So I'm two weeks into my 10 week training challenge with Fitness First. I'm out to bust myths of what you can realistically achieve in 10 weeks, and also demonstrate that with hard work, you can reach your targets. It's all about small improvements.
Note: My Personal Trainer reviewed these goals and has improved them (of course) based on my basic fitness test performed in the gym.
Improve arm strength, measured by:
- 30 full pushups (no knees allowed!)
- Hold a yogi ‘crow’ pose for 40 seconds
- One unassisted pull-up
Improve core strength, measured by:
- Holding a
2m 30s5 minute plank
- 60 bicycles x 4 sets
Improve running endurance, measured by:
- 20 minutes of sprints (interval training)
- faster recovery time (2 minute to return heart rate to 60 bpm)
So what have I been up to for the last two weeks to get closer to these goals?
Training for weeks one and two looked like this:
Admittedly, it looks pretty hard-core on paper (or on screen), but the yoga is low intensity and more of a stress reliever for me after a long day at work. I'm making the most of my class access with Fitness First.
Most days there's an intense training session for 40-45 minutes first thing in the morning - alternating between cardio and circuit training. Each session leaves me red-faced and sweaty, and I'm usually shaking by the end of it. Definitely in increase in effort from my usual training - I normally go for 60 minutes at a lower intensity.
The benefits of working hard for a short period (as opposed to longer, steady-state sessions) are:
- improved anaerobic capacity
- burn more calories both during training and afterwards
- lose weight, not muscle
- increased metabolism
My personal trainer at Fitness First (the lovely James) is determined to build my core and upper body strength so we can smash out that 5 minute plank and chin up. We've been focusing on arms through weighted pushups, triceps dips, assisted pull-ups, boxing and french press movements. My core has been tested with leg raises, weighted planks and kettlebell swings thrown in for good measure.
I'm already feeling stronger and more flexible, and can't wait to see what the next few weeks bring. My body is loving being challenged at a higher intensity, with new classes and compound movements that are offering a full body workout.
Questions about my training? Feel free to ask away in the comments below.