An insight into how Dan curates a fitness programme: Part One

What do you really want? ‘I want to get in shape’ 

A lot of men approach us wanting to get fit and ‘in shape’ so I wanted to share our process to help you get the best results possible.

For me, it’s more important to promote athletic living for overall and holistic health, rather than working out just to look good. Let’s not pretend though, that when you train in an effective and athletic way you will look good and ‘in shape’. However, lets discuss the first hurdle – what does ‘in shape’ mean to you?

Body Goals for Men

The majority of men I work with in my 1-2-1 sessions have 60-90% clarity on what they want to look like. My role as a coach isn’t just to get the desired results for the clients, it’s to help them really determine what results we are aiming for.

Results can be somewhat subjective, as looking ‘in shape, fit or sexy’ can mean different things to different people, and I think that experience and working with a varied clientele base can only really teach you this. Over the years my job and conversations with Hollywood movie producers has given me a deep understanding as to what ‘sexy and attractive’ really means to audiences and the general public. When we hang out too much in gyms we tend to get a distorted view of what looks good, as these spaces (some more than others I admit) tend to promote a mentality where ‘bigger is stronger and better’. That’s fine for some, but for most people a ‘gym body’ isn’t the final goal – a functionally athletic and capable looking body is the real aim. I would argue that most of you reading this want to look like you can run fast, win a fight, surf a wave and rock climb, rather than looking like you can squat 400 pounds.

Hollywood superstar actors tend to dominate our consciousness, for example “I wanna look like Brad Pit in Fight Club” is still something I hear (as being the perfect physique) from lean guys in the 35-45 age bracket. In recent years, as I train younger men in their 20’s, a slightly more muscular look is becoming popular. Actors like Michael B Jordan, You Tubers like Logan Paul, reality TV stars – from Love island, Geordie Shore…literally everyone is more muscular now than back in the 90’s. The modern look is more aesthetic, has low body fat and is muscular (but we are not talking body builder territory!).

The beginning of your journey

Being in shape is fun, it’s empowering and the prices of getting there build character and sends ripples out for the rests of your life. I think more patience, discipline and focus can enrich our lives, and a body transformation will give you just this and much more…I promise.

So below I’m going to share with you how we, as a coaching company approach male body transformation projects. I hope you find these tips useful.

  1. Listen & Collaborate – Listening to clients is key – this might seem like a no brainer and obvious but some trainers assume what the precise goals are and as fitness goals can be subjective a real understanding is needed. For example, if looking good/sexy/ripped is the goal then together we must define what that means exactly to you and more importantly WHY? There is no point having an amazing map with no compass or passion to arrive at the destination.
  2. Assessment– We assess looks, movement, strength, athletic ability, learning style, lifestyle, sleep, stress, nutrition – basically everything that encompasses holistic training. If you’re not assessing…you’re guessing.
  3. Repair & Rebuild– This is in relation to athletic strength, movement and eating foundations. For example, assuming prior training experience, as a trainer I don’t need perfect posterior chain firing patterns, TVA activation, kinaesthetic awareness or even posture to start training properly. I just need it to be good (so around 8/10 perfect) to get going! Getting from a 8-10 to a 10-10 ‘function’ can then be easily achieved through the process of training ‘properly’ and it saves time.
  4. Training– So this is when I start to develop both the clients’ strength and cardio base. In this big phase, 80% of our time is spent doing compound weight lifting movements and a mixture of interval and LSS cardio. You can get stronger and leaner at the same time if you train and eat right, and recover correctly. Getting huge and then cutting is a bit old fashioned and is only really suited to very few people. I want my clients looking amazing all year round.

I hope you’ve found this insight interesting. This is however only the beginning and I will share my final steps in another post, but first I’d love to share this client story with you. One of our recent clients Dimitri went through a 12-week transformation with us. Here is a video of his experience and views. The video gives you a snap shot into the process, and it demonstrates how you can have normal job, work regular hours and get great results in both fitness, athletics, strength and look. This client took no supplements or protein shakes, just an hour of intelligent and intensive training 4- 5 times a week.