Session 7… The PT Diaries

WOW! What a work out this morning!

Session 7 brings me into the start of week 4 of my Personal Training with Barry at Pure Fitness Gym and what a journey it has been!

Although I have been a member of the gym for over 18 months, undertaking personal training has been a real test of my fitness and endurance. Over the last 3 weeks my cardio levels are gradually improving and today was definitely my best session yet.

My heart rate still reaches dizzy heights but the recovery is significantly improved which led to me getting much more out of todays workout. Last week it too me 12 minutes to do 4 reps of HiiT cardio…. today around 10 minutes to do 8 sets!

The weight is still hovering but I am putting that down to increased muscle mass. I found last year that for a good couple of months my weight stayed around the same but body fat reduced before the weight then started to reduce and I am happy with that. Although I will be testing body fat on Thursday.

So today involved the following, why not have a go and see how you get on!

Stretch

Warm Up

  • Watt Bike 4000m

Abs Circuit

  • Single leg Plank 30s on each leg
  • Seated side rotations 10e
  • Floor sit ups 12
  •  X3 20-30S REST

Resistance Training Super sets X3

  • Leg Press 15
  • V-sits 10/12

20-30s rest between sets

  • Cable rope push down x12
  • Dumbbell hammer curls x10

20-30s rest between sets

  • Seated Row x12
  • Standing Upright row x10

20-30s rest between sets

Cardio

  • Interval Sprints with resistance band (reebok)
    • x8 sets 20s Sprint getting HR 90-100% BRING DOWN TO 50-60% recovery
  • x3 Sets Bench Step Ups using 10kg core bag
    • 10 each leg make sure to raise your opposite leg to work the abs
  • x3 Sets Core board spins
    • 15s – 5s hold in press up position.

Finisher

  • 500m rower level 8 (big focus on using arms as opposed to legs)

Stretch

A great 1 hour work out which burnt 700+ calories and significantly improved my cardio levels!

Already looking forward to Thursday’s session and to getting my body fat results!

On another note all my blood results came back fine – my thyroid is normal. Next major test is the 24 hour ECG in February!

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Counting Calories – Yes or No…

I recently read how counting calories is a bad thing, do a search on Google and you will find numerous posts all stating the same thing.

I disagree!

I have been using MyFitnessPal since late January (2013) and what it has done is open my eyes to not only the calorie content of products but also the nutritional breakdown of a product too.

When I started out I was consuming around 1000 calories just in a morning! This was just a bowl of cereals early on, I have to eat within half an hour of waking up otherwise I am starving, this was usually followed by some toast mid-morning after doing the school run and settling down to read my emails. I always thought my choice of breakfast was relatively healthy, that is until I started counting calories and realising that I was not only consuming far too many calories, but that reasonable diet I thought I had was in fact the complete opposite. To some extent it was reasonable, much more reasonable that the diets of many other people as I pretty much cook all meals from scratch, rarely have processed foods and even less often than that get take out or eat out!

You will have heard me mention before how that ‘suggested serving’ of cereal that you pour is in fact more likely to be 3 times than what is quoted on the box and I couldn’t believe how much calories there are in butter and marmalade!

Cue some changes…

It all started out with a lot of trial and error but rather than submit to the suggested serving of cereals, I now vary my breakfasts and feel much fuller for longer. I might have poached eggs on wholemeal toast (no butter) or perhaps protein pancakes topped with fruit. I still have cereals occasionally, but I rely on my scales to ensure I don’t have any more than double the ‘suggested serving’. I also try to have a protein packed breakfast where possible to ensure a steady release of energy as opposed to something that will give me energy for a limited period and then cause me to come crashing and reach for the nearest snack… again usually bad!

A lot of the concerns about counting calories were how it would lead people to make negative changes i.e. not eating foods such as nuts due to their high calorific content even though they are good for you. I have to say in my case this is untrue, I actually eat more nuts than I used to do because I have come to learn that they are an essential part of my diet.

