This one gets better the longer you look!
Tom Tesh is an awesome chap with an amazing story behind him. A journey that's seen him overcome many obstacles life has thrown him and I'd love to share some of those, along with details of how we get these results, in this post today.
Straight off the bat, let's start with the numbers on this transformation because those alone are pretty incredible.
Tom walked into R5 weighing 16st 7lbs with a body fat percentage of 31.2%. In the photo on the right, he weighs 13st 5lbs with a body fat percentage of 20.1%.
In just over 5 months Tom has lost 3st 2lbs and 11.1% body fat.
"Cant hold me back"
What makes this story more remarkable, is since birth, Tom has suffered with cerebral palsy. A condition that mainly effects the left side of his body. Everything from co-ordination to speech is effected.
What I've come to love the most about Tom, more than anything, is his resilience.
During our chat on day one, it was clear this was a man who had spent most of his life proving to people his disability would not hold him back, it would not stop him from fitting in and he would exceed any limitations life placed on him.
With this mindset, I knew immediately Tom could do very well on our program, but the outlook initially wasn't great.
Aside from any constraints associated with cerebral palsy and movement, Tom was heavily overweight, struggling to breathe, suffering with sleep apnea and harbouring a significant shoulder injury in which he broke his collar bone, detaching his shoulder from his body (you may notice a raised left shoulder on his left side).
Although this was an old shoulder injury, it still heavily effected most ranges of motion within his shoulder joint. After our first few sessions it was clear Tom had little strength in that region and relied on his traps to assist any pressing movements.
Tom's activity levels, overall fitness and shoulder mobility were the first things we had to address.
10,000 steps everyday. Sessions began by mobilising the left shoulder. Finishing with conditioning based circuits, slowly building strength across the board whilst improving fitness levels.
Over the first month of training I began understanding what came easy and hard to Tom. Due to breathing restrictions, intensity started at a very low level.
But I was surprised at how quickly Tom's cardiovascular system adapted and it wasn't long before I gave Tom the green light to start incorporating gentle runs into his walks away from sessions.
Although technique is key on every exercise, it shouldn't hinder pace and intensity within a session.
My belief, is that as long as it's not dangerous, small imperfections in execution of exercises can be overlooked if it means we can move more, sweat more and ultimately burn more calories.
This certainly doesn't mean it goes out the window, and Tom will tell you, if I'm not happy with an exercise I won't hesitate in going over it until it becomes a safe movement.
But by working around limitations with his disability and doing exercises without 100% perfect form, Tom began dropping weight and improving fitness very quickly.
This meant his breathing had drastically improved and after around 3 months we were now free to start fine tuning technique by adding in specific weight based sessions were intensity was not the main focus.
So we began the process of strengthening his left shoulder, which by this point had improved 10 fold in its mobility. The emphasis was on two things during pressing movements. Head straight at all times (it had a tendency to cock left engaging the traps) and shoulders depressed at all times (left shoulder would always elevate).
Not only did Tom's lifts start looking a lot better, but he got stronger, his posture improved and his shoulder began sitting more aligned on his frame.
Tom's like any 27 year old, he has things that play on his mind. Occasionally these would manifest into some pretty low weeks and we missed a few sessions due to depression. Something Tom has suffered with for a few years.
A stressful house move, health complications and ultimately the passing of his new puppy and some other personal issues, were just a few things Tom had to endure whilst on this program.
Truth be told, some sessions we did no exercise, we just talked for an hour. I don't believe anyone should exercise when stress levels are too high. It's counter intuitive and certainly won't help what's going on in your head.
Just talk it out, always the best remedy.
Amazing work Tom!
This journey with Tom was extra special to me for many reasons. I feel I've gained a good mate along the way and I've loved seeing him change not only physically but mentally. There's a spring in his step that wasn't there 5 months ago.
And it's not over yet! Tom is committed to even more changes, and our program will take a turn as we begin putting more emphasis on building muscle.
I can't wait - Thanks for everything so mate!