Category Archives: 12 Week ‘Lean Body’ Challenge

12 Week LeanBody challenge: complete! Overview Part03 – Staying on track, crossing the finish line & planning your next challenge.

Part 3 of this wrap is is going to be about: Reacting to road bumps, Staying on track, and reaching that ever important FINISH LINE.

Before & After 12 week challenge

Before & After 12 week challenge

 

Staying on track

Setting yourself up for success is an ongoing process. It all starts with the decision to commit that you want to improve yourself. For me, there isn’t just one single fix-all solution. What works best for me is a culmination. I like to make a mix of healthy eating, exercising on a regular basis, respecting the rules of moderation, and making sure to get a substantial amount of rest, just to name a few.
Rather than having a notion of “one solution”, creating a mix of activities that when combined, makes for a cohesive lifestyle that works for you, the individual, is an integral part of staying on track. Even in saying so, that should be a part of a larger plan, too. For example, I want to keep eating a clean diet, to keep my energy levels up, so I can keep up with exercising and improving my overall health.
Removing yourself from the day to day mindset, and taking a view externally, too, I find to be a helpful tool. Making a conscious effort to ask yourself, “is this benefitting me? Or is it a hindrance?” Answer truthfully.
Yes or no.

If it is a hindrance, can it be removed?
Yes or no.

Everyone from work is going to the pub tonight, you had planned to go to the gym.
Drinks or gym?

You are the only one that can keep yourself on track.

It should come as no surprise that the most important part of creating a healthier lifestyle, is to eat healthily.

With the Internet at the ready, there really is no reason to ponder, “what should I have for dinner tonight?”

Sites like Pinterest, Tumblr, and even Facebook, are fantastic resources for finding recipes, creating mealplans or even ordering your groceries online and having them delivered to your doorstep.
I like to go for a weekly shop on the weekend so that I have enough food to last the week. If I don’t have enough time (or money) to shop for the entire week, at least enough for some meals at the start of the week.

As mentioned in the previous post [link], some of the tools I used to track my progress were:

-Methods for recording results; workout diary, mobile apps etc.

-Workout plans; printed out sheets or mobile

-Familiarising yourself with the above.

When it comes to things like taking your measurements, progress photos, and weighing yourself, once a week is usually a good indicator. You mightn’t see the differences in the mirror week to week, so it’s good to have those written and visual references to look back at. I found that after the fourth week was when I really started to notice some changes.

Tracking your workout plan means that you take your phone, workout journal, or even just a printout of your workout for the day.
This should include:
-The exercises you will be completing – including sets and reps.
When starting out, I spend some time on youtube looking at videos that demonstrate proper form for lifting weights.
Tracking the weight that you lift, the distance that you run, the frequency of your workouts, creates a habit, and by making that a part of your daily routine, it’s another step towards creating a better you.

One tactic that I haven’t really mentioned yet, was to keep a food journal. At the start it’s much more important to do this for every meal. But after a few weeks of familiarizing yourself with your eating habits, and how your body reacts to that, I found that I didn’t need to document it as much. However, it was very important at the start, and I highly recommend it!

Keeping a food journal doesn’t have to be over complicated. I didn’t worry myself too much with all the nutritional values – but I did research what an average daily calorie intake should be. The one thing that I found was that calorie intake really depends on you. It depends on your body and the amount of exercise that you do. Basically, it all comes down to portion control.

There are plenty of tools online to calculate it, there are mobile apps, or you could even talk to a nutritionist. The more that I exercised, the more food I had to start putting in to my body.
An average serving size, for example:

For 3 meals and 2 snacks a day:

Breakfast

3oz protein
At least 1 cup non-­‐starchy veggies 1 serve fat OR 1⁄2 cup starchy veggies

Snack

2-­‐3oz protein
At least one cup veggies/ 1 piece fruit if you don’t have it at lunch

Lunch

4-­‐5oz protein
At least 2 cups veggies
1 serve fat
1 serve fruit (optional) or additional veggies if you prefer

Snack

2-­‐3oz protein
At least 1 cup veggies

Dinner

4-­‐5oz protein
At least 2 cups veggies 1 serve fat

If you aren’t leading an active lifestyle, the standard 3 meals a day should suffice.

