If there is one thing I love more than anything, it has to be helping people both improve their health, and transform their physiques in record time. So when I heard along the grapevine that super coach to the stars Christian Maurice was coming to town, I was chomping at the bit for the opportunity to learn from this man's expertise firsthand!
SO WHO IS CHRISTIAN MAURICE?
Mr Maurice’s portfolio is beyond impressive to say the least. Not only is he frequently sought after by Hollywood to prepare tinseltown’s A-list for major screen roles; he has also combined his unique skillset to achieve extraodinary results with Olympic athletes, fitness competitors and general population alike.
Over the course of my 3 days with Christian, perched in the front row taking notes like a court stenographer on amphetamines. Yet what I managed to come away with was a VAST bounty of information relating to biochemistry, psychology, nutrition and training that helped me refine my own systems and help me see the art of body transformation in a new light.
Without giving everything away, here were 5 tidbits I took away with me from the course that are frequently overlooked, but equal in importance when trying to rapidly transform a person's physique.
5 BODY TRANSFORMATION TIPS FROM CHRISTIAN MAURICE
#1 SUPPORT THYROID FUNCTION FOR FASTER FAT LOSS
The thyroid gland acts the bodies’ thermostat, and oversees energy production in the body on a global scale. However, the physiology of the thyroid gland itself can become quite complex, and a lot can go wrong!
One such example, is an over conversion of triiodothyronine or T3, the bodies predominately ‘active’ thyroid hormone, to reverse triiodothyronine or RT3.
Reverse T3 is an inactive form of T3 which binds to thyroid receptors in the body, having no action. This results in less real estate for the remaining active T3 to plug into, therefore energy production down regulates and metabolism slows as a result.
What can cause a rise in RT3 levels? Typically it can be found in individuals afterprolonged periods of caloric restriction, as the body seeks to preserve energy expenditure by conversion of T3 to RT3 to lower metabolism. Something I find so common especially in new clients with any history of eating disorders or crash dieting.
#2 CORTISOL CAN KILL YOUR PROGRESS FASTER THAN ANYTHING ELSE
Christian spent a large portion of the course emphasizing the adverse effects of chronically elevated cortisol levels, and the importance of resolving HPA axis dysfunction in order to achieve a rapid body transformation.
Chronically elevated cortisol levels interfere with sleep, hormonal balance, thyroid & immune function, digestion, mood, hydration and blood sugar regulation just to name a few. Hence the reason why if your client is maximally stressed, then even with ALL of the other variables in check such as nutrition and training, their progress will be slow.
It is only once you identify what stresses the client and remove the triggers that the rapid results will come. Stressors could rear their head in a variety of ways be it environmental, chemical, mental/emotional, physical or even the result of past trauma. The clincher is that most of the time, the client won’t even realize they ARE stressed. Address the stress FIRST.
#3 FOOD FIRST, SUPPLEMENTS SECOND
Just as you cannot out train a bad diet, you cannot out supplement one either. Unfortunately in the quest for body transformation, the sad truth is a lot of folks are just far too eager to commence popping pills to fix their woes, then ACTUALLY change their lifestyle and nutrition
The hard reality is however that abs are indeed made in the kitchen. But it is much more than just the food that we eat. It is also HOW we eat, and how we ABSORB what we eat that also matters.
One thing Christian really drilled home early on, was the emphasis on the cephalic phase of eating and it’s relation to our digestion. Defined as in or relating to the head, the Cephalic phase of digestion is the bodies preparation for digestion that commences with the secretion of gastric juices and digestive enzymes in preparation for a meal when food is detected by the senses through sight and smell. In the cephalic phase, all information goes through the vagus nerve where it begins to initiate digestion.
Bearing this in mind, it is worth noting that digestion is in fact enhanced if you prepare your own food as the action of preparing a meal, improves your bodies ability to break it down and assimilate it. Quite often, simply taking the time to cook your own meals and actually sit with your food when you eat, thoroughly chewing your food, can remove the need for digestive enzymes and reduce gastrointestinal upset. This does more for digestion than anything else. So no matter how busy you are, never eat at your desk at work!
Properly chewing your food is the other side of the coin. Not only because it increases the surface area of your food, but because you secrete an enzyme in your saliva called amylase which begins the breakdown of carbohydrates, and also Lysozyme which kills bad bacteria in the mouth and in your food.
#4 WHEN TRAINING FOR A TRANSFORMATION, SLEEP IS KING!
In the corporate world, people are celebrated for their ability to work through the night and back it up the next day wearing it almost like a badge of honour. But if you are not sleeping a sound 8-9 hours per night on a regular basis and bouncing out of bed in the morning refreshed, then I’m afraid your sleep is inadequate.
In terms of sleep’s effects on body composition, it is important to note the importance of sleep on your bodies’ hormonal homeostasis, as your bodies’ circadian rhythms greatly affect your degree of insulin sensitivity, testosterone levels and growth hormone secretion. Poor sleep also lowers stress resilience and increases cortisol.
How do you go about fixing someones poor sleep? Asking that question is kind of the same as asking, ‘How long is a piece of string?’ There may be just as many reasons for the persons disrupted sleep as there are interventions you can take. Which is why a detailed assessment of the clients diet and lifestyle are required before taking any action.
The take home here: the better you sleep, the faster you recover; the better you feel and the faster you drop fat!
#5 TAKE ACETYL L-CARNITINE FOR BRAIN FUNCTION & FAT LOSS
Christian endorsed Acetyl-L Carnitine as his number one go-to’s in terms of nutritional supplements. Primarily due to it’s ability to boost dopamine and acetyl-choline levels in the brain to increase motivation and training drive, as well as stimulating fat burning by carrying fatty acids into the cell mitochondria, your cells powerhouse, for energy! That’s a major win-win!
Achieving a body transformation is never black and white, it can be a complex process just as people are complex beings. The real trick to it however, is having enough tricks in your toolbox to get the job done. The true beauty in the ELEMENTAL system, is how it reinforces the value of an holistic approach to health and body transformation.
Weight loss in particular, should be viewed as a side effect of health, as opposed to achievable through fitness fads, snake oil type supplements and aggressive nutritional protocols. We tend to put people on pedestals and think to ourselves that we could never achieve those kinds of results and personal transformations in our own lifetimes. Yet if Christian can take these methods and make them work for Hollywoods A-list, then it will work for you too!
If you ever have the opportunity to attend one of Christian’s lectures, they come highly recommended! The good news is, that he will be returning to Australian shores in the near future lecturing again in 2017. Visit the gang over at ICON PERFORMANCE HEALTH for details on future appearances from Christian as well as many other upcoming courses.
If you are located outside of Australia and would like more information on upcoming ELEMENTAL workshops and seminars, then please visit Christian’s own site at ELEMENTAL.
DISCLAIMER: THIS ARTICLE DOES NOT PROVIDE ANY MEDICAL ADVICE. Information contained within this article is provided for informational purposes only and is not intended as a substitute for the advice provided by your physician or other healthcare practitioner or any information contained on or in any product label or packaging. You should not use the information within this article for diagnosing or treating a health problem or disease, or prescribing any medication or other treatment. You should always speak with your physician or other healthcare professional before taking any medication or nutritional, herbal or homeopathic supplement or adopting any treatment for a health problem. If you have or suspect that you have a medical problem, promptly contact your healthcare provider. Never disregard professional medical advice or delay in seeking professional advice because of something you have read in this article. Information and statements regarding dietary supplements have not been evaluated by the Therapeutic Goods Administration and are not intended to diagnose, treat, cure or prevent any disease.