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  1. #1
    Registered User jeffreybungle's Avatar
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    Anybody use the Leangains approach with clients?

    Fasting aside, Its an extremely minimalist approach. Close to 0 Cardio, All centred around big heavy low rep compound moves 40 mins 3 times a week. Most personal trainers I see tend to have their clients doing some wacky circuit, lots of time on some balancing device and then when they pick up the weights it seems to be light, or machines and saying things like "aim for 12-20 reps" not really expressing they need to be struggling to make it, to actually get a sweat on and aim to increase weight each week. Assuming you client wants to get the best they can (aesthetically speaking) as fast as possible. Wouldn't it make sense to take an approach like SS+IF/LG, or even more minimalist/oldschool and then put emphasis on meal timing being a myth, skipping breakfast is no problem, eating more post workout on lifting days and eat deficit on off days/cardio days. Assuming they are average and Injury free.

    Obviously clients vary but, I feel a lot of people would benefit from this way. I wish I had known all this form the start. Its definitely the advise I'll be using on my brother, father and friends.

    Please discuss.
    My PB's (1 rep max calculations) Goals are the oldschool standards relative to my goal bodyweight of 170

    OHP 167 (goal is 170)
    Bench 256 (goal was 255)
    Squat 323 (goal is 340)
    DeadLift 443 (goal was 425)
    Chins BW x 19 (goal was 15)
    Dips BW x 25 (goal was 15)

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  2. #2
    Registered User SFT's Avatar
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    I don't know everything about the LeanGains approach, but I did do intermittent fasting for a short period of time (2 months). I found it to be an easier way to reduce my total caloric intake as opposed to making each meal smaller. To be honest, I could see a lot of people not liking it and ultimately not adhering to it. There is also much debate about what benefits are actually derived from intermittent fasting. I ended up stopping the diet because I switched modes to gaining weight. I'm sure this is possible with intermittent fasting, but I find it hard to eat 2,000 calorie meals multiple times per day. My job does not lend itself to being able to eat every few hours of the 8 hour window.
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  3. #3
    Registered User RevolutionFF's Avatar
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    This is how I train my clients.

    They build a strength base before anything. Strength sticks around for a long time.

    I could improve a clients cardiovascular fitness in a month, easily. But if they go ill, miss a couple of weeks they are back close to square one.

    If their strength base is bigger they can then get more benefit from circuits and conditioning based workouts in the future.

    As for the eating side of things there is no one plan fits all approach. I use a trial and error approach with each client. Almost like a self discovery approach. See what works for them by keeping hunger at bay, recovery between workouts high and energy for workouts high whilst meeting their goals and working alongside, not against, their life.

    It's too easy to fall into the trap of having 'fun' sessions with clients where they are boxing, running through ladders - basically doing a bit of everything. Sure, they are having varied workouts - but in the long run their results will not be as effective as they should be. Educate your client as to why they should be lifting heavy and keep them motivated. Do what they NEED and then mix in some of what they want to enhance their motivation further.
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  4. #4
    Registered User SFT's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by RevolutionFF View Post
    This is how I train my clients.

    They build a strength base before anything. Strength sticks around for a long time.

    I could improve a clients cardiovascular fitness in a month, easily. But if they go ill, miss a couple of weeks they are back close to square one.

    If their strength base is bigger they can then get more benefit from circuits and conditioning based workouts in the future.

    As for the eating side of things there is no one plan fits all approach. I use a trial and error approach with each client. Almost like a self discovery approach. See what works for them by keeping hunger at bay, recovery between workouts high and energy for workouts high whilst meeting their goals and working alongside, not against, their life.

    It's too easy to fall into the trap of having 'fun' sessions with clients where they are boxing, running through ladders - basically doing a bit of everything. Sure, they are having varied workouts - but in the long run their results will not be as effective as they should be. Educate your client as to why they should be lifting heavy and keep them motivated. Do what they NEED and then mix in some of what they want to enhance their motivation further.
    I try to do a bit of both. For instance, during an hour session I would start off with "fun" circuits. Something that varied from day to day to keep things fresh. For instance, one day might be a 20 minute sled circuit. The next session we might do some boxing and medicine balls circuits. I would always devote 20-25 minutes to resistance training that changed less frequently. The exercises would rotate every 4-8 weeks. I found this to work well to balance between keeping things fresh and making progress in strength.

