Michelle’s Journey to Vibrant Health

The goal of this post is to give you some inspiration by sharing a story about a client who made some important changes in her life to get her health back on track.

Imagine the best version of you, without filters or limits. This vision can become your reality.

This is about Michelle, one of our incredible clients, who started with us 13 months ago.

 

At the top of Mount Warning on our 2018 Wild Retreat

Michelle had been very active throughout high school and university; however, after graduating as a pharmacist, she worked long and intense hours managing a pharmacy. During these years, she had minimal time to dedicate to herself, let alone to exercise or to prepare wholesome meals. So she took action and followed her gut feeling to become a teacher. Although this is still a demanding role, this career change allowed Michelle more flexibility with her time, and she is now able to spend weekends and school holidays with her husband and young family.

When Michelle came to The Wild Movement, she hadn’t been training and felt like she was not in her best shape, but she was keen to make some changes to be a role model for her family.

We started with our individual consult to get a clear understanding of Michelle’s starting point. We ran through a mobility screening and then went through the fundamentals of squat, dead lift, bench press and chin up.

Physical Transformation

Michelle back squatted 37.5kg for three reps, dead lifted 72.5kg on the trap bar, bench pressed 32.5kg for two reps, completed one underhand chin up and rowed 1km in 4:06. Fast forward 13 months and her strength numbers are now 75kg for squat, 115kg for dead lift, 45kg for bench press, 12 chin ups and a 3:50 1km row!

Look at those back muscles!

Like many of our members, Michelle started by training twice a week to ease herself into a new routine. Her level of enjoyment remained high, as did her personal gains, so she gradually increased her sessions until she was training up to five times per week with us.

These performance results also led to changes in Michelle’s body composition. On her first scan, she was 22% BF and now sits around 12% BF (as per InBody scan). In her opinion, one of the most powerful changes behind these results is the change she made with her family’s eating habits. She attended one of our regular workshops hosted by our resident chef, Jasmine (The Wholefood Goddess), who taught Michelle and other members about Eating The Wild Way. Michelle was so inspired by this workshop; in fact, she went home and made some fundamental dietary changes to better support her active lifestyle with greater nutritional benefits. The good news is that her kids and husband are on board too… mostly!

Of course, it wasn’t an easy and straightforward progression to this point. Michelle writes below about some of her challenges and how she dealt with them.

Michelle’s Reflections

“One of the most challenging tasks that I’ve faced at The Wild Movement is setting goals for myself. This is on a more personal level because I thought that if I didn’t have any goals then there was no risk of failure or disappointment. It’s taken me a good 12 months to gradually change my thought patterns, I still struggle at times, however I’ve come a long way. A big realisation was that if I don’t have any goals then I can never really have any ‘wins’ or sense of achievement and personal growth. So this is how I made some changes… I took a risk and set myself some goals, I got out of my comfort zone by writing them down for everyone to see, and I started saying ‘yes’ more often to things I didn’t think I could do. Most importantly, I keep setting myself measureable goals with a date claimer to help me to stay motivated and to keep having fun whilst trying to chase down my goals.

Achieving a balanced life by learning to listen to my own body was another hurdle I had to overcome. Just through increased movement and mindfulness, I developed a greater awareness about when I can push myself harder to make some lasting changes and when I need to back-off and let my body rest and recover. I must admit, it’s still hard knowing the difference between good pain and bad pain, but I know I can get trusted advice and recommendations from Luke and the other coaches.

My greatest challenge over the last year has been learning to invest more time and energy in myself. My time so far at The Wild Movement has been the longest and most committed I have ever been to my strength training. The difference this time is I’ve realised that in order to look after my family, I need to look after myself, by feeling energised and making exercise a priority rather than an ‘add-on’ if there’s time. The coaches, together with the community at The Wild Movement, have greatly contributed to the longevity and success of my training, which is now an embedded part of my life and my family’s lives.”

Everyone’s measures of success are dynamic in nature and unique to that individual. As you’ve just read, success is rarely an easy and straightforward process; however, with the right support and environment, you too can start taking small steps in the direction that is right for you.

If you would like to have a chat with us to see if we can help you like we have with Michelle and so many other members just click HERE and send us a message.

 

Read More

A Client’s Real Story.

Luke asked me to write something about my time at and some of the changes I have made since starting at The Wild Movement last year.

