Updated: Feb 10
What were your initial reasons for investing in coaching?
I had been training on and off for a number of years, getting more regular throughout 2017, particularly in the build up to our 2nd son birth where I made good use of not being able to drink by attending the gym a lot! We sold our business in January 2018 which made a twice a week personal trainer less of a budget concern and coupled with the birth of our 2nd son I decided it was time to go on a body transformation program to improve my health.
I was a member at Rotherham Gym Group and there are a number of good trainers down there. I was impressed by Jacobs enthusiasm to treat his training as a business and the professionalism by which he was treating his work. Another key reason for me investing in coaching is that it gives you that little bit extra accountability for your training. I am self motivated but there is nothing like knowing your check in is coming up and not wanted to let the team down by being slack with my diet and training!
I knew that my diet wasn't right and that my balance of cardio/weights was not right but finding the balance, to meet my body shape/lifestyle is tricky when you haven't ever managed it on your own. I knew Jacob could help with this. Finally, I also knew my form at lifting was only average at best. I knew it was better than a lot of people but still not right. Indeed that proved the case and Jacob totally changed the way I lift weights.
What were your expectations from coaching?
What has been most important is that Jacob knew I am on a journey and not looking for a quick fix. I didn't come into this expecting a 6 week beast program where I ate nothing and trained like a mad man every day. I knew this would be unsustainable and I was just as likely to go back into old habits afterwards. So what has been great is the way Jacob has taken me on a journey that has allowed me to change my lifestyle and training habits. Every step of the way he has assessed all aspects of my life (the parts I tell him about!) to ensure my journey is the best possible.
When it comes down to it, there is no magic solution. It requires hard work and Jacob pushes you to achieve your goals. He ensures your diet is right, your resistance training is the right form, your cardio is the right type/amount and that all this is done balanced with your work/family. He is happy to use Whats App at any time (literally, any time!) where I need to ask for a little advice for a given situation.
This has been really useful to support me while travelling away with work or in business social situations, for example, all my trips to USA through 2018. Along with others in his group we climbed Scafell Pike together overcoming challenges and having fun while pushing limits. Ultimately, I have almost stopped thinking of Jacob as my PT and consider him a friend. The money for each month I transfer without hesitation and consider it excellent value. When you consider I used to spend considerably more than what I pay Jacob on Alcohol and crap food then the change in lifestyle has, if anything, seen a net positive to my disposable income throughout 2018.
Did you learn anything throughout your coaching experience?
Throughout 2018 I have learnt a great deal with Jacob but would like to focus on a few key items.
The first is that I learnt how to eat/live healthily. I used to suffer from heart burn and tiredness constantly but that has completely disappeared, primarily due to the fact I have totally transformed my digestive system due to a better diet and appreciate the importance of sleep. My heart rate and blood pressure was bordering on getting high but my RHR is now in the low 50's and "Excellent" for a man my age according to fitbit! I put this not only down to the training regime but more importantly the diet.. put simply... you can't out train a bad diet.
The second is that I have grown my self confidence in my physical appearance dramatically throughout 2018. I have always been a confident person on the outside but very self conscious of my appearance. Whereas I am the last thing from a male model I now have the confidence to document my weight loss and body transformation on Instagram. I post the odd picture up of me onto social media and I think a lot of my friends are shocked at how much I have changed throughout this year. As you start to lose weight and gain muscle it changes your overall appearance dramatically but most importantly it really does give you a confidence boost that can be taken forward for other parts of your life.
Finally, I learnt that whereas in the past I thought I was working hard in the gym I really wasn't working smart. I wasn't doing enough cardio and my diet around the training was significantly impacting me in negative ways. There is too much to say about how Jacob structured my training week on week throughout 2018. However, the important point is that he assesses you every week and makes little changes that ensures what you are doing is perfectly on point for your goals at the time. Every few months he totally shakes up the training regime which keeps it fresh and challenges your body in new and different ways. I would have never thought to have done these types of changes on my own.
What are your goals now?
I have never been great at setting goals. I tend to have long term visions and then work towards them, probably never getting there as when I get close I push for the next thing! However, I have learnt this year to set myself some baby targets. For example, in my weight loss phases I set myself some targets to meet and achieved them. That helped me focus and dedicate myself to meeting the weight loss target. For 2019 my vision is to build on the foundations i have built in 2018. I want to keep cycling bulking with cutting and continue to grow muscle and lose fat. It would be good come March to be in great shape for my 12 month milestone but probably more important is to be in cracking shape going into next summer where I will definitely be having a 2 week holiday away! I am also likely to have a week away in mid spring. I am still in two minds about a photo shoot, I might be tempted to hold fire on that until July 2020 for my 40th birthday.
I guess what I would like to see in 2019 is for my body to start "filling out" a little more. I have a pretty lean shape already with some good 6 pack showing and whereas I am sure I can squeeze even further definition through lower body fat % it would be good to start looking a little bigger. However, I don't want to do that in a silly way and just put weight/fat back on, hence why I am in no major rush and want to ensure I do it properly.
Finally, I really want to continually get better at HIIT. I thought I was relatively fit until I started doing HIIT and now realise I have a long way to go in my fitness levels still.
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