I could be the bearer of bad news I’m sorry to say. Luckily as in most cases it isn’t all bad and the purpose behind this is to cut through the c**p and hopefully give some of you an idea of what lies ahead. Also giving you some realistic timelines for your goals and aspirations.
I’m not one to blow smoke up peoples arses and I won’t hold back with the harsh reality of what lies ahead for someone attempting to make a dramatic physical change to themselves. I will also tell you that a high percentage of people fail for a multitude of reasons. Many of the reasons are down to a lack of persistance and the belief that in a very short time frame a huge amount of large changes will be seen.
I will hold my hand up and say that am I partly to blame for this belief .When I am part of or witness an incredible physical change in a short time frame of course I want to show people it, to inspire people and for people to understand there is light at the end of the tunnel. The issue is that when I present something someone has never seen before it becomes contentious and it drags up all manner of irrationale reasoning as to ‘how’ they or I did it. Frankly I don’t care too much about what people think, I have no reason to utilise something to push my business and certainly don’t have the time to be mocking up pictures to claim that I’m something i’m not. The reason I hold my hand up is that when I present a transformation the uneducated amongst us, the poor trainers and the sceptics will dismiss things without knowing ANYTHING about the person in front of them. I’m certainly not deceiving anyone I just wouldn’t want to divulge every last detail about my clients hormonal status, dietary history, dietary and training regime, sleep patterns, employment status, relationship status and all the other things that are actually relevant to the transformation.
In the pursuit of fat loss and conditioning many people become dissillusioned and defeated without ever seeing anything remotely positive. We consistently use body weight as our marker for physical improvement alongside perhaps how certain items of clothes fit. Getting skinny still remains something that is the perogative of many. This piece is primarily focused on women as historically they have the most issues with metabolic and endocrine disruption. This is led majorly by the media, the ‘diet’ industry and the sad fact that there is a single human look that we’re all meant to aspire too.
Be who and what you want to be!
I have tried, often too late in the moments before someone concludes they intend giving up to try and fix the psychological issues that underlie this decision. I try to nip it in the bud nice and early by simply being honest with who is in front of me and be as realistic as possible given their circumstances and history and their intended goals.
Just recently I presented two incredible transformations to 46 of some of the best trainers in Europe. The changes very similar, the circumstances very different which also reflected in the time frame it took to get from A-B. One a year, the other 14 weeks. The disbelief and accusations that surrounded the 14 week transformation where to be honest outstanding. Let me explain to you about metabolic damage.
If we had two different circumstances. Someone who had focused on weight loss most of their adult life. Had attended every exercise class imaginable with the false hope they would get her in shape. Ate a myriad of diets, low calorie, low fat, low protein, high protein, keto, atkins, you name it. Spent countless hours exercising in the gym, an estimated 70-100 hours of her life on a piece of cardiovascular equipment.
I’m trying to think how best to explain this in simple terms. I’ve spoken about these things before but in a slightly more technical fashion. When we consume food our body adapts by elevating metabolism and releasing a series of hormones etc through the endocrine system.
Am sure most of you understand NO2 bottles or nitrous that they put on cars. When you press the button this stuff is injected into the car and the car goes a LOT faster. The way it does this is the fact that the car is an internal combustion engine. The nitrous allows more oxygen into the fuel which allows it to burn faster therefore making the pistons drive harder.
Now the body has a bunch of these canisters (don’t be thinking we ‘actually’ do but its an easy was to analogise). We have several of them, and the overlaying part of our body that keeps the car generally going is the size of the engine (Muscle tissue).
So, if we want a fast metabolic rate and efficient body we need to keep the engine as it is or soup it up (hypertrophy) to make the general metabolism faster OR we need to make sure everytime we hit the nitrous button we allow the body time to refill it before we hit it again (THE RECOVERY PHASE is how I am gonna term this).
We have a nitrous bottle that is full of INSULIN. This regulates hormonal output, has a huge factor on our inherant food choices, if our blood sugar is low our body isn’t dumb it will tell you to eat something that will fix it. As the drug ind……..sorry food industry knows this they have produced products that will get rid of these symptoms and get us addicted to them.
