When a client comes to start training and they ask how long it will take them to lose 10 pounds. It’s not a simple answer. There’s no equation that can tell me how you’re going to do.
Your exercise experience plays a major role in your weight loss.
I was watching a show called “FIT TO FAT TO FIT”. On this show the trainer is paired with someone who needs to lose a significant amount of weight. The trainer then spends 4-months putting on as much weight as they can. They are not allowed to exercise, just follow the lifestyle habits of client.
Once the trainer has put on the weight, they re-join the client and they lose the weight together.
Here’s what happens. The trainer just jumps back into training. Yes it’s harder because they are out of practice, but because they have mental and muscle memory of training really hard, pushing their body outside their limits, they progress much faster then the client.
Sure, the trainer learns the lesson that it’s not easy to lose 60+ pounds, but they still don’t fully get it. The discipline of training isn’t new to them.
Take my 2 clients: I’ll change their names for privacy. Let’s call client one Samir and client two Donna.
Samir is in his early 30s and has played tennis his whole life, he had never done any kind of weight training before, or done any other exercise but Tennis for the majority of his life.
Donna is about to turn 40 and on the other side of the coin, she had never done any kind of athletics. But she had hired personal trainers in the past and worked well with them.
Let’s see how they took to their training programs.
When a new client starts with me I always give them the same workout, so I can assess where they are.
How’d they do:
Samir, complained and struggled through the workout but he completed it.
Donna, worked really hard during her session but was only able to get through half of the workout because I had to constantly correct her technique on every move.
Samir may have found the session hard, because it is new, and he’s using new muscles, but he was still able to mirror exercises as demonstrated and complete them with minimal guidance.
Donna had a clear disconnect with her body. Many times I had to actually put her in the position and move her arms so she could understand it. This was really crazy to me since, she had been working with trainers before but couldn’t do a decent squat and was still doing modified planks.
Both clients have been with me pretty consistently for over 6 -12 months. We’ve had many conversations of what they need to work on, and I understand their personalities and backgrounds better.
Samir loves tennis, it’s his passion and his motivation. So I would relate everything in his training to tennis. Helping him to understand why I have him doing certain workouts and how they would help him with Tennis. He now comes to each session ready to work, doesn’t complain and pushes himself much harder. When he first started he could only do about 6 full push-ups, within a month he was doing up to 20. For him it was the fear, a mental barrier that I had to help him breach.
Donna took a break from training with me but is back. She has continued going to the gym doing the workouts that I gave her. Which was amazing because before she had a hard time dragging herself to the gym. Since she’s been back I noticed that her coordination and understanding of how her body moves has improved greatly. She is much stronger and pushes herself much more. She is still technically a beginner, but she can now do some intermediate moves, and even some advanced at times.
I still train both of these clients. It’s been well over a year for both of them but I just wanted to illustrate how your exposure to athletics and exercise plays a part. In the same year, Samir went from beginner to advanced, while Donna still remains at the beginner level, though stronger and more motivated.
So please don’t judge your progress by watching others. Your rate of progress is yours alone.
When you go to the gym and see someone at a higher or lower level than you. Don’t judge them. You don’t know where they started from.
In the spirit of this article I would like to celebrate some of my clients triumphs and celebrations.
(I will use initials instead of full names)
RS: Congratulations on changing your eating habits and losing 9lbs in 2 weeks!
SS: Congratulations on making changes to your eating habits and supporting your wife when she was ready to make the change.
KS: Congratulations for making your fitness/health a priority and not cancelling any of your sessions this month.
KG: Congratulations for coming back after a long break to challenge yourself, and also encouraging a friend on her journey.
JW: Congratulations on making your fitness a priority and committing to your health. What you do in your 20s will show up in your later years.
LM: Congratulations on letting go of mental barriers and starting to see yourself as a priority.
SF: Congratulations on getting stronger and increasing your flexibility which continuesto create major gains for your fitness!
PV: Congratulations on your increased strength and definition. I can see the gains :-)
I hope those of you reading this understand why they are to be celebrated. It isn’t always about weight loss or looks. Through each obstacle they are still trying and still working. They still believe they can and will be greater.
In Positivity and Encouragement,