Some also voiced their concerns how you can become obsessed with counting calories. I admit in the early days I would plan what I was eating meal wise so I knew how many calories I had left for snacks and treats and you could perhaps say this was obsessive, in my case I don’t think so, it had such little impact on my day. We have to take care and pay close attention to other aspects of our lives, so why not tracking your consumption? As time has gone on and my diet has become progressively better sometimes I don’t even log what I have had until the end of the day. The reason for this is that I have generally learnt what is high / low calorie and what is good / not good for you.

Another also felt that people would instead turn to diet products that are quoted as low-fat, low-cal and various other items in a bid to keep fat and calorie content down. Again not me, I have tried diet food in the past, mainly as one offs if they were on offer. But generally I found that they all tasted bland and I would then be reaching for something to satisfy me, not only that but if I knew I couldn’t make that particular meal from scratch for those amount of calories then I knew something wasn’t quite right and that meant processing!

I guess what this post is saying is don’t always believe the hype (especially in the trashy mags!) – find what works for you and you alone! I personally could not live off diet foods or severely restrict my food intake. Instead calorie counting has taught me to find better foods to consume and I now actually eat far much more than I used to eat before calorie counting. Secondly, do your best! Don’t let people put you down or try take you off course. Remember a diet is a temporary fix, one that you are likely to fall off from, learning about what you consume is something that will change your life and it is exactly what I intend to do! Slow steady progress means you are more likely to see continued results.

As always my diary is open to view on MyFitnessPal. You will see some days are better than others, in fact I had a bag of crisps today (Monday) but the rest of the day was pretty impressive! Well I think so anyway and it is a major improvement from 7 months ago!

This is what I ate…

Breakfast

  • 65g Serving of Fruit n Fibre
  • 125ml Milk

Lunch

  • Mushroom omelette using 2 eggs including yolks, cheddar cheese and semi skimmed milk cooked using Flora Low Cal Spray
  • Homemade Juice – Pineapple, Jalepeno Pepper, Spinach, Kale, Celery

Dinner

  • 175g Diced Turkey Breast in a Creamy Mushroom Sauce (using Cream Cheese, Gia Garlic Paste, mixed herbs and chestnut mushrooms) and cooked in Coconut Oil served with 75g Brocolli.

Snacks

  • x2 Nairns Oatcakes with 12g Peanut Butter
  • 50g Total Greek Yoghurt with 18g Granola
  • 30g Peanuts (I had these as I was low on fat intake for the day… our bodies need healthy fats to aid the absorption of essential nutrients!)
  • 1 Bag Salt & Vinegar Squares

I also drink lots of green and peppermint tea and water!

Total calories consumed 2087, with a pretty perfect nutritional split across carbs, fats and proteins. I did however burn 667 from exercise.

MFP Nutritional Breakdown

See… told you I ate a lot!

My Favourite New Snack… Oatcakes & PB

There’s no way you would have caught me eating these at the beginning of the year, instead I would be justifying how for only a few more calories I could have a chocolate bar.

Oh how things have changed!

Introducing Nairns Oat Cakes topped with The Protein Works Super Crunchy Peanut Butter (Don’t forget if you are a new TPW customer to enter KC18322 in the registration page to be gifted a free pack of protein powder)

Two of these with a generous serving of peanut butter total 163 calories and stop me from crashing when I need some energy – unlike chocolate bars!

Someone is probably gonna come along and tell me to eat even better, but this is a major improvement on 7 months ago – who knows what I’ll be on in another 7 months!

But for now, I love it!

For those who require a gluten free diet, Nairns also offer a gluten free range

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Want a healthy alternative to rice?

Introducing to you…. Cauliflower!

Now before you turn your noses up, its worth noting that a serving a cauliflower rice has just 79 calories! Compare this to a serving of white rice and you are looking at around 200+ calories and a lot more carbs.

It is easy to make and is much quicker than waiting for that rice to boil! Plus you will barely realise that you are eating cauliflower for those who don’t particularly like it with their Sunday lunches!

Ingredients (Serves 2)

  • 1/2 Head of Cauliflower (325g)
  • x3 Tbsp. Lemon Juice
  • Pinch Cayenne Pepper
  • 1 Tbsp.  Paprika
  • 1 Tbsp. Coriander – fresh or dried will do
  • Pinch of Sea Salt
  • 5g Coconut Oil or any other oil.