Now to talk about a few of the causes of metabolic damage.
Classical History of a weight conscious female aged 32.
Born in 1980 they where already into the generation of ‘synthetic’ foods, this goes right down to baby foods so there was no avoiding it. Protein is still perceived as something non critical and fat is bad for you so in their formative years they consume processed foods full of endocrine disruptors (E numbers, additives, preservatives etc etc). The chemical industry is thriving and everything, deodorants, skin creams etc are all full of them, hell the biggest selling products for babies are produced by one of the biggest drug and chemical companies in the world. By the age of 10 she already has notable hormonal disruption and iregular dietary habits having consumed cordial soft drinks and breakfast cereals riddled with sugar for most of her life so far. Estrogen levels are elevating therefore net production of testosterone is driving her to early puberty. The drops in blood sugar are causing irregular behaviour which will soon be given a name and a condition given to them as it’s something we are seeing more and more of.
At the age of 10 she is thrust into the limelight of peer pressure and media perceptions. 1990 sees the rise of american TV shows of perfectly presented teens, skinny girls at the height of fashion. Dietary trends mean that the low calorie diet and low fat diet are the BIG thing.
They spend many of the next 10 years eating 500-1000k/cals less than their body actually requires made up predominently of carbohydrates. Fats are perceived to make you fat and protein is for bodybuilders. Even though they are consuming only 800-1200k/cals daily about 90+% of it remains carbs. The insulin nitrous bottle is getting hit WAY too often. Insulin recovery is progressively getting worse and the tolerance of sugars is getting worse. Over time the storage of energy into fat is increasing. Body fat percentage is increasing but the universal marker of ‘weight’ remains the same as lean tissue is lowering due to A) the lack of dietary protein B) the increase of stress hormones due to deficiency in calories C) The increase in use of unavailable fuel through excessive cardiovascular exercise and D) The adapting allowance of muscle loss to accomodate the low calorie intake. The body will only burn what it takes in.
By 1990 she has less muscle tissue so metabolic rate is lower. Her body is softer as the ratio of bodyfat and lean tissue has altered. Her ability to tolerate carbs has gone down as the Insulin bottle has never been given ANY recovery time with a diet that was 90+% of CHO (More than we would give an ultra endurance runner). Despite weight being the same the body is a mess. Inflamatory markers are also up due to the lack of dietary fats so chronic conditions are at high risk. Thats another article though.
For the previous years weight training has always been frowned upon as it will make you ‘bulky’, another myth that caused problems.
She now has an overproduction of oestrogen, a slowed metabolic rate in accordance with the intake and an underproduction of testosterone.
Now for the next 10 years up to 2000 she will chase and eat less, eat more, ‘exercise’ more. The 1990s saw the explosion of exercise classes, aerobics, spinning, step etc etc…They where fun and a great social thing but results where few and far between.
Diet wise every system has been used, most of which calorie controlled, always failing then trying again. Each and everyone working against what the body is designed to do but ultimatelly faith remains in them as those that stick with them DO lose weight for a while.
In the end what in 2012 I am left with is someone who is an endocrine mess, has food issues, a fear of eating, fear of lifting weights, a belief that doing more and more exercise is a better thing and STILL they DO NOT progress in any way shape or form.
Einstein coined it greatly.
“Insanity: doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results”
Almost every person I deal with are amazed at how they do almost the opposite to everything they’ve done before. They eat more, exercise less, train intelligently. Lift more weights, rest more.
The difference between the two aforementioned people I dealt with and the timescale for progress was exactly this. One of them bought into this for a long time. The other never did!
You’ve got to realise that if you’ve followed every trend and fad for the past 10 years in both exercise and diet it will take a ‘RECOVERY’ period before your body adjusts enough to start to see effective results. Persist people. Undoing this extent of damage and almost reversal adaptation may take a year or more of persistence and sticking to the plan. The fact remains that its a small sacrifice to have something you’ve dreamed of your entire life in such a small time frame to them carry with you until your dying day.
BAD trainers are those that follow the trends and do with you what YOU think you should do, keeps you happy right.
THINK outside the box as a client, as a trainer or as someone who wants simply to improve!!