HEa“As actors age, you can go into two different categories, and I wasn’t ready to become a suburban dad yet,” says Chad Doreck, who is an award-winning theater, television, and film actor, with credits in WestworldDead Ringers, and The Upshaws. “When I was getting ready for a show and I had to take my shirt off, I didn’t want to look like a podgy dad. I wanted to look like a sexy Joe!”

To that end, Doreck decided to make some changes to his lifestyle, starting by enrolling at Ultimate Performance’s LA West Hollywood Gym. It was there that he was connected to his personal coach, Ian Jordan, and the hard work began to pay off.

M&F follows his journey by talking to both student and trainer.

“As an actor, I wanted to make sure I could still play lead romantic roles,” shares Doreck, who felt that his body was losing the battle with Father Time due to late night stage performances and dodgy decisions around food. “For me, it always felt like being fit was a club I was never going to belong to but when I saw my recent photos, it was emotionally shocking because I didn’t recognize myself. That person looked like a member of the fit club! When I booked my latest job, I realized that a year ago, I wouldn’t have been able to it.”

He adds: “It’s not about being an actor; it’s about making the decision one day to change your life and moving forward with that. Progress happens differently for everyone, but one day you’re able to look back and see the progress, which is really empowering. It’s powerful to see what we’re capable of when we put our minds to it and dedicate ourselves.”

Progress Begins with the Basics

Doreck’s personal trainer, Ian Jordan explained how the actor’s progress was made possible. “We started with a whole-body routine three times a week,” he explains. “We begin with basic movements, then progressed to more complex ones because most people can’t control more complex movements initially. So, we focused on the basics first but incorporate super sets, pairing two exercises together.

You alternate between them, allowing one muscle group to recover while working another. This maximizes efficiency, essentially doubling the work in the same amount of time. Then, around a month into Chad’s training, we introduced a lat pull-down paired with a split squat. The second set of exercises includes a flat barbell press with a leg curl. These exercises engage different muscle groups simultaneously, enhancing effectiveness.”

For endurance, Doreck’s workouts were extended with exercises such as the weighted sled.  “Ending a workout with high-intensity cardio helps build conditioning, enabling quicker recovery,” adds Jordan. “You can also build conditioning by shortening rest times. Learning to be uncomfortable is crucial for progress. That’s the essence of progressive overload.”

Of course, it’s true that you can’t out work a bad diet, so Chad Doreck had to face reality if he wanted to maintain longevity as an actor.  “I remember sitting on my sofa eating several candy bars, and Oreos, just sitting there watching television, and thinking, ‘If you continue eating these candy bars, that’s what you’re going to be for the rest of your career; you’re just going to be a dopey dad,’” he says. Before taking back control of his life, Chad Doreck had a bodyfat percentage of 25.5% but was able to drop this to 9.89% under the guidance of Jordan, who made the actor track every calorie, prioritizing protein as the most dominant macro.

“I was meal prepping myself, so I would just take Sundays and I would prepare for the week ahead in three hours, weighing everything. Meal prepping and portion control were gamechangers that I learned in this process,” says the actor. “If you’re going to a birthday or you just really want a piece of cake, then have a piece of cake and just work with that over the course of the next few days. Having that flexibility helped as it didn’t feel debilitating. The way I would do my meal prep is I would take one thing that I made sure I wanted that week, like a chicken salad, and I’m even going to put mayonnaise in it. But, because I knew that was high in calories, that would be where I would start my meal prep.

He adds: “If I was just focusing on the calories and the protein, I’d say, OK, that’s 40 grams of protein. Now I need to add 140 grams of protein in other places, so then it was just all a matter of math and making sure the calories were in check, but I really set out to make sure that I wasn’t just eating unseasoned chicken breast and rice to keep meals interesting.”


View this post on Instagram


A post shared by Chad Doreck (@mrdoreck)

Activity shouldn’t stop with each completed gym session

Coach Jordan says that another key factor in Chad Doreck’s incredible transformation was in encouraging him to think about how he could be more active outside of the gym. “It made me realize that my activity level probably wasn’t as high as I thought,” says the star. “Even if I was just going to the bank, I’d think; ‘should I walk the block or drive?’ Finally, I realized that walking would add to my step count, so I’d choose to walk. It all added up and made a big difference for me.”

While Chad Doreck benefited from the expert care provided by Ultimate Performance, similar steps can be replicated by yourself if you stick with an appropriate plan, utilizing full body workouts, monitoring your food intake, and developing a more active lifestyle. Still, as Jordan points out, getting one-on-one support can give you even more tools such as advice around supplementation. “Consider creatine,” says the coach, who also advises magnesium and working to reduce inflammation levels. “While supplements can complement a balanced diet and training regimen, they are not a substitute for whole foods and should be integrated thoughtfully to align with individual goals and preferences,” he adds.

Doreck’s journey underscores the multi-faceted, holistic approach that is essential for sustainable transformations and long-term success. “My favorite part of the change has been how much better my clothes fit,” shares Chad Doreck. “That’s the best thing. All my friends and family, everybody has noticed, my agents and managers have noticed, and it’s changed the way people consider me for particular roles. “

For more information on engaging an Ultimate Performance personal trainer, click here!