Get in Shape Challenge Day 2 – Wednesday 17th August

My second day of the challenge and already a massive hiccup… Slept through my alarm!!!

By the time I woke up I had missed the window of opportunity to get the gym before work which I am so disappointed about. I am glad that at least tonight I do have my indoor soccer game with BXVI so I will get at least a little bit of cardio fitness work.

My body today feels pretty dodgy, the tightness and soreness from doing the first weight session of the new schedule is definitely setting in. Tomorrow is a weights session (if I manage to get out of bed that is). I am hoping that my body has recovered a little better than how it is currently feeling.

Get in Shape Challenge Day 1 – Tuesday 16th August

Tuesday 16th of August 2011

Today is the first real day of the physical side of my get into shape challenge and what a way to start – 5:00am wake up!

My alarm went off at 5:00am and unlike i have done on so many other mornings when I have turned it off, rolled over and gone back to sleep I actually got up and started to get ready for my gym sessions – today was going to be a weights session, my first in about two months (always painful in the coming days). Before I could get going to the gym I had to go through my new morning routine I that I want to try and do every morning without fail. I started with my abs exercises including set ups, bridging (both forward and then on either side) and some light dumbbell work. After this was completed I said my morning prayers before getting in the car and heading off to Fitness First Platinum in Subiaco.

I arrived at the gym at 5:50am ready to get in there and start as soon as it opens at 6:00am. I find it quite frustrating that the gym doesn’t open until 6:00am as it is always a stretch for me to get everything done I need to, washed and changed and out to which ever school I am teaching at by the time I start teaching (a hint Fitness First…open at 5:30am please!!!). Today’s session was going to be aimed at not going too hard with the weights being used but rather slowly building back into routine over the first few weeks of training. The last thing I wanted to do was go too hard and then be so sore that I have to take time off before being able to train again, that would be an epic fail on my behalf.

I started with my bench press and loaded the bar up to 60 kg. The first set of 12 I managed to smash out fairly easy (the last couple were a bit of a strain) this weight normally is simple for me to do but because of the time off I thought it would be wise to not go much above this to make it a worthwhile session. I completed the second set of twelve with a bit more difficulty, the last set was no good  what soever with me only managing to get out 4 reps…looks like there’s a bit of ground to recover.

Next I moved onto the dumbbells to start focusing on my upper pecs and shoulder muscles. I like to work at a high intensity with lower weights for the first few weeks of a training regime to make sure I am keeping the heart rate up throughout my workout. I alternated between an inclined press with 15 kg dumbbells and vertical lifts with 10 kg dumbbells with a 30 second rest in between each set of 12 repetitions (one set was equal to both exercises being done). I did manage to get through and complete all three sets of these, but as with the bench press did find it quite difficult towards the end (it’s amazing how much strength can be lost in such a short period of time).

On completion of this I moved onto combining a set of Shoulder presses (no incline with 15 kg weights) with a set of bicep curls ( seated with 10 kg weights). I completed these exercises in a similar fashion to the two exercises previously done in combination as sets of 12 repetitions. The bicep curls I was doing seated with locking my elbows into my body to isolate the muscle to be doing the lifting, to many times at the gyms you see people doing bicep curls and getting there entire body involved in the lift – I would rather do a smaller weight and really work the specific muscle group.

Next I moved onto completing three sets of shoulder flys using the 10 kg wieghts, inbetween each set I worked my triceps with single armed triceps curls also using the 10 kg weights (12 on the rights arm and then 12 on the left arm). The flies I did manage to do quite easily and i think I will use the 12.5 kg weights on Thursday, the triceps curls I didn’t manage to complete even two full sets on either arm (the first set I did twelve, then struggled with 9 on each arm for 2nd set and the third set saw me fail at 7). Upon completing this I worked my deltoid muscle group using a 20 kg dumbbell.

Usually I would move on to my lats and spend some time working this group, however all the exercises I usually do I couldn’t this morning due to the equipment being used and me starting to run short on time! I moved onto my final muscle exercises – bicep curls with a barbell and triceps squats using my own body weight (one set being 12 repetitions of each of being completed before rest). Today I used only the 20 kg barbell (I was up to using the 30 kg one 2 months ago), I wanted to ensure I would get through the exercise and not blow up. Both sets of exercises I managed to complete so I think on Thursday I shall have to increase the weight and resistance to get  that little more strain out of it all.

All up I am really happy with the first morning of training, it is only early days though! Tomorrow is a cardio session at the gym – another 5:00am start will be needed. Fingers crossed I can make it two in a row!

Get In Shape Challenge Day Zero – Monday 15th August 2011

Day : Zero

Date : Monday 15th August 2011

Weight : 81.4 kg

At the beginning of this year I sat down and wrote a number of goals that I shared with some of my closest and most trusted friends. I stopped and assessed my life over a number of weeks to really assess the overall health of my life, which areas I thought I was doing well and those which needed some more attention and from these prioritise what I wanted to have achieved by the end of 2011. Basically I stopped and assessed my life and then cast vision as to who I wanted to have become by the end of 2011. I am a firm believer in the leadership principle of casting vision, without it as the bible says in Proverbs “the people perish”. As I am the one solely responsible for my life and who I develop into I believe it is vitally important to firstly cast vision (and write it down) to myself so that I can see and be reminded regularly who it is I am trying to become (the goals for 2011 are framed and sitting on my desk at home).

One of my goals for this year has been to be really diligent with my weight and get into the shape that I desire. My goal has been by the end of the year to work to a point of starting to get muscle definition showing through clearly on my chest and abdominal area. This has been a dream of mine for many years, but I have never been able to achieve it largely due to poor discipline over a long period of time. I do need to be clear, I have never been obesely overweight, as can be seen by my current weight I am sitting at 81.4kg and I am a height of 176cm, I have and continue to play sport and am active regularly every week – this goal is really just going for that extra little but to prove that I can do it.

To achieve this goal I felt I needed to break down the task into two different categories firstly “What I Eat” and secondly “How I Exercise”. The first category of what I eat I have been very disciplined with. I decided at the start of the year to not eat any Fast Food or drink any Soft Drink. Since the year began I have not drunk any soft drink at all and as for Fast Food, well I have only indulged in Fish and Chips once and Pizza two times and that’s it. My diet very much at the moment is consisting of regular healthy meals.

The next stage of the challenge is now about to begin and run for the next 13 weeks – the physical exercise routine (Part Two).

This part of my routine has been very disrupted throughout the year, some of it has been due to a lack of discipline on my behalf (especially with bed times and getting up in Winter) but also largely due to a continual run of injuries in the form of muscle tears and strains (a 29 year old body doesn’t seem to be as nimble as an 18 year olds). Starting from to tomorrow this is going to change and all my progress will regularly be updated for all to see largely to keep me accountable to the routine. With there now not being many weeks left in the year it is important that I start this next phase to ensure I get to the body shape I want for the “beach look” this Summer. I have set myself the goal of the next 13 weeks also as I get married in 13 weeks and I am really keen to get in shape and a good routine exercise wise prior to getting married.

I will be rising early tomorrow morning (Tuesday) for Day One – this will comprise of a weights session at Fitness First Platinum in Subiaco, Western Australia. My mornings before work (I start teaching at 7:30pm most days) will either have an intensive weight session (3 times a week) or intensive cross training cardio session. It is going to be a tough task and big ask, however I do feel that this is possible. The hardest part is always getting started!

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