Success Stories

Julia Lawton

Goal – Injury Rehab and Strength

Julia came to me in the summer of 2012 with the goal of improving her posture and strength but above all finding a solution to her shoulder impingement and chronic neck pain.

Upon assessment of Julia’s posture, it was clear to see a number of issues; protracted shoulder girdle, downward inferior rotation of scapula, excessive medial rotation of the shoulder and kyphosis. Tightness to the following muscles were apparent: pec minor, lattisimus dorsi, subscapularis, levator scapula. As a result, Julia displayed poor bio-mechanics of the upper limbs, resulting in faulty movement patterns. The knock-on effect is muscles firing in the wrong sequence and wrong muscles firing to compensate. Tightness was especially evident around her neck, scalenes and lavatory scapulae – elevating her first rib causing chronic neck spasm. Basically, Julia had built up a huge imbalance with her anterior muscles entirely dominant over posterior muscles with synergist function non-existant (Lower traps, seratus anterior & infraspinatus).

To correct the imbalance, the focus became to strengthen the opposing muscles and improve the function of her stabilizer muscles. I implemented a 3:1 pull to push ratio with an emphasis on improving function, control and fatigue resistance of her mid/lower traps, infraspinatus(external rotation of the shoulder) and anterior deltoid. A greater focus was put on eccentric contraction and correct synergist recruitment. In conjunction with this, exercises were added to improve function of seratus anterior in the horizontal plane of motion and in upward rotation.

A year down the line and Julia can perform almost all activities pain free. She no longer has shoulder impingement at all and has alleviated her chronic neck pain and built an impressive upper back!


Callum Tomlinson

Goal – Strength & Size

Callum came to me as a fresh-faced 18 year old with zero experience of weight training. His goals from the outset were an introduction into weight training and to gain some muscle.

Having never done weights before, Callum was lacking in strength and demonstrated a typical ectomorph physique.

We started off with a mixture of strength training and hypertrophy. I kept the volume high (4-6 sets) and split was a traditional push/pull/mix with an extra optional day for weaknesses. Each day finished with a Core/Abs Triple Set x 3.

Callum saw me on average on 1-2 times per week. On the other days, he would complete the sessions himself. This way I could monitor his progress.

We changed the programme every 8 weeks, usually alternating between strength focus and hypertrophy focus and varying the key exercises.

Callum made great progress. Changing his body composition, gaining around 2 Stone and increasing his strength significantly. Unfortunately, due to an ACL rupture and Meniscus Tear, we have been unable to make the same progress with lower limb strength.

Some strength milestones -

Starting Bench Press – 35kg x 5

Current Bench Press – 80kg x 5

He was unable to body weight chin before but is now able to do 5 reps wide grip with 15kg attached.

Starting strict Press – 25kg

Current Strict Press – 55kg x 5

Colin Mills

Goal – Weight Loss

Colin started training with me in December 2011 when he weighed in at 118kg. His goals were to lose weight and improve general fitness. At the time the target was to get down to 105kg.

Admittedly Colin had a poor diet relying on easy option food which was more often than not calorie dense and lacking in nutrients. With Colin's lifestyle and eating habits, it was never going to be proactive nor sustainable to go on a starvation diet or any kind of fasting-based diet so i put him on a balanced diet with the right macro-nutrients at the right times.

My aim with Colin was to burn as many calories as possible in the space of an hour. We did this using a combination of high-intensity cardio, circuit-based training and some steady-state cardio. The focus was on keeping his heart rate elevated the whole time.

By the summer, Colin was 104kg and happy with his weight loss. Progress began to stall and Colin stagnated at that weight despite getting fitter. This meant his diet had to be adjusted further to create the required calorie deficit that he needed to lose more weight and progress past the plateau.

Colin finally started to make progress again and by Christmas 2012 hit the milestone of 100kg – this was one year down the line with 18 kilos lost and all round fitness improved.

In the new year, Colin continued to progress and continued to smash milestones, hitting 95kg in the recent summer. With his new found fitness and mobility Colin has decided to take up rugby.

It is now September and two years down the line. Colin weighed in on Monday(9/12/13) at 88.9kg. With a total weightless of almost 30kg. Colin has completely transformed his physique and lost a quarter of his bodyweight in fat.

Starting Weight – 118kg

Current weight – 88.9kg

Target weight – 85kg

The overall target is now 85kg when our focus will change to weight training and the development of strength and lean muscle in which Colin will again aim transform his physique further, face a whole new set of goals and no doubt smash them as well!

Congratulation to Colin!

Chris Ewan

Goal – Weight Loss

Chris is someone who hadn't partaken in any kind of regular exercise. He admitted himself that his fitness was poor and he was more overweight than he would like to have been. His goals goals were to lose weight and improve his fitness.

First, I changed his diet from processed starchy foods to lean meats, non-refined carbohydrates and nutrient-dense fruit and veg.

Chris has seen me on average 2 times per week. All workouts were cardio-based focusing on keeping the HR elevated for the entire hour and burning as many calories as possible.

So far Chris has done fantastically to dramatically reduce his bodyweight and improve his fitness levels – no longer feeling like he needs a defibrillator during anaerobic work!

Starting bodyweight in May 2013 – 106kg

Current bodyweight in Dec 2013 – 88.6kg

Target bodyweight – 80kg

Chris has done excellent and managed to shed over 15kg and is still going strong. His bodyweight has completely changed and, as a result, he has had to buy a whole new wardrobe! Once we hit the target bodyweight, our emphasis will change to weight training in which we will focus on building lean muscle and changing Chris’ bodyshape further. Well done to Chris!

Below is a photo of Chris with his current physique and in a shirt from when we started! Great Progress!


© Martin Christie Personal Training - 2013-2016