I began training Bill in May of 2005.
We met at a Starbucks in Cedar Park (corner of Lakeline and Brushy Creek ). Bill was a quiet, 40-something year old computer professional who had a bad habit of slugging back 8-10 Diet Cokes a day. He was soft and out of shape. Pushing a 40 inch waistline at 205lbs, he had had enough and wanted to change.
During that first meeting, he asked me questions about my training philosophy, I asked him questions about his goals and level of desire. We both decided that it would be a good fit and he hired me as his trainer/coach. I began training him at a gym off of Mopac in Austin. Bill would meet me at the gym after work three days a week. We started with the basics, focusing on correct form and safety. Bill began to clean up his diet, drink less Diet Coke and gave maximum effort in the gym. He started with 25lbs in each hand on the incline dumbbell bench press. Fast forward to 2008 and he was using 55lbs in each hand for multiple reps and sets with picture perfect form. He ultimately ended up using 75lbs in each hand, an amazing 50lb in each hand increase.
His goal was/is not to be a bodybuilder or powerlifter, it was simply to become healthier, stronger and more energetic. To turn back the hands of time. He started with 185lbs on the leg press in 2005 and was using over 500lbs for multiple reps and sets in 2008.
In life, each day, you’re either getting stronger or weaker
In 2011, we began to set more advanced goals in the gym. He wanted to be able to do 5 pull ups with correct form. By the end of the year, in December he was doing 8 pull ups with correct form. Remember, most people can’t do 1-2 pull ups with correct form so for Bill, who was now in his early 50’s, this was a major accomplishment both mentally and physically. Pullups had been a major obstacle. Whereas he had gotten stronger very quickly in certain lifts – with other exercises it took longer. He worked at it, he stayed consistent, slowly, diligently. In August of 2011, he had dropped his pants size down to a 34 inch! He weighed around 175 lbs and was squatting with 275 lbs for 5 reps – all the way down. He had lost 30 lbs – from 205 lbs to 175 lbs. He had become more muscular, leaner and more energetic.
His flexibility had improved greatly
His flexibility had improved greatly – he was now able to touch is toes from a seated, legs straight out position. And hold that position for 90 seconds. Flexibility is incredibly important as you begin to age. Lose your flexibility, lose your ability to enjoy a complete life. As your flexibility diminishes, the muscles get weaker, causing potential balance and alignment issues. Then, at some point, comes tripping, falling and breaking bones.
Bill never talked much in the gym. He was focused on his next set. We had begun training TOGETHER in 2008 or 2009. He was nipping at my heels in some exercises like calf raises, extreme stretching and hamstrings. The workouts were intense and there was a friendly competition going on. By now, he was Barbell Incline Bench Pressing 155lbs for close to 10 reps. His one rep max was estimated to be a little over 200lbs. Not bad for a 50 something year old who had never been an athlete in his life. His Doctor told him that he was reversing time, growing younger, stronger even as he aged.
Fit people employ the power of persistence
One of the most overlooked and underrated secrets of great performers is persistence. Fit people know that there’s no magic to being fit. No supplement, no vitamin, no diet, no exercise. It requires persistent action with a plan in hand. The ability to hang on in the face of disappointment, fatigue and hunger. Once you’ve established the habit, about 3 weeks in, it becomes easier. This habit then strengthens the individuals resolve to stay the course.
Bill stayed the course. Through sleet, heavy thunderstorms, transportation issues, scheduling conflicts and more. After 7 years, in 2012 Bill and I stopped training together. He was ready to fly, to chart undiscovered territories and go solo. We worked together for 7 years. He became more than a client, he became a lifelong friend. I’m proud of Bill and the accomplishments that he reached. He’s out there, still going strong as he approaches 60. He’s probably hanging with the 20 and 30 something year old men, going rep for rep.
HERE HE IS
Below is a quick highlight reel of Bill training.
It was an honor and privilege to train Bill and to train WITH Bill. To witness the transformation was satisfying and fulfilling. To see Bill improve himself and his quality of life week by week, month by month and year by year was simply amazing. Thanks, Bill!