‘CARDIO BUNNY’ DROPS FROM 14 TO 3 HOURS OF CARDIO A WEEK TO TRANSFORM HER BODY
Rachael was a self-confessed cardio bunny who used to do 14 hours of cardio and classes every week. She was unhappy with her body shape, lacked energy, was obsessed with the number on the scale – and to top it all off, had a poor relationship with food.
She was fed up with not seeing the desired changes to her body shape, so she decided to break away from her much loved cardio community in a commercial gym and started working with M10 coach, Anthony Barnes with clear body composition goals in mind.
Even through their struggles with Rachael’s ‘my zone’ belt and her fixation on how many calories she was burning, Anthony was persistent in shifting her mindset and building trust around this new way of eating and training. And it paid off, as she achieved this life changing transformation.
Read Rachel’s diary as she shares the highs and lows she experienced throughout the 28 week body transformation process, as well as the life lessons she has learnt along the way.
Rachael said “30th April 2020, the day has finally arrived. After 6 months of training with M10, today was going to be my first photo shoot just in time for my holiday to Mexico. Despite no holiday goal I was determined to continue my journey with the help of my coach Anthony Barnes.
To all my cardio crazed friends out there...
With all this time on my hands during lockdown I took this opportunity to write a blog on my latest fitness journey. My before and after photos are 28 weeks apart, but pictures only represent a tiny part of the journey I have been on over the last 6 months. For all those cardio crazed fitness friends I have out there I wanted to share with you all how the guidance from M10 has helped me achieve goals I never thought were possible. I want to help you with your own fitness goals and what you might want to achieve in the future.
Rewind to 22nd October 2019, I was the heaviest I remember weighing in years, 70.7kg (around 11 stone 2). Those who know me would always say, you have a great body and you train so hard but inside I felt different, I didn’t see what other people thought they saw.
For 5 years I had been following a cardio based training regime day in day out wondering why I was hungry, tired, craving sugary foods and there was never any change in my body shape. I felt like my fitness and eating regime was just one vicious cycle which never gave me the results I always wanted. This is when following a recommendation to visit M10 for a consultation I was assigned my coach, Anthony Barnes.
So, what was I hoping to achieve by joining M10?
- Change my overall body composition whilst becoming stronger and leaner
- Reduce the total number of hours spent doing cardio
- Change my mindset on the quantity versus the quality of training
- Resolve the addiction I had on being reliant on tools such as ‘my zone’ to track the number of calories burnt (cardio giving a high initial calorie burn than any weight training workout completed)
- Have more energy to fuel my workouts
- Improve my body confidence
- Reduce body fat (my personal goal was around 8kg)
- Guidance on eating the right levels of protein, carbs and fats to compliment my training regime
I had to put my trust in a complete stranger...
In order to give this 100%, I had to put my trust into a complete stranger, not just help me with my nutrition and training programme but to change my mind set. Believe me this was not an easy task to crack. I’ve always known I trained too much but this time I was being coached by one of the best and I had to put my trust into the process ready for the next chapter of my fitness journey.
I reduced my cardio from 14 to 3 hours a week....
My new plan entailed 3 cardio sessions and 3 weight training sessions with a day’s rest. For my cardio sessions I kept my favourite sessions at the gym but reduced the number of cardio hours per week from around 12-14 hours to just 3 hours. My initial reaction was ‘oh my, is this really going to work? Surely I can’t actually achieve any of my goals following this?’
It is so hard to put into words how much I have learnt from this experience it really has changed my life. It is impossible for me to keep this short and sweet as there are just so many highs and lows throughout my journey which have really challenged me along the way.
Below is a whistle stop tour through my 28 week journey.
Week 1-5 - trust the process
Everything was a bit scary. I was eating so much food, I had put my scales away and I felt like I had given up so much and couldn’t see any reward. It was too early to judge I had to get my head down and just carry on give it 100% and trust the process.
Week 6 - first wobble
I had my first proper wobble. I remember almost crying in front of Ant as I had given up so much of my social interactions at the gym to focus on this, my gym friends were missing me, I was missing them to but I knew I had to carry on and stick it out.
Week 7 - social event madness!
I hit December. A hen do, a wedding, xmas parties, xmas day celebrations. This was going to be tough. How could I commit to my nutrition plan and still make progress? I also started logging my weight training sessions in a log book. Every training session is recorded in this book. I love tracking my progress and seeing how much stronger I am becoming – this really helped to motivate me and push me to lift that little bit extra or push out those extra few reps.
Week 13 - disaster struck!
Friday 17th Jan. My worst fear was confirmed I was ill. I burst into tears at the thought of not being able to train convinced I would do what I had always done in the past, push through and carry on training. Ant convinced me for to stay at home and rest. By now I trusted him 100% so I followed his guidance despite how hard this was. Those days felt like forever, but Ant contacted me every day and gave me advice to help me recover as quickly as possible. It was a setback, but 4 days later I was back, and I came back fighting at my next PT session.
Week 16 - a new chapter
I started my new job I had a new challenge outside the gym, and I was motivated to succeed in both my work and my fitness goals. I was busy learning my new role, but this kept it easy to stick to both my training and nutrition plans.
