Six-pack(ish) and lean(er) because, well, I’m not gonna be on the cover of any Sports Illustrated or fitness magazine, but hey, I reached a goal.

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Official “Before” and “After” pics; Left: ~184 lbs; Right: ~170 lbs, plus abs

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About 10 weeks ago I hired Joey Percia to be my coach.

Yes. I am a strength coach and trainer by trade. But even I need some direction sometimes.

In the last few months, my business has really exploded. That being said, as a one-man-show I have to juggle my clients and their workouts, nutrition, and my home life. Not to mention my own workouts and nutrition. All things considered, it can be a handful to manage.

On my own I was really struggling to meet my goals; I was going through the motions but felt like I was getting nowhere.

So I did what I tell all my clients to do: hire a professional.

You can read more about the start of this journey HERE

Ten weeks later and my journey is coming to an end. I’m stopping a bit short because my wife and I are taking a long-overdue trip to Paris and London, and I’m not skipping all this glorious food and drink.

TL;DR recap of my experience: The instructions were simple. The execution was very difficult. But totally worth it!

Hiring a Coach

I hired Joey for several reasons. For one, from my observation he was more performance driven: i.e. he likes deadlifting and squatting a ton of weight. I like that too.

Second, out of nowhere one day he and I decided to jump on a phone call to talk business. He just wanted to help any way he could. I like that about him.

Thirdly, he’s a fucking hoss.

Nutrition

If you want to lose fat, you have to focus on nutrition. This isn’t a “maybe consider it, sometimes” kind of thing. It’s an everyday MUST. I don’t know too many guys who can “wing it” with their nutrition and look like those guys in the movie 300. Those who can are genetic freaks.

Most of us don’t fall into that camp.

The process is simple: eat fewer calories than you expend and voila! Lose fat

I’m a numbers guy. I like objective data. I like it so much in fact that I bought a scale and measured my food. I tracked everything I ate through My Fitness Pal. With Joey’s guidance, I slowly lowered my caloric intake over the 10 weeks and lost fat; lots of it, actually: about 14 lbs in 10 weeks.

All this magic happened through what’s called “Energy Balance”

  • Eat fewer calories than you burn = lose weight
  • Eat the same calories as you burn = maintain weight
  • Eat more calories than you burn = gain weight

Notice I didn’t say the following things:

  • “I lost 14 lbs on XYZ diet!”
  • “I lost fat going Paleo!”
  • “I lost fat on Shakes!”
  • “I lost fat by cutting out sugar/carbs/gluten/whatever!”

I lost fat by eating all the same things I normally like to eat. BBQ, beer, banana pudding, etc. I ate it all. I just ate less of that stuff.

It’s so simple you might think I was lying.

I’m not.

Macro Manipulation

Macronutrients: protein, fat, carbs

Since I like my muscle mass, and would looooove to hold onto it, Joey had me eating more protein: roughly 1g/lb of bodyweight or more, each day.

Not only does higher protein intake promote muscle retention, but it also has the greatest thermic effect (causes you to burn more calories to break it down) and it’s the most satiating macro of the three (makes you feel fuller).

Wham, bam, thank you, ma’am.

Fat was about 25% of my total calories. Carbs were the rest. Obviously, not rocket science: what mattered most was that my caloric intake was lower than what I needed.

I ate carbs so I could continue training hard without feeling worn down and tired all the time.

You can learn more about macro and calorie manipulation for your fat loss goals HERE.

Training

 I trained hard at least four days out of the week. We used big, compound movements like the squat, deadlift, bench press and chin-ups. We also did some dumbbell, kettlebell, and bodyweight work too, because all of it works.

Joey crafted some really fun and stimulating workouts. I was finally enthusiastic to train again, not because the workouts weren’t like anything I’ve seen before-I’m a coach too, after all-but because I didn’t write them.

I was enthusiastic because “coach said so.”

There were plenty of difficult workouts and I finished every single one of them.

I was able to turn my brain off and just follow directions. Results ensued.

Summary

If you’re reading this, I want you to know that I’m blissfully smashing coffee and treats in Paris right now. Yay for delayed publishing!

Parisian Noms: you’re out of your mind if you think I’d skip this epic deliciousness!

 

I’m down about 14 lbs and while I’m definitely leaner, I didn’t quite make it to the “shredded” look.

I’m fine with it, actually. I’m way happier now than I was 10 weeks ago with my physique: my clothes fit better and I’m far more confident in my skin than I was.

And that’s the point, isn’t it? To be happy with the results and happy in our own skin?

I worked my ass off to get these results. It was hard and there were plenty of times I got frustrated and wanted to quit (do you know how many social situations call for copious amounts of alcohol? ALL OF THEM!)

One casual reminder: I worked hard to get here, and these results won’t stay with me if I totally fall off the wagon. The work that got me here doesn’t stop.

Keep that in mind when you embark on your own fat loss journey: what gets you there must be maintained, or else you lose it.

Note: my failing to reach “shredded” is my own fault, and by no means has anything to do with the instructions given to me by Joey. I failed to reach that point.

Why? I imagine because I didn’t take my nutrition as seriously as I could have. I slipped up a handful of times, and that’s on me.

Joey gave me the all the tools to succeed. In the end, however, it was up to me to make the most I could with them. He over delivered; I underperformed.

I’m happy with my results, so for those naysayers naysaying “but you’re not shredded, bro!” I say, whatever, bro.

What’s next?

After I get home, I’ll probably try and maintain this leanness for the rest of summer, after which I’ll increase my calories and try to add some muscle mass through the winter.

Would I do this again? Absolutely.

The next time I’ll see how lean I can get. Maybe get that “shredded” look or something. I don’t know.

After all, who am I trying to impress? I’m happily married and as of this writing, have yet to strip my shirt off at a pool or lake. It’s July and I’ve been wearing a shirt all summer long.

I’ll do it to say I’ve done it. To experience it again and to know what it takes. It keeps me in check, I think.

Stay tuned and as always, feel free to reach out to me and ask questions. Believe me, when I say it was totally worth it, and if you’re thinking of hiring a coach, reach out to Joey or myself and get to work.

You won’t regret the decision.

Andy Van Grinsven

About Andy Van Grinsven

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