Tuesday, 17 November 2015

Doing a 28 Day Challenge

As I've mentioned, I signed up for a 28 Day Challenge, with the goal of kick starting some weight loss, after adding a few extra kgs to my frame during a particularly busy time at work mid year.  I was trying to get back into the exercise myself, and I wasn't doing too badly, but I needed a bit of inspiration.  After forking over a bit of cash, I joined a local Personal Training Gym, and decided to commit.  For 4 weeks, at least.

The Gym

The gym was Back on Track Fitness, in Hoppers Crossing.  It's a relatively new personal training gym (I think it's been open for about a year) run by Brydon and Jenna.  It was a big warehouse, nothing fancy, with some gym equipment, some fake grass to run around on, and within 6 minutes of my house - critical point!

The Training

I was allocated to the All Female Group Training Sessions at 6:45pm, Monday to Thursday.   We had 45 min training sessions, with Monday, Tuesday and Thursday being bootcamp type training.  Wednesday was Boxing, but I didn't go to any of those sessions.

I've described a little of the training before, but the goal was to mix up strength and high intensity interval training / ploymetrics.  The general format was to do a circuit for 8 minutes or so, then move on to another circuit, and repeat a few times.  We also did some games like picking out Paddle Pop sticks with exercises on them, or using playing cards to choose the next exercise.

I also ran each morning.  Most of my runs were easy, with a couple of interval type runs, and a long run on a Saturday.  Honestly, I just wanted to workout in the morning, to keep up the habit of getting up early and getting moving.  My legs were really tired at the start of the four weeks in the mornings, but by the end, I was feeling good again.

The Eating

We hit the ground running on day 1 with a Detox program.  The goal: eat lots of leafy green vegetables, focussing on high-alkaline / low-acidity fruits and vegetables.  We were also introduced the the Green Monster smoothie (heavy on the spinach and kale) and drinking lots and lots of Detox water - water with lemon, cucumber and mint.  We could have some fish with our evening meal.

After the first week, we could add 150-200g of protein to each meal.  The direction was real lean protein, like fish, chicken, beef and pork.  I honestly couldn't stomach meat in the morning, so I have been adding a raw vegan protein shake into my morning Green Monster, and I think that's doing the job.

I feel like I'm eating HEAPS of vegetables, and I haven't been hungry, especially while making sure that I'm drinking lots of water.  The protein and high fibre is enough to keep me full.

Pros


  • It was great to have someone else make all the decisions for me - I just had to follow the instructions.
  • I think this type of training does get results fast, and I was SUPER sore quite a lot of the time.
  • The girls I trained with were all lovely, and very helpful and supportive.
  • Brydon and Jenna knew their stuff, and gave me lots of good hints and tips along the way - especially to do with my exercise form, and new exercises to try.  
  • I LOVED that the eating plan was based around real food - no supplements or pre-prepared food.  Just whole, real good for you food.
  • I lost a bunch of weight (about 5kgs) and cms from my measurements - 37.5 cms overall!  In 4 weeks!  Crazy.  
  • I felt great the whole time.  Well, apart from the sore muscles, I felt like I had lots of energy, was eating more than enough food, and my skin is better than it's been in ages.


Cons


  • I'm a morning training person, and I just couldn't get used to the evening workouts.  I made it to I think 9 sessions over the four weeks, which is not ideal, but just practical.  I felt like I had to skip out of work early to make it to training on time.
  • I'm probably not really a group training person.  I'm a loner, through and through.  And as nice as everyone was, I much preferred my morning lonely run, or even doing a DVD by myself in the garage.
  • To continue the training isn't cheap.  It's not expensive for the type of training and support you get when compared to standard PT rates, but I just couldn't justify that cost, when I'm happy to have a go by myself.  As a loner.  But if you are in my area of the world, and interested in this type of training, I'd definitely recommend Back on Track Fitness - you can only give it a go!


What now?

For now, I'm keeping up the eating plan, because I think it's good for me, and I'm enjoying it.  Basically, I'm not eating dairy or grains / wheat, I've cut out alcohol and coffee, and I'm trying to minimise fruit - using it more for pre-workout energy.

I'm actually going to mix up my training, and cut back to four runs and four weights / bootcamp sessions a week.  I want to make the most out of my training, and not keep running 'junk' miles.  I'm going to go to the Pump classes at my local gym twice a week if I can swing it, and make up two other sessions myself - either at the gym, or doing a workout DVD.

Seeing as I'm on a roll, I'm going to keep at it, and try to lose a few more kgs before Christmas and our holiday in Fiji after New Year.  I'm mostly sticking to this because it works for me, I enjoy it, I feel great, and I know it's making me healthier.


Have you done a fitness challenge to kick start your healthy life?  Did it work?  What did you learn?

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