For the vast majority of people, a body fat transformation will have fat loss as it’s key goal, so Georgey's transformation was designed to be a combination of reducing energy intake through diet, alongside regular and progressive training; which not only contributed to increasing the energy deficit, but also served to retain essential muscle mass. We began with a workout schedule not too dissimilar to that which Georgey was used to; three full body resistance sessions per week. This allowed her to start to introduce ‘a little’ cardio (in order to assist the energy deficit further) and to adjust to her ‘transformation diet' (read: less wine and popcorn) without being overwhelmed from the get-go.
As the programme progressed, we gradually increased the amount of work Georgey was doing to make sure we were continually giving her body a reason to adapt. We began this progression by adding an additional resistance training session to each week, spreading the work out over four days instead of three, and making each individual session more manageable. This is essential when you've got fewer incoming chocolate buttons to fuel longer workouts. We still trained the full body every session, but to help manage recovery, each day had either a lower body or an upper body emphasis. We then worked up to adding more exercises, sets and reps to each session.
In addition to this, we included ‘easier’ weeks to help manage fatigue, allow for recovery, and to give Georgey time to refocus and get ready for the next few weeks of hard training.
As the journey continued, the training was getting tougher, recovering between sessions was getting tougher, the frequency of 'my legs hurt' days had increased and the multiple social engagements of the festive season was making scheduling a little trickier. We needed a little more flexibility. So, we continued with four days of resistance training but moved to training the upper body and lower body separately. This afforded more flexibility to schedule sessions back to back without them interfering with each other. It also meant there were fewer days where Georgey had to face squats and lunges; a good thing for sore legs and a good thing psychologically. As well as maintaining the resistance training sessions, Georgey had been increasing the frequency and intensity of her cardio sessions, getting in up to four hours per week towards the end of the process.
On the subject of squats and lunges, Georgey’s programme was built around compound movements that emphasised full range of motion through multiple joints, like squats, lunges, glute bridges, pushups and rows. These types of movement not only provide the opportunity to apply the most overload to the body to build muscle, as a bonus, they also happen to burn far more calories than isolation exercises. On top of that they’re efficient, hitting more muscle groups at once, making each workout quicker to complete (and that’s no bad thing when your energy levels have taken a hit from eating less food).
Throughout, we kept a close eye on how Georgey was getting on both psychologically and physically. That way we could make adjustments when needed and keep everything moving in the right direction. Aside from taking regular measurements of how her body was changing, we kept a record of all her training sessions so that we could see whether she was at least maintaining, or in her case increasing (go Georgey!), her repetition strength (the number of reps she could do with a certain weight). This was a pretty good indication Georgey was holding onto muscle despite being in an energy deficit.
In conclusion, effective programming and nutrition guidance is they key to a successful body transformation. You need to keep an eye on the intensity and volume of sessions, as well as making sure that no muscle mass is being lost. When planning a transformation like this you need to have a solid overview of what you’ll be doing for the twelve weeks before you start. This helps you keep the end goal in mind, but also know where you’re headed. Georgey found it really helpful to write down all of her workouts for example, and then cross them off one by one so she could see her progress.
I know we would say this, but to achieve the best results, expert guidance is essential. So for one sales plug: hire us, we are all awesome and invaluable, and if you put in the effort, we’ll get you the results.