2ND TIME WINNER OF CLIENT OF THE MONTH.
Imogen has added an incredible 9kgs of lean tissue in 30 months. Her body fat has remained constant around 20-23% and weight has increased from 49kgs to 58kgs since 2017.
In addition to this gain in extra lean muscle, there has been an increase in the deadlift from 40kgs to 75kgs (4×8 reps) plus squats, bench press, bench pulls and push press have all improved . Further increases are expected. The increased muscle mass has reflected the increase in strength.
As a vegan, it is extremely tricky to ensure Imogen manages the macronutrients that are supplying the body a the micronutrients needed to continue the gains. Through eating a varied organic healthy diet and supplementing the food with amino acids, minerals and vitamins, a balance is being achieved.
SUPPLEMENTATION FOR VEGANS TO CONSIDER
Supplementation of Vitamin B12 found in meat, dairy products, fish and eggs is obviously off the menu. Vitamin B12 is a water-soluble vitamin and essential for developing red blood cells and maintaining nerves and normal brain function.
Carnosine is a powerful anti-oxidant found in the brain and the muscles. Carnosine is only found in meat products such as beef, pork, fish and to a lesser degree, poultry. It has been linked to improved athletic performance and reduced muscle fatigue.
In addition, there is evidence to suggest that carnosine repairs the telomeres of DNA and is linked to fighting age-related diseases. It is a dipeptide molecule made up of beta-alanine and histidine amino-acids.
Vitamin D3 deficiency is linked to an increase in osteoporosis, cancer, heart disease, multiple sclerosis, depression, impaired brain function and reduced strength caused by muscle wasting. There are two types of Vitamin D. Vitamin D2 (ergocalciferol) found in plants and Vitamin D3 (cholecalciferol) found in animal-based foods.
So for vegans, supplementation of D3 is vital for good-health. Imogen also ensures that she is out and about in the sunshine (mainly hiking) to ensure she can absorbed as much as possible from the sun.
Docosahexaenoic (DHA) is an essential omega-3 fatty acid. Required for good mental health and brain function. It is mainly found in fatty fish and certain types of micro algae. Therefore, vegans are at risk of deficiency.
DHA can be made from alpha-linolenic (ALA) which is found in flaxseeds, chia seeds and walnuts but conversion is inefficient.
Heme Iron is a type of iron only found in meat, especially red meat. It is much better absorbed than non heme iron found in plants. For this reason, many vegans are anaemic unless they supplement their diet.
Taurine is a sulphur compound found mainly in brain, heart and kidneys and other bodily tissues. It appears to play a part in muscle function, bile salt formation and the body’s anti-oxidant defences. Found in fish, meat, dairy, poultry and dairy products, synthetic supplementation of Taurine is essential to a vegan even though the body does make it in small amounts.
Creatine supplementation is something we will be looking in the near future as the molecule is only found in meat products.
Imogen is currently lifting twice a week and training 4 days of cardio, mixing up the intensities. After the Alaska trip which Imogen is currently enjoying, the programme will change to accommodate another lifting session at the expense of a cardio workout to maximise potential.
Watch this space as Imogen continues to improve.
FROM 24 WORKOUTS IN 24 WEEKS TO 24 WORKOUTS IN 8 WEEKS
Adam is a busy man. He runs a successful business and employs many staff. He has a lovely family, 2 dogs, great neighbours and enjoys a holiday or 3 from time to time.
To fit anything extra into his life creates a big demand on time. In addition, he recently started a new business which had put further stress on his time.
Despite numerous coffee meetings around Bath, constant messages and phone calls to encourage him back into fitness, Adam was always too busy to workout.
This wasn’t the response that was needed. I had to get him back in the gym to reverse the damage that he was doing to his body.
The only way to entice Adam back into training was to offer him a fitness assessment. Adam loves targets.
Adam’s body fat percentage was much higher than normal and his lean body mass was low (muscle, bone and connective tissue). In addition, his blood pressure was elevated and had a higher than average BMI.
The assessment had worked. It shocked Adam into action.
The plan was to reduce bodyweight mass, blood pressure, body fat mass and lower BMI.
In addition, to improve VO2max, increased peak flow, lung function and lean body mass.
The timeline to achieve the goal was 12 weeks.
The sessions were rotated between strength, HIIT and endurance circuits.
There are 4 weeks left before Adam goes away on holiday. Adam has put the hours in the gym. His strength and fitness levels have increased. He has improved flexibility and mobility, greater core strength and higher energy levels.
A good improved performance.
THE FINAL HURDLE
In the last 4 weeks, the target is diet.
This is fundamental to the success of the plan. He must reduce his body fat mass and blood pressure.
Adam is embarking on a diet of fresh vegetables and lean meats for the next 4 weeks and is limiting grains and dairy in his diet.
Alcohol and caffeine is to be reduced as well.
His love for take-ways is banned in this last phase of the programme as are all cakes, crisps, sweets and processed foods.
The 80/20 plate rule is applied (not to be confused with the 80/20 diet).
In addition, his calories will be restricted to 2000 calories per day for the final month. All of these calories will come form natural food sources.
The end of the month will reveal the outcome of his 12 weeks of hard work and determination to get back into shape.
Then he can enjoy a relaxing time in the sun before we embark on a new programme on his return.
Keep up the great work Adam. If it doesn’t challenge you, it won’t change you.
