This is what it is, some of it you may offend you or even get you a little angered but to be honest I really don’t care. In many ways I hope it does exactly that and gets you motivated and a little psyched up to do something positive!
A little tale…
A couple of years ago I returned back to my hometown for a brief period in-between a major location change. Whilst I was there I picked up a few freelance clients and acquired use of one of the local ‘leisure’ facilities for the time I was back. It’s a small town I’m from and a bunch of the people I used to train almost 15 years ago came back to train with me. Now my training methodology had evolved somewhat but my characteristics as a trainer and coach I’d like to think haven’t changed much and my passion and love for what I do has only grown.
Retracing your steps I think is something I think we should all do at times. You can learn a lot from what you did and you; unlike with so many things in life,you get the proverbial second chance.
Now there was one lady who came to me who I hadn’t seen before. I can only describe her as the typical ‘gym’ goer. Her primary goal was weight management and ultimately weight loss. Now at the time I consulted with her I can say she was probably spending 1-2 hour’s daily ‘exercising’, classes, and copious amounts of cardiovascular exercise. She was married, 2 children and had a sedentary job. She fitted into what most personal trainers in most gyms will encounter on a daily basis. Now she taught me some valuable lessons throughout our time together all of which I appreciate as it has helped me greatly with my people management skills and a little bit more about the psyche of people undertaking a huge lifestyle change. I will come back to my lady here later and you too can learn something from her.
Along the years I’ve encountered many people intent on pursuance of goals and my role is to advise, guide, support and ultimately get them there. Now what you must remember as the trainee is that it’s a 2 way street. The pride you show when you tell your friends over dinner and drinks that you have a ‘trainer’ and you’re training is often marred by the fact at that point you have an alcoholic drink in your hand and you’re probably munching on canapés. Now in 16 years as a trainer and coach I’ve never had anyone with a goal that’s complimented by alcohol and canapés.
Harsh lesson No.1
At this point lots of people may feel a little bewhildered and if you are you’ve probably spent thousands of hours and pounds over the past few years trying to ward off the impending age related softening and enlarging of your physique… stop wasting time and money. If your trainer cant do more for you and fat loss for the equivalent price of a tub of ‘Thermos-Whatever it may be’ they really suck at their job
Harsh lesson No.2
Now listen up. Age plays such a minute factor that it isn’t even worth uttering if you’re looking for ‘reasons why’……… reason why is that you’ve probably done the same thing you’ve done for years and expected something different. You want something tomorrow and the thought of working hard for more than 14 days is far too daunting for you.
Harsh Lesson No. 3
Your diet is awful! If you’re still reading this I know that. Diet is 75%+ of what anyone will physiologically achieve. NO NO NO….stop with your buts and the little bit of ‘ I have my granola and yoghurt and eat my fruit and grains and keep my diet low fat nonsense’ is it working……so…. End of story. If you don’t want to change the way you eat as you ‘think’ your diet is good and you ‘know better’ that’s cool. I would happily wage any money that I could physically change someone’s physique dramatically by stopping them training completely and putting them on a highly regenerative and supportive diet……. Oh and a diet that will physiologically improve anyone is HEALTHY or healthier than what you had before. You’re not meant to look like that you know!
Harsh Lesson No. 4
Cardiovascular exercise and exercise classes burn fuel…. NOT fat! Take a look at the physique of an elite 1500m runner. They run for about 7 minutes…now sit at the end of the London Marathon as thousands of cardiovascular efficient athletes cross the line. Every time one crosses the line with type of physique you desire mark it down. Now you can’t count it if they have any sort of injury, knee support etc. only because I don’t want my athletes to be injured. Next thing to do is pay attention to how many overweight ‘fit’ people you know or spend time with in the CV area.
Harsh Lesson No. 5
You want results fast right?
Take all the years your physique has gone backwards from the point you want it to be. Now take a 10th of that time and that is roughly what you will need to commit to time wise…and I mean focussed 100% time! To get the physique you desire.
Going back to my lady. Now, she did everything I told her. Dropped all her classes (reluctantly) and stopped all the CV. She weight trained intensely 4 times a week for about 45 minutes at a time…. yes that’s all. Diet wise she did it 100%, a few slips here and there but at least a deserved 97%.
I recollect not one but several of my other clients approaching me in the gym after a month or so and whispering in my ear ‘whets she doing’. These where MY clients! They thought I was holding something back, was keeping some special training technique or dietary supplement for only select people…. She used only a post workout drink and multi nutrient. The fact was she did what she needed to do and what made her do it? She brought me a photo the first day I met her and it was from a recent holiday. She said she was disgusted by what she saw. Within 18 months she competed in the Miss Britain contest and did pretty damn well!
I also remember once a lady who was 5’5 and 24 stone when she came to me… She lost over ½ of her body weight within a year. Her breaking point, she went into a board meeting and couldn’t cross her legs. Up to that point there wasn’t anything significant enough to spur that change of lifestyle and direction.
These where points that may never have occurred and for some these points don’t give you a second chance as for one person crossing your legs or seeing a photo you don’t like may very well be a heart attack or stroke for the next person. I’ve dealt with so many people who get that second bite at the cherry and when your life is at stake all of a sudden the drinks on a Friday night you wouldn’t sacrifice before all of a sudden become less important.
Harsh Lesson No. 6
Sacrifices and trade-offs. Be prepared to make them. If you are and your goals are THAT important you wont compromise. When you get there… you, much like so many people I’ve dealt with will kick yourself and look back at all the time you wasted with no results. All for a few lifestyle changes and an intelligent approach to what you do.
Harsh lesson No. 7
Money talks …… and nutrition is that important. If anyone turns up to a session with me without eating what was planned before the session I’ll charge you then send you home as everything we do will compromise your goals. You will NOT do it again as it cost you money!……….that was more of a heads up than a lesson….. oh and free stuff (unless you get an invite to the Oscars) is generally rubbish!……..I say generally as you’re NOT paying for this article.
Final Harsh Lesson No. 8
If you’re afraid of hard work and aren’t prepared to get off your lazy arse forget about it.
Phil Learney is a leading expert and highly regarded authority on nutrition, training and supplementation! He is part of the PhD brand and is recognised across the world for his amazing work.