A little background, it was September 2017 and my life felt like it had become a hamster wheel (me being the hamster) – working 50-60+ hour weeks, eating (too much bad food), sleeping (badly) and then repeat. “How did this happen how did my life get to this….?” Looking back, I put it down to a series of interstate moves over an eight-year period where I had found myself always allowing work to come first. It was exhausting, chugging away to get through the daily grind with my immediate short-term goal to get through to my long service leave anniversary date which was due in January 2018, take a well-deserved break and then re-evaluate what I wanted to be doing.

It was definitely time for some changes to take place but I wasn’t quite sure how to make things happen. I had seen the Wild Movement 4-week challenge come through on my Facebook feed and thought this could be just the thing to help me to get back on track from a health and fitness perspective. I had participated in boot camp type challenges previously and really enjoyed the group environment and the time-lined approach with clear start and finish dates. Unfortunately, the September dates clashed with an upcoming holiday. Luckily, there was another challenge for October and I was able to schedule a consult for my return.

The Challenge

I set some early goals to commit to attending all of my scheduled training sessions, and also seek some work/life balance with no more than 40 hours a week at work. There was also a little something about giving up chocolate…… I managed to achieve two out of my three challenge goals.

  • The first scan & photo – I had dreaded this so very much but also knew I needed a clear starting point to help keep me accountable for achieving some results. It also allowed me to see exactly what my baseline was (the initial baseline definitely gave me something to improve upon)
  • I remember my first few weeks of training being super tough. I needed to sit down a few times, especially during those early conditioning sessions
  • I tried to make attending the sessions nice and easy, by scheduling the 06:00 sessions which didn’t allow me any time in the mornings to think about whether I was going to train as it was already too late to cancel – my alarm would go off and sleep/no sleep, feeling good/feeling ordinary I just went along and allowed it to become my “new normal”
  • Week 4 challenge testing allowed me to see some positive gains and to set new baselines for the future
  • My scan results from the 4-week challenge were definitely not what I had been hoping for. I had a small weight loss of 1.3 kg and subsequently a small body fat percent loss and some muscle gain 1.2 kg. I was definitely disappointed

After the challenge I decided to stick with training at TWM but I wasn’t entirely sure that all the hard work I was putting in was paying off or whether it was the right type of training for me. I spoke with a couple of friends about my frustrations over lack of results and they convinced me to stick it out for a bit longer. They also told me not to give myself such a hard time and surely any results in the right direction were good results. During the next couple of months I kept doing the 3 + 1 session bundle, tracking what I considered to be small changes through until the end of the year. A three week break over Christmas led to yet another disappointing scan result in January and I decided it was time to mix things up a little bit. I increased my training sessions to the unlimited bundle mostly so I didn’t have to keep choosing between Wednesday night Yoga and the Saturday morning sessions. From this point I averaged 6 sessions per week and was also trying to walk at least 10 kms most days. The walks were mostly to stretch out some of the strength training but also to get some fresh air and take some time to just move and listen to some tunes.

The food workshop with Jasmine early in the New Year was a real turning point for me. I had been eating what I thought was reasonably well but things weren’t quite coming together. I remember going home after the workshop, clearing out my pantry, heading out to buy a new food processor and pressure cooker and started to batch cook a selection of meals from the recipes provided. My favourites are the chicken meatloaf, chicken broth, and vegetable patties – simple, delicious and healthy meals which quickly became a key part in my everyday eating. I already had my training sorted out, I didn’t have to give it any thought simply get up and go when my alarm went off in the mornings. Having the meals pre-made and ready to heat and eat meant not thinking so much about meals allowing food preparation and eating meals to become really easy.

Finally, in April my scan showed some decent changes. From this point things just seemed to fall into place and it was so much easier to keep going with both food and training when the results were going my way. Training was also proving to be a wonderful distraction from work pressures and a family situation which had arisen. For 5 to 6 hours a week I just had to concentrate on doing what I was being told by the trainers, get it done, get out of there and then start the day knowing I had already done something really good for myself. The Saturday sessions whilst always super tough were a great chance to train with and get to know some of the people attending different sessions during the week and the Wednesday afternoon yoga sessions the perfect way to switch things up a bit stretch out and really helped me to refocus and get through the tail end of the working week.

