Why You Need A Personalised Diet And Training Strategy

Seven word summary: personalisation facilitates adherence, adherence leads to results. 

When it comes to getting results from your training and nutrition - it is all about you!

More specifically, it is all about your goals, experience and lifestyle. These three factors massively impact the training, nutrition and lifestyle strategies that you can/should/will implement for body recomposition and performance goals.

Programming requires some element of personalisation. This can be goal orientated (fat loss vs muscle gain), experience level (beginner v advanced) or lifestyle (busy mother/executive client vs uni student/athlete). Depending on where an individual sits on this scale, certain strategies will be better-suited to their desired outcomes. 

Personalised training and nutrition programs is what we specialise in here at Integrated Fitness & Nutrition. Our client base is diverse, but some traits remain constant across the board. Our clients are motivated to make alterations, but they are also busy and many have had mixed experiences with weight-loss in the past. 

There is a temptation to stop right here when it comes to developing body composition solutions. Most people are busy, somewhat motivated to make alteration and have had varying experiences with weight loss attempts. If you could create a program that caters for these three needs you would surely have a solution that would suit the masses, only needs to be written once and is therefore easily accessible. 

Unfortunately not. Generic programs are far from optimal and typically more people fail than succeed. The attrition rate is not due to the program not catering to the audience or lacking the fundamentals for body recomposition, it is the lack of personalisation that comes with it. If people stuck to the generic program they would get results, but they don't.

Personalisation allows you to create a program an individual will stick to and this adherence delivers results.

As mentioned repeatedly over the past few weeks, the management of energy balance is the key to body composition improvements. It is very easy to create a plan to manage this - simply expend more energy than you intake and the results will come. However, things get complicated when developing a system that people will adhere to.


Refining Our Programming Services

Personalisation made sense from day one and there was never any generic programs developed here because they don't work and there were already plenty of people out there selling and marketing generic programs very well. 

We did, however, introduce a one-off program that was personalised to the client's goals, experience and lifestyle. This service involved a single training and nutrition program being developed to help the client get to where they wanted to go. 

Intermediate level trainees got good results, because they used the service to alter the training regime and tighten up their nutrition. However, because the program was a one-off, we could not trial different strategies to see what worked for them. So while they made progress towards their goals, it was hard to tell what was driving this progress.

Identifying strategies that work well for clients is important for them in the long term. If they know a system that worked well in the past they can implement it again later in life. As a trainer, you might think this will diminish your value to them because they no longer need you... but your value is actually increased, because they are getting more out of their initial investment. 

These one-off training and nutrition programs were less successful for beginner clients compared to the intermediates. Because the programs were one-off, they started at a higher level than the client needed. When the client just needed to make training a habit, they received a program with training sessions and nutrition programs that were a few weeks ahead of where they had to be.

The programs were recommend to have a eight-week duration, but the program was written more so for week eight than week one. As a result, there was the inherently same issue that you see with generic programs where the experience level is not personalised, despite the fact that goals and lifestyle were included.

Whilst the service was personalised, it could not be modified as the client needed and this error was my responsibility. While there was good intentions giving a program that would last for longer, it was not what they needed.

As a result, we now only offer one-off programs to intermediate and advanced level trainees, whom will get the most benefit from the system.

For beginner and intermediate clients, we a have added more spots to the Body Recomposition Program for online clients and introduced the short-term [RECOMPOSITION] programs that can allow people to get a taste of our core service in the gym - the Body Recomposition Program


DIY Personalisation

The biggest barrier to accessing personalised services is cost yet despite this, people invest horribly in their fitness endeavours. As discussed in an insight from The Integrated Insider, it's common to see people invest thousands of dollars on activewear, gym memberships and accessories, only to lack a plan to get their results. If you spend money and gain weight over the course of the year, that was a poor return on investment. 

But you don't need to hire a Trainer or Nutritionist to personalise your regime - you can do it yourself. Identify what factors work well for you and then build a program based around these. If you train best in the morning, make this a priority and implement it for the medium term. 

If you are starting out fresh, look for an exercise system that you enjoy, or that can be made enjoyable. You might hate exercise but find that the exercise bike is an option if you can watch Netflix on your iPad. In that case, do exactly that. Once you start making progress, and notice an increased level of fitness, you then gravitate towards something higher intensity. 

Next week's article is about the control and variable approach we use here at Integrated Fitness & Nutrition. This simple system is utilised on all Body Recomposition Programs to gain the insights we need to continually progress our client's programs.