    Now I am thinking about heavily promoting 30 minute sessions instead of the hour sessions. The benefit is that I can still easily offer hour sessions if people want them. In 30 minutes, you realistically only have time for resistance training. My clients would warm-up and cool-down on their own. I think the 30 minute sessions would be a good way to get rid of the "fluff" of personal training. I don't see the point in being paid to take clients through a warm-up or cool-down. They should be able to do this on their own.
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  5. #5
    community gym PT KyleAaron's Avatar
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    No, I am poor at getting compliance with diet issues. It's usually a big deal if I can get them to cut back on the booze and eat a couple of pieces of fruit each day.
    Elite coaching is about getting the last 5% out of a person's performance, personal training is about getting the first 50%.

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  6. #6
    Fitness Anarchist SerpentHearted's Avatar
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    never in a million years.

    Stuff like IF is for dedicated people looking to get that extra x amount of % results from training. They're already committed and believe in their ability to achieve results, and if they choose to try something like IF they're excited about the challenge of it and enthusiastic about finding a way to make it work. The average weight loss client is the opposite of this. My aim with weight loss clients is to get through to them that "if you eat the correct amount, you'll end up at the desired weight". Make it any more complex than that and it's just another reason for people to believe they're not cut out to lose weight.

    for your average obese person who needs to lose 20 or 30kg they just need to eat the right amount overall + train for up to an hour a day.
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  7. #7
    Registered User PeteratCastle's Avatar
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    In response to OP, it all depends on the clients goals. Most, of my, clients are 40-50 year old women who just want to lose a bit of fat. The thing is; they have failed for years to change anything about their life. They have done all the fad diets and nothing has ever worked.
    So the approach I have to take with them is not the "You need to squat loads and skip breakfast!" routine. It simply won't stick with them. Yes it would work from a weightloss perspective but it wouldn't work from a "She'll be able to keep doing this" perspective.

    There is loads to be said for LG, I have been advocating I.F. for years (Was even laughed at, by "senior tutors" during my PT course when I suggested that IF was very effective..I'm thinking all those donkeys might now be peddling "Herbalife" or some **** like that). I will still mention it to my clients.
    I'm not a big fan of a 5:2 split though, I prefer the 14 hr fast (Eat dinner at 7PM and have the next meal at 9AM the following morning) as that's easier for people to stick to. But for my clients I design specific meal plans, everyone is different TBH. You have to take people's lifestyles into account when giving nutrition advice.

    With regards to 0 cardio; Cardio has a MASSIVE place when training middle aged people though and any PT not recommending a bit of cardio should lose their license and never be allowed to work with other people IMO. You need to strengthen people's heart and lung functions. Which age group suffers from Heart attacks? What does squatting do for a stronger heart? (Answer, exactly F.A.) Cardio is a VITAL part of someone's health. I know tonnes of really strong guys, all the muscle in the world, but they can't run for sh*t as their ticker goes haywire. What do you think will happen to these clowns when they're 40 and try another massive squat? (preferably whilst holding their breath so their bloodpressure shoots up) That's right, they'll keel straight over as their heart can't take it. A bit of cardio won't magically stop your muscles growing and anyone who claims differently (a lot of the bro-science bodybuilders) is an idiot.
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  8. #8
    Registered User RevolutionFF's Avatar
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    I don't think there should be an argument here as to cardio vs no cardio. Leangains promotes the fact that you can improve body composition through little cardio and lifing heavy weights coupled with decent eating habits.

    Originally Posted by PeteratCastle View Post
    Cardio is a VITAL part of someone's health. I know tonnes of really strong guys, all the muscle in the world, but they can't run for sh*t as their ticker goes haywire.
    I don't think that anyone will argue with you on the fact that cardio is VITAL. I know that even when I am in great condition through kettlebell training or some form of cross training, that if I start to run after little to no running training I will be hammered very quickly. Running is a different kettle of fish to simply improving CV function.

