Online Coaching

Greetings. Welcome to Big Fitness Project Coaching. 

Here are some results from clients I have been coaching.

Let’s start with women.

Elisabete Oliveira Da Fonseca’s (40 years, 5 years of training) goal was to lean out while maintaining training performance.

Training volume started at around 33.000 kg/week, peaked at about 59.000 kg/week for a few weeks and backed down to 22.000 kg/week. For perspective, volume load for a normal training week with all muscles trained twice per week for a trained man ranges about 25.000-30.000 kg/week. This dramatic increase in volume load over time isn’t achieve via traditional methods (as with other subjects).

At some point we had to slow down a bit because the upper body was getting too bit or too muscular for her taste (too much gains?). So volume load was maintained with a transference from the upper body to the lower body just in order to maintain lean body mass rather than trying to increase it further. 

Despite an overall deficit, performance was getting better over time and strength was always present, weight/volume was maintained or increased over time.  

Unfortunately it wasn’t possible to do a fair comparison for strength numbers at the end due to different training schemes and interruption for vacation, so we ended it there. Now she is doing 1RM PRs (@ crossfit).  

At one point she also participated in an endurance event, a 15km race, as she had done before, and noted improvement in that department as well and “better muscular and respiratory performance”. Total running time was significantly reduced.

As for the weight, it looks like a roller-coaster. This is what happens with some women due to water retention (menstrual cycle, diet and training stress, etc). Sometimes it becomes almost impossible to track progress by weight alone, photos and mirrors become better choices. Only tracking weight in such cases can lead to confusion and more stress and possibly erroneous notions about metabolism such as “calories don’t work” aka “thermodynamics doesn’t work” or “the insulin fairy”. Longer diet breaks are useful in such cases (and others) to relief stress and unmask results.

Despite leaning out, some body measurements increased (upper body mostly) in pair with performance increases over times, which suggests body recomposition. Legs also toned up a bit. 

For the interested email me at   

Bárbara Sousa

Bárbara Sousa (trained for 4 years) was having trouble gaining weight, so the main goal was weight gain with possible performance improvements and a good ratio of lean mass: fat mass.

Volume Load:

Volume load started at around 15.000 kg, went up to around 23.000kg and peaked at 49.000kg.


In just 2 weeks (weeks 2-4), performance for the 3 main lifts was significantly increased with more weight lifted in shorter rest intervals: in week 2 rest intervals were 3 minutes, while rest intervals for week 4 were 2min.

3RM Squat – Week 2: 60kg; Week 4: 67kg (+7kg)
3RM Bench Press – Week 2: 55; Week 4: 57 kg (+2 kg)
3RM Deadlift- Week 2: 110; Week 4: 117 kg (+7kg)

At the end of 12 weeks a total increase of 45kg in all main lifts combined was evident for 1RM, and specifically:

1RM Squat – Week 0: 75kg; Week 12: 85 kg (+10kg)
1RM Bench Press– Week 0: 60 kg; Week 12: 70 kg (+10 kg)
1RM DeadLift- Week 0: 130; Week 12: 155 kg (+25kg)


Weight started at 59kg, reached a peak of 64kg, and dropped to 62.5kg at the end of 12 weeks (+3.5kg).


Chest: +4cm
Arms: +1.5cm
Abdominal: +3.5cm
Waist: +3.5cm
Gluteus: +4.5cm
Upper Leg: +3.5cm
Mid Leg: +2.5cm
Lower Leg: +4.5cm

For the interested email me at   

The men:

César Filipe, 28 years, trained for 3 years. Goal: mass gain.

Volume load started at 26.000 kg/week, progressed to 40.000 kg/w and peaked at 90.000 kg/w at week 10 before dropping back down to 21.000 kg/w. Again the substantial increase in volume load is not achieved via the traditional way, furthermore how volume is distributed over the weeks and muscles matter with several factors coming into play.


Substantial increases in strength for the 3 main lifts (and all others) for 3RM:

Squat: + 70kg
Deadlift: + 30kg
Bench press: + 20kg

Of note, weight registered for 3RM squat (and possibly for the deadlift as well) was not real 3RM, nevertheless strength was always increased over time until the 160kg for 3 reps on the squat.

Body Weight: in 12 weeks body weight increased by 4.9kg, a mean of 400g per week.


Shoulders: +7cm
Chest: + 10cm
Back: + 9cm
Arms: + 2 cm
Gluteus: + 6 cm
Legs: +4.5 cm
Calves: +1 cm

For the interested email me at   

Paulo Oliveira 4 years of training, mass gain. A total of 8 weeks but with 6 weeks of training only.

Volume load started at 27.000 kg/week, increased to 34.000 kg/week and peaked at 40.000kg/week at the end.

Strength gains:

3RM Squat: + 18.6 kg
3RM Bench Press: + 32 kg (with technique adjustment too)
3RM Deadlift: + 21 kg

Body weight increased by 4.5kg after 8 weeks (560g/week).


Shoulders: + 4cm
Chest: + 1cm
Back: +1cm
Arms: +1.5cm
Legs: +2cm
Calves: +1.5cm

Unfortunately, photos were lost.

Paulo didn´t train for about 2 weeks due to illness, otherwise progress after 8 weeks would have been better if he kept with the periodization. Due to his work schedule he couldn´t do the full 12 weeks.

For the interested email me at   

No comments: