It’s been way too long between blogs, that’s my bad. But on the plus side, at least I’m not blogging for the hell of it. I like to blog when it actually means something… And today it means something.
I got an email from a very dear friend/client Carley Smith. Carley came to see me way back in 2010 as she needed help with her fitness model contest prep. When I first met Carley, to be honest, I wasn’t sure if she was going to listen to what I was saying. I mean, I tell girls to eat more, stop doing cardio and for godsake, cook with butter. I am a rebellious madman to many mainstream bodybuilding, nutrition and fitness gurus.
But she did listen and she not only competed but also did extremely well and placed second at her first comp. But this was not the ‘real’ success of my personal coaching and training.
The real success was helping and assisting Carley to shift her mindset.
Late last night I was looking over client’s results using Poliquins Strength Pro/Bio Software when I came across Carleys records. Her first consult was on the 23/2/2010 and her body weight was at 54 kilos BUT her body fat was at 15.3% with a lean muscle mass of only 45.7kilos.
The last time I measured Carley was on the 8/11/2011 at a body weight of 58.3 kilos, a body fat of 14.2% and a lean muscle mass of an amazing 50 kilos. In two years she put on 5 kilos of lean muscle while actually managing to get leaner and stronger in the process. I thought this is great! I was so excited that I emailed her just to tell her. I asked her if I could use her example of health (both in mind and body) at my upcoming seminar. Not only did she say I could, she wrote to me a very fitting email which I just had to share (with permission of course)…
“I came to train with you about 3 months before I competed in my first sport modelling/fitness competition. I looked relatively fit but you wouldn’t pick me to be a stand out from the crowd. I had a standard program that I was following given to me by a trainer I had previously seen, I remember you called it a “cookie cutter” program as it wasn’t customised to me or my body shape. One thing I did have was motivation and determination to achieve results so I was extremely excited to see you as I had heard great things that you were “the guy” to see when it came to training and prepping for a comp. My diet prior to seeing you was VERY limited, it consisted of…to be completely honest…not a lot! I relied on shakes as my morning and afternoon meal, I didn’t have any fats and only had a very small amount of carbs sometimes in the morning. I did an hour of cardio each day then another 40 min weight session each night. I was tired and exhausted, I felt like I was time deprived, spending nearly two hours in the gym per day and focusing a lot of attention on cardio sessions in order to lower my body fat. I also had a strong focus on… and I cringe when I say this …“weight on the scales.” I thought this what just what you had to do to get in shape for a competition, what would I know, I was new at this prepping for comp thing and this was what I was told!
I remember my first session with you when you challenged me on the approach I was taking to my diet and training. I will never forget you saying to me, “Where is the food” and “Where are you getting the energy to train?” You told me to cut back my morning cardio, “What!?” I was told to walk EVERY morning, no excuses! It was from this point that I started to question everything I had previously been doing and been told and started to learn….Over time you developed in me a love for strength training and a dislike for cardio. My training become focused on achieving results, I started lifting heavier weights in the gym and I no longer thought about getting my weight on the scales down. I stopped weighing myself at all. I looked at food as fuel for my training sessions and cardio as energy wasted. I got frustrated when you bio sig’d me and muscle mass didn’t increase and didn’t care so much about my body fat percentage. The results were all round positive, I developed 5kgs of muscle mass whilst my body fat went down. The best thing out of all of this was that I felt fantastic! I had high energy levels and loved training! I spent an hour maximum in the gym 4 times per week. My sessions became results focused and each week I was getting stronger and stronger.
I continue to train and eat the way you have educated me day in and day out. There is no “comp” in mind at the moment or “date” to achieve an ideal body by, I don’t care about this stuff anymore, I eat and train for myself- my health and my well-being (and of course my love for it). I am happy with myself and my body- this is the most comforting thing at 23 years of age. I don’t beat myself up over things I want to change or things I don’t like about myself anymore. I have a healthy relationship with food, I love cooking and enjoying a variety of foods whilst still eating healthy and I definitely don’t feel the need to “binge” like a lot of girls do. I am continually setting myself goals in all areas of my life- not just training. Training is only a part of life- it no longer consumes or takes over!
From Carley Smith
My favorite part of the whole email is:
“Training is only a part of life- it no longer consumes or takes over!”
Big thanks to Carley for letting me share your story. Helping girls and guys like you is why I do what I do.
In closing, I would just like to add, if you’re killing yourself over your results and body, you’re doing something wrong. Health is your birthright. I have never met a healthy person who didn’t look good but I have met quite a number of people who look good but aren’t healthy. Frankly, I don’t care how many people I ‘get on stage’. It was never about that for me thus I have tried not to brand myself as a ‘bodybuilding trainer’ but I do share the successes of clients who come to see me (if that makes sense).
I want something very simple for all my clients; health. When they achieve health I want to teach what its like to be strong. When they have strength and health their world is theirs to create.
Maximus Mark Ottobre