Break the cauliflower up and place in a blender and mix until it resembles the appearance of rice.

Warm the oil in a pan.

Add the other ingredients (minus the oil) and give one final whizz to mix the ingredients together.

Throw the rice into the hot pan and continue to mix around for approximately 5 minutes… Voila!

Cauliflower Rice

Nutritional Information

  • 3.8g Fat
  • 10.2g Carbs of which 6.3g Fibre, 6.3g sugars
  • 4g Protein
  • 49.5% Vitamin A
  • 138% Vitamin C
  • 5.1% Calcium
  • 14.8% Iron

Happy Gym-iversary To Me! And a little competition for the people of Huddersfield

So the 6th July marks one whole year since I made the decision to join a gym… one whole year!

It also marks a major achievement as I have never managed to stay at a gym more than 4-6 months. I lose motivation and interest and more importantly I didn’t see any results!

When I first signed up to the gym, in my case Pure Fitness at Lindley, the aim was to lose a bit of weight and that was happening but then finishing off my CAM Diploma in Marketing Communications, a heap of travelling for work (Cape Town & Bangkok where the food is amazing in both places) , then it was Christmas which was then topped off with two rounds of flu all took its toll and I put the weight back on plus a little more – devastating!

So in January this year I gave myself the personal challenge of not only losing weight, but to completely overhaul my health and fitness and that is how this blog was born.

And to celebrate all this, we (myself and Pure Fitness) are giving away a 7 week membership to one lucky winner (details of which can be found at the end of this post)! Another giveaway will be coming up in August which is open to everyone so keep your eyes peeled!

So what have I been doing?

Since getting back to the gym properly in January I had a workout plan put together by Oliver. This is one of the things I love about this gym, no signing you up, there’s the equipment and this is how you use it! They ask what you want to achieve and put a plan together suggesting what you should do to achieve it and promote you going back to them after 6 weeks to review it!

So I was given time on the cross trainer – high / hill setting, rowing machine, arm pulls, core bag, exercise ball core, medicine ball twists, heel taps and a few other core exercises. Thankfully he didn’t add any treadmill in but where I had time I did use it on a high incline and added in weights to increase the fat burning intensity.

This programme was doing well and I was starting to see results but as I visit the gym on my own (too many failed gym buddies in the past) I decided to start taking part in class activities in order to really push for results.

This is what I have done so far…

LBT

I love this class and take part twice a week. It’s a great fat burning workout that tones the key areas most ladies want to fix up. I have seen some major improvements from regularly taking part in this class, my legs and butt (I would say) are pretty tight and the tum is certainly on the way to being so. I now have more definition around my waist in that I am not as straight anymore and would say I have those hour glass curves. I generally burn between 250 – 350 calories per class depending on what area we start with and what props we use which can vary from medicine balls, exercise balls to even barbells!

Oliver who takes the class and who is also one of the permanent PF Gym staff members really makes sure you make the most of this class. He is friendly, approachable and will push you to work harder suggesting using heavier equipment if he thinks you can do it. There is also a really friendly vibe in the class, everyone speaks to one another and encourages each other and are all welcoming of new members. I actually feel deflated if I miss this class as it really is a good workout and positive mental pick me up!

Power Hoop

This is relatively new on the timetable at PF Gym, but has received a great reception. After only one week it went up to 2 classes per week!

I have reviewed Power Hoop previously in my blog but for those who haven’t read it yet. Power Hoop is a workout using a weighted hoop (in this class it weighs 4lbs) and promises a defined and tightened core. Not only that but you also use the hoop to perform other exercises which provides an all over body workout. I can burn up to 400 calories in this class and it is quite good for fat burning too but unbelievably increases your fitness levels too as you do have to move around whilst hooping!

Jen who takes the class is an external instructor who also works within the NHS. She is lively, enthusiastic and absolutely loves what she does having hooped herself for 6+ years before becoming a Power Hoop Instructor. Believe me, if you want proof of what Power Hoop can do for your core she is it!

