Archive | August, 2013
Image 24 Aug

Me in the Gym

I don’t often post photos of me in my gym kit, but I’m feeling quite good about how I look at the moment so what the hell! So here am I in the studio at the gym (weekends are great as its often free so you get some space and the opportunity to use the mirrors to check your technique) with my friends the medicine ball and the kettlebell.


Being Active

24 Aug

IMG_1122I’ve had a great week, my hips are less sore and I’m feeling more flexible.  And this seems to have happened because I upped the activity levels – it’s also been a week of another first, this time a Body Pump class.  I’d always seen the people go off to this one and thought them to be super-fit and out of my league, so to be able to do it with a really decent amount of weight lifted and knowing I could lift more was a pretty good feeling.

So this week so far I’ve done that, an intermediate Kettlebells class, and two big legs sessions one with my PT and one on my own where I smashed the previous results!

We’ve also added in a lot more stretching before and after a session in the hope that this will also help my joints.

I love my new gym, I feel part of something especially now I’m doing the classes (I’ve been a bit of a lone exerciser up to now).  The attention to detail and variety from the training plans is great and I’m really enjoying seeing my progress.

I thought you might like to read what my sessions now include, we’ve doing some more ‘body part’ focused sessions now.


Legs (and bum!)

Warm up: 1000 metres rowing (I’m averaging at 5mins)

Treadmill  x 2 sets

  • 4 mins at 3% incline at average pace of 6km
  • 3 mins at 5% incline at average pace of 6km
  • 2 mins at 8% incline at average pace of 5.6km
  • 1 min at 12% incline at average pace of 5.6km

Leg press:  69kg 10reps x 3 (30 sec rest between each set)

Leg extensions:  20kg  10 reps x 3 (30 sec rest between each set)

Leg Curls: 34kg 10 reps x 3 (30 sec rest between each set)

4kg Medicine Ball lunges (round the clock) x 2 sets

Sumo Squats – 10kg kettlebell x 10 x 2 sets

Upright Bike: HIT

5 mins at steady pace >70RPM @ resistance 8

20 secs sprint at >100+ RPM x 3 (10 sec rest between each)   (I’m aiming for >110 RPM consistently)


3 minutes cooldown on the bike + leg stretches. 

So we continue, I’ve just picked up a new pack of sessions that I can do on my own (a lot need two for timing and spotting etc) – my body seems to really like a bit more intensity.

Blood Pressure

16 Aug

I forgot to mention an extremely important thing in my last post. When I joined the gym, we also took my blood pressure and pulse rate post mile walk.  Whilst my blood pressure was ok, it was towards the higher end of the scale.

English: blood pressure measurement Deutsch: :...

This time, it was way down, right into a totally normal measurement, this is a great thing, as we get older and I can’t get away from being 45, you may never have been checked, especially if you’re not overweight and think you’re healthy.  I have friends who have found that they have high blood pressure and/or high cholestroral at my age or even younger.  High blood pressure can lead to stroke or can be an indicator or other things going wrong.

If you’ve never been checked, have it done, it only takes a moment.  And think about your general health, exercise and keeping active is always going to be a good thing.   Just because you’re not big doesn’t mean there might not be anything wrong?

My pulse rate was also blinking good!


15 Aug

I haven’t made too big a thing about my latest challenge, it seemed a bit more personal this time around, given the stresses of the last year, it was both physical and mental.

After becoming very unfocused about exercise, one of the key objectives was to get that feeling of really wanting to do it back again, I know the benefits – both body and mind so knew it was crucial to total well-being.

The new gym and personal trainer has been fantastic, at the beginning of a 12 week programme, we did all the usual measurements including body fat calipers. We also did a series of fitness tests, a mile walk, minute of sit-ups, press-ups and a plank to fatigue. We set objectives, I made a conscious decision not to include weight in these – for me it would be about improving fitness levels, strength and feeling good about what I was doing.

So how did I do?

Well I did lose centimetres all over, I lost 3% body fat – for me the real achievements came from the fitness tests, I took a whole 2 minutes off my walking mile, almost doubled my press-ups and plank!   I am immensely proud of my fitness levels now.

And we know how much fitter I am now, over the weeks, I’ve done things I never thought possible, from flipping tractor tyres, kettlebells classes, more weights, circuits, ropes, the list goes on and on. I also found I love the rowing machine and I’m even now found working out on my nemesis – the cross trainer.

From doing that comes that feeling of feeling pretty good about myself, it’s still difficult for me at times to know if what I’m doing is good enough, I’ve become very competitive with myself and I can be tough on me!

Being given things to do that I know are given to the ‘fit’ people has given me that boost – my fitness levels are very good for my age, the body fat still needs to come down but coming from being morbidly obese this is going to be my biggest challenge.

I’m loving being in a world where exercise is taken seriously, where my beliefs ‘fit’ and I’m pushed, today my PT told me I should try Body Pump as my weights work has come on and she thinks I am more than capable. I’ve ignored that class up to now as being way outside what I could do. Apparently I’ve moved on there.

I’ve signed up for another 12 weeks, the objectives are now around strengthening my core further, losing at least another 3% body fat and importantly enjoying it even more!

(And for those who were wondering, I have weighed myself and I haven’t lost a pound over the last 12 weeks – what I’ve gained far outweighs that though!)

My advice if you’re feeling de-motivated is simple:

  • try new things, don’t think you ‘can’t’ unless you’ve given it a go, you might be VERY surprised at what you CAN do!
  • move gyms, find somewhere that has new kit or classes to keep you interested, make sure it’s open at the right times
  • get a personal trainer if you can afford it, it keeps you focused and pushed, a lot of gyms have offers for new members, look at it as an investment for the future, make sure they keep records so you can pick up routines yourself
  • set goals and objectives – get competitive with yourself!
  • buy new kit – new trainers for me made a world of difference!


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