[dropcap]O[/dropcap]ne of the best ways to achieve that cover model physique is to get a personal trainer but finding the right one could be tricky. We ask Adam Bates – whose celebrity clients’ transformations have been published in Men’s Health magazine, about body transformation, online coaching and his tips on finding the right trainer.
Hi Adam. Thank you very much for agreeing to be interviewed. Would you introduce yourself please?
I am a sponsored athlete, trainer and published fitness model, but my time now is primarily dedicated to helping others through my fitness and lifestyle consulting business, specialising in body composition changes. Through this, as well as helping some clients prep for photo shoots and competitions, I have helped numerous people transform their bodies by gaining muscle and/or reducing body fat.
My client base is a mixture of both female and male clients, some work with me on a full-time basis enabling us to work together through multiple muscle gaining and cutting phases to continually improve their physiques and others – for shorter-term body transformations.
My celebrity client transformations have been featured in Men’s Health magazine and I also write for the leading bodybuilding and fitness competition coverage website RxMuscle. I aim to help and inspire as many people as possible to improve their lives through changes in physical appearance and to apply the strength and confidence they gain through doing so to all other aspects of their life.
How did you get involved with fitness and personal training?
Having always been involved in competitive sports from a young age, I was given quite a shock on a summer holiday, just after finishing university, when I realized just how much living the party lifestyle had taken its as its toll! I had stopped all forms of sports whilst at university and started living life like a rockstar, drinking most nights (and days!), smoking – you name it.
As my time at uni came to an end, my self-confidence had waned (it’s true – despite what you may think now!) and then having an asthma attack after swimming a length of a swimming pool made me make the decision, there and then, to do something about it! I got home, got out my old weight bench and weights and started training, initially for health benefits and to improve my physical appearance.
I quickly became completely fascinated by the science behind training and nutrition and soon every free moment was spent reading and researching all areas of fitness and nutrition. Despite having a job at the time I quite enjoyed, it quickly became an obsession. I realised that this was now a way of life I wanted to be involved in 24/7.
I wanted to spend every moment doing something fitness related. After seeing the impact the results had on my own body and confidence, I wanted to make a living helping others make the same improvements by passing on the ever expanding knowledge I was developing.
What are the things you have done and achieved as a fitness professional that you are most proud of?
The things that make me most proud are seeing the results and lifestyle changes that my clients make and just hearing how you have inspired someone to change their life for the better. I have witnessed some truly incredible transformations, both physically and mentally and never a day goes by where I am not extremely proud to have been a part of a particular person’s journey.
Even non-client related contacts affect me; receiving emails and messages on social media from people saying how I have inspired them to improve their own lives makes me extremely proud. Nothing I have achieved personally with my own physique, publications etc can even come close to the feeling you get from hearing how you have helped someone else better their own life. I am fortunate to hear this from numerous people every day.
As a celebrity trainer, you are no stranger to working with clients who take their appearance very seriously. You also offer online coaching. Would you tell us more about that aspect of your work please?
The online training allows me to work with a larger number of clients. When you know how to work with clients in this way, as many aspects are more difficult without the face to face contact, you can help many people get some truly outstanding results. For the client, they do so at the fraction of the cost they would working with a standard PT five times a week.
In-fact, most of my full-time clients came to me after working with PTs face to face, but were looking to take their progress to a new level. Online training gives the client the opportunity to work with a coach they would not otherwise be able to work with on a one to one basis and to receive all the benefits that I would also offer any one to one clients.
The diet and training programmes are personalised for the client and I am always in frequent contact with them with weekly check-ins and email assistance for anything they need during the week. You do not get to see the clients in the gym, which takes some adapting, but one of the reasons I have proved so successful is the motivation they receive in addition to the plans.
It is a personalised service and in addition to personalised plans, that includes a personal relationship with the client and corresponding with them in a way that I feel is best to motivate them to achieve the results we both want. I have to know when to virtually hug them and when to give them a virtual kick up the butt lol!
Every client is different and responds to different methods of man management and motivation, and as an online trainer, this is key to their success.
Online coaching has become quite popular and there are many online coaches on the Internet. What are your tips for choosing the right online coach?
You’re right. When I started my online consulting business, I was one of the first to offer it and many potential clients were initially skeptical of the results they could receive through online coaching as opposed to face to face training. Social media is a powerful tool and if your clients are getting great results word soon spreads.