As a general rule of thumb, when it came to portion control, I used this to help me when it came to dishing up my meals.
1/3 of your plate should be a protein serving (eg. Salmon), about the size of the palm of your hand.

1/3 of your plate should be serving of complex carbohydrates (eg. Sweet potatoes) about the size of your clenched fist
1/3 can be any mix of vegetables. I find starchy veg in the mornings and non-starchy in the evening works well.

Pro tip Choose a smaller plate size to serve up dinner. Try to have a balanced plate and make sure that it isn’t piled up. Also, the more colour on your plate usually means the more nutrients.

Reacting to road bumps

Along the way, there are bound to be obstacles that your come across and might even catch you off guard. Try not to beat yourself up if you do find you miss a gym day, or get so hungry that you give in and eat a pack of chips. Ideally, you do want ot avoid this situations cropping up, but it’s bound to happen. The way that you bounce back and what you learn from those, is more important than cursing your lack of self-control.

By keeping track of all your food and workouts, it becomes a lot easier to find what caused you to slip up in the first place. For example, it’s 4pm and at your desk you start to get a bit of a sugar craving. Look back to yesterday’s food entry and see that you decided to have a can of fizzy-drink. That craving yesterday, has given your body the urge to want it again. So if you can cut that bad thing out today, it’s going to help you tomorrow.

Another example would be, if you swapped a gym day so that the day after you then have 3 workout days in a row, then on day 4 you might feel fatigued because you’ve been pushing yourself too hard. This ties back in to moderation as well.

We’re all human, and we’re all bound to make mistakes. Just remember that mistakes only happen when you’re trying. If you’re not making mistakes – you’re not trying. So, what are you gonna do?

The second hardest thing to do

 “The second hardest thing to do” is a line I say to myself when I feel like giving up. Whether it’s that 4pm sugar craving, or when I’m cycling up a really steep hill, there’s always that voice in the back of my mind telling me it’d be easier to give up. And the harder I push, the louder that voice can get. So I started coming up with another voice – I created a conversation to take my mind off the actual task. And the voice that I created was one of strong will. That voice would say “don’t give up, it’s not that hard. This is only the second hardest thing that you have to do!” By telling myself that something later on was going to be harder, I found that I would forget about the pain and be able to push through that mental barrier. The more and more that I fed that fire, and listened to the voice, the easier that the hill became.

This can be applied to working out, going for a food shop when you don’t feel like it, or any tough situation that requires a bit of self-motivation. Just tell yourself that it’s not really that hard. And just get it done!

Finish line

Congratulations! You made it.

Now what?
Let’s take some time to remember what it was you wanted to achieve in the first place.

Did you just complete your first 5k running event, or maybe it was that 12 week workout plan that you wanted to complete to lose some extra body fat that had been lurking around your thighs. Whatever you set your goal to be, you are able to achieve it!

And what a magnificent feeling it is – you deserve a reward! After a running event, I might go out and buy a new pair of running shorts. If it’s a fitness challenge, I’ll sign up for a photoshoot. Whatever it is, make sure that you have a reward that makes you feel like you have accomplished something other than the thing itself.
Whatver you do, don’t go and pig out at an all you can eat diner. There’s no point putting all that good, hard work to waste.

Post training

You’ve already come this far and you’ve set the stage for a lifetime of healthy habits. Now it’s important to continue on the path of self-improvement.
A bit after the halfway point of my first 12 week challenge, I found that I had started getting a little bit slack with tracking my food, and occasionally wouldn’t enter in all the data for my workouts. I did however, continue to do my weekly body measurements, photographs and weighing myself every Sunday night or Monday morning before work. Those little weekly rituals were an important aspect of keeping myself accountable.
When I realised that my waistline had gone up lightly, I decided to get back in to food journaling again and was able to get back on track.
Depending how much you really want to achieve, should be reflected how much effort you put in.
For me, I know that I want to lead a long life and healthy lifestyle for many years to come. This is the start of something that I see as being a very fun and enjoyable way to live my life.

Analyse the results

By now you would have realised the importance I place on journaling and tracking results. A big part of this, other than building up habits, is to create an opportunity to reflect back and have the data that tells you exactly what works, and what needs to be improved upon. I’ve heard many professional body builders say how important it has been for them to get to those high peaks.
Besides, if you’re not tracking your results, what’s the point of going?
If you’re going to the gym for the sake of going, and you just want a 6 pack for the upcoming summer holiday but after that it’s straight back to beer guts and loose fitting clothing… Then I think we need to go back to the beginning, and set some real goals!

