Learning Discipline with the 12 Week BBG Challenge
This hasn't been a place to discuss fitness much because I much prefer to discuss travel or topics with psychological trimmings, however it's only fair to follow up on my accountability promise in the New Year's post. How did the #BBGStronger challenge go?
The workout: 12 weeks of 2 HIIT workouts, 1 dance routine, 3 LISS workouts, and at least 2 recovery sessions per week.
The challenge: my undisciplined self and inability to do more than 10 push-ups at a time.
The goal: make it through and buy a new swimsuit.
The motto: do it with all the strength in the world.
There were no workouts missed, and strangely, I found out that when there were no excuses tolerated I didn't try to make any. No matter the time of month or mental state of mind I had decided to show up, so it was done. In the middle of more difficult circuits I'd say [silently to myself] to do it with "all the strength in the world."
If it needed modification to complete, I'd modify. Better to finish than to get stuck with an incomplete set.
9 times out of 10 I'm not psyched for a workout and it's more groan-worthy than anything else, but I found that simple warm-up walk on the treadmill actually woke my mind and body up enough to have the necessary motivation to hit the hard stuff.
Don't skip the warm-up, it matters.
I was nervous before it started because this was intense circuit training; the type of thing where you go from 15 push ups to 20 squat lunges, to 10 reps of jumping up onto a box 2-3' high, 10 burpees/push-up combo, and repeat for 7 minutes straight x 4 (with 30 second breaks in between circuits). In the past I had only completed two of these successfully, but was surprised at what I could do if I took a few seconds to catch my breath in between. It's a marathon, not a sprint.
Absolutely keep breathing. Improper breathing kills a good workout fast
REST & RECOVERY
This particular trainer (though probably all of them do) stresses the importance of recovery, but somehow with every other workout I had always neglected it. Big mistake. Taking the time to do the foam rolling and stretches made the world of a difference in what I could do the next time. I would finish my workouts on a serious high every time.
Foam rolling kills at first, but eventually all the muscle knots smooth out.
Mental results have shone the greatest. Everyone talks about how exercise affects your mind positively, and this winter I dealt with less blues than ever before, as well as seeing significant improvement with hormonal issues.
Physically I tightened up a bunch. I didn't lose much in inches, but I like the mirror a little better these days. In conjunction with a careful diet this program could take a person far.
Results can also be measured mentally and in how much easier it seems to be to get dressed. A happy mind perceives body image differently.
I've decided to keep going: renew the gym membership and Sweat app subscription and see what the next three months will do. I've seen how exercise can actually change one's thinking to be more positive and hopeful, and even without physical changes this would be a sufficient result from a fitness challenge.
There is no high quite like a workout high. Add that to the satisfaction of following through with discipline and it's well worth the extra bucks at the gym. $500 is a cheap price compared to health complications down the road from a sedentary lifestyle.
With new strength,
P.S. I can now do up to 35-40 push-ups in a 28 minute routine (not consecutive). But STILL. <insert strong arm emoji here> Also, I was asked if I'd consider joining the state troopers, but don't worry Mom, not planning on it.