A little over 12 weeks ago…
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
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 ! ! !