Planning what’s next

This fitness loop is like a running track. There are going to be changes, slipups, trips, falls, wins, losses, injuries, tears, laughs, anything you want! The only thing that you need to do, is make sure you keep on movng.
One step at a time, those little things that lead to bigger things.
So if we are running on the track and one challenge is coming to an end, it’s time to re-asses our goals and pick our next set of targets.

My first goal to finish a 12 week lean body fitness challenge, is currently being followed by a not so strict training regimen.
I’ve allowed myself a bit of time to recover, and plan for the next challenge.
Like in the beginning, I have started going through various websites trying to find the next program that I want to accomplish.

Another reason I’ve held off on starting a new program right after the previous one is that I am about to move offices with work, that means I also have to join a new gym. Until I have found one closer to the new office, there’s  no point setting myself a challenge that is bound to be interrupted.

Once everything is in place, gym membership, tracking tools, workout plan and nutrition plan, it’s time to set a new start date and stick to it.

Seeking criticism not fishing for compliments

Along the way, people are going to give you feedback, whether you want it or not. Going through a new fitness program with the intention to change how you look, your friends and family are going to notice it (and you’ll probably be talking about it, too).
As nice as it is to hear how great you’re looking, I like to also hear what isn’t looking so great. Next time someone says “have you been working out?”, after thanking them for the compliment, ask them how they noticed. What areas have improved that weren’t looking so great before. Can you see any other areas that need improving?
This doesn’t mean you should walk up to a complete stranger and ask “does my bum look big in this?”, maybe just try with some close friends, or a gym buddy, what areas need more work.
If you’re not comfortable having people being completely honest with you, take a good look in the mirror. Find the bits that look the worst. Try standing in some unflattering light. I even heard something which doesn’t sound too crazy on the show Mad Men; ““Go home, take a paper bag, cut some eyeholes out of it. Put it over your head, get undressed and look at yourself in the mirror. Really evaluate where your strengths and weaknesses are. And be honest.” – Joan Harris Season 1, Episode 1: “Smoke Gets in Your Eyes”.

MadMen quote

MadMen quote

 

Bringing it all home / conclusion / final thoughts.

This is definitely something that takes some hard work. I want to make a conscious effort when it comes to what I put in to my body, and the amount of exercise I need to do to achieve the results I want.
By starting off small and getting the little things right, I can learn to adjust my course and learn from my mistakes along the way. This is going to take some time – my whole life in fact!
Never do I really want to be 100% satisfied – I will always be striving to improve.
Setting myself up for success by creating rituals helps me to form the healthy habits that I want to cultivate so that I can then grow as an individual.

Thank you if you have been following along on my journey so far and I hope that you have enjoyed it as much as I am.
I am really excited about my next 12 week challenge, and more importantly the lifelong challenge to continually improve my physique and overall health.
Thanks for reading!

Adam

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DTP 4 Week Trainer – Day02: Cardio (1)

Day 02 of the DTP trainer and the plans are for cardio!

Importance of cardio training

Following along the DTP program means working out 4 days a week, and then the days in between consist of a pretty hard cardio training session.
Due to the fact that I cycle every day to work, I’m only going to complete the additional cardio component when possible.

 

Morning ride to work

Morning ride to work

Today wasn’t one of those instances where I was able to do my cardio component.

In the actual workout plan, Gethin outlines some pretty hardcore training. You can check out his options on BodyBuilding.com
One of the reasons for me not completing the cardio today was that I wasn’t prepred. I didn’t make the time to mentally get ready and say, I need to do a 10km run today, or those circuits set out on the site.

Cardio remains an important part of my daily fitness, which is why I ride to and from work. As a part of this trainer, I would really like to do additional cardio training for 2 out of the 3 days.

An important part, as always, to be successful one needs to be well hydrated and well rested. So on that note, I’m off to bed!

 

-AC.

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DTP 4 Week Trainer – Day01: Legs & Upper Abs

Until my next 12 week program, I decided to get started on a 4 week trainer rather than trying to make up my own routine.

The verdict: DTP

Over the past few weeks, my training has gotten a bit lax because I was relying on myself instead of looking at a proper workout plan. The aim is to get back on track and build on that consistent gym routine of 4 days a week + active rest days (cardio) in between.

