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My 21 day Transformation (including before and after pics!)

I have 4 countries left on my journey to every country in the world. Oman, Yemen, Norway and Saudi Arabia. Yemen (EDIT: I hitched hiked 4 days in a cargo ship to get to Socotra, Yemen!) and Saudi are causing me a lot of visa problems (EDIT: Here’s how I got my Saudi Visa!), so I’ve been back in my condo in Bangkok trying to work out how to get into those countries. That gave me one solid month to get my head down, catch up on some work, make some money and get back in shape with a 21 day challenge (aka 21 day transformation). How did I get on?

21 Day Challenge before and after pics

21 day challenge
Before I came back to Thailand, and after my 21 day challenge! Been working on my tan at the pool every day!
21 day challenge
21 day challenge

Why I needed the 21 day transformation

In my ‘normal life’, I love going to the gym. I love meeting new people, feeling healthy and strong but when you spend 10 out of every 12 months on the road, it’s hard to maintain. Last year in West in and Central Africa I was so stressed. It’s the hardest place in the world to travel. Corruption, danger, infrastructure, warzones, trying to stay alive, visas etc; all that combined with trying to buy an investment property in London whilst travelling. Trying launching a new business in Hong Kong (EDIT 2020 – It failed), relationship issues and maintaining my blog and my digital marketing business, it was a tough, but rewarding year.

Anyway, enough excuses, I got fat. The worst shape of my life kinda fat. Feeling lethargic, finding myself drinking beers in hotel bars on my own, too much sugar, awful sleeping patterns. And it was affecting my mental health. So I was back ‘home’ in Thailand. Time to fix it, but I only had a month. What to do? 21 day challenge.

How I got involved in the 21 day challenge bootcamp

I’m a member of an AWESOME Bangkok expat facebook group (40k+ people, amazing). I saw someone chatting about a 21 day challenge at one of Bangkok’s best gym, Aspire Club beside Asoke BTS (now in Phrom Pong). This could be perfect! So I signed up and went for a consultation where I met Dan, the owner. He explained all about the 21 day transformation bootcamp.

5.30am wake ups, mornings in the park, controlled diet, group classes. It won’t be easy he said, but Aspire guarantees results. Guarantees eh? Wow, I’ll put it to the test. For the bootcamp it was 5000THB ($140) if you sign up solo, 2999 ($84) if you’re referred by a friend. Not cheap by Thai standards, but if they guarantee results, then it’s worth every Thai Baht. Or you can sign up for the whole package so you can attend all the classes (TRX, Crossfit, Bootcamp, gym sessions etc), I did the latter option because I knew I’d be hitting it hard.

crossfit in bangkok
Rooftop Crossfit in downtown Bangkok!

I discovered that most of the trainers are foreigners here (Swiss, Australian, American etc), which is great for me as speaking in Thai is all well and good, but try being fluent in another language when you’ve just been deadlifting and squatting for an hour! Also, I had heard the community spirit and atmosphere at Aspire was brilliant, and I was looking forward to meeting new people. So I was good to go, starting with a 7am start in Benjakirri Park on the first Monday morning. Thrown in at the deep-end.

21 day bootcamp aspire
At the park at 7am for Bootcamp. A gorgeous way to start the day


21 days. Pretty manageable in your head, so my schedule was like this. During the whole challenge only took 2 rest days in my 21 days, I know people will complain about overtraining, but I wanted to hit it hard. My diet was good, I was eating and sleeping well, and although my body was hurting a little. So just I wanted to give it everything I had.

I worked out twice a day on most days. So in the 21 days, I think I did about 35 sessions. Ouch.

21 day challenge
Monster hiit class on my 21 day challenge


  1. 5.30am wake up for the 7-8am bootcamp in the park
  2. 6.30pm Metcon (30 mins) followed by 7pm Tabata (30 mins) OR crossfit 6.30-7.30


  1. 7.30am wake up for HIIT class in Aspire 9-10am
  2. 5.30pm or 7.30pm for 1 hour crossfit (all levels or foundation)


  1. 5.30am wake up for the 7-8am bootcamp in the park
  2. 6.30pm Crossfit for 1 hour


  1. 7.30am wake up for HIIT class in Aspire 9-10am
  2. 5.30pm Crossfit (1 hour) or Urban Warrior (flipping big tyres etc) at 6.30pm (1 hour)


  1. 5.30am wake up for the 7-8am bootcamp in the park
  2. 5.30pm or 6.30pm for 1 hour crossfit (all levels or foundation)


  1. 5.30am wake up for the 7-8am bootcamp in the park
  2. 4pm MONSTER HIIT (1 hour)


