Get Strong - Intermediate
I've been a gym junkie for quite some time now but I've always just done it to keep healthy and fit. I came across this challenge and decided it was time to see how far I can push myself. I've always struggled to put on muscle and maintain what I do gain, so I see this challenge as an opportunity to gain some serious muscle, maintain the gains and learn more about the training & nutrition that is required to do so.
The training for me was the thing I enjoyed most! The training plans provide purpose to each gym session & are easy to follow. I sometimes looked at other plans' training guides to add exercises I liked to my own gym plan. I liked that the training plans changed every 4 wks to provide variety & increased in intensity! I enjoyed learning a variety of new exercises I hadn't tried before.I enjoyed being apart of the challenge community & having access to the forum & various recipes. I often checked the forum for new feeds.I have also taken away a wealth of knowledge in regards to the nutrition that is required to properly fuel your workouts to gain muscle! Something I've always struggled with!
Sticking strictly to the nutrition plan as I am a massive chocoholic! But the burn bars helped, especially when I discovered heating them up! I also experimented with making chocolate alternatives e.g the protein choc mousse or protein mug cake! I made sweet potatoe brownies & attempted chocolate protein oat bars.During the challenge, I was away for 7 days in Tasmania on a short escape. I had gone with good intentions & packed my protein servings & bars but life happens & well the trip didn't go to plan, nutrition wise. Who knew Tasmania made their own fudge! 😳😋
Becoming more knowledgeable about the training & nutrition that is required to gain strength and build muscle! I had to learn to eat alot more than what I was used to, to power me through my gym sessions! I've now picked up some eating habits that I will continue on with e.g pro-oats for breakfast!My hair has grown, my face has cleared up, I've increased my metabolism & my immune system has improved! I was up at 5am every morning and not once throughout the challenge did I ever really get sick even though this challenge was throughout Winter & it's bloody cold in Melbourne! 😨All positives if you ask me! Plus I've learnt how to make a variety of healthy alternative recipes including healthier deserts! My family enjoyed the recipes also, including the zoodles & my sweet potatoe brownies! 😋I've gone from not having a strong upper body & not really enjoying arm day as I just felt weak, to enjoying arm days. Back in the day I used to struggle to do pullups/chinups & even to put the 20kg plate weights on my squat rack or leg press machine, but now I can do that with ease & confidence! Sometimes it's the little things!I've managed to strengthen my core all around including obliques & back muscles which will all help keep spine alignment & hopefully mean fewer visits to the chiro!
Go for it! Give it your all, enjoy it and embrace it!I didn't think I would enjoy pro-oats or hot lunches & I wondered how on earth I was meant to eat soo much food, but I surprisingly became used to & enjoyed all of the above! 'Trust the process' they say! 😜😅
Thank you for providing a space like the forum where anyone could ask anything they needed without feeling silly & were met with knowledge, support & encouragement!Maybe add a get strong advanced plan or a comp prep plan! 💪🏻😉
Post challenge meal done right! ✔️😋🤗
Spray Tan ✔️ Can't believe this is my 1st spray tan! 😳 1 more sleep till challenge end!
Fitness test done and dusted today! Happy I was able to beat my prior score!
Ab check at the end of Week 12 vs Ab check at the end of Week 1! 12 weeks of 5am starts has finally paid off! Looking forward to sleep ins! 😴💪🏻🤗
This mornings cardio challenge for the last cardio session - to increase the distance of rowing within the same time frame, Tabata style. We're only out to improve ourselves & it's safe to say that I managed to increase the distance rowed. It was definitely a challenge & I didn't realise how fit I was 9 weeks ago! 😳💪🏻😅
Back to early morning weight sessions, starting the Last Week with Leg Day! I prefer early mornings at the gym as there are less people which means no waiting around for equipment & you can work up a sweat by completing your supersets instead of working up a sweat due to the amount of people at the gym in the arvo's! 😜💪🏻
This week I managed a few pb's; I was able to complete my BB Hip/Glute Thruster set with 60kg & I ran 7.8km in 35min (on a treadmill). I'm quite happy with this.
I've been feeling stronger and have definitely gained muscle all round too! Below is a pic after this weeks arm session as my arms were feeling so pumped! 💪🏻 Veins have started popping out of my arms & hands 😳
Still haven't managed to shake off my thunder thighs, although they have definitely become stronger and have also gained muscle, they just dont look lean. 😢
1 week to go!
2 Weeks to go!! Most of last week I was actually struggling to get to the gym, motivation wise as I hate training in the afternoons due to too many people and the lack of availability with the equipment. I'm a shift worker, so my schedule changes and this week & last week I'm on early starts which means gym in the arvo. However, I did go to every session & felt better afterwards! I even found that since I've gotten bigger in my upper body that the guys show more respect and move out of the way or actually ask if I'm using something before just jumping on! Winning! 💪🏻😅
I'm also pretty lucky that I've got a lil sidekick joining me for most sessions which helps with the motivation!
