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People have asked that I detail Star’s progress:  dates of photos, workout regimen, and diet.  Here goes.  The before photo from the front view was taken just before Christmas 2010, the after was taken mid-August 2011 – about 7 1/2 months.  The rearview before was taken January 2010 – about 18 months before.

So, there are no 30-day guarantees here.  Star worked out hard and consistently for about 3 years.  For me, as a trainer, having watched thousands and thousands of people work out themselves or train with trainers, what stands out the most is the consistency of Star’s training program.  It really does take years to put on and maintain muscle mass.  That’s why most people you see who make those drastic changes in a short period of time, relapse.  In the past year alone, Star lost 10 lbs. of fat – really leaned out her physique.  This was not intentional on her part (I’ll be asking that she write a blog here soon, so she can tell it in her own words :) Since I live with her, I can attest to the fact that her diet never changed.  She eats methodically and consistently – I’d estimate about 2,000 – 2,300 calories per day.

People always say, Well, you must do a lot of cardio.  This, too, is untrue.  Star works out 5-6 days per week for 45-60 minutes primarily strength training with free weights.  She does ‘cardio-only’ once, maybe twice in a week.  One of those cardio days is a High Intensity Interval Training workout (HIIT – see earlier blog post where I detail that workout) which lasts no longer than 20 minutes.  If she does a second day of cardio, it is a more traditional, sustained moderate-intensity cardio workout for 30-40 minutes.  That’s it.

Star’s change once again proves my point that fat-loss is a matter of training to gain lean tissue (muscle).  It explains how she lost 10 lbs of fat in the 3rd year of training this way.  Because it takes years to build muscle density, it took Star consistently training to get stronger for the muscle densening to continue to occur by year 3.  With all the other variables staying pretty much the same (diet, amount of cardio), I believe her metabolism kicked into a higher gear during this 3rd year.  Sure, there were noticeable early changes once she switched to my method.  But it seemed to kick into another gear by years 2 and 3.

So, my main note to women, particularly, but really to anyone wanting to lose body fat and get leaner, is to LIFT WEIGHTS WITH THE GOAL OF GETTING STRONGER ON THE BASIC EXERCISES.  Star squats 150+ lbs for sets of 8 reps.  Deep.  Thighs to parallel or below parallel to the floor.  At a certain point, Star and I had the conversation I have with every woman I train.  I asked her if she really wanted to go for it and not be afraid of getting bigger or gaining muscle.  (Of course, I knew she wouldn’t get ridiculously big since women don’t have anywhere near the levels of testosterone, the muscle-building hormone, that men do, but I had to put out the disclaimer:)  Star said yes.  She wanted to be able to look like the women on the covers of fitness magazines.  That was her goal.

When I saw her on stage at the Miss Hollywood Fitness contest, not only did I think she was the most fit girl on the stage, but I thought, wow, her legs are thick and solid.  Not what most women want to hear in relation to their legs.  (Personally, I think thick and solid is WAY better than mushy and skinny, but maybe that’s just me?)  Given that she’d been working out with me for the better part of 2 years, training for strength, I wasn’t at all surprised.  And, Star never said she didn’t want to gain size.  She said so long as it’s lean and tight, she doesn’t care.

Okay, I said.  Come along for the ride, girl.  So, here’s the kicker.  Look at the before/after pics taken from the rear.  Check out the size and thickness of the legs and butt before as opposed to after.  Her butt and legs very obviously have shrunken in size!  THIS DID NOT HAPPEN FROM DOING CARDIO AND FROM DOING VERY LIGHT WEIGHT FOR HIGH REPS!!!  I can’t stress this enough.  This girl turns heads in the gym by squatting more than most guys do – below parallel.  Period.  End of story.

This was a process that began with Star squatting just the bar, with no added weight.  She didn’t compare herself to anyone else, just tried to beat her own personal bests on the given exercises.  I remember 2 1/2 years ago she came home from the gym ecstatic because she did 1 unassisted pull-up.  Now, she does 12.  Consistent progression.

I’m really glad Star is willing to let me use her photos to prove my point.  The truth is, even I was shocked to see how much narrower her butt and legs looked!  Because women have much lower testosterone levels, they’ll get harder and firmer which will boost the overall metabolism and burn the body fat which surrounds the muscles, GETTING SMALLER IN THE LONG RUN!

Here’s a sample day in the diet:

6am: 1 scoop Catie’s Organic Greens + 1 scoop Vitamin C Blend mixed with 16oz water. 1-2 cups black coffee (Star doesn’t use dairy.  I use about 1 tablespoon cream + 1 Splenda per cup coffee.)

7am:  1/2 cup oatmeal with 1 scoop protein powder + almond milk + 8 raw (or dry roasted) almonds/cashews OR 1 teaspoon peanut butter + fish oil supplement.

10:30am (post-workout):  1 scoop protein in a shake with 8oz apple/grapefruit juice + glutamine

11:30am:   3 egg whites + 1 yolk + fruit (banana, apple, grapefruit)

2pm:  Salad with DOUBLE SERVING OF PROTEIN (chicken breast) + kidney/garbanzo beans + avocado + olive oil based dressing (2-3 tablespoons) + all the cruciferous veggies you want (broccoli, cauliflower, spinach, kale).

4:30pm:  8-12 almonds + 1 scoop protein powder mixed with 8oz almond milk (or water) + 1/2 banana.

7:30pm:  Pan-seared salmon cooked in olive oil + sauteed kale (olive oil, garlic, crushed red pepper) + boiled sweet potato OR 1/4 cup of cooked brown rice.

9pm:  2 squares of organic dark chocolate

Please comment!  Let me know what you think.

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