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Neil's Journey Back2Fitness

I thought, to mark its launch, I’d kick things off with a personal piece about Back2Fitness and the transformative effect the programme’s had on me. In all honesty, I’ve spent the majority of my adult life following strict exercise and dietary plans and Back2Fitness easily stands up against the best I experienced as a professional sportsman. Don’t get me wrong, it’s not designed to turn you into a rampaging flanker, not that I’m really one of those anymore. It’s designed for blokes like you and me. Maybe our best days are behind us, and we’re tied up with life and all sorts most of the time, but all is not lost. We can still get into excellent shape and Back2Fitness offers a great way of doing it.

I met Sam Yassin through my daughter, Olivia. She’s an ambitious young hockey player and, in her own way, a chip off the old block. She understands that she has to work extremely hard and leave no stone unturned, if she’s going to fulfil her potential. She knew she needed to get herself stronger, so, after a good bit of research, we found Sam and engaged him as her Strength & Conditioning Coach. Of course, Sam and I got chatting and he told me about the plan he and Jack Baker had been putting together.

Sam thought I’d make a great guinea pig. Apparently, I was pretty much the ideal candidate, both in terms of my age and my time in rugby. I put to the back of my mind any suggestion that I’d let myself go but, for a few years after hanging up my boots and moving into business, I had felt like I was on the downward slope. There were more years on the clock and, with work commitments and all the running around with the kids, I was forgoing meals and struggling to find the time or inclination to train. With the life I’ve led, that’s just not me. I needed something to snap me out of the bad habits and Sam and Jack’s ideas rang a few bells in my head.

But I did need to see for myself that it worked, so I agreed to give it a go. The full 12 weeks.

I’m not going to lie. It needed a fair bit of organisation on my part but there was a massive incentive. The food side was perhaps the biggest adjustment but then, as the project was only in development, I didn’t have access to the brilliant Prep Perfect service that accompanies the programme.

When I next follow the plan, I’ll definitely sign up with them but, first time round, I was lucky I have a good relationship with my butcher, who was more than happy to divide cuts up into the recommended sizes to make things easier.

In terms of the fitness element, though, the exercises both challenged and engaged me and I began to notice a real difference in less than a fortnight. As I moved through the three programme phases, not only could I see the fat disappearing but I could also see my muscle tone improve and the bulk increase.

My body recomposition and the ‘before and after’ stats both impressed me too. My body fat went down from 11.9% to 8.2%, so I lost almost 6kg in total weight, despite experiencing marked lean mass gains and bigger biceps, triceps and the rest.

Of course, I don’t need to be as big and strong as was necessary maybe 10 or 15 years ago but I’m now ripped like I was before and I’ve got more energy than I’ve had in years.

Chasing after the kids isn’t such a chore and I’m far more focused at work, so it’s an all-round win for me.

I used to be an elite sportsman and I achieved a lot in rugby but, when that all came to an end, things soon changed. I was pushed for time and, if I’m honest, I probably got a little lazy. But Back2Fitness enabled me to rediscover some purpose at the fitness level. My self-esteem was boosted and I feel stronger, sharper and fitter. And maybe a bit younger too. I needed to know Back2Fitness worked, so I gave it ago. It wasn’t a walk in the park by any means but the pay-offs have been incredible.

If you want to rediscover yourself and feel a lot better, I couldn’t recommend it highly enough.

There’s so much to be gained!


Neil Back MBE

2003 Rugby World Cup winner Neil Back MBE built a reputation in the game as the fittest of the fit. In Rugby Union terms, he was professionalism personified and well ahead of the game. Four years before his sport turned pro and aiming to be the best he possibly could, Neil was following his own bespoke exercise and nutritional plan.

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