Rather than letting all my hard work go to waste – I have decided to kick-off a 4 week trainer from BodyBuilding.com

Today’s workout was

Leg Press

10 sets of 50,40,30,20,10,10,20,30,40,50 reps

supersetted with

Calf Press On The Leg Press Machine

10 sets of 40,30,20,10,10,10,10,20,30,40 reps

followed by

Decline Crunch (Performed with weights)

5 sets to failure

Needless to say, my leg’s will be thanking me in about 48 hours when the DOMS hits me. For now, I’m going to rest up and get ready for tomorrow’s cardio.

-AC.

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12 Week LeanBody challenge: complete! Overview Part02 – Ready, Set… GO ! ! !

I’m the kind of person that likes to prepare somewhat before making a commitment. The way that I like to research is by looking around at different options and comparing what’s on offer. By doing that, I start to get a bit of a feel for which one might work for me.

http://instagram.com/addosh#

A picture of my back towards the end of the challenge http://instagram.com/addosh#

There’s a certain level of research that I get to and then it’s time to make a start.

Before preparing for this fitness challenge, I checked out different workout plans that were on the website, BodyBuilding.com.
There’s a feature that lets you define your goals and it suggests the different plans available on the site – all are free!

The options are muscle building or weight loss and one that caught my eye was a 12 Week Daily Trainer With Kris Gethin!

Slowly, I went through every single page; nutrition plans, supplementation, and then I watched every single workout plan (different each day).
One huge benefit of this particular training program is that Kris Gethin goes through the training with you.
The videos show his progression, yet, what I enjoyed about it was the tiny snippets of wisdom that come through, too.
It’s a non stop battle every day, pushing past the limits and dealing with ever changing issues that might come up.

There are days where he has to travel and carry his food with him, it shows how to cope when you are sick and your energy levels are drained.

These are all real situations that we all deal with throughout our lives.

About halfway through I decided that it wasn’t the trainer for me…yet. Not a complete loss though, there was plenty to take away from the videos.

I then compared that trainer to some of the other options and eventually decided to do (link)  Lee Labrada’s 12-Week Lean Body Daily Trainer.

Recording results

One of the greatest tools that I used that helped me in the beginning was a workout journal. I picked one up online and I’m sure you could find one, too.

I decided that Monday was going to be my start day and that at the start of every week I would record all my body measurements.
Taking photographs each week is another good way to track results.

By having these records to compare, figuring out what areas I want to improve and making adjustments to a workout is a lot easier.

I made myself familiar with the workout beforehand, and would enter it in to an app called iFitness.
Then I would take my phone with me to the gym and refer to the workout for the day, as well as entering the results after each set.

There are plenty of ways to record results, both in print and digital. Whichever is easiest for you, go for it!

Tracking progress

So we’re all set. We’ve got;

-Methods for recording results; workout diary, mobile apps etc.

-Workout plans; printed out sheets or mobile

-Video tutorials to show how to do the exercises correctly

At this point it’s very important to start familiarising yourself with the above.

After having everything ready it’s time to reaffirm that start day. Mine was set for a Monday, but you can do whatever the day of the week you want. Take your intial body measurements, photos, and whatever you want to record for the next 12 weeks.

Let’s GO!

The next part of this wrap is is going to be about: Reacting to road bumps, Staying on track, and approaching that ever important FINISH LINE * * *! To be continued.

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12 Week LeanBody challenge: complete! Overview Part01

A little over 12 weeks ago…

Obligatory comparison shot

Obligatory comparison shot

Well, it was actually closer to 13 weeks as I had to take a weeks break, due to some nasty food poisoning.

I set out at the start of this year like most. I told myself that I am going to continue on my path to living a healthy lifestyle, go to the gym, eat right… The usual promises.
However, this year I really wanted to see the differences.

The last week of the challenge was actually the hardest for me. (Other than the food poisoning!) I was quite fatigued and I was even finding it hard to motivate myself to go to the gym.  Which was surprising as I have built up a good routine of going to the gym 2 days, having an active rest day, then 2 days on again and so on.
Anyway, I managed to push through and finish off absolutely every single work out. All 84 days!!!

There are parts of my blog where I have missed a day or two, and a few workouts here and there. I even missed out writing up the majority of last week.
I am going to write it all up.

