Wednesday, August 21, 2013

It's time for ME to get back into shape for Spring and Summer

Did I mention I've started my own fat loss campaign last week after (strategically) gaining 8kg over the course of the year so far? My long term goal is to be a bit bigger than I am now, but also lean. So, in trying to build up over the winter you accept that you're likely to gain some fat in the process, which you trim off again in the spring with the goal of being as lean as last summer, but 4 or 5kg heavier.

This year I was coasting along not too worried about how much fat I put on because "hey, have a look at the ladies I coach and judge me on that... not on what I look like while in a bulking phase", right? Well... that's all well and good up to a point, but as of the week before last I decided it was time to dial in some tighter nutrition targets and exercise a little self control in the kitchen until I look a bit more like a trainer again.

This is quite standard practice for males and some females with the goal of increasing size. Now, some people at a highly advanced level will have it down to such a fine art (or should I say science?) that they can gain a significant amount of muscle without gaining a significant amount of fat... but for the most of us, well... the fat and bloat comes off quite quickly and easily as soon as the time comes to dial in a nutrition plan and perhaps make some necessary adjustments to training. For the record I haven't changed my training routine yet but I may do so in the future if I'm not satisfied with my progress back towards an appropriate physique for pool season.

This isn't really a post about my own progress and goals though. It's a little eye opener into some deceptive marketing tactics other trainers may use, and why you should be sceptical of trainers posting their own before and after "transformation" photos.

You've no double seem them before, along with the "I got so busy helping other people, I forgot to look after myself and suddenly realised I'd gotten quite badly out of shape" and maybe also "after trying different strategies for years I finally found the one method for amazing results in half the time"... some top secret thing only known to them and their fitness guru who learned it from the ghost of Bruce Lee while astral travelling or some shit no doubt. And then there's the photos of them starting out looking like your average out of shape office worker, and ending up looking like a pro athlete 6 weeks later.

And you're supposed to think "wow, I could look like that in 6 weeks too then!", right? What a load of bollocks.

That muscular physique they're showing in the "after" picture was already there, just hidden a little under some excess fat, some bloat and fluid retention. Maybe the lighting in the first picture was less flattering as well, and they're standing with slouched posture too. This stuff makes a big difference!

Now, the position I'm in right now and these other guys would be in is that you've been training a long time, and are able to perform at a level far above the capabilities of the average client, especially a new one. Having trained hard and eating at a surplus all year so far, the body is trained to build as much muscle as possible and use all of this to fuel, recover and adapt to training. What little it can't find a use for ends up stored as fat... but the point is, it wants to build muscle. Now, come spring time we reduce calories to an amount suitable to drop whatever weight we have added in fat stores... the body still wants to build muscle, still wants to use everything we give it to fuel, recover and adapt to training... BOOM, that little bit of fat is going to come off relatively quickly, not to mention any food bloat and fluid retention will drop off within the first week or two in my experience.

So... that's what's going on in most of those photos you may see from trainers marketing online. It is quite deceptive to imply that there is anything "special" going on because of how magical their program is, and very deceptive to imply that the average deconditioned new client will achieve the same sort of transformation in a similar amount of time.

You guys know by now that I don't go in for any of that sort of chicanery, so in other words; no new photos until I'm back in shape.