Taking training to the next level

I’ve been saying it for many weeks about taking my fitness to the next level. Although my heart is in the right place, I’ve had a few life interruptions. Nothing major, but being self-employed means that sometimes you work long hours, it’s getting darker at nights and this week I’ve picked up a cold. I’m not complaining, just stating the facts.

But wait one moment, I have great news!! My personal trainer that I love so dearly (but also secretly hate just a teeny tiny wee bit) has set up her own studio and she’s nick named it The Cave. What it means is that in addition to the three weekly Zumba sessions with her, I’ll now be doing 2 personal training sessions each week.  One of those sessions is with my best mate and we were talking the other day about how we push each other to get fitter, all in a positive way of course…

motivate friends

While I love training with her (anywhere, anytime, doing anything), it’ll be the first time in over a year that I’ll be enduring the punishment and sense of achievement that comes with a one on one personal trainer. I am hoping my body isn’t weaker than it was, but if it is, I’m totally up for the challenge.  I might be a bit wacky in the head, but that feeling you get when you are physically knackered is wonderful.  It makes me feel alive, between the “I wish I was dead comments” and perhaps that’s what I’ve been missing.

Some time ago I borrowed some strength bags and while they’ve had some use (foot stool, chair and the occasional proper use) it hasn’t motivated me as much as I’d hoped. I guess that comes with the territory and the reminder that no one can do this by themselves – we all need to be held accountable, to a friend, a loved one or to the trainer that pushes you to do better.

Some motivation requiredSo here goes, the next chapter in my fitness. Once I’m focussed on something, I don’t stray and I give it everything I can. All the things I need are lining up and are set for me to achieve – fingers crossed it comes together like a dream…





Attitude change has kicked in

I’m starting to dread Monday mornings and it’s not for the obvious reason. For me it is weigh in and measurements in all of it’s glory and failure and this morning was pretty average results. But that is ok, as I’ve had an attitude change! Last weeks blog post was shared on my facebook page and I asked for feedback and advice. Wow, what a diverse group of friends I have, all with various ideas, tips and suggestions. It was a real eye opener for me as to how my friends see me and how much they are willing to support me.

This week I’ve eased back on the cardio, just 4 Zumba sessions, 2 bootcamps and 2 hill runs (plus incidental exercise) and this will be a standard week for me with all the events I’ve got scheduled. On Sunday morning I was out running with my mate training for A Run To Remember and we had a conversation while running freestyle down one of my favourite pieces of the track (the downhill portion)…

RapakiThe conversation was about how people think we are crazy for attempting all this exercise. I had a ‘light-bulb’ moment and said “nah, we were mentally crazy to let our bodies consume all the crap we used to love” and it was only then that I realised that I’m not crazy or mental. The old overweight fat unhappy me was off the rails and damned if I’m letting that happen. We also joked as the night before I’d had a moment of weakness and had eaten a Perky Nana, which at the time was absolutely lip smackingly good but it was short-lived. My stomach decided that it was poison and gave me horrific tummy ache and totally ruined my Saturday night – although I was only hanging out at home by myself, so it was hardly a tragedy in the first place.

Meanwhile my food intake has been pretty good. A few of my mates are now using myfitnesspal to track their calorie intake and we are comparing notes and encouraging each other. I’ve finally got some yummy chocolate treats that are homemade and look like this! Best flavours in my opinion so far are lime and chilli, and raisin.

Paleo chocolateWhat I’ve realised is I need to do some more strength/resistance training.  So I’ll be speaking to my favourite personal trainer and see what she can suggest for me to do, and it needs to be without joining a gym or heading to crossfit. It has to be activity I can do at home so I can fit it around my already crazy schedule. If I can continue with my current level of cardio plus add some weight resistance in the mix, I think I might see some good results. Let’s see what happens, eh?

Evil personal trainer

It was at the end of 2011 that I thought I needed to take my fitness to another level. Yes I had lost weight but I wanted to be strong and versatile, a mixture of cross fitness. At the time I knew a couple of personal trainers but wanted one that understood my journey and where I had already come from.

My zumba instructor is a personal trainer but wasn’t actively looking for clients at that stage. So I asked her if she would consider taking me on as a client, once a week, and if we could start in the new year. I think she said yes out of pity but warned me that every session would be outdoors.

At the first session I was bloody terrified of what she would make me do – I had heard of horror stories and I knew she would be punishing me. It was like the day I did my first weigh in, but this time she had a tape measure… oh no! I can’t recall what my measurements were, they will be written down in her book somewhere.

We started with a warm up which was easy enough. Then she started to test my limits. She asked me to do a push up. I couldn’t do one lousy push up on my knees. Pathetic, useless, lazy, they all went through my head. She said to me “it’s ok, you need to start somewhere and we will work on it together”. I thought she was talking rubbish. If I couldn’t do one, how would I ever do 20, 30 or more?

Over the following weeks and months, I progressed and got stronger. I loved those training sessions, even when it was pouring with rain, frost on the ground or glorious sunshine. I got dirty. I got sore. I got beaten up. I wanted more.

This is the kind of routine we do in a half hour session and it generally involves me looking like this:

Routine mud legs

I still see her every Saturday morning, except a handful of days a year where one of us can’t be there for what ever reason. There was one session where I was really angry about something in my personal life and she brought out the boxing gloves and I just about broke her arm as I was throwing punches that hard. I’ve tasted bile but never thrown up, although she keeps wanting to tick that off the list. I’ve cried, twice in one session and that was during one of my dark days.

She is a key part of my new fitness regime and I couldn’t imagine having anyone else push me beyond my mental limits. Yes I joke that she is pure evil but hopefully she will read this and know that she has been a huge part of my life and I love and appreciate her more than I can express.