Before I do that though, I am going to write up my general overview of the entire challenge. As it all comes back to me, this evening.

Monday 22 Jul. 13
8.19pm

The main points that I will be going over for this entry will be divided up. Depending on the size, I might have to split it over two or three posts, too.

Pre-training / Research

When I first decided to start going to the gym again, I knew that if I was to see any sort of results, I had to do a bit of study.

I have been in and out of gyms for years now. On and off with sport, I was usually in average shape, being fit enough, but not super fit. I had always had a bit of extra belly flab, too, so I was considering losing a little weight.

The hardest part is always getting started but once you decide on something, eg: “I am going to join a gym.” Everything else starts to fall in to place.

So I joined the gym.

This time I didn’t want to go in there and do full body workouts for hours on end. I didn’t want to waste my precious time sweating away. Not only is that extremely boring, it’s pointless because it just doesn’t work.

One of the best research tools for me of course, is the internet. One resource where I spent a lot of time was on BodyBuilding.com.
I found the site very useful because it offers a range of exercise plans, with full video tutorials. They cover everything from the exercises you can do, the meals you can eat, basically it has everything that you need, for the goals that you want to achieve.

I decided that rather than being massively bulky and getting myself in to shape like some of those extremely talented and dedicated people in the Bodybuilding community, I could still learn from some of their principles, and take those to apply to my own philosophies.

Setting your own goals

Just like the research stage, it’s important that you don’t get too bogged down here.
When starting out with something fresh, I like to set myself goals that I know I can achieve, as long as I am willing to work hard for it.
The options from the workout plans that I was looking at were:

A 12 week trainer – hardcore bodybuilding
A 365 day workout plan – I’m not ready to commit to that (just yet!)
A 3 week shredding diet – f*ck that!
And a few other trimming down options.

The one I chose was the 12 week Lee Lebrada LeanBody Trainer.
My reasons for choosing this came down to sitting through and watching all of thie overview and introductory videos from this, and all the other programs.
Kris Gethin’s 12 week Trainer looks like a really good option for those looking to increase in size (something that I will consider soon). It’s also a really good series to sit through because he takes you to gym every day, so he offers pretty good advice and tips along the way. However, as I was looking to start off simple, the LeanBody program was more suited to my goals.

Basically, my knowledge of the weights and exercises inside of a gym was moderate – I know my way around.
The only problem in the past was that I never really set goals, and never gained the desired results…because I didn’t know what I wanted.

This time, I made the decision to lose some belly flab, tone up, and lay the solid foundation for building upon. By that I mean that I wanted to focus a lot more on form rather than lifting heavy weights. The main reason for this is to ease in to things a bit more.

This is about paving the way for some long term changes. I really wanted to make sure that I was not setting myself up for failure. So rather that saying “I want to gain 15kg’s of lean body mass and be benching 100 in 12 weeks and a 6 pack and run 5k’s in under 20 minutes and this and that…” – I decided to take it slow.
I set myself a goal of completing a 12 week fitness challenge. And that’s it!

 

Making a start – committing to the decision

Once I made that decision that I wanted to make some long term changes, that I wanted to ease in to it, rather than rushing in to it and potentially injuring myself which might lead to giving up.
The plan for me was simple – follow along a workout plan and continue to eat healthy and nutritious meals.
One aspect of the diet which I was sort of doing yet hadn’t made the conscious decision to, was to commit to 5 – 6 meals a day. Every day I make sure that I eat breakfast, lunch, and dinner, plus a few smaller snacks every two to three hours/in between. By doing this, it really fired up my metabolism and made sure that I was in a fat burning mode.

After the decision to start a 12 week plan, of course I needed to set a start date. I’m sure the temptation is there to go out and get started right away, and that method might work for some people, but it doesn’t for me. As you can probably tell with all my harping on about research!

I knew that I had a 2 week holiday in March, and another 3 day convention coming up for work. So I decided to set my start date for early April.
Rather than sitting around and thinking about the start date, I decided that I would in fact start hitting the gym – albeit rather lightly. By building up pace slowly I was able to get my body prepped and ready for the challenge when I was ready to start.

Next post is going to be all about that important day:

 

Ready, Set GO ! ! !