Hour of Power

Hour of Power classes are quite an intense workout. It’s really covered in the title! You spend an hour undertaking a quite intense activity with the use of dumbbells. Earlier in the year I had the opportunity to take part in a class with Hour of Power guru Rajko (his father founded HOP). You do not stop in this class whatsoever, constantly jumping up and down performing dumbbell moves. A great all over body workout and calories buster which is great for improving fitness levels. In the HOP Masterclass with Rajko I burnt over 700 calories!

I started to do the Hour Of Power classes earlier in the year but due to my daughter’s swimming class changing times it was a class I had to unfortunately drop. Even getting there for the Sunday class is a bit of an issue when you have two young children to consider. So once Stevie’s has moved up a grade then hopefully I will be back to it.

In April Pure Fitness Gym achieved Hour of Power Class of the Month – take a look here to find out a little more!

Niall who takes the class is a relatively new HOP instructor but has been practicing for over 5 years! Hoping to get back to it soon!

PF-Classes

Other Classes

I have also undertaken Yoga and Spinning on a couple of occasions, but it is all dependent upon the time I have available and what I want to achieve that week. Yoga is great for fat burning and is rather relaxing. Spinning on the other hand just kills me, great for calorie burning but my fitness levels are appalling! To see the full class timetable click here.

So what have I achieved?

Since the end of January and in conjunction with eating better I have lost over 8kg and reduced my body fat by 2% (more if you go off the measurements in the gym) and in the last month have lost quite a few CMs off my lower body (I didn’t really chart measurements in the early stage, relying solely on weight, but have learnt that there are many factors in determining how successful your weight and fitness goals are measured). So once weight loss hit a plateau I changed to measuring and it has really shown some incredible results.

Moving Forward

I plan to continue with the LBT classes (and the others I have mentioned but LBT is my key class) along with weight training which I have just recently started to help achieve the results I want. I hope to lose another 6lbs but I am now more focused on having a more toned, lean body and as muscle weighs more than fat if it means I don’t drop those extra pounds but look better, then I can live with that.

I have a deadline of 18th August (my 30th birthday) to get everything in order, everything is looking much better and I have to remember that it took me 10ish years to more or less destroy my body by not eating right, being lazy and having babies that getting it to almost perfection is not gonna happen in a matter of weeks.

After then it’s a case of maintaining! That is gonna be interesting but I will continue to plot my journey.

About Pure Fitness Gym

Previously known as Heritage Gym and based in the Heritage Mills at Lindley, Pure Fitness Gym (or PF Gym) is owned by Neil Thornton, Jonathan Pollard and Barry Jacobsz.

The gym is currently undergoing a major overhaul that includes brand new changing facilities, steam room and sauna and the very latest equipment which allows users to record training programmes and track progress. Additional work is underway to create a more open plan training area which is due to commence shortly.

Pure Fitness Gym

A brand new website has also recently been launched allowing you to book class sessions online to ensure you get a place.

Overseeing the changes is Gym Manager, Barry Jacobsz who has worked for the gym for many years and who provides every new member with a personal training programme.

Barry has been a qualified Level 3 NASM Personal Trainer for a number of years, training a vast variety of clients from business professionals, sports specific or clients just looking to change their lifestyle.

After completing his Sports Science Degree at the University of the Orange Free State Barry became a professional athlete. He played professional rugby for 8 years representing South Africa at the Commonwealth games in Manchester and the World Games in Japan. In 2001 he was voted as South African sevens player of the year.

Barry has had the privilege to be trained by some of the best fitness trainers in the world over his career. From his vast experience over the years as a professional athlete

Other permanent members of the Pure Fitness Team include John Rathmell and Oliver Huntingdon.

Pure Fitness Huddersfield Staff

All the Pure Fitness team are friendly and approachable and they are there to help you achieve your goals. If you are stuck, want to know what else you should be doing then speak to these guys! After all you only get out what you put in, but with these guys you will get more in return, they really do want to help make a difference to your fitness goals!

Want to try Pure Fitness? How about for free?

In conjunction with KatrinaComingClean, Pure Fitness are offering one lucky person the chance to win a free 7 week gym pass, which allows you access at any time of the day, use of the steam room, sauna and entry to all of the classes available!

