Be skeptical of any product that claims to be good for solving all manner of problems, rather than a specific one. You know, like you keep seeing on facebook and so on… these miracle pills they’ve made out of some magical fruit only found in some remote and exotic location, with a list of literally every illness and ailment known to mankind which it supposedly cures? It’s a pretty safe bet that a product is an outrageous scam, if it claims to be some kind of “cure all”.
Now, with that out of the way, let’s talk about my Flexible Dieting & Online Coaching Program and I’ll tell you what it has proved useful for, so far.
- Weight Loss.
- Body Sculpting.
- Body Building (male).
- Improved Performance In Sports.
- Eating Disorder Prevention & Recovery.
It’s quite a list, so I wouldn’t blame you for being skeptical.
For those who don’t know about it already, the program is set up online and it consists of a number of different training routines, each of which are customisable to suit each client with a variety of options for each exercise. I happen to work out of perhaps the greatest gym in the world, with virtually unlimited options… but that’s a luxury, not a requirement. The program is set up so that we have options in the event that a certain piece of equipment is unavailable, as well as to suit each client’s level of confidence and ability.
So we have a great and effective training program, and when we match the training program with appropriate fueling we have a system that really can’t fail to produce results. Just like with the training program though, the nutrition side of things needs to be tailored to each client. People have different fueling requirements, different activity levels outside of training, certain foods might be unavailable or just unappealing to them. You can’t just deal out the same “eat it, it’s good for you” meal plan to everyone and expect it to be suitable. A lot of people DO do that, but they shouldn’t.
Let’s just talk about the first four points for now. How can one program deliver results for such a variety of goals?
Well the program is unique, and yet not so unique. The way I’ve grouped the different movements is somewhat unique, then you have the choices of rep ranges and rest durations between sets for the different movements and exercises. The fact that the program is so customisable is certainly quite unique. At the same time though, it is just one example of how a competent and knowledgeable trainer might design a program to produce results.
In designing an effective program, there are certain bases you’ve got to cover. Certain movements that you really do need to include, or you’re left with a much less effective, and unbalanced program. Once those bases are covered and all the most important elements of the program are in place, I can add a choice selection of secondary exercises that complement them. That wasn’t enough for me though. What if it is a more advanced client who has already been training for some time? What if it is a brand new client who’s not as confident or physically just not ready for some of the big moves? I wanted to be prepared for all possibilities as best I could.
So, the program works the way a program should, and it delivers the results that it should. When we talk about weight loss, we want to develop and maintain more lean mass (muscle and bone density) at the expense of body fat stores. When we talk about body sculpting with a female client, we want to develop and maintain lean mass at the expense of body fat stores. When we talk about body building with a male client, we want to develop and maintain lean mass at the expense of body fat stores. That’s what any effective program should be designed with a focus on.
Having developed more muscle mass and strong bones while shedding excess adipose (fat) tissue, doesn’t it also stand to reason that performance in other sports would improve? Especially if this is the first time you’ve also been properly fueled for performance and results, as I find is often the case. Note that this is the distinct opposite to being “on a diet”.
Now, we’ve talked about what makes a program effective in terms of covering the bases with the most important stuff that actually promotes the physiological changes that we’re looking for. As I said earlier, my program is just one of virtually unlimited ways that you might choose to put such a program together. However, you’d be surprised by how rare this actually is amongst exercise programs that you’ll see advertised or freely available online. The vast majority seem only to be concerned with “burning calories”, as if simply expending energy in whatever form of otherwise pointless activity was enough to change your body condition. Others consist only of more elegant or dignified seeming exercises, which will prove entirely inconsequential due to the omission of the important stuff as discussed above.
The other thing.
I have had a few clients come to me already in recovery from a diagnosed eating disorder, so obviously it is critical importance that they do not get involved with a trainer or coach who is just going to send them back where they came from. Others have come to me perhaps realising that the restrictive approaches they’ve had recommended to them are leading them down a bad path to a place they do not want to end up, and they need a change in direction.
When people have an ineffectual training program, matched with restrictive and inappropriate dieting instructions, you can easily imagine what a dangerous combination this is. People are serious about results and are prepared to do what it takes to achieve them, even if they have to suffer to do so. Unfortunately, if you look at a lot of fitness related marketing and “motivational” type stuff on the internet, there’s a clear message that if you are not seeing results it is because you don’t want it bad enough and you’re not prepared to suffer enough.
That is a terrible message.
99 times out of 100, the real problem is with the lack of a structured and effective training problem, and even more to do with not having appropriate nutrition advice. Results from training do not come from restriction of food choices or from restriction of intake in general. It is preposterous to believe that if you “just eat healthy foods” you’ll automatically arrive at suitable total intake for great (or any) results from training, and that if you ever eat “unhealthy” foods you’ll automatically arrive at an excessive intake resulting in fat gain.
Results come from appropriate total intake, and this is best made possible by allowing people to include any foods that they enjoy in amounts conducive to meeting their requirements. By setting appropriate targets and removing any restrictions on food choices, we can ensure great results from an effective training system, while un-learning any disordered ideas about food that we’ve picked up in the past.