It feels like only just yesterday I decided I had built up enough strength, and it was time to embark on an all out muscle building plan. When you’re a student you get by and do what you can but as a working adult you have resources available – to feed yourself, to get there in 15 minutes by car instead of 50 minutes by bus and no excuses really. Here we are 12 weeks later and pleased with the results, packing on 3.6kg with some fat loss. Even better, I’ve learned a lot from it not just about my body but my mind too.
Here are the takeaways that I’ve learned, and you might have learned too whilst performing this program.
1. You can push yourself more than you think. So in week one or two you might be doing a set of 20 repetitions and you pick 10kg for example. The next time you do the same set, or even going down the DTP pyramid you have to pick that weight or heavier. If you don’t make it harder each time, how do you expect to grow? At first it takes some getting used to where you feel like you’ve taken on more than you can handle but when you pick that weight up and tell yourself it’s do or die, it turns out you can. You reached 16 repetitions and you have 4 more to go? Push it! You’re stronger than you think! 2. Home cooking becomes easier Now this is a relative perception thing. For almost 3 months you spend your time cooking in advanced, measuring things out carefully and preparing 5, 6 or even 7 meals a day to eat every day of the plan. The discipline is instilled and eating to maintain or trim down to expose those hard earned muscles requires less meals and calories. It’s still hard work, but it becomes natural. 3. You have oodles of time Not time to sit around and eat takeaway every night and chocolate bars in between your regular activities, but to be productive and enhance your life (and do the previous in moderation). It’s a lifestyle shock to the system. Spend more time with your friends, your loved ones whilst making time for 2-4 gym sessions a week. Your body will be healthier, livelier and can shuttle those all important nutrients and oxygen to the brain to work at its best! 4. Keep up the cardio! I used to loathe cardio and wanted to stick to steady state as much as I could, but it makes you feel good as your capacity increases over time. I can run faster, further and longer than I could before despite putting weight on. Most importantly if you want to stay lean and trim down further down the line, make it a habit. Developing good habits that you enjoy is more important than the ‘best’ habit. As a last takeaway, set a new goal and always have goals in your mind. Not just for your fitness but for life as well. If you don’t have regular goals you’ll sit still, become complacent and be comfortable. That’s fine for a while but then you’ll start to regress and be back at square one. This should be a habit for life. Aim for a few more pounds, aim for a leaner physique, strive to get that promotion at work or scheme towards a car that fits your wants and needs better. Get comfortable with being uncomfortable, keep growing and never sit still for too long.