This Former Triathlete Lost Over 20kgs In 9 Months – Here’s His Weight Loss Plan

by | Jun 2, 2011 | Weight-Loss

You might think that an athlete never has to worry about their weight, but Henry Coppens is proof that if you stop exercising and start leading a less active life, the weight will begin to creep on and soon you won’t have that athletic physique you once had.

Related: 5 Weight Loss Myths That Are Setting You Up For Failure

Name: Henry Coppens

Age: 59

Occupation: Chemical Engineer

Height: 1.74M

Time Required: 9 Months

Weight Before: 94KG

Weight After: 72KG

The Gain:

Having represented South Africa internationally in triathlon and duathlon disciplines in the past, I never had a problem with my weight. Then I moved onto hiking, and after I completed all the local mountain ranges, I tackled famous peaks such as Kilimanjaro, Elbrus and the Canadian Rockies. Unfortunately my work leave only allowed for one climb per year. In the interim, I did little else, apart from the odd jog and MTB ride. The result was that my weight gradually crept up to 94kg.

Related: Master The Triathlon In 5 Easy Steps

The Change:

I’d always had a keen eye for men’s fashion, and the chance of enjoying it receded as the weight soared and years sped past. After successfully summiting Aconcagua in Argentina in 2007, I discovered on returning that I had lost four kilos. The climb proved that with exercise and a restricted kilojoule intake, weight loss inevitably follows. I decided that if I wanted what I had in the mid-Nineties, I would have to embark on a proper training and nutrition strategy.

The Result:

With an appropriate diet and a rigorous exercise regime of running and spinning, I managed to reach my goal of 72kg in nine months – from 30 to 16 percent body fat. However, I looked like a turkey with dangling folds of wrinkled skin around my neck, girth and arms. A kind friend of mine suggested the gym. This, he said, would replace some of the remaining body fat with muscle. For the next six months I worked out three times a week, which reduced my body fat to 11 percent with no weight gain.

Related: Morning or Evening: What Time You Workout Could Impact Your Gains

The Reward:

People now guess my age at between 35 and 45. I have found the fountain of youth! I now wear a size 28 or 30 jeans, down from 36 or 38. I can pull off skinny jeans and other trappings of high fashion with confidence. An unexpected benefit is that my eyesight has improved markedly. I can run an eight kilometre time trial in 36 minutes. I can ride my MTB up Northcliff Hill four times in less than an hour and I can out dance anyone at a club, but none of my peers want to party anymore!

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