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Darren Kelly

Vital Statistics Previous Current
Height 1.52m 1.52m
Weight 123.8kg 82.5kg
Body Fat 40% 13%
Waist 48" 32"
Shirt XXXL S-M

As Darren prepares to take part in five Tough Mudder Runs in one weekend, it's hard to believe that just a few years ago the Doctors told him he'd die if he didn't battle the bulge.

Weighing in at a massive 19 ½ stone with 40% body fat, Darren wasn't just unfit, he was incredibly unhealthy and seriously at risk of something catastrophic happening.

He all of a sudden became hyper aware that the only way he was ever going to be able to do the things he dreamt of, like travelling the world, would be if he shredded the fat, lost the pounds and overhauled his lifestyle.

Unlike others in a similar situation, Darren didn't crash diet or set himself unrealistic goals – often the downfall of many attempting a transformation.  He began by setting himself small goals like lose a bit of weight so he could do his first run.

From there, it was to keep extending his runs to see how long he could run for.  He eventually became so run fit he was able to go for 3 hours without stopping!

Something many fitness fans who have been training for years wouldn't be able to do…

Darren Kelly - Before & After

As the inevitable plateau dawned on the horizon, Darren joined a gym to continue his fitness journey by trying out new exercises.  He also discovered HIIT, which he credits for taking his weight loss to a whole new level. 

He now weighs 13 stone with 13% body fat and has his sights set on competing in Sweden's “Toughest” obstacle course in the snow in 2016…

Training Plan

Workout 6 days a week – from Monday to Saturday. I do 2 hours a day plus 30-45 mins cardio.

My workout schedule is now a changing one:

Chest & Triceps

  • Cardio - 45min spin session

Legs & Calves

  • Legs.

    15reps on the squat rack starting from 20kg working up to 60kg loading 2.5kg after each set then working 15reps of each from 60kg to 20kg unloading 2.5kg after each set.

    Then it'll be leg press which I work from 30kg to 110kg doing sets of 25 and going up a weight set after each set then work down from 110kg to 30kg again doing sets of 25 and unloading a weight after each set.

Shoulders & Delts

  • 1 hour high intensity interval training

Chest/ Back/ Arms

  • Workouts

    I tend to use resistance machines when it comes to chest and back. I use the converging chest press, diverging seated row, shoulder press, seated dip and pectoral fly.

    I'll start on 25kg and go up 20kg after each set. 1st and 2nd set will be 16reps, 3rd set at its heaviest will be 8reps. Repeat this 3 to 4 times on each machine.

    For arms I use 10kg Dumbbells and do the sevens which is 7 lower half bicep curls, 7 upper half bicep curls, 7 full bicep curls. Again repeat this 3 to 4 times.


  • 45min spin session followed by 30min HIIT


  • I tend to do another leg session followed by an hour or HIIT. If I'm feeling the weight sessions of the week, I'll just do 1 hour HIIT.


  • Active rest day. Walking, light bike ride or cleaning. Something to keep me busy.


Meal Plan

I get all of my food from either Muscle Food or Herbalife.  I can't remember the last time I stepped into a supermarket to buy anything other than cat food!

On my day off I eat very well so it'll be a cooked breakfast with egg, chicken sausage, pork medallions all from of Muscle Food then a slice or Bergen bread on the side. I don't tend to need lunch after a big breakfast so it'll be a small bite which will either be organic peanut butter on Bergen and a protein shake or just a protein shake.

My evening meal on my day off is something wholesome so a good roast chicken dinner with all the trimmings is a fave.

Interview with Darren Kelly

Why did you decide to go through a transformation?

Growing up I wasn't the happiest of children, I gained a lot of weight and got to a massive 19 1/2 stone. I was ill. The doctors basically said if I carried on the way I was, I would die.  I couldn't have that. I had dreams of being an adventurer and seeing the world and I couldn't do that if I was 6ft under.

How did you accomplish your goals?

I set certain goals such as lose a bit of weight so I can attempt my first run. Another goal was to keep extending my runs to see how far I could go. I eventually got up to about 3hrs outdoor running on a daily basis.

What aspect of your transformation challenged you the most?

The main challenge was really keeping on track. After a while of running and better eating, I wasn't seeing results. The next step was to join a gym and incorporate new exercises.

What are your three top tips for aspiring transfomers?

My 3 top tips would be…

  • Maintain focus
  • Never Give Up
  • If you believe it, you can achieve it
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What role did Muscle Food play in helping you reach your goals?

Muscle Food has been an honest God send. It's provided me with quality food and products for a balanced diet to support my exercise programme.

List your three must munch foods…

All on the same plate if/where possible haha!

And what about supplements?

Supplements for me is all about the protein.  As soon as Muscle Food announced their Whey Protein range, I was all over it! Cherry Bakewell and Cookies 'n' Cream are TO DIE FOR!

Darren Kelly - Mud run

How do you maintain your motivation?

I do endurance events such as Tough Mudder throughout the year which gives me goals to focus on.

What was your biggest training lesson?

The best thing I've learnt in my years of training is high intensity interval training (HIIT). I don't think there's anything better.

Top 5 songs you MUST have on your gym playlist…

Anything from Spinnin' Records or Musical Freespm should be a must on anyone's workout playlist but if I had to pick 5 it'd be:

  • Martin Solveig - Intoxicated
  • Quintino & Ftampa - Slammer
  • Dimitri Vegas & Like Mike - Eparrei (W&W remix)
  • Artistic Raw - Drop The Bass
  • DVBBS - Immortal (original mix)

Cardio or weights?

As I'm interval trained it's hard to choose between cardio and weights but if I had to, with the way my training is at the minute. It would be weights.

How often do you work out?

At the moment I'm training 5-6 days a week and on my days off its active rest which is can be anything from leaving the house to going on a decent walk (no matter what the weather).

Do you have a favourite motivational quote?

My favourite motivation quote was recently said by Bear Grylls:

Run when you can. Walk if you have to. God dammit crawl if you must. But never, ever give up

What was your diet like before your transformation?

Before I got really into my training, my food intake was all over the place. I'd eat anything new and everything (except seafood and spicy). I never had structure as to when I would eat so sometimes I'd finish eating a heavy meal at midnight and start eating again at 6am when I'd get up.

Darren Kelly selfie

How long did it take for you to achieve the fitness level you have today?

All in all it has taken me the last 3 years to get to the fitness level I am at today. It's been a long road but so worth it.

Which do you prefer, am or pm training and why?

I honestly don't have a preference to a time when I train. I'm buzzed for it morning, noon and night!

Do you have a part of your body you're still not happy with? If so why and what are you doing to change that?

Having lost 8 ½ stone, my stomach and lower back area are a nightmare due to stretch marks and loose skin. I'm not unhappy with it as it’s a massive achievement but I'm not over the moon with how it can look at times either.

What impact has your transformation had on your outlook on fitness and lifestyle?

My outlook has changed dramatically and for the better. I've learnt to appreciate the human body and all it can do. It fascinates me as to how much our bodies can change just by changing what foods we eat.

What are your future fitness plans?

My future fitness plans are to run an obstacle course in the snow! There's one called the "Toughest" in Sweden which I want to do in 2016. But for this year, I've booked to do Tough Mudder five times in one weekend. I love a challenge. Bring it on :)

Darren Kelly - Newspaper article

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.