8-week personal training challenge: results

Whew! I did it! πŸ™‚

A little over 8 weeks ago, I contacted personal trainer Kat Millar, asking her to help me focus after the triathlon season, with a view to cleaning up my diet, giving me some goals in the weights room, and seeing where those two things led me. I wasn’t bothered either way about losing weight (which is pretty meaningless to me), but fat loss was one of my goals.

Kat is a figure (bodybuilding category) competitor, and I’ve long admired those women’s dedication, training and physique, so I told Kat I’d be happy to train and eat roughly like a figure competitor (albeit one who is a very long time away from any competition!)

And so it went. You can read about the challenges, my workouts and my thoughts on the 8-week plan in the following posts: the start of the challenge, what’s involved, obstacles, weight training, whilst on holiday and progress with one week to go.

There’s been a lot of this

and a whole lotta this

I know you probably want hard facts, and you can have them. I said at the beginning that I wasn’t going to post my weight or any other stats. It’s not that I attach any emotion to them, but other people might, and I believe bloggers have a responsibility to anyone who may be reading.

In 8 weeks, I:
– progressed from 3 unassisted chin-ups to 10 (yes, I did it!)
– lost 4.2kgs of body fat (as measured by a bio impedence test which I recognise can be slightly out)
– dropped 5.3% body fat
– lost just 2kgs of lean weight (this was the important one for me – no point in losing weight if it’s all good lean tissue!)
– interestingly, despite being a fair bit lighter now, my BMR (basal metabolic rate – the amount of energy you expend doing nothing, just existing) has apparently dropped by fewer than 30kcals a day. That’s the power of weight training, my friends!

But what about the cardio?

I should add that all of the above has been achieved with very, very few traditional cardio sessions. Although if you do weights heavy and/or fast enough, believe me your heart-rate will climb! But I did go for a run the other day and had lost none of my pace (over a 5-mile run) – I was still doing sub-8 min/miling for a relatively easy run. So it’s all good!

Pictures, or it didn’t happen.
(Me yesterday, fake-tanned and hamming it up in my front room. PS – Can you see my hernia? Hint: it’s just above the scar from where they were meant to fix it last year…not that I’m cross about that or anything…)

What’s next? Who knows. Stay tuned!

PS If you fancy dropping a few % points of body fat yourself, take Kat up on her offer of 4 weeks nutrition and PT….it’s a completely bargain price but not for long. Look here.

21 Responses to 8-week personal training challenge: results

  1. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Nicola Joyce, Nicola Joyce. Nicola Joyce said: The results of my 8-week PT challenge are in… http://ow.ly/3ebDW #fitness […]


  2. april says:

    Holy cow, you look amazing!! You are so right about the weight training/cardio.. I need to send people over here when they still don’t believe me! Question- were you doing a traditional cutting cycle during this time or bulking? Well, maybe I should go look at your other posts first! Ha!


    • thefitwriter says:

      Hi April,

      My PT can probably answer better than I can but I spend more time cutting (particularly towards the end) than I did bulking as such, although we didn’t follow a bodybuilder’s-type programme that closely. But I already had a lot of muscle mass (I build muscle really easily, and I’ve got a background as a swimmer), so it was more a case of getting my weight-training in some kind of order and then, yes, losing some of the body fat which was covering the muscles!

      Thanks so much for stopping by. I’ve bookmarked your site – great recipes for protein-lovers like us! X


  3. the ventral hernia is usually caused by thin muscle fascia, and possibily you could also develope an inguinal hernia as well…


    • thefitwriter says:

      It’s an epigastric hernia πŸ™‚ I know a fair bit about it because I had the exact same thing last year and had surgery on it.


      • spartanbody says:

        yes i see an epigastric hernia is a type of ventral hernia…a ventral hernia is a bulge through a hole in the wall of your abdomen muscles…the bulge may be caused by tissue, fat, or an organ such as your bowels…three common types of ventral hernias are incisional, epigastric, and spigelian…
        enjoy your day…


      • thefitwriter says:

        I know all of this, thanks. As I say, I had another hernia of the same sort last year and had a hernia repair operation, so I spoke to a number of medical staff about it. I’m not sure how it could be my bowels poking through above my navel πŸ˜‰ (it’s internal fat apparently, in my case at least).


  4. yes i know what you mean…I’ve had 4 hernia operations…the first was a ventral above the navel and the second was an inguinal in the groin area…nine months later i had to have it done again…the doctor didn’t use mesh as so the hernia’s re-occured…i have mesh now so it’s all good…



    • thefitwriter says:

      Same – at my consultation, I was told they’d put a mesh in, but then the surgeon said he wouldn’t bother for such a small hernia. And here I am just about a year later, with another one…frustrating! Still, it doesn’t hurt at all (I wouldn’t even know I had it if I couldn’t see it). But I know I’ll need it seen to eventually! I hope you don’t get another πŸ™‚


      • SpartanBody says:

        yes i can certainly understand your frustration…hmmm…maybe that’s how they create job security:) i have to say the second time around for me was much more painful…but it’s been about 3 or 4 years since the last operation and no more problems:)
        i would say if it doesn’t bother you just leave it alone for now…mine were bulging and painful so i had to do something…

        thanks fitwriter…enjoy your day…
        happy thanks giving…


      • thefitwriter says:

        Thanks, you too, and happy thanksgiving to anyone reading from the USA and Canada!


  5. Sheila says:

    Scars? Scars? All I see are awesome abs! Good luck with the kettle challenge.


  6. Starla says:

    Wowza, look at those abs! I think I need to read through your entire blog – I need some exercise inspiration.


  7. […] worked with a remote PT at the end of last year during my 8-week gym challenge. Kat offers regular one-on-one PT and small group PT. I knew of her from reading her blog, and had […]


  8. […] time readers of the blog will recall the 8-week body recomposition challenge I did with personal trainer Kat Millar. I decided to do that because I was looking for a new focus, […]


  9. […] triathlon season, done several bike sportives and a half-marathon. I was just starting a personal body-transformation type challenge, based on weight training and nutritional tweaks. The idea of competing in bodybuilding […]


  10. […] straight from an endurance season (including a half-Ironman triathlon and a half-marathon) to an 8-week body recomposition experiment, to dieting for a bodybuilding competition. But underneath that leanness? Not a […]


  11. Caro says:

    I know this is an old post but I was wondering whether you ended up having the second hernia repaired an if you did how did it go? I had a very similar experience recently when I had an epigastic hernia repaired with the tension method (even though I was told they could use mesh) and 11 weeks later it has reoccurred. I guess I’ll have to have it repaired at some point, hopefully this time with mesh, but I am not looking forward to more time off training,


    • Hi there, no I didn’t have the hernia repaired a second time. It’s still here but doesn’t really cause me any problems and so I don’t think it’s worth the recovery time (etc). I might revisit this decision if it becomes a problem! But for now it really doesn’t bother me at all, and it’s not getting any bigger. Nic


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