Our Client Interview with Nigel
Rather than only publish our opinion and method in producing great results, we are fortunate to have fantastic transformation clients who are happy to be interviewed. Our clients are those who have experienced extremely visible change in body composition and performance in record time. They have ‘walked the walk’ and can speak to their experience as they achieve their targets (and then some). Our goal in publishing blog posts is not to sell you on our service but to extract and serve the best information. It’s always insightful for us to hear what our clients find are the most valuable or unique approaches we take to improved performance.
Nigel completed his 12-week transformation with lazer-like focus. During his time as a transformation client, Nigel also recorded various measures of his performance as he trains for improved triathlon times. He has been kind enough to share his insight below.
Q. With regard to your transformation programme as a whole, what for you was the most surprising aspect and how do you feel this impacted your understanding of your health?
A: “There were many surprising aspects of this programme, as I can say that it was unlike anything I had done before. Although I have lost weight before and was already pretty fit, the effectiveness of this programme was “off the scale.” So to highlight just one most surprising aspect is tricky.
That said, I think most surprising was how becoming more informed about the nutrient and calorie content of food was informative and transformative. It enabled me to take my own decisions on what to eat and eating trade-offs to make. As a consequence, I was both informed enough and was very motivated to eat sensibly. What was the point of not doing that whilst training hard, paying for that training and receiving ongoing advice from Alex, my Personal Trainer? For once, it seemed that “all bases were covered.”
Q. During your programme, you noted your VO2 max increasing significantly. How did you measure this and how did the increase compare with other training methods you’ve used?
A: My VO2 max is measured using my Garmin Forerunner 735XT watch. It was not the precise numbers that I was impressed by (as I’m sure this is only an estimate), but rather that what the measurement was telling me (i.e. VO2 max increased from 44 to 54; apparently the top 1% for my 50-55 age group) seemed intuitive. The numbers were absolutely consistent with how I was feeling and how my running pace improved. Talking of which, I carried on with running (a couple of times a week) that I was doing anyway, my pace coming down from 55mins 10k (at a push) to 45mins only 4 months later!
I feel fitter and healthier than for more than two decades, and that my VO2 max is at least 4 points higher than it’s ever been before over this period is just one indicator of that.
Q. You lost a significant amount of body fat over the Christmas period! Can you recount your progress on the scale and what your feelings are, reflecting on how unexpected/counterintuitive this was (i.e. increased food intake and reduced body weight)?
A: I started my programme on 31st August at 207lbs and by the time my trainer took a couple of weeks holiday on 6th December, I was down to 179lbs. That progression had included a couple of difficult-to-explain upwards ‘blips’ in weight by as much as 6 or 7lbs (I think just one of those things). After each ‘blip’, weight just tumbled off! So, more surprising was the fact that 179lbs was my low-point to date, and then weight just tumbled again. I hit a new best of 168lbs on 23rd December. And this was despite my nutrition target then being a “maintenance target” with more food being consumed than at any point in my programme!
The two key lessons for me:
1) No one should get despondent about upwards moves in weight if they haven’t been caused by simple over-eating. They will be reversed!
2) How effective the gym training was in teaching me what to do in the gym myself, on my own.
I think the structure of the training I did whilst Alex was away was more or less the same as if he had been here, because he had taught me what to do. That said, I will be continuing with the once per week programme in the New Year. Having done the intense 12-week version, I recognise the value of having an independent trainer “on your side”, and of the importance of technique/ position when using gym equipment and the risk of losing that form without continuing to learn and practice. Whilst using gym equipment (away from Embody) independently over that period, I have seen lots of examples of really poor technique!
Q. What was/were the 1 or 2 most valuable insights (you feel everyone should know) that you took from the entire process?
A: That nutrition and training are equally important, complementary components of what for me was primarily a weight loss programme but also a fitness/ physique improvement programme. And that having someone on your side, to ask questions about any aspect of your regime, makes an enormous difference. For the first time I feel confident that this transformation will last. With commitment, it has not seemed too difficult. As long as you’re prepared not to “cheat” (and you don’t need to be a food angel), I am sure that everyone can achieve the same sorts of results as I have.
Thank you for reading.
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