Saturday 23 September 2017

From Obese to Beast: How I transformed my body to compete in Ireland’s Strongest Man

David Jones was once 24 stone but has transformed his life and competed in ROI's Strongest Man
David Jones was once 24 stone but has transformed his life and competed in ROI's Strongest Man
Patricia Murphy

Patricia Murphy

A Kilkenny man who once tipped the scales at almost 25 stone will compete to win the title of Ireland’s Strongest Man after a massive physical transformation.

After teenage years spent hating his body, Davy Jones (25) transformed himself into 18 stone of muscle and will travel to Armagh at the end of May to battle it out for the coveted title.

“When I was 19 I weighed more than 24 stone. I had battled with weight all through my teenage years and I just got absolutely sick of being fat and unhealthy,” said Davy.

“In primary school I never did any sports. Kilkenny is a big hurling county and I was never involved in it.

David Jones was once 24 stone but has transformed his life and will compete in ROI's Strongest Man in May
David Jones was once 24 stone but has transformed his life and will compete in ROI's Strongest Man in May

“I began making an effort in the gym and I was delighted when I lost half a stone. But I went away for a weekend with my friends and I just drank and ate all around me for four days and when I returned home I had put on the bones of a stone again.

“I can’t describe it, but it felt like something just clicked in my brain. From that point on I just made a promise to myself and went from there,” he said.

In one year Davy lost more than 12 stone, but he revealed he did not lose weight in the best possible way because he lacked knowledge about fitness and nutrition.

“At the beginning I wasn’t working so I had all this time to dedicate to my weight loss. I was spending three hours in the gym each day which may seem mad but I was determined to change.

“Although I was losing weight at that time, I didn’t have a great knowledge of diet or even fitness and my weight loss was so dramatic, people were asking me if I was ill. I didn’t know anything about the benefits of weight training at the time. That was my biggest mistake,” he said.

After shifting more than 12 stone, Davy developed what he describes as “an addition to fitness” and made a decision to become a personal trainer.

David Jones pictured after losing 12 stone.
David Jones pictured after losing 12 stone.

“I’m working as a personal trainer now in Fennelly Fitness in Kilkenny, and it’s great to be able to help others who are in a position that I was in before, being overweight,” he said.

The personal trainer is currently in preparation for the Strongest Man competition on May 28, which will see him tough it out in six gruelling evens including car deadlifts.

“It’s a big dedication that a lot of people wouldn’t be able for but it’s turned into a bit of an addiction for me. I’m due to compete in ROI’s Strongest Man in Armagh in May and I suffer a bit from nerves but I’m hoping it will go well.

“In the past, I didn’t know much about losing weight, toning up, strength training or lifting weights in general. Now I’m a big believer in strength training and lifting weights for weight loss. It’s now a big passion of mine. My current training routine consists of four strength-training sessions a week and four sessions of cardiovascular and flexibility training per week,” he said

The Kilkenny man revealed that his transformation was a massive boost to his confidence and his love life.

“Fitness has completely changed my life in a lot of ways. Before I wouldn’t have had anything to do with girls, I assumed they wouldn’t be interested in me when I was big. I’ve been going out with a girl for three years now, so it’s improved my luck in that way,” he said.

David Jones was once 24 stone but has transformed his life and will compete in ROI's Strongest Man in May
David Jones was once 24 stone but has transformed his life and will compete in ROI's Strongest Man in May

The Strongest Man hopeful admitted that it’s never too late to tackle your weight and fitness, no matter how heavy you are.

“Never give up, no matter how hard it is. I was 24 stone at one point so there is always an opportunity to change no matter how long the road feels. Just keep going,” said Davy.

 

What Davy eats in a day

"Having deprived myself of calories in the past in order to lost weight, I now eat every 2.5 hours or six times a day.  My diet is a healthy one of high protein combined with good carbohydrates and good fats."

"I start the day with 150g of porridge 150g of berries or two kiwis and two scoops of whey protein.

"My second meal, post-training, is 150g of porridge 100g of berries, six egg whites, a post-training shake, two scoops of whey protein and scoops of carb powder.

"My other meals are a combination of rice and white meat, meat with veg and nuts and, finally, 250g of lean steak with eggs. I also I drink five litres of water per day and I also take multivitamins and ZMA tablets”

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