Women, on the other hand, tell me:
1. “I want to get rid of this.”
And then grab their underarms and shake them at me. I love the Macarena as much as the next guy, don’t get me wrong. I also am extremely appreciative that you’d open up to me so quickly about your “problem areas.” I have news for you!
We have to lift weights and lose some fat for you to feel happy about your underarms (triceps). Yes, I will have you working with free-weights and you’ll love it! This is also a pretty simple concept; come in, put in the work, eat the way I say, repeat. I’m here to teach you new exercise habits and get you as strong as you want to be. So when you come in, be prepared to hear the truth. I can’t BS you; all I can do is help you succeed. Now, the time is approaching where you mention to me,
2. “I want to lose 10 pounds.”
10 pounds is the big number. It’s the magic number. If you lost ten pounds, you'd be a whole different person. You could probably find the cure to Dengu fever once that weight is gone.
Ladies, “10” is just a number. A unit of measurement. What does this number really mean though? Here are my conjectures: it’s a nice round number, it’s the number magazines fixate on, it's the first number you reach when you add a second digit, it sounds large enough to say “I’ve lost weight!” but small enough that you don’t think you’re overweight. 10 pounds is the excess. Maybe it stands for letting your trouble slough away. Maybe this 10 pounds is a metaphor for other things you'd like to improve about yourself. I truly do understand these things.
It’s hard for me to get through to you, ladies, when there is a number you’re fixated on, and my skills as a trainer are graded on if you reach that number or not. Do you have 10 weeks to spend with me? Are you going to eat exactly like I tell you? Are you going to work out 4-5 days a week? Well, I know I can reach your goal. It’s just a matter of time.
But let’s say 10 pounds isn’t your goal. What if it’s higher? You perhaps confide in me that,
3. “I want to lose 30 pounds by [insert miracle time frame here].”
It’s difficult for me to discuss this concept with you (and you men as well!) and see some of that excitement leave you once we’ve finished the discussion. I understand the appeal of wanting to put a little bit of sacrifice in now and reap the rewards as quickly as possible. To most, exercise sucks. I get that! That’s one reason why I have a job! I make it exciting. But I also won’t lie to you.
There are very specific parameters that need to be met to watch 30 pounds literally fall off of your body in record time; you’ll need to have a great response to exercise (going from sedentary to active, genetics, lack of soreness, etc), great response to diet change (going from eating thousands of calories of junk, or under-eating on only junk, to constructive diet), to putting in the time in the gym (4-5 sessions a week), and then culminating a deficit of over 3,500 calories.
To summarize: If you’re a 300 pound individual who sits around and eats whole pizzas for snacks and becomes a gym animal who eats 1600 calories a day of all whole food, then yes; you’ll lose 30 pounds in no time. Outside of those very unique categories, you’re most likely going to lose ¾-1 pound a week. If you want to lose 30 pounds (without making a drastic change), the reality is that it’ll take you at least 30 weeks.
No one wants to hear that. It could be from a mixture of things: it’s daunting, it sounds expensive, it won’t happen tomorrow, it’s not temporary, it’s not the cocaine diet.
It’s my passion to help you reach your goals. It’s my job to do it as efficiently and safely as possible. I know what the human body is capable of; I have to teach you all of these things, while teaching you exercise mechanics, and still keeping it challenging enough to promote weight loss.
And I have an hour to do it. Maybe twice a week.
Let’s think about this 30 pounds real quick. I’ll make it as simply as it has to be.
It took you 30 years to gain that weight. You can lose it in 30 weeks. It took you the amount of time it takes to birth a kid, watch him get married, and then have a grandkid, for you to gain 30 pounds. I can help you lose it in less time than it takes to housetrain a puppy. And I cost less than hospital bills and grandchildren.