STAYING IN SHAPE
STAYING IN SHAPE
Everybody knows that to stay in shape you have to exercise and go to the gym. In my line of work as a personal trainer and fitness spokes-model losing that shape isn’t really an option!
Recent injury resulted in me undergoing shoulder reconstruction and so proper training was off the cards for what I was told could be anything up to 6 months. As anyone in the industry would, I went into a slight state of panic! This panic was quickly followed by a sense of calm when I took to reminding myself what I often preach to my clients and online followers: “Abs are made in the kitchen, not in the gym”! So with this philosophy in mind I began to hatch a plan to minimise the effects of not being able to train full-throttle, whilst maintaining as decent shape I could. I knew it it was set to be a long and painful process but embarking on a journey like this is centered around expectation, management and patience. I knew I would have to take it slow and things were sure to get (a lot) worse before getting anywhere near (a bit) better.
Training focus was to fall from 5-6 full body weights sessions a week, to 3-4 rehab sessions, some mixed cardio and some light resistance training for my legs. This would be enough to keep me sane and ensure that my shoulder was moving in the right direction in terms of building strength and improving move-ability. The biggest change I made was to my diet with a significant calorie drop, especially from carbs. The drop in intensity for my training meant that the demand for fast energy wasn’t as high, and so my need for excess carbohydrate was limited. This saw me switch from a high protein, moderate carbohydrate, low fat structure to more of a high protein, high fat, low carb approach.
The total drop in calories was approximately 500 a day, enough to keep me in a deficit and not put on excess body fat. I also had to keep my protein and fat levels high enough to not cannibalise too much muscle tissue. Muscle wastage was inevitable. I couldn’t lift my arm for over a month and my entire shoulder began to resemble a bag of bones towards the end of the first phase of rehab. I honestly think that eating both delicious and nutritious food throughout all of this was a major psychological boost! Everyday life was hard enough, from doing everything one handed to being on the gym floor all day unable able to train. The silver lining was my FFF bag awaiting me, packed with the nutrition my body needed day in day out. It was certainly one less thing to worry about!
As my injury got better and my training began to return to normal my diet was changed accordingly. I started to add in some extra carbohydrate in the form of rice cakes and intra-workout supplements, and as I’d hoped for body started to respond. Slow progressions in the gym and I was soon in a place where I could return my focus to fuelling my body for performance. I knew that I had ‘The Olympia’ lingering, followed by a big photo-shoot in the U.S. This was motivation enough, and so I started to dial it in and really hit my diet hard for the 8 weeks leading up to it.
I was eating and training like I was prepping for a show. I had missed that drive, focus and ability during the previous 7 months and so being supported by Fresh Fitness Food with my meals was a God send. My meal prep and nutrition was handled completely by their team, allowing me to focus more on my training, business, family and getting back to where I needed to be mentally. To outsource such an integral part of the process takes an incredible amount of trust, but over the years FFF has demonstrated that they deliver what they say they deliver and have helped me in and out of shape countless times over! With time being the hottest commodity out there, and health being the new wealth, a service like this is worth its weight in gold!
Everybody has set backs and everybody has a way they want to look and feel. With the right plan, dedication and the support of a team like FFF there is no reason why your biggest setback can’t be your best opportunity to shine!