The vision and journey – what it is like to work with me

So, you decide that you’re interested in improving your physique and health.

You “reach out” to me via the links in the site – perhaps not sure of what to expect.
•    Will he try to hard-sell me into some program?
•    Will he try to spin some fitness-babble theory that I have to be on?
•    Does he work with an “out of the box”, “cookie-cut” system?
•    Will I have to be really committed like some athlete? (I just want basic fitness)
•    I’ve seen his photos – I don’t want to be a bodybuilder or to train at that level 
•    Will the training be gruelling and something I hate?
•    If I train at home, do I have enough “equipment” I can use?
•    Will the diet be really strict with stuff I hate and none of the “good” stuff I like?
•    Will I start and then quit a few weeks later?

Well, here are some quick answers to these (possible) questions you may have, and following these I have provided a fairly typical scenario of the experience of being coached by me.

A hard sell?     

•    No! I am looking for those who want to make changes with their physique and health. What matters is your attitude to improving your physical status – to the degree that you want

  • Philosophy: You can take a horse to water….


Fitness-babble  theories?
•    No! I do not subscribe to a particular theory, and I don’t observe paradigms. I have over 40 years experience and research and I combine that knowledge to tailor solutions to everyone I work with

  • Philosophy: we are all different


Cookie-cutter solutions?
•    No! Everything I do is tailored and built for you personally from the ground up. I assess your diet and health factors, understand your goals and preferences, and design everything to suit. It is quite intensive (for me), but provides you with a tailored solution

  • Philosophy: We are different


Do I have to be super committed?
•    Maybe! I don’t expect you to be some raving fitness fanatic. But I would like you to be fully committed to the goals that you define. Note I said “goals YOU define”. I’d also like you to treat with importance any issues we identify as important for your health. I will help you in this area with some advice on various aspects of health and fitness. Often, we find that “we don’t know what it is we don’t know”. So, I help with awareness around aspects that you may not have considered. When you are aware, you can make a choice.

  • Philosophy: “It’s better to work to a realistic goal than not work to a super goal” – “It’s better to actually work to a modest goal than almost work to a super goal” – and – “Don’t work hard to fix a train that is on the wrong track”


Do I have to be bodybuilder material?
•    No! most of the people I coach have no intention of being a bodybuilder or even developing to that level. Most are executives who want to be fit and healthy and to perform better in all areas of life

Resistance training is one of the best forms of exercise as it makes up for the lack of stimulation of our physical and neural structures that our bodies need for general health and wellbeing that modern living has removed from our daily life.

  • Philosophy: Everyone should use resistance training for general health - bodybuilding is an extreme version purely for sport or self-satisfaction


Will I be put through gruelling training?
•    Maybe! It depends what your goals are! But I help you here with the decision, and the level of training can always be changed. You may have your heart initially set on some lofty goals but then decide that the commitment is more than you initially imagined. Goals can be changed. I continually consult with you and, if needed, tailor the plan. It may even be a temporary change that you need, either as a “rest”, or because other matters of life need some attention

  • Philosophy: Efforts must match the goals – but goals are flexible


I have no home equipment - will that hamper me? (home-based training only)
•    Don’t worry about what you don’t have! I have modified my AMP app (during the first Cov lockdown) to cater for any level of home equipment, including “none”! you can use steps or chairs, or bags, cases etc. I have a survey form that you can complete that helps me identify your exercise options for every part of the body. The form only takes a few minutes to complete – it is a multi-choice checklist. From your answers, I can design a program to suit you and your home. Also, I can recommend some economical and bang-for-buck options you can get to make a mini home gym!

  • Philosophy: Make do with what you have – and – There is always a way


Will I be on a strict diet?
•    Maybe! It depends on your goals and priorities. Again, (as with the training), I help you decide. We also look at risk factors you may have and the priority on those (which is your decision) – I will create the awareness and help you decide on the priorities. Obviously, if there is something that we consider is a health risk and you agree and place a high priority on it, the diet will be different to one designed for no health risks or lower priorities to address them. As with the training level, this is also flexible as you may change your mind part way through.

  • Philosophy: horses for courses – and – You can’t fix what you don’t acknowledge

Will he try to put me on loads of supplements?

