I recently had the pleasure of meeting Lee Desoiza at the Poliquin Institute BioSignature Course. Lee was a total inspiration to me. He walks the walk and leads his clients by example-- all while balancing a busy work schedule and a family at home. Lee is the ultimate proof that education, persistence and discipline will take you wherever you set your sights!
E: What got you started in the fitness industry?
L: The move to the fitness industry seemed like a natural progression after I had graduated from a sports degree at university. Fitness has always been part of my life even from a young age when my dad used to take me to the gym when he wanted to exercise (no need for a babysitter when you can mess around in a boxing ring at the age of five). At school I participated in hockey, basketball, rowing, cycling, soccer and track & field; all I wanted to do was play sport.
E: Did you have any mentors who inspired you along the way?
L: My dad was one of my early mentors definitely. I have a fond memory of doing an incline chest fly with 5lbs when I was five. He would train twice a day daily and always encouraged me to do press ups and chin ups every morning. Most recently you could say that Charles Poliquin has inspired me in a huge way. His methods and knowledge is the best and I myself have seen massive improvements physically and mentally since I chose to further my education with him.
E: Have you ever competed in bodybuilding competitions? If not, do you ever aspire to do so?
L: Not yet. I have toyed with the idea but find that I can't commit fully to it due to work and family commitments. I don't like doing stuff unless I give it 100% and I'm not there yet. I may try and do a competition in a year's time as I do miss the thrill of competing with others.
E: How long did it take you to transform your body to what it is today?
L: It seemed like it would never change but when I did the Biosignature with Charles and the certification programs it all seemed very easy. I instantly lost body fat and gained more muscle mass.
E: We all know that diet is 80% of fitness and exercise is 20% when it comes to having a lean body. Yet eating clean can be even more challenging than exercise for most people. What factors enable you to stay on track and keep your focus as gym owner and busy father of two?
L: This can be very tricky, especially with a young family. After a while I decided that we needed to change the way we shopped for groceries. It was too easy to buy the bad stuff "just for weekends", as they wouldn't last to the weekend. So a tip that I use and also give to my clients and friends is that you should not have anything in the house that can tempt you. I know that if I'm watching the television and there is a packet of biscuits in the cupboard, I will eat it. Therefore treats for the family and myself require us to go out. Nutrition is so important when trying to stay healthy that doing a bad shop is just not worth it. My children have not been exposed to sugary drinks or snacks so they don't crave them.
E: How do you find the time to work out during the day, and how many times per week do you work out?
L: I make working out a priority in my day. You wouldn't use a dentist who has rotten teeth; therefore a trainer who is not in shape is bad for business! I try to always schedule a minimum of 5 hours a week to a maximum of 12 hours depending on the mood I'm in or how I look. My workouts never last for more than 60 minutes.
E: Can you give an example of what you eat on a typical day? What are your favorite indulgences?
L: I like to start the day with a protein breakfast. A typical breakfast can consist of a steak with spinach and nuts to poached eggs with smoked salmon. Lunch and dinner would consist of similar meat groups and vegetables. I try to limit my fruit intake and like to snack on nut or nut butters. I drink as much water as possible and also like the occasional green tea. My favourite indulgence has to be chocolate-- I absolutely love it! The Green & Blacks 85% dark chocolate is to die for. As for cakes, I usually tend to go for gluten and dairy-free ones.
E: What advice to you have to your clients who want to transform their bodies from flabulous to fabulous?
L: I like to ask clients if they cook, and I'm always surprised when I hear them say that they don't or always eat out. Cooking your own food is always best from a health point of view. You know what is going in your food. My advice to them is always to relax more, eat the right food and exercise on a regular basis. If they stick to that, the rest takes care of itself.
Lee is head trainer at Gymbox in London and has various qualifications which include a BSc in Sports Science, PICP Level 3 Candidate and Biosignature Modulation1&2. Lee also acts as a consultant to a few global companies with respect to health & fitness. For more information, visit www.leedesoiza.com .