Article last updated: December 2017 by Oskar Faarkrog, ISSA Certified Trainer
A lot of people make the mistake to join a personal fitness coaching program with the idea that they have to impress their coach.
This means that when they have a good training and diet streak, they do their weekly progress check-ins.
Once they have a bad week or two, they stop reporting on their progress and “wait” with replying to emails until they can show positive results.
As a coach, it’s frustrating to have a client who doesn’t check-in when results are bad because in many cases it’s not the client’s fault.
It could just be that training and diet strategy I designed for you isn’t right for YOU.
There can be many reasons to why a plan isn’t right for you:
- The diet is unrealistic to stick to because you’re going through a busy time in your life so you don’t have the time to prepare meals.
- You feel intolerable cravings for sugar and starches.
- The training is too difficult for you.
- The diet is too low in Calories and you have intolerable levels of hunger, low energy levels and a low sex drive.
- You don’t respond well to the overall training and diet strategy.
Knowing that everyone responds differently to training and diet and that life often get’s in the way, I never judge my clients for “not working hard enough” or “being weak”.
This kind of coaching mentality only works on professional athletes who want to reach goal Y in X amount of time. Not for regular people with full-time jobs, studies and families.
This is why I want you to check in with me every week, regardless of whether the results are good or bad.
When results are good, I can tell you that you’re on the right track.
When results are bad, I can go in and help you get better results.
By making a few tweaks to your training and diet, I can help you come up with a plan that works MUCH better for you.
A good example of this is Francis that I shared on the SKINNY-FAT TRANSFORMATION blog.
He always thought that he had to cut Calories to lose more body-fat, but the opposite was true. He dieted so hard that his metabolism slowed down.
When we increased his food intake, his metabolism increased and he was able to lose body-fat while gaining strength and muscle mass at the same time… and feeling great on a daily basis rather than being hungry, weak and low on energy.
The end result is the photo below:
Francis got amazing results while feeling great throughout the process because we tweaked his plan until it was just right for him.
The tweaks weren’t huge, but they ended up making a BIG difference.
If he tried to grind out results by himself and didn’t track progress or check in with me every Sunday and give me his BioFeedback reports, I wouldn’t be able to help him move in the right direction.
My hands would be tied because I wouldn’t have any good data or information to make good adjustments.
As a coach, I need you to track your BioFeedback when it happens because you won’t be able to remember how you felt after a certain meal or training session in 2 or 3 weeks.
With my coaching clients, I have them track 14 BioFeedback questions related to training, diet, sleep and stress. Every single day for the first 7 days of their first training program and diet plan.
Here are examples of BioFeedback notes I got from clients:
- “I felt hungry before bed so I couldn’t sleep well.”
- “I felt tired and bloated after eating brown rice and turkey breast for lunch.”
- “Chin ups gave me elbow pain.”
- “I felt unbearable cravings for sugar so I ended up binging on gummy bears yesterday.”
Tracking BioFeedback is time-consuming in the first week but it pays off big time because I will get all the details I need to come up with a plan that works for YOU.
The goal is to come up with a plan that makes you feel good while getting your best results because that’s the only way you can stick to the plan long-term.
Why is feeling great long-term so important?
Because you can only stick to a training program and diet plan long-term if it makes you feel good on a daily basis.
If you’re on a diet plan that gives you intolerable levels of hunger on a daily basis, there’s no way you will stick to that diet plan for the next 5 or 10 years – regardless of how much science and success stories there are behind that diet!
We live in a sedentary world of food abundance.
When a diet makes you feel hungry, it’s just a matter of time before you give in to your cravings because our will-power is limited.
As a result, you won’t be able to stick to a diet plan that makes you feel hungry on a daily basis for 5 or even 10 years.
And when you eventually break the diet that got you the results, you lose your results.
Similarly with training, you won’t be able to maintain a training regimen that takes up too much of your free time, constantly leaves you drained and in “recovery mode”.
Sure, you can do it from time to time, but this is not the type of training that you will do year around.
This is why having a coach evaluate your BioFeedback (how you feel on a daily basis) is the key to find a plan that works for you long-term.
To get results you can keep long-term, you need to learn how to get results while working with your body instead of against it.
In addition to tracking your BioFeedback and progress, it’s important that you play the long game.
After we have dialled in your BioFeedback and base-line plan, it will take 8-12 weeks for the training and diet to kick in and for you to start seeing visible results.
The first 8-12 weeks on your training and diet plan are spent on:
- Maximising your neural adaptations: I.e. making you better at using your existing muscle mass to get stronger instead of building new muscle mass. It’s important to milk your neurological gains before focusing on growing muscle mass because you won’t build much muscle mass while going through your neural adaptations.
- Speeding up your metabolism so you can eat more food while still burning body-fat. This will make your diet more sustainable.
- Maximising your natural testosterone production so you can build muscle mass at a faster rate and recover faster.
All these things are essential because you are resetting your body after years of bad training, diet and lifestyle habits.
By going through this 8-12 week “reset phase” you set yourself up to make much faster gains over the next 1-2 years.
In short: You are investing 8-12 weeks to be able to gain strength and muscle mass at a faster rate and being able to eat more food while still losing body-fat.
The end goal is to be able to:
- Lose body-fat without being on a restrictive diet that leads to intolerable levels of hunger, low energy levels and fatigue. This is done by speeding up your metabolism through strength training and proper dieting.
- Build a lot of muscle mass while staying injury free. This is done by building a solid foundation of strength and maximising your natural testosterone production.
Overall, you are spending 8-12 weeks to set up a solid foundation for years to come.
You can see those 8-12 weeks as the foundation phase because building a physique is similar to building a house.
If you build a solid foundation, building muscle mass and losing body-fat will both become easier and you will be able to keep your results long-term.
A good example of a realistic transformation time-line is Harshit Godha who took 1 year to get into his best shape:
Harshit’s changes were slow and gradual.
He didn’t see massive changes on a monthly basis or in the first 8-12 weeks on the program.
But he did see slight changes every 3-4 months and eventually ended up making a great change over 1 year.
Harshit is a great example of the slow and steady transformation process that 90% of my clients go through and shows why tracking BioFeedback and progress is so essential.
For 90% of you, the transformation process is a long process full of ups and downs, therefore you need to make the training and diet process as enjoyable as possible while still getting results.
The only way I can help you make the process enjoyable while getting results is by having your full trust in your plan and getting your progress reports on a weekly basis.
These enable me to adjust and optimise your plan whenever it’s needed.
If you skip out on the progress and BioFeedback tracking process, I will not be able to make proper adjustments to your training and diet plan and thereby you will miss out on +80% of the value of my Online Transformation Program.
Therefore, if you’re a client on my Online Transformation Program I’d like you to make a commitment right now to:
- Track BioFeedback Daily The First 7 Days: Fill out the 14 BioFeedback questions on how you feel on a daily basis the first 7 days after starting a new program from me.
- Track Your Progress Numbers Weekly: Input your body-measurements and strength stats on key exercises into our shared Google Sheet every Sunday morning.
- Give the training program and diet plan 12 weeks to work: On average my clients need 12 weeks to start seeing results.
By performing these three actions you ensure that you get your best results on my program.
Be proud but stay hungry!
Oskar Faarkrog, ISSA Certified Trainer
PS: If you’re on my Online Transformation Program and you’ve made it to the end of this article, send me an email to let me know. This article is required reading for Online Transformation Program clients therefore I need to make sure that all my clients read it from start to finish before starting the coaching process.