    A well executed resistance circuit can give someone all the CV benefits they need, should they have the base in place to allow for a high and sustained work rate.

    http://biomedgerontology.oxfordjourn...5/7/B336.short

    What does squatting do for a stronger heart? (Answer, exactly F.A.)
    A lot. It will increase the thickness of the ventricular walls. Cardio increases the size of the ventricular chambers. Both allow for a higher cardiac output, and as such a healthier CV system.

    [QUOTE}What do you think will happen to these clowns when they're 40 and try another massive squat? (preferably whilst holding their breath so their bloodpressure shoots up)[/QUOTE]

    Maybe so for a fairly deconditioned 40 year old, who does not understand the correct way to breath during a heavy set of anything.

    A bit of cardio won't magically stop your muscles growing and anyone who claims differently (a lot of the bro-science bodybuilders) is an idiot
    No it won't. The main thing is that the cardio does not impact your recovery from your strength training, if strength and/or hypertrophy are you main goal. Hammering the HIIT will often leave strength performance lower.
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  9. #9
    Registered User jeffreybungle's Avatar
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    Firstly, thanks a million for all the replies. I definitely wasn't recommending 0 cardio, but putting a lot of emphasis on the heavy compounds.
    I can say from my journey, i first found out about "after burn" which was great, I'd jog to the gym, do Heavy compounds leave, aim to jog back, but usually stroll. I definitely got results. Then whilst attempting to cut and failing through eating too much (i was still gyming 3 times a week) I ended up building lean mass. That massively increased my rate at which I could loose fat. Then finding Lean gains, I seemed to successfully recomp without really counting calories. I now live on lean proteins and Vegetables and loosely follow IF and estimate calories to an extent.

    I'm soon to be living back in the Dominican Republic in a small town, most people come for Surfing, Kitesurfing or Yoga, so are already fitter than the average Joe or Jane but most people still seek to improve their health and Aesthetics. A lot of people come from places where they cant surf/kite etc once home, but the skills they could learn from a few hours In the gym and sound nutrition advice could actually change peoples life even after the holiday Is over. Its still a loose plan as of yet. I'm currently taking online PT training.
    I am Certified with First aid and have many years experience as a Kitesurfing Instructor and I'm now looking into the Idea of offering PT work to clients of mine and my friends to bring in a bit more Cash. I suppose this is the way I'd recommend things to anyone that asked for help assuming average health and no Injuries:

    Diet:

    Essentially. Don't eat when you aren't hungry. (there is nothing wrong with skipping breakfast)
    Educate on the IF approach as an option.
    Avoid Snacks in general. (I would often take hardboiled eggs to work)
    Eat Only Whole foods as much as possible.
    Teach basic calorie estimating, and macro recommendations.
    Brocoli!!! If I had know form the beginning that broccoli and spinach ,calorie per calorie had more protein that steak ,It would have saved some messing about!
    Also Tuna, Cottage cheese, I was lifting for way too long before I realised the protein potential on these!
    Protein! - not just for muscle repair/building, but for satiety!
    Precessed food, white grains, alcohol simply empty Cals!


    And a workout routine like SS/LG Low volume High Intensity. 3 times a week, 40 mins weights & cardio any other time in the week.
    My PB's (1 rep max calculations) Goals are the oldschool standards relative to my goal bodyweight of 170

    OHP 167 (goal is 170)
    Bench 256 (goal was 255)
    Squat 323 (goal is 340)
    DeadLift 443 (goal was 425)
    Chins BW x 19 (goal was 15)
    Dips BW x 25 (goal was 15)

    Charliedurrant.com
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  10. #10
    Registered User pcproffy's Avatar
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    I don't have any bodybuilder clients so I don't treat them like one. Strength is only 1 small part of overall fitness. There's also cardio, core training, flexibility, balance, and coordination. Those last 3 are very important with a continually aging population making up my clientele.

    Cardio>lifting at weight loss. However I'm not going to let someone pay me to watch them on a treadmill. Ideally my clients are doing both.

