Pretoria-based fit pro Xavier van der Merwe has led an active lifestyle his entire life, but after a herniated disk took him out of action and he gained weight, he used the NPL Body Revolution transformation challenge to get back on track.

I was unable to train for almost a year. By the time I had recovered, my body was in the worst shape it had ever been. I gained weight, I was weak and I suffered from a lack of energy, which affected my everyday life.“

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Personal stats:

  • Age 32
  • Lives: Pretoria East
  • Career: Personal trainer and gym owner of My Fitness Journey Gym in Pretoria East.
  • Connect on social media:
  • Facebook: my fitness journey
  • Instagram: @xavier_van_der_merwe

Movement as medicine

Based on his background as a qualified fitness professional, he knew surgery was not an option and that movement was the best medicine.

As I always say to my clients, it all starts in your mind and you sustain it with your attitude.”

He applied his expertise and experience as biokineticist to formulate a rehabilitation plan and strengthening programme to get him feeling like his old self again.

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Stay on track when life happens

However, he soon realised that even the best-laid plans often go awry.

Not matter how committed your are, nothing will ever go 100% according to plan. This is when resilience and perseverance come into play. When I had bad days and couldn’t weight train, I stretched, did cardio and trained my core.”

Xavier embraced a ‘no days off’ motto and aimed to do something every day, even if it wasn’t what he deemed a “good session”.

I truly believe that consistency is the only currency that counts.” And Xavier soon started to reap the rewards of his grit and his tenacious mindset.

Once I started getting stronger again, I kept increasing the load on my body incrementally until I was having what I deemed ‘good sessions’ more often then not.”

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Revolutionising his approach

While he had honed his intrinsic motivation and steadfastly followed his planned approach, Xavier thought that adding an extrinsic motivator to the mix would benefit his rehabilitation in the long run.

I heard about NPL’s Body Revolution Challenge and instantly thought that this was the perfect way to take my training to the next level.”

Xavier liked the idea of setting a new goal with a specific timeline. The 12-week challenge aims to create healthier habits by providing effective workouts, training advice and tips, and customised nutritious eating plans, all supported by effective supplements to help entrants achieve their fitness goals and get the best results.

I felt it would really challenge me both physically and mentally. And I was already using NPL products and trusted the brand, which made the decision to enter even easier.”

While following the NPL Body Revolution plan, Xavier trained with weights 4-5 times and did three fasted cardio sessions every week.

Xavier’s weekly training split:

  • Day 1: Shoulders and back
  • Day 2: Legs and core
  • Day 3: Arms and stretching (recovery day)
  • Day 4: Chest and back
  • Day 5: Legs

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Pumped up the protein

The increased protein and amino acid intake that the nutrition plan prescribed helped with muscle recovery and growth. And the NPL Thermo Cuts helped me lose the unwanted fat and got more value out of my cardio sessions,” explains Xavier.

Xavier’s NPL supplement stack includes:

By the end of the 12-week challenge, Xavier was bigger and leaner than ever, ensuring that he practises what he preaches in his gym and serves as an example and inspiration to his clients.

Transformation stats:

  • Weight before: 84 kg
  • Weight after: 77 kg
  • Body fat before: 22%
  • Body fat after: 8%

I have witnessed through my own experience and the success of my clients that consistency and sustainability are the name of the transformation game. And creating accountability, be it through a training partner, a transformation challenge or hiring a fitness professional, helps create a shift in mentality that will endure even the toughest days.”

Life lessons learnt

Based on his experience with his rehab and the NPL Body Revolution Challenge, Xavier has realised that the body is extremely adaptable, and that correcting imbalances can eliminate pain and lead to a happier, healthier you.

I am extremely thankful to NPL for inspiring me and giving me the tools to make the nutrition aspect that much easier.”

To anybody who is unhappy with their mental, physical or spiritual health, Xavier wants you to know that you have the power to change.

The power to be all you know you can be starts within you with the conscious decision to take control of your situation and circumstances.”

Quick facts:

  • Favourite workout: Boxing.
  • Favourite meal: Healthy pizza made with a wrap as a base
  • Must-use supplements: NPL Anabolic Whey and NPL Hyper Pump
  • Top diet tip: Stick with low-calorie, high-protein meals