Your success, and the success of some other top coaches who also branched out into online consulting around the same time, spreads throughout the whole fitness industry and now the market has become extremely saturated with a huge number of so-called online coaches. Chances are the trainer in your local gym now offers online diet and training programmes.
Many of the programmes offered though are cookie clutter plans with little to no personalisation for the individual. So firstly, if you see someone claiming to have a client base of 1000s and offers plans that seem extremely cheap chances are you are receiving the same plan as everyone else and will then be left to your own devices to get on with it.
In that scenario, you may as well just follow a plan published in a magazine. The first thing to check therefore, is that the training and diet will be personalised for you and that the trainer will give support and make adjustments throughout.
Anyone who has dieted for a fitness competition will know that you rarely run the same diet from the start of your cutting phase until the end, adjustments are needed throughout to optimise your progress.
Transformation photos can offer a good insight into the results the trainer helps their clients achieve, though these too should always be viewed with some caution. Many are manipulated with photoshop and what I feel is even worse is that trainers will deplete, dehydrate and basically “prep” the client for their after photo.
It is amazing how much leaner you look first thing in the morning after not drinking water for 24 hours, with good lighting and a tan! A client once sent me a plan they had received from another online trainer which was a start to finish plan on just a few pages, leading to a “peak week” where the client is prepped for an after photo.
A peak week is for a competitive athlete or fitness model undertaking a shoot, not for the average trainee looking to improve their physique. Not only can it be dangerous to dehydrate someone and have them manipulate electrolytes but it leaves them in an overly depleted state with their body primed for fat storage at the end of the programme.
Of course without the support of what steps to take next, once they have shot their after photo the first thing they are likely to do in this state is binge – and with disastrous results.
Word of mouth is still a very powerful tool, even when referring to online coaching, if you know someone who has been working with an online trainer and achieved outstanding results, or even if you are in contact with someone on social media working with one, what better judge than someone who has been through the process?
Whilst a transformation photo can be manipulated, something someone says on twitter about their online coach can’t be. This is why nearly all the client photos I post, the client has posted first and the feedback on the services my clients post on twitter is one of the most powerful forms of advertising.
If I were looking for an online coach, hearing directly from others about the positive impact the coach has had on their lives is something that would make me put them high on the list.
Another thing to consider is simply who you feel you want to work with, who has helped you already. If a coach has given you advice before via social media, you have taken on board that advice and it has produced results, then they may have a lot more that they can offer you.
Body transformations take time, a lot of hard work and dieting. What are (in your experience) the mistakes people make when setting their goals?
In both, setting goals and pursuing them, people make a huge number of mistakes. But, mistakes happen for a reason, it is how we learn and improve.
When it comes to goal setting, the biggest mistake is lack of specificity – “I wish to lose weight” or “I want to add muscle and become leaner”. Goals need to be specific, measurable and timed.
So rather than just saying you wish to lose body fat (using the term “weight” rather than fat is another mistake!), say “I am going to lose 15lb of body fat by August this year.” Now, you have a firm target, but another mistake is failure to give yourself a map to keep you on track to reach that target.
Before you know it, July is here and you still have to lose 15lb. So, break it down into short-term goals – you have 30 weeks to lose the 15lb, that’s 1/2lb every week. Now you are accountable every week, you can’t “start tomorrow” as every week you need to hit that 1/2lb target. If one week you don’t hit it. you have a chance to re-assess things and course correct.
What are your plans for the future?
I plan to continue expanding my knowledge and improving myself both mentally and physically with every day. I know that the more I can improve myself, the more I can offer both my clients and those who follow me on social media.
I have worked extremely hard to get to where I am and will continue to do so as I am now blessed to be in a position where I make a living out of something that gives me so much satisfaction. I’d do it anyway if money were no object.
I am always looking for new ideas and ways to help motivate and inspire others. Although I frequently reach my client limit, I have developed the business a great deal since I started, which has not only improved the service, I can offer the client, but has also allowed me to increase the number of clients I can work with at any one time.
Therefore, I will continue to find new ways to grow and expand my online consulting business and also further expand my social media reach. Social media allows me to provide information to people who would not otherwise receive it. It also gives me an outlet to motivate and inspire others to better their lives.
The more people I can affect in a positive way, the greater my own success, as my ultimate goal is to simply play a part in the development, both physically and mentally, of as many lives as I can.
[quote_box_center]For further information on myself and my services, please visit my website and social media sites below:
Photo credits: Matt Marsh Photography – mattmarshphotography.co.uk [/quote_box_center]