3 Common Reactions to #ProjectPaul

It’s funny how people associate ‘serious’ training programmes with what’s considered an unusual way of eating.

School Of Personal Training Posted Aug 06, 2015 Future Fit Training

“Are you eating broccoli for breakfast?”

I’m not sticking to the conventional breakfast, lunch and dinner culture that most of us live by, instead just having 5 complete meals evenly spaced throughout the day. So yes that means I may be eating broccoli for my first meal at 7am, as well as steak and a handful of walnuts. Or perhaps like this morning it’s mackerel, kale and macadamias.

Aside from an increased variety of meat and fish, this isn’t wildly different to what I was doing before however – for a while I’ve appreciated the benefits of a protein and fat-based breakfast.

How do we define ‘unusual’ anyway? When you think about it, what’s actually more natural for the body – protein and vegetables, or refined carbohydrates in the form of processed, sugar-laden cereals?

“You hypocrite - that’s totally against your philosophy of functional training and focusing on moving better instead what you look like”

On the face of it there’s a good point here. I’ve always been an advocate of training to improve your health and performance, with whole-body, integrated exercises. Any aesthetic benefits come as a secondary bonus through the burning of body fat and maintenance or gain of lean muscle, which will happen to a certain extent with any form of training (particularly resistance training), assuming its supported with the right nutrition.

Yet this project is about seeing things from a different perspective. I want to investigate the reality behind the current popularity of ‘body transformations’. I also want to find out how much I can enhance my strength, posture and other health factors (e.g. more efficient digestion and regulated metabolism), whilst primarily building a better physique. Remember health and aesthetics aren’t mutually exclusive – indeed they’re very often intrinsically linked. A slimmer waist due to reduced abdominal fat is a prime example.

The training is much more like traditional bodybuilding than I’m used to – you’d normally find me working with free weights and non-fixed path kit such as dual-adjustable pulleys and cables. Some of my colleagues will be horrified to know I’ve been using resistance machines and performing isolation exercises, but I’m putting my own PT hat to one side for now and seeing things as a client. It’s been a while since I trained in this way and it’s producing results already, which at the end of the day is what it’s all about.

“Why do YOU want to work with a personal trainer?”

As I mentioned in my first blog, this is probably the most common question I’ve been asked. As a PT myself, I know about training and nutrition for body composition improvements, but I want to answer the question ‘how much can I realistically change my physique in 3 months?’

That’s very different to implementing long-term and easily sustainable changes which is the approach I used for most of my PT clients, therefore I need to work with someone who knows more about this specialist goal than me.
Like all good PTs, even my trainer Shaun says he’s still learning but he has become an expert in what I am looking to achieve so I know I can learn from him.

Aside from that, there’s only so far you can get working on your own and I’m keen to find out what it’s like to be the client after many years as the trainer.

So they’re the 3 most frequent comments and questions I get when I tell people what I’m doing, but for me, by far the most thought-provoking reaction is “shouldn’t you be in shape already?” That requires a discussion in itself so look out for that in a separate blog.