June 25, 2020

Shannon Miller

Client Perspective: 6 Ways to Create Structure & See Results

Composition ID Washington, DC client, Monica, relied on one key component to drive her incredible results during quarantine: STRUCTURE. By intentionally planning workouts and meals each week, she was able to reduce body fat percent by 3% and increase muscle mass. Her advice to those struggling to get on track: educate yourself, find ways to be accountable, and focus on what you can control. Read more about her journey below!

“Structure, structure, structure.

Since everything closed, I have kept my workout structure intact as much as possible. I have been running a lot, so my cross-training includes 2 gym circuit-training weights sessions per week, 1 hot flow yoga, 1 barre class, and 1 bike ride (and 55-65 miles running per week).  When things closed, the heaviest object I had was 20lbs! But, I was determined to keep my circuit training intact using resistance bands and the single weight that I owned. I streamed barre class and I signed up for CorePowerOnDemand to keep the yoga in place. I always woke up at the same time even though I didn’t have to, and never deviated from the training structure.

Nutrition played a big role. I researched a few fun additions, things like curcumin powder and mushroom root, tested different brands of pea protein powder, and toyed around with variety in my nutritional routine. I’m a gluten free vegan, so I find that educating myself and seeing what gives me the most energy and life force is the most important factor. Post-workout nutrition is KEY!  You need to have some calories right after you work out.

This resulted in an almost 3% fat reduction, and a corresponding muscle gain, to leave me at the same weight with more muscle and less fat! (See results in screenshot below.)

To be honest, I was very surprised by this. “How could I gain muscle without lifting weights?” I thought. But, simply by focusing on the muscles I needed to turn on, and engaging in a variety of workouts to keep my body guessing, I was able to significantly change my body composition. Also, the best news is that my bone density is higher than it has EVER been before!

I would suggest that anyone who is seeking to maintain structure amid chaos does these things:

  1. You can’t control the world around you, but you can control how you respond.
  2. Education is the first step to lasting habit change. Teach yourself what will work best for your body.
  3. Stay connected. I use Strava as my “buddy system” to log workouts and give kudos (and get kudos) on my training.
  4. Be accountable to yourself. Use an activity tracker, a training log, or at least put your workouts in your calendar, along with your grocery list. It helps you not deviate from your plan.
  5. Be kind. Helping yourself by focusing on what you CAN do, versus what you cannot, is vitally important. And, displaying active kindness to one other person per day is super helpful.  I signed up for a Hallmark Ecard membership so that I could send “thinking of you” cards to people, to let them know I was there.
  6. Find a silver lining. In the end, I actually found the closures to be beneficial because I was ready to work out as soon as my mat was in place, computer ready to stream (if I was streaming a workout), music on when applicable, workout written on the whiteboard when applicable, and mindset ready to go. All transit time was eliminated, giving me so much extra time to execute the workout and get back to whatever I needed to do.”



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