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Transformation Tuesday - Aaron Bradshaw

Many of our members, if not all of our members, here at Forge Valley Fitness have transformed and made lots of positive changes in their lives.  Today we take a closer look at what those changes have been for Aaron Bradshaw.

He’s been training with us since January of 2014, with an important 6 month ‘reset’ in early 2016 (more on that later).  Aaron was searching Vernon for a new exercise regime which led him to our facility and programs which fit his desire for a more organized and structured program for his fitness as he was not having much success on his own.  He also was eager to learn some new skills such as using the rings and ropes in gymnastics.

Initially his goals were similar to many of us, lose some body fat and put on a bit more muscle.  At this time he had not put much emphasis on his nutrition so the progress wasn’t as quick as he was hoping for.  Since learning more about his body and what is best for his long term health and longevity his goals changed slightly, or more so the way he approached achieving those goals.

His goals now base around the quality of his movement both in and outside of the gym and increasing his strength within a realistic range for his body.  “I realized I’m probably never going to clean 300 pounds and that’s fine.  I’d rather continue working on proper technique at higher weights and volume I can handle,” he says.  His goals also revolve around being consistent with his training and attendance at the gym and eating well and eating enough to support his training activity levels.

In terms of transformation, it’s not just a thought of the physical changes.  Although Aaron is approximately the same bodyweight now as when he started, his body composition is much leaner with more muscle mass.  As mentioned earlier, Aaron took a brief 5-6 month hiatus to dial some things in which were holding back his progress.  He used his time away to put 100% focus into correcting his diet and nutrition as he was tired of training on a poor diet and not seeing the results which should be elicited.  Since this reset, he’s cut out sugar, refined foods and most high starch carbohydrates - other than the other treat of course.  This has made a huge difference in how he feels and has gotten rid of a handful of nagging aches and pains.

Aaron’s decision to take some time away from training intensely was a hard decision, but he wasn’t treating his body very well and as a result lacking progress in his fitness.  We realized that the majority of his issues were related to his nutrition and that’s what needed to change in order to move forward.  Everyone has different sensitivities and triggers and some people won’t notice even large changes in their diet, but the opposite is true for Aaron.  His body is very sensitive to food and being so can result in rapid body composition changes depending on what he’s eating.  It’s no coincidence that how we have worked in structure with Aaron is in direct correlation to this Pyramid in which we must build everything health and fitness on top of a strong base of proper nutrition.

Once the foundation of the pyramid had been poured and now set, we were ready to start back looking at increasing his fitness.  That meant focusing more on mobility, primarily the large movers - hips and shoulders, and working more towards movement skills rather than worrying about how much weight he was lifting.  Not to say he didn’t enjoy setting his new Deadlift PR (Personal Record) a few weeks ago, but now he gets excited about the smaller things - holding a strong false grip on the rings or feeling stronger at the top range of his pull-ups.  

As mentioned before, cleaning up his nutrition improved some aches and pains which had developed with aging, having kids, living life etc.  This can be attributed to excess inflammation created by a sugar filled, refined carbohydrate diet.  As he feels better and more mobile it encourages him to explore different ways to work on mobility and flexibility, being able to work through a much more effective range of motion during workouts which is resulting in progress in his fitness.


We’ll cap off this post with Aaron’s 3 favourite things about Forge Valley Fitness;

1. The people - coaches and other members. Everyone is encouraging and the coaches have really helped my move through some road blocks.

2. The workouts can be really intense so that motivates me to eat well.  And being fueled properly helps my workouts. It's a nice cycle to get caught in. 

3. When I get some small insight from one of the coaches about what I could improve - could be as small as keeping my elbow in or as big as shrugging the shoulders more - it all helps and when I see an immediate return on that advice I get really excited.


Thank you Aaron for your dedication to a better you.  


Stay tuned for a look at his ‘other half’ Barb Bradshaw and her transformation.  She is also a physician here in Vernon and will be leading a FREE public seminar on March 29th, 6:30pm at Forge Valley Fitness (2704 45 Avenue).  She will be discussing much of the new information we are learning about nutrition and proper guidelines to help you live a great life.  All the information is also learned first hand as she and Aaron have used the same nutritional guidelines to shape their transformations.  

If you are interested in attending, please visit the Facebook Event Page HERE to RSVP, or contact us via email,