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Week 11 Roundup: Days 73 – 77

To say that this week has been absolutely manic, that I can’t remember  a busier week aside from end of semester at uni, running around trying to get everything done…even that would be an understatement. While I am typing this late on a Sunday night, I am doing my best to hold my head up and make sure I don’t fall asleep on the keyCZiouczxklj .. . . z z z

Haar har! A Joke!
I am tired though, and as this week comes to a close I want to reiterate the importance of proper rest and hydration.
The last few days have gotten quite hot (surprisingly for London) and I made sure to drink plenty of water.
So in order to get plenty of rest, and be sure I’m at 100% to finish off strong, and record our second session of the podcast tomorrow – I am just doing a weekly wrap up of the workouts. With intentions to returning and elaborating a bit more comprehensively about the week that was. Until then…

Wednesday 10

The Workout (Back & Biceps)

  • One-arm row
  • Lat pull down
  • Barbell deadlift
  • Alternating dumbbell curl
  • Hammer curl

-AC.

Thursday 11

The Workout (Shoulders, Chest & Triceps)

  • Dumbbell Bench Press
  • Flat bench dumbbell flyes
  • Dumbbell Side Lateral raises
  • Seated barbell press
  • Triceps Pushdown
  • Lying triceps press/skull crushers

-AC.

Friday 12

Active rest day

Saturday 13

The Workout (Legs & Abs)

  • Machine leg press
  • Machine leg extension
  • Machine leg curls
  • Straight leg barbell dead lift
  • Single leg dumbbell calf raise
  • Lying bench curl
  • Crunches
  • Hanging leg raises

-AC.

Sunday 14

Then today had to be switched for tomorrows workout as I decided to go out and enjoy the sun with my girlfriend and some friends. S owe made sure to get in some fast paced walking, then the next 3 days will be spent in the gym.
So I best be off as it’s another big week ahead.

Tomorrow already is quite exciting, it marks:

-The final week of my 12 week lean body fitness challenge
-Final week of my goal to cycle 650km in 4 weeks
-Recording of session 02 of the SuperHueMen podcast!!!

I will be posting the link up on Tuesday.

-Adam.

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Week 11: Day 72 – Active rest day, Boris ‘bikes’ Johnson, & my 1st Krav Maga lesson

I seriously think yesterday was one of the best days of my life!
Then, today I spotted Boris Johnson at the red lights on the ride home from work and he was happy to pose for a picture. And that totally made my day today, too!

Mr. Bikes himself, Boris Johnson and I
Mr. Bikes himself, Boris Johnson and I

There was just so much going on yesterday, contacting people I haven’t spoken to in ages, creating totally new connections, recording my very first podcast [!!!], getting a discount at Starbucks… And all of this on a Monday!

Who would’ve thought that MONDAY could be called one of the best days of your life?

Then today happened.

Grabbing life by the Cojones!

It just felt even more exciting. Knowing that I achieved something that I planned. I came up with an idea and manifested that in to reality and it was awesome! Hopefully that means tomorrow and every day after is just  going to get better and better.

The fact that I actually put a plan in to action and recorded a pilot episode is amazingly rewarding – it’s one of those things that when you think about it and try and plan for it and research and prepare…before realising, I started to become overwhelmed and distracted and it becomes easier to make up excuse why not to do it.

So instead, by just doing it and not worry about what’s going to happen – it turned out better than I could have planned for.

Looking externally for feedback

Today was a rush too, because I sent the Pilot episode around to some friends and family and have started getting back some really, really helpful feedback which is going to be great for the development of the series when we go to launch for real next month.

Tonight I finally managed to try my first lesson of Krav Maga which was meant to be last Tuesday but I had to postpone.
Krav was really enjoyable and something that I will consider adding in to my fitness routine. It’s good to mix things up a bit which is why I really enjoy doing the occasional yoga sesesion, too.

Also, I’m well and truly on the way to hitting my target of riding 650km’s by the end of this challenge, too.

Week 3 progress
Week 3 progress

It’s really coming down to the wire now so I’m just going to keep on focussing on doing the little things that have gotten me this far.
Tracking my food intake in my journal, take weekly progress photos, measurements and doing daily (or almost every day) posts on here.

-AC.

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Start of week 11: Day 71 Fear challenge

Today I decided to tackle a Fear Challenge. Do you think you can do it?

If you don't ask, you don't get!

