Over the last 12 weeks LEP Fitness member Fahd has done tremendously well!
Not only has he shed a bunch of weight (15kg!), but he’s also managed to dramatically improve his body composition, has more energy and his lower back pain has completely vanished!
In this post i’d like to talk about what we’ve done over the past 3 months in order to get these results. I’ll be discussing training, nutrition and how we overcame the challenges that most of us face when trying to change our fitness and body shape.
I hope you’ll learn a thing or two from reading, and that it also inspires you to embark on your own transformation…
- Total Weight Loss = 15kg
- Stomach Loss (cm) = 10cm
- Chest Loss (cm) = 7cm
- Legs Loss (cm) = 4cm
- Calfs Loss (cm) = 2cm
- Total cm lost = 23cm (9.5 inches!)
#1 Weight Training
The best way to improve body shape is to lift weights. Weight training is also good for shifting body fat, so if you want to lose weight and shape up…pick up the weights!
Over the past 3 months of working together Fahd has trained with me 2/3 times per week.
During the initial first few weeks it was all about building up a strong foundation, plenty of stretches and low impact muscle activation exercises using foam rollers, bodyweight and banded work.
Rather than going into intense training I always like to start slow with clients, figure out how they move, understand their current level of fitness, how hard they can push, etc, etc. For the first few weeks it’s very much about learning about the client, whilst building up a stronger physical foundation.
After the initial break in phase we started to look at more complex exercises like the squat, barbell RDL, bench press, rows, etc, etc. Basically compound exercises which burn a ton of calories and recruit large muscle groups.
Alongside our 1-1 coaching sessions, Fahd also went running 1x per week and completed a bunch of home workouts which I designed for him to follow. Being a busy dad, and working long hours, the workouts I designed were very short (only 10 minutes long) and used basic equipment like dumbbells and resistance bands.
Alongside training Fahd counted calories. No food was off plan, all he had to do was stay under a set number of calories each day. On training days this was 2,300, for rest days 1,750.
There are lots of benefits to following a calorie controlled diet, the main one being that you can eat any foods you like, providing you don’t go over your daily calorie target.
This approach doesn’t work for all people, especially for those who find it easy to overeat on certain foods. But for those who can be disciplined enough and don’t have unhealthy relationships with food i.e. binge eating, yo-yo dieting, etc it’s the best approach in my opinion (certainly for the everyday person anyway!).
80% of the time Fahd stuck to good quality foods i.e. chicken, rice, vegetables, plenty of fruit. Basically lots of protein and healthy veg, with some complex carbohydrates thrown in on training days.
With the other 20% Fahd picked the occasional treat i.e. ice cream or a dessert. Overall this approach worked wonders because it’s a sustainable way of living, and it’s very maintainable. The nutrition combined with the exercise has yielded excellent results.
#3 Zapping Back pain
One of the main problems with Fahd at the start was his lower back pain. Being on his feet most of the day and standing in awkward positions, it was a recipe for disaster.
Lower back pain is a common problem and plagues lots of people on a day-to-day basis. Although it can differ from person to person it’s usually down to the following…
- tight hamstrings, and glutes
- weak hamstrings and glutes
- poor core strength
- poor flexibility
With Fahd I addressed the following 4 things and we worked on them for at least a quarter of each session (approx 15 minutes). I spent a lot of time stretching out his hamstrings and showed him some stretches to work on outside of our sessions.
Alongside the flexibility I also taught him how to strengthen his hamstrings and glutes. We used exercises like the stiff legged deadlift and Romanian deadlift, as well as glute bridges and hamstring curls using a fitness ball.
For the core we focused on lots of different plank variations, and functional exercises like the bear crawl. Improving the strength of the weak muscles whislt lengthening the tight muscles had a dramatic effect and his back pain went after the first 4 weeks of training!
#4 Extra Energy & New Clothes…
As much as I love clients getting visible results, it’s actually far more important that they feel better and that their overall quality of life improves. It’s no use being ripped, and having a 6 pack if the quality of your life diminishes.
The mental health of my clients is just as important, and I want them to not only look great but feel great too. Fahd said that after 2 weeks he felt his energy and performance improve at work and was enjoying the added boost of vitality. It’s amazing what a couple of weeks of focus can do for the mind and body.
He was also pretty pleased when his jeans wouldn’t fit! and he had to buy new clothes. Not so pleased about the extra expense though! lol!
#5 Dealing With Challenges
About half way through the 12 weeks Fahd went away with his family to Barcelona. Now for most people it’s very easy to go off track on holiday! i’ve seen clients (and been there myself!) where a ton of weight is gained and it can throw people off track.
Learning from my own experience and that of clients in the past, I advised Fahd to keep his step count up as high as possible (ideally 10,000 steps + per day) and to give himself more calories to play with. I advised him to have 2,500-3,000 calories per day.
Okay there may be a little weight gain, but if that meant he would enjoy himself, and not feel deprived then it was worth it.
I’d much prefer a client to go away and come back 1-4lbs heavier than to go away 10lbs heavier…which is what happens when you push people too much – they cave in and fall off.
1-4lbs can be lost in 1-2 weeks so it’s not falling back too much. It also prevents bad eating behaviours.
Fahd followed the calorie limit, kept his step count up high and came back 1kg lighter! not a bad result. When I asked him “did you feel deprived or miserable at all doing what I asked?” he said NO and that he couldn’t believe he could come back off holiday even lighter!
Thanks for reading,
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