Looking in from the outside, you’d have thought Guy Sebastian had it all. The winner of the first Australian Idol back in 2003 had become, by sound criteria, our most successful male artist of all time. Judging roles on The X Factor showed him to be exactly the kind of man everyone guessed he was: smart, kind and impossible to dislike. Married to his childhood sweetheart and living comfortably in Sydney’s eastern suburbs, he and Jules have two robust and highly photogenic boys. On top of the world, yeah?
Pretty much. Well, sort of. But like you, Sebastian had his issues.
“I was in an unhealthy cycle,” says Sebastian, toweling off after a workout in his garage. “I was drinking too much. I wasn’t eating well. And everything I thought I was doing right wasn’t working.”
Earlier this year, aged 35, he resolved to get serious about his fitness. Had he embarked on this quest alone his chances of success – of looking and feeling anything like the way he does now – would have been slimmer than his new waist. Wisely, he teamed up with Transformation Coach's crack husband-and-wife training duo of Chief Brabon and Em Brabon-Hames, who specialise in orchestrating life-altering transformations. Sebastian allocated eight weeks to the task, with the lovely Jules training right alongside him.
And the results? Well, judge for yourself. But here in the MH office we doff our caps to our September cover guy.
Juggling the recording of his ninth album, Conscious, while being a dad to Hudson, 5, and Archer, 3, Sebastian added 8cm to his chest, cut 7cm from his waist and slashed his body-fat percentage from 19.1 per cent to 7.7 per cent.
Want to enact a similar transformation? Sebastian did four workouts per week, each focussing on a particular body part (chest, back, arms, shoulders - core and legs were a constant focus). Here's one of the workouts the Brabon duo prescribed:
Move directly from the resistance exercise into the aerobic one. That’s one round. Do four rounds. When handling weights, emphasise strict form over load. Minimise rest between rounds. Your rep range for the weights moves is 8-12. For the aerobic parts, do two minutes of activity, fluctuating between 20 seconds at moderate intensity and 10 seconds at full tilt. Go hard in the finisher.
INCLINE DUMBBELL FLY
Lie on an incline bench with dumbbells held in a neutral grip out in front of you, elbows slightly bent. Bring the weights out and down until you feel a stretch in your pecs. Drive the weights back up.
Choose a platform of challenging height. Place your right foot on it and lean in so your left leg is straight and all your weight is on your right foot. Using minimal momentum, drive through your right foot until you’re standing at the top. Step back down. Be sure to work both legs.
Perform as above on a flat bench.
Stand tall with your feet at shoulder-width and your hands clasped in front of you or behind your head. Stick out your butt and break at the knees until your thighs are parallel with the floor. Drive back up.
You know the drill. Body straight, elbows tucked in, lower your chest to the floor before pushing back up.
Grab a rope in each hand, bend your knees and sit back as though sitting on a stool. Single-whip the ropes to create a rippling effect in the equipment – and your midsection.
BATTLE ROPES IN ONE-ARM PLANK POSITION
Do a plank and grab a battle rope in your right hand. Whip it for 10 seconds, rest for five seconds. Do that five times, then repeat on your left side for another five rounds.
For the other three workouts Sebastian used to get in cover-model shape – plus nutrition tips and sample diet – check out the September issue of Men's Health, on-sale August 7.