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Carl Parnell


Vital Statistics Before Current
Age 32 37
Height - 6ft
Weight 98kg 68kg
Waist 39 30

Meet Carl, yo yo dieting all through life and not really getting anywhere with achieving his physique! After his child told him he looked similar to being “pumped up with a bicycle pump,” he quickly realised it was time for a change.

Once his dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009, he started working towards running the 2010 London Marathon to raise money for charity. One week after, his father passed away and all of those fitness goals flew out the window.

Comfort eating all the way up until June 2012, when his 5-year-old daughter made the comment above, it was a reality check.

Carl Parnell Transformation

He was quick to enrol in a Body Type Nutrition Course and become a Personal Trainer – not only working hard to improve himself but to help others too. We had to speak to him about his amazing journey.

Here's his story…

Training Plan

  • Monday:

    • Dumbbell press – Dumbbell fly – Cable flys – Bench Press – Chest Press
    • Tricep Push Down – Tricep Push down rope – Tricep dips – Tricep extension
    • Sit ups – Russian twist – cable chop
    • Treadmill jog 20 mins
  • Tuesday:

    • Lat pull down – Bent over row – Seated row – Reverse fly
    • Bicep bar curl – Hammer Curl – Bicep Curl – Spider curl
    • Treadmill 20min jog
  • Wednesday:

    • Shoulder Press – Lateral raise – Arnold Press – Cable rasise
    • Crunch – Russian twist – cable chop
    • Treadmill 20min jog
  • Thursday:

    • Hex bar deadlift – hex bar deadlift into farmers walk – Squats – Single leg squats – banded mobilisation
  • Friday:

    • Chest Press – Incline fly – Upright row – Bent over row – Tricep push down – tricep extension – Z bar curl – Spider Curl – Shoulder press – Lateral Raise.
    • Crunch – Russian twist – cable chop – weighted cable crunch
    • Treadmill 20 min jog
  • Saturday & Sunday:

    • Rest Day

Meal Plan

  • Mon.

    Monday

    • Breakfast – 40g oats, 150ml semi skimmed milk, MaxiNutrition Lean Definition Vanilla Whey (all soaked overnight and heated in the microwave)
    • Mid-Morning – Kello rice cakes x 2–1 tbsp peanut butter
    • Lunch – Spinach, Chicken Breast, Red Pepper, Mushrooms, Courgette, Red Chilli’s, brown rice, Hartley’s 10kcal Jelly & MaxiNutrition Lean Definition Vanilla whey shake
    • Dinner – Chicken Breast, Carrots, Broccoli, Peas, Sweetcorn, Gravy, Fage 0% yoghurt & Raspberries
  • Tue.

    Tuesday

    • Breakfast – 40g oats, 150ml semi skimmed milk, MaxiNutrition Lean Definition Vanilla Whey (all soaked overnight and heated in the microwave)
    • Tuesday dinner – Chicken Breast, Baby sweetcorn, mushrooms, baby tomatoes, courgette, carrot, chillis, spinach, red pepper, wholemeal tortilla, stir fry, Fage 0% & strawberries
    • Snack – Cornflakes, fage 0%, walden farms syrup
  • Wed.

    Wednesday:

    • Breakfast – 40g oats, 150ml semi skimmed milk, MaxiNutrition Lean Definition Vanilla Whey (all soaked overnight and heated in the microwave)
    • Wednesday Dinner – Wholemeal Tortilla, tomato puree, sweetcorn, mushrooms, courgette, red pepper, chicken breast, spinach, made into a pizza & Muscle mousse
    • Snack – Fage 0% & walden farms syrup
  • Thu.

    Thursday:

    • Breakfast – 40g oats, 150ml semi skimmed milk, MaxiNutrition Lean Definition Vanilla Whey (all soaked overnight and heated in the microwave)
    • Thursday Dinner – Steak, peas, carrots, broccoli – Maxinutrition Lean definition whey & egg white, semi skimmed milk, pancake
  • Fri.

    Friday:

    • Breakfast – 40g oats, 150ml semi skimmed milk, MaxiNutrition Lean Definition Vanilla Whey (all soaked overnight and heated in the microwave)
    • Friday Dinner – Chicken Breast, Baby sweetcorn, mushrooms, baby tomatoes, courgette, carrot, chillis, spinach, red pepper, wholemeal tortilla, stir fry, Fage 0% & strawberries
  • Sat.

    Saturday:

    • Breakfast – 40g oats, 150ml semi skimmed milk, MaxiNutrition Lean Definition Vanilla Whey (all soaked overnight and heated in the microwave)
    • Saturday Dinner – Chicken Breast, wholemeal pitta, spinach, red pepper, red onion, potatoes
    • Snack – Fage 0%, raspberries & blueberries
  • Sun.

    Sunday:

    • Breakfast – Eggs & wholemeal bread
    • Lunch – Spinach, chicken breast, red pepper, spring onion, baby tomatoes, red chillis & Custard pot
    • Dinner – Potatoes, chicken breast, baked beans & Jelly pot

Interview with Carl Parnell

Hi Carl, thanks for taking the time to speak to us! What inspired you to kick yourself up the backside and get started?

Guess it started with hearing "Daddy you look like you have been pumped up with a bicycle pump".

I was always a chunky child and adult. No nutrition advice and my mum looked after my food a bit too good! I was always sporty so thought I was healthy and ok. Plus, it’s amazing what baggy clothes can do for your physique.

