To kick off our Dare U Resolute challenge, we would like to highlight our client Ming Zhu. He's had an amazing weight loss transformation and we want to give you an inside look. This... is why Ming was so successful.
Over the course of five months, Ming lost a total of 25 pounds, reduced his body fat from 30% to 18%, and went from 31% muscle mass to 39%. That is a massive transformation. A complete makeover from the cellular level! Through the course of his training Ming also developed a considerable amount of strength, endurance ,and flexibility making him a much better athlete than before. But more than that he gained the confidence that comes from crushing a life long goal.
HOW DID HE DO IT?
There were many reasons for Ming's success, but by far the most important was his consistency. Many people look for the just the right workout or just the right diet, but fail to commit. Ming has stayed dedicated since the start, always making sure to workout at least three times a week and eating a healthy diet.
The workout regimen for Ming developed in phases. The first few months were spent learning form and developing strength and stability. Once those things were established, we began a course of high intensity workouts, combining heavy weights with quick, hard bouts of cardio (sometimes not so quick). There was also lots of time spent on stretching and discussing techniques like meditation and breath work to help his body recover faster.
Similar to the workout program, his diet also developed in stages. First, Ming cut out all processed foods. You know... Doritos, McDonald's, Coke... all those things had to go. Next, he slowly began to cut out processed carbs as well, preparing his body for ketosis, a state in which the body burns fat for energy instead of sugar.
The trick is, not to treat these changes as a short term diet or body hack, but to implement them in a way that it is sustainable for you to be consistent. Going 0-60 by making extreme changes is usually not sustainable. Make one change a week, let your brain and body adjust before you make another change or else you run the risk of burning out. It's a marathon, not a sprint.
Another factor that led to mings amazing transformation is his attitude. Ming always brought 100% of himself to every session and gave it his all on every single repition. That type of effort tends to pay off. No matter how difficult the workout was, Ming hit it head on with positivity and excitement, reaping the benefits of all his hard work.
Ming's positive and upbeat attitude helped to keep his stress low which is exactly what his body needed. Many people struggle with weight loss because their anxiety and stress levels are so high. Stress is connected to weight gain, because a high level of the stress hormones, cortisol, has been shown to increase appetite, drive cravings for “junk” food, and make it so much easier to accumulate belly fat.
Stress makes everything harder! Working out is a balance of accumulating good stress ( the kind that makes you stronger) and offsetting with recovery. Chronically stressed bodies have a very hard time recovering. If your body cannot recover properly, it can't get stronger and lose weight. Stress is hard to deal with but there are ways to combat it. Yoga is my go to recommendation. I understand that it's foreign and boring for many people, but there are ways of getting the benefits of yoga without having to drag yourself to a hot yoga class.
Let me explain. Stress switches on our sympathetic nervous system which is what controls the fight or flight response. Having the sympathetic nervous system active releases adrenaline, cortisol, and a slew of other hormones. Because you're not running from a sabertooth tiger, the release of these hormones triggers an inflamtorry response that irritates everything from our joints to our GI track. Now, this is how yoga works. By focusing on deep breathing, the body AUTOMATICALLY starts to shift into the parasympathetic nervous system which relaxes muscles and begins to revert the affects of the fight or flight response. Couple that with a few deep stretches and you've got the perfect tonic for stress relief.
Ming's transformation didn't happen because of his workout or his diet. It happened because he changed his lifestyle. He stayed positive and consistent until he saw the results he was looking for. He's climbed one mountain, but now he has the drive and ability to conquer much higher peaks.