Orchestrating a Fitness Makeover for Women

Before Biggest Loser, I was part of a made for television fitness makeover for women hosted by VH1 called “Rock Hard Bodies from Flab to Fab” the concept was built around selecting a hand full of women who wanted to get the body that their favorite rock star had. Once the contestants were chosen, our group of fitness pro’s went to work on sculpting these girls over a 12 week period, all of which was filmed.

My responsibility was as to conduct the clinical evaluations and set the stage for the work each girl would do, at what intensity and in what order. I also taught a spinning class for them every Wednesday and evaluated the progress.

It was an interesting experiment for me and like any trainer worth his salt, being a contractor and happy to work I took the job.

The project was chock full of self-professed gurus, from nutritionist, behavior modification specialists, kick boxing experts, Yoga, massage, Hollywood trainers’ and even a Navy Seal and of course me.

The producers were hot on us to create astounding results for the viewers and this pressure had ill effect on the project manager. He elected to cut food intake to bare survival rates and add on the work despite my protests. This incidentally is the time of thinking that goes into these types of shows. Little consideration is offered in respect to the well being or post program rebound, it’s all about ratings and the more drama the better.

If you watch these programs and wish they would pick you, save yourself and pay attention to the advice I am about to offer you for free.

Start at the beginning of your journey not the middle or near the end.

What do I mean by this? Because we are so heavily influenced by what we read and what we see on TV we may approach our project with too much ambition and not enough equipment to carry out the tasks. Don’t let your mind write checks your body can’t cash!

Let me laundry list the things that will get you where you want to go, safely and effectively.

  1. 1.      Consistency will win the day. A little every day in the beginning is better than a lot every now and then. If you get so beat down that you can’t exercise the following day, you are making a big mistake. Your body will adapt to the workloads with time, but your body needs a fighting chance. Don’t worry, with time your workouts will develop into epic fat burning sessions.
  2. 2.      Make big Moves. We are so caught up in the exercises we see in magazines that are guaranteed to sculpt our buns, thighs and abs that we lose sight of the big picture. In order to get to the definition we hope for, we need to move some lard that surrounds the muscle. This is best done by energy hungry exercises that involve the entire body, not by segregating individual parts.
  3. Manage your energy debt carefully. Don’t get caught up in a carb restricting diet or any other trendy diet, they are all designed to give quick results and none of them work over the long road. Any disruption to your metabolic pathways will come back to haunt you. We never write a meal plan until we have conducted a resting metabolic assessment. Every person’s body is unique and energy demands many times will surprise you. If you are wrong about the amount of food you should be eating daily you are sure to fail. Proper feeding is critical to your success.
  4. You can’t just work it off. If you do the math, you will come to realize very quickly how ridiculous it is to assume that by exercising alone you are going to lose 10 pounds per week. That much energy burned through exercise represents 35,000 calories expended in a weeks’ time, good luck with that! An average workout for an average female will expend in the area of 500 calories per hour.
  5. Quick weight loss is a ruse. The body of an average female is made up of 70% water. A high protein diet will cause you to dehydrate and suck this water weight off your frame and lead you to believe your program is a hit. Don’t be fooled the water weight will return and bathe the fat that never left and you will be right back where you started.
  6. Keep a journal. Set up a file with all your pertinent stats; weight, measurements, scantily clad photos and food diary. If it goes in your mouth, record it. How many calories, time of day etc. You should also weigh every meal, and know what the substrate breakdown is in each meal. How many carbs, fat and protein you consumed and what the ratio was of each.
  7. Plan a careful debt. Don’t starve yourself, if you are starving you won’t have the energy to exercise. You won’t sleep well and your cortisol levels will be through the roof! When that happens, your body hangs on to fat. Try to maintain around 500 calorie deficits daily. If you then burn upwards of 500-750 calories exercising you will shed weight at a reasonably aggressive pace without sacrificing muscle.
  8. 8.      Get in a butt load of cardio. Fat burning requires a lot of time spent in an aerobic session. Walk, jog, ride a bike, swim, cross train between these efforts to break it up but do a lot of it.
  9. Don’t try to spot reduce! Hammering on your butt or belly will only give you a sore butt and belly. You have to carve off the fat if you want to see what’s underneath and this means deficit! Isolated exercise does not yield enough debt to create the result you hope for. Stick to big exercises, when your body fat drops to within the range you hoped for, then you can start modeling the muscle with isolated movements.
  10. Give yourself the time it takes to create the body you seek. It did not take you a few weeks to create the body you have now; if you are overweight you didn’t wake up one morning startled that you were fat! It took time, so will the results. It sucks but it’s just the way it works. I have transformed many, many women’s bodies in my day and not one overnight. I can make a significant difference in about 8 weeks but fine tuning and that perfect body takes much longer. The good news is, once you understand what it will take and you commit yourself to task, it will happen.

We take clients for these projects by appointment in our lab, our process is grueling, scientific and effective but it does require dedication, consistency and patience. Ask yourself; is it worth it to you? If so, give us a buzz.

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