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Muscle Gain

How Francesco gained 96% strength and lost 6.8kg fat in 4 months

How Francesco gained 96% strength and lost 6.8kg fat in 4 months
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rancesco Mannino, 43, has always enjoyed sports, but he felt strength training was a "boring must". Classic strength training - meaning lifting weights for an hour, 3 times a week, he did in hopes to gain good definition. As a husband, father, and private banker with little time budget, Francesco appreciates the amazing result he has achieved in a very short time - 3 kg of muscle gain and 6.8 kg of fat loss in only 4 months. In a conversation after his second 3D body analysis, Francesco reveals how he achieved this Return on Invested Time and what it means for a man with little time and many client occasions.

Francesco, your 3D body analysis shows that between July and November you lost 6.8 kg of fat and gained 3 kg of muscle mass. The dream of every AURUM client. How did you achieve that?

When I decided to make a change and my gym membership expired, I thought to myself, it's no use anyway. I don't get results, I don't have time to pump for hours, nor do I feel like it - I just don't enjoy it. Boring, even though I understand that strength training is important. Then I tried AURUM in the middle of July. Actually, I've always enjoyed doing a lot of sports, especially the group workouts with my own body weight, good music and kettlebells. At work, however, I'm on the go a lot, I enjoy the frequent client lunches very much and also like to drink a glass of wine now and then. All good excuses to deviate from a healthy diet. Then the first Corona wave hit. In a lockdown, those lunches and client events dropped out and with them all my excuses. It's now or never, I thought to myself. For me, Corona was the right time to change my diet. The gym subscription was expiring anyway and I didn't renew then. Instead, I worked out once a week at AURUM, continued to enjoy interval training twice a week in a group setting, and radically changed my diet.

What does the AURUM 3D body analysis say about your fitness and health? More muscle means your body needs more energy, i.e. the metabolism is boosted and the organs have to work more effectively. If you lose weight around your waist and hips, i.e. have less volume, it means you have lost visceral, inflammatory fat. Less fat also means less inflammation in the body. Visceral fat, which is stored between organs, is highly inflammatory and causes chronic diseases. The more inflammatory, the more likely you are to get sick. For example, these inflammations can lead to cardiovascular diseases and diseases in other organs.

What motivated you to try out AURUM?

I always need new input and like to try new and different workouts. I have always done strength training but found it time-consuming and boring. Then my neighbour Stefan Andris told me about AURUM and I felt the spirit and energy that are in this start-up. The idea of cutting out the several hours in the gym and replacing them with a 6 minute workout struck me as worth checking out. I did the two free sessions and it convinced me right away.

You actually got 96% stronger after 18 workouts. How do you notice that?

I've always had defined abs, but hidden [laughs]. But with you guys, I learned that I don't have to do crunches to develop abs. Jogging has been difficult lately because of knee pain. Now I go once a week and have no pain, have strength in my legs and have developed a good running style. Minimal back pain that I had from office work is completely gone. I have developed an upright posture in everyday life and it feels good. On vacation at the hotel in the gym, a coach came up to me, "Hi, if you need help, but oh, I see you're already well trained." I attribute posture and charisma to AURUM because it was only here that I learned to do the exercises consciously and correctly, something that often gets lost in the hectic group workouts. And now I can even do the individual exercises in the group workouts better and with more control. For example, pull-ups used to only work with a band, now I can do 10 pull-ups without a band. I can show you later [doesn't laugh, he seriously means it!].

Even if it doesn't feel like it, you train your abs during all the 6 AURUM exercises

Exercise seems to have become ingrained in your daily routine. But it's not as easy as brushing your teeth. What motivates you to exercise regularly?

What motivates me about the workouts: Challenge, com- petition, competing with yourself or with others in group workouts. And of course, seeing and feeling the progress visually, that's what motivates me. With AURUM, I'm motivated by the competition with myself, with every exercise. But what motivates me the most: It's much more effective and in much less time. In the gym I used to often spend an hour and at the end when I used to realize upon leaving that I haven't done anything for my back yet. When I lived in the US, I discovered group workouts: spinning, body shape, body pump, boot camp, etc. The problem: lots of condition and exercise, but, as I read in an AURUM expert blog, as a modern person you are always going on full speed: At work, picking up son after work, rushing home, getting this done, getting that done. And if you're also mentally going at full speed and then during sports, where's the balance? I need a balance, a complement. That's why I like AURUM: it's high intensity for the muscles but slow, focused and deliberate in execution. That gives me a mental balance. The muscles train at maximum intensity, the head switches off. I personally find the combination of high intensity strength training at AURUM with group classes and jogging perfect.

You do a lot of sports and like group workouts. AURUM offers 1:1 strength training. What convinced you?

I think the entrepreneurship and the start-up spirit at AURUM is great. I found a cool team here that is dedicated, knowledgeable and very motivating. Scientific approach, the trained coach who pays attention to execution and position. I am impressed how the coaches here are very fit and committed. The biggest asset: the time savings. I can pump here and earn the burn in just six minutes. I would never go back to a regular gym for my strength training, it takes me too long and the stimulus for muscle growth is too low for me.

Now that you're only doing 6 minutes of strength training instead of hours, you have more time, so to speak. What do you do with that?

I work more [laughs].

Francesco doing the Row exercise

Everyone is different. But if you were to share your success formula with others, what would it be?

This is my success formula: 1x AURUM and 2x group workouts and/or jogging per week, strictly eating 3x a day, protein and veggies/salad. But you have to build it into your busy everyday life. It doesn't work if you have to think about what to do or eat the next day, no chance. It has to be so simple that you can't fail. I look at the weekly calendar and already know which lunch I'm going to make an exception for and have wine, for example. If I have clients who like to toast, I don't say no. Or on Friday after a hard week, I treat myself to a dessert. I do not miss carbohydrates. There have only been 1-2 workouts where I didn't perform according to the training data and the coaches pointed out the depleted energy stores in my muscles. Overall, I was able to increase my strength by 96% within 4 months.

What is your personal nutrition formula?

Protein-rich meals, low fat, no carbs, lots of salad and vegetables. No snacks between the three meals. I'm usually not hungry in the morning, but I've found over the years that without breakfast I snack at 10am, eat unhealthy things at 12pm, and then I'm hungry again at 3pm. I also try to drink a lot, but I have to force myself to do so because I'm not very thirsty, at least for water [laughs]. If I have time, I eat 2 fried eggs and half an avocado for breakfast or 130g ham and 1 tomato if I have to be quick. For lunch I have 150-200g of protein (meat, fish or cheese) and salad. I don't take shakes because they contain a lot of sugar. From the AURUM webinar on fat burning I learned that your body is the biggest combustion engine. So if you think you can exercise once and then eat three ice creams, then you have misunderstood the concept. So you can't get around having your diet under control. Sport is important for everything else: Muscle building, heart, feel-good factor, general health. And of course you can increase the "combustion engine" through sports by increasing your fitness. I found that very obvious.

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