“A goal should scare you a little, & excite you A LOT” Joe Vitale
KEVIN’S AMAZING BODYFAT LOSS IN ONE MONTH
I hadn’t seen much of Kevin as he had been recovering from a ruptured achilles tendon he sustained whilst playing volleyball in October last year. We had a few training sessions which targeted mobility and strength, as directed by Jackie, Kevin’s physiotherapist.
I had previously been working with Kevin, rebuilding his fitness and strength to play American Football again. He has sustained some serious injuries in his playing career but he was determined to play again. Playing volleyball was meant to be a bit of fun!
THE FITNESS ASSESSMENT
As Kevin recovered from the rupture, Jackie (physiotherapist) gave the green light to start light training and to rebuild strength and mobility in the ankle. In addition, continued development of strength around his old injuries were resumed.
At the very end of April, he had his assessment. There would be a further assessment to ascertain body composition, fitness, strength, mobility, power and health gains after 4 weeks of training and healthy eating.
At the April assessment, Kevin was feeling unfit, overweight and down after months of inactivity. He has always been a lean man. Playing American Football, Volleyball, sprinting and a regular visitor to the gym.
But 6 months of inactivity had taken their toll on his body and he weighed in 8 kilograms heavier than his pre accident weight. In addition, his body fat was 25.1%, the obese category. Kevin’s jaw dropped. He knew he had put on weight and 8kgs didn’t seem too much but unfortunately, he had lost muscle mass due to inactivity. This made the increase in body fat even more dramatic.
We agreed a course of action to get Kevin back to his fighting weight. Activity levels were increased. Junk food was dropped. Wine was restricted.
It usually takes a period of time to accept the changes required to improve heath, fitness and body composition. There’s first the nod from the client and the joint agreement that these changes have to be made. Then there’s carrying out the changes and this is where it tends to go wrong.
Changing inherent habits is hard, almost impossible. It’s all to do with our inertia. Our bodies are resistance to change. They like to keep a state of equilibrium known as homeostasis. This helps us to feel normal.
But remember, your hardest times often lead to the greatest moments of your life.
The plan for Kevin was simple. Eat clean, drink clean, train hard. His daily calorie allowance was 2500 calories per day. A normal amount for an averaged size man with normal activity levels.
Exactly 5 weeks later, Kevin was re tested.
Great news. He had lost 4.5kgs but had maintained his lean body mass. His fat mass had reduced by 4.5kgs and the body fat test confirmed a 4% body fat loss.
Anyone who has tried losing body fat will know how difficult and how long it can take to lose this amount. Especially whilst trying to keep a lean body mass. Astonishing. Kevin had kept to the plan and he looks much healthier and happier for it.
THE NEXT STAGE
Kevin’s improvement in a short period of time has been amazing but the momentum does not stop.
He is working towards improving his muscle mass and strengthen his body. The ankle continues to improve and we are working on building muscle, strengthen tendons, bones and ligaments around the shoulders, elbows, neck and lower back. The injury areas he sustained as an American Football Player.
The body fat still needs to improve and he is looking at a further drop in the next month and aiming towards a healthy 17% body fat.
“A champion is defined not by their wins but by how they can recover when they fall” – Serena Williams
It can be done.
Well done Kevin.
BIANCA & 19KGS
I asked Bianca who lives in Bath, England if I could use her success of losing 19kgs for my April 2019 client of the month personal training fitness blog. However, I have to admit that Bianca is not a client of mine but a very good friend.
Her transformation has been incredible. She is the mother of two beautiful young children and has been run ragged by the responsibilities of a mother and a wife. She has little time to devote to her own well-being and witnessed her weight steadily increasing over the past 5 years. So, I was intrigued to find out how Bianca shifted the excess weight.
BIANCA’S TRANSFORMATION (PORTION SIZE)
Over a ‘skinny’ latte in a Bath coffee shop, Bianca explained the catalyst that caused the dramatic change in her health. Whilst on holiday in Iceland, a bus driver gave her special assistance and declared that she should be taking it easy for ‘a woman in her condition’. He thought she was pregnant!
Embarrassed and annoyed, Bianca committed to a programme of heath, fitness, portion control and well-being with the aim of replicating her pre baby weight. And she achieved this by slowly reducing her portion sizes and not matching her husbands big plate of food. In addition, she started attending the gym, fitness classes, tennis, running and enjoying exercise again.
Bianca transformed from a hearty 93kgs to 74kgs over 3 months. I asked her how she felt since the weight loss. Her reply took me back. ‘Great as I haven’t been asked when my next baby is due for a long while, which I was asked several times at my largest. The latest being on holiday in Iceland this year”.
Bianca’s weight loss has been amazing. Her dramatic change is proof that you do not need to sign up to fad diets because they do not work. So the only solution to being overweight is to reduce your calorie intake to the correct daily allowance for your height, age, sex and activity levels. An average man is 2500 calories per day. An average woman, 2000 calories per day.
DON’T USE EXCUSES
I have inherited hypothyroidism which means my metabolism is very slow due to the lack of thyroxine being produced in my body. But I manage to keep my weight under control with eating the correct daily calorie intake for a 50 year old man who is 186cm and is active. But please don’t misunderstand me. If I overeat for a period of time, the weight suddenly appears and my waist expands, my blood pressure increases and my energy levels dissipate. So, it’s all about portion control and eating healthy foods.
You can keep healthy through eating unprocessed natural organic foods and take a leaf out of Bianca’s book by portion control and increasing your activity levels. Even if it means washing the car this weekend rather than taking it to be cleaned.
Well done Bianca. My April ‘friend’ of the month and an inspiration to all.