Dom is one of my current clients and also my flatmate. Usually I try to avoid training people who are close to me, it usually ends in disagreement and a lack of belief in the methods. It’s hard to see someone as an authority when you’ve lived with them for 4 years. 

When Dom approached me enquiring about a consultation he was very explicit in his requirements, he wanted to implement some strategies that would allow him to improve in terms of bodycomposition and strength without having much of an affect on his life – some people simply don’t want to suffer through arduous dieting and that’s what we’re all about – we train humans, not machines. I felt I could help Dom make some decent headway without him even noticing the change. Here’s his account of the journey so far:

Hi my name’s Dom and I live with Jonny (editor) and have done for 4 years now, throughout university and now i’m in the real world.

When Jonny asked if I wanted to write an article for PropaneFitness, i initially thought I wouldn’t have much to offer. However I decided that my approach to training may provide some comfort to those in my position who may feel a little intimidated by the Propane pros.

Just by looking on the forum you can clearly see a huge range of different approaches to training and can easily get bogged down.  However, what I consider to be the most important is finding a program or a way to train that you will enjoy and will stick with. After all, a training plan can work perfectly in theory but you’ll achieve nothing if you can’t follow it for more than a few days.

I’ve jumped on my fair share of bandwagons and still jump from one to the other when I feel I’m not getting as much out of it as i once did. However, rarely do i make the jump without having a word with Jonny or raising a query in the forum. If you’re struggling to get into a consistent way of training (not necessarily a routine) The Propane forum is a good place to start. You can ask advice from the editors and contribute in discussions, even receive feedback on what you’re doing/thinking of doing from people with a wealth of experience in all aspects of diet and training.

There are a million and one ways to train and much like the new positive teaching in schools, there is no right or wrong answer. Having said that, I have always needed the odd steer in the right direction and fortunately haven’t had far to go.


I’ve never been as dedicated to training as some of those I know but with the help of Propane have managed to make some relatively good gains. The drip feeding of knowledge that I have received over the years from Jonny has allowed me to adapt my training depending in my life style.

With Jonny’s help we compiled a combination of sensible strategies that would impose the least cost and yield the most gain. I now work 9-5 Monday to Friday and am not back in the house until 6:30pm so I use the following approach:

At work I have a whey isolate shake and 1 tbsp of coconut oil in a large coffee at 1pm to reign in proteolysis and prevent any potential mTOR deregulation (so I’m told), this also gives me a bump in ketones for energy and serves as a “pick me up” for the rest of the day, I’ll drink this at around the 12-13 hour mark of my fast. When I get home at 6:30pm I’ll repeat the lunchtime shake and coffee combo and  train before ingesting any actual food.

In the evening I eat pretty much whatever I want as long as I reach and don’t overshoot the limits and guidelines that Jonny set, so within these parameters I have dietary freedom and never feel deprived. We adjust quantities and what I eat depending on how I’m looking and responding which seems to keep progress constant with regards to visual improvement. Being able to eat huge evening meals, with banoffee pie (my favorite) making a regular appearance, all while starting to uncover your abs is a feat I never thought possible.

I train nearly every day, this helps me to make consistent progress and still accumulate the same weekly volume without eating into my free time too terribly much. I focus on a few select movements which allows me to build better technique and get comfortable with some previously unfamiliar motor patterns. Jonny has recognised that I am playing the long game and advised me accordingly, although I’m quite limited by equipment I still manage a decent training session of about 45 minutes to an hour, its always a challenge but I always seem to end the session feeling better than I started – not bad given that I train in my living room. I’ve been told that I’m the first to experience some of these training ideas before they go out to other clients and so far I’ve added over 5kg to my bench press and I’ve lost some noticable fat around my abdomen and lower back.

The caveat here is that no matter how difficult it may seem to implement effective diet and training into your life there is always a way. Things don’t always have to be “perfect” to yield great results. Equally, change may not always be as daunting as you first expect. Dom always assumed that I would advocate a very strict diet constrained to specific foods and a training regime that would consume his entire evening. Most importantly, he’s learned strategies that can be applied no matter how tough his schedule becomes now he’ll always have a back up plan and a solid base to build on. 



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3 responses to “Client Testimonial: Overcoming the 9 to 5

  1. Not sure why no one has commented yet, but this post is awesome. Getting results for the average joe (body comp + strength gain) while working full time is deceptively difficult. JMO, but great stuff!

  2. Craggsy said:
    Not sure why no one has commented yet, but this post is awesome. Getting results for the average joe (body comp + strength gain) while working full time is deceptively difficult. JMO, but great stuff!

    Thanks, Jerome! This article is also very relevant for anyone doing postgraduate study, especially if you do a PhD where you’re often working in an office environment with the same working hours (or worse!).

  3. Cheers Jerome. I think even with training every day, sitting at a desk for 8 hours is hardly optimal for fat loss, and generally speaking, training is not what I fancy after work so it’s pretty difficult to make progress but it seems like it can be done.

    Another issue that wasn’t mentioned in the article is the questions such as:

    “oh my god, you don’t have breakfast”

    “oh my god, you don’t eat at lunch”

    “whats that drink you always have, oh is it one of those power shakes?”

    Once you’ve gotten past the stigma and gotten used to not eating a meal until after work and after you’ve trained it’s pretty simple and I don’t find my concentration lacking-if anything i’m more focused.

    Have been fasting for 24 hours (give or take) with a whey isolate shake at around 14 hours since January now and the only problem may be a lack of energy when I get home an have to train but there’s nothing to say that’s as a result of fasting. Plus, it’s nothing a quick coffee can’t sort out.

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