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Hi, I'm here to offer help

Hello to everyone at MiniMins!

My name is Justin, and i am from South Wales.

I am a personal trainer and conditioning coach, who works with many clients every day, and I mainly specialize in weight loss. The reason I have joined this forum is because I would sincerely like to help out as many of you as I can by providing some exercise guidance and advice.

The methods and routines I have devised and researched are proven to be effective and I can tell you this from actual experience with my clients. I work with diabetics, people who have had heart complications, older clients in thier 50s and 60s, as well as younger clients, all looking to lose fat.

One of my clients lost 10% bodyfat in two weeks, another lost 7% in a week, and others typically lose 2lbs of fat a week and replace it with 1lb of muscle (if that is their goal).

I genuinely want to help out by getting to know everyone and offering my knowledge and experience. I am also in the process of opening my own exercise facility and would like to gather some of your thoughts and opinions regarding exercise, personal training and other subjects, if that is possible. It would be greatly appreciated and will help me to better serve all of my clients.

One other thing, I genuinely hope I am not 'butting in' to this forum, as I will admit I personally am not overweight so I would never claim to fully understand the feelings and opinions you all share. I speak a lot to my clients and wish to find out what feelings, thoughts or even fears they have regarding exercise, intimidation to join a gym and other topics.

So, once again, if someone of my position is not welcome into this forum, please just let me know and I will not take any offence, and will understand completely. But if this is not an issue, then please feel free to PM me or start a topic thread asking for advice and I will do whatever I can to help you all.

Thank you for reading, I hope I can make a useful contribution to your forum.

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Enjoying life!
S: 18st13lb
Hi Justin

Welcome to Minimins. I cannot see your being here to help and offer valuable advice will be rejected! Genuine exercise, toning advice is important for anyone on a weight loss programme. I am sure people will have plenty of questions for you.

Kat :)

Thanks for the welcome Katalena.

Working in a gym and talking to customers everyday does wind me up sometimes because there is so much USELESS info out there reagarding weight loss.

Its a sad fact but I'd say about 90% of trainers on the planet are years behind with the info they are giving out. Either that, or they just don't know how to burn fat with their clients, and a re flat-out lying to them. Its a damn shame and it really does get to me at times.

I want to despell any myths that are still floating around and see everyone reach their full potential.
S: 16st11.0lb C: 16st11.0lb G: 12st11.0lb BMI: 38.5 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
Hi I am also an exercise professional, advanced Reps Level 4 fitness consultant specializing in medically referred clients. I also manage a large fitness facility. So it's nice to know that we have lots of good advice on here, but this post concerns me slightly

10% loss in 2 weeks and 7% fat loss in 1 week is pretty unbelievable Justin...can I ask what methos of BF testing you use? The rate of fat loss to aim for is 0.5 percent per week. If you are following a good fat-loss program, you should be down by 4.0 percent body fat after about 8 weeks. Also a gain of 1lb muscle whilst losing 2lbs fat is also unbelievable..you need an increase of cals to gain muscle and a decrease in cals to loose fat, it's simple math. I think you should offer this advice to body builders I think they would be over joyed with those sort of results!


Enjoying life!
S: 18st13lb
I am all in proportion but carry my extra weight round my middle. I am currently doing a VLCD (Lighter Life) so experiencing rapid weight loss. I am not unfit, I walk alot, use a wii fit regularly and recently ran the majority of a 10k Race for Life (although not a good idea on VLCD but we won't go there).

Could you give me some tips to help with toning my tummy, upper arms and inner thighs!



Good to know there are more professionals here offering help too.

At our facility we use the Tanita Bodyfat Measuring Scales. With the first client, it did shock me very much too, but that's waht the scales were saying. We took three readings to get an average and make sure this was correct. I understand your concerns but I really don't know what else to say. The client started at 47% BF and after the second recording 2 weeks from his first session we were around 36%. Maybe this has something to do with the fact he hadn't exercised in a while before then?

As for the other clients, particularly males, we see body fat coming down as you said, from between 0.5-1% each week, whilst their weight doesn't always drop. Having thought more, this could bee down to water retention or possible unreliability of the scales, so I do see your point.

However, we still get good results and the clients are gradually dropping dress sizes, so what I do works with the clients.

