Train Challenge Week 1
1 down, 11 to go. Week one was always likely to be the hardest and I have survived it with nothing worse than a few previously undiscovered muscle aches and an occasionally rumbly tum. A ‘bikini body’ is something worth working for.
I love a challenge and the first week has not disappointed me in that respect. Challenges are there to be embraced and even enjoyed where possible. I’m getting on fine with mine. The important thing is to keep one eye on the target and I know that the changes being made to my diet and lifestyle are necessary to achieve the desired results.
I have also had to accept that my appetite is a little larger than that of ‘yer average ‘petite female’, and so growing accustomed to living off a tad less than ‘yer average elephant’s diet is not altogether a bad thing. That’s not to say that confessing to this isn’t easier than doing it, but I’m in touch with my leaner self now and it’s definitely getting easier to walk past cake shops than it was at the start of the week.
The DOMS are not getting any easier though! There, I’ve said it!! But I am already starting to see some changes in my body with the decrease in calories, so there should be less of my body to lift skywards soon and my overall thoughts after seven days on the programme are positive ones. Bring it on, Week 2!
A few facts. Before beginning the challenge, I was averaging around 2,500 calories a day. This is a rough estimate but I received 3 healthy meals from FFF daily then snacked my way through an extra thousand. Although this is my recommended TDEE, I was not losing body fat due to not sticking with a sustainable and sensible calories deficit. The trouble was that with no direction or target I had no reason to look at alternatives. I was neither eating too much or too little, I was very happy with my shape and as food is a major source of enjoyment in my life, motivation to change was running at zero. Only a set challenge was going to test my willpower as well as my body. Cutting out 800 calories* has definitely done this!
If that sounds like a drastic decrease, the fact is that my new sustenance timetable is far healthier than the pre-programme diet. I now receive all 4 of my daily meals from Fresh Fitness Food, ensuring a balanced source of nutrients in each Tupperware food drop. Not only does this make managing life ten times easier, it is also teaching me more and more about the best way to fuel my body through the transformation. With Rich Scriverner on board to oversee our food consumption, we are kept up to date with the ongoing changes to our diet and the reasons behind them.
The food now incorporated in my plan contains high satiety levels, so it keeps me feeling fuller for longer and ensures my blood sugar levels remain stable. This reduces the need to snack and guarantees that I remain full of energy throughout the day. I am eating less protein snacks and instead loading up on high quality lean animal sources. Protein has the highest (TEF) Thermic Effect of Food out of all the macronutrients. This is the caloric cost of digesting the different macronutrients in your diet. The last research suggests protein, 20-35% is burned through processing. This means that although I’m eating a large amount of the muscle-fuelling macro, my body is working harder to use it. Therefore, it is less likely to be stored as fat. It has a thermic effect upward of five times greater than carbs or fats.
And, don’t you worry, all this protein is certainly being put to good use! As previously mentioned the majority of our training program has been put together by ON-sponsored athlete Bryn Ray and he has clearly been researching the dictionary definition of the word ‘challenge’. We focus mainly on upper/lower body splits with two sessions of high intensity then one day of rest that should include a 30 minute intense cardio vascular activity’. These will be mainly using the t3 programmes that incorporate a range of training methods. The strength sessions incorporate a range of approaches including tri sets and mechanical drop sets. Like I said it’s redefining ‘challenge’! We spent a full week getting to grips with the training and identifying our personal strengths and weaknesses. Turns out my Achilles heel comes in the form of 5 sets of 6 chin ups! 11 weeks to do something about that…
Over and above the basics of the training and nutrition I do think it’s vital to focus on how it is all affecting our personal lives. Life is for living! Before setting out on this journey, I assumed this was something that monitoring life quality would not come into play until the calories were further reduced later on with possible mood swings and worse. However, this weekend I took a trip home to see my family, entering into none of the usual eating and drinking activities with them. Quite apart from anything else, my new cloistered existence is rather anti-social. You say ‘no’ to lots of well-meaning offers.
As an individual I am far happier when I’m on track and eating the food I believe fuels me best. This is not always out of a FFF Tupperware box and planned in advance but in an ideal world it will be food with ingredients I can personally monitor and control. Always remember, good health is at the core of this challenge. Sensible, health orientated adjustments to dietary intake are a sustainable antidote to unhealthy fads or crash dieting. It is my preference to push my body like this and I understand that the rest of the planet -including my family – find that hard to comprehend. But even if they find it strange and maybe a little selfish of me, they are extremely supportive of the challenge. Nevertheless, I could tell my mum was ever so slightly disheartened when she realised that G and T’s were off the menu! These ‘inconveniences’ are something I will explore throughout the journey but often they can be easily managed with minimal disruption to daily social occurrences. Other than that I am still finding day-to-day life relatively unaffected other than for putting one foot in front of another after Bryn’s brutal leg sessions!
This is a challenge and we are learning more about what it takes to complete it each day – each hour of each day! If there is an area of comp prep you would like us to explore further please shout out. We are doing this both for ourselves and those interested in trying something similar. We hope to both educate and inform throughout the 12 weeks so please use the hashtag #trainchallenge to help us help you! Keep following, it’s going to get better…
*These are numbers prescribed by a qualified nutritionist and a personal to you based on your size, age, health, goal and medical history. These numbers shouldn’t be taken as a guide for anyone else without consulting a professional.