A weighty issue

Word up!

A little update on my 8-week gym challenge. It’s all going great and the only thing challenging about it has been the training (which is as it should be). The nutrition (I’d say diet but I know the word has negative connotations) has been easy, enjoyable even. Personally I don’t think anything I’m eating is unusual (it shouldn’t be, since the whole point is to eat things as close to their natural state as possible) but I do realise that a lot of people would disagree! Lots of veg, lots of protein, plenty of “good” fats, and carbs coming mostly from veg (although not completely – oats, sweet potatoes, quinoa etc all feature). I read something recently about this kind of “body recomposition” eating meaning you eat mainly from the fridge, rather than your cupboards. So true!

A virtual-prize for the first person who recognises what this recent delivery (great for omelettes, baking and scrambling….) is:

Ha ha!

I thought I’d focus in on the training here. Since training people is how Kat makes a living, it would hardly be fair for me to list the exact contents of the sessions she’s given me, but I would like to talk about the one which has consistently kicked my gluteus maximus since day one. The full-body circuit.

At first glance, this session didn’t look like much. 😀 There are no heavy weights (because all the exercises are done in circuit-style, with minimal rest, and I need to be able to do 3+ circuits). There’s no running, or indeed anything that most people would recognise as “cardio”. But, this thing really delivers. I’ve been doing it twice a week now for almost four weeks and it can still reduce me to (literally) a gibbering wreck on the weights-room floor.

(Can you spot me?)

I do each of these exercises a certain amount of times, and then go straight into the next one. Unless I actually feel like I might fall down, in which case I have a little breather. This happens more often than I’d like to admit.

Here’s how it goes down (I’m sure Kat won’t mind just this once):

Plyometric lunges (do a lunge, then jump into a lunge on the opposite side, then continue on each side, on and on and on….)
Bench press with dumb-bells (lie on your back on a bench, dumb-bell in each hand, and press them up to above your face before lowering so your arms are bent at right-angles. Repeat up and down, up and down, up and…you get the idea)
– A killer abdominal exercise on the bench. I still haven’t worked out how and why this is so tough.
Tricep dips off the bench. Done whilst face-to-face with your own reflection, wondering why one of your shoulders is wonky.
Step-ups onto a bench whilst holding dumb-bells in both hands. Doesn’t sound like much, does it? This. Kills. Me. Every. Time.
Bicep curls with dumb-bells. Whilst trying to calm your hammering heart-rate from previous exercise.
Jump squats. Squat down, jump up in the air, land (softly), jump again. And again. And again. Keep jumping!
Press-ups with your feet on the bench you’ve been using. I have lately added my own little twist to this.
– Get up, wait for vision to return to normal. (That’s not part of the original session but I added it in)
Lunges backwards and forwards. Again, sound easy. Nice, even. Yeah, not so much!
Shoulder presses with dumb-bells.
– Aaaaand then you go round again. Ideally another two times (I recently did the whole thing four times and was shaking).

Is it sad that I managed to type that all out with referring to the sheet it’s written on? 😉

I don’t know much but I suspect this session works for a few reasons:
– it’s fast, leaving you little time to recover between exercises, so your heart-rate stays high
– the exercises mostly move between upper and lower body, shuttling blood around your body and making your system work extra-hard
– lots of plyometric/jumping movements mean it’s very cardiovascular, even though there’s no traditional cardio in sight
– it’s mostly working with your own body-weight, meaning you can work harder and keep going for longer, but still challenge yourself

Kat, please tell me if that’s more or less correct! 😉

Do you do circuits? Or do you hate them? I love to hate them: they’re tough, but you know they really work!

Let’s all wish Kat the best of luck in her next competition: the Natural Physique Association British Championships which take place this Sunday.

A Weighty Issue is a post from The Fit Writer blog


7 Responses to A weighty issue

  1. richard says:

    I know what the stuff in the photo is………………..


  2. Lisa fox says:

    And me ……………. egg whites!


  3. […] This post was mentioned on Twitter by Carrie Woods, Nicola Joyce. Nicola Joyce said: Gym challenge update: a weighty issue http://ow.ly/2VdJW […]


  4. Kat Millar says:

    That’s perfect and I love the descriptions Nic! 🙂 Cheers for the mention and the well wishes. I’m so excited about the comp!!
    That workout gets blood shunting itself round the body at top speed and TOTALLY CRANKS the metabolism for a LONG time after. No wonder you are getting to buy new wee clothes young lady! 😉


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  6. […] 8-week plan in the following posts: the start of the challenge, what’s involved, obstacles, weight training, whilst on holiday and progress with one week to […]


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