Sunday 4 February 2018

Killer Body - 9 Weeks Later

   Nine weeks. It's the longest I've ever spent on a single workout. So you would expect boredom to set in, especially when we're talking about a workout I've used at least once before and only provided me with three 25-minutes routines. Except, it didn't.
   Jillian Michaels' Killer Body is my go-to Christmas defence, used through the course of December and into my birthday, early January. It's tough, with disgusting 1-minute cardio intervals, brutal supersets and plyometrics. But perhaps, because I was initially using it for a greater purpose - to ward off Christmas weight-gain - I had the determination to see it through. And then, at the beginning of January, I had the conveniently timed realisation that I had long ago set up camp in my comfort zone and always opted for weights I knew I could use, modifications that I knew I could complete. And your body won't change if you don't push it.
   As of my very first workout of the year, Monday January 1st, I strove to use heavier weights. And for five weeks, I blew my mind. All this time, I could have gone heavier. I could have jumped higher. I could have pushed myself harder much sooner. But I had been too afraid of being unable to complete sets, of having to stop and drop down to a lighter weight and miss a few reps or take a 4-second break in the middle of a set when stamina, endurance or speed meant everything. But I broke those barriers on this workout, and for five weeks, I've progressed into using heavier weights on almost every single move. And I think it's time I bought some heavier dumbbells. In some cases, my 4kg aren't enough anymore, especially where deadlifts are concerned. I always used two 4kg dumbbells or an 8kg kettlebell. These past few weeks, I've been threading two 2kg dumbbells through the handle of the 8kg kettlebell and deadlifting 12kg with suitable challenge. And it has changed everything.
   Every day, my workout has been empowering. I've not dreaded it, despite the difficulty, because it has suddenly become interesting again; heavier weights have returned to it something I didn't even realise was missing: challenge. And in every struggle, I have known that I've been making progress, and that, finally, I'll start seeing results again.

   I'm actually sorry to see the back of the workout, but it has proven a few things to me in the last 5 of my 9-week run, and that is that I am strong, and that, despite knowing better, I hadn't been doing all I could to lose weight. And I hadn't even realised it. And that by setting myself more tangible challenges, like lifting heavier weights, rather than obscure targets like 'lose the belly jiggle', I could redirect my attention onto something more obtainable, and something obtainable quickly. And when I obtain it, I can adjust the goal and set my target at a heavier weight or faster movement and greater agility. And in five weeks, I have already been able to move those bench marks. I could deadlift more than 12kg - I just don't have the means to do so. My 2.5kg's won't fit through the handle! So - once I've secured the finances for the wedding and honeymoon - new kit is on the horizon.

   Honestly, even without my epiphany, I would recommend this workout in a heartbeat. The three workouts are varied, they each feel different, and though the lower body one in particular hurts, it does the job and it does it well. This has been the best spent month in a long time, and while I resent moving on to something a little easier tomorrow for the coming four weeks, I know I need it. But it's another opportunity to push myself in different practices, and try something different. Pushing yourself is important, but variety is just as much, and keeping yourself interested above all else. Lose interest, you'll lose heart; lose heart, you'll drop your effort. Drop effort, you'll never see any results - be that in body or in skill - and you'll ultimately be wasting your time.

   My full DVD review will be up next week - overdue by two years, but with 2017's revisit, it's up to date and written from recent experience.


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