muscle boundThink getting the body of a god takes too much time and effort? In this weekly blog, our man is out to prove that a couple of months of hard graft can be revolutionary. With six weeks gone, our man in the field is now starting to realise that his t-shirts will also have to cater for his new-found fitness.
I’m Tom, I’m 29 and in terms of lifestyle I’m what I consider a fairly average guy – I spend a lot of time sitting down in front of a computer in an office, don’t make it to the gym much (twice in the last six months!), enjoy a drink and give in to the temptation of a takeaway a couple of times a week. Like everyone I’ve tried making a decision to eat healthily and do more exercise many times before, but Friday night comes calling and I’m back to square one. For my willpower to stand the test of time I need to see real results, fast. Is it possible to seriously change your physique in a couple of months? London-based transformation specialists Embody Fitness say it is, so I’ve decided to put it to the test. This is the story of my quest to become fit, healthy and, most importantly, buff as hell in just eight weeks.
Week 6 – Heavy Weight
So last week I got up (on time!), put on a polo shirt I’ve owned for a few months now, had breakfast, downed some supplements and went to work. At around 10am, I noticed that my arms were feeling constricted as I reached for things.
What would previously have been a warning for me, a sign to either cut down on the takeaways or accept going up a size, was, I slowly realised, this time a signifier of something awesome: my guns have now grown so much my t-shirts are too tight. Oh happy day!
I had to make a cut into the sleeve under each arm to release the pressure. I’ve never been so happy about destroying a perfectly good item of clothing. After all the heavy lifting, sweat and abstinence of the past month and a half, the muscular payoff is really satisfying.
It’s showing in the gym, too. When I started bench pressing weights I was lifting (10kg) in each hand. Now that’s up to 22kg, but I’m not saying it’s easy. Mark says that by the end of each set of 10 reps I should be really struggling – that’s how he knows I’m using the right weight.
As soon as I’m actually able to lift what he gives me comfortably for the full 10, we’re up to the next weight straight away, whether that’s exercising my arms, back or legs. You’re always chasing a moving target.
On a roll
Over the last few years foam rollers have become a staple of pro gyms everywhere with everyone from sprinters to skiers counting them as an essential part of their kit. It’s for good reason - a good roll can cure a thousand training evils.
As I’m lifting more, putting more pressure on almost all muscles groups, I’m getting tightness, aches and stiffness in joints, especially in my lower back, hips and traps. A roll on the lower and upper parts of my back, and on my quads, hamstrings and the outer sides of my thighs, means I’m ready to go hard in every session. Then doing the same after I’m done ensures I can still walk when I wake up the next day.
At times that can feel frustrating, but at the end of the day, if it doesn’t feel extremely tough, you’re not testing yourself enough. That means the real payoff comes from seeing your body grow and change as the weeks go by.
Around now, as I’m upping the weights, and adding certain carbs back into my diet (a handful of quinoa, brown rice, oats or sweet potato after a workout) I’m also going to try and add in some cardio on my off days, to help burn some stubborn fat and keep a good base of general fitness. Mark has pointed out that it’s pointless me lifting weights on the days I’m not in the gym, as my muscles need time to heal from the last session.
It’s far better to focus on low stress activities like swimming, jogging or rowing. And to be honest, that is more than fine with me. Despite my much-improved physique so far, this is one of the toughest physical challenges I’ve faced. I’ve no desire to push it too hard and ruin things by picking up an injury. But when it comes to ruining more clothes, bring it on.
Proof is in the pudding
Embody Fitness aim to deliver outstanding results whilst providing a client experience that is as professional and enjoyable as possible, and they have many success stories to prove it. Find out more on their website: embodyfitness.co.uk