•    No! I believe primarily in good whole food and a balanced diet - if done properly, you will get most of the nutrients that you need. Many of the training supplements are ineffective at best and some are unhealthy. I often asked by enthusiastic gym members which supplements I recommend. They are often viewing supplements as "the magic bullet". They find progress is slow despite all their hard effort and mistakenly think that they are missing some "secret" answer. Most of the time it is because their foundation is all wrong - their nutrition plan is lacking and their training (muscle stimulation) is poor and so is their program design (stimulation/recovery ratio). These are the basics. Not having these properly structured and focussing on supplements is like not tuning your race car and wondering if using "super-shine" on the paintwork will make it go faster.

  • Philosophy: without the basic fundamentals, the trimmings are useless


Will I stick it out?
•    Maybe, and probably Yes! Quitting a program is a major problem for many people. We start with unrealistic expectations on how quick or easy it will be and our expected commitment. Often, it is lack of knowledge that stops us because we are uncertain (it is hard to commit if you aren’t sure your efforts will be rewarded) or we embark on the wrong program that is not suited to our goals and preferences. In both cases, the lack of results (to meet our expectations) will kill motivation and desire. This is where it is super important to have a program that is effective and tailored for your goals, as well as flexible to adapt with you as you learn more about yourself, as well as possibly change your expectations. I continually review your progress, goals and motivation with you to ensure that the program is adapted to help you with consistency and results that match your expectations and preferences

  • Philosophy: “consistency is key so plan to enable consistency” – and – “At least do something and then use the momentum to refine the course” – and “Action creates knowledge and knowledge enhances action”

 

What it is like training with me

What it is like to work with me – a typical journey

 

Hopefully the previous section answered some important questions for you and you realise that the service I provide is designed around helping you get results! – and this means that it is flexible and tailored to take into account your preferences, growth in knowledge and motivation, as well as changing life circumstances.

 

So, assuming that you start the journey, the following will give you a good idea of what to expect. Again, as I have said many times, be aware that I am very consultative, so the following is not “set in stone” and I use my 40+ years experience of working with people to tailor the experience for you.

 

Reaching out

So you decide to reach out and inquire.

We’ll typically start with a face to face, phone call or zoom meeting. The meeting will be mostly about you. I will use my experience to gain an understanding of your goals, beliefs, concerns and knowledge. I use probing questions to uncover these aspects, and may feed a little education around areas about which you may feel uncertain. I will provide information to help you move forward and start making some decisions and in building a realistic vision.

 

I may also provide some info about my services, or examples of others I have worked with who had similar experiences or needs to yours so you can relate to the likely process and outcomes. Hearing the stories of others can be very educational and empowering.

 

I will definitely answer all your questions in a way that avoids “fitness babble” and paradigms and “out-of-the-box” and is based on evidence-based science. (I have a wealth of scientific papers and articles I can share with you to back up my information.

 

I then may also start a preliminary overview of your current status and an outline of realistic goals. This process is one that many find very helpful because they generally do not know what is possible or realistic. Many find this a very empowering exercise as well as motivating as they suddenly realise that they can achieve some significant physique and heath objectives that will improve their lifestyle.

 

As we wrap up the meeting, we’ll both gauge your interest and determine if you’d like a “sample pack”. I provide a non-committal sample pack to give you a clear insight into the program and my level of experience. This helps you decide if you’d like to then look at the transformation programs I offer.

 

The Process

The Sample trial workout

The sample workout is a great way for you to instantly see the principles of the AMP style of training. We’ll cover the primary focus of resistance training for physique development – and that is to stress the muscle.

You will instantly see the difference between "lifting weights" and "stressing the muscle"

Sample trial workout reports

If the workouts in proper style to stress the muscle are where the rubber meets the road then the reports are your instrument panel for progress.

 

The AMP reports are to YOU what the lap times and instrument panel are to a racing driver.

And if there are issues,  the AMP reports help diagnose and fix the issue.

 

So many people lose so much time and effort when chasing physique development because they do  not have the data to assess their progress!

See later in this page for AMP report examples

The offer and commitment

If you are happy with the trial and sample report and see the value of this style of training, we’ll set up some realistic goals for you.

You can make a start on a positive journey.
As I have stated before, I do not expect everyone to become a physique champion.
My services are all tailored to each person and designed for their goals, preferences, lifestyle, and commitments.