If you don’t ask, you don’t get!

It sounds pretty simple:

Go in to Starbucks.

Ask for a 10% discount.

That’s it!

Why is it a fear challenge? Try it for yourself and you’ll see.

Here’s a link to the video of my experience.

Now before I get in to that, I want to quickly mention some more developments on the podcast.

What inspired me to take action

I have been polishing up on my listening skills while I’m busy at work I usually have my earbuds in listening to an array of podcasts.

One particularly good channel that I came across recently was this very informative and funny guy, Pat Flynn. Pat hosts a show called the ‘Smart Passive Income’ and he offers tonnes of great content and plenty of inspiring guests.

Episode 71 happened to be one that I clicked on, mainly because of all the comments. At the time of this post, he has close to 600 comments, on a single post! Of course it had me intrigued as to how he got so many people involved.

The guest for this podcast is a guy who has been through plenty of ups and downs, he was one of the original staff at Facebook, and since then has gone on to create several successful businesses. Listening to him talk you can hear his passion and willingness to share his experiences, which is what I like the most about this whole podcast idea.

Sharing information and learning from others

Anyone can isolate themselves from the world, go be the lone wolf and try to go about things their own way. And that is completely fine if you choose to do that. Of course you can learn and try new things that way – but I think that it will be a long and lonely process.

Alternatively, I find that learning from others by sharing your thoughts, feelings, experiences and anything else that comes to mind in an honest and compassionate way, that one can grow and connect on a much deeper level than if you were to go it alone.

Putting yourself out there & getting out of your comfort zone

When starting off something new, I find it extremely daunting.

Wether it’s a new project and I’m staring at a blank piece of paper. A new blog post and I’m watching that cursor blip on and off again. Meeting new people in a large group. Just about anything that you aren’t used to seems so frightening.

But is it really that scary? Or is it just that little voice in our head that scares us more.

I find that by identifying with that voice, rather than trying to suppress it, I can almost communicate with it. I try and ask myself, why does that scare me?
Is it really that bad?
What can I do to overcome that fear?
Usually the answer is staring us right in the face.

Starbucks Discount Challenge

I mentioned at the start of this post that I worked up the courage to do a ‘fear challenge’:

Go in to Starbucks and ask for a discount.

Now it might sound silly, and you’re probably saying, “what does that have to do with being afraid?”

Well I’ll tell you my experience.

When I first heard the challenge, I thought that it sounded simple.

Then the more that I thought about it, the more I started to put it off. Telling myself that I would go later in the day, or maybe I’m too busy today because I have to go to the gym and that I wouldn’t be able to fit it in.

Now let me sidestep for a tiny bit here.

After hearing this challenge I contacted Noah, the challenge setter, and emailed him with my great plans about thinking about possibly launching a podcast next month, which I mentioned in several posts over the last few days.
Almost instantly he replied.

“Why don’t you start today.”

Holy sh*t.

That email just about blew me away.

I launched in to a barrage of ‘considerations’ (excuses) that I had in my head as to why I couldn’t such as lack of equipment, not having a website ready, no branding, no content yet etc etc etc.

Noah replied:

‘Record it on your phone. Send it to 3 friends. Hit me back tomorrow’.

Wow.

When you put it like that –I’d be mad not to!

So, I thought, let’s do this!

And What a fantastic day it turned in to!

Not only did I take action and overcome the nagging voice telling me not to do it, take the easy way out, ‘you’re gonna fail’! – I actually walked in, asked, and received a 10% discount at Starbucks!!!
The savings are not even what matters, the feelings that I got before, during and afterwards are exhilirating and I feel like it’s set my mood for the rest of the day.

Rather than making excuses about not doing it, I’m going to make the decision to do it and then I’m gonna do it!

 Furthermore, rather than waiting a month to launch my podcast, Ren and I got our butts in to gear, hooked up the mic after work, and we RECORDED OUR FIRST EPISODE!!!

For now it’s going to stay between friends and family so we can get feedback about what work’s and what needs improving.

If you would like to listen to the first few episodes and help us out with some feedback, leave a comment below and we can get in touch.

So we are going to stick to our initial ‘launch date’ – but in the mean time, there’ no harm in getting started, right now, today. So do it!

It’s easy!

-Adam.

