A lot of my posts so far have focused on the theory of principles of training so in case you think I just talk about training I thought I would share with you a little insight into my own training goals over the last year! First things first I should say that I always use a personal trainer / strength & conditioning coach even though I am one myself! I strongly recommend that everyone has their own trainer if they are serious about achieving a goal. I think this is especially important if you are a trainer yourself. I find that I am constantly challenging myself to make decisions about what my athletes need and sometimes I don’t give myself the same attention.
I like to think about what I would like to achieve and then seek out the best trainer to help me achieve this. The goal could be a performance goal such as lift a certain amount of weight or an anthropometric goal such as to achieve a certain body fat percentage. It might seem strange to pay someone else to train you if you pretty much know what to do yourself but I like paying someone because it makes us both accountable for achieving the goal. It also makes me a better coach because I can relate to my athlete’s experiences, and know what things could work well to motivate them that my own trainer has done with me.
2012- Get Lean
Last year I wanted to get under the 10% body fat mark inspired by a Men’s Fitness article in which a writer for the magazine Joe Warner was taken through a 12 week training phase to get them in cover model shape. What got my attention was the fact that this was a typical guy who had a similar body type to me. He was 6ft, around 12 stone and 16.3% body fat. Photos which were taken every 4 weeks and showed his gradual transformation to cover model physique where he gained a few kilograms and leaned out to 5.5% body fat. The Men’s Fitness programme was designed and carried out by Nick Mitchell who owns Ultimate Performance in Mayfair, London.
Having made some enquiries I found that the price of personal training with UP was going to be out of my budget (around £150 per session!!!) So, I arranged instead an on-line training advisory package (see their advert below) with one of the trainers at Ultimate Performance, and basically said I wanted to go through the same process. The on-line process involved me filling out a medical PAR-Q and an on-line waiver as well as several forms to describe in length my goals, nutritional habits and general training history.
For £450 I would get 3 months of training plans designed to suit my specific goals as well as an assigned trainer who would be available to discuss the training via email as often as required. Once the payment was processed I was assigned to Jonny Rees, who would write my programmes. As I wanted to have some measurements taken I also opted to pay another £150 to have my bio-signature done. This is a body composition assessment based on the Poliquin method using skin folds.
Now to cut a long story short I had the bio-signature at middle of September and one more re-test 2 months later at the middle of November. I couldn’t wait for the full 3 months because I was leaving the country on business before the 3 months ended.
Starting weight: 74.4kg and body fat % : 16.1%
Re-test weight: 71.6kg and body fat percentage: 9%
I can say now that 90% of this change was based on a nutritional intervention. For those of you interested I will explain the process I went through in my next blog. By the way, I am writing this blog 6 months later and recently had a body fat % (admitedly from bioelectrical impedance on Tanita scales) of 12.9% and a body mass of 77kg!!! This is because I now have a goal to get strong and squat 2 x my body weight. I have had 3 personal training sessions with local strength coach Chris Burford and I will make sure I keep you guys in the loop with how I am getting on with that too!!!