Wednesday, 19 March 2014

My exercise regime

I get a lot of emails, tweets, messages and comments about my exercise regime and what I have been doing over the last 14 months so I thought I would blog it to share.  As with the introduction to clean eating blog post please note I am NOT an expert, I have no qualifications in this subject so if you prolapse a bowel doing a squat you cant sue me and take my dog and vinyl.

This is just what has worked for me, and remember I have done it with the help and guidance of a personal trainer Steven Shaw.

OK so when I first started in Jan 2013 Steven was doing a bootcamp, three hourly sessions a week where we did high intensity circuit traning. what the hell is that?

Well its a selection of full body exercises you do for a set amount of time then have a rest and move on. so for example, when I first started we used to do 30 seconds on an exercise and 30 seconds rest, there was about 10 exercises in the circuit working the whole body, after all 10 exercises are performed we got a 2 minute rest then we did it all again, we performed the whole circuit 3-4 times in the hour.. 

As I progressed through the weeks this was moved upto 40 seconds on and 20 seconds off, and then sometimes 50 seconds on 10 seconds off. those are the hardest because ten seconds only allows you enough time to get to the next station to perform your next exercise. This is also known as circuit training and if you google it you'll get loads of programmes, if your stuck on any of the exercises and don't know what they are just whack them on youtube and they'll come up with how to do them.

So we did this for a month or two and I think I lost around half a stone and several inches, I then began to have one on ones with Steve where we did harder stuff like cross fit training and pyramids.

crossfit is where you get a time, e.g 10 minutes, and some exercises, eg10 pull ups, 10 squats, 10 burpees. The aim is to complete the exercises as many times as you can in the ten minutes, so you do 10 pull ups, straight onto squats, straight onto burpees, straight back into pull ups, until the 10 minutes is up no rest. SOOO HARD. again google crossfit programme for more info and exercises you can do.

pyramids was my worst nightmare, literally had me crying. Steve worked around a giant tractor style tyre and we had around 5 exercises to do, for example, jump squats on the tyre, flips of the tyre, press ups on the tyre, sledgehammers and these squat walking type things where you walk around the tyre in a low squat which bloody kill the thighs. Anyway each exercise is performed 2 times, then 4 times, then 6 times, then 8 times, then 10 times (by which time you want to die) but then the good part comes and you work your way back down the numbers, so after 10 times you do it all 8 times, then 6 times, then 4 times then 2 times then you're done) These were always high intensity 30 minute personal training sessions which work you so hard with the full body.

Ok so then around May time Steve introduced my absolute favourite of all exercise and fitness WEIGHTLIFTING, we started off small with squats, clean and press, shoulder press, deadlifts, bent over rows and bench presses. Steve started me nice and light ensuring I got my technique perfect and felt comfortable and safe.  I remember my first squat was 15k just the bar basically with no weights on. Same with bench, I was doing 15k only.

I think we did around 1 weights session a week, sometimes in group (which I still attended) and sometimes in one to one sessions.

I also joined a local gym and started doing weights myself using what Steve had shown me.

slowly over the months I got my weights up and now I can bench around 46k (one rep max) or i can bench 37k comfortably (10 reps /4 times) My squat has gone from 15k to an unbelievable 127k (one rep max) Deadlifts are around the 80k mark too. I can also leg press with six 25k plates plus the machine.

Don't take my weights as a guide, please remember ive been doing this almost a year and I do it nearly every day.

Which leads me onto my final chapter... my exercise regime now.

Well ive taken on board everything Steve taught me over the last 14 months and now I do my own fitness regime.

I train 5 times a week, usually during the day as im self employed.

I do three weights sessions, focusing on chest and back muscles in one session, legs in another session and arms and shoulders in my final session. Each session lasts around 1 hour and I always finish with 20 minutes focusing on my core. I also do two cardio style sessions (although Steve will kill me for calling it cardio haha)

In these sessions I do one of the above mentioned, either intervals,  crossfit, or pyramid, or sometimes I swim, I can do 800m in around 25 minutes breaststroke. Its really hard doing cardio on my own as I benefited so much having someone to push me. Sometimes if ive done my 2,4,6,8 on a pyramid and im knackered i'll cheat and miss the 10's and go straight back to 8,6,4,2 ha!!

Id rather suffer the pain of discipline than the pain of regret though so I try and complete whatever I have set myself.

SOOOO why the hell have I bothered....

I cant begin to tell you how much my fitness has improved, when I started this I couldn't swim a length without getting out of breath, now I do 40 lengths (which is my 800m) without stopping.  I can jog longer, sprint faster, im stronger, leaner and to top it all off ive shed 30lb of pure fat. Ive also gained 10lb lean muscle, so overall im around 20lb down on the scales.

I hope you've enjoyed reading, any questions drop me a comment and i'll reply when I can. Like ive said, im not saying any of this is right or wrong it just works for me, my advice, get a personal trainer, even if its just for a month.  If you cant afford one join a local bootcamp.

I don't have any goals really, im happy with my weight, im healthy and my body fat is decent. I just want to continue getting fitter with more muscle tone.

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