Most people are in a boat that is slowly sinking. The ageing process alone ensures this, but poor diet, stress, chemical pollutants etc all exacerbate the issues.
So, if you are in a boat that is sinking, you need to stop the sinking.

 

This might mean at least a few minor nutrition changes and some exercise that gives powerful results (and note that ab work does NOT count! - do not be fooled by the adverts!)

 

I have several start-up packs and can help you find something that fits your goals and budget
 

Start the Journey

After deciding on a package, we can get the journey under way with the following steps:

 The Assessment, Nutrition and Training plan

The proper foundation is critical for results.

The basis of the foundation that I develop is something that I evolved over many years.

 

I design nutrition plans that are achievable by basing them around your current eating patterns. I assess your current diet and look for factors that are holding you back and will impede your progress and potentially also adversely affect your health in future. I design a plan around the goals that you have and the activity plan that we agree on.

 

The training plan will be designed in a consultative manner, based on your goals and what you can realistically achieve. Based on this I will develop a plan with the right amount of stimulus (loading) and recovery. This may be in the form of whole body workouts, or 2x, 3x, or 4x splits.

 

I will explain the program and why it is designed the way it is.

Both the nutrition and training plans are iterative - we will see how they work for you and if you can sustain them easily (so we check the physical results as well as mental.

In the plans I include weekly or fortnightly target estimates for your weight, body-fat%, body-fat kg and LBW kg. These targets are invaluable as they give you clear guidance on what to expect and a means to measure your progress.

I find also that they are very motivating and help with discipline. It is all to easy with a goal that is 3 or 4 months away to say "I'll just eat this now and I'll get back on the plan tomorrow". Before you know it, you are 2 or 3kg behind schedule and there is no way to catch up. The weekly or fortnightly targets help you be more accountable to yourself.

The targets are oddly also reassuring. I have often coached people with a strong goal, (a wedding for instance) maybe a few months away. They will often stress whether they will meet the goal. Left to their own devices and psychological wanderings, they could easily go too strict on a diet, leading to muscle loss and a host of health issues - and additionally actually looking bad for their big event. Being able to refer to the weekly targets, they can see that everything is working to plan and they will hit their target

Baseline measurements

Getting a baseline is important in order to be able to gauge progress which, in turn, will show if the plan is working - and also serves to fuel motivation as you see the changes happen. It is essentially like the P&L when you take over a business and want to ensure that the strategies you use are working as planned.

  • Anthropometric

These are the simple measurements of your body dimensions.

The most important of these for most people is your waist measurement. The waist measurement is a direct indicator of body fat. Other than that, we may want to see an increase in your chest measurement, or development in the legs, glutes, arms etc. These are goals that we will develop in the planning phase and I will let you know what is realistic.

  • Body fat and Lean Body Weight (LBW)

This is a highly important measurement because it is a true indication of progress. The anthropometric measurements will of course help, but can be deceptive. If you have a fair amount of fat to lose, the fat loss can outpace the muscle gain, so you may initially lose some size on your arms and legs, even though they will start to look better and more lean and/or muscular, depending on your goals. Estimating your fat/LBW is an important measure of progress and I will show you how we can do that accurately

(Note that the fancy options like Dexa, skin-fold, and bioelectrical impedance systems are not really necessary. These systems are generally not very accurate. They can be "out" by 7%, which for a 70kg person means an error of 5kg under/over estimation of fat and therefore 5kg over/under of muscle!)

  • Photos

Photos are a great way for you to see progress. We can initially use them for our analysis of your physique to help you decide on the changes you'd like - and then you can watch them happen! I generally suggest that clients take photos on their own phone. I never use anyone's photo's for promotion without their express permission. Having the photos on your own phone/camera is the only way to ensure your privacy.

  • Muscle Capacity

This is a very important measure and something that you will not have encountered anywhere else (at least not an accurate measurement! The techniques that I use and the AMP app will give you extremely accurate measurement of the "Work Capacity" of your muscles.

As you can imagine, this is an incredibly important measure since it shows you the improvements along the way. You will in fact be able to see the changes weekly - so this becomes more critical than the other measures to show progress as well as motivation! (refer above in the "Sample trial workout report" section). Improvements in the muscle Work Capacity will precede the changes you see physically.

