Shayne McGowan had been fit for most of his life, but when personal problems hit, he slipped into his worst shape ever. This is how he revamped his outlook, health and physique.

Changing Fortunes

Unfortunately, as we get older we also suffer from injuries as well as personal stresses. So in my time I’ve had surgeries on my bicep and both knees – including those for tears on my ACL and two surgeries for meniscus tears. That’s the physical part, but on a personal level I’ve also been through challenging times. I’m fortunate to have two sons, and my youngest son, Trey is severely autistic and needed to be hospitalized due to medication changes and became unstable and aggressive. On top of this I went through a divorce. This meant my motivation was lacking and I felt depressed about my son’s condition. However, as a mental game coach to athletes at all levels I became the student and said, Enough is enough so I could face the adversity that was in front of me. I kept my confidence high and set myself some tough goals. A fresh motivation to change how I looked and felt was key, as I’m not one to look for excuses or pity. So I made the change to start living a healthy lifestyle. With support of friends and my oldest son Tyson, I found I could get through anything!

Mental success tactics

First, understand what you want. Is it to lose a few pounds or add weight? Once you understand your needs then figure out your nutrition requirements and get the right advice to start your diet. Follow a cardio that starts off with 15 minutes and build up to 30 minutes. Weight training is based on hitting the muscle groups and being able to make the most of your time. I feel during the cutting phase, supersets worked best for me, yet if you’re looking to bulk up, then it’s best to focus on one exercise at a time and move on from there, increasing the weight.

Hold back

I find when people first start off you get so much advice you are lost and confused as well as overwhelmed. Talk to a personal trainer and get the right advice regarding everything in supplements and food ideas.

However, don’t be afraid to try new exercises and understand what body parts they work.

My Training

Cardio: doing HIIT system and building up the time from 15 to 30min before weight training.
For the weight training I did supersets for everything. All exercises are four sets for a total of 8-12 reps. I kept myself to a tight time frame so I was in and out of the gym. Cardio if I needed to do it again I would go back at night for 30 minutes. Abs were done every second workout, where I’d do rope crunches and leg raises.

Day 1: Chest and triceps

• Incline dumbbell press/dips
• Bench press/flys
• Triceps push-downs/reverse pull-downs
• Rope pull-downs/French press

Day 2: Shoulders and arms

• Shoulder press/dumbbell front raises
• Side flys/upright rows
• Shrugs/bent over flys
• Biceps-barbell curls/machine curls
• Dumbbell curls/concentration curls

Day 3: Back and legs

• Back pull-downs/seated rows
• Bent over rows
• Machine press/leg extensions
• Front squats/lying leg press
• Calf raise/seated calf raise

Food Matters

First step was to make the adjustments in the food and diet department. I’ve been training for over 35 years and know how my body changes. I followed this plan with only amends made to my carb intake. I limited heavy carbs, such as potatoes, pasta or large portions of rice, to my treat days. Yes, I would treat myself to these things every seven days which then became ten days later. So I limited myself to those times when I craved those carbs but for the most part this is what my diet looked like.

• Breakfast: 4 eggs, bacon or turkey sausage and fruit
• Snack: protein shake
• Lunch: 6oz chicken with garden salad, almonds
• Dinner: 6oz steak or chicken, steamed veggies or handful of rice.
• Snack: protein shake with fruit. Or hot air popcorn.

My supplement

• Precision Protein (Gaspari Nutrition)
• Pre work out
• Creatine
• Vitamins C,B
• Collagen

Moving forward

Life is going great as my son is in a better place, doing much better and will be OK. I will change up the exercises I use and keep cardio going for the health benefits that are needed at my age of 50. However, I’m looking forward to working with many more athletes and coaches as well as teams as their mental game coach.