I promised more personal topics in here, and this one’s about to get real real personal. Gave a lot of thought as to whether or not I’d share this with you guys. First of all, I’m pretty introverted / shy by nature. Secondly, sharing means you’ll hold me accountable. Finally, the fact I’ve said it out loud only furthers that accountability for myself. It’s a scary feeling, to be honest. But I gave myself a couple weeks of actually doing the work before committing to this 100%. So here it goes. Fitness Update: Bikini Fitness Training!
After those couple weeks, I’m happy to share I’m 100% committed to the end goal – whatever that ends up looking like.
Later this year I’ll turn 43 and felt as if this was the year (before stuff really starts going downhill) to challenge myself in the gym. In years past I’ve done circuit training (shared here) or some mix of intense cardio with mainly body weight workouts. While all of that put me in great, lean shape, I didn’t feel strong and had no muscle tone, no butt, no hamstrings and the back of my arms were flabby.
These are generally the areas women struggle with anyway, along with waistline / tummy stuff. But it was bothering me a ton. And my problem area isn’t my waistline, it’s my thighs, butt and back of my arms. My posture is also an issue.
The more I’ve been reading into women’s health topics, I’ve learned you have got to use weights to keep everything attached to the bone, nice and tight.
My reasons for working out include the usual. Overall better health, continued flexibility / balance, and to look / feel nice in clothing. But more than anything it’s a HUGE mental break for me. My job isn’t just emotional, it’s physical too. If my body and mind aren’t in the right place I’m a mess at the end of the day / week. And that bleeds over into my mental attitude the next day on the job. Better health also contributes to better sleep too…and by now we all know how important good, solid sleep is.
I’ve long admired my blog friend, Megan, as I watched her train for her first and second bikini competitions. Loved how she shared everything from workouts to meal plans. And of course, loved seeing her end result. I paid close attention throughout her training and it made me ask myself if I had the will in me to take on such an extreme goal.
So I’ll start by saying I have NO plans to actually compete on stage. My goal instead is to see how far I can challenge myself – to see if I can really do it. The happy end result will be having accomplished the goal and have a killer body in a bathing suit this summer. Hey, let’s be honest! I’ve said that every year in the Winter / Spring and it’s never happened. THIS YEAR – it will! Am sure you’re nodding in agreement on that statement.
Over the next several months I’ll pop in from time to time (not weekly – unless you want a weekly update) letting you know my progress. I’m 2 weeks in and already feel amazingly stronger, tighter and my clothing fits differently – not sure if it’s better or worse yet. Can’t imagine what will change in 9-12 weeks from now.
On the topic of timing, I’m not planning for a hard-core 12 week program because my work affects my ability to be in the gym consistently. I work while the kids are at school. And during the week, clients will always come first. So if I have time, I go to the gym or I workout at home after the kids are home and homework is done. Right now, I’ve had a nice balance of going to the gym 4-6 times per week (2 of those days being the weekend).
If you’re interested in the details of my training, be sure to let me know and I’ll figure out a way to share my specific, detailed workouts. I started my training 3-4 weeks ago with this program, and from there continued to mix in workouts like this…
I started that way just to see how I would feel. Then a couple weeks in, a trainer at my gym approached me. He noticed I had changed my workouts and inquired about what I was up to. Then, he asked if he could at least organize my plan by muscles to focus on each time I come in. That has been SO helpful. If I have any suggestion for you, it would definitely be to see a trainer at least 1-2 times before you get started in order to have some type of framework. Especially if you are totally new to the gym scene.
He also wanted a true record of my weight and body fat so I could see / know the results. That was the last thing on my mind, so I’m glad he stopped me that day. Finally, he wanted to check my range of motion on every exercise. This way, we could make sure I was lifting the appropriate amount of weight for each exercise, doing the correct amount of sets, etc. What would be worse than putting your all into something for a few weeks only to see a result you were less than satisfied with?
He printed out a graph (which is different each week) that details the muscles I need to work each session and each week is broken down for me. This allows me to workout at my own pace, when I’m in the gym, and I’m not committed to him for making / keeping an appt. Often times a client will call last minute and if I had to cancel a training session it would be an expensive fee.
In terms of cardio, I read in most of the training materials that women would do their cardio after working out. And for up to 45 minutes. My trainer surprised me by suggesting I shouldn’t be doing cardio for 45 minutes – but instead more like 20-25 minutes. And he suggested the treadmill on a 10-12% (or more) incline at a speed of 3.5 or whatever I could possibly handle at that incline for the duration of that 20-25 minutes.
He also prefers I use the stair master since I’m highly focused on my backside. I was worried my calves would get too big on the stair master but so far they’ve just been looking more tight and toned. I was also worried I wouldn’t feel the effects of a 20-25 minutes cardio session – wrong! I’m dripping with sweat about just 10 minutes! Our goal is to lose the fat, not my muscle. His cardio plan has me on that target.
If you were wondering if a photo would be included in this post – yes. I had to, sorry. For my own records, if anything. I’ve been taking weekly photos with my phone and tucking them away safely. So on occasion, when I post, I may add a photo or two. Hope this isn’t offensive to anyone. I will definitely keep them tame!
Week 2 standings:
Looking forward to seeing more definition in my arms / chest. We are also working on my posture, which is bad due to my job – there’s a lot of hunching or bending over.
Just so you can see the lack of booty – ha!
I’ve been working my tri’s a ton so I’m glad to see the work showing a bit there. But you can see my hips are on the wide side. Our goal is to get them more narrow and we’re doing this a number of ways…certain types of butt / core work and of course diet comes into play.
My abs have always been my strong point – we all have one, this happens to come easy for me (as opposed to my thighs and hips). I’ve already been seeing improvements and I’m not doing much ab work at all. The results are coming from the core work, the cardio and the diet – is my guess!
Seeing some good results but looking forward to more.
On the topic of diet, I’ll share more about that soon. It’s been what you would guess – whole foods, lean, protein, veggies, limited sugar and alcohol, and a lot of water. The water intake is always fun when you’re working in someone’s home and they are like, “Wow, why is she in the bathroom so much?!”. Maybe I should extend a discount for my bathroom breaks. haha!
But I will tell you, I had moments in the first couple weeks where I was near tears. Not from hunger, but from wanting foods I couldn’t have. I’m not a huge sweets person. I wanted chips and crackers – salty things. My body was in detox I guess because I was having near breakdowns. It was a total mental burn out on top of the burn out from the workouts. Ugh! Anyway…
I would love to hear from you guys on this topic! Anyone else thinking summer body and gearing up your workouts? Have suggestions for me? I’m all ears…or eyes if you too write a blog!