As I have stated;- The AMP reports are to YOU what the lap times and instrument panel are to a racing driver" 

  • Chemical blood analysis (option) 

This is an option if you really want to gauge your health and wellness and check for any underlying conditions or warning signs. If you do this option, we can also incorporate the findings into the nutrition and training plan.

Note, I do not claim to be a doctor or to have expert skills in the area of chemical blood analysis. I have some basic knowledge from assisting a consultant in the area, as well as my own research. But I always recommend that you check the results with your doctor. I may be able to add some further suggestions, noting that the blood report and doctor analysis are typically based on "society norms" for "basic health" and each factor is also often considered in isolation, rather than grouping of factors that all have a bearing on specific health factors.

You can get blood tests via your GP and I can advise what to ask for. If your GP does not agree to your need for blood tests, or the level of testing that I'd suggest, I can direct you to an online service that enables "proactive" testing and tailors test to your needs.

Initial Workouts - Technique, Form, and Empowerment

The initial workouts are designed around:

  • showing you the right form for muscle stimulus (and safety)

  • teaching you the basics of using the AMP app so that you are independent

  • explaining how to interpret the AMP app guidance for the perfect workout and muscle stimulus 

Typical Workouts

Your typical workouts will be guided by the AMP app which takes all the guesswork on your ideal targets and answers your critical questions of "what weights and reps should I be using?"

It goes above and beyond this however by also providing instant feedback and guidance in the session which will inform you (and probably motivate you) as well as raise flags if necessary on any aspects that are "warning signs" that can be checked out later in the reports 

Periodic reviews - Reports, Discussions and Guidance

I provide expert reviews of your training data and progress. These can be included in a plan for a specific frequency of reviews. This means that you will know that I am overseeing your progress and can quickly alert you to issues so you can correct them rather than wasting weeks or months in the gym.

I provide a written report by email with charts and graphs and my comments on the data. I explain what the data means and provide tips and guidance.

You can also structure in periodic zoom meetings to discuss the reports as well as have a Q&A session with me.

Support

I provide support on top of the regular reviews - you can contact me any time via sms or email with any queries. I generally provide a reply within a few hours.

We can also arrange a phone consult if more in depth discussion is needed.

The plans that I have include a level of support in this fashion. Additional support is possible, usually as a trade-in on a prepaid session or report

Progress Reviews - Nutrition, Muscle and Fat

While the AMP reports and the periodic reviews that check your stats and how your are feeling give an instant snapshot of progress, the larger interval reviews confirm the actual progress.

in these reviews as can check the anthropometric measurements as well as body fat estimates (which then indicate LBW)

We can check your actual results against the weekly or fortnightly targets (refer earlier "Nutrition and training plan"

AMP report examples

As mentioned earlier, the AMP reports are your weekly guide that you are progressing and they fill in the vast crevasse of uncertainty that many people have for many months or even a year, uncertain whether they are making progress.

Usually, it is only when people reach their goal of a lower body weight that they can then see if they have gained or lost muscle and if their physique is how they would like it. I had this problem in my early years before I became more scientific in my approach.

 

You can imagine the frustration of competing one year at say, 70kg at 6% body fat (fat 4kg, LBW 66kg) and then dieting down from an off-season weight of 78kg and ending up at 70 kg again. It happens! And it means that you either did not build much muscle in the off-season or you lost muscle in the diet process. 

The AMP reports take the guesswork out of whether you are building muscle.

Here is an example report:

Dashboard

This is the first chart in your AMP portal and gives you a quick indication of your training consistency and volume per week.

The yellow line is the workouts per week and the blue shading is the total volume

You can see below that training days were typically 5 per week with couple of weeks at 4.

Training volume was typically 60,000 - 70,000 kg-reps per week

This data can be very powerful - but is usually what I come back to as a secondary measure

 

Exercise Stats

These are my initial go-to charts.

They give a clear indication of muscle progress.

If there is something wrong here, I then use the other charts as diagnostic tools.

In this chart of "Incline DB Bench Press", we can see  that the general trend is up to the right 

This is good as it means that the muscle is progressively increasing "Work Capacity", hence size

There are some slight dips and this is quite typical - we cannot make great leaps every workout indefinitely.

 

As long as the trend is upward, I am happy with progress.