When initially chatting about why I was at TWM and what I was wanting to achieve I remember Luke asking something along the lines of “what makes this time different?” with regards to wanting to make some lifestyle changes, be healthier and lose some weight. I didn’t really have an answer for this – I still don’t have an answer but some things which have made a difference and helped me to make some big changes to my health and fitness were;

  • An encouraging and supportive environment
  • Small groups – limited numbers allowing for personal attention to both technique and different fitness levels
  • A holistic approach to health and fitness including; training, diet, recovery and sleeping
  • Qualified and supportive trainers who know what they are doing and work hard to get the best out of everyone
  • A fabulous community of people who really want to see each other succeed. This encouragement and support has been wonderful

 

Learnings

  • Life sometimes throws you curveballs that can derail even the best of intentions. It would have been easy for me to give up a number of times however, I knew I needed to make some big changes and had some clear goals in my mind and this made it easier to keep going
  • You have to be ready for or get yourself ready for change – you need to know why you want the change and how you are going to achieve it otherwise it’s really easy to slip back into old ways
  • I have an 80/20 approach to eating. I eat chocolate most days. I have learnt it’s important for me to not eliminate foods completely – as soon as I restrict certain foods completely from my diet the wheels start to fall off
  • I am definitely not always my best self at 06:00 in the morning however, I persisted with this morning schedule and over time the early starts became easier, more so when the results really started to show
  • Being and feeling strong and doing things you have never done before (or not done for a very long time) whether it be a handstand, a pull-up, a cartwheel, get a new hang time or lift a new weight for the first time feels really good!

You can see the physical transformation which has taken place in my before and after pictures. It seemed to take so much time for the results to start to show and was really hard work taking a lot of persistence and commitment to get to this point. I am pretty happy with where I got to by making some big changes to how I was living my life from both a health & fitness and work life balance perspective. The physical changes are really only one aspect of my transformation. I was reading a quote recently and it said something along the lines of “When you start taking care of yourself, you start feeling better, you start looking better; and you attract better things. It all starts with you.” This has proven true for me one of my recent decisions was to choose to take back some control over my life, move away from a job which was no longer making me happy and subsequently choose to take an extended break away from “real life” and travel around Europe for a while. I am not so sure whether I would have made the same decision 12 months ago. The plan for now is to take some time out to have some fun and new adventures and then when the time comes I will start to make some plans for what comes next. I am really excited to be seeing new sights, having new experiences, meeting new friends and making some fabulous memories. Most importantly of all though I am enjoying taking some well-deserved time out from all the demands of everyday life.

See you all in a few months!

Coaches Note > This client lost 15kg and 20% body fat over these 7-8 months.  All credit to her grit in turning up no matter what!

 

 

Read More

Results with a Strong Decision

This week I wanted to change the tune and simply tell you about one of our members. The purpose of this is to simply show you what is possible. When we hear more positive stories we are more likely to take action.

Steve completed his initial consult the week prior to my gym The Wild Movement opening. I remember it being a little hard to tie him down for the initial consult and wondering how serious he was.

His initial consult after doing the screening that was necessary we got some bench mark numbers of his strength.

Initial Results

• Rounded Shoulders
• Right hip sitting higher than left
• Lumbar Flexion poor
• Hamstring Length 30 degrees short of ideal
• Trapbar Deadlift 1 RM 80kg
• Chin Up x 5 reps
• Bench Press 1 RM 60kg
• Back Squat 1 RM 67.5kg
• 79kg Body weight with a body fat of 23.9% (InBody Scan tested)

Steve hadn’t trained in 3-6 months due to a number of different personal factors. When we spoke initially he said he was ready to start looking after himself and feel good again.

Steve committed to an initial 4 week block of training that involved training 4 x per week. This is a big commitment for someone that hasn’t been doing any training but it was a strong decision. If we fast-forward 18 weeks we will see some amazing progress.

Current Results

• Posture neutral including hips not hiked. This is strength training correctly and also working with the amazing Athletica Physical Health.
• Fingers to floor Standing Pike (previously 20cm short)
• Trapbar Deadlift 1 RM 127.5kg
• Chin Up x 13 reps and 1 rep max of 29kg added to bodyweight
• Bench Press 1 RM 81kg
• Back Squat 85kg last testing Estimated 90kg Currently
• 79kg Body weight with a body fat of 15 %. That’s 4.5kg of muscle on And 5kg of fat down.
• Juggling 60 seconds (Couldn’t juggle previously)
• Kicking up to handstands in the open. Progress from never being upside down.

Steve’s commitment I believe has increased each time he has set goals and ticked them off. It is very powerful to see yourself improving. It builds mental resilience. Steve’s openness to really work on himself in all areas not just physical has really meant he has grown so much more than his physical results show. He borrows books from our library and is always looking to learn more about himself and what we are doing.

I am really excited to see where Steve can take his training and his life through the continued growth he has been experiencing.

