Our next Client Spotlight is Elliott’s very own brother-in-law, Bob Downey! Bob as been on a serious weight loss journey in 2019 and it shows. He has lost over 50lbs (and counting) and has been getting stronger every week working with Elliott with Virtual Coaching and Justine for his Nutrition work. There’s no end in sight to this progress so read on about he gets the work DONE!
How long have you been working with your coach (Elliott and Justine)? Why did you start working together?
I started working with Elliott at the beginning of the year and started working with Justine at the beginning of February.
I started this recent weight loss journey on my own in the middle of October of last year. I started out slow mostly walking but quickly pushed myself until one morning during wind sprints I pulled my hamstring. I realized I was not ready to climb this mountain alone. To reach my goals safely I needed someone to guide my exercises so I reached out to Elliott. After our initial conversation Elliott suggested I speak to Justine about my nutrition. Proper nutrition would help me recovery and perform better plus my ultimate goal was to lose about 100-115 lbs of fat, there is no way I could lose that amount of weight from simply exercising.
How has your physique, strength, and/or mindset changed since you started?
Last 15 years I've tried to lose several times and had moderate success in the past. I'd lose 10, 20, 40 lbs but every single time I would eventually fall back into my bad habits. Now, when I eat bad one or two days its not the end of the world or my diet. I can always start new tomorrow. Same with working out. The biggest change is being more consistent over long period of time and allowing the bad days to be few and not derailments.
How many days a week do you exercise?
Working with Elliott we workout four days a week but I'll miss a workout every now and again. I also do supplemental workouts such as long walks and Jui Jitsu. I aim to do something everyday.
Life gets busy and people miss workouts, what's your strategy to stay on track?
I use several methods. First I use guilt, I don't want to waste Elliott's time so sometimes when I don't want to hit a workout I'll guilt myself into it. Sometimes simply reminding myself of my goals pushes me to workout. Now that I have seen success I'll think about how much better I feel physically and mentally and I don't want to go backwards. If I do miss a workout I'll try to do it the next day. If I don't hit a workout that week I don't let it kill me. In the past if I missed a workout I would quit my program all together.
How has addressing your nutrition gotten you further toward your goals?
My nutrition is very important. Its giving me tools to minimize the hungry. In the past I'd set a calorie limit but still ate sub-optimal and still be hungry leading to breaking my diet. Increasing my vegetables consumption minimizes my urges to overeat making losing weight easier.
I have an extremely poor sleep habits, something I am working on, but my schedule and responsibilities (KIDS) limit the amount of hours I can sleep. Good nutrition is even more vital because it helps me with recovery and when I am completely exhausted at the end of the day I don't snack like I used to before working with Justine. My old routine coming home from work was a sugary drink and sugary snacks. That's be eliminated from my life.
On a scale of 1 to 10, how hard do you work during your workouts?
Average is an 8 but it varies throughout the workout and exercise. When I am lifting heavier weights I give it my all, really focusing on improving the movement and moving the weights. Sometimes I'll take long breaks from between sets or workouts. I do not push myself as hard on the auxiliary exercises as the main ones (Dead list, Squat, and Bench) but my breaks are short.
What is your favorite exercise?
Deadlift. I like moving big weights and its an exercise my body does well. My size and limited movement over the past 15 years has put limits on my Squat but we are improving it and making progress. I have not had any issues on Dead lift, It is a confidence booster to pick big weights off the ground and gets me back to the gym.
Also bicep curls.
How does being strong benefit other aspects of your life?
I've always been big and strong so the strength benefits have not been the highlight so far. I have seen some benefit in my Jui Jitsu particularly around grip strength. The biggest difference is my size reduction - buying clothes from anywhere now. I could go to the regular store and buys shirts off the rack. I went to a two story movie theater and my movie was playing on the second floor. I run up the steps without a problem didn't break a sweat or get winded. Before losing weight running upstairs would have been a nightmare. I can cross my legs again which is nice.
The biggest benefit is my jui jitsu. When I was 352 lbs I couldn't do certain movies, now that I am smaller I do them with ease. My flexibility has gone through the roof and my BJJ has gotten much better. My lower wieght puts even more pressure on my opponent when I am on top of them. Before my belly would prevent me from securing a strong position, I am still a big guy but able to move my body in a way to put more pressure on people. Good for me bad for opponents
What’s your #1 piece of advice to someone who wants to make significant fitness progress?
Its a new day. If you had a bad day missed a workout or ate way too much it doesn't mean your program is ruined.
Second piece of advice, stress eating feels great in the moment, I know I did it for a long time, but the feeling I get of losing weight is way better then that awesome sugary snack(s).
TRUEFN: Elliott, what training changes do you think account for Bob’s body composition progress?
Bob has been doing a great job I’m so proud of him. Bob is an all-in kind of person so the challenge was going to be sticking with a plan for the long haul. Bob has stepped up in every way, being consistent with his workouts, and sending me technique videos regularly. His technique has improved markedly over time and it shows in his strength. Getting stronger is fun, and its been great to here all the cool things Bob has been able to do with his body from his Jui Jitsu to long hikes with my nephews. He’s taken his work in the gym and in the kitchen seriously and he deserves every bit of his progress!
TRUEFN: Justine, what nutrition changes do you think account for Bob’s body composition progress?
Bob is a driven and passionate person. He told me from Day One that he wanted to lose weight and would do whatever I told him to do. As a result he took on several habits on at one time and has proved how determined he is about his goals. A combination of lifting weights frequently, increasing overall physical activity, getting adequate vegetables and protein has helped him to get to where he is now. Bob understands that with consistency, he will get results. While nutrition isn't perfect because it isn't, he executes his habits MOST of the time and that's what matters. Bob has lost over 50lbs and is still crushing it! Way to go Bob!