    What's wacky about a circuit? Why give my client 60 second rest when I can just move them to the next exercise and get more in during our limited 45 minutes. I often run through a circuit, then they get their rest while doing core or coordination work. Repeat. They like the change of pace anyway. Honestly, so much just depends on the gym, how busy it is and what equipment happens to be open.

    IF for a client? Kyle nailed that one. I'm happy to just get some better food choices or portion control.

    PS. Who do you think future potential clients are watching? You counting reps? Or my client doing agility ladders, bouncing on bosu like super mario, and tossing around medicine balls? I turn my gym into a playground for adults. Which client do you think is excited to show up for their workout?
    Last edited by pcproffy; 01-07-2013 at 01:34 PM.
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  11. #11
    Registered User Partyrocking's Avatar
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    If a trainer tried to put me on a Bosu ball, I would never come back.

    To the OP's question, clients typically are bad about their diets/exercise. If they had restraint, discipline, they probably wouldn't need to hire you. The exception to this are athletes and other fitness enthusiasts.

    Given that clients probably won't have the best diet, the best you can do for them is help them burn as many calories as possible during the workout. If you luck out and get clients who will control their food take, then weight training > cardio for fat loss.

    Personally, I found leangains + weights to be key to my success, and you may have luck w/ your own relatives, but I doubt that most clients would adhere. For those who like it, they would likely adhere better than they would with typical dieting techniques.
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  12. #12
    Registered User RevolutionFF's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by pcproffy View Post
    What's wacky about a circuit?

    PS. Who do you think future potential clients are watching? You counting reps? Or my client doing agility ladders, bouncing on bosu like super mario, and tossing around medicine balls? I turn my gym into a playground for adults. Which client do you think is excited to show up for their workout?
    Nothing wacky about circuits at all. Strength circuits are excellent.

    And I understand you have to sell yourself whilst training clients. This is why I left the commercial gyms. Ultimately the way people think they should be trained is not how they need to be trained. That what the biggest lower has given to the personal training field. Bosu balls, agility ladders, boxing etc. Will only get someone so far.

    I like to keep things as simple as possible. I feel the client should be able to replicate the workout by themselves. I don't want them to rely on me.

    Lift heavy. Mix in some anaerobic cardiovascular and some Liss. Watch your diet = results.

    Our job is to get a client complying with what they need for results. Simple as.
    Tired of boring cardio? Want to add a challenge to your workouts?
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  13. #13
    Registered User jeffreybungle's Avatar
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    Wow, this is really taking off. Thanks guys, the input is hugely appreciated. In my situation I can only liken it to teaching kitesurfing. People arrive already fairly healthy, overweight or skinny fat etc but well within the averages. Most of my clients are between 18 and 40 and usually at some pivotal moment in life. Just finished uni, new job, newly wed/divorced etc. Anyways they come to me to learn to kitesurf. They want to become kitesurfers, not learn to dabble in a bit of kite flying (would be an expensive way of doing it thats for sure) It may be a large assumption, but assuming these people want to become Lean and Muscular, not dabble in a bit of gym attire, and get a sweat on; A not strict, but LG influenced approach could be Ideal. I understand that my circumstances aren't average, and even within my client range there will be variations, Injuries etc and so each person needs to have a tailored plan. But what you guys have definitely confirmed to me is that LG as a rough template could well be a respectable route to take. Thanks again.

    Reps to anybody who can point me in the direction of some quality Revision sites for certs or undiluted quality Info/checklists for PT's. Thankyou. Now going to use the search button.
    My PB's (1 rep max calculations) Goals are the oldschool standards relative to my goal bodyweight of 170

    OHP 167 (goal is 170)
    Bench 256 (goal was 255)
    Squat 323 (goal is 340)
    DeadLift 443 (goal was 425)
    Chins BW x 19 (goal was 15)
    Dips BW x 25 (goal was 15)

    Charliedurrant.com
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  14. #14
    Registered User pcproffy's Avatar
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    I would avoid a trainer who doesn't understand the usefulness of a bosu. I provide more to my clients than simply "get stronger".
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    community gym PT KyleAaron's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by pcproffy View Post
    I would avoid a trainer who doesn't understand the usefulness of a bosu. I provide more to my clients than simply "get stronger".
    Bosus were originally designed for rehabilitation of ankle injuries, they're very useful for that.

