“As a bodybuilder I know how vital it is to get your nutrition right when looking to transform. With Lincoln, we left nothing to chance," explains Hartley.
"Jono calculated Lincoln’s energy expenditure before settling on a daily kilojoule intake, which put Lincoln in moderate deficit for the whole challenge, more so earlier in the piece when he was stripping down.
"Just as important was getting the macro breakdown spot on. Lincoln’s diet was made up of 45 per cent protein, 35 per cent fat and 20 per cent carbs.
"Lincoln ate nothing besides nutritious wholefood meals for the 12 weeks. I tried to give him flavour and variety, and show him that he didn’t need to eat chicken and broccoli the whole time. I wanted him to enjoy the food and not feel as though he was going through a painful dieting process. So, for example, there were breakfasts of protein pancakes and lunches of wagyu beef patties with baked sweet potato chips. I gave him a lot of curries, including butter chicken, sans rice.
"You can have your favourite foods and look great, too. Just stick to 80 per cent wholefoods and approach the other stuff in a controlled manner.”
From Broken Man To Beast
Castano, a former professional soccer player and self-described “results-driven trainer”, oversaw Lewis’s metamorphosis.
“Lincoln and I share the view that when you take something on, you do it properly. You go 100 per cent. He proved his commitment to me early on when he resisted a spread of delicious food while we were on a trip to Wolgan Valley," Castano tells Men's Health. "It takes a lot of discipline to say, ‘Nah, I’m not having that’.
"Lincoln started with a lot of fat around his stomach. He sent me photos of what his goal was: there was Ryan Reynolds when he did Blade: Trinity and Michael B. Jordan in Creed. Both those guys looked incredible, so he set the bar high.
"Training-wise, we did six sessions per week together, Monday through Saturday. Weeks 1-6 focused on a high-intensity, overload style of weight training: the load was light and the reps were high, with sets of 20, 15, 12 and 10 reps per exercise, separated by 30 seconds’ rest. He also had homework for later in the day: a cardio session of his choice that had to burn 500 calories, or a bit over 2000 kilojoules.
Watch all the behind-the-scenes action below.
"Then, in weeks 6-12, we shifted the focus of his training more towards hypertrophy. I kept Lincoln in kilojoule deficit for the whole 12 weeks, so he was never actually going to build new muscle. But he didn’t need to because he had a lot to begin with – 71 kilograms of it, whereas most guys have 50-odd. That made him a perfect specimen for a trainer to work with, because it’s much easier to burn off fat than to build muscle. The results come much quicker. Lincoln’s muscle was buried under quite a lot of fat. By shifting to hypertrophy-style training in phase two we ensured that he hung on to nearly all of the muscle he had.
"The goal was to look ripped, not skinny, which can happen during an intense exercise program if you don’t take steps to preserve the muscle by lifting reasonably heavy and keeping up your intake of protein. Lincoln wanted to focus on his shoulders and bring out his chest, while tapering the torso. But we hit everything over the course of each week. The breakdown was: Monday – chest; Tuesday – back; Wednesday – legs; Thursday – arms; Friday – shoulders. Then on Saturdays we’d focus on bringing weaknesses up to speed.
"Lincoln brought a great attitude. His determination was great from the start and it got even better as we went along. You could tell how badly he wanted to change his life.”