These are John (Trainer) and Zoe's (WLC Winner) integral cogs in achieving masssive results and lasting change.
Learn about their journey together and use this information for your own journey.
SETTING THE FOUNDATION
Setting realistic goals together as a team is important. The 9 week challenge is about pushing what is realistic, so a stretch goal is ok, as long as you're determined and prepared to put in the extra effort to achieve it. Remember though if you set your goal to high, you could get frustrated with the lack of results which could impact your motivation to continue.
Having a truly compelling why makes the biggest difference. The goal you set no matter how large or small, must mean something to you. For Zoe it was to compete in a certain weight range for powerlifting, and her 9 week weight loss goal would have had her hit that range.
Setting yourself small rewards as you're seeing your progress. Now this doesn't mean food, as we don't want to create a cycle there, however things like clothing, activities, weekends away or a holiday etc. Hitting smaller milestones along the way and being rewarded for them will give you that little bit of extra motivation.
Planning ahead with the next few goals will keep you achieving long term. It's very easy to go all in with the current goal and burn out after achieving it. Setting longer term goal keeps you focussed and creates a positive pattern of achieving goals and will have you striving for more.
Setting smaller milestones within the nine week block definitely helped us track progress and know exactly where we should be every step of the way. It allowed us to adjust whatever we needed and celebrate Zoe's progress weekly. We had weekly targets to hit which made it more manageable and achievable.
THE NUTS AND BOLTS
We had an extremely clear plan that set up our expectations for the challenge and included what cardio and training Zoe needed to complete solo. Zoe committed fully and executed everything we outlined together. Finding a secondary form of cardio that was fun and exciting, outside of the normal environment made it easier for Zoe to stay focussed and enjoy her training.
Zoe was completing an average of 6-7 hours cardio per week and some weeks a little higher at 8. This isn't as high as other on their WLC journeys, however Zoe's daily check-ins ensured we were never falling behind. Zoe would send through the log of her HR monitor to ensure she was hitting the right zones during her cardio sessions and to keep her accountable.
The food plan was done in 3 week blocks and we checked the Food Diary together frequently, and Zoe always had her diary planned in advance. Variety is extremely important in achieving any nutrition goal, and this was definitely the case for us. We planned different foods such as orange juice and bacon and made sure all macros where in order. As the challenge progressed we started to take some of those foods away to a cleaner weekly plan, however Zoe was enjoying every meal she was eating and always had something to look forward to.
Zoe had a camping trip during the challenge however this wasn't an issue for her as her meals were prepared which she took along. Zoe didn't feel as if she was missing out as all her food was something she enjoyed.
We planned that there may be a dip in progress mid way through the challenge. For these two weeks, less than 500 grams was lost. This was the week/s of Zoe's period which for most women means no weight loss or increased fluid and hence being higher on the scales.
We changed the goals for the week accordingly to make up for this small stall in progress. It was extremely vital for us to have our nine weeks broken down in order to make up for this in the most efficient way.
Being in a deficit can lead to lower energy levels. This was something we highlighted and identified to really listen to your body and take your rest days seriously. If it's going to be a sustainable and enjoyable process you need to manage your energy effectively to keep motivation up.
CIRCLE OF INFLUENCE
Zoe is very lucky to have a great support network around her. Zoe got her work mates on board and created a 9 week challenge at work. Everyone committed to their own personal goals, like running, weight loss, push-ups etc which kept morale up and the environment extremely positive.
Having a few side bets to keep things fun was important. For every 1kg of weight the Zoe lost, three of her male colleagues had to eat one hotdog. So at the end of the challenge they all consumed 17 hotdogs each…
Zoe and I had daily contact, we were constant updating each other with daily activities, cardio goals, weight loss, motivation etc. Honesty with each other is extremely important, we were open and able to bounce of each other well.
I learned from my past mistakes that the client does really know their own body better than the trainer. I was there to provide the tools and support however we really went with what Zoe knew would work for her. Once again, having trust in each other.
Zoe knew everything in our weekly report and was updating me before it was time! This meant we were always a step ahead.
Zoe challenged me with my own personal goals seeing as she was doing something massive for herself. This for me wasn't health or fitness related but rather investing more time in my relationships with my family and friends. I think this is great as your goals don't always have to be around this area, it's healthy to have goals in other aspects of your life.
THE NEXT CHALLENGE
From the start one of Zoe's goals was to compete in a Power Lifting Competition. Once again, knowing what works, we have set the goal and marked out our milestones to hit along the way to know how we are tracking and plan to win that competition too!
*Disclaimer: Individual results vary based on agreed goals. Click here for details.