  1. 7.30am wake up for 9-10am crossfit on the rooftop
  2. 4pm Urban Warrior


The trainers at Aspire were brilliant, especially Jeff, the American coach. He kind of took ownership over the bootcamp challenge. He’s not just an expert with fitness stuff but also nutrition. We had a ‘diet’ workshop early on in the challenge, and whilst Jeff didn’t promote 21 days of abstinence, and then back to the real world. He did make sure we tightened up on our vices for 3 weeks. The general gist was this:

  1. No alcohol
  2. No sugar
  3. Finally, hardest, no carbs!

There are a million variations of these 3 things but this basically it. With the carbs, it was ‘allowed’ to have a tiny bit per day. But ideally within 3 hours of working out. The other 2 meals, steer clear. Booze was pretty simple, lay off it. If you can’t go for 3 weeks without alcohol, it’s a different kind of group class you should be attending, not a gym class!

The sugar meant that you shouldn’t be munching down on any smoothies, soft drinks, desserts etc, and also to lay off the heavy fruit too. Vegetables are the way forward.

Receding Hairline Transformation: I...
Receding Hairline Transformation: Insane results 🤯😱 #shorts

I got around this with a tiny tweak and my general diet was this:


Oats/Muesli with fruit, skimmed milk, banana on top.

1 glass of home-made Vegetable/Fruit smoothie: Kale, Broccoli, watermelon, pineapple, apple. Nothing added other than a cup of water.


Salmon steak with vegetables OR lean meat and chilli (no carbs)


Thai curry (no rice) OR grilled chicken and Papaya Salad OR grilled fish


Protein Shakes twice a day (not mass gainer, 0 carbs)

Multivitamin tablet X 1

Cod Liver Oil Tablet X 1

Amino Acid tablet X 1


Only water. 3/4 liters per day

If I was meeting clients or blog readers, I’d have an iced green tea or iced americano (no sugar)

nutrition class bangkok

My thoughts on joining a 21 day transformation

I have never done group classes before, so this was new for me and you know what? I loved it! It’s completely changed my opinion of gyms, I really enjoyed working out with other people, and all the banter with people suffering alongside you! It’s also a great way to meet new people as an expat, so from now on, I’m going be in classes for sure.

21 day body challenge
Urban Warrior Class on my 21 day body challenge

Secondly, when I heard about Aspire, I knew it had a brilliant reputation but the price was a little scary, it’s certainly one of the more expensive options in Bangkok. But now having been there for a month I see why. Results is the name of the game, and they really do know their stuff. Not only that, the people and trainers are all great fun, so it’s kinda like being back at university where you look forward to going there each day. Also, if you work online, it’s brilliant to get you out of your apartment.

Crossfit Bangkok! Right, so it’s a bit of a cult. I have seen it online for years and people going crazy about it, so finally I gave it a shot. Wow, first of all, it’s much tougher than I thought. Secondly, the community. I kinda see why people go crazy for it. It’s competitive, but in a way that others push you, wanting you to be better. I loved it, and will definitely continue.


What can I say. Working online, you can wake up whenever you want, which often becomes 10am, so your first meal is lunch. Not a good way to live your life. Bootcamp got me up early. It extended my day. It cleared my thoughts. I lost my biggest client this month and still had my best month for over half a year, when I had expected it to be the worst. Certainly no coincidence. My mind is clear, I’m feeling optimistic and motivated. I’m off to Oman next week, and I’m already thinking about doing another 21 day bootcamp as soon as I return.


For a start, if you’re lucky enough to be in Bangkok, do this! i’ll be back in July so I’ll see you there!

If you’re not in Thailand, set yourself your own challenge. 21 days is so achievable, it’s not too scary, and the results (if you’re strict) are amazing! Anyway, I’m off to bed, is my final assessment for bootcamp tomorrow, which means another 5.30am start, NetFlix beckons!

PS: Don’t go to a gym in a foreign country without travel insurance. $10 a week should do it

New gym buddies!
New gym buddies!

Remember, never travel without travel insurance! And never overpay for travel insurance!

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Also, if you want to start a blog...I CAN HELP YOU!

Also, if you want to start a blog, and start to change your life, I'd love to help you! Email me on In the meantime, check out my super easy blog post on how to start a travel blog in under 30 minutes, here! And if you just want to get cracking, use BlueHost at a discount, through me.

Also, (if you're like me, and awful with tech-stuff) email me and my team can get a blog up and running for you, designed and everything, for $300 - email to get started.

Do you work remotely? Are you a digital nomad/blogger etc? You need to be insured too.

