From dad bod to fit dad

Gareth Roberts-Tighe talks to about how his life has been transformed after he started working with a personal trainer.


Gareth Roberts-Tighe knew he needed to make a change when he was carrying his youngest son upstairs to bed and found himself feeling absolutely exhausted. “I thought that shouldn’t be the case,” he says. He was in his early 40s and realised that his lifestyle needed to change. “I needed to hold myself accountable and do something about it,” he says.

Gareth, who lives outside Manchester, has three children aged 13, 12 and seven. He booked an appointment with Ultimate Performance Manchester, who offer a personal training service, after seeing it on his Facebook feed. He knew he would need someone to make sure he kept up with any fitness regime. He’d been a member of a gym before, but he’d give up after he got tired and he didn’t do any weights like he has with UP. When he started he’d be out of breath within five minutes of running on the treadmill. He can now run five kilometres in under 30 minutes.

Gareth says having three young children and a busy job meant his work life balance went to the bottom of the pile. “I’d go to work, come home to my parenting job and sit on the sofa with wine because I was so tired,” he says. He’d constantly snack on things like crisp sandwiches rather than cook. Gareth was executive assistant to a CEO which means he has no set hours and can end up working at weekends. His job at the time was also very sedentary. He could be sitting down for up to nine hours a day, even having lunch at his desk.

Fitter and healthier

It wasn’t all plain sailing with UP. Gareth booked an induction and changed it four times. “I bottled it,” he says. The last time he did it he was told he had to call to cancel the appointment which forced him to go. He found it quite daunting walking into the gym and seeing all the weights and weight machines. “Half of them I’d never seen before,” he says. His induction involved understanding what his goal was – to be fitter and healthier. He was then paired up with a trainer and they discussed his training sessions and diet.

Gareth describes himself as a fussy eater and says his trainer helped move him gradually away from beige foods. He was also encouraged to do more steps outside of the gym. He initially signed up for 12 weeks, but he noticed a dramatic change straight away and it pushed him to do more. 

He has now passed week 42 and, since last summer, has dropped from 13 stone four to 10 stone two. As the weight dropped off he became interested not just in his fitness, but in how he felt about his body. His family were impressed too and encouraged him to keep going. He now goes to the gym with his son and the two encourage each other. In addition to doing cardio with his son at the gym, Gareth goes three times a week to the UP gym and pays £1.1K a month. The price varies according to how many sessions you do.


He says the transformation in his health and general wellbeing has been impressive. He now gets up before his alarm on weekdays and at weekends instead of rolling out of bed onto the couch he is usually the first person up and goes out for walks and activities with the family. It has transformed his family life.

He has also just changed jobs and makes sure to take a lunch break and get some steps in. He also takes different routes home from work on the days he is in the office. “It has changed my perspective. Work is no longer the be all and end all. I work to live and that sense of work life balance means I spend more time with the kids because I am more efficient at what I do and in setting boundaries and looking after myself,” says Gareth.

And now that he is no longer eating so much junk food, his health has markedly improved, including his psoriasis. And he has received a lot of compliments and feedback which have boosted his confidence. Gareth keeps a before and after photo so he can see how far he has come. “It’s one of the best things I’ve ever done. The feeling of self-accomplishment is on another level,” he states. 

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