2 weeks to go! Consistency is key!
Decided to do some experimenting this week and attempted Sweet Potatoe Brownies and Choc Coconut Chia seed Protein Bars/slice! Both turned out delicious! 😋 These are to help with those pesky chocolate cravings.
Week 8 Check in is here! I was feeling a bit disappointed that my 8 wk check in pic hasn't changed much from my first pic but then I managed to beat my previous fitness test results & that has to count for something! I've been so hard on myself after holidaying in Tassie for a week with no gym and not being 100% with my diet but I've got to move forward & chase results for the week 12 check in!
On a side note, I am happy that I have managed to gain upper body strength & size as this has always been a struggle! I could never add & keep arm & back muscle! I am also surprised about the weight gain - must be that muscle gain (I hope 😜)!
Packing the essentials for a week campervaning through Tas! - I know I'm not meant to eat chocolate but I know those cravings will kill me in the cold so thought I'd take 'not so bad' chocolate! 😜😋😍🍫🙊😅
Decided to do the Lettuce Taco Cups for dinner tonight to change things up a bit! It was delish & my partner even loved it! 😋👍🏻
Quick challenge update:
- I've been struggling more with chocolate cravings this week & since discovered melting my burn bar in micro for 10 - 20 secs makes it soo much nicer than it already was! This is dangerous! 😜
- Finally my belly isn't as bloated this week. I think maybe my tummy is now used to all the protein shakes!
- Yay! Today I was able to do lunges for the first time since week 1 and boy did my legs burn this morning! 💪🏻
A little bit disappointed with myself & week 4 check in results. Can't see any difference so decided will take photos of back while flexing to see if any noticeable muscular changes at the end. I didn't expect any weight difference as weight fluctuates during the day, although both weigh-in's were in the morning. My leg injury has definitely affected my jump lunges and jump squat results and flared it up again today. I haven't been doing any lunges or plyometric exercises as per the physio's advice.
On another note, this will just push me to further improve on my efforts on cardio days and to further tighten my diet! I've had a few snacks here and there and those cookies and protein mugcakes are delish! 😋😜🙊
8 weeks to improve and get results! 💪🏻🏋🏻♀️
So, here it is already; the end of week 3 and the start of week 4! The last week in the first phase! Time is moving quickly. I like to use the challenge countdown to cross off the days as I go and have an overview of long it's been and how much longer I have to go. I have it stuck on the wall in the kitchen with my meal plan.
Towards the end of wk 3 and over the long w.e was a little more of a challenge for me chocolate wise. I had 1 small Aldi serving size of 75% chocolate and on Sunday I went to the Mind Body Spirit Festival in Melbourne and tried all the 'healthy' taste tests 😋 It was great at the time but then in the evening I was craving chocolate like crazy! I decided to experiment and give the protein mug cake option ago with my night time protein and it was surprisingly good! 😋
I had another Physio appt. on the weekend and my leg has definitely improved and I can actually stretch it with no sharp pain but I've still got another week of rest/lighter intensity & still no lunges. A bit nervous about doing the lunge jumps in fitness test on the w.e but I'll see how I go. Can't wait for new plans and to go harder next week!
Bring on the rest of week 4! 😳💪🏻
Week 2 done & the start of week 3! I still havent eaten any chocolate although I've had cravings a lot more lately. I'm pretty proud of myself considering I always had choc every night after dinner. I also finally went to the Physio on the weekend and found out that I had pulled the muscle but it's slowly healing and I can do legs just not heavy weights but I have to stay away from lunges until it calms down. I also went back to eating the 'Get Strong Meal Plan' as it wasn't enough food on the 'Tone and Shape' plan.
Prepped for another week!
Attempted the night time protein mousse with success!
Chicken & Vege Stirfry for Dinner - yum! 😋
Shopping done! Lots of greens! Time to food prep .... after some retail therapy 😜
So, Today is day 5! Yay I made it to Friday and I haven't eaten any chocolate nor have I had any grumpy side effects either....yet! ha This week has been interesting. I injured my ankle running on the treadmill during Wednesdays Cardio day (I assume) but didnt realise until too late. I went ahead with leg day on Thursday but couldnt complete lunges due to my thigh being pulled (probably from compensating for my ankle injury). I then spent Thursday night rolling and massaging it while icing my ankles haha. This morning I did a light cardio sesh on the bike and stretched. This week I tried to follow the 'Get Strong - Intermediate' nutrition guide but I feel like it's too much food for me. I was constantly trying to squeeze it all in and forever felt full so next week I'm going to try the 'Get Lean - Intermediate' nutrition guide. I'm currently trying to plan next weeks meals but not getting very far!