“I first contacted Dale after all the information he put out on social media during the lockdowns. His enthusiasm and willingness to help people make the most of their health and fitness at that time really motivated and inspired me. I was impressed by his knowledge. His kindness and how much he cares about his clients was clear to see. So I knew I could trust him.”
Back in March 2021 Niamh decided that it was time to start working with me. I’d known Niamh for a little while before that as we’d interacted in the gym and she’d followed my content. Niamh initially had one goal in mind…
To deadlift 100kg.
Her previous PB was 85kg but she wanted to join the 100 club. Our training commenced just before the gyms reopened due to Covid so we had the first couple of sessions outdoors before being able to hit the gym a couple of weeks later and that’s when the real work started.
I created a programme that would improve Niamh’s strength so she could deadlift 100kg.
“Before working with Dale I felt a bit stuck with my health and fitness. I was going to the gym but not really making the most of it. I was just going in and using some machines and hoping for the best! I had no real direction about how I could improve. I wasn’t getting any fitter or stronger.
However, since working with Dale I am blown away with the progress I made and I am continuing to make. Within the first two months of working with Dale I went from 85kg to 100kg on my 1 rep max deadlift!”
After a couple of months of hard work she successfully went on to deadlift not just 100kg but 105kg.
Fast forward to December 2021 and Niamh decided she needed a new goal, something pretty big. It was a choice between two things…
- Train for an MMA fight
- Do a Fitness Photoshoot
“With his constant support, help and guidance I have since achieved a scary goal I thought I could never do. I am now inspired and motivated to do more, do harder and more challenging things with my health and fitness.”
After some deliberation, she chose option two. It was time for a big fitness transformation! So no time was wasted and Niamh grabbed the bull by the horns and booked the shoot for early June. This gave us just over 5 months – of course once Christmas was out of the way!
I have to add here, a fitness photoshoot isn’t for everyone. It takes complete commitment and dedication and I wouldn’t recommend it for most people but I could see how much Niamh wanted to prove to herself she could do it. That’s why I encouraged it, because it’s exactly the same reason why I did it.
The desire to do a fitness photoshoot goes way beyond just weight loss. Wanting to lose weight on it’s own is quite arbitrary and often doesn’t provide you with enough fuel to achieve and sustain the results. A goal like this will be one of the most challenging things you’ll ever do, it tests you psychologically, it will test your ability to make sacrifices even when in tough environments. Doing something like this will improve the belief you have in yourself that you can do hard things, it builds resilience and confidence in yourself that you’re capable of way more than you think.
The plan for Niamh was to drop body fat very slowly and build some muscle initially and we did by setting her calories almost at maintenance. Niamh is quite tall and we wanted to ensure she didn’t lose too much muscle mass (which can happen with aggressive diets) so that she wouldn’t look too ‘thin’.
Niamh stuck to her prescribed diet meticulously, there was the odd slip-up but nothing major. She was even able to enjoy a takeaway/meal out every week until around three weeks before the shoot – there was lots of Toni’s Pizza consumed on Saturdays!
As I mentioned this kind of thing takes a lot of commitment of which Niamh had in abundance. Every meal had a good source of protein and she worked off a Mon-Fri and Sat-Sun schedule with her diet plan.
In terms of training Niamh completed four cycles of workouts over the five months which all consisted of five workouts each week, every single week. Most people would expect she would have had to do lots of cardio but in reality she didn’t do much at all. She had the stepmill prescribed three times per week and started at just ten minutes for each of those. This increased to twenty minutes as we moved closer to the shoot. We worked this alongside a daily step count of 12,000.
“Having things to aim at and push myself towards has been life changing for me and having Dale there to support, guide and inspire me is priceless.”
The most important thing you can do when working to a health & fitness goal is to be consistent with your actions. This includes training, nutrition and steps. Not only does this instil habits but it provides you with data you can use to make tweaks or amendments where necessary and the consistency means that you can test exactly what will work or not work. If you’re winging it and nothing is ever the same – you can’t do this.
Niamh actually ended up being in peak condition ahead of schedule, we probably had six weeks to spare and so we had to re-think our approach for the final run-in. This meant that we added calories back into her diet taking her almost back to maintenance where we started. This gave us an opportunity for Niamh to ensure she didn’t not lose any muscle mass and we could simply fine tune where she was – she also appreciated the extra calories!
In terms of tracking progress, for the majority of the time, Niamh weighed in on a Friday morning and also updated her photos each week. For this particular goal (the photoshoot) it’s imperative that we stay close to the numbers so that we can see what’s happening each week and therefore changes can be made if necessary.
Throughout Niamh’s journey (as with anyone’s) there were challenges including other people offering her food that wasn’t part of her plans as well as people telling her that she doesn’t need to lose anymore weight. This is a very common occurrence when you start to change the way you do things and people see your body changing, they often don’t know how to act and it makes them uncomfortable to be around you.
However when they see the end result, they always look back and understand the sacrifices that had to be made. It’s not easy, but if it was easy, everyone would be doing it right?
This isn’t a blog to convince you to do a photoshoot like Niamh did, it’s simply an account of how she achieved her goal. The approach we made is NOT what I’d put together for 95% of my clients but it’s what’s required for this very specific and challenging goal.
However to see the change it had on Niamh and her confidence, it really was a pleasure to be part of. Niamh has gone on to complete a course so she can start a ‘side hustle’ and since then she’s set some new goals, one of which is to increase her deadlift to 110kg – she weighs around 62kg so this will be a big achievement, a double bodyweight deadlift isn’t something many people can do!
“The confidence I have gained from achieving my goals with Dale has expanded into the rest of my life. I am confident taking on new jobs and wearing clothes I would never have worn before. I would say I am overall much happier and confident in my life.”
“It’s never really about the goal itself, it’s about who you have to become on the way.”
If you’re considering working with a coach and you want to achieve incredible change in your life, there’s no time like the present…
Dale – The DoTheWork Coach
Want to work with me?
“If anybody is on the fence about working with Dale I would without a shadow of a doubt recommend you take the plunge and do it. As I said before, it is priceless! Not only would you be investing in your health and fitness but also it’s an investment into your life as for me, Dale is not just a personal trainer or a fitness coach, he is a therapist, a leader and is very inspiring. Any win as little as it is he will celebrate and make you feel like you’ve achieved the greatest thing on Earth!”
I can work with you from anywhere in the world on my signature coaching programme – The DoTheWork Programme.
You’ll not just be supported by myself but you’ll also receive 1:1 support from our Head Mindset Coach Annika McGivern. Annika will help you identify all the reasons you’ve failed before and how to bulletproof your mindset to ensure the same cycles don’t repeat.
Clients lose 15-30lbs inside their first 12 weeks. It’ll be your last ever attempt at weight loss because this time, you’ll be successful…
I’m based in Preston, UK and if you prefer the face to face contact, this might be for you. Face to face is perfect for complete beginners who’ve never set foot in the gym before, or maybe you’ve simply stuck to group exercise and avoided the gym.
I’ll help you find the confidence to train on your own and to know exactly what to do even when I’m not with you.
Availability is extremely limited for this type of coaching as my diary runs at capacity almost always due to the high demand.
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