I’ve been going to gym consistently since November last year and my workout has been pretty successful, but my gains from what I’ve been doing have been getting steadily smaller as I’ve gotten fitter – so it’s time to shake things up. With that in mind, here’s:

  • what my workout used to be;
  • what I’m playing with now; and
  • what I want it to be.

Old faithful

I started out with a pretty sedentary lifestyle and decided to begin by focusing on cardio. Motivation is also a potential problem if you haven’t been exercising consistently, so I like to make sure that I go to gym first thing in the morning before anything else gets in the way. Once there, here was my schedule:

  1. Stationary bike: 10 minutes
  2. Stretch: 10 to 15 minutes
  3. Treadmill: 20 minutes in three five minute sprints with a one minute warm up at the beginning, a one minute break where I walked at 6 km/h between each sprint, and a one minute flat-out sprint at the end. Pick a speed and increment it by 0.5 km/h each sprint – I started out at 10 km/h and then graduated to 10.5 km/h
  4. Rowing machine: 10 minutes

I got some flak for basing my exercises on time instead of resistance, but once again – I did it to motivate myself. It’s much easier to push through a difficult exercise session if you know how long it’s going to last. For example, the first five minute sprint on the treadmill can be hard after the one minute walking break – but it’s motivating to run for the six minute mark where you get another one minute break.

I also had a great gym buddy who would join me from time to time – but her biggest contribution was helping me stay accountable to someone. When someone’s expecting you to join them for a workout session, it’s much harder to let them down. Get a gym buddy.

This workout helped me lose 7kg, which has made a huge difference to my life and made me feel a lot healthier.

Today’s experiments

I’ve started doing more strength training and am playing with everything from free weights, to barbells, and weight machines.

I have a new gym buddy who’s more experienced than me with weight training. His expertise helps a lot – there’s a bunch of technique when it comes to weight training.

Initially it was tough, which lots of muscle aches and pains. But now, I’m slowly starting to put on muscle – which is what I want. Not just because it’s awesome to feel stronger, but because I have a slow metabolism and muscle takes more energy to maintain than fat. This helps keep me lean.

Tomorrow’s plans

Next up, I need to get rid of the last remnants of my beer baby (there’s not much left). This may not be easy, but from what I’ve read it needs a combination of three things:

  1. Overall cardio: ramp up the cardio to burn the last of the fat
  2. Fuel reduction: eat less and eat the right stuff to encourage the body to attack the fat reserves
  3. Muscle toning: tone the relevant muscles to show off all the hard work

That’s the plan, wish me luck!