12 weeks ago Ben came to meet me for a consultation after being recommended by a couple of my LEP clients (thanks Danny, Kab and Freya!).
Like with every client I meet, we sat down and discussed his goals, and then I talked about what he was required to do in order to achieve his goal(s) within the 3-month time frame…
In Bens’s case, he wanted to lose fat and improve his body shape.
Well, he’s certainly done that! and the guy who stepped into my gym the other day is a totally different guy to the man I met 12 weeks ago (in a good way!). He came into the session looking fit, healthy, athletic, skin glowing and bouncing in confidence!
What Ben has achieved in 12 weeks is phenomenal, and it just shows what can be done, especially when you focus, and really knuckle down for 90 days.
He’s managed to lose 20lbs (life-changing weight), improve fitness (stronger cardio and improved Sheffield Park run times!), and he’s also managed to dramatically increase his strength, going from 12 push-ups to 45, and going from being able to lift 30kg on a deadlift, to now being able to lift 80kg!
In this post, I thought it would be cool to share a bunch of the things we’ve done, so that it gives you some tips to help you on your own journey, and also gives you some inspiration – because if you give 100% for the next 12 weeks, you too could have amazing results…
#1 Resistance Training
Ben has lifted weights on average 4x per week – 2x per week in his personal training sessions with me, and 2 workouts at the gym – with a custom workout plan which I designed for him to follow.
Like with most of my personal training clients, the first few weeks are all about building confidence, rapport and gathering data. I tested Bens’s current level of fitness and recorded his times/scores, and I made other assessments (posture, strength, body measurements, took pictures, etc).
I taught Ben how to perform exercises correctly. For example, I taught him how to deadlift, bench press, perform bent-over rows, shoulder press – and a bunch of other muscle-building exercises.
Once he got his technique nailed, it was time to start pushing up the weights. The stronger you get the more muscle you build, the more muscle you have the better your body shape, and the easier it is to burn calories and fat. That’s why for anybody (man or woman)…weight training should be included if improving your body shape and losing weight is the number one goal.
Over the 12 weeks, Ben has improved his strength enormously and you can really see it with the muscle definition he now has, and that’s largely down to pumping some iron!
With at least 90% of clients, I feature some sort of cardio into their weekly sessions with me – because it dramatically improves heart health, and performance with weights.
Alongside 4 weight training sessions per week, Ben has also completed on average 2 cardio/core workouts per week. These workouts involve running (as he likes to run), for example, Ben often does the Sheffield Park Run at Endcliffe Park, which is held on Saturday mornings. Then for the other cardio workout, he would do a run in his own time.
Improving cardio is absolutely key, the fitter you get the more you can do, which means you burn more calories, and are also able to lift weights more efficiently i.e. do more reps and also recover quicker in between sets and workouts. As I’ve already mentioned but will repeat… weight training is ABSOLUTELY KEY in improving body composition – and cardio massively helps your resistance training.
Alongside running, I have also gotten Ben to strengthen his core. Having a strong torso is important, not only because it looks good (abs!) but also from a training perspective e.g it’s key in developing strength, and reducing injury. To begin with, the core workout mainly consisted of sit-ups and planks, but recently I’ve added in more exercises, things like: dead bugs, Russian twists, and side crunches.
A huge part of the puzzle, and one which lots of people struggle with, BUT Ben has nailed it – managing to successfully create a calorie deficit for most of his 12 weeks – hence the 20lb weight loss!
In order to lose weight you need to burn more energy than you consume and the two main focuses on a fat loss phase are to 1) lower calories, and 2) consume more protein.
For Ben, on training days (5/6 days per week) he would consume between 2,200-2,500 calories, whereas on rest days he would consume much less – 1,800 cals. More energy is needed on training days (for obvious reasons) and less on rest days. This is what’s called calorie cycling, where you change cals depending on your level of activity. We needed a good amount of calories on training days in order for Ben to have the energy to push hard in sessions and also build muscle. But then on rest days, we pulled back and the sole focus was on fat loss.
#4 Fitness Tracking
At the beginning of our personal training sessions, I took Bens measurements, for example, his chest, arms, stomach, legs, and calves. I also did a fitness test, using equipment like the rowing machine, ski machine – where I tested his cardio e.g. 100m sprint time for anaerobic fitness and 1,000m row for aerobic fitness.
The other two areas we tracked were weight, and body shape changes i.e by taking ‘before’ and ‘after pics’. Throughout the whole process, we’ve checked that he’s progressing and made changes along with the way when needed.
Alongside the 20lb weight loss, Ben has also managed to lose 10cm from his stomach, and 1 inch from his chest! High five to that!
Ben is much leaner, fitter, stronger and healthier! He’s now got excellent muscle definition and far less body fat – which puts him in an ideal place to build some serious muscle mass.
During the next 12 weeks, the aim is to get Ben looking bigger, whilst staying lean. We’re now focused on his scale weight going up (good weight) and also going to make-sure he keeps getting stronger, which will be easier now he’s going to be in a slight calorie surplus as I increase his calories.
I’ll share the next update in 12 weeks, so stay tuned, because I can guarantee that Bens going to look even better than he does now – I’d bet money on it!
Once again, high five to Ben, you’ve done frikin incredible buddy and you deserve your success!
Thanks for reading,
Ready to transform your own health, fitness and body shape?
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