I use SafetyWing for my digital nomad insurance. It covers me while I live overseas. It's just $10 a week, and it's amazing! No upfront fees, you just pay week by week, and you can sign up just for a week if you want, then switch it off and on whenever. You can read my review here, and you can sign-up here!


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Got a question? Wanna comment? I'd love to hear from you

37 thoughts on “Motivational Monday; 21 Day Challenge Body Transformation

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  5. Your article is very inspiring. Your transformation is really amazing. I hope I could also keep up with my workout plan and set up a schedule like you did. Thank you!

  6. You look awesome! Congrats! How much did the program end up costing with all the classes? Ever hear of something like this in Beijing

  7. Thanks for posting this! So inspiring 🙂 I really wanted to lose weight and I’ve been doing zumba for a month now but stopped for two weeks 🙁 I need to get back on track – focus and keep my eyes on the goal.. Thanks for being a reminder! 😀

  8. How many days a week did you do cardio? And when you did do cardio, was it cycling on a mountain bike or at the gym on the treadmill?

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    1. Completely agree, I’d love to mate, but smashed my knee up in a motorbike crash so a bit worried about the pressure it’d be under with all the kicking tbh

  13. I’ve been doing diet mayo for almost 2 weeks and the result i’ve lost 4 kilos. The differences about my diet and yours is you puted in work out in your daily menu. If only i had did that i think i could’ve lost more.

    This article is really give me inspiration, man. I think i’ll add workout in my diet too.

    Keep inspiring!

  14. Mate I have been enjoying your blog you definitely need to treck through the Caribbean

    Check your inbox sent an email to you

  15. Killing it mate!

    The digital nomad life can make it hard to stay motivated at times, but Thailand is definitely the place to be to get in shape!!

  16. Un-freaking-believable ! It gave me a lot of inspiration to get back in shape, myself. Living in Greece and managing a Tours and Activities business, I do a lot of work sitting in front of the PC: guess what that does to your belly…

  17. Mate, you crushed it! And to think this was just 21 days! Aspire is exactly that, the only place for results. So many people are chasing the quick fix and simply ‘working out’. There are many factors that contribute to an outstanding result and you nailed it all here. Science based training, bulletproof mindset, community for accountability, friends and fun, variety in your training, complete dedicated and focus on the goal. And of course an awesome support team of coaches and professionals. Looking forward to seeing phase 2!!

  18. Awesome job and inspiring post! Totally agree that it is hard to stay in shape while travelling even if you walk and hike a lot. There just always are so many temptations. Every once in a while I try to squeeze in a HIIT workout on the beach or park when I am on the road. Safe travels!

  19. I know this feeling well !! I’m 3 years non-stop travelling now (18 years total on the road with stopping to work in random places) and it’s hard to stay in shape. If I’m in regions trekking into the wilderness then it’s not so bad as you can stay away from lot’s of temptations, but the cities kill me! I’m travelling Japan now for 3 months and the food is just so good I can’t help but eat everything !

    What I do every now and then if I’m somewhere more remote is to have the occasional fasting days which actually helps clear my mind and just drinking mineral water clear the body to. I don’t do it just to lose weight. I have read many studies on the matter and if you do it right it’s effective.

    When I get myself more based again in a particular spot then I’ll be trying to control myself more.

    Is great you have only 3 more countries! A good friend of mine Mike Spencer Brown, the worlds most travelled man, has been at it for 24 years now. I met him last year in Kiev and proceeded into many drunk nights on whisky telling travel stories. After 18 years I’ve been to around 90 countries, but then I take it slower when I’m in places I really love, like 3 months in Japan now. I’ll get around to a few new ones in time 😉

    Safe travels1

  20. Johnny, thanks for the shout out. You really kicked ass buddy! Way to go with the workouts. I could really tell you enjoyed the tough ones, haha! I look forward to seeing you at the club when you get back. Jeff

  21. Thanks man, I am fixing schedule now and contacting the camp, after 16 months of nonstop travel lost my shape completely, and the price not so bad. Tickets + camp still chipper rather to do the same somewhere else 🙂

  22. If I decided to try this next year when I go to Bangkok, I might end up staying in Thailand for a month and a half! Haha >_<

  23. Awesome. I’m out of shape in a bad way. A few beers in front of the PC while surfing the net. No desire to be in a Chinese gym. Limited street activities – unless dodging cars, bikes, scooter is an activity. Work 9am-6pm.

    Guess I could get my act together and do some morning activities, but would like a solid workout plan.

    I look similar to your ‘before’ pic, so I reckon I could get to your ‘after pic’ in about a month, with the right trainer/program.

    Didn’t know you had other businesses beside blogging on your travels.

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