To be in with a chance of winning

  • Simply comment below with “I want to try #PFGym”
  • Tweet @Katrinadionne18 with “I want to try #PFGym”
  • Visit KatrinaComingClean on Facebook and write “I want to try #PFGym” on my wall
  • Don’t forget to share the competition too!

And if you do all 3 it increases your chances of winning further!

T&C’s

  • You must enter before July 19th to be in with a chance of winning!
  • The dates to start the membership are completely flexible so you can use in advance of taking a holiday or perhaps when you get back to get rid of the effects of over indulgence!
  • The only stipulation is that the winner must live or work in Huddersfield in order to make the most of the prize that is on offer!

Alternatively if you’re in a rush to sign up and get in shape Membership starts from just £19.95 so if you want to find out more or join, simply pop in, visit the website or call 01484 485395.

Pure Fitness can also be found on Facebook and Twitter

To The Proskins Sceptics…

So it’s been a week since my Proskins #28DayChallenge came to an end.

Since then I have been undertaking normal activity, which I undertook throughout my challenge (which also included a bad week) along with my healthy eating. This week I have already been to the gym three times and burnt a total of 2208 calories whist consuming an average of just under 1800 calories per day. Again nothing new since before I undertook the challenge. If any of you want to view my diary on MyFitnessPal you are more than welcome, as I am completely honest about what I am doing – you will see I am not starving myself to lose weight or exercising like a maniac to burn calories and therefore lose weight. I don’t want to be skinny, I want to be fit and healthy!

So why am I writing this?

Well aside from using the scales to measure my weight, which has actually increased by 0.3kg over this last week (most likely down to muscle – I’m not stressing) I also take measurements so I can see the physical changes. I did this today and compared to the measurements last week they had barely budged. One actually went up!

So I reviewed my measurements over the past four weeks and put together this little info graphic that I thought you might like!

Proskins InfoGraph

  • Green – Represents a loss
  • Orange – Represents no change
  • Red – Represent an increase

Due to having no differences this week over the past four weeks, this to me is real evidence of the Proskins working alongside an already healthy lifestyle. For the measurements that did go down, they only went down by 1mm, whereas the smallest loss I have had previously has been 3mm. I’m going to do another week without and compare once again, then the Proskins are going back on for four weeks before I hit the beach!

Upping the Weight Game

So this week marks my first full attempt at using the scary room in the gym i.e. the weights room!

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In nearly 12 months of attending the gym, its a room I have generally stayed away from, but after constantly moaning at Oliver – the guy who takes our LBT class – that I really need to be shifting more fat around the waist and toning up he recommended I do weights.

I didn’t have a clue what I should be doing i.e. what weights do I use, do I use machines, how many reps should I do etc. so I got booked in for a session to put a little programme together.

I couldn’t tell you what moves I am doing exactly, I am sure I will learn them in time, but I am pretty impressed with the amounts I can lift at an early stage. I have to say it is also a little addictive too!

After my first full session doing weights on my own followed by a class I was gobsmacked at just how many calories I had burnt – 1097 calories in just over 2 hours! A definite record for me! Plus half of that was burning fat – even better!

Weights

I love going in the weights room now but when I am on my own I can slacken off and chose lighter weights, it’s only if Oliver is passing and see’s that I’m not putting enough effort in that he makes me up my game (which is why I have added PT to my birthday wish list).

On Friday I was impressed to see the weights room full of girls – honestly do not be scared! I admit I was but now I know what I am doing I am more than happy to enter a room full of burly blokes who are lifting 50kg whilst I stick with 10kg (for now). I definitely recommend asking the staff at your gym to give you some advice on what you should be doing, as once you know you can make more of your workouts! The guys are there to help you and if they don’t want to then I would think twice about where you are a member!

Right now, a day after a 45 minute LBT class followed by another hour doing various weights my glutes and thighs are on fire. I may struggle getting up and down steps for a couple of days, but without a doubt I feel great and will be back in the weights room on Monday… after doing my LBT class of course!

I shall keep tracking my progress and report back!