Joe Warner's cover model body blog 13

Cover model silhouette
(Image credit: Men’s Fitness)

Joe Warner is the deputy editor of Men’s Fitness magazine. His mission was simple: to get in cover model shape in just 12 weeks.

So, that’s that then. After 12 weeks of tough training and a strict diet plan, OCMB has been completed. But did what began as Mission: Impossible end in success? That’s not really for me to say. Ultimately, that’s up for you to determine when you get to see my ‘before’ and ‘after’ shots in the September issue of Men’s Fitness magazine. What I will admit though is that standing in just your jeans in front of a professional photographer, his assistant, a make-up artist, most of your colleagues and Nick Mitchell, the founder of Ultimate Performance Fitness who has been my mentor in this mission, is a fairly terrifying experience. I was acutely aware that the success Mitchell and I had worked so hard to achieve over the past three months was being judged as I stood there trying to keep my face relaxed whilst attempting to make every other single part of my body look as mean and lean as possible.

Cardboard cut-out

The day after the shoot I headed up to the BodyPower Expo at the NEC in Birmingham. I didn’t travel alone. I took with me two live-sized cardboard cutouts of my full body, one taken 12 weeks ago, the other the previous day. Having them propped up at the Men’s Fitness stand was even more unnerving that standing in front of the camera. I’m still not sure whether the experience of seeing myself in cardboard form marked a career high or a career low.

Over and out

So that’s my mission done. Thanks again for reading. I’m off for a pint.

Joe Warner
Former editor of Men’s Fitness UK

Joe Warner is a highly experienced journalist and editor who began working in fitness media in 2008. He has featured on the cover of Men’s Fitness UK twice and has co-authored Amazon best-sellers including 12-Week Body Plan. He was the editor of Men’s Fitness UK magazine between 2016 and 2019, when that title shared a website with Coach.