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Fashion and Grooming Editor Takes a ‘Swing’ in The Right Direction

I took on this challenge because I wanted to bulk up and look better in what I wear. Fashion is my life and I enjoy looking good. I decided that it was high time to add some meat to these stylish bones. There was one problem, though: I hadn’t seen the inside of a gym in five years. A friend recommended City Bowl Fitness – Strength and Conditioning ( ), so I went for it and met with personal trainer Nicholas Caracandas. 

In between our chats I confessed: I’ve got thin arms, I’m not active, I’m probably the weakest of the bunch and I’ve been hiding the fact that I’m a chain smoker. I was hoping that honesty would mean he’d understand my situation and go easy on me. Man, was I wrong!

The new diet plan was the hardest element for me: I was put on a diet high in kilojoules and protein. It was a huge challenge inhaling five to six meals, plus downing three protein shakes daily. It meant no more skipping breakfast (and sometimes lunch). I have a fast meta-bolism and I eat fast. In the eyes of the #MHTeamFit wolf pack, my diet plan was ideal, because I could eat so much. I had trouble stuffing all the food down at first, not to mention the added pressure of the protein shakes. Soon I realised I couldn’t wolf down all these meals at the agreed times, so I adapted, broke them up and ate smaller portions throughout the day.

Each week I worked out three to four times, each session lasting an hour. In my first month back at gym I focused on the getting the basic movement patterns right and ensuring a good technique and range of motion. I also focused on targeting the specific muscle groups I wanted to improve (my arms, chest and shoulders). I began each session with a heavy compound movement (like dead lifts, barbell cleans, barbell front squats and back squats), and those moves made me work. 

In month two Nick moved away from isolating specific muscles and incorporated multi-planar movement,  working my body as one unit rather than having isolated muscles working alone. My biggest obstacle in the second month was constantly feeling nauseous during workouts. It was a psychological barrier and partly because I was pushing myself so hard. It was tough, but all I could do was focus on finishing the sessions. In month three I did all of the above by alternating between isolation, functional movements and boxing each week. 

Three months later, I feel stronger, fitter and healthier than ever. Best of all, it’s a great excuse to invest in a new wardrobe.   



About DiabeticAthletic (19 Articles)
A type 1 Diabetic and a firm believer that hard work produces the best results and that there is no easy road to success. Nicholas Caracandas is the owner of City Bowl Fitness - Strength and Conditioning as well as the TopShape online training portal called Nicholas has been in the game for just over a decade. With more than 600 clients under his belt and over 5000 hours of personal training completed his knowledge and ability to deliver results are unparalleled. Starting off specialising in Kettlebell training and boxing he became head coach and programmer for CrossFit Mother City's Strength and Conditioning program. He runs the Bikini Body Challenge at City Bowl Fitness which specialises in female weight loss and overall body sculpting. Being a type 1 Diabetic for 21 years he has a vast knowledge on Nutrition and healthy living with a vast understanding of tried and tested training methods capable of delivering any goals you may want and need. Nicholas works at 4 facilities around Cape Town and is the proud bid winner of a 2017 Government contract to provide services to profile government employees. Weight loss, lean muscle mass, sport specific training, performance training and injury rehabilitation are just some the services on offer. No matter your goal, shape or size he is one of the few trainers that offer a money back guarantee.

2 Comments on Fashion and Grooming Editor Takes a ‘Swing’ in The Right Direction

  1. Hey,
    I just went through your writing and found it very interesting. You have listed here some tips which should be taken care by the diabetic person. Diabetes is a hereditary problem and generally found in most of the people. So, all should take care of it. Would you provide some information about the skin problems that may be caused by diabetes?
    Keep on posting some more interesting topics.

    • Firstly, thank you for taking some time to read and look at my blog :-).

      I certainly will write about that. I will have to do a bit of research as everything I write about is from experience, and I seem to have been fortunate not to experience any diabetic related complications as of yet.

      Warm Regards

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