The Hong Kong Government enforced the closure of all fitness centres, private training studios and gyms from March 28th to May 8th in order to contain the spread of the Coronavirus in Hong Kong. People following personal training programs for weight loss and body composition improvements did not have access to strength training equipment during that time.
At RAW Personal Training, we use strength training for clients seeking weight loss and fat loss. Most of our clients have been working from home due to the Coronavirus. The combination of being less active during the day and being confined to a small space for weeks can lead to fat and weight gain.
At RAW Personal Training in Central Hong Kong, in order to help our clients get leaner in just a few weeks, when our personal trainers design our programs for weight loss, we follow these 5 basic rules:
1) We build our weight loss programs around strength training:
Strength training done at the correct intensity will help you gain muscle and increase your metabolism. This means you will burn more calories 24 hours per day, 7 days per week. Strength training improves movement efficiency, mobility and helps prevent injuries.
Most gym members tend to repeat the same exercises every week for long periods of time. This often leads to strength imbalances, overuse injuries, pain and a lack of progress. At RAW, we start by evaluating our client’s mobility and movement efficiency. We also want to find out how capable they are at performing basic human movements under a fatigued state. A breakdown in movement due to fatigue will lead to injuries.
3) We re-assess our client’s progress on a weekly basis:
As personal trainers, when working with clients whose main goals are weight and fat loss, it can be tempting not to challenge them as much as we should. This may work in the short-term as most people are willing to take the easy way. However, in the long-term clients do not achieve the results they are after and we lose their patronage. In order to avoid this, we measure our fat loss clients on a weekly basis. We adjust their strength training and nutrition programs accordingly. This keeps them on track and it keeps us from becoming complacent.
4) We design our programs around injury rehabilitation, pain management and mobility.
When trainees seek body composition improvements, they tend to ignore previous injuries and movement limitations due to a lack of mobility in specific joints. People will also try to push through the pain caused when performing certain movements with too much external load. This will lead to injuries and stop people in their progression.
At RAW, our number one priority is that our clients stay injury free. When we start with a new client, we assess everyone’s efficiency in the five basic human movements – i.e., squat, split squat, hip hinge, overhead press, and horizontal row. If needed, we re-teach clients how to move efficiently before adding any external load.
We also assess the mobility and stability of all the major joints – i.e., feet, ankles, knees, hips, lumbar and thoracic spine, scapulae and shoulder complex, and neck. If pain, discomfort or tightness presents in any of these joints due to previous injuries, lack of stability, strength or mobility, we focus on these specific joints. Our motto is that we want to isolate and strengthen as needed before integrating into compound movements.
5) We focus on lifestyle and habitual changes instead of implementing extreme and unsustainable methods.
Diets such as extreme calorie restriction, intermittent fasting, ketogenic diets, and cleanses may work in the short term. However, in the long term they often lead to disappointment and they are simply not sustainable.
At RAW, our number one priority is that our client’s energy levels are maximised. We want to optimise our client’s nourishment levels and satisfaction. We focus on educating our clients on nutrition, as there are many myths out there that can be misleading. We want our customers to build a healthy relationship with food. We do not use guilt in order to motivate our clients.
We use a balanced macronutrient approach (carbs, protein, fats) in order to maximise energy levels, level of focus and psychological disposition or positive moods.
Our main goal is for our clients get the most out of each training session while getting closer to reaching their ultimate physical goals.