Andy W. is another strength and intervals success story. A busy financial executive, Andy has made huge changes in his workouts and lifestyle. Like many people, Andy was frustrated by his lack of results prior to finding strength and intervals. But with his new lifestyle, he has converted his body, just like you can.
In addition, Andy has made a huge step towards making a massive career change. Soon, he will be one of the most in-demand trainers in the UK. With my help, Andy has began learning the strength and intervals system to help his clients lose fat and gain muscle with quick, effective workouts.
Here is more of Andy's success story.
CB: Let's start with a little background info, Andy. What were you looking to achieve when you found strength and intervals?
Andy W.: Hi Craig, I am currently working as an Associate Director for a Finance company here on the Isle of Man. It's a fancy title for a job that keeps me stuck at my desk for long hours and brings with it a lot of stress.
I am 35 and have always been relatively active. I make a point of making time to get to the gym 2-3 times a week and as you know I am currently carving out a new career as a fitness consultant in my spare time. I have a keen interest in nutrition because I have been resistance training for 15 years now with little or no results and put a lot of that down to the food I was consuming at the time.
CB: So what are your current thoughts on the importance of nutrition for fat loss?
AW: I see nutrition as playing a major role in getting the results you desire and often tell my personal training clients that they do not put low-grade fuel into their cars so why should they fuel their bodies with low-grade processed foods.
Anyway, I had learnt a lot from my Personal Trainer exams and one error I was making was that my gym sessions were all machine-based exercises. I remember reading an article in Mens Fitness magazine that to achieve the results I craved I should concentrate on free weight and body weight exercises.
Due to the limited amount of time I have to work out I searched the Net for a time efficient resistance-based workout program and luckily for me I came across your website J
CB: What were your pre-training stats?
AW: When I first contacted you for advice on the best workout for me to start on I weighted in at 81kg (that's 178.2 pounds) and 23% body fat. I am 6 foot tall. My waist had crept up to 37 inches!
It was seeing a holiday photo of me looking like a beached whale that suddenly made me realize that I had to take action as I was heading the way of my father and grandfather. Take my word for it, it's not a good look, no offence dad!
CB: What were your workouts before? Why did they not work as well? How have strength and intervals improved upon those workouts?
AW: Prior to strength and intervals my workouts were purely machine-based.
My local gym uses Nautilus machines and the training protocol they market is a total-body machine-based workout 2-3 times a week. It consists of a circuit of 8-12 exercises and you perform 1 set of each exercise and look to perform 8-12 reps of each exercise. The idea is that you move straight on to each exercise with little or no rest between each exercise.
Don't get me wrong, I think that for someone relatively new to training it can be a safe and effective form of exercise and as it can last between 20-25 minutes each session it proves to be popular at the gym.
The problem I found was that because the machines isolate the particular muscle you are working on I would experience a painful shoulder because I was lifting a heavier weight that my smaller muscles such as my rotator cuff could not handle. This would put a spanner in the works for my training because I would have to rest for a couple of weeks until the injury healed L
I felt like I was on a hamster's wheel. I would get better, start training again, move up in my weights and then hurt my shoulder again. I thought at first it was me and that I was destined to stay as I was.
It was only when I started studying that I begin to understand where I was going wrong.
Now with the help of your strength and intervals workouts which are primarily dumbbell and free weight based I know that I am strengthening my total body including all of the smaller muscle groups including my rotator cuff muscles.
I am pleased to say that since commencing with my first strength and intervals workout I have not experienced any injuries and am now lifting more weights than I ever thought I would J
CB: Andy, you have learned the hard way that traditional, machine-based circuits are not appropriate for the masses, despite the popularity of the chain gyms throughout North America.
So which workout did you start with? Did you notice any immediate effects after starting?
AW: When I started I was keen to get my body fat % down and reduce my waistline.
I laugh about it now because when I printed the workouts out I remember thinking the workout looked easy and I would not find it beneficial. How wrong was I?? Phew I soon found that I was eating my words!! The workouts might look easy on paper but they are challenging although nowhere near impossible.
Because I had not been doing any CV work in my workouts for a long time I found that the intervals particularly beneficial. My office is situated on a fairly steep hill and within a couple of weeks I found that I was walking a lot quicker up the hill to work without feeling as breathless as I used to and I still had energy to trot up the stairs!
And that's what I love about the workouts...its suddenly realizing that you are doing certain everyday tasks a lot easier without even thinking about it.
I also love the fact that I have had a GREAT workout without the need for spending 1 ½ - 2 hours in the gym. I lead a busy life and need to get on with things and know that I can still get everything done AND get a workout 3 times a week as well.
CB: How have the workouts helped you? What benefits & results have you achieved? What are your gains and improvements and how do they compare to your before stats?
AW: Continuing on from my previous answer the benefits I have achieved are loads more energy, better concentration levels and no more niggling rotator cuff injuries.
When I started my first workout I weighed in at 81kg (that's 178.2 pounds) and 23% body fat. My waist measured 37 inches.
12 weeks later:
My weight was 73.8kg (162.36 pounds)
A loss of 7.2kg (15.84 pounds)
More importantly I had reduced my waist to 32 ½ inches
And my body fat stood at 16%.
CB: How do you feel in terms of strength and energy?
I am stronger than I have ever been and have bundles of energy. I have not reached my ultimate goal yet which is to get to 12% body fat but I know that I am well on my way and look forward to the journey because I know that workouts make it possible to achieve such a goal.
Craig Ballantyne is a Certified Strength & Conditioning Specialist and writes for Men's Health, Men's Fitness, Maximum Fitness, Muscle and Fitness Hers, and Oxygen magazines. His trademarked Turbulence Training fat loss workouts have been featured multiple times in Mens Fitness and Maximum Fitness magazines and all over the Internet, and have helped thousands of men and women around the world lose fat, gain muscle, and get lean in less than 45 minutes three times per week. For more information on the Turbulence Training workouts that will help you burn fat without long, slow cardio sessions or fancy equipment, visit http://www.TurbulenceTraining.com.