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Week 10 Days 68 – 70: Weekly roundup

Well it certainly is getting close to the end of the fitness challenge and I am super excited! Now certainly isn’t the time to get ahead of myself and get lazy and think all the hard work is done. I must continue to maintain focus on eating right and working out. It’s more important than ever to stick to that routine.

Finish of week 10

Finish of week 10

Along the way, it’s good to make note of things that have been working so far. Analysing any sort of results, good or bad, is the best way to get feedback and validate any decisions that I made. Learning from my mistakes is something that I plan on getting better at, too.

Identifying hazards

Over the past few weeks I have been sneaking sugar back in to my diet. In the mornings when I have coffee, I add half a teaspoon of sugar and a few more times throughout the day. In the afternoons at work I occasionally go to the fridge and grab a can of fizzy drink when I’m craving something other than water.

To overcome that, this week I have set myself the task to STOP adding sugar.

When I take creatine I have a spoonful with some grape juice, which I usually keep at home. So something I want to try is having that grape juice available at work so if I do get thirsty for something other than water I can have that instead of the deadly canned fizzy drinks. Blerrgh!
As for not adding sugar to coffee, that’s going to have to come down to willpower. Because we all know that I’m not gonna kick the coffee habit any time soon!

Practicing what you suck at

Rather than spending time getting good at things I don’t enjoy, I have made the decision to improve on things that I want to be good at. Even though I might be completely sucky and have no idea where to begin.

Making a start on something is always hard, but if it’s something that I find myself mentally gravitating towards on a reguar basis, I start to take note and make the commitment.
After the initial decision to commit, it starts to become easier.

Wilpower, for example, is something that everyone has, but might not be good at. When it comes to sticking to a health and fitness plan, and people say, “you just need willpower”, that’s not a very empowering statement.

Where can I get willpower!?
I can’t just, go to the cornershop and buy some! It’s something that is inside each of us, and like any skill, it takes practice to get good at it.

This isn’t a quick tip, fix-all solution. It’s a commitment to myself. It’s a declaration of something that I want to improve upon every day.

If today I am a little better than I was yesterday, that’s great!

If I slipped up and the wheels came off a bit, even better!!!

Mistakes are…good!?

You’re damn right they’re good! Stuffing up is better than succeeding in some instances – as long as you learn from the mistakes that you make.

Mistakes are necescarry for progress.
If you’re making mistakes it means that you are trying.

Another area that I need to work on is patience.

Learning is about having the patience, too. As with any new skill, it takes time to master. Having the patience and commitment is going to help with progress.

Today when I went to the gym with my girlfriend to try and assist her.
I was quick to get frustrated when it looked to me that she might not be holding the weights correctly, or if I thought she wasn’t pushing hard enough.
My girlfriend isn’t the problem.
I was the one with the problem.

If I want to help people I want to be able to address their problems in a way that doesn’t hurt their feelings.

Compassionate Criticism

Rather than launching in to a barrage of insults, and saying “you’re doing it wrong”, or “you need to do it like this”, when giving instructions I want to try this out;

Start by showing the other person what they need to do.

Get them to try it and if possible, do it alongside with them too.

Show them one more time how I do it.

Get them to try it on their own – observe and assist.

We are going to continue going to the gym together for the next weeks so it will give me the chance to work on my coaching skills.

Thankyou for reading, I would love to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

-AC.

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Week 10 Day 67: Legs & Abs

I’m writing this post just before I head out to a gig in the city. Pretty excited – I’m going to see Flume, an awesome DJ from Sydney, Australia. Check out this tune, I love it!

I knew tonight’s plans would mean that I wouldn’t have time for the gym, so I made time and went during my lunch break.
Legs and abs usually require a bit more time to rest between sets because of the muscle volume, I find it takes about 90 seconds to 2 minutes to catch my breath. As opposed to upper body workouts where I usually only need about 30 – 45 second breaks.
Knowing that I’d need that bit of extra time, I grouped my workouts in to super sets to try and smash it out quicker.
The end result; a sweaty mess and wobbly legs!
Luckily I had that extra time to cool down afterwards before showering and heading back to work.

The Workout (Legs & Abs)

  • Machine leg press
  • Machine leg extension
  • Machine leg curls
  • Straight leg barbell dead lift
  • Single leg dumbbell calf raise
  • Lying bench curl
  • Crunches
  • Hanging leg raises

-Adam.

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