Week 19 - this was a game changer week
Ant showed me my weight for the first time. He had taught me weight didn’t matter and it was about how I felt. He decided I was ready to see the scale weight and he wasn’t wrong. I stepped on the scales I was 67kg and I just kind of went ‘oh ok’ I wasn’t fussed as my shape was already changing so did it really matter what that number on the scales was? Later that same week I made the biggest decision in 5 years to stop wearing and measuring my calories in my training sessions with my heart rate belt. I was noticing a change in my body shape every week, I had started feeling confident enough to buy loads of new gym clothes and how many calories I was burning didn’t matter to me anymore. This is when I knew my mind set was really shifting. I was so excited to tell Ant that I didn’t need to wear it anymore, so I decided to give it to him at my next PT to look after indefinitely.
Week 21 - one of my happiest weeks
I jumped on the scales and I’d had my biggest weight loss now weighing the same as my wedding day 4 years ago. I couldn’t believe it, I was training weights 4 times a week, getting leaner, stronger and more confident every session. I was excited to see my end results in 7 weeks’ time just in time for Mexico.
Week 22/23 – Oh shit, Boris announces gyms must close!
My initial reaction was clearly disappointment, but this was short lived, why did this have to stop me achieving my goals? No problem I thought, plan B it is, Team Barnes will get me through this! I agreed to try out virtual PTs with Ant and set up 3 separate workouts to rotate as well as replacing the stair master and cross trainer for alternative cardio. Yes, the running trainers were back on and although I was nervous to get back into running, I had a totally different mindset. I didn’t feel the need to run as fast as possible or run further than I needed to.
Week 25 – Time to agree the final plan of attack.
Just because my holiday was cancelled, I still wanted to work towards a goal. ‘Right Rach, one final push’ Ant suggested. ‘Let’s plan as if you are having your photos and going on that holiday’. Ok I thought, let’s do this!
Week 27 – Carb refeed excitement
I was so excited for this. For years and years, I had always seen these foods as the devil and opted for a high protein diet but now I could eat home made pizza, crumpets and jam, coco pops and bagels, OMG!! I really enjoyed this part of my programme and it has helped me realise I shouldn’t feel guilty to eat carbs in future.
Week 28 – Photo week
So here we have it! I now weigh 64kg and I feel amazing! Ant was taking my body fat measurements every week (whilst we were in the gym) and I would be interested to know what they are now! Prepping for my photos was a great experience and I’m really pleased with the results despite having to pester my husband to take what felt like hundreds of photos!
Reflection and thank yous
I would like to say a massive thank you to Ant, the support you have from the M10 coaches is beyond anything I imagined. From celebrating the highs and picking you up from the lows, Ant was always there. The coaches don’t work a typical 8-9 hour day like most of us they don’t just switch off at 5pm and go home. It’s a joint commitment and effort for the entire program. Ant was always available at the end of a WhatsApp message 7 days a week, offering advice and checking in on my progress.
What have I learnt?
- Patience and consistency are key to your success. Your body shape and mind set take time to adjust.
- I have some amazing friends and husband. Despite me saying ‘no, I’m not drinking tonight’, ‘no, I’m not going out for dinner, ‘no, I’m not going to tabata today as I’m doing my weight training’ they stuck by me and didn’t judge me
- Only those who commit and make this a priority will succeed, you must give it 100%
- Doing endless amounts of cardio will not change your body shape
- It’s okay to have a rest day!
- I don’t need to wear a heart rate monitor to know I am giving 100% to my workouts
- Carbs are not the devil
- I love strength training more than I ever thought I would
- My favourite exercise is DB RDLs – get me back in that gym to get those 27.5kg DBs out again!
- I actually miss the stair master!
On to the next phase....
This is just the beginning for me. I want to continue my journey working with M10 and Ant. We will work together on improving my strength and building muscle mass. I would love to do a professional photo shoot and maybe that is next year’s goal. For now I am going to look back and be proud of what I have achieved, relax my training (just a little), enjoy some nice high carb dinners, a few gin and tonics and I’m ready to enter phase 2 of my journey as soon as the gyms reopen, watch this space!!"
A few words from M10 coach Anthony....
“The initial priority with Rach was always health. After years of excessive cardio, extreme dieting and generally taking away from her body, it was time to give back. It was vital that we got health markers in place to set ourselves up for success. Once blood pressure, stress, digestion and overall structure were under control during the initial weeks, we were positioned much better to enter a deficit and efficiently lower body fat levels.
The importance of managing stress levels when dieting...
During the process, Rach finished a job she’d been in for 12 years and started a brand new one. I deliberately didn’t start pushing too hard diet wise until she started her new job due to the extra stress she was encountering. The emotional stress of leaving somewhere after being there so long and then the excited nervousness of starting somewhere new, meant that I knew this would affect her more than she may have realised and didn’t want to put extra stress on the system.
Lockdown didn't hold us back....
Despite the disruption of lockdown, we were determined to get the result we’d initially set out for and Rach really stepped up to the plate. We’ve not missed a beat and the results achieved really do speak for themselves. Watching Rach develop over the last 6 months has been fantastic. To see her finally achieving the body she’d been working so hard for is massively rewarding. I’m extremely proud of her progress so far and the trust she has put into me and the process itself. We have our sights set on the next goal already and with the work she’s put in up to now, I’ve absolutely no doubt we’ll get there.”
Would you like to achieve to life changing body transformation results like these?
Find out more about Online Coaching with M10 today, or drop us an email if you would like more information.