Starting Again

Term Four Fitness Challenge Review – Week 1.

The blogging about my fitness regime for the past few years has been about as consistent as the actual sessions, not at all. I have however decided that it is time to start again, but this time try to do both a little smarter as time seems to becoming increasingly precious as a get older and my commitments / lifestyle has continued to change. It’s basically time to start fresh and try to set some new and more achievable goals.

One of the things that I have learnt over the years with goal setting is that they need to challenge you but also be achievable. You need to have a definitive start and end date for the goal and be able to break it down into manageable sized actions to ensure that you actually have the procedures in place to give you the best chance of success. This is what I have decided to do regarding fitness:

Over the length of Term 4 (8 weeks) I will endeavour to exercise five days a week, week days by getting up out of bed between 5:15 and 5:30 every morning. This will allow me to get to the gym no later than 5:50am where I can do an intense workout for 30 – 40 minutes before showering, dressing and heading into school. My sessions will vary between cardio (three times a week) and free weights (two times a week).

For me to be successful in this I know that there’s a few actions important for me to commit to, the first being getting to bed at a decent hour to get enough sleep. I am going to try to commit to getting to bed between 10:30 and 11:00 each night so that at a minimum I’ll be getting 6 hours sleep, I know I can function off this amount quite easily. I also know that I have to get out of bed as soon as my alarm goes off in the morning, any hesitation and I’ll miss my session.

Part of my challenge will also be trying to control what I eat, especially the junk food. I have weakness for chocolate and chips (crisps) that I know are not having a positive effect on my waistline currently.

Posting wise, I’ll try to do a single review post outlining “the week that has been” which would include challenges and successes I have experienced throughout the week.

Week 1: Monday 9th – Friday 13th of October.

I have managed to have a great start to the Term Four Challenge with me getting to the gym on all five days and doing decent workouts.

I have already encounter see problems that have meant changing my routine. The first hindrance occurred as a result of filling in for an indoor soccer team on Monday night, all I can say is that I am so unfit!!! I felt my hamstring go quite weak towards the end of the game, this feeling continued throughout Monday evening. I have experienced this feeling before, usually during rehab. after tearing the same muscle but never without having actually pulled the muscle prior.

Knowing that my leg was in trouble, I made the call to continue with the gym but to lay off the cardio for the remainder of the week – it will be four weights sessions in a row for me!

My next hinderance occurred on Wednesday morning. I made the silly decision to stay out late on Tuesday night by going to a late movie – this meant I didn’t get into bed until after midnight…BAD MOVE! I managed to push through and get out of bed and completed the session.

My Thursday an Friday sessions were completed with minimal problems or disruptions.

Overall, I am happy with the start I have made to the challenge. I am cautious however, it takes three weeks to form a habit and this week will be vitally important in seeing me push through and set up a good routine for the remainder of the challenge.

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Get in Shape Challenge Day 80 – Thursday 3rd November

The last 24 hours has been a really interesting time for me, a mixture of extreme highs and extreme lows. No, I am not bi-polar although being a musician it is possible to have quite large emotional swings, I am talking about the glories of winning a Grand Final ¬†when combined with the disappointment of lack of discipline in missing this morning’s weights session.

Last night’s indoor soccer game for the grand final was an absolute cracker, we won it 3-2 largely due to a great effort from every player on the team. My decision to take the extra day rest yesterday was a really good one with me having to play the majority of the second half, especially after two of our players went down injured, one with a strained groin and the other from a dirty tackle. I must have played an alright game as I won the “player of the final” award for best on ground. It is something that I wasn’t expecting at all as I feel there were a number of better players out there than me on the night.

Moving from the highs of a grand final victory to the lows of not getting a session done this morning. I woke up at 5:10am when my alarm went off but rolled over and turned it off. There are no words to describe the disappointment I feel from doing this. It is true that last night I didn’t sleep overly well due to the heat and humidity, however it really needs to make no difference what the weather conditions are like. I imagine that over summer there will be plenty of hot summer days and nights, if I let that stop me from training then I will miss more sessions than I will be able to count. Tomorrow is a cardio day, ideally I think I might try and get both a cardio and weights in as Saturday is my buck’s party and the all day festivities will hinder my usual training routine.

