THE TRAINING: 2 hours of weights and 2x45 mins of reformer pilates
THE MINDSET: Holy Jesus am I HUNGRY. I’ve never known anything like it. Actually, tell a lie. When I was breast-feeding I was this ravenous. I’ve tried really hard to stick to healthier options like almonds and apples with peanut butter, but then I go and buy smoked almonds or something ludicrously irresistible and polish off the lot.
So it was no great surprise when I weighed on Wednesday and found I’d gained 2lb. Thanks to Boditrax I could see that what I’d gained was pure muscle. My fat mass had actually declined while in just a week, my muscle mass was actually up by a stunning 2kg! That’s two whole bags of sugar, right?
THE SESSIONS: The sessions this week focused on making all the exercise full body exercises, through engaging the glutes and core no matter what I’m doing. And as Jon explained, when the reps get really tough, if you switch on all those big muscle groups at the same time, you can complete the set. Annoyingly while doing my first ever deadlift I learn he’s right.
On the subject of deadlifts, did I mention I did some? Because I’m really bloody chuffed about this (and Jon was pretty proud of me too). I lifted 50kg without too much trouble , and it looks pretty badass (to me anyway). So many of the weights I do with Jon are the lightest possible, or even more humiliatingly, just the bar without any weights loaded on. Even though this isn’t even my full bodyweight (although J-dog reckons we’ll get there fairly soon) it looks pretty impressive, right?
And while I wouldn’t recommend anyone just go in cold and start huffing away at the barbels, it is worth getting a PT to talk you through, because as I mentioned, it really is a full body exercise – working your glutes, legs, back and arms. Plus it looks freakin’ awesome.
Anyway, enough about my DEADLIFT. The other lessons I took from this week was more pedestrian. My standing posture is atrocious according to Jon, and I’m willing to bet yours is too. I stand, pretty much all the time all sunk into one hip. This crime is one of the reasons we all have lower back pain according to Jon. Our glutes are switched off so much in modern life, by sitting excessively and standing lazily. He sets me the posture challenge as homework, and I literally have to correct myself every five minutes and bring my weight back to both feet.
At the end of the week I was away snowboarding for the weekend in Switzerland with my galpal Kristjana so all the training went on hold for four days – although boarding is like holding a permanent squat, so I’m not sure it did me any harm. The bottle of wine I polished off with a fondue though… that’s another matter.
But I did have something of an emotional epiphany when we were away. The hotel had a mixed sauna and the rules stated NO SWIMWEAR. I’m completely cool with Kristjana seeing me naked, but a bunch of random foreigners? The first day we just styled it out in or cozzies, but felt so foolish in front of the naked locals that the next day we braved it. Even while using the plunge pool that was carved out of the ice outside. In broad daylight we took turns to dip in it. And the thing about pubic nudity is, I discovered, is it forces you to face up to your flaws, because in reality, nobody else is perfect either. And after a day of joy on the mountains pushing that body to its limits, you’re forced to have a moment of gratitude and appreciation for it. And that ain’t no small thing now, is it, eh?