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Health & Fit: TRX and Keto Helped Me Get Back Into Shape During the Pandemic

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Fred Chevry is a 34-year-old personal trainer from Miami, Florida, now living in Las Vegas, Nevada. After moving to a new country, two serious illnesses, and job stress, he put on more weight than he'd like. Here's how he got back in shape.

Fred Chevry is a personal trainer living in Los Angeles who aimed to lose 10 pounds after getting out of shape during the pandemic. Here's how he did it. © Fred Chevry Fred Chevry is a personal trainer living in Los Angeles who aimed to lose 10 pounds after getting out of shape during the pandemic. Here's how he did it.

Getting out of shape was essentially a string of rough circumstances. Immigrating from Canada to the USA was really demanding; working multiple jobs while having to rebuild my personal training customer base took a toll on my physique. Then my wife and I traveled to Thailand in the winter of 2019 and were both hospitalized from catching Dengue fever. A couple days after being discharged, I got sick again with another tropical fever.

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Then, when we returned to Miami, Covid lockdowns happened. The inactivity from "stay at home" orders was the final nail in the coffin. That felt like a good time to take a "before" picture. People who know me were more shocked by the before picture than the after!

I felt terribly unhealthy. It wasn't so much that I gained so much weight on the scale, but my body fat was steadily increasing while I lost muscle. Due to the pandemic, I was glad I wasn't alone in my body struggle, but as a personal trainer I felt it was somewhat my responsibility to set an example. I felt guilty, like, "Here I am with knowledge that could help others, and I 'm not doing anything with it."

I knew needed to recover lost muscle mass before getting lean, so I hopped on a strength and muscle building program I created and got to bulking. I started by using a TRX suspension at home as a temporary fix, but the day the gyms reopened I was right back in. I knew there was no way I could have done this transformation at home, unless I purchased serious weight lifting equipment.

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My diet wasn't so strict at first, as long as there was enough protein. I kept an equal balance of protein, fats and carbs. I was eating roughly 3000 calories a day of clean healthy food including chicken, salmon, rice and veggies are my to go options.

At the gym, I worked out in a mix of strength and muscle building, five days a week, ending with 30 minutes of the stair climber or basketball daily. It really helped me stay lean.

After gaining 10 pounds to reach 180 pounds, I started cutting, doing straight keto, eating plenty of green veggies, fish, chicken, nuts, whey protein and eggs with the occasional keto-friendly dairy product to feel fancy. And can't forget bacon.

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During this cut, I lost about 20 pounds on the scale, but there was some recovered muscle mass in the process. I figured losing a pound per week was a good speed to lose weight without compromising hard earned muscle. I stopped keto and went into reverse dieting mode by progressively reintroducing carbs the following week until my metabolism was back to normal.

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I saw changes all over after dropping body fat, but having visible abs again is definitely the best part.

Now at 161 pounds, it's not so much about what I eat, but how much I eat. I still hit my daily macros, but caloric intake has really been my main focus. Now my meals are a good balance of protein, carbs and healthy fats. I haven't gained any weight since finishing that weight loss by the way, so I suppose it worked!

The main difference is portion size and snacks. I'll now have an avocado or handful of almonds instead of chocolate brownies for a snack.

Personal training is what I do for a living, but I'd never be where I am today if it wasn't for hiring a personal trainer almost 10 years ago. My old trainer, Johnny, taught me everything I know and I'd never have been able to do it now if I didn't work with him back then. Being accountable to someone is also a massive incentive to push through when it gets challenging.

I believe that being fit is state that has to be maintained, and it cannot be taken for granted. It's a good reminder that I 'm not special, just a regular guy who's putting in the work, so I doubt I'll ever be "finished" with fitness. It's always been more like a moving target. My current focus isn't as much progress oriented as before, but more aimed at staying lean long term and making small improvements on key body parts.

My greatest advice to those who want to start their fitness journey is to get help. While I did this alone, I never would have figured it out without having my own trainer in the past. You can find tons of resources online, but having some sort of mentor is what I deeply believe in.

I've never met anyone who said something like "I sure regret getting fit", unless they've done it in a short sighted or reckless manner. I think the hardest part was restructuring my lifestyle around healthier habits, but it gets surprisingly easy with time.

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