What started out as a 4 week commitment of 16 days training has turned into 4 days every single week (sometimes 5) for the past 18 weeks. There has never been a session missed. This doesn’t mean he has not struggled on some days and weeks with feeling flat, having niggles or fighting colds but we have always worked around it to ensure there is long term progress.

As I always say consistency is king. Do the basics well over a long period of time and you will go far.

In Steve’s own words – ‘Train hard, train often, eat good food and sleep well!”

PS If you would like to transform your health, physical capacities and life then reach out to us with an email to [email protected] we would love to hear from you.

Read More

Learnings from Mass and Strength Holiday

Last week a client and myself completed Strength and Mass Holiday. This is a program designed by famous German Strength Coach Wolfgang Unsoeld. The goal of the program is for the trainee to put on weight and strength quickly. The program is 10 sessions across five days. It is not for the faint hearted. If you need to put on some kilos of muscle and increase strength though then this could be your answer however.

I have completed intensive blocks of lifting before similar to this but this is the most comprehensively I have followed the nutrition protocol (as did my client) with a given program. The nutrition protocol is more food than most people are used to eating.

We started Monday morning as the plan suggested and finished Friday afternoon. The sessions were maximum of 60 minutes but with a lot of volume, especially considering all sets had long eccentrics to increase time under tension of the muscle.

Most days we both felt good, with the only exception Wednesday. During the second session I felt completely flogged and wasn’t too sure how I would bounce back for the next morning let alone get through the session on hand.

LEARNING

• Doing something that questions your mental and physical strength sometimes is a good thing. When you do it with another person it’s an even better experience.
• When you have a decent training age squats don’t tax you nearly as much as deadlifts. We did 58 sets pretty heavy sets across the week and there was very little muscle soreness from them.
• Eating enough for people that want to put on muscle aggressively should be just as hard as training. Eating 7 eggs or a bowl of rissoles at 430am was tough – but part of the process.
• When you are strength training effectively and progressively there is such a massive adaptation that the body wants to go through. If you don’t feed it there will be no positive effect.
• Being on a clock and aiming to keep our sessions under the hour meant more focused training and less time fluffing.

OUR RESULTS

We kept our data very simple. We both weighed in Monday Morning pre training and weighed in again 7 days later at the same time. My client’s weight started at 80.1kg and finished at 81.9kg. My weight started at 95.8kg and finished at 97.7kg. We both gained close to 2kg. Unfortunately we did not complete any skinfolds or scans to get a more accurate picture of fat versus lean mass. I will definitely do this next time. We are both very happy with the result on the scales and I know I definitely feel just as lean if not leaner than before.

From here I plan to go back to moderate volume and intensity training over the next month or so with my lifting and capitalise on some good strength gains. I will be opening up a few spots in the future to complete the program at The Wild Movement for motivated individuals. Keep an eye out for this.

Thanks for reading and I would love to hear any questions you have or you can check out the Ebook from Wolfgang Here.

Read More

What is The Wild Movement

What is the WILD MOVEMENT ?

The Wild Movement is a holistic training space owned by myself – Luke Sharp and my partner Lauren Brown.

The name comes from our conversations across the years of how training has gone so far away from how we were designed to live and move that it is almost ironic. The fact that we have to go to a gym to try and get some of the benefits of movement that we would have got in everyday life only a hundred years ago is sad to me. We live in boxes, drive in a box to a box gym that has superficial lighting, machines and mirrors and then go to work and sit in our box and communicate via email on the box. We then go home via our box and watch the box while we eat out of a box. To us that just doesn’t sound like a prosperous life. Lauren and I have tried to live authentically how we want (not society) for the past five years since we met. The name The Wild Movement is about getting back to our origins of how we were desgined to live and move.

In our gym you won’t find any mirrors. You will find a feeling of nature, fun and peace. We have tried to make the space as organic and natural as possible. Training in this space reflects that.

I am a big believer in strength. A stronger person will die older. They will run faster, jump higher, have more protection against injuries and have more muscle mass to fat mass. Training at The Wild Movement reflects this. We use the barbell for the big lifts that carry over into so many massive benefits. We use our bodies through full ranges of movement that society has forgotten about. We develop physical skills to break through limiting beliefs. We push hard but also recover hard. We are about yin and yang. Where you take from one side you must give back to the other.

Our space is open for anyone that wants to create long lasting positive change in their life. This is not for people that want a quick fix but people that are open to being their best version of themselves physically and mentally. Health is wealth. I Look forward to seeing you soon.

Read More