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  • Writer's pictureWill Foden

What clients are doing to get closer to their health and fitness goals post circuit breaker

Last week we talked about the reasons why many haven't been progressing, so I thought it would be helpful to express what you should be focusing on and what my clients and online guys have in place now to keep them moving forward and what to focus on:

1-They have and follow a plan- don’t just throw shit at the wall. All the guys I work with have a specific reason for doing what they are doing and have an adaptation to follow.  Exercising is easy, but training and adapting takes thought and focus.

2-Respect that it takes time- phases of training are weeks or even months long. Trusting the process, keep the effort high, and tick the sessions off with the plan in mind. Building the body and mind you want is like a business. No one just made a million dollars, graft, determination and a set plan executed over time are the keys to success.

3-Progressive Overload - Most programs at the moment should be focusing on building a larger work capacity and improving a strength basis. Progression doesn't just mean the end result. Rep by rep, set by set, and session by session are all indicators to your success. Are you lifting more, feeling more energized, looking better, feeling mentally sharper? These are all progression markers needed to measure progression.

4- You are what you are NOW- The programs are written for where my clients are NOW, not where they used to be. They may have been able to do whatever last year, but now is the time that counts. This is like anything, the past is the past but looking deeper into this your body is an adaptive organism and responds to what you give it daily and weekly. Over the circuit breaker, many haven't had the weights needed to provide the strength stimulus needed to adapt and improve their overall strength. Take your time, formulate a 8-12 cycle and figure out where you want to be at the end of it. My guys are testing in 4 weeks as this would have given then 8 weeks of being in the gym to get back to some form of normality.

5- We are lowering their calories in the week - Most guys are socializing over the weekend which means high calories and usually alcohol. But if you take 300 kcal’s a day out on your weekdays then on the weekend you will have an extra 1500 in the tank.  This is why tracking is important. We can only manage what we can measure, again putting this into context you know how much cash you have in the bank so why would it be any different on how much you have left to eat before you are out of food for the day?

6- Supplements- most guys I work with are on them. They are not essential but they cover the bases, help with practicality and means they don’t have to think. An omega 3, multi vitamin, creatine and some form of probiotic are the usual go-to.

7- Time in the gym- They are hitting the gym 3+ days a week and if it’s twice they are getting exercise elsewhere. If you want to get stronger or change your body shape you need to be hitting all muscle groups 2-3 times a week.  The reason for this is because you want to stimulate the muscle many times over a weekly period to adapt and grow. Full body splits are more effective if time is at the essence. I would argue you should only lift weights 3/4 days a week and add a conditioning day or 2 in there to improve quickly.

8- Lifting Weights- No one progressed by kicking a band and crunching on a swiss ball. Tonnage means the amount of weight lifted in a session. If you aren’t stressing the system it won’t grow. Isolated exercises for the average gym goer are a sloppy waste of time in my opinion. Your aim is to grow and adapt as fast as possible so this means hitting large muscle groups regularly. Squat, bench, deadlift, press-ups, push a sled, pull-ups should be in every program. Lift big and lift often! 

9- Focus- Keep the main focus the main thing. A man chasing many rabbits will catch none. "Will, I want to get lean and put muscle on, o I also want to run a marathon" Does this sound like you? Building muscle happens when you are in an anabolic state (calorie surplus) which means you will put weight on. Lossing fat or weight means you need to be catabolic (calorie deficit) which means you are breaking down, hence why protein is so important. When you choose a performance goal like a marathon, rugby game, or a fight then your performance is of paramount importance. You can grow muscle and lose body fat but this is where having an effective program comes into play as you can then toy around with moving volumes of training and food around to provide the job that you seek.

10- Faith- I deal with a lot of guys who have not achieved their results in a long time and its my duty and passion to prove them that it's possible. The main trait to people who succeed they have faith in the process, and go ALL in.  Business types usually don't have this problem BUT they struggle to understand the environmental factors that they encounter every day. Stress, malnutrition, alcohol, your boss, your family life will have a HUGE part to play in your physiology. Again with the right metrics, understanding, and precision your goals can be achieved but that's why individualized programming is so important.

Exercising in my eyes is just output. I provide and solve problems with people who have exercised but need to actually train effectively to meet a goal.  It is common to know and understand that we need to eat less and move more to get in shape, but a coach whom I look up to told me this:

"People say that your health and fitness is 20% training and 80%, I'd disagree if you want to function at your best, achieve the body you want and crush your physical goals then training and nutrition are equal"

Knowing what triggers to press at the right time is extremely important to the end goal. Don't fall into the globalized trap of fad diets and poor programming. Reach out, if you need a hand understanding where you are and how to get to where you want to get to ill be more then happy to help.

Stay Strong 

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