Part 1, the boys)

SO you think the Amazing 12 is beyond you? You don’t have the time or lack the discipline or willpower or you live too far away from the nearest coach or you believe with a family it’s just not possible or you’re just intimidated by going into gyms or you have a history of starting but not finishing things and it’s not worth beginning?

You’d be surprised. And while the above are all legitimate reasons why participating in and completing the Amazing 12 could be made more challenging, it doesn’t mean it cannot be done.

Firstly, you have to want it and be prepared to do what it takes. Change doesn’t often come easily and why should it? And you certainly don’t want to reach the point where something goes dreadfully wrong with your body before deciding it’s time to take effective action for greater health and well-being.

There is something deeply satisfying to be had from digging deep, testing your metal and discovering your untapped potential. I don’t know about you, but often when I hear people recount events in their lives, they talk with the most pride about and best remember the moments that took them closest to the edge of their comfort zone and maybe even beyond it or where they were challenged.

There is more satisfaction to be had from overcoming something that seems impossible or difficult than completing a task that is easy or you know you are capable of.

Still not convinced you have it in you?

Here are just two men who have, by sheer desire for change, overcome obstacles or limitations that would have deterred most people. It’s often the determined, driven and motivated who are most likely to create changes and then stick with or build upon them. Before you say ‘that’s not me’, understand we ALL have the capability for that mindset.

It just means you need to find a legitimate reason to take action – a driving force inside you – and keep that in mind during those times when things get testing, when you may find yourself questioning what you are made of.

Remember giving up never gets results or creates lasting change. It’s the starting, being brave, believing and persevering that does.


MOTIVATIONAL stories don’t get more powerful than Keith’s. Only days before deciding to do the Amazing 12, Keith was feeling as if he couldn’t go on with life. He was at rock bottom. His wife of 17 years, five months pregnant with their daughter, had passed away suddenly, without warning, from a brain haemorrhage.

In his own words, Keith said, “I was a totally broken man.”

With two daughters to raise, he could see no light at the end of the tunnel.

He recalled one particular visit to his wife’s grave. “I said to Lorraine, ‘wherever you are, I need help. Work your magic’.”

Keith realised he had two choices: to waste away or pull himself together. He remembered how at the entrance to the graveyard where his wife was buried he could see a gym. It was a gym (GP Fitness) belonging to Gan Power, who runs the Amazing 12 program in Waterford, Ireland.

“I walked in, chatted to Gan and he signed me up,” remembers Keith, who had never done any weight-training previously.

Keith’s lifestyle was poor: drinking; smoking; on prescription medicine; strength levels low.

“What happened to Keith was a nightmare,” said Gan. “I can’t comprehend something like that happening. Keith just went through the motions the first few sessions he came in here. But as the weeks went by I could see his personality and focus change. His life became structured. It gave him routine.”

“I was coming to the gym with the weight of the world on my shoulders and dumping it on the floor through exercise,” recalls Keith of his A12 experience. Soon enough changes began happening, not just physically.

“I could walk out of the gym and juggle the world a lot better,” he said.

When he started the program, Keith recalls how he couldn’t do a single chin-up. By the end he was doing multiple chin-ups with 20k attached to his body.

“I became a different man, physically and mentally. This program gave me the foundations to move on in life. My physical appearance, confidence and self-esteem shot up. My thinking became positive.”

There’s a great follow-on to Keith’s story. He decided to go back to college and study sports psychology (a four-year course). “I want to make something of my life and, at the same time, help others.

“I look at what I achieved in 12 weeks on the Amazing 12 and think what I can do in four years. I’m doing it for myself and the kids.”


GARY was told by doctors at the age of 22 that his injured back was never going to get better – that he’d have to learn to live with the pain and pain-relief. Consequently, he was forced to retire from his sports, hurling and football.

Surgery was an option, but he was warned against it. Too risky, the doctors advised. And they couldn’t guarantee it would help.

Gary’s pain was constant. He had gone from winning an under-21 championship with his club and having social connections through sport to nothing. With it went his motivation, fitness and network of friends.

This went on for five years. Gary tried everything, but to no avail. He felt as if he had aged 10 years in the process. Then he decided, almost as a last resort, to try surgery. “I always believed this would solve my problem,” he said.

In March 2014 he had the first of two procedures in Dublin that left him with two metal rods the length of his spine that would remain there permanently. He was told to allow for a year before returning to any kind of gym activity or sport.

Then Gary, with little muscle on his frame, limited flexibility and anxiety about how he looked and felt, approached Colm Callanan in Galway, Ireland. Gary was coming off two operations, four weeks in hospital, four months out of work and 18 months of recovery.

“I was in a rut and had no idea where I was going with regards to my fitness and nutrition,” he said. “Colm asked if I’d have a go at the Amazing 12.”

Gary’s first reaction was: “Absolutely not. I’m nowhere near that level.” But after talking to Colm, he decided to give it a go.

“Never in a million years did I think I would be in the gym at 6.30am five days a week and enjoying every minute of it,” he said. “After two weeks I had slipped into the routine of it and flying through it.”

Gary made it work. “It’s like a collection of positive steps,” he said. “You get a discipline you don’t have to force. You have a personal trainer watching and helping you progress. It wasn’t tough considering what I got out of it.

“I’m now looking at the prospect of playing sport again, seven years after being told I would never be able to. I have always been a positive person, but I’ve become even happier, more proactive and motivated since doing the Amazing 12.”

*The next wave of the Amazing 12 Chichester starts on January 9, 2017 at Core Results. Book in for a free consultation to find out more. Contact: