Friday, September 6, 2013

Mother's Day Make-over Final Results!

Body Transformation: Laurie Merrill Lost 26 Pounds, 18 Inches, 3 sizes and 9% Bodyfat in 10 weeks!
Let’s go back to Early May 2013. Westford Regency Health Club was going to be running a “Mother’s Day Make-Over” for its’ female Members. All our ladies were eligible and a “winner” would be selected based on their written essay and why they should be selected. We did get a great response and selecting the candidate was more difficult than I anticipated. The winner would receive a training program, 1on1 training sessions and a food plan to help them reach their goals. The program would be 10 weeks and you were required to workout 5-6 times a week with several on your own. We had many worthy candidates and after going back and forth on our final 3 we decided on Laurie Merrill and she turned out to be a great choice!
Laurie is a 33 year old mother of 2 young children. In her essay she explained she had been battling with losing the last twenty pounds that would get her back to her pre-baby weight.  Prior to the contest Laurie had taken that first Major step, joining a Health Club and then working out. After several months of working out 5-6 days a week she wasn’t really losing any weight and really needed the help. And I love when she wrote, “Not only do I want to lose the weight for myself, but I want to be healthy for my family”.

Lesson #1 ---Laurie was definitely getting in better shape by working out on her own.  But did she have a plan? Not really. I love this saying –“If you fail to plan, plan to fail”. Now don’t get me wrong. I think it’s great that folks get to the gym and move. That’s what it’s all about. But if you have a specific goal (and you should) it’s important you have a plan in place. I see too many times people just come to the gym and randomly do exercises and or do JUST CARDIO. If Body-transformation is your goal –this is NOT the way to go!
First Change –You’re going to lift weights and NOT the pink dumbbells. Yes you’re going to lift heavier weights and you’re NOT going to bulk-up ----(ladies it takes a lot to pack on muscle). I wouldn’t have called Laurie a “Cardio Queen” but if anything she may have been doing more “aerobic” activities than resistance training. Again, the science supports this –the best way to change your body and lose bodyfat is resistance training. This means lifting moderate weights and training large muscles like your legs, chest and back and not sitting on a cardio machine reading a magazine!

Laurie’s workout Plan.
The training plan was progressive, so we started out slow and built up off each week’s workouts. I wanted and she wanted to look and feel like an athlete. So we continuously monitored the response to her body and made appropriate changes to the plan to stay on track.  We changed up her routine all the time. It changed continuously as her strength and endurance improved. We started out with 3 full-body workouts a week and 2 steady state cardio sessions (30 min). She also did several Classes we have here at the Regency instead of a cardio session. After a solid month of training we introduced Metabolic circuit training and intervals to the mix.

A week could look like this:
Monday - Fullbody Workout

Tuesday - Cardio 40 minutes

Wednesday - Fullbody Workout

Thursday - Cardio 40 minutes
Friday - Fullbody Workout

Saturday - OFF

Sunday - OFF
 Sample workout:
Circuit #1    Squat & Press 15 reps   DB Row 12 reps   Mt Climber 30sesc    3 sets
Circuit # 2    Rev Lunge 15 reps  Chest Press 12 reps   Squat Jumps 15 reps  3 sets
Circuit #3     Deadlift 10 reps     Triceps Extensions 15 reps    3 sets
Circuit # 4    Jumping Jacks/Good Morning/ Skaters/Burpee  30sec/10sec rest ea.  

Food Plan
Most important change ---FOOD------ Another great quote: “You cannot out-train  a poor diet”. NEVER –(unless you’re 18)………..
Laurie was typical of many mothers. Skipping breakfast and eating off her children’s plates. So we changed all of this –Eating Clean. Laurie already had an understanding of what healthy eating was. She may have been inconsistent with her food plan and wasn’t getting enough protein but she was aware of all this and was willing to make the necessary adjustments. Once we made the change to eating clean I think Laurie was surprised at how much food you can eat with this plan and the pounds were just coming off. As we got closer to the end of the program we cut back on starchy carbs towards the end of the day and increased her vegetable intake –this helped to burn off those last 5 pounds.
  1. Weight training is what really makes a difference. No amount of cardio can do what weights do to your body.
  2. You don’t become big and bulky by lifting weights and you can really sculpt your body with weights.
  3. Eating clean is a lifestyle. It is not a diet. And you can exercise all you want but if you don’t watch your portions, even if what you are eating is totally healthy it eventually gets stored as extra fat.
More from Laurie
Were there any unique challenges or circumstances that made your transformation particularly difficult? The biggest challenge I faced was myself. Being a mom of 2 young boys I had to work around school/playroom schedules and sick children. If I wasn't able to make it to the gym one day, I was sure to work out at home.
How are you currently training, and has your training changed since the completion of your transformation?    I am still working out and using the training program. As well as following the nutrition plan.

Did you allow yourself cheat meals?                                                                                                                 There were a couple instances where I fell off of the nutrition plan when in public situations and had to get creative with what I chose to eat. Because Laurie was losing the 1-2 pounds each week we allowed the once a week higher carb meal ---the Eat Clean Plan encourages a once a week “cheat” meal if it doesn’t trigger a cheat weekend.

What supplements did you use during your transformation?   I took a multivitamin and protein powder for shakes. 

What are your best tips for someone looking to make their own transformation?    Make sure that you are starting this program at a time when you are able to give 100% to it. The more hard work and dedication you put into it the better the results. I thoroughly enjoyed working out and challenging myself.

How do you stay motivated? What advice would you give to someone who’s having trouble staying on track?  It was easy for me to stay motivated. I was not happy and knew I wanted a change. The more I worked out, the more results I saw and it kept me going. My advice to someone else is when you are losing your motivation or are thinking of quitting, just remember what it was that got you to start the program in the first place. For me, it was my kids and wanting to be healthy for them.
What is your life like now that you’ve made a transformation? AMAZING! I have my self-confidence back. I'm fitting into clothes that have been sitting in the back if my closet for years. Not only am I thinner but I'm stronger too! When I started the program I couldn't even do a push up, now I'm in the best shape of my life.
You seem to be motivating a lot of women at the gym lately. I just get really excited and happy when people approach me and tell me that I am motivating to them! I never thought that I would motivate and inspire other people and it’s such a great feeling when people in my gym come up to me and tell me that I do inspire them! It’s fabulous!
Here are some things to remember if you’re ready to take a similar journey:
  • You need to be mentally prepared with how you will handle your accomplished goals, challenges and negativity.  
  • Keep healthy foods around and something with you in the car.  Be prepared and try to keep junk foods out of your home. Especially at the beginning of this process. I know it’s tough with kids. This way you create a no fail situation
  •  Have a small support group, even if it’s just one person.  But that person is someone you can vent to, cry to and share your accomplishments with.  Not everyone will understand why and that is ok.  Just make sure someone does so you can share your joy! Laurie’s husband was fantastic and super-supportive. Without that help it would have been a more difficult journey.
  •  You aren’t in competition with anyone else but yourself. Focus on becoming the best YOU and being happy in your own skin first and foremost! Master that, and everything else will fall into place naturally. That competition with yourself could mean a better time, 1 more pushup……..
  •  Never underestimate the power of eating ENOUGH. Make sure you’re getting enough calories. Never going below 1200. Make sure you get enough food during the day to fuel your body in order to lose that weight!
  •  Set those goals. Give yourself a deadline. Laurie set her goals and I gave her a deadline. It wasn’t done to add pressure. It’s always best mentally to have something you’re striving for.
  •  Consistency is the Key!
 Okay there it is in a nutshell. 10 weeks for a total transformation, both mind and body. Laurie did a fantastic job. She came in with many questions and maybe a lack of confidence. By the end of this she had that confidence back and got in the best shape of her life. As a trainer these are things that make it all worth it. I saw a young woman come to us looking for a change and not knowing the best way to get it done. She got it done in a big way. She is a joy to train and never quit or made any excuses. She followed the plan and never complained when the workouts got tougher. Two young children and working around that schedule. Through sickness, a vacation smack through the middle of summer. There was NO stopping her!  She killed it! Pictures speak for themselves. Laurie you made me proud. Thanks for your hard work and dedication. There’s no stopping you!



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    Anglena Smith

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    Sylvia |