After the long course days of sitting in on my butt all day 4-days out of 7 in Week 7, I was delighted to be up and moving again in Week 8. I had my usual training plus 3 Future Fit Courses – Circuit Training, Core Training and Suspension (TRX) Training. This is my kind of training, not much sitting and high activity, hands on. I had two trainers (Rob for Circuits and Core and Ross for Suspension) attended two gyms (Oasis Sports Centre and The Southbank Club). The days went very quickly because we were involved and active, I am not one to enjoy sitting still and become disruptive if forced to do so, this is because humans were not designed to sit still, we are hunter gatherers which is active work. Sitting in a drive-thru at McDonald’s is not what we evolved to do, yet here we are. The training was not extremely difficult, it’s just that there were many hours of non-stop training, I am still impressed by how much this body can take even after all its mistreatment and injuries. The training was exhausting because of the amount of it and the duration. For example, it is very rare for anything to touch my Core, I can plank for days, so I am very pleased to say that I have some core awareness today. I thank Kickboxing for this core strength, one day though my very strong 6 pack is actually going to make a visible appearance, for now, it continues to hide behind its warm, puffy jacket of adipose tissue. GOALS! If only stomach fat wasn’t the hardest to lose. The reality is, most people lose weight top down which is why it is so noticeable in their faces – in my head, I seem to be losing top down, bottom up not quite meeting in the middle, however, this is not actually the reality, I am losing everywhere and quite quickly just not as quickly as I would like. But I didn’t store it all over night so I am not going to lose it all over night either.

Oddly during two of my PT classes, I was asked if I’d like to grab a beer after the training, considering there was a great deal of “Nutritional Information” reading going on at lunchtime, I was quite surprised by this but I didn’t accept the invitations. I didn’t even go to the pub. I’m very proud of myself, because after passing my Level 2 Gym Instructor assessment, the client victim, Charl and I went to the pub for a couple of beers so this just highlighted the major changes going on for me. I don’t want people to think I won’t go to the pub with you or that I will judge you for your choices, I will come and I won’t judge. We all have to make our own choices in life and then live the journey, and this is mine.

 

Weights and Measures
Another 300g off this week which is great. Assuming that is all fat, I’m not going to complain. That’s slightly more than a small block of butter. Last week was another terrible MFP week as I didn’t track while on the course but I did adjust my caloric intake to meet my calorie target. This week, I promise to be better.

I foolishly only started to measure myself on 26 August, I should have started on 17 July, partly this is because I couldn’t find my Tape Measure but my pending PT Assessment means I needed to find it and get the practice in. DNM = Did not measure (this is because I was short on time last week).

Week 2 Week 3
 Left Bicep  DNM  No change
Right Bicep   DNM -1cm
Neck   DNM No change
Breasts   DNM -4.5cm (YAY)
Above the Breast   No Change -1cm
Below the Breast  -2.5cm No change
 Waist -1cm -2cm
Belly Button  -2.5cm -1.5cm
Hips  -4cm -3cm
Bum -2cm No Change
Left Quad DNM -1.5cm
Right Quad  DNM -0.5cm
Left Calf DNM -0.5cm
Right Calf DNM No change
Total -12cm -15.5cm

Another 15.5cm overall is fantastic and I am super pleased. The scale may not be moving very much but my body is doing what it should and I am very excited. Except I need new jeans, another pair is falling down. This oversize PT is running out of clothes. There was a debate on Facebook yesterday where a PT I know was saying “You wouldn’t trust a fat PT would you”, but that simply isn’t true. I would trust a fat PT who knows their stuff and understands how difficult it can be to lose the weight over someone who has never been there, who doesn’t understand that your body is unique and doesn’t always respond to what the book tells them it should. Those skinny PTs are the ones who don’t value nutrition as a science and say things like “eat 1200 calories” or try Slimming World or spout other equally dangerous or damaging “advice”.

Gym Sessions

This week was unprecedented in the gym for me, also I wouldn’t recommend replicating it. My Workouts this week were:

Walking Lunges Eleven steps each there and back twice 8kg per hand 4 sets
Superset: Bicep Concentrations Curls 10 reps 14kg 4 sets
Tricep Extension close stance, 10 reps 17.5kg 4 sets
Superset: Lat pulldown Wide grip – 12 reps 35kg 4 sets
Shoulder Press 16 reps 6kg 4 sets
Superset Seated Upright Rows 12 reps 35kg 4 sets
Chest Press 10 reps 30kg 4 sets

And five minutes rolling my calves, hamstrings, quads and IT-bands on the FIVE Mobility Equipment – Fascia Massage Simulator as usual.

