Friday, 11 May 2012

Achy, achy, achy...

First of all the all important update on weight to date...

Well there's absolutely no change whatsoever. Even though my weight has actually gone up by a number of pounds and is now coming back down (as I'll explain), the overall effect is stasis.  Given the lack of cycling and swimming action over the last few weeks, I'll take that, and as I'm on a downward plain as I write, all the better.

So, on to what I'm up to. Well it certainly isn't cycling, I just cannot get up the enthusiasm at the moment despite my many, many, attempts at refocusing my efforts. Due to this I decided last week to stop trying to kid myself that I'm going to be out before the warmer summer weather arrives, and to get my backside off the sofa and try something a little different.

I thought I'd give something I can do in the house a bit of a crack and came across an advert on someone Else's blog for a product by Jillian Michael's called Body Revolution.

For those of you who do not know who she is, she, along with Bob Harper, was one of the original trainers for the first 11 seasons of The Biggest Loser (US, excluding season 3, incidentally, I'm an addict of the show).

She's my favourite "celebrity" trainer/well-being guru, and having tried a couple of her DVDs in the past, I thought I'd take a look at Body Revolution which is her first foray into a whole system approach to weight loss, i.e. diet + fitness regime.

Body Revolution is a series of 15 DVD workouts that come bundled with an exercise plan, diet plan, recipe book and exercise resistance cable.  The program runs over 90 days at six exercise days a week, 2 strength followed by 1 cardio, twice over. It uses resistance bands, dumbbells and your own body weight for the training with each workout being only a little over 30 minutes, easy I thought...

The plan is split into three phases, and each of these is split into 2 week sections so the first two weeks are: (Workout1, Workout2, Cardio1, Workout1, Workout2, Cardio1, Rest Day) x2.  The next two are: (Workout3, Workout4, Cardio1, Workout3, Workout4, Cardio1, Rest Day) x2. The next phase then kicks in with workouts 5 and 6 and cardio level 2 etc. etc.

Sounds a bit complicated but it's dead easy and you get a wallchart with what to do each day.

The down side of the equation is that you can only buy it from the US and it costs $129 + shipping, a lot of cash for an unproven product for my eyes. The flip side to that however, is that I have got it for nothing, borrowed from a friend. All I had to do was order a resistance band from Amazon US for £10 and off  I went (I already have dumbbells).

So as of Monday I was all set and jumped into Workout1 which was basically upper body and abs, and boy did I get a shock. That woman knows how to stick together a calorie burning training session.

Each exercise is performed for one minute with 5 or so making a set, and three different sets being performed in the workout. She also sticks a cardio interval at the end of each set just to really get that heart rate up. It was Tough with a capital 'T'. I had to pause the DVD twice for "water breaks" and by the end of the day my whole upper body was aching and I slept very well, looking forward to being beaten up again on Tuesday.

Workout2 (back, legs and abs) did exactly that and left my muscles screaming out in agony by Tuesday night to the extent that I genuinely thought I might not make it through the first cardio session on Wednesday.

Thankfully cardio is more my thing, mainly from cycling, and I found Wednesday a lot less painful, although I was sweating like a pig after only 35 minutes, it just shows you how quickly that fitness drops off when you go cold turkey for a few months.

Wednesday lunch time I was so tired from the exercise and drop off in my usually over enthusiastic calorie consumption (I'm on 1720 calories for the program), that I went to the first aid room at work and fell asleep for 45 minutes, oh that was so much better.

Yesterday I repeated Workout1 for the first time and managed to complete the whole thing without pausing the DVD, only for the second rotation of press ups followed by planks and bicycle crunches did I have to pause and then resume. Definite progress already, even if it's just because I knew what to expect.

This morning became the first morning I woke up with only muscle aches rather than muscle pain or cramps, I haven't worked out yet today as I had an early start at work, so I'll be doing it as soon as I finish here. I have to admit, this is the first time in a long time I actually cannot wait to get some exercise in, thank goodness, it's about time.

I started the week at 18st 10lbs and was down to 18st 5lbs by today so all looks good. I did take some initial measurements, so I'll post them in my next post. The official 1st weigh in is Monday so I'll update then, although I can already see changes in muscle tone in my arms and legs which helps with the motivation. 

My initial conclusions of the Body Revolution are very positive, the workouts are challenging but enjoyable with very little exercise repetition which is a particular bug bear of mine, so I am enjoying killing myself every morning of the week, bring on today's workout, and let's hope it continues.

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