Back In July, Shabz came in for consultation after seeing the results I’d gotten with a friend of his. He had two very simple goals; to lose 3 stone and trim his waist line. With little training experience and a very busy work schedule, there were a lot of factors we’d need to take in to consideration. Over the course of 6 months Shabz has been able to change his weight and body shape whilst improving several health markers as well. Here’s how we did it.
Point 1: Gut Health
After running my digestive health screening protocol, it was evident that Shabz had some clear gut health issues that were causing stomach distention. I introduced some fibrous green vegetables and digestive supports (HCL & digestive enzymes) but to little avail. Shabz was still suffering from bloating after meals and although he was losing weight, the belly wasn’t shifting.
3 weeks in to training I referred Shabz out to Steve Grant, a gut health specialist based in London. On one of his regular trips to the capital, Shabz had a consultation with Steve where they were able to identify more specific issues and a protocol to rectify the problems.
I had prescribed Shabz with a diet too high in insoluble fibre, causing gut irritation rather than motility. These foods were replaced with slow cooked soluble fibres and a mixture of Magnesium Citrate and Berberine Leaf to increase peristalsis. This worked very well and after a couple of weeks of supplementation we were able to ween Shabz down to a smaller dose of just Magnesium.
From this point onwards, digestion very much became a formality and we did not face any significant issues again.
Point 2: Social Life
As the owner of multiple businesses, Shabz has to entertain by default. This was something that could not be compromised throughout training. Every time Shabz went out to socialise, he would let me know where he was going and what the menu was like. I would then select his meals based on what I’d like him to eat. The majority of the time this was just a protein based dish such as steak and vegetables. It didn’t need to be overly complicated, I just needed to reassure him that his food selection was right.
There were several times when Shabz had family events where there were lots of decadent, dense foods on offer. Sometimes he would decline but other times he’d come in on Monday and say “Yesterday was shit Chris”. Rather than condemn him for his actions, I just asked him to do some cardio at his local gym in the evening. It was as simple as that. Over time Shabz became self sufficient in regards to knowing his own body. He’d go to the gym and do his own steady state programme without having to ask.
Point 3: Stress Management
With executive clients who have extremely busy working schedules, the last thing you want to do is over complicate matters and inundate them with needless information. I wanted things to be as straight forward as possible for Shabz, so he opted for a training package that included all supplements and food prep for during the day. Yes, this is obviously more expensive, but the rewards massively out weigh the investment. Once food is taken care of, the only major factor becomes adherence and diligence. When you invest a lot of money, this happens by default.
One thing that was key with Shabz and I was communication. Whenever I made an adjustment to his diet I would send an explanatory video via What’s App to explain my actions. This wasn’t going on about Insulin or hormones or biochemistry as Shabz had zero interest in that. I was merely stating facts so that he could understand my reasoning behind the alterations, e.g. carbs are down as you over ate at the weekend, protein is up as we’re looking to increase training intensity and lift more weight.
During the entire 6 months, Shabz and I never went more than 24 hours without exchanging texts, even if it was only him ribbing me about United parking the bus again.
Point 4: Nutrition
I don’t really have to go in to too much detail on this one as it was extremely simple. Shabz had neither the time or appetite to eat 6 meals a day. He skipped breakfast, just as it was convenient for him, had a shake whilst training (9am every morning), ate one meal of carbs and protein at around 11/12, then another around 3/4. He’d then have an evening meal which was always had a base of protein and carbs dependant on his daily output.
There were times were Shabz would be in meetings and skip meals or have to settle for the odd sandwich here and there, but such is life. This is just reality and neither of us lost too much sleep over it.
Point 5: Training
Training was very basic. I quickly got an understanding of how Shabz worked and how much I could push him. I opted for mainly dumbbell and machine work as Shabz wasn’t really at a stage where he could execute barbell movements with maximum efficiency. I slowly phased in the safety bar squat but used low loads, lower reps and longer tempos. As we were training 4 times per week, the split was upper, lower, upper, lower though the majority of the programme. This only changed during the last 4 weeks when we changed lower body to once per week in favour of an arms and shoulders session.
There were times when Shabz had some lower back complaints. We dealt with this by sending him to the Frontline in house physio Nas, who was able to get his glutes firing again through some dry needling techniques. I’m under no false pretences that the 4 hours I had a week with Shabz was going to counter act the 8-10 hours of sitting he did a day, but I still insured there was lots of posterior chain work to strengthen underused muscles.
Client feedback: What Shabz had to say:
“I started PT with Chris based on a recommendation from a friend. Having discussed my requirements and goals with Chris at the initial consultation I still didn’t believe what I had set out to do was possible and family/friends had given me a few weeks before I would drop out and back to my old ways of eating.
I will be the first to admit I wasn’t a straight forward client for Chris as I came with some medical issues which even I wasn’t fully aware off but with his knowledge and contacts I was referred to a gut health consultant who diagnosed the issues and my journey was given a kick start that I was looking for in terms of results and changes in my body!
I was constantly discussing food choices whenever I needed to sometimes late in the day dropping quick messages when I decided to eat out with family/friends to get guidance from him on food choices. (Yes I did still have a social life and eating out was a big part of this!)
I will be the first to admit I have slipped up along the way in terms of the diet but always was honest when this happened so it could be corrected for the week after in terms of food/diet.I have been educated and learnt many things on my journey so far from Chris and now have the confidence and knowledge to understand what is clean eating along with consequences of going back in the opposite direction! I have also made many changes along the way and can genuinely say I have no craving for the foods I was eating previously but instead am always thinking about what I will be eating as a meal and why!
In my opinion the key to a good PT is understanding your client, communication ongoing, regular discussions and agreements on what’s the next goal/requirements, using intensity with intelligence and being able to backup the work you have done with results all of which I can honestly say Chris has done with me.
I have said to many people since if I can do it anyone can bearing in mind no training experience, bad diet and as a family member commented to Chris not having drank water for 20 years!”
These results are dramatically different to that of other clients such as Dan Kelly. With Shabz’ lifestyle and work load, eating 6 meals a day and taking an array of supplements wasn’t really sustainable. What you can see here is the product of consistency and hard work in tandem a realistic lifestyle. Shabz was extremely dedicated to his goal and only missed one session in the entire 6 month time frame. Now he is lean, the focus is on building muscle mass whilst getting stronger in the process.
Start weight: 94.2kg
End weight: 73.8kg
Start waist: 39.5″
End waist: 30.2″