Valera Belov is not only balancing his studies, physique, strength and sports – he’s excelling in each and every one. Here’s his fat to fit transformation story in 18 steps.
Valera Belov’s transformation from overweight student to fitness model
1 Vital stats
I’m currently 5 foot 10, 95kg @ 17% body fat
2 No team player
I started lifting because I wanted to gain strength and discipline. Played football but realized team sports weren’t for me. I needed a hobby where I controlled my own progress.
3 Daily inspiration
This includes Altug Kop, a Wbff Pro, he was the main person who taught me about flexible dieting and progressive overload, 2 simple concepts that have since made my goals easily attainable given I remain consistent and follow the plan.
4 Support network
I usually just set myself a target and map out how I’m going to reach it but my best friend provides me with the clarity and confidence to achieve it.
5 Changing goalposts
Initially, my goal was aesthetic. I won Miami Pro’s teen category, earning pro status. Now I enjoy MMA training for the mental release. Combining technique work, cardio and weights has progressed me significantly.
6 Feel the burn
I would say a typical workout lasts around 2 hours and I’ll usually burn between 400-700 kcals/session
7 The numbers
I train 5 days a week (8 classes in total), 5-6 hours of LISS per week, with 2 runs per week. Weights include heavy bench press, pull-ups and circuits. I stick to simple exercises to improve performance
8 Recover, don’t stop
As active recovery I typically do low intensity cycling and a mobility circuit.
9 Flexible dieting
I follow flexible dieting but don’t track macros anymore. I eat 5-10 pieces of fruit/veg daily and drink 3-5l of water. I eat to fuel my workouts but don’t exclude any foods. When cutting, that’s when I track my nutrition.
10 Musical motivation
My playlist is mainly Rap/ Grime 60% UK artists (such as Mist, Bugzy Malone and Giggs) 30% US legends (Eminem, 50 Cent) and the remaining is random music I like the sound of.
11 Breakfast like a king?
Actually, breakfast is the smallest meal of my day. Usually I’ll have 2-3 pieces of fruit, a litre of water and a coffee.
12 Workout fuel
A typical pre-workout meal is just 100-150 carbs (Whatever source I feel like that day), 1.5litres water and a scoop of pre-workout. Only other supplement I use is 5 grams creatine monohydrate
13 Night cap
Evening meal could literally be anything. At home it could be salmon, couscous and greens but at University it could be a supermarket meal deal. I eat for functionality and convenience
14 Beauty in simplicity
I understand food is simply fuel. If I have a good proportion of carbohydrates/protein/fat/fibre and micronutrients throughout the day, I don’t need to overthink it.
15 The week
Monday: Wrestling / *Strength & Conditioning
Tuesday: Thai Boxing/ GI BJJ / LISS
Wednesday: Wrestling/ LISS
Friday: Boxing/ GI BJJ/ LISS
Sunday: No GI/ MMA (Carb Up re-feed day)
*strength/conditioning includes bench press, pull ups, push ups and kettlebell circuits
16 Quotes to live by
“It’s not always about the results, but about the process”
“Consistency is key”
17 The release
Training provides me with an outlet for stress. I realize that whatever I’m experiencing, in the 1-2 hours I am training, I’m improving my life. Health is wealth, and I always feel more positive after training. It’s cliché, but training is an escape.
18 The ambition
Are to become a ‘professional’ fitness model and represent Team GB at IPF powerlifting competitions. Currently, I focus on learning techniques for MMA preparing for my first amateur fight.
What are you waiting for? We’d love to hear your fat to fit transformation and the steps you took to get there.