For the past month, I've been loosely following a program that Kevin purchased called The 6 Month Muscle Gain Challenge. I don't really have a desire to gain muscle, but the program was created by my old professor's collueges and consists heavily of Olympic Lifting. And, if you know me- which you probably don't because I've been pretty absent on the blog lately- then you know I love Olympic Lifting but I kinda suck at it.
Anyway, Kevin wants to gain muscle (cause he's a buff dude and all) and I thought I would do the program and pair it with some fat-burning cardio so I could lean out, get strong, and learn more about olympic lifting.
I was a little scared because, after all, the title does say Muscle GAIN Challenge. Any girl would agree that we HATE gaining weight, am I right? And, to be honest, I have gained about 5lbs since starting my new job (gotta love stress weight, eh?) so I really didn't want to gain any more. So I figured I would try it out for a month and see how I feel. Here was my plan: 5days of the program + 3 days of fat-burning cardio
Diet= semi-paleo with 1 cheat meal per week
How did I feel?
The workouts are tough, but I really love them! The thing that is awesome about these workouts is they don't take that much time. Aka they are super efficient, which is something I think we all need. This gave me extra time to do cardio 3x a week for 30min.
And My Diet?
I've been focusing on eating more consistently and eating whole foods. Because of my job, it's SUPER easy for me to forget to eat- which is NOT good if you're trying to lose or gain weight or just be a healthy human being. I aimed to eat 4x a day with an added protein shake post-workout. Most days, this plan worked and I felt awesome.
BUUUT there's one thing you should know about lifting heavy weights- you get HUNGRY. My weakness has always been sugar, so the combo of a higher metabolism and losing muscle glycogen after each workout made it tough to resist those lovely milkshakes I do so adore.
Did I Lose Weight?
The good news? It really didn't matter! I weighed myself everyday and checked my body fat every week and the results were pretty amazing. Things are about to get seriously real right now. For the first time ever, I'm going to reveal my weight to you guys! :0 Don't judge, but if you do, I probably won't care anway cause I really like the way my body looks right now.
- Week 1: 157lbs 24% Body Fat
- Week 2: 155lbs 23.2% Body Fat
- Week 3: 157lbs 23% Body Fat
- Week 4: 154lbs 23% Body Fat
The weird thing for me to get used to was the fact that I was gaining and losing- like I was taking 2 steps forward and 1 step back. The AWESOME thing was that I ended up losing weight AND body fat in the end!
I still have a ways to go, but I'm kind stoked with these results. This just further proves that, when I'm consistent with me workouts and eating healthy (kinda) all the time, weight loss and body transformation WILL happen.
Start- 45lbs Month 1- 65lbs
Start- 115lbs Month 1-125lbs
Start- 32.5lbs Month 1- 65lbs
Starts- 0 Month 1- 3
Enough. Said. :)
I'm super stoked to see what happens next month.
MY goals for month 2 are to just keep improving every day. That's really all I can ask of myself, ya know? I know that the month will not be perfect, but I'm going to try to keep losing weight and building muscle. I haven't really thought of a goal weight; I want my body to decide what is good and feels right. As for food, I know I could pull in the reigns even more and I want to try to cut out most desserts and junk food.
Workouts Changes= I plan to keep following the challenge workouts, while retesting my metabolic profile and doing cardio in my heart rate zones. I also want to add 1 day of yoga into my weekly routine.
Diet= No dairy or gluten, except for the ocassional greek yogurt or kefir. But, for the first 2 weeks of the month, I want to try and not have ANY dairy to see how my body responds.
Alright, enough word vomit for one day. I'll talk to you guys soon!
We’ve all had those spaces in time- weeks, months, years- where we just can’t find the time to workout. Life happens. There was a point in my life, in the midst of my last year of college, where the thought of working out just wasn’t possible. I was dealing with living in a new place, dealing with divorce in my family, and the stress of working 2 jobs while going to school. I had insomnia and was using food to heal my broken soul. I could say to myself (and did for some time) that I had a right to ditch the gym, eat shitty food, and sit on my couch every night after work and watch TV. I could say that it wasn’t my fault that all those bad things were happening to me. At least I didn’t drop out of school. I didn’t turn to drugs/alcohol to mask my pain.
But, no matter how bad my circumstance, it was still no excuse to disrespect my physical body; and it wasn’t right to be irresponsible of me to neglect my spirit.
We hear the saying all the time “No Excuses” when talking about health and fitness. It sounds harsh, especially to those going through life-altering struggles that seem unbearable. But the thing is, life-altering struggle is something that will ALWAYS be with us. Because, if we aren’t going through change, we aren’t growing. And, if we aren’t growing, we aren’t moving on in our lives to better places and becoming better people.
It’s not really about just choosing to exercise when we don’t feel like it. I’m not saying that exercise changes everything and makes everything better. But living a healthy life, despite all the crappy things, busy schedules, and disadvantages that come our way, is a responsibility. Sometimes living healthy and exercising regularly is the only thing we have in our lives to keep us sane, grounded, and give us hope when it seems like nothing else in our world makes sense.
So use your bad circumstance, take you shitty days and turn them into something fantastic. Go for a walk, hit a PR, dance- just MOVE- and I promise you, you will be surprised to find that your life will brighten.
“Many of the things in life that inflict the greatest injury, grief, or pain stem from the fact that we suffer from illusions.”
-My Utmost for His Highest; July 30th
Have you ever been in a situation with someone you love where you are mad at them, not for something that they actually did, but for something that you fabricated in your head? I’ve totally done this with my boyfriend. He’ll get a text from a female co worker, that it totally harmless, and I’ll create this big elaborate piece of crap-of-an-illusion and get mad at him for talking her because I think he’s having an affair.
Illusions really suck because, when we create them in our minds, they seem SO real. And, because they were created in our minds, we can’t get rid of them even though we know they’re not real. They really do cause pain and suffering and grief.
The crazy thing is, we create those illusions and self-inflict that pain and suffering and grief ourselves- even though we are the first to blame others or blame our situations or try to pull a fabricate idea of an excuse as to why we can’t win; why we can’t be successful and happy.
Once we can get into a place of reality and can disassociate our emotions (ie- our illusions) with what’s really right in front of us, that is when we can be successful in life.
I think this is why I love working out so much. No matter what the exercise is- running, weight lifting, yoga, etc.- the distance set out in front of us is real, the weight on the barbell that we are trying to pull isn’t changing, a head stand will always be a head stand. Fitness forces us to look at who we really are and where our bodies can take us on that particular day. When we get stronger, it’s really- not an illusion.
Sometimes we still try to create illusions in the gym. We try to make excuses- like if we try to clean 135lb, we just might die- #deathbybarbell. But, with confidence in ourselves and, MUCH more importantly, with faith and trust in God, we can engulf His strength can accomplish anything- inside the gym or out in the world.
Keeping close to God keeps us in a state of disillusionment; which sounds like a negative term, but it really just means that we are able to see things and people and situations for what they really are. This sense of awareness brings peace to our souls and contentment in our lives.
Have a great day, you guys!
10min Stair Master
Deadlifts 5×5 145lb
5 Pull Ups
5 Chin Ups
10 Kneeling Band Scapation
Sled Push 115lb
I wanna know!
What was your workout?
How is your week going?