Real life Personal Training Case Studies
Every client who commits to working with will have their diet and training EXPLAINED and set out for them and in attainable, achievable steps. The aim is not think of it as a very steep mountain you have to climb but a consistent path you need to walk on to achieve your goals. As standard practice, I will track and adjust your diet and training each week.
The case studies below highlight some of the scenarios that I typically deal with. These highlight the need for good attitude, consistency and trust. I will be with you every step of the way provided you are too.
Case Study 1: HANNAH- Goal to lose weight for her wedding in 6 weeks
Hannah is a professional with a highly stressful but a low activity job. Majority of her time is spent at her desk at work. She had bought a wedding dress to shrink into and a date as a goal!
Typically, her first question was – How much weight can i lose?
I start by quantifying what is possible for a perfect client and then adjust it to the person standing in front of me. But the short of it is: If you can nail your food day in day out, not miss training sessions, do your cardio when its cardio day and sleep well, you can make quite a change.
You may lose 20lbs during those 6 weeks like a bodybuilding competitor could but it’s more likely to be around 10lbs for a typical client.
(I’ve had a 19lb weight loss in one week from one of my clients who started out with THE most appalling diet. But this was an exception as she actually lived on Mountain Dew!)
It’s critical to keep in mind that it’s not about the pounds you lose but instead about the fat you lose. We will aim for fat loss rather that Muscle+ Fat loss. 1 stone of fat loss looks far superior to 2 stone of Muscle+ Fat loss.
To be honest, I initially tried to dissuade her from training with me since I am not a fan of last minute dieters. However, she impressed me with her attitude and flexibility. We set the goal together to drop 2 dress sizes during the 6 weeks. Like I mentioned, I will match your every step!
Hannah didn’t miss a workout in 6 weeks and often came in 3 times a week even. I usually don’t recommend 3/ week but this was an exceptional case as she was a beginner.
Hannah impressed me with how hard she trained and training hard immediately was necessary. If there are time limits I don’t have the luxury to wheedle, beg, enthuse and cajole the effort out of you! You need to bring it every day, every session.
Hannah did cardio 3 days a week as well as her 2-3 weight training sessions with me. She bought a treadmill and watches boxsets while she uses it.
Even though I could not fault her for her training, her eating habits needed some improvements. She wasn’t as consistent and committed to her food. Her job and lack of planning were huge factors there. Also, she under ate!
In 6 weeks Hannah lost 10lbs and dropped 2 dress sizes. She realised that if she had managed her diet according to my guidelines, her results could have been even better. But, we celebrated the goal we set out to achieve.
Hannah continued training with me and at the 3 month stage has dropped 25lb; however she looks like she’s dropped much more! Her body size and type has simply changed and is still continuing to. Most importantly her face looks great still, with not a hint of gaunt! All this was possible because it was fat that she lost and not Muscle+ Fat.
Hannah is one of my hardest training clients, breaking personal bests weekly, beating existing gym records despite still being very much at the beginning of her journey.
Case Study 2: WAYNE- Goal to be “hench” in 6 months
Wayne came to me because he wanted to lose his drinking belly and bulk up. Even though he had not taken part in any sports recently, he still did have a hard graft job. Reaching his goals wasn’t an overwhelming task but one that does take time and patience.
Wayne sounded very keen about the process even after I explained my methods in detail, but still used the word “hench” frequently during our first session. The induction workout went well and we booked him in for his next workout.
Wayne cancelled his next workout the day he was due to train because he was going to give boxing a “go” with a mate.
This was a typical case of giving up before you have started and personal trainers are not unaware of this. You NEED to stick to some sort of structure and to your goals.
Case Study 3: PENNY- Goal was to start a periodisation programme
Penny was a serious cyclist, extremely fit, but with no experience of training with weights. She had read (correctly) that periodisation was a great way to build muscle, stamina and power.
I explained to Penny that periodisation is an advanced training style that relied heavily on technique being correct and basically you need to know all exercises inside out to get the best results.
Penny was in denial about the intensity of the work required from her but her enthusiasm swayed me to make the best of the situation and try harder as she was one of the more advanced athletes I had the opportunity to train.
Tracking her diet and analysing her habits led me to see that Penny would consistently under fuel herself on her 100 mile cycling jaunts, but retained her body fat around her thighs still.
No amount of convincing from me could driver her to eat more food to fuel these rides and she couldn’t see she was underperforming as a result. She was coming for her training session grossly under recovered.
Usually I tend to increase the weight on the bar each week by a small percentage to determine if the trainee can continue to make progress on a consistent basis. But in her case we were taking steps back!
You are adults and there are only so many ways I can tell you to do something. After 8 weeks of training Penny, it was clear that she wasn’t ready to listen or learn. I suggested she use other means to achieve her goals and wished her luck with her future training.
This “failure” highlights another key element of training- Trust. If you are coming to me, you need to have basic amount of trust that I want to help you achieve your goals. That is MY goal and this is where my years of training will help.
Case Study 4: MICHELLE- Had tried everything!
Michelle is a petite 5 feet 2inches tall and weighed 9.5 stones. She had already lost 2 stone from her third baby, but her weight loss had stalled.
Her initial goal was to train with me for 4 weeks and have me set her a home training routine. She wanted to try another diet alongside this.
I used my own variation of IIFYM (if it fits your macros) and set her diet so that she was obtaining a quarter of her calories from protein.
Michelle took to it like a duck to water, because she decided to take my advice and run with it. She lost 2lbs in the first week and then consistently lost a pound a week there on. Even daily weight fluctuations were rare as were monthly ones. Her food was consistent and so was her weight-loss.
After only 2 workouts, with her fat loss started, she decided to change her initial target of 4 weeks and instead decided to come twice weekly for another 6 months. This led her to 8 stone and abs. She built muscle, looked athletic and shapely and not a hint of gaunt in the face.
Michelle was so motivated that after week 1 she gave me her own diet plan she had developed using my advice regarding the calories, protein, carbs and fats in each of the meals! I still send it to all my new ladies!
Michelle isn’t the most gifted weight lifter or even one of the best I have seen in terms of progress with the weights. But what she brings to the table is determination and attitude. Anyone can be a Michelle if they really want it. Do you?