Which facilty / whereabouts are you based? I'll be attending a Level 4 Cardiac Rehab course late this year and am interested in following a similar path as yourself. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.
S: 16st11.0lb C: 16st11.0lb G: 12st11.0lb BMI: 38.5 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
Hi again. The gym I manage is in Cambridgeshire and previous to this I ran a fitness facility within a sports college. In my experience body fat scales are not that accurate, I use either bodystat (electrodes) or callipers, much more reliable. Remember there are so many factors that can affect the readings such as caffine, alchohol, water, food and exercise and the client should follow the same guidelines at each reading. BF tests can even be "fixed" by the client by intentionally drinking a lot of water which will give a false low reading.
I am just concerned that people will belive that this sort of fat loss is achievable and although I am naturally a mesomorph and gain muscle easily I can not gain 1lb of muscle without a significant calorie increase. Depending on what your goals are, you need to adjust accordingly. If you want to gain muscle, you need a caloric surplus to allow your muscles to grow. If you want to lose fat, you want a calorie deficit to lose fat. If you want to do both you have to do BOTH in stages.
Meaning, spend 3-4 months building muscle by eating a lot and lifting a lot (bulking), and then spend time maintaining as much muscle as you can and slowly trimming body fat over time by reducing calorie intake (cutting phase)

I am just one instructor of thousands and we all have differing opinions on this and all have founds different clients with whom the unusual happens, but I do have many years experience.

I took my cardiac rehab qualification with the Wright Foundation and it is a fabulous (but very hard) course. The Uk definately needs more level 4 instructors so very good luck with this.
I agree with you totally.

I also now see what you mean about people thinking that kind of fat loss is readily achievable by anyone, and would like to clarify that the case above was most definately an anomaly. I didn't intend to mislead anyone, I simply want to point out that I do beleive in my training systems and would therefore like to offer any help to the people of this forum. Thanks for the input gertiegumdrop.


Enjoying life!
S: 18st13lb
ok, so now that you two are over that are you going to post useful tips in answer to my question above?

S: 16st11.0lb C: 16st11.0lb G: 12st11.0lb BMI: 38.5 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)

Toning is a strange word really...when you want to "tone" it usually means the look you want is tighter firmer areas of the body and the reason they need firming is due to either lack of lean muscle and/or excess fat/skin. If the areas are fat then you can not spot reduce it, i.e fat will melt away with diet and exercise from which ever area the body decides to give it up from...and it's usually the last area to lose the fat is the area we put it on to first! You sound like you are doing everything correctly with the cardio/aerobic work so keep going with this and you will start to see it. The way to create firming muscles is to lift weights or work against a resistance and the one mistake a lot of ladies make is to worry about "bulking" too much. This is something that is not going to happen as we do not have the hormones required eg. testosterone, to grow big muscles. You need to do heavy weights and lots and lots of them before big muscles even stand a chance. To get that toned appearance we need to be working around the 10-15 rep mark for 2/3 sets to start. As you get stronger increase the weights and drop the rep range. 3 lots of 10/15 eventually become 3-4 sets of 8. The last couple of each set should be a bit of a struggle. If you pick a weight that you feel you can lift forever it's too light. Remember when you start creating lean muscle it takes up less room than the fat does so you will notice the inches disappearing but the weight loss may slow down slightly. This is normal and a temporary thing because as you increase your body's lean muscle and reduce the body's fat stores your metabolism will spead up and you will burn more calories.
I would sugest to help with the appearance specific upper/lower body resistance work and some abdominal/core programming. Firstly can you let me know if you use a gym or have any free weights at home or not.

(apologies for the long post!)


Playing the Angel
S: 14st3lb C: 8st7lb G: 9st2lb BMI: 20.4 Loss: 5st10lb(40.2%)
Thanks so much for the interesting and helpful posts, I really do want to get back into some form of weight training when I get to goal. I really don't feel I have the physical energy currently (also on a VLCD and do a very physical job). I really enjoyed the weight training last time I did it, also doing boxcersize - is that quite good for core stability and toning the tum?



Enjoying life!
S: 18st13lb
Thank you.

I was using a gym but have cancelled my yearly membership on June 30th when it was due for renewel as we have moved and want to find one closer - I am also on a VLCD.

I do have free weights at home and am happy to work out here.

