Here is another really fast program I better get on it!

So you see the ad, “lose 5 kgs this week!”, “12 weeks to change your body for the rest of your life!” Chants another ‘celebrity’ trainer. We have heard it all before and seen many fads come and go, but they keep coming and yes people keep trying them. It is just one of the funny things about human nature, we want to fix what has taken a long time to break, very quickly, cheaply and easily.

Yes I said cheaply. Have you ever wondered why some so called celebrity trainers offer full 12 week programs for under $200? Because the program was written for them, not always, and once it is written it is doled out to everyone that forks over the cash. Now I have looked at some of these programs and it alarms me that a good trainer would allow a client to only consume 1200 calories a day. To get some sort of reality to that we roughly require 2000 calories per day to merely exist. Add in some exercise and that number increases. So without even exercising someone on this crash course to failure is already 800 calories in deficit, this is why so much weight comes off so quickly in the first few weeks. But there is also some muscle wastage that goes with this, you can’t be that low in a caloric deficit and not have this happen.

So what happens when we lose some muscle? Well you muscle is what drives your metabolism, it burns energy just by existing. So when you lose some of it you are able to burn less energy, hence you need to continue to eat less, but you cannot as you are already so low on calories that any decrease would see you become even weaker and possibly even ill.

So what do you do next? Well like most people I have seen get to their goal weight and think “hooray I’m there!” you start to eat more again. Now this is where the problems begin. All of these programs have one massive, fatal, flaw. They have an end point. Now I know, I know, I can hear you now, “didn’t you do these programs Jim??” Yes I did, and again through my trial and really, really big errors I am able to pass on my knowledge of these programs. They are dangerous in that they encourage a massive caloric reduction, a massive increase in exercise workload over a relatively short amount of time and a really bad mindset of how to go about exercise and nutrition. I became quite addicted to getting in great shape for 12 weeks at a time. I would then go on a bit of a bender food wise and have a week or so off exercise.

So I would begin yo-yoing then and get into the nasty habit of going hard for 3 months and then getting right off track, only to have to do another of these 12 week programs again. Now I am all for setting goals, and including short term 3 month goals. However they should be part of larger goals. The way most of these programs are set up the end goal is 12 weeks. Why you might say, well it takes about 12 weeks for you to really start to see results from any program. If you really adhere and are strict you will see amazing things in 12 weeks. Then you are happy with your results and the person selling it can say they have done their job.

But for me, it does not end there. To give someone a cookie cutter program for 12 weeks and then let them on their way is doing them a huge injustice. In that 12 weeks they can still remember what it was like when they began, they are still in that mindset. They are not ready to be left alone. I know because I was a 12 week challenge junkie, and so now I promise not to let anyone fall for the marketing and gimmicks promoted by some of these short term cookie cutter programs, and usually endorsed by a ‘celebrity’ trainer I might add.

So the next time you look at a $200 12 week program that offers you freedom, the body you want, the lifestyle you are after, the fitness of an athlete, the list goes on. Ask yourself, why didn’t this ‘celebrity’ trainer have success with this program before they were ‘famous’?

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