Sunday, 3 February 2019

Resistance Training - 3 Month Check-In

   I'm really, really happy with these 3-month training plans. From 2014-2017 I was changing my workout every month, and it worked for me because I was using DVDs and they would generally wear me out (and bore me) if I used them any longer than that, so it was a great excuse to try new things. I tried dance - even Irish step and Celtic - Pilates, yoga, kettlebells, kickboxing, lifting hand weights, I swore by Jillian Michaels. And I lost weight, and I enjoyed it.

   But when I decided to try my hand at larger weights - barbells, mainly - I opted for a 2-month stint with the aim of lifting gradually heavier and really giving my body the chance to put muscle gain over fat loss. I was really daunted by the idea of no change for 2 months, but I gave it my all.

   I loved it. Since then I've put together two 3-month plans, and have seen them all through. I have found that I really, really enjoy working out this way, and it really works for me. The dread I would begin to feel after 2-3 weeks' use of a DVD never reached me with the weights until (if I'm going to be totally honest) half way through the third month. The progress is easier to see, too, and comes much quicker - not necessarily physically, but in ability. I choose my starting weight (light enough to be able to complete a set of 10-12 reps, but heavy enough that the last 2-3 are quite difficult but don't quite break form) and use that for two weeks, then I increase the reps - from 10 to 12, or 12 to 15. Two weeks later, I increase the weights and reduce the reps to the original number if it's necessary, then increase them two weeks later. I increase more frequently if it's necessary, but this 2-week system seems to work.
    It's also a great way to push yourself to lift more, since barbells are so easily increased. When I first started these training plans back in April, I was using a 12.5kg barbell. I finished this last training plan with 22.5kg and bought a new 10kg plate.

http://www.ablackbirdsepiphany.co.uk/2018/11/resistance-training-november-to-january.html

   But, where I would usually take a month off and opt for cardio, I've got another idea...

   I've been experimenting with calories - you may have caught mention in my top tips for weightloss post - so I plan to continue for one more month, then take a month of cardio. But I am ready to swap this workout out for another, so I'm heading back to my first 2-month plan, but for 3 months. I begin on Monday, will run it for a month, then take a month out, then come back to it for two more. I don't want to talk about the experiment yet, not until I can provide a solid write-up. With any luck, I'll be done with the basics by April.
   Seeg and I are going away for our 1st wedding anniversary/honeymoon (at last) in May, and while feeling my best is very important, I want to look it, too. So I'm going all out on cardio in March, recouping over April, and hopefully be closer to body confident when we go away than I am now.

   Let's be honest - feeling good is a big, big part of looking good, but a little less belly fat always helps, if it's something that bothers you, and it is something that bothers me. I'm not going to lie and make you feel worse if you disagree by claiming that I don't care about the fat on my body and belittling your insecurities. Because I do, and I want it gone. But I'm no longer prepared to go through extreme measures to do it, and that is progress, because it's moving towards acceptance of my body as it is, of self-love (or self-like, I suppose - body-neutrality is a much more reasonable goal than body-positivity), and that is an important step. If you have no self-love, you could get your dream body and still feel like you're not there, because you'll never be satisfied. You need a rational mindset if you're going to succeed - no outlandish expectations.

   I'll link the workout again tomorrow ♥



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