    Not for much else.

    Strength training will generally have other benefits, too. Balance, co-ordination, improved cardiovascular fitness (from the typical deconditioned baseline), willpower, confidence, and so on. As well, most important is whether the person actually does the routine, they need a feeling of mastery to encourage them to keep going. Strength training offers tangible changes, like another plate on the bar. Pure balance training will generally offer less tangible changes, and the feeling that they're about to fall over will make them feel useless. Rule #1 of coaching is "don't make me look stupid!" Almost everyone feels stupid on a bosu.

    Note that "strength training" does not just mean barbells. Capabilities and goals.
    Last edited by KyleAaron; 01-09-2013 at 05:17 PM.
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    Registered User WoofieNugget's Avatar
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    Originally Posted by pcproffy View Post
    I would avoid a trainer who doesn't understand the usefulness of a bosu. I provide more to my clients than simply "get stronger".
    I would avoid a trainer who doesn't know that whatever you may do to the person, it should be what is appropriate, not what makes them happy.

    Circuits, powerlifting, yoga, leangains, whatever way you use to apply force to someone's body all generally does the same thing. It is the individual that matters and the forces that their body can and should be under in order to achieve the final result.

    This afternoon alone I've had three clients with three completely different workouts (one cardio based, one rehab based, and one strength based). The trainers using the BOSU and doing circuits in my experience are the trainers who think if they do one workout and it's effective for one person, they should do it to everyone. So they repeat the same circuit for every client they have because it is "functional" and that every client will have the same response.

    There is no ideal workout for everyone - there is an ideal workout for your client, but that should be based on what they are capable of and what is absolutely best for their body at that moment considering all of the factors you have to deal with (which is a lot).
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    Originally Posted by SerpentHearted View Post
    never in a million years.

    Stuff like IF is for dedicated people looking to get that extra x amount of % results from training. They're already committed and believe in their ability to achieve results, and if they choose to try something like IF they're excited about the challenge of it and enthusiastic about finding a way to make it work. The average weight loss client is the opposite of this. My aim with weight loss clients is to get through to them that "if you eat the correct amount, you'll end up at the desired weight". Make it any more complex than that and it's just another reason for people to believe they're not cut out to lose weight.

    for your average obese person who needs to lose 20 or 30kg they just need to eat the right amount overall + train for up to an hour a day.

    agreed. I also don't "really" know whether the client has had a history of disordered eating or not, in which case it's a terrible suggestion.

    Personally, I love IF and it's made a real difference in my life but it is not a good introductory fatloss program for most people, they'd be much better offer eating the right foods at the right amounts at first before implementing more specific tools like IF.

    Not to mention that the conversation can sound something like "have you considered not eating breakfast a few days a week?" or "try taking a full day off from eating" and most clients who aren't fitness enthusiasts are going to think you're nuts. It's a hard sell.
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  18. #18
    Registered User ericzimmerman34's Avatar
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    I train my clients for 2-3 months before I really get into heavy lifting. This makes sure their form is great and their various tissues such as ligaments, muscles, tendons, etc can handle it. I think a strength phase is very beneficial but some cardio should be included.
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  19. #19
    Registered User EdgarAllanPoe's Avatar
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    i dont have anyone start out with heavy heavy weights....progression...I would feel irresponsible having someone come in and throw up 80 to 90% of their max in the first few sessions. Thus far none of my clients have sustained any injuries so I feel confident in how I progress things.

    as far as diet, idk what leangains is but I get my clients to log their food online where I can see. I'd say 60% do, 20% occasionally do, and 20% won't log or change the way they eat no matter what. They usually don't last but their already 100% sure that they exercise with a trainer they'll reach their goal and they won't need to alter how they eat.

    Simply get them to reach their cals & macros daily...at least in the ballpark. I think they learn a lot from logging and really see what they're consuming day to day. I don't think I could ever fast in anyway. I eat about 2800 cals a day right now and I feel I could easily enjoy an extra 1000 or so.
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