Jon (April 2016)


I HAD to debate whether to even include Jon Waites’ second round of the Amazing 12. It’s not because of the results (you can be the judge of that). It’s because he effectively only completed nine weeks. So, if I am honest, it was more like the Amazing 9 than the Amazing 12.

Jon’s a busy man. A father of two who runs his own business, Jon quite often at short notice had to shoot off to London from West Sussex, meaning he skipped quite a few sessions – 14 to be precise! Ouch!

That’s all a bit frustrating. My intention is always to get the best results possible. Luckily for me, Jon always responds well to the program (well, who doesn’t?) He trains hard, too – within the parameters of my instructions.

This second Amazing 12 transformation was definitely different to and more challenging than the first. Jon was training with his girlfriend, Jo (below), rather than by himself and out of his garage as opposed to a gym. We made it work. I brought over dumbbells and kettlebells. Jon had some of his own equipment. It was dusty. Often it was cold, especially at the start of the year and when we rearranged our training sessions for 6am! But you gotta do what you gotta do, right?


So you should look at his photos through the lens that says with three weeks extra training his results would have been more spectacular. Continuity in this program is so important. You miss sessions and you lose momentum and the opportunity to maximise the effects of the training. Jon also skipped quite a few days at a crucial time – week 11 – and I wasn’t sure he was even going to finish because he had so much going on away from the gym.

But he had come so far it would have been deeply disappointing had he not made it across the finish line.

Thankfully, he did.


As you can see, Jon was in fairly good shape to begin with. It shows that this program works on the experienced as well as complete beginners (check out Jo Smith’s transformation for evidence of that). Jon got strong. He was banging out reps on the incline bench with 37kgs dumbbells in each hand and made gains in other areas. But, for obvious reasons, I wouldn’t say I got him as strong as when we first trained. Had we not missed so many days it would have been another story. But he was still strong enough, for example, to hammer out around 50 chin-ups in short time with 7kgs strapped to his waist.

Jon’s Amazing 12 transformations were almost exactly a year apart. He is already hinting at doing a third. Some people can’t get enough of it. And there’s a reason for that. It works: it gets you strong; it gets you fit; it gets you in shape.

Thanks, as ever, to my trusty photographer, Sue Saunders, who is currently going through the program herself.

I should make a point here of mentioning the photos and that we had to use a black backdrop for the finishing pictures as we switched venues. Sue and I work hard to ensure the comparable images are as authentic as possible.

I got a text from Jon the next day expressing his thanks and saying he was very pleased with the results. If my customers are happy then I am happy.




Jo (April 2016)


HOW do you take a 32-year-old mother of two with a full-time job who has never trained before and in 12 weeks turn her into an athlete?

That’s pretty much what happened with Jo Smith. She had never lifted weights or been a member of any gym or played sports. I took her through two private sessions before we started training – to show her the movements and give her some basic tuition. The rest we had to learn and improve while on the job.

Fortunately, Jo is a good learner. Sometimes it can be easier with raw beginners because they don’t have bad habits that are difficult to break. To some extent that was the case with Jo. But when I think back to the start and how she didn’t know how to engage the right muscles at the right time, it makes her progress all the more staggering.

In the beginning I had her bench-pressing with only 9.5k on a bar. By the end she was doing reps, albeit tough ones, with 42k! That’s a massive increase in strength. Her back squat and deadlift more than doubled during the same period. With more training, it will only continue to improve.

Already she’s talking about doing another round!


Jo started with what could be termed a slender ‘mum’s body’ and finished looking like she’s been working out her entire life!

Every day after I’d finish my Amazing 12 coaching session in the garage gym we used, I would reverse my car on the gravel drive to turn around. As I did so, Jo would walk back to the house.

I can’t remember when precisely, but there came a point when I suddenly noticed how her physique had taken on an entirely new appearance.

She committed herself to the program so well and, to the best of my knowledge, followed all the instructions I gave her.

I got her into the best shape and condition possible within three months. But, because Jo’s never really tested herself physically, there is a lot of untapped potential. This, believe it or not, is just the start.

Jo’s since taken up kite-surfing and cycling.

North London girl Jo was a good student. As the weeks went by, I could see her fitness soaring. Where she had previously faltered, Jo just kept on going, like an energiser bunny.

It wasn’t all smooth sailing. There were some sticky patches, like when she felt sore (common if you’re working muscles that haven’t been taxed in a long time) and one time when she pulled something in her chest. But we found ways to continue without making the situation worse. Jo always brought a good attitude to our sessions, though. I couldn’t have asked for more.

She had to skip a few workouts – six to be precise – through either illness or work-related issues beyond her control, but approached the program with the right mentality, doing everything I asked and never wanting to cut corners. Jo always felt disappointed whenever she missed training.


We got there in the end and the photos tell the story. I am proud of her achievement.

“I always had a flat tummy,” she said. “But never abs. Now I don’t need to suck in my stomach anymore.”

“I loved it [the training]. I’m very happy with the results.”




Trading Places


I HAVE Jon and Jo on week 11, close to the end of their Amazing 12 program, while yesterday Sue, Ross and Kari all began the April wave at Core Results in Chichester.

Each person’s journey through this program is unique, even for second-timers like Jon. It was a new experience for me, training someone on their own turf and without the space and equipment I am used to. There have been ups and downs with Jon and Jo, which is to be expected over the course of three months. What matters is how you tackle them.

While I always knew Jon would gain strength and power – as he did first time (a year ago) – I didn’t know what to expect from Jo as someone who hadn’t trained before. But she’s now like an energiser bunny. I can see how much stronger she has become as well.

For Ross, Kari and Sue on the first night, starting at 7.30pm, there was a touch of the unknown (I don’t give much away). In the early stages it’s important to think about form and get used to the tempo and movements. It can take time for all my pointers to sink in, but I know these three are going to get in a lot of practice in the weeks to come.

Early birds


MY current couple, Jon and Jo, are into week 9. Often big changes occur around now.

Usually, I have my clients train at a set time. But Jon and Jo have been training out of their home. Our times, therefore, have been variable to say the least, often because Jon gets called away on business. Today, for example, we kicked off at 6.30am.


When I got up the birds were still tweeting and it was dark. But I do what I have to do to ensure my clients get the best possible results.

It was chilly to begin with in the gym (no heating), especially for me, as I don’t get to move around as much. But Jon and Jo soon warmed up.

I had Jon doing chin-ups. Halfway through the routine, he says: “I can’t believe how much stronger my back is. Before we started I was struggling to do one!”

Let’s just say Jon did in excess of 75 good ones and in good time.


Into week 7


HALFWAY through week 7 of the Amazing 12. Things are starting to crank up now. This couple are feeling the changes in strength and fitness more, but there is a lot more to come.


Jon is on his second round of the Amazing 12 (you can see what he achieved first time by looking in the ‘graduates’ section).

It’s exactly a year since Jon first went through the program, but we’ve been operating out of a more makeshift gym. Jo came from a no-exercise-ever background. She’s doing remarkably well and it’s not uncommon to go from zero experience to the Amazing 12. The program is designed in such a way that it suits almost anyone.