Get in Shape Challenge Day 79 – Wednesday 2nd November

I made the extremely difficult decision today to take an extra days rest due to the importance of tonight’s indoor soccer grand final. I hadn’t fully made this decision until my alarm went off this morning at 5:00am as I really was torn as to what the best thing to do was.

My reasoning for taking the day off includes that I have been injured and whilst I am feeling really good today I didn’t want to risk the chance of redoing my calf and not being able to play. The other important factor is I feel that tonight I will need to do a lot of running and a lot of work off the ball if we are to get over the line, this will take me being fully prepared and ready to go not just physically but also mentally. So rest day it is.

Get in Shape Challenge Day 78 – Tuesday 1st November

Today marked the opportunity for me to get back into the gym in my first session since injuring my calf last Wednesday night in our indoor soccer semi-final. when my alarm went off at 5:00am I will be the first to admit that it really was a struggle to get out of bed, whilst Im a waking up alright at this time the combination of having gotten used to a little extra sleep and my hay fever (which has been exceptionally bad for weeks now) did make quite difficult to do. After a moment of hesitation I was up and out the door heading for the gym in Subiaco.

I arrived at the gym at 5:45am and had to wait outside as it was not open yet, I have found it interesting how more people are up and at the gym first thing now that it is light by this time. The gym doors opened at 5:55am and after dropping off my things I headed for the bench to start my weights session. The bench press went quite well, I had no idea after missing two sessions what the outcome would be so I loaded the bar to 65kg to warm up and managed a full 12 repetitions. My next set I managed to get out 7 repetitions on 75kg before a final set of only 2 on 77.5kg. It is a bit of a disappointing outcome and I hope that come Thursday I can improve on this.

My next lot of exercises I was quite happy with the results I got. I did drop down the weight back to the 25kg dumb-bells for the incline bench press from the 27.5kg I used last week, I figured that with having missed two sessions it would be pretty arrogant to think I could just smash out where I left off when I really pushed hard to do this weight last week. With the 25kg dumb-bell I managed to get out three sets of 12 repetitions but the last set was a real struggle, especially the getting them up and into position, in other words it was a good move from me to drop the weight. In between these sets I did my vertical lifts with the 12.5kg dumb-bells, I managed these ones alright and got out all three sets of 12 repetitions.

As with the incline press I dropped my weight back to 29kg for the shoulder press, I knew that anything above this would be a big struggle for me to get out (and maybe even up into position). With this lighter weight I did manage to always get the weights into position, the last set was extremely difficult to, and did manage sets of 12, 12 and 9 repetitions. My bicep curls I did in between with the 12.5kg dumb-bells and managed to do 3 sets of 12 repetitions.

My arms were starting to feel quite tired at this stage but I was determined to push through and make this session a really good one. With this in mind i changed over onto a flat bench and got myself two 15kg dub-bells to do my sitting shoulder flies. I managed three sets of 12 repetitions with these (a new personal best) and also got out three sets of 12 repetitions on the triceps extensions with the 12.5kg dumb-bells in between each set of flies.The following dead lifts were also successful with 3 sets of 12 repetitions each arm wit the 22.5kg dumb-bell.

The lat-pulldown machines were all being used at this stage so I moved onto my bicep curls using the 35kg bar-bell and the triceps dips. I found the curls quite difficult today and only managed sets of 12, 9 and 6 repetitions before my arms were failing, as usual I did manage all three set of the dips with 12 repetitions each. With the time being limited that I had and the machines still all being used I decided to finish off my workout with some abdominal work. I went and got myself a medium sized fit-ball and did 30 sit ups on it – it is quite amusing to me doing this as although there are such lower repetitions really I am really feeling it through my abs when doing this here – no cramping today though thank goodness.

Today’s session i feel was a good start to get back into the routine. I am not sure as to whether I will come tomorrow and do a light cardio session as we do have the grand final on tomorrow night and are playing a very good team. It might mean an additional rest day before hitting the gym again on Thursday.

Get in Shape Challenge Day 77 – Monday 31st October

I was hoping to get today’s session in this afternoon, unfortunately as I feared yesterday the hay fever season has beaten me, it just didn’t happen.

