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Senior associate at a Sydney law firm Santiago De Silva, 30, transformed his life and body with the help of personal trainer and friend Andrew Kim, 35.

Santiago: In January 2012, I had lunch with one of my oldest friends, Jenni, who exclaimed, “You look awful!” and said should train with her husband Andrew. Jenni’s a dear friend who always tells the straight-up truth so I didn’t take any offence. Plus, I knew that Andrew had achieved an amazing transformation himself a couple of years back, so I replied hesitantly, “Yeah, sure.” It’s funny how important that conversation has become in my life. 

Shortly after, I met with Andrew in Sydney’s QVB.  He told me to go out that weekend and get it all out of my system, and then to text him everything I ate.  After the three days, a strict regime followed of healthy eating, no alcohol and daily resistance training.

Andrew is more than just a personal trainer to me, in many ways he is a life coach who has inspired me to do perhaps the most important thing I’ve ever done in my life – to become truly healthy and change my perceptions of food, exercise and my potential as a human being. 

It’s amazing to think what a journey last year was.  From the first training sessions where I would travel to Hornsby via public transport, to weekly sessions in the city, to getting up on some very cold and rainy mornings to punch through the last few months, I am really proud of what I have achieved and what I put in to do it.  Andrew is an amazing presence to train with, he has great intuition and knows when to push me, when to let me take a rest, when to have the occasional laugh about something and when to give me one of his inspirational talks.

From 12 January 2012 to 3 August 2012, I achieved the following:

  • Weight: 161.6kg to 115.5kg – loss of 46.1kg
  • Body fat: 40.6% to 25.1% - reduction of 15.5%
  • Muscle: 32.1% to 39.2% - increase of 7.1%
  • Waistline: 134cm to 98cm – reduction of 36cm

Andrew: My wife told me that Santiago had once dropped his weight from 140kg to 100kg before he came to me at over 160kg. It was not a good sight. Not only could I tell this person in front of me was in need of help, but he was also determined to resurrect himself.

I knew I had to teach Santiago something sustainable. I started with the appreciation of weight training and its impact on the body (mental, physical and hormonal) and put him through a strength test which was a painful reality check.

I did throw Santiago into the deep end but I made sure that my support was there. Whilst some may not understand the way I do things, in the initial phase his progress was phenomenal and this was important for him to get addicted to his results.

Combining weight training with a clean diet, Santiago was certainly set for success and when the time came to incorporate supplementation, his body was ready and his progress substantially boosted.

Santiago was completely committed – financially, socially and mentally – and sacrifices were made. By continuously setting and revising goals and by taking a step-by-step approach, we were fortunate enough to reach an amazing milestone. He's stronger, has increased his lean mass and made a significant reduction to his body fat.

Santiago's journey has not ended, if anything, it's just the beginning of his new lifestyle. It is now Santiago's time to inspire others.



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