Client Background-

The Subject of this Chain Effect Success Story is Geoff, age 31. Geoff is a High School History teacher with a passion for Powerlifting.

At 14 years old Geoff started training in his basement with his dad in order to prepare for football. By the time he was graduating, he had fallen in love with lifting and continued to pursue strength development until tearing his shoulder labrum in the winter of 2011. This was followed by a 5 year break from lifting until Geoff relocated to North Carolina to start teaching. From 2016-2019 he trained very conservatively for fear of another injury.

In 2019 Geoff connected with Registered Dietitian, Eddie Fitzgerald, to help improve his relationship with food and his body, reach and maintain a healthy body weight, and learn as much as possible regarding health and wellness. Things were going exceptionally well until the pandemic happened and threw Geoff another curveball.

Between gym closures and navigating what it meant to be an educator during a pandemic, fitness goals were stalled.

When the gyms reopened, Geoff was one of the first ones through the doors, eager to return to a high level of training with a new goal of competing in Powerlifting.

In the spring of 2021 Geoff started to experience severe back and hip pain while squatting until finally being diagnosed in early 2022 with Patellar Tendinitis, a meniscus strain, patellofemoral dysfunctions, and right pelvic with left lumbopelvic dysfunctions that caused L>R Shoulder impingements.

Weight gain followed, and the goals of competing seemed out of reach. Geoff stuck with his Physical Therapy and prioritizing eating patterns to encourage recovery until in the first quarter of 2023 he was cleared to resume heavy training. He set his sights on a competition and got to work.

Why Chain Effect?

Geoff discovered Chain Effect in 2019 and was excited to have the opportunity to discuss food, body image, and health with a practitioner that shared his passion for training.

The Chain Effect-

During his initial appointment, Geoff shared a history of emotional eating patterns in addition to his desire to reach and maintain a healthy body weight. He and Eddie started with in-depth discussions of balanced eating, the role of each macronutrient, and how to make mindful choices.

Geoff started journaling his intake and making notes about how he was feeling throughout the day so they could better understand his eating patterns. As soon as they had a good idea of what he would need in order to be successful they started a caloric deficit to lose weight.

Overcoming the hurdles of a demanding teaching, coaching, and training schedule the plan resulted in steady and consistent weight loss.

Things progressed smoothly until the COVID-19 Pandemic arrived in 2020 and learning went virtual, gyms closed, and stress skyrocketed.

Their work shifted towards health management and prioritizing the foundational pieces of wellness including Movement, Balanced Eating, Hydration, and Stress management/Recovery.

Geoff thrives in environments where targets are identified for him to chase. The pandemic created one of the most challenging situations for clients like this because there was no predicted end to the current situation and so much uncertainty on a daily basis. These were times spent heavily on the “counseling” side of Nutrition Counseling.

Despite the many challenges that kept arising, they never stopped working together to identify the next step forward for Geoff.

In January of 2023 Geoff shared his desire to return to meet preparation for powerlifting. He found a meet scheduled for January of 2024 and they got to work!

In January of 2023 Geoff was 239lbs with a desire to compete in the 197lb weight class. Knowing the goal was to lose weight while supporting a high level of training and eventually competition prep they prioritized protein intake and attempted to keep the calories as high as possible while losing weight.

Through disciplined tracking, training, prioritizing rest and recovery, and adhering to the plan Geoff was able to reduce his body weight to 215lbs by October. While the rate of weight loss was fantastic for anyone, it was not enough to make weight by January. Digging deep and accepting that sacrifices were going to be made Geoff kept pushing, eliminating any variance from his diet and training plan.

In December of 2023 Geoff was sitting at just above 200lbs. Eddie now knew with some water manipulations in the week of the meet, he was going to make it and their focus shifted from making weight to performing at the highest level possible. Eddie and Geoff established their 5 day out through competition day fueling plan and let the pieces fall into place.

Success-

Over the course of ~18 months Geoff rehabbed his back squat from a challenging 135lbs to a smooth 423lbs, with a lot left in the tank, on meet day.

His bench press took a bit of a hit in the top-end strength, which is to be expected during such a dramatic weight loss phase and still Geoff was able to go from repping 245lbs for 5 reps to repping 265lbs for 5 reps and hit another smooth 306lbs.

Pre Injury in 2022 Geoff could deadlift 500lbs, he then did not really heavy deadlift for the majority of 2023 and still pulled a lightning fast 522lbs on meet day.

Geoff is now injury free and has already set his sights on future powerlifting competitions and bigger lifts. His relationship with food is the steadiest it has ever been, and he has motivation to continue his healthy eating plan thanks to the constant support of Registered Dietitian Eddie!