Most of the people I interview on this site come from Canada or the US. I thought it would be interesting to get the point of view of a trainer from a different country. Sue is an expert in her field and the author of Ideal Body Blueprint. She gives some great tips in this interview. I hope you enjoy it.
Question: My guest today comes from a country I’ve never visited but one I know I have to see: Australia. It’s Sue Heintze, creator of Ideal Body Blueprint. How are you doing Sue? How are things Down Under?
SH: (stands for Sue Heintze): G’day, Jonathan, its lovely of you to have me! We are just coming into cooler weather here, not really my favourite time of year but it won’t be long before summer is just around the corner again.
Question: Some of our readers don’t know you yet, so why don’t you tell us a bit about your experience in the fitness and nutrition field?
SH: Sure, Jonathan. I’m a Personal Trainer but prefer to be known as a Body Transformation Specialist – as transforming people’s bodies is what I do best!
As you will read below, I suffered from body image issues and disordered eating patterns in my late teens right up to my 30’s. It wasn’t until I started training with weights and learning about bodybuilding that my body and eating habits rapidly changed for the better.
I went on to compete as a natural figure competitor at state and national level, and have worked with many different trainers and coaches over the years thus have learned about and personally tried various forms of training and dieting.
Through Ideal Bodies Online I’ve coached and mentored hundreds of clients over the years, including 25 winners of the Body Blitz Challenge, a national competition run by Australian Women’s Health and Fitness and Ironman magazines.
I currently write for Australian Oxygen Magazine, and have been a regular contributor for Australian Shape and Women’s Health and Fitness magazines over the years.
Question: In the US and in Europe, it’s quite clear that we’re dealing with an obesity epidemic. How does it look in Australia? Is obesity a big problem there as well?
SH: Absolutely it is. More than half (54%) of Australian adults are either overweight or obese, according to analysis from the 2004-05 National Health Survey released by the Australian Bureau of Statistics (ABS).
This has increased from 15 years ago when 38% of adults were regarded as being overweight or obese (in 1989-90).
In 2004-05 the number of Australians aged 18 years and over who were regarded as overweight or obese was 7.4 million, an increase of 2.8 million people over the previous 15 years.
Question: I understand that you actually went through a personal body-transformation. How did this affect your ability to help other people lose weight themselves as you do through your program?
SH: My story is one that many people relate to. Not that you can tell by looking at my before photo, but all my teenage and adult life I had been a health and fitness fanatic. In all that time, however, I’d never been able to achieve the results I knew I was capable of.
I was a perfectionist – it was always all or nothing for me. There was no consistency, or patience, and therefore, I never achieved the results I craved. It wasn’t for lack of trying – I’d tried every diet in the book! I was always at the gym, and food was constantly on my mind. It took up so much of my headspace, that I often found it difficult to enjoy the other things life had to offer. This was extremely frustrating for me and over time, my effort and motivation dwindled until I became totally depressed and unhappy with the way I looked, and the way I felt. This had a snowball effect on all aspects of my life.
The relief I felt when I finally figured out ‘the secret’ was amazing. I felt such power – as though the weight of the world had been lifted from my shoulders. My self-esteem and confidence sky rocketed, and funnily enough, all things in other areas of my life started falling into place.
I started my website because I wanted to help other women who were struggling with body image and eating issues – I wanted them to feel what I was feeling now. I know exactly what people are going through when they write to me asking for help.
I feel that personal connection is very valuable and helps establish trust in the coach/client relationship. All members of our team have undergone their own body transformation – this is one of the prerequisites for my staff. Knowing and understanding what clients are going through helps them identify and support clients as they can provide them with helpful ‘inside’ information.
I do want to reiterate that we do not only train women – we have many male clients too.
Question: Let’s talk about Ideal Body Blueprint, your online fitness and nutrition plan. What made you create this program?
SH:I found that there are a lot of programs and information on the internet, but not really a ‘blueprint’ for the end results people want. People still write to me confused as to what to do with all the information they have.
So, I developed this step by step program with the end result in mind. If you want to literally change your body in 12 weeks, Ideal Body Blitz Blueprint for Fat Loss will show you exactly how to do it. We cover nutrition, training, motivation and commitment and we cover all levels of fitness, from beginner to advanced trainees.
We keep it as simple as possible, as being a mum, a wife, a career woman – I know it has to be doable.
Question: Do you also have clients from the North America and other parts of the world or just from Australia?
SH: All over. We’ve even had a client from Antarctica! That’s the beauty of the internet – specialized information is available to everyone who has an internet connection, no matter how remotely they may be located.
Question: What are the core principles of Ideal Body Blueprint?
SH: We cut through the hype and BS and concentrate on the golden rules of fat loss and lean muscle gain/maintenance. The program contains the things I’ve learned in the past 20 years that work and in the shortest possible time frame.
We keep it real and doable without causing undue pressure or stress – after all, if you don’t stick to it, it’s never going to work. We understand that not many people have an abundance of time to spend training or being absolutely meticulous about their diets when they have families to feed, a household to run and work to do.
Our nutrition plans don’t count calories or macro nutrients, we concentrate on portion sizes. I’ve found that almost everyone is confused about how much they need to eat so portion sizes are specific in our programs. No guesswork required.
Our training programs involve short, challenging workouts, no matter what your level of fitness. Cardio/energy systems workouts are included and are short in duration but of high intensity.
In short – put all these principles together as laid out in our programs, and you will get tremendous visible results!
Question: Can the workouts be done at home or only at the gym, and what kind of equipment do you need?
SH: I designed the programs so that they can be done either at a gym, or at home with some basic equipment. I think every home gym needs some dumbbells, a barbell, a bench and a fitball. If you have this minimal equipment, you’re all set for some great results!
Question: In your program you have a “quick start” phase and a more gradual phase. Why did you design the program this way?
SH: People like to see initial results quickly. This creates excitement, motivates them to continue and enables them to stick to the program longer term. So the first week of the nutrition program is quite strict and designed to drop some quick pounds. This is optional of course, if people prefer they can just follow the regular part of the diet.
Question: You have different plans for beginners, intermediates, and advanced trainees. How do people know which one to choose and what is the general difference between the programs?
SH: The Training Programs page explains how to choose the appropriate programs but here are the guidelines:
Beginner – for those who have never lifted weights, have not been lifting weights consistently or those who are currently lifting weights less than 2 times per week
Intermediate – for those who are lifting weights on a consistent basis, 3 times per week or less
Advanced – for those who are lifting weights on a consistent basis, 3 times per week or more
The beginner program includes a conditioning phase needed for unconditioned muscles and joints. In general, the 3 programs vary in training frequency, volume and type of training.
Question: I see that there is an Ideal Body Blueprint for men and one for women, why create two separate plans?
SH: The training programs are for both men and women – it’s only the nutrition program that has significant differences. Generally there are quite extreme differences in the makeup of guys and girls – so it is fairly obvious they should not follow the same diet plan. Guys carry more muscle mass and have a faster metabolism than girls and thus need quite significantly different portion sizes.
Question: What would you say is your number one fitness tip and your number one nutrition tip for people who want to lose weight?
SH:Stop looking for the magic pill/potion/program, learn about good nutrition and proper training and start practicing consistency and patience. I think that was about 4 tips in one.
Question: I understand you’ve recently had a baby. How are you dealing with the pregnancy weight and getting back to your pre-pregnancy body?
SH: I had no problems dropping my pregnancy weight. I’m only 5’3” and I put on 16kg (35lb) with my pregnancy. I dropped 33lb of that within 10 weeks post birth. I put this down to being in shape before I conceived, keeping as active as I could during pregnancy (which I may add was not much!) and, to getting back to the fat loss nutritional basics I knew as soon as my baby was born. I did not start training until more than 3 months after the birth. At 42, and 6 months post birth, I’m now actually leaner than I was when I conceived.
Question: Finally, what word of advice can you give to someone who is frustrated with their weight?
SH: I think it was Anthony Robbins who said ‘Find a mentor, someone who has achieved what you want to achieve, and model yourself on their success’. Something like that anyway! It’s good advice.
The other thing you should never forget is that consistency and patience are keys to fat loss and fitness success. If you don’t practice both of those things during your journey (and indeed, long term), you will always be frustrated!
== End of Interview==
I hope that you’ve enjoyed this interview with Sue Heintze. For more on Sue and her program visit IdealBodyBlueprint.