You can see here also that mousing over a point will show you exactly what you did on the day.

 

Here, we can see: 5 x 10 x 16.5kg, TUT4, R33, Score 36,707

This means: 5 sets of 10 reps per set, with 16.5kg DB, Time Under Tension 4 secs per rep and Rest between sets of 33 secs. The Score is 36,707 - this is the combined effect of the stress on the muscle

created by the volume of work, in the time frame (intensity) and under the stress place on the muscle (weight by time under that load

Bodypart consistency

This is another powerful diagnostic chart

It "rolls" up the total volume on a body part each month from all exercises that hit that body part..

I use it if the exercise scores are not progressing as I'd like - and this chart can show if the body part is being undertrained or overtrained.

Here are a few charts for various body parts

You can see that bicep volume dipped in November, but picked back up.

Calves were slow to get started but then hit decent levels

Delts (shoulders) dropped off in volume for some reason

And Erectors (lower back) were slow to start

This data can be very helpful when referring back to the exercise stats.

They can identify likely issues with the volume and recovery

Session per month are the yellow line and the total volume is in blue

Comparison to targets 

During a workout, you get constant feedback

Each set is displayed with your TUT per rep (so you know whether to speed up or slow down the reps)

The rest is also displayed (between the last sets)

You will get an indication if you are on target or not.

At the end of the exercise, you will get your summary data which is very powerful

Here is an example app screen

And much more

There is alot more that the app and the repots provide to help you.

It is too much to cover in this simple post - I teach the science and user options in the sessions

My coaching is more like a "course" to help you look after your body and to becomme independent

dashboard.png
exercise hf stats chart.png
bodypart consistency.png
exercise app screen eg.png
 
 

More on the planning phase

Assess

Measuring Waist

Plan

Financial Report

Goal

Dartboard Bullseye

Execute

Sport Exercise

Monitor

Desktop

If this process is not followed, you have no idea of what needs to be done, no idea of your ideal outcome, and no idea of whether you are on track.

 

These are explained in more detail below.

Assess
Where are you currently? What is the status of your health? What are the weaknesses and strengths. Are your habits making things worse in some areas?


We look at:
Your measurements – there are simple guidelines for health
Your estimated lean mass and body fat
Your cardiovascular fitness
Your nutrition
Your basic strength / muscle capacity
Your Blood chemistry – are there any warning signs?

The Plan
 

Where do we need to go for all areas above? How will it be measured?
What time and resources do you have available (this step is consultative as most people without fitness training experience do not know what they need to do for various outcomes.

So in this step, I help you identify priorities and provide guidance on what would be required on a weekly basis to achieve “x” in “y” months


Knowing these things, we can determine:

  • Nutrition plan

  • Cardiovascular fitness plan

  • Muscle maintenance and development plan

  • Measurement criteria

  • Weekly and monthly targets expected – ie how we know that it is all working and going in the right direction to meet your goals

  • At the end, the result should be a plan that has realistic goals and realistic investment of time and effort

Execute

 

The next step is to execute the plan.
We start gently, letting the body become accustomed. 
We gradually build your ability to perform at a higher level and accelerate your results.

The ultimate performance level will depend on your goals, but is always flexible and intuitive as you gain more experience

 

Monitoring

During the execution phases we monitor the results to see if the results align to the planned targets and KPI (Key Performance Indicators)


Monitoring is done typically:

Measurement                       Frequency
Weight                                   weekly
Body-fat/lean weight         fortnightly
Body stats                              fortnightly
Muscle performance*         monthly
CV performance                 3-monthly
Blood chemistry                  6-monthly

 

*Muscle performance is assessed via the AMP Reports

See the "AMP report" section for an overview of this unique AI guidance and monitoring system

Goals

What do you want to achieve (and possibly need to achieve)

I often provide guidance in this aspect because I find that many people do not know what is a reasonable goal and often are not aware of health aspects that need to be addressed.

 

For example, it is great if someone overweight wants to develop an athlete’s body and gives me an example of their favourite sports star – but it may be more critical for them to initially focus on some key health aspects.

 

Although striving for an athletic body is compatible with health, to develop a plan without first addressing some health issues can be counterproductive.
 

 
 
 
 
 
 

Next step.....

 
web comp alt2 249059730_422873582549408_6052554403189302063_n.jpg