In 2003, D’itri hit his heaviest weight - 105kgs. Frustrated with the direction his life and body were going, he decided to do the most challenging thing he could think of, so he started training for his first marathon. The pounds came off, and one race turned into 10. More than a decade later, D’itri was still doing competitive races, but he wasn’t performing like he wanted to.
“The issue was, I became skinny fat,” D’itri says. “My body had no muscle on it whatsoever - but I didn’t think of it that way. In my mind, it was better to be skinny than to be strong.”
The error of that logic didn’t hit him until March 2015. After D’itri came upon some unflattering photos from his wedding that year, he realised the scale had once again crept up to 95 kilograms
He knew he was lacking consistency, so he created a routine for himself and stuck to it: D’itri started exercising 5 to 7 days a week; he ran every other day, mixing in high intensity interval training and core workouts in between. He overhauled his diet and started controlling his portion sizes, making sure he was loading up on lean protein, healthy fats, and fewer refined carbs.
By September 2016, the number on D’itri’s scale dipped to 84 kilograms (pictured in the before photo above), but he still wasn't happy. Sure, he had lost 10 kilos, but his body still didn’t look the way he wanted it to. His clothes still fit him too tightly. He felt self-conscious wearing swim trunks at the pool. He knew he still had work to do.
D’itri had spent months trying to get below 80 kilograms and nothing he did could break through his weight loss plateau - until he saw an ad looking for people willing to try a new workout program. That program was MetaShred Extreme, a series of metabolic workouts developed by Men’s Health fitness director BJ Gaddour, who D’itri had always been a huge fan of. He decided to apply and became one of the first people to test out the routine.
For eight gruelling weeks, he gave it everything he had, even though he had a newborn to take care of. Through the many sleepless nights, his wife was incredibly supportive. After getting up to feed his kid every morning around 4:00 a.m., D’itri would complete his MetaShred workout, go to work until 7:00 p.m., and squeeze in a run after some family time when he got home.
In his own living room, he consistently followed the 14-day schedule included with the program, which includes eight fat-burning, muscle-building workouts that target your upper body one day and your lower body the next, plus four 20-minute recovery workouts and two rest days.
“Honestly, after the first day, I was shot. I was so tired,” D’itri says. “I thought I was incredibly fit and that I could handle it. I went in there so cocky, but it literally kicked me on my butt - and I loved it. It was 50 minutes of hard work. It encompassed everything. It gave me a full body workout and even though it’s broken down into upper and lower body days, it didn’t matter because you felt it everywhere. My core was on fire after every single workout.”
As a cross-country coach, D’itri was still running with his students and training for upcoming races, logging roughly 10-15 kilometres a week.
“The lower-body workouts were the hardest. They were really hard,” D’itri says. “For the first 2 weeks of the program, I couldn’t run. But after 2 weeks, I wasn’t sore anymore and then I just started getting really fast. My endurance was getting better. I was a bit confused, because I wasn’t putting as much effort into the running as I was the Metashred program.”
His 8-minute mile went down to 7 minutes and by the end of the program, it went down to 6 minutes. That’s because every leg day was guaranteed cardio due to the oxygen demand of so much muscle mass being used, Gaddour explains. The routines also help strengthen imbalances between sides and improve mobility, all things that will translate to improved running performance.
In addition to his workouts, D’itri upped the ante on his diet, too. For four weeks, he strictly followed the MetaShred Diet from Men's Health. After that first month, he was gaining muscle, so he increased his portions and continued to stick to grass-fed, organic whole foods whenever he could. He didn’t even feel the need to indulge in a cheat meal because the food he was eating tasted good enough.
The combination of his new diet and workout plan led to incredibly fast results: By November 2016 (pictured in the after photo above) - just 8 weeks after sticking to MetaShred - he dropped 10 kilograms, lost 7 per cent body fat and 4 inches around his waist. He transformed his legs and developed abs he could see for the first time in his life.
Gaddour himself was so impressed with D’itri’s transformation that he invited him on to the Men’s Health podcast.
“We connected because his coach was an incredible influence in his life, and as a coach, I hope that I can do that for one of my athletes,” D’itri says. During their conversation, Gaddour noted that D’itri didn’t just gain a six-pack - he had sculpted “back abs,” too.