Throughout the month of January, I hosted a body transformation challenge. After reviewing all the before and after pictures, Nikki McKnight was given the grand prize transformation!
I wanted to feature Nikki today to congratulate her on her success!
I have always been a fairly active individual. I play sports and have always been
interested in fitness. My problem was being consistent with my eating habits and
exercise programs. Add to that my genetics and I had a lot of trouble keeping off
weight (thanks for the thunder thighs, mom). Many times over the years I have
told myself that this would be the day I changed it! This is the day where I would
lose 40lbs and be a fitness model! I would go into my plan with all this energy and
then I’d lose it about two weeks in when real life interfered. Then I would become
incredibly disappointed in myself and have a chocolate bar. My other problem was
injuries- about 10 years ago I had a bad fall on a ski hill where I displaced both of
my knees. Two years later I displaced my hip- the reason for which they still don’t
know. Last March I was skiing in Aspen with a friend and I took a bad fall down an
icy staircase, twisting my knee. After a few weeks I noticed the pain wasn’t going
away and I eventually ended up using a cane and knee brace to get around. I was
on a long wait list for an MRI and x-rays and when the results came in 2 months
later they still didn’t know what was wrong. My fitness coach referred me to a
sports clinic where we did intensive acupuncture and chiropractic work and after
another few months of rehab I was able to lose the cane. Soon after I developed a
pinched nerve in my shoulder that severely limited my range of motion; more rehab
followed. Once I was medically cleared to train again I discovered that during my
rehab I had gained almost 15 lbs. I weighed in at 165 lbs- the heaviest I had ever
been in my life. It was a horrible moment of realization. I was so lucky my trainer
and my family stepped in and told me to get back on track and move forward.
Then I saw an advert for this challenge and thought, “hey, I can do that”. The
biggest draw was that it looked like a smaller group- a group in which I could be an
individual and not one of thousands competing. I thought that maybe this would
keep me accountable. I told my family and friends I was doing it, posted my pictures
online, and just got down to it.
My thought going into this was to take everything that I was doing and just make
it more consistent.
I worked it out to karate 2-3 times/week, spinning 2x/week,
running 1x/week, and strength training 2-3 times/week (once with my trainer).
When I started working out with this degree of intensity and consistency I saw
results really quickly. I dropped 4 lbs my first week and felt really great!
(Nikki and her personal trainer)
(Nikki and her spin instructor)
Well, there is such a thing as being too pumped up. About two weeks into the
challenge I was getting really exhausted and had zero appetite. I couldn’t even get
through a hamburger! I had a coaching session with my fitness coach and we looked
at my work to date and came to the conclusion that I was overtraining. She cut me
back to two rest days per week so that I could properly recover. On my recovery
days I would take the dog for a long walk (she’s only 4 months old and needs a lot of
attention) or just be incredibly lazy.
My trainer created a German Body Composition training program as developed
by Charles Poliquin. It is characterized by short rest intervals, time under tension
training, and multi-joint movements to generate maximum growth hormone
production. It’s designed to burn fat, increase lean body mass and strength.
Workout example (A exercises alternate for 4 sets, then move on to B
A1: Squats: 10-12 reps 4 sets 45 seconds rest, Tempo 3-0-1-0
A2: Medium grip Supinated Lat Pull Down 12-15 reps, 4 sets, 45 seconds rest,
B1: Lying Hamstring Curl: 6-8 reps, 4 sets, 30 Seconds Rest, Tempo 4-0-1-0
B2: Neutral Grip Flat DB Chest Press: 12-15 reps, 4 sets, 30 Seconds Rest, Tempo 3-
C1: Romanian Deadlifts: 12-15 Reps, 4 Sets, 30 Seconds Rest, Tempo 3-0-1-0
C2: Standing Lateral Raises: 12-15 Reps, 4 Sets, 30 Seconds Rest, Tempo 2-0-1-0
My biggest weakness is chocolate and sweet things; I knew going into this challenge
that I would have to focus on eating the right foods and only allowing myself
chocolate once in a while! The types of food I was eating didn’t really change before
and during the challenge but I was just a tad stricter!
I ate lots of protein in the morning (eggs or meat for breakfast), lots of greens and vegetables, and no alcohol.
I probably ate about 5 meals/day. I also took supplements every day- I use the
Poliquin brand since my trainers and coaches are all students of his program and
I have seen great results from it. I took a multi-vitamin, zinc, and fish oil twice per
day, and magnesium to help me sleep.
After the Challenge:
I am so happy with the change I have seen in myself and with the new habits I have
adopted. The response from everyone has been so encouraging and has inspired me
to keep going. When my friend took my after photos and saw the difference she was
so enthusiastic and proud that I almost started crying. I couldn’t believe the change!
The hardest part for me was controlling my need for 2pm sugar and keeping my
schedule consistent! My schedule has me out and about every day for work and
other activities so I have to keep track of what needs to be done and then make time
for it, no matter what. My trainer and I have also decided to structure our workouts
as a monthly challenge: February will be the month when I lay the foundation for
some sick arms and shoulders and get my body fat down so that I can conquer my
thunder things and legs in March! I’m training for a 5km run in March and then my
first-degree black belt grading in November.
Eat Clean, Train Dirty.