My biggest issue was having too much information in my head and not knowing which one to pay attention to.
Chris started off as a normal guy from Canada, working the corporate office life before exploding into the entrepreneur scene in 2014 through a series of startups with his business partner.
When I met him at a rooftop party in Bangkok (DCBKK 2018), he was running a successful SaaS business called Snapp, but despite the alcohol freely flowing, we spent the whole party talking about lifting and gainz.
After hearing his story, I realised that I’d met people in similar situations before.
We talked about our favourite lifting programmes and protocols, Chris knew his shit! But ultimately, he was struggling and information overload was at least partially to blame.
I've always struggled with bulking and cutting cycles... which has led me to yo-yoing back and forth.
He would bulk for a little bit, feel fat. Then start to diet. Feel too skinny. So start bulking again.
Then travel for business and get frustrated that nothing was happening.
We spoke at length and I gave him some advice from my experience of bulking and gaining strength but a few months later he reached out for coaching.
As much as he was super knowledgeable about lifting and nutrition he knew it wasn’t his specialist area. He knew a lot but didn’t have confidence in exactly what to do and this meant that he was finding it super difficult to sustain anything. He didn’t want to spend 6 months doing something that was suboptimal or not quite right for him and waste time.
I see this a lot.
People know the theory but not quite how to translate it into practice and this is where my experience under the bar comes in (been there, done that, made mistakes, got the injuries so you don’t have to).
This is also why we as entrepreneurs outsource things.
We COULD be good at it but it’s not our superpower and it’s not the most effective use of our time. So we get the experts in.
In short. I live and breathe exercise and nutrition, in particular, muscle gain (strongman, rugby) and fat loss (bodybuilding). Not only that, I had experienced and overcome the exact struggles he was facing.
We started with a lean bulk for 3 months to get him used to the training intensity I expected, then we dived into the fat loss phase.
Chris warned me that he didn’t want to lose more than 10lbs as he’d "look too skinny", but as is often the way, the weight is just a number and doesn’t really reflect the real-life scenario.
With the right guidance, you can get much leaner than you could otherwise while preserving muscle (and sanity) and lo and behold 20lb later and he looked twice the size.
I ended up dropping 18lbs but what was amazing was I looked way bigger...
and I didn't lose any strength!
We basically dropped the 10lb very easily, re-assessed and he agreed that he could probably go a bit further.
Additionally, from my bodybuilding experience, I had pre-warned him about the mind games that would kick in as he started to get super lean. The process would play on his mind so he was well equipped when it happened and overcame it like a boss.
Like with most business owners, during the coaching he had to travel, attend social events, conferences and team retreats. On one call he told me that he would be attending a ‘Cookie Off’.
From what I gathered, this involved eating as many cookies as possible.
He was also running his business in the background and like any good entrepreneur, had multiple side projects, future projects and a million and one other things going on at the same.
But the story doesn’t end with a 20lb drop.
I’m not there to just guide you to your short term goal. Sustaining it is at LEAST as important to me and realistically more important. Most people will reach their goal with the right guidance and mindset but maintenance is a different ball game (so I start talking about it early).
In any case, at the end of the 5 months, Chris left to travel for a while. I gave him advice and together, we formulated a plan for how to sustain his progress.
We also reviewed his plan for his return home so he at least had a structure.
With that and everything he learnt during our time working together, he was ready to go and crush it on his own.
For me, although Chris looked amazing, the biggest change was the fact that he had broken the cycle that so many guys find themselves in...
Unsure whether to bulk or cut and too afraid to commit to either.
(usually because they are over-complicating it)
Best of luck brother and well done again.