Storm Fitness PT
Here’s a quick progress photo of myself. I feel like I’m 2 thirds of the way through a year and a half journey of really getting in shape. The picture on the left is me in October 2013, at this point i’d been a PT for a number of years I’d always trained hard and regularly, my diet was, as I thought then, spot on, quality of food was everything, as long as it was organic/gluten free/minimal carbs/pesticide free/home grown/grass fed it was pretty much irrelevant how much I had. I had lots of meat and lots of veg, healthy fats and carbs were avoided. I very rarely drank. I would be the really cool guy drinking water and pushing away the pizza and cake at parties. I lifted my weights and did my intense circuits, every workout was a killer and left me in a pool of sweat. I would constantly feel tired and blame early mornings and late working nights. I knew I wasn’t in great shape, so I would always think I needed more time in the gym and more intensity, plus I would become more and more restrictive with my diet, less carbs and treats less often. After taking this photo though I realised something really wasn’t right, I thought I was in ok shape, but I was actually in quite poor shape, I knew I needed to change something, but wasn’t I already doing everything right?
Eventually I did something that is actually quite a big step, I changed my plan, completely. I read a lot of information from Layne Norton, Alan Aragorn, Nick Cheadle and Sohee Lee, who write a lot about flexible dieting, reverse dieting and try to cut through many common diet myths, which made me realise how much “bro science” I’d been buying into. I excepted the fact that maybe everything I thought I knew wasn’t quite that important
So I based my diet around macro numbers and tracked progress based upon the way my weight and skinfold measurements changed week by week, plus a selfie or two helped to show any changes. Everyday I had a target of protein, carbs and fats to eat, I also had to eat a appropriate amount of fibre. As time went by I tried various methods of eating my macros, carb cycling, back loading, majority of carbs intra and post workout, but the most important thing was consistency, hitting the numbers on a regular basis. So I started to worry more about the macros I was consuming rather than the focus on so called higher quality. Now don’t get me wrong I didn’t start eating anything I wanted all the time like a pizza and chocolate, but what I did do is make sure that when I ate “bad” food it was within the confines of how much protein, carbohydrates and fats were right for me. The majority of my diet came from good protein sources, lots of vegetables and quality fats, however I did start eating a lot more rice, sweet potatoes and wheat products. What it also meant was that if I wanted something “bad” I could have it, as long as it hit my numbers. It took so much pressure off me, feelings of guilt were gone if I did have a treat, I could enjoy myself at parties and meals out without worrying about what I could have.
Throughout this process I’ve had to change my view point on many things, the idea of calories not being important if they were from quality sources. The idea of carbs being the work of the devil and too be avoided at all costs. Being smarter with my training, realising that leaving the gym in a pool of sweat isn’t always the right way to train.
I continued with this plan of macro counting until May 25th and this picture shows how far I’d come. I now had a exact idea of how much food I could eat to aid with any goal, bring the macros higher to try and help muscle growth, reduce my macros if I wanted to lose more body fat. Without this time of consistency and checking progress. I would have been simply using guess work when it came to trying to bulk or cut.
The next step for me was to try and gain some muscle I always wanted to be leaner and bigger like most guys, so I decided to spend the rest of the year giving that my all. I also decided to hire a nutrition coach, after consulting with me about my goals, we started at the beginning of June, I was deciding my training sessions and I followed his diet recommendations. This was a great way for me to continue my learning as well as progressing physique wise. I’ll be uploading some more progress pics and a blog about my experiences with this soon.
If you would like advice with your current diet and workout plans you can contact me via e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org, twitter @ballavont, instagram DAVIDBALLPT or facebook David Ball PT.