Marian Toth was always a sporty chap when growing up in Slovakia. But when he moved to the UK, he became engulfed in the world of fitness, and had a lightbulb moment that would change his life…
Here is Marian’s story!
What is your fitness background?
Growing up in Slovakia I loved physical activities and sport, and developed a strong competitive nature. I was quick to learn and fast to improve. When I moved to the UK in 2006, I did various jobs whilst my girlfriend studied at university, it was during this time that I became obsessed with the gym and playing every sport possible.
I also started to pay more attention to nutrition. However, it wasn’t until my wife was in her final year at university (full of enthusiasm and career plans for the future), that I started seriously thinking about a change. We’d discussed it lots and concluded that the obvious career path for me was “something sporty”. One day, following a workout at my gym, I saw this huge poster advertising courses for becoming a Personal Trainer. It was like a light bulb had lit up in my head and I remember exactly that moment when I decided to become a PT.
I took courses in anatomy and physiology Level 2 at Stoke-on-Trent College and then studied intensively full time at the Fitness Academy in Nottingham. I qualified with Active IQ Level 2 Certificate in Fitness Instructing and Active IQ Level 3 Certificate in Personal Training and gained certificates in Studio Cycling, Circuit Training, Gym-Based Boxing, Sports Nutrition, Kettlebells Training, Suspension (TRX) and Pilates. Through my own business, Lift2befit, I provide 1-to-1 PT sessions, group PT sessions, tailored fitness programmes, diet and nutrition and will soon be offering sports therapy.
Why did you decide to transform your body?
I’d been training for years and was just coasting along with little progression. But I wanted to look better and be fitter and stronger, and so I realised I would have to take a more drastic approach to my training and get really focussed. All the things I learnt, I tried to apply to myself – the training, the diet, the lifestyle – and gradually I started to see a progression taking place.
What was your training like during the transformation?
I started with the most common 3 way split training – chest and triceps, shoulders and legs, back and biceps – and changed my fitness programme every 6 weeks. I also implemented different methods of training – GVT, pyramids and power lifting. Through all of this, I managed to build up some good muscle size and then I moved onto more high intensity level training (HIIT) and crossfit workouts to get leaner.
What was your diet like during the transformation
I monitored my calorie and macronutrient intake very seriously throughout my training to ensure I had the exact amount of energy I needed. Clean eating and whey protein supplements was (and still is) essential.
How has your lifestyle changed through your transformation?
When I started to see the results, I wanted it more and I became addicted to the lifestyle. I wanted to prove my fitness levels in all kinds of challenges. But probably the greatest change is the benefit it brought to others and the influence it’s had on their lifestyles. My overweight dad stopped smoking and lost loads of weight, my mum kept asking my advice on what healthy meals she could cook and my couch potato wife started to attend the gym regularly and looked just gorgeous.
How do you feel about your transformation?
I’m immensely proud of my achievements. It required total dedication, a complete change of lifestyle, a new way of thinking and I had to apply myself 100%. But I love a challenge and this new lifestyle became my goal. But more than all of that, I’m proud of how everything I’ve worked hard for has resulted in me helping others.
What are your plans for the future?
My business is really flourishing now, so my plans are to continue building upon its success and providing a greater service and offering to current and potential clients. I’m also starting to build links with local communities with the provision of fitness classes, and in June I will qualify with Level 3 Sports Therapy, so this will form a major aspect of my business. I’d love to own my own premises one day, with gym facilities, therapy suite and even a retail division.
Anything else you’d like to tell us?
During 2013 and 2014, I completed a few half marathons, the Chester Marathon, Tough Mudder Yorkshire and Scorpion Run. At the moment, I am preparing for a triathlon and Tough Mudder Midlands 2014.
As a PT, my role is not only providing professional guidance and advice, but also about making sure that my clients stay motivated. I love helping people to achieve their personal goals and to become healthier and fitter. The best reward for me is seeing my clients’ results, success and even a complete change of their lifestyles.
Client engagement is essential and I have involved them in various team events – assault courses, mud runs and half marathons. We’ve already successfully completed many of them as Team Lift2befit and each event is for a good cause or charity. My new weekly running club is donating to the Neo Natal Intensive Care Unit at the University Hospital of North Staffordshire and for Tough Mudder 2014 we will be fundraising for Macmillan Cancer Support.