What you're looking at are the physical results that we obtained for one of my clients after 4 months of going full throttle!
We achieved a 2.2% reduction in body fat with an overall weight loss amounting to 7.6lbs (for those who are interested in weight, frankly I'm not). What matters to me the most is the results that we achieved that are not shown in this photo.
Our goal was to lose fat and increase strength and lean muscle mass.
How did we do it?
We trained 4 days per week, with a focus on developing muscular endurance with weights whilst correcting her form and posture. Alongside our training we implemented a disciplined nutritional plan.
Her training was not perfect. She took two weeks away traveling meaning that we had to regress to bodyweight training. Another brief trip came up and we managed to train virtually. Her progress was halted for 2 weeks due to illness and we still got amazing results... because we planned for them.
In truth her training didn’t have to be perfect for what we wanted to achieve, it had to be consistent. The thing that made the biggest impact on her results was her attitude to nutrition.
We were able to take her from a place where she felt bloated and out of shape to lean and strong within weeks by making tweaks to her diet and eliminating the foods that she sensed were having a detrimental effect on her health.
I reminded her today that it was her ability to access her inner discipline that brought her success, but she was adamant that it was my training and approach that had made the world of difference.
In reality, it was both of these things.
When we first started working together she mentioned that she'd recently had a range of small injuries that were interrupting and preventing her from training.
Why did she keep getting injured all of the time???
She was frustrated, and I was frustrated for her. It's fine to have minor injuries during the process of training but seeing the same injuries month after month, week after week is your bodies' way of acting out and throwing up a red flag!
Your body is telling you 'I don't like this alignment or I don't like the way your using my muscles' and sometimes it's because there is a better way and other times it's because it's the right way and your body is adjusting to those corrections. For a person who is inexperienced it's hard to know what's what. It's the job of the trainer to be an additional set of eyes and ears to a body that is not their own.
It took a while for her to come and see me but I didn't give up on her. I would text her and tell her to get her butt in gear and one day she showed up!
In our early conversations, the term she used to described her previous trainers' approach was that they would do everything to “burn out”
Jheeeez! I winced inside, but I prayed she didn't see me wince on the outside! It was clear to me that she had been over-training.
There were many things for me to address and I knew instantly that I could help her. I knew that if I was going to get her into the shape of her life then it would be because I'd created a training plan that was sustainable.
- A plan that enabled her to show up 3-4 days a week and not feel exhausted, or injured.
- A plan that addressed poor movement patterns that had never been corrected as a result of high intensity interval training.
- A plan that created a sound foundation of muscular endurance and stability from which she can build strength.
- A plan that progressed fast enough to keep her challenged but slow enough to reinforce excellent form, awareness and control.
- A plan that was low impact that would allow her to explore an increase in tempo on days when she felt like she needed more metabolic conditioning without compromising or triggering old injuries.
And I knew that I needed to show up with enough emotional awareness and deliver enough knowledge to make her feel...
- Confident that working at a lower intensity could actually help her to lose fat.
- Confident with new equipment such as barbells and power racks.
- Confident that weight training would not make her bulky but could actually improve her overall tone, athleticism and help prevent injury.
- Confident that she could trust her body again and that it wouldn't break on her
I say all of this to say that there are so many benefits to TRAINING SMART versus TRAINING HARD! My approach with her has been slow and progressive but her results have been fast and impressive!
The difference with her is that most clients think they have their foot on the gas pedal when they start training. Few truly do. In fact they keep one foot on the gas while the other foot is on the break and they cruise along at the same pace. She had hers on full throttle, with her other foot resting on the dashboard.
This is her journey, and she’s been in the driving seat from the get go, and I have simply been a dedicated passenger providing the safest and most effective route.
As for her next destination she's driving to a place that she's never been to before, which is scary and it requires her to trust me more now than ever. The good news is I've been there and I know the route.
My job is to navigate us there safely and effectively and her job is to keep the fuel tank full!