Contestant Name: Sarah Reichel
Before Weight: 122.4lbs
After Weight: 121.4lbs
Before Waist Measurement: 27″
After Waist Measurement: 25″

“I entered into the 2013 Built in the Trench Transformation Challenge with the hopes of receiving quality fitness instruction that would lead to noticeable results. This is exactly what I got at Trench during the Transformation Challenge. I may not be your “typical” contestant in a transformation challenge. I have always considered myself to be fit and active with a long history of personal trainers and time spent in the gym.

I had thought I was doing everything right- I switched up workouts in an effort to avoid a plateau, and I ate (what I thought was) extremely well! However, I began to grow increasingly frustrated as I was spending so much mental, physical, and emotional energy on getting in better shape, but wasn’t seeing the results I wanted! I had stayed “skinny”, but I wanted to be fit and toned and overall, happy with the shape I was in. I knew something had to change, so when I heard about the Trench Transformation Challenge, I wanted in!


After my first meeting with Neil, I was excited! He wasn’t just telling me to do more of what I had previously done, he was turning my overall perception of “getting in shape” on its head! He had me keeping track of every gram of protein, carbs, and fat that I consumed. He also had me eating about triple the amount of food that I had been eating before, explaining that while I had been eating healthy, I had not been eating nearly enough to feed the muscles I was trying to grow! This made so much sense, but had never been explained to me before. Throughout the challenge, we adjusted my diet for maximum results. My workouts were also adjusted as necessary- from heavy lifting, which targeted my major muscle groups to more intricate exercises that focused on those smaller, often ignored muscles.

Throughout these workouts, I was continually amazed at the strength I apparently had when I used proper form and was completely focused mentally. Neil’s advice and instruction became a religion! I kept intricate track of my macros, cut right back on drinking, and pushed my body as far as I could in every workout. I was fascinated at how these seemingly simple “tricks” were making a huge difference on my fitness levels as well as on the way that I viewed myself. My squats were lower than I ever thought possible, I had moved from deadlifting 120lbs to 200lbs, and I was actually enjoying high intensity interval cardio! I was more than willing to discard my old notions of what health and fitness looked like for these new routines that were giving me the results that I had been wanting for so long! Throughout this challenge,

I not only feel that I have transformed physically, but also mentally. The challenge has made me look at, and embrace, the science behind becoming a fitter, healthier person.

Our bodies are not mysteries that we have limited control over; they are beautifully predictable in their ability to change and improve. It has been fascinating and more exciting than I can write, to see that through careful planning, time spent, drive and determination, and a constant willingness to learn (and discard what I thought I knew!), I have complete control over my body and the results that I now see!”