Personal Trainer in Michigan: Before and After Pictures

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UEFP is proud to present our new blog series “Personal Training in Michigan: The Before and After Files.” This is where we discuss some UEFP success stories – the clients who stuck with it and managed to get exceptional results – our before and after weight loss pics if you will.

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Liz’s story is quite exceptional in the fact that it was actually an experiment. See, for years Liz and I have heard that it’s near impossible to lose weight in the winter, let alone during the holiday season. After all, Christmas and New Year’s festivities should cause you to gain weight, right?

Well, Liz and I set out to see if you could still lose weight while enjoying yourself over the holiday season. She had a goal of losing 5 pounds in one month – and during that month, she would have to deal with two of the biggest holidays of the year. So like any good personal trainer, I immediately hit the studio to assess Liz, set some goals, and develop a plan that both her and I could agree on. Having the client’s input in this process is critical, because if the client doesn’t feel comfortable with the plan, then the plan’s not going to happen – plain and simple.

Four weeks later, Liz found herself with some pretty impressive results. To her surprise, she stepped on the scale to see that she had lost five pounds! But that’s not all. That five pounds dropped was mostly fat, as her body fat measurements showed a drop of 1.2% body fat, along with nearly 2 inches lost head to toe. Nearly an inch came off her waist!

The 5 pound loss wasn’t easy: Liz had the stress of organizing Christmas dinner at our house along with catching a minor cold in the process. However, she did it and here’s how:

Training: Liz trained 5 days week, with 3 days devoted to circuit training and the other 2 to conditioning. Her circuits were designed around the premise of alternating an upper body exercise with a lower body exercise (think front squat and then chin up). This would cause her body to produce a ton of lactate, and in response, the body would trigger its fat burning processes. Her two days a week of conditioning incorporated the use of kettlebells and calisthenics with each workout being only 25 minutes long. So all in all, Liz spent about 4 hours a week training.

Diet: Liz’s diet was based around the concept of carb cycling. On the days she weight trained, she ate carbs. On her conditioning workout days Liz would then low carb. All we needed now was to give Liz some sanity – in the form of a free day. Every Saturday she was allowed to eat whatever she wanted. This meant pizza, frozen yogurt, brownies – you name it. We also had to make sure Liz wasn’t the talk of the Christmas party with her Tupperware containers of chicken and broccoli. So we agreed that Christmas Eve and Christmas would be swapped for her Saturday. The same thing happened for New Years.

Outcome Based Decision Making: Throughout the process we used outcome based decision making. This meant Liz weighed herself every Thursday, Saturday, and Monday. We weighed her with the concept of checks and balances – if she stopped losing any weight, we would change the plan. In Liz’s case, she did well throughout the entire process, so there was no reason to change what we were doing.


If you organize a sensible plan then you can still enjoy life while losing weight. Most people think that weight loss comes with extreme sacrifices, but anything extreme usually causes burnout and weight gain. Remember, if you fail to plan then you plan to fail. But if a plan can work at the busiest time of year, imagine how well it will work the rest of the time!


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