Wow the last six months have gone quickly. It is crazy to think that I started this gym challenge back in February. I think it is safe to say that this is the longest period of time I have ever gone with such consistent use of a gym, and also such high volumes of sporting activity.
As you can see from the pic above, the gradual change over the last 2 years has been (in my mind) worth it. I have now lost over 4st since I started to consciously try and lose weight.
All that aside, this post is focusing on the last 6 months. I really stepped my fitness challenge up in February, going to the gym every day Monday to Friday, ideally before work. I then started going to a few gym classes to try and find better ways of working out because I felt my own regime was not doing very much. This was a good idea!
Going to classes and getting help introduced me to the world of “core” workouts. The meanest but probably most rewarding set of workouts I had ever tried. I now barely use the machines other than to warm up and to improve stamina (something I am badly lacking in). I now mainly do core, free weights and resistance style training.
As my overall fitness got slightly better I decided to try playing a few sports I have always loved but had stopped playing due to being so out of shape. The first was football.
One of the main reasons I tried to get fit was to play in a comeback football game. That came and went but the fitness bug had caught on. I also started playing basketball again. A sport I love despite being short!
I decided that I wanted to shake things up and get out of my comfort zone and try a new sport. At university I had a go at boxing and loved it so I decided that at 38 years of age, it was time I made my boxing comeback! OH MY GOD, I love it!
I went to a place called Fight Factory Gloucester, a pro and amateur boxing gym. It is run by Liz and Jon Pitman and all I can say is that I feel a million times better for going. They work, without judgement or criticism, with people of every age, size and ability.
Let’s not get carried away now, I aint no Prince Naseem, but it is a great place to go work out, let of steam in terms of beat the living crap out of some punchbags and best of all, get fit in a really fun way.
So where am I at in terms of progress… well, it has been a rocky road. I feel like every time I have built up some serious momentum and moving in the right direction, I have had a set back. The set backs include things like, taking time off going for work or holidaying reasons and the worst of all is a calf muscle tear that meant having a month off, and if I am honest, still does not feel 100%.
The other two factors I never really took into account is motivation and diet. My motivation has remained fairly high but I do have occasional dips, usually around the times when I have not been able to get to the gym as often as I would have liked. This supports the theory held by many people that fitness is an addiction. When you don’t feed that addiction you feel down and unmotivated. That is as deep as I get.
Diet is my kryptonite! I have such a poor diet, largely based around drinking it has emerged, that it has become a real thorn in my fitness side. I decided when I started this that I was not going to let it stop me doing the things I liked, like eating and drinking. I was not going to become THAT kind of fitness wanker.
I have tried to eat more healthily, and by in large I do. BUT, the occasional McDonalds sneaks through the net and although I have cut out beer and lager, white wine (preferably of the fizzy variety) is probably the main reason I have not lost more weight. The PT running the classes now just laughs when I talk them through my weekend splurge. I have absolutely no doubt that if I sorted my diet I would have made better gains during the six month period.
Don’t get me wrong, it is anot all doom and gloom, there is clear progress. My fat ratio is now down to around the 18% mark from a peak of around 24%. My weight is the lowest it ever has been at around 83-84kg and I am seeing a clear improvement in terms of fitness when playing sport, overall strength and muscle definition etc.
There is a long way to go and I in no way feel I have “made it” in terms of being where I want to be though.
My next goals are to get my fat ratio down to 16% or below, better muscle definition and I have a personal battle with the running machine to try and improve my stamina. I hate, absolutely hate running but I know it is so good for you that I need to concentrate on improving my running ability. At the minute I am trying to run 1k none stop, but have yet to do it. Piss poor I know.
So, that is where I am at, at my six month gymiversary. It has been a long hard slog, I am a little behind where I wanted to be at this time but it is great fun.