I suppose that it would be possible to look on it from a positive point of view being that it does give me extra time for my left calf to recover before the indoor soccer grand final that is happening on Wednesday night. I still can’r hide some of my disappointment as I was really hoping to get the session done. My only hope now can be that tomorrow morning I can get up early to get the Tuesday morning weights session done.

Get in Shape Challenge Day 76 – Sunday 30th October

I am definitely glad to be having today’s rest day. This gratefulness is not because of the large number of session that I have had during this week, in fact it has been pretty disappointing due to the injury I sustained on Wednesday night but more due to other factors.

When I got up this morning I felt really gross, not due to sickness or a lack of sleep but because of Hay Fever. The dryness over the past couple of days has resulted in my hay fever really playing up today. My nose and sinuses are not too bad but my eyes have been terrible. I have felt nothing but tired and groggy throughout the entire day, I really hope that tomorrow my hay fever doesn’t stop me from doing my session because if I feel like I do today I don’t think a gym session will be on the cards.

Get in Shape Challenge Day 75 Saturday 29th of October

Today marks the start of the final two weeks of the official Get in Shape Challenge with it being exactly two weeks until my wedding day. I decided that due to this calf injury sustained playing indoor soccer on Wednesday night that it would be best to take one more day off to ensure that it fully does heal and recover before I hit the gym hard again next week.

Overall I am really happy with how the injury has healed with now me not feeling it at all when walking around, the size of the lump in the leg has also decreased incredibly.

Getting back to my current appearance I am also happy with how I am currently looking having trimmed down to 78kg, this amount might not seem like a great amount from what I was carrying, however I have done the difficult task of losing fat at the same time of putting on an increased amount of lean muscle…something that I had been told could not be done at the same time. Well, I guess I have proved them wrong!

Tomorrow is the scheduled rest day, I will take this to finish up my recovery routine before hitting the gym for some intense sessions in the lead up to final few days.


Get in Shape Challenge Day 74 – Friday 28th October

Today I have decided to take one more day off before getting seriously back into the challenge after my straining of my left calf on Wednesday night. Whilst my leg is feeling a lot better there is still a big lump in it and by taking today off it means I have until Monday before my next scheduled cardio session.

I have found it quite frustrating not being able to work out over the last couple of days, I couldn’t play the usual social game of soccer yesterday or do my weights sessions and now I miss another cardio session with time ticking away! All this aside I do know that this break to make sure my leg gets 100% right again is vitally important to my progression with the Get in Shape Challenge.

I should be able to manage my weights session tomorrow morning, this will be followed with my usual Sunday rest day which will prove very timely before hitting the gym again next week hopefully in full capacity and intensity.

Get in Shape Challenge Day 73 – Thursday 27th October

Today i am feeling quite frustrated and annoyed with myself. I sustained a calf strain in last night’s semi-final indoor soccer victory and it has kept me from doing my morning gym session. I don’t think the injury is too bad and I imagine that I will be back on my feet again in a couple of days it’s more just the unfortunate timing being so close to the end of the challenge period and because I have been in great routine overt he past week.

All these things considered I am still going to take it easier rather than doing something foolish like trying to push through the pain. There will be no social soccer for me this afternoon and probably not even a cardio session tomorrow. My aim will be to be back in the gym for weights on Saturday morning with hopefully a light cardio session possible the start of next week.

Fingers crossed I haven’t done too much damage!

Get in Shape Challenge Day 72 – Wednesday 26th October

Today I made the decision to not go and do my morning gym cardio session. Today’s decision was a very intentional one on my behalf due to the indoor soccer semi-final I was playing in tonight with my mixed team BXVI.

We ended up winning the semi-final 7-3 which means that we will get to play in our first grand final for a year next Wednesday night. It’s a little embarrassing for us to have gone so long without playing in a grand final considering we have finished on top every season and only lost one game in regular season for I can’t remember how many seasons now.

I seem to have injured my left calf in the game, it’s quite tight at the moment so I will probably rest tomorrow and definitely not play social soccer in a hope to get my body right for the next cardio session scheduled for Friday. The last thing I need at this stage of the challenge is a strained calf muscle as this would have huge effects on what I can and can’t do in the gym.

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