Success Stories 2018 - Saxon

Everyone finds it hard to stay fit, even those whom you think have it easy. For us working in the IFC gym we understand how hard it is for most clients to make time for exercise, and even harder to develop healthy eating habits that will facilitate a change in body composition.

While everyone who trains at IFC is a winner, we thought we would ask the biggest winners, those who had exceptional changes, how they did it.

What is your name?

Saxon Shirley

How long have you been a part of the IFC family?

Since 2012

What was your success story for 2018?

I finally found my abs! I have been working out since 1998, but over the years it has not been consistent enough or closely synced enough with my diet for my abs to ever show through. No matter how many times I read the usual advice in magazines like Men’s Health about diet being 80% of the battle, I never seemed to be able to make it work. Even though I thought I was eating healthily, my breakthrough this year was realising that I wasn’t eating nearly enough fruit and vegetables. Our modern world over emphasizes carbs in every meal. After doing a 90 day online program (called Kenzai) I realized I needed to almost triple the amount of fruit and vegetables I was eating. I also fixed my sleep by going to bed earlier. I did cardio every day and I drank only water, tea and coffee for three months (that’s right no more weekend alcohol binges)

 The result was a loss of 10 kilograms and a new lease on life. My IFC trainer and friend Greg was instrumental in my success. He helped me to stay the course, adapt my weight training to ensure I maintained muscle, helped me to track my progress and build exercises around a couple of injuries I sustained along the way. The muscle building we did before this focus on weightloss really helped with my results. Plus Greg and I are now planning to do a three month push on muscle building in early 2019. 

Could we have some photos?

Saxon after.jpg

 Who is your primary trainer at IFC?


How often do you work out with your trainer?

Twice a week for about two years at least. That extra visit has really helped me build more muscle and work against desk-bound sitting. We have really focused on fixing my posterior chain by building my glutes, hamstrings, back and core. I no longer feel the same pain or get the regular neck and back strains – amazing! Everyone who works at a desk should look at doing the same, it is bliss. 

Do you do extra exercise on your own or with another studio?

Yes, just at home normally. I also try to keep moving and use my Fitbit to ensure I am stepping a lot.

Did you follow a specific diet?

Yes but it was pretty straight-forward. It was breakfast, lunch and dinner with half of it being salad or vegetables. Some carbs (pasta, bread or rice) for breakfast or lunch and none at dinner. In between these meals I would have fruit and Greek yoghurt (unsweetened). Again don’t drink too many calories either. Stick to water, tea and coffee.

You’ve managed to do what most people can’t, maintain your results, how did you manage to do this?

I have an amazing wife who supports and encourages me to stick to things even when I don’t want to. I also saw a video of myself in March at the pool jumping into the water with my daughter and was horrified. It was my “I need to do something” moment. Thinking about that helps me to stick to my diet which is easy because it isn’t hard to follow and it something I can see myself doing for life. 

Greg has also instilled in me that consistency is everything. Even when it’s the holidays and I don’t feel like working out, I have his voice in my head. “Just go for a walk, just turn up to the gym, just go for a swim, just jump rope”. Usually once you have done the first two minutes you will complete another 40 to 60min. For me it’s just getting started that’s hard. Plus Greg says if you can do this habitually you will be in great shape at 50, 60 and 70. So that keeps me motivated as well.

Any words of advice for those of us who would like to achieve similar goals in 2019?

Losing 10 kilos has helped me to wind back the clock 10 years. It’s easy to let the middle-age spread develop, so in my view it is great to try and lose the pounds so you feel better about yourself. It is important to fix your food by eating double the amount of fruit and vegetables, stop drinking calories and to move more.  I found a form of cardio I really enjoy – jump rope – which has been a blessing. Although in 2019 I am also going to vary it with circuit type training to give my legs a break. I would tell people to try jump rope and see if they like it. Just 15 minutes is worth about 30min of running. So it is great for efficiency if you are busy.