The Evolve Team are all training for our annual photo shoot in six weeks time. We thought it would be fun to share some of our trainers’ training diaries, so you can see how PTs get themselves in shape. Tim Digan’s is here, Lee Bennett’s is here, Max Gingell’s is here, next up it’s the turn of Haikim Medfai.
‘4 weeks from glory’
I’ll begin with an explanation of my philosophy and approach to both training and nutrition as a lifestyle and then focus on how that applies to the next 6 weeks..
Lets go back to the very beginning on how I forged this mentality and why it has been the most sustainable approach for me, an approach that will be familiar to all the clients that train with me. During my decade of weight training I have experimented with pretty much every training protocol, rep/set scheme, muscle group split, and trained anywhere from 3 to 7 sessions a week all with mixed results and each with various pros and cons. The real breakthrough in my journey came when I finally set a long term goal and structured everything else around helping me achieve this goal.
Playing sport and randomly signing up to challenges like the London marathon and constantly trying to cut for holidays put me in a cycle of constant change and perpetual shifting of focus from one goal to the next. Needless to say I felt horrible, burnt out, lost motivation constantly and struggled to maintain both body fat and muscle mass for any extended period of time. Worst of all it left me susceptible to injury (of which I have had pretty much a lifetimes worth already) and illness.
One could summarise that I took advantage of my body being able to withstand an insane amount of abuse and recover relatively quickly during my 20’s and now that I’m approaching 30 I’ve gained experience, knowledge and unfortunately the realisation that I’m no longer as bullet proof as I once was (or thought I was). All this has led to gear my lifestyle and training towards longevity.
The key words when programming training for myself and clients are BALANCE & VARIETY and the same goes for how I develop my nutrition plans. I regularly eat out or have “cheat meals.’ I also drink alcohol and have an unhealthy addiction to wine gums but despite this I have managed to stay sub 12% BF for the last 18 months without having to miss out, have no life or any of the other prevalent misconceptions people have when it comes to training and nutrition.
My go-to for maintenance has been IF or Intermittent Fasting. There is tonnes of information available online about the countless benefits of IF but I’m going to give you the benefits I have experienced without getting too bogged down in the science.
For starters our digestive system is a muscle and just like every other muscle in the body it needs time to recover to perform optimally, giving my guts extended periods of rest has eliminated bloating, fatigue and brain fog. I have found my energy levels more balanced and my concentration and focus vastly improved. Further to this a restricted feeding window is a really easy way to restrict your calories and limit your chances of over eating. I use the standard 16 hours fasted with a 8 hour feeding window. The real beauty of this is you can manipulate the timing of your window to suit your day.
The key adjustment I’ll make to over the next 6 weeks is to track my calories during my feeding window to make sure I’m eating at a small deficit every day.
The other key element to my nutritional approach is that word VARIETY. I try to incorporate up to 15 different veggies weekly and at least 5 different sources of protein. Of course the main reason is making sure I try to get all the vitamins and minerals I can from food sources but also psychologically eating a varied diet makes it feel like less of a diet.
I have found that the best way for me to train is with a full body approach to my weight sessions. Playing football three times a week made a more traditional bodybuilding style split unfeasible, but also I like to condition my body to perform as well as look great.
Like I mentioned earlier I am fully aware that you can be “lean” but feel like shit and I have no desire to train in a way requiring extended monotonous cardio sessions. The result of this of course is I will have a less bodybuilder-like physique than some of the other guys but thats just my personal preference. Over the next six weeks I will be weight training three times a week with some yoga or mobility training on my rest days or pre football. Nothing fancy, nothing over complicated and most importantly nothing unsustainable.
So in summary, training should be a process of continuous progression not a bunch of cobbled together short term programs that change month to month. Remembering that this is a lifestyle change whilst not being a revolutionary concept in itself will revolutionise your results and your life. With my nutrition I manage it with the same simple approach using my little rule of never letting myself be more than four weeks work away from 10% or six pack abs aka GLORY!
Here is an example day:
500ml of water with pink himalayan salt, half a lemon squeezed and a couple of table spoons of ACV
Full body training session (fasted) with BCAA’S intra workout
Shake: vegan protein, colagen, super greens and blueberries
Hour after training
Meal 1 – Turkey meatballs, mixed salad, sweet potato
Meal 2 – White fish or chicken with rice and vegetables
Meal 3 – salmon or red meat with vegetables
To coincide with our big photo shoot push, we are offering 10% off our Six Week Body Transformation program, provided you sign up before December. So if you want to be in the shape of your life by Christmas, click the button below and get in touch!