Tales from the Trainer: Raeni's Story

Posted On Nov 7, 2013 By Tim Arndt, Resistance Training Specialist

Fitness Trainer and Student

Meet my client Raeni.  When I started working with her a couple months ago, she expected that I would put her through some insanely tough, "make you nauseous" workouts to help her lose weight. She was wrong.

Getting in shape

I can understand why she thought that.  It's what she was accustomed to from her previous exercise experiences, and it's what all of us are constantly sold on TV and magazine ads. We are taught that a workout is not effective unless you are bleeding, feel sick and are crawling out of the gym. And if you're not sore for at least 2 days following… well you may as well just have gone ahead and eaten bon bon's instead of working out. That said, with Raeni I took a different approach.

Instead of working her harder and trying to get as many exercises and reps in as possible, I slowed things down… a lot. She started focusing on controlling every single rep of every single exercise with the muscles she is trying to work. She hits heavy weights and rests between sets. She no longer does hours of cardio either.

Don't get me wrong, her workouts are still intense. But they are also very controlled and she recovers rather quickly from them instead of feeling like she has been through a meat grinder for days.

Girl doing Leg Press

A week ago, we made a slight change to her diet and reduced her calories by about 100-200 per day to roughly 1200-1300 calories per day in order to increase her fat loss. The result…Just over 4lbs lost and trimmed 1 1/4 inches off her ab girth! Not only did she lose fat, she got stronger too!

The take home message is more is not always better. If you're lacking results, start with simplifying the process, making small changes to your workouts and nutrition, and allowing time for the results to happen.

"I've learned that a good workout isn't just about how many exercises you do in a certain time frame, it's about efficiently working towards your goal for the day and long term." – Raeni Taylor