I have spent the past year working one to one with Larry and it has been absolutely amazing. I have advanced so far, not only physically and mentally – but in so many other aspects also.
When I started with Larry I had just finished an extremely intense diet period. I was desperate to get my body into ‘the best shape ever possible’. Literally only focusing on what I was seeing in the mirror. I was on really low calories and doing hours and hours of cardio. I was totally and utterly, fully absorbed and completely obsessed. I was seeing results (obviously). But I wasn’t happy. I wasn’t healthy. I had developed such a poor relationship with food. This lifestyle was having an impact on so many aspects of my life, my social life, my relationships, my relationship with myself and my relationship with food. Needless to say, following such a restrictive plan took its toll – I was no longer enjoying the process, enjoying my food or even appreciating my results. I felt like there had to be a better approach. Thats when I reached out to Larry.
Larry understood where I was coming from when I filled him in on what was going on. I signed up and got started. Larry maintained consistent contact while I was starting off. Offering encouragement, advice, guidance and support. The focus of check ins quickly shifted from focusing on weight and measurements, to the main priorities being general health and well being, water intake, digestion, activity, stress levels as well as enjoyment in and out of the gym. Reminding me of the much bigger picture. I soon got to learn the importance of the foundations.
***I am using the above word for lack of better term! There is certainly no ‘diet’ when working with Larry. No food groups cut out, no foods off limits. The food side of it is so person specific. I had been following a meal plan previously. Which included maybe… ten foods… The same foods, every meal, every day. I felt, personally, that this really had an impact on my relationship with foods. I used to LOVE cooking and baking. I used to really enjoy my food, I was such a foodie. Over that restrictive period I genuinely found myself becoming somewhat afraid of foods. Larry thought me how to count my macro nutrients and I can safely say I have never looked back. During the initial period with Larry he helped me work on my relationship with food. Teaching me and encouraging me, that no foods were bad. I soon learned how important nutrition was, how important it was to fuel our bodies. And soon after that I rekindled that love I had for food and cooking. Counting macros gave me freedom to cook/eat/enjoy whatever foods I felt like.
Now the most important thing I learned about diet with Larry was how to eat like an adult. How to fit in meals. How to actually fuel my body. How to enjoy a bit of whatever I liked. How to factor In whatever was going on in my life. How to eat out at social occasions, how to eat on the go in a busy lifestyle and how to manage when you get caught out. I now feel like I can comfortably stay on track whatever my lifestyle throws at me. Im not missing out, I’m managing things and being smart.
As I mentioned earlier, when I started with Larry I had just finished an intense low calorie, high output phase. My energy levels were diminished and my strength was in my boots. A couple of weeks in and my energy levels were through the roof. My cardio was probably about a quarter what it used to be – HOWEVER, it was so much smarter. It was genuine cardio, focusing on heart rate and effort. Previously I was just looking at getting X amount of time done on cardio equipment. Thats when I realised I really wasn’t as fit as I thought! I was struggling to reach my target heart rate for the given time.
Just last week I ran 8.5KM in a personal best time. Yesterday I was on the treadmill running and it just felt effortless – I couldn’t run fast enough to get my heart rate up into my heart rate zone! Such an opposite complaint to what I had starting off. My strength is also way up again, even beyond what it used to be. I am definitely the fittest and strongest I have ever been.
Over the past couple of years my resting heart rate had always been on the higher end of normal. Maybe late seventy’s, early eighties. As I started to progress with Larry, making little wins in every aspect – I really noticed this starting to drop. It settled into the sixties and I was delighted, felt amazing. Lately, I’ve noticed it dropping down as far as fifty four. This is not only fitness and health related, there are so many other attributing factors that I learned about along the way.
I have always had really poor gut health – I even have memories of it as a child. I had gotten used to it really and wasn’t taking any notice of it. Then I started with Larry and he immediately flagged it, highlighting it as a major priority. It needed to be sorted. As he said himself, I could be dieting all year round and doing excessive amounts of cardio – but when the foundations are off, you are swimming against the current. And it proved to be so true. I got medical advice and was put on a strict elimination diet. At the time I worried about how it would effect my work with Larry, or my progress. Needless to say it was not a problem. Larry was so supportive and a wealth of knowledge. The freedom of following a macro plan rather than a diet plan made it so possible. A year on and I don’t even know myself. I am now aware of what foods I need to avoid and why. In every check in Larry had focus on this aspect, because it was so specific to me. My plan was always tailored to suit me perfectly.
Without a shadow of a doubt I’ve a hectic lifestyle. I work a full time job, forty hours a week, chaotic work conditions and high stress levels. I do shift work. Go from nights to days as required. Ive always loved fitness and exercise, its always been my outlet. So I have to say, I’ve always made time for it. Training with Larry, I was definitely spending less time in the gym, because I was training so much smarter than before. Quality over quantity.
Larry is a big fan of stress management (I thought you were crazy when I started Lar, sorry lol). And I have to admit it took me awhile to see why. Larry was constantly encouraging me to do some ‘least mode’ every single day, preferably something outside the gym. I went with it (probably reluctantly at the start! Thinking I didn’t have time) I started factoring in short periods. Reading a few pages of a book. I downloaded the headspace app. Going for a light walk outside. I rated my stress on my tracker every day. I started to see patterns of when I was scoring my stress high, my weight would spike, my general health would suffer.
Larry encouraged me to not take on too much. Less can be more. When my work schedule was hectic, or my shifts changed to nights, the first protocol was to pull back. Pull back from intense training. Increase least mode. Listen to my body, be kind to myself. I would have always just ploughed on and burnt myself out. But when I took a step back I soon came to realise that my results were so much more consistent and sustainable.
It took me awhile to realise, but the likes of stress, mindset, lifestyle, water, digestion and general day to day activity – the foundations – are nearly more important than the training and the calories. You can’t build a house without foundations. Put in the ground work, give yourself the time, invest in yourself and you will reap the rewards. There is no need for hours upon hours in the gym, low calories, or any of the other mad measures. I spent years following the above and in one year training with Larry I’ve learned more, had better returns in every department and best of all discovered to manage it all.