In my previous posts I have talked about some revelations I have made whilst on my fitness journey. And today I kinda stumbled upon another one. I am a member of an awesome Facebook fitness group (real people fitness) and coach moco has been talking about doubling up workouts a lot.
Today, after a trip to town I hit the gym and did the first workout of the day. It was an Insanity "The Asylum" workout (vertical plyo as you asked...) and I burnt 700cals in 45mins. Then I jumped in the jacuzzi, hit the showers and went out for a light dinner with my wife.
When we got in I chilled out for 30mins, then got into some clean gear and did my second workout of the day. I box, and have missed it the past few weeks so hit my punchman for 5 3minute rounds focusing on speed and accuracy. Boxing is an amazing sport and a punchman has advantages over a bag as it is sprung and you can use it for speed or heavy work. Instead of my usual 1min rest I went for 1min30sec of "active rest" which I alternated between 30secs each double jump, high knee and alternate leg jump rope. I burnt 500cals in 30mins. Result! I wonder if it was so high as I had already worked out pretty hard a couple of hours before?
I would never have had a second workout in the past - once I was "clean" that was me done. But I wanted to do it. I wanted to see how much I could burn in 30mins, and I wanted to punch with heavy gloves on to get that conditioning only boxing can get you. I wanted to push my body to the next level - and there it was....revelation 6 - if you want it you can get it!
Wednesday, 15 May 2013
Monday, 6 May 2013
Last time I talked about a ground-up rethink of my training, and it came by accident. I joined a new gym and through my new PT I was introduced to boxing for fitness and conditioning, and compound moves that engage multiple muscles together. These were executed with comparatively light weights to ensure my heart rate didn't drop, but I would't bulk up either. I was also introduced body-weight moves. Boy they changed my life! You don't need fancy machines after all (though they do have their time and place if available). I began to drop some of the bulk I had previously gained but kept my body fat constant. I spent less time lifting weights and more time on cardio and body-weight circuits. I learnt the power of intervals all over again and I began loosing weight. Its at about this time I stopped jumping on the scales. Maybe because I was much more confident, but I am looking back now I think that it is because I could see the changes. Shirts and trousers were getting larger. I knew it was working, and now I needed to work out how far to go. Revelation 4 for me was if you are adding muscle don't use scales for progress. Instead use your use your personal best times, your 1 rep max, your recovery times and above all else use your clothes. If your clothes are getting loose it doesn't matter what the scales say!
Armed with a copy of Insanity I pledged to not lift any weights whilst I went through the program (I had ran out of PT sessions which are bought in blocks of 3 months) and built upon my new found love of body-weight training.
And here's how I looked at the end of it. I only dropped 2 kilos in the 2 months it took to complete - but my body fat is lower and my muscle mass has re-distributed itself. My resting heart rate is mid 40's now (instead of mid 60's) and I have slashed 4mins off my 5Km time (still nearer 25mins than 23mins though). Sure, I am not "Shaun-T" ripped. Yet. But I am leaner. But look where I came from. I had that belly for 15 years. Its' nearly all gone now. There is some definition on my stomach for the first time since.....forever. And that's my 5th revelation. It's taken my until now to understand it. Revelation 5 is to be realistic with your targets and do it because YOU want to do it. It's taken me time and commitment to get where I am today. And it is going to take me a little while longer to get where I want to be. My goals are not to look like somebody else. I want to look like me. But leaner. These pictures have become my "Before" pictures for "Insanity - The Asylum" which I have just started and no doubt will have ore revelations as I progress.
I have to thank my fantastic wife and the people at the gym who pushed me on and opened the door to new training methods. And my online coach, Michael AKA Moco, who reached out and helped me through Insanity. You really helped me on my way, and helped me get through the days I didn't want to train.
Last time out I shared a bad haircut and promised to let you know how I shed 10 kilos (22 pounds) after discovered my body had adjusted to limited calories.
The answer may surprise you - I needed to kick start my metabolism by eating more. I already knew my base metabolic rate (BMR) and I needed to hit it. I up my calories from 1700 / day to a net 2400 / day but kept an eye on the food I ate to eat clean. The previously discussed MyFitnessPal app proved invaluable and I tracked all food and drink, and all training. I should note now that MyFitnessPal allows you to track calories by food type - fat, carbohydrates and protein. I tried to ensure I kept this to around 20% fat, 40% carbs and 40% protein. I also limited carb intake after the sun went down. Why? I began to see food as fuel, rather that as pleasure. Looking at my old diet I would eat lots of carbs at night, after my main meal. My body had all night to turn those carbs into fat whilst I slept. It makes so much sense to me now, and that is my second revelation. Eat to fuel your activities at least 80% of the time. If you are going to eat for pleasure, do so on a very active training day, but no more than once a week! By changing you mentality towards food you will change your body and your energy levels.
As part of my training I began to lift weights in what I will call a conventional training pattern, working different body parts on different days. I even worked my legs hard (as I hate skinny legs!). I put on lots of muscle and my body fat % dropped to about 18%. But my weight stayed the same, because muscle is denser than fat. I could eat more without gaining weight too, as the extra muscle I had packed on used up more energy than the thin air (or fat) that was there previously. So, in order to continue to loose weight I had to revisit my training, from the ground up. I was introduced to compound training by a new Personal Trainer that changed my attitude (never be afraid to change professionals when one approach stops getting you results, providing you know why and are not just lazy of course!). And with the change in attitude came my third revelation - your body WILL become complacent with regular routines and you will need to shock it, both with your diet and your training approach. And in these instances "bro-science" should be taken with a pinch of salt - the numbers I used worked for me then, but may not work for you at all. the principles should be sound though.
Next time I will talk about the shock that jolted me and show you the changes I was able to make to my body following a zero weight training plan for 2 months. It was called Insanity and I have reviewed it separately here.