S: 16st11.0lb C: 16st11.0lb G: 12st11.0lb BMI: 38.5 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
Boxercise is a good form of cardio. Depending on the instructor you may also do resistance work and core stability work. It's a good all rounder.

Core work can be done at home easily without any equipment. Firstly forget so much about the traditional sit ups as these work predominantly on the front top layer of abs and you need to be thinking of the whole girdle from front to back. The plank is a great way to develop the strength.

If you have a stability ball these are great
When doing ab curls use a variety of styles; hands on thighs, hand out in front and hands either side of the head. Curl up just a little, keep focusing on one point on the ceiling and imagine you have a tennis ball between your chin and the top of your chest. Never pull on the back of your head. Perform them slowley and and breath out as you come up into the crunch and in as you lower down. To emphase working more on the lower section raise the legs, or one leg at a time. To work on the obliques the muscles that bring in the sides of your waist add a twist on the way up so you have the hands either side of your head and your bring your elbow to the opposite knee.
Always think of your posture when sitting or standing and think long lean stretches through your core after you finish your routine.
Pilates is fabulous and doesn't take too much energy in the form of aerobic energy.

For triceps (bingo wings) try dips off a low table or chair and tricep kick backs or over head extensions...do an internet search on these exercises.

One of the best exercises for the inner thighs are plie squats..again do a search on these to find good diagrams.

When weight is lost very quickly you may be left with excess skin, and whilst exercise can help it may be that the skin can only be tightened a little and excess skin will remain. Sometimes this can only be removed through surgery but you will be suprised just how much these simple exercises performed every other day alongside daily cardio and a good healthy diet will make a difference.
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Enjoying life!
S: 18st13lb
Thank you Gertiegumdrop!!


Gold Member
S: 19st2lb C: 19st2lb G: 10st0lb BMI: 47.5 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
Just wanted to say welcome to justin, I am on the Cambridge Diet but I do go to the gym 4 times a week, I may well be asking advice.
Also the advice is very welcome from GertieGumdrop.
I found this thread very interesting x
S: 17st1lb C: 16st5lb G: 11st6lb BMI: 34.8 Loss: 0st10lb(4.18%)
Alright mate I got a few questions to ask.

First off is it better to eat before or after a workout? And what should you be eating?

Also is it good for over weight people (like myself) to have protein powder? And again should you drink this before or after a workout? Or a number of times during the day?

Cheers mate
S: 16st11.0lb C: 16st11.0lb G: 12st11.0lb BMI: 38.5 Loss: 0st0lb(0%)
The use of Protein powder when the goal is weight loss is widely arguable amongst fitness trainers. The first thing to remember is that to build lean muscle you need protein, so if your goal is to gain muscle you would be thinking about using 1g of protein per 1lb of body weight, if you are weight training 2-3 times a week or more. Remember though adding lean muscle will slow weight loss initially. You really need to decide if you want to increase cals to build muscle or reduce them to lose fat.
You could use a low cal/carb shake as a meal replacement not as an addition to your meals. If you eat too much of any thing protein, fat or carbs you will gain weight...the body doesn't care...excess calories=additional weight gain.
Building lean muscle can reduce fat by increasing the metabolism...it takes more energy to sustain muscle than fat.
You can get addequate protein out of a balanced diet if your goal is weight loss. IMHO natural food sources are better than artificial powders.
If you want to use a shake around a workout then after the workout is when it will be most beneficial to help build the muscles. What you eat before a workout depends on your way of thinking. Early morning cardio only can be done on an empty stomach,some would suggest this is good for fat burning, but not for weight training, you just wouldn't have the energy. On the whole slow releasing complex carbs such as fruits would be a good choice, as would cereals, wholegrain pasta and veggies.

Like I mentioned before it all depends on your goals, weight loss requires less cals in muscle bulding requires more cals than your body needs (preferably from lean protein sources which can include protein powder). Increasing lean proteins to assist in lean muscle gain is always a good thing, I can't emphasise enough the importance of some weight training for everyone, but just watch those total calories.


Mad old Bat with Attitude
S: 14st5lb
So how long does it take to build up lean muscle? Or is that like asking how longs a piece of string? I mean do you have to wait long before you notice that your weightloss has stopped slowing down.

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