Circuits Training

Circuit 1 Circuit 2 Circuit 3
Warm-up (5 minutes), Mobility, Pre-stretches, Warm-up 2 (2 minutes)

20 seconds per station, no rest between stations, 1-minute rest; repeat 40 seconds per station

Warm-up 3 minutes, Mobility, Warm-up 2 minutes

20 seconds per station, no rest between stations, 1-minute rest; repeat 40 seconds per station

Warm-up 3 minutes, Mobility, Warm-up 2 minutes

20 seconds per station, no rest between stations, 1-minute rest; repeat 40 seconds per station

Squats

Burpees

Lunges

Press-ups

Shuttle Sprints

Plank Rotation

Sprint Cycle

Jog on the spot

Ab Curls

Jumping Jacks

Reverse Lunge

Back Extensions

Press-ups

Squats

Jumping Jacks

Burpees

Lunges

Glute Bridges

Bent over rows

Squats with Jumping Jacks

Plank

Cool Down Cool Down Cool Down
Post-stretches Post-stretches Post-stretches

 

Core Training

We practised all the exercises, then had to design a core programme for the other team to follow. The point of which seems to have been to see who can hurt who the most. The exercises were Plank (elbows), Plank (press-up position), Plank Rotation (which I can’t do because my Rehab trainer says so, which means I do standard plank instead – yay me), Lateral Plank (also a no), Plank with lateral leg movement, Plank with Leg Raise, Supermans, Leg Lowers, Glute Bridge, Knee Raise, Slide and Compress, Bicycles, Crunches – arms across chest, hands at temples and hands extended above the head, Negative Crunch, Reverse Curl (my favourite), double crunch, oblique crunch, Back extension,

Core Session 1 Core Session 2
Plank

Back Extension

Bicycles with Oblique Crunch

Glute Bridge

Lateral Plank

Crunches

Supermans

Reverse Curl

Lateral Plank

Oblique Crunches

Glute Bridges

Plank

 

Suspension Training

Now, this was fun. I love TRX at the best of times and used it throughout my rehab to help with proprioception and stability. The training was full on and we went through what felt like thousands of exercises and is actually the Core pain culprit, rather than the Core Training. It was a lot of fun and a really good workout. The TRX® Suspension Trainer ™ (TRX for short) was designed by the US Navy SEAL Commando, Randy Hetrick. The TRX was inspired by his final operational role as Squadron Commander of the SEAL’s elite special missions unit where Randy needed to stay in peak physical condition and thus fashioned a crude first version of the modern TRX out of a jujitsu belt and parachute webbing. This equipment creates instability and thus engages the core in every exercise, it also allows the user to progress or regress the exercise based on ability.

The exercises completed were:

Squat Single Leg Squat Pistol Squat (bloody hard)  Reverse Lunge Suspended Lunge (one foot in the stirrups of the TRX)
Lateral Lunges Hamstring Curl Single Leg Hamstring Curl Sprinters Start Standing Chest Press
Standing Chest Flye Press-up Inverted Row – Wide Grip Inverted Row – Narrow Grip Single Arm Row
T Deltoid Flye Swimmers Pull Bicep Curl Tricep Extension Power Pull (my favourite)
Jack Knife Prone Plank Roll Out Body Saw Suspended Pendulum
Glute Bridges T-twist Pike

Injuries to the Athlete

I had a severely painful hip and headaches all weekend. The headaches were released by using a pressure point ball into the trapesius on top of the shoulder and the origin point in the neck. My hip was relieved with some foam rolling and then a ThermaCare Neck Pain Relief Heat pad stuck to the hip, covering the Anterior Superior Iliac Spine and the Gluteus Medius. More foam rolling for the rest of the week and both sets of pain should ease up completely.

SleekGeek 8-Week Summer Challenge

The SleekGeek 8-week Summer Challenge is a South African 8-week weight loss and body transformation challenge. You compete against your gender and the person with the biggest weight loss or transformation wins. Simples. Mainly I am doing it as added motivation and accountability rather than to win because I am not actually sure if I can win it while living abroad. I didn’t read the rules, meh rules schmules. I read the guidelines, that’ll do. Also, you have to pay for it, it was only £20 but it puts skin in the game if you will, it increases the amount of motivation I have to take part. I have joined Heat 2, which starts on 18 September, my challenge completes on 13 November. The overall challenge ends in early December.

 

I am setting my goals for the challenge and am going for:

  • 8 hours sleep
  • No screen time 2 hours before bed
  • 5 workouts per week (if no gym, 15,000 steps a day, this is 10km)
  • 2 Recovery Days (Wednesday and Sunday)
  • No alcohol
  • 1,800 calories/ day (800 calorie deficit from TDEE)
  • 1kg/week loss
  • Macros (Carbs: 50% 900 calories, Protein: 30% 540 calories and Fat: 20% 360 calories)

Join me next week as I run through preparation for the SleekGeek 8-week Challenge.

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Victoria Canham, founder of Ahead Together, is a coach, mentor, writer, learning and change management specialist. Victoria is currently studying towards a qualification in Personal Training with Future Fit UK and is already qualified as a Sports Nutrition Advisor and Gym Instructor. With a background in many industries and a wealth of skills as diverse as her experience, Victoria sees the best in you, even when you can’t see it yourself. Victoria grew up in Cape Town, South Africa where she studied Food and Beverage Management and Adult Education. Having lived in London for 12 years, Victoria has had the opportunity to work as a contractor in many different styles of industries and locations, most recently Compliance within Financial Services. Victoria is an iPEC accredited Certified Professional Coach and a member of the ICF. Victoria is also a Mentor for the Prince’s Trust, helping young people get into work and develop their potential.

 

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