I yo yo dieted throughout my early twenties and thirties trying out all the magazine diets and training plans, got OK results but got bored and ended up putting more weight on. I went to the gym and never really progressed and gave up. My dad was diagnosed with prostate cancer in 2009 so I really pushed myself to run the 2010 London marathon for prostate cancer (4h30 ) with only the general food and training plan. I thought I was fit and trim until I look back at the photos.

My dad passed away the week after the London Marathon and I really piled on the weight, I guess through comfort eating until one day in June 2012 and my 5yr old daughter said to me “Daddy you look like you have been pumped up with a bicycle pump,“ that really hit me hard in my heart. And this is what kick started my determination to change and educate myself to do this. I needed that reality check to face up to it. I was always in denial and just ate what I liked without thinking of my health or growing stomach!

What action did you take to empower yourself to transform?

I enrolled in the Body Type Nutrition Course and a Personal Trainer course to gain knowledge to help myself and others. I have passed my level 2 pt and now I am on Level 3 study. I have my Nutrition course exam in August. So hopefully not long before I can start helping other people in their personal journey.

Carl Before & after

How has this transformation affected your self-confidence and psychology?

It has really made such a difference. I am more confident in not just my body but also myself. I’m not ashamed to take my top off or go swimming and looking forward to my beach holiday for once!

My outlook has changed in I’m not just looking to help myself, even though I have my personal goals but I’m now always looking to help educate others around me. My sleep has improved, I have more energy for work and have a more positive outlook on life in general and more willing to give things a try. I love seeing their confidence grow. I have realised Nutrition is a key if not the most important key in unlocking your targets. I have also realised that there is no demon food and you do not have to cut out foods to reach your goal. Enjoy them but make them fit into your daily intake.

Let's move onto food. If we were to raid your kitchen right now, what goodies would we find in your fridge?

Lots of Salad food. 0% yogurt. Lots of spices and walden farms syrups as I love flavouring up my food. Chicken I love Chicken! Plus a few treats as I have a sweet tooth and I love creating different desserts.

Carl After

Any Muscle Food favourites?

The chicken is great and much bigger than supermarket ones. The walden farms range is superb and the pizzas oh the pizzas are just amazing! But the best thing is the great value that you get compared to the supermarkets. You save so much money.

Any special recipes that you want to share with the readers?

I love to cook and create my take on other dishes. Like making your own stir fry compared to the shop bought ones. Making it yourself gives you a bigger portion with fewer calories and its a lot cheaper.

Protein pancakes are good easy food –

  • 1 x scoop protein powder, 1 x egg and water and its done.

Chickpea brownies with date caramel and fage frosting –

  • Chickpeas 240g, 1 tbsp Cocoa powder, 1 x scoop protein powder, 1 x egg white, Blend,
  • pour into a baking tray and cook at 150c for 10-15min
  • Blend 75g dates and smooth on top, Mix fage yogurt and 1 tbsp cocoa powder and smooth on top Refrigerate and enjoy! They are moist and delicious.

Everyone deserves a cheat every now and then... What is your favourites?

My favourite is Burger and chips for a cheat with cheese and relish. But you can have these foods if you factor them in so I don’t really have a cheat meal.

Carl Parnell on his journey

Any junk food you found hard to give up?

Pizza, chip shop and just all the old chocolate bars I used to gorge on and flapjacks I love flapjacks! It’s not really giving up it was cutting back which I had to deal with.

Now for a couple of quick-fire questions: Favourite film?

Top Gun

Favourite fitness music?

Anything dance and up tempo something that gets you motivated with a great beat.

Would you rather be a vegetarian or have to hunt down all the animals you eat?

Definitely hunt and kill! Who doesn’t love paint ball or call of duty HAHA same thing really.

And now, fitness! What's your favourite body part?

Hmmm I like chest and biceps as you can see the muscles working

. And the one you feel needs more work?

Shoulders always my weakest part

Favourite exercise to do?

Hex bar Dead lift

One you loathe the most?

Clean and press. I did too many of these when trying a form of cross fit.

What are your plans for the future?

I have now passed my level 2 personal trainer certificate. So now to pass my level 3 and my nutrition course in August. Then to concentrate on setting up to really help others who are in the same situation as I was. Also I would love to help overweight children to give them more confidence and so they don’t have to wait as long as I did to have that.

Carl Back

Who have been your most inspirational fitness figures?

Interestingly it was on your transformation page that I found Daniel Wheeler. He had the same sort of background to me and I could relate to him and his story. Plus, I really like his business and watching it grow, this is what I aspire to. So I would say him, Layne Norton and Ben Coomber are the ones to date who I learn a lot from.

And finally, what would you say to other people looking to transform just like you have?

Follow people you trust and who have been in the position that you’re in.

Educate yourself. Knowledge is key. Find out your daily calorie allowance and set your targets from there.

Don’t take just one piece of advice, gain a few and personally adapt them to you.

I used to think starting fitness and education in my 30s that I was too old. You are never too old and it’s never too late to start and change.

And enjoy your journey, it’s a bumpy one with lots of twists, turns and changing goals but an incredibly rewarding one when looking back.

Last thing, take photos along the way. This will help when feeling flat and you can look back and see how far you have come. This really helped me.

Muscle Food Final Thoughts

Every transformation story featured on Muscle Food outlines that a good diet and a good workout plan are essential to achieving the results you desire. All transformation stories, exercise routines and diet plans are provided by the customer and have not been checked by a nutritionist or doctor. Results may vary for different individuals.

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