Today marks two weeks into the 8 week Pannawonica Body Fat challenge. With our trip away last weekend and a cyclone cruising past late this week, my initial two weeks have been far from perfect however progress has still been achieved. For those that are interested I thought I would document my (and my exercise partner’s) training and progress over the next 8 weeks. Now for confidentiality reasons I am going to call my training partner ‘Wayne’. She will laugh at this as it was her kids who sparked this name after an innocent chat during dinner the other night when she suddenly remembered she had ‘weigh in’ the next morning…one child asked ‘Who’s Wayne?” and her other child stated…”I think it is someone she trains with at the gym.” Everyone had a laugh and now ‘Wayne’ will be the name of my training partner for the sake of the blog.
The purpose of these first two weeks at the gym was to build a foundation of good technique and basic strength and endurance. ‘Wayne’ and I are doing a mixture of classes and strength training in the gym. Research has shown that one of the best ways to lose body fat (notice I said body fat and not weight loss, as a common mistake is to cut the calorie intake and hit the cardio which results in great numbers on the scales but often leads to loss in muscle mass, difficulty maintaining this weight loss, and sometimes minimal changes to actual body fat) is to follow a strength protocol and/or add some High Intensity Interval Training (HIIT). As ‘Wayne’ has not done a lot of this type of training we won’t be following a strict HIIT protocol, more of a vigorous exercise intensity level until we reach a point where technique is solid and fitness/strength allows us to push to the level needed for HIIT.
Obviously a good diet is crucial for any body composition changes to occur and we are both tracking our intake via My Fitness Pal. In terms of macronutrient breakdown, at this stage I am aiming for a moderate diet of approximately 50% Carbohydrates, 30% Protein, and 20% Fat. I know, shock horror, the carbohydrate percentage is quite high and flies in the face of the recent push for high protein and low carb diets for weight loss. For me this works at the moment, I like endurance exercise and will keep it in my training so I find I like a higher carb content in my diet. I’m also not aiming for a competition bikini body just a better, healthier body so I am not super strict with my diet at this stage. I may change the ratio if my weight loss stalls, but for now it works. In terms of diet, the things I am working on at the moment are:
- Increased water intake >2L + extra during exercise
- Avoiding alcohol
- Restricting/avoiding chocolates, sweets, and processed food
- Aiming to have greens at every meal
- Controlling portion sizes
As I said, not strict, just working on the basics. I have also agreed with ‘Wayne’ that we have 5 Diet Passes for the 8 week period, where we are able to use them if we have a special dinner or event and want to splurge, or just really have a craving for something. Everything in moderation and I think it is unrealistic that we can be perfect 100% of the time. The aim for this is so we don’t feel like anything is forbidden and also to encourage mindful indulgence. If you are going to indulge make sure it is something you really want otherwise don’t do it.
OK enough rambling, my training for the past two weeks is as follows. ‘Wayne’ and I train together Mon-Fri with weekends on our own to allow for family commitments and our own individual training interests.
Monday – 100 Club (Jumping lunges, KB Swings, weighted boxing combo, wall sit with barbell bicep curls, Fitball ‘Y’s’, medicine ball slams, Heel taps, Shuttle runs length of gym) 100 reps of each, any order, any amount of reps at a time in 45mins with a 60sec plank every 5 minutes. Ouch!
Tuesday – At the gym, upper body focus. Warm up 5minutes followed by 10-15 spin bike hill climbs, 30sec hard work 30sec easy. Chest Press, Seated Row, Lat Pulldown, KB rotate rack and press, Knee push ups (tricep or normal depending on ability). 3 sets, 10-15 reps. Emphasis on JUST getting 10 reps to start, if we reach 15 reps then must increase weights. Technique, technique, technique. Intensity may not quite be there initially but it will come down the track.
In the afternoon – training run with the kids
Wednesday – Both feeling a little sore so decided on a 4km recovery walk round town.
Thursday – Boxing Class, 1 hour.
Friday – At the gym, lower body focus. Start body weight only add weights if able. Squats to sit on a low step (to encourage good range and good technique), Single leg balance exercise (balance exercises are awesome for pelvic/knee/ankle stability as well as body awareness and increased muscle recruitment), Weighted Lunges, KB Swings, Push up position rows. 3 sets, 15 reps (each side if required).
Saturday – Rest Day. Swimming, snorkelling, kayaking at Coral Bay.
Sunday – 2km Paddle, and 4km beach walk in the afternoon. Swimming, snorkelling, kayaking at Coral Bay.
RESULTS: No weigh in for me this week as away in Coral Bay. ‘Wayne’ lost 0.3kg and 3%BF. Now initially I had warned that this type of training can be a little slower to show you the love on the scales in kg lost. The aim is to build some muscle and burn off the unwanted fat. Muscles grow when challenged and broken down, forcing the body to rally to meet the challenge. 1kg of muscle weighs the same as 1kg of fat BUT takes up only 1/3 of the space which is why we always remind you to look for changes in how your clothes fit and how you feel and not only for what the scales say.
It can be a little disappointing to look at “only” 0.3kg loss but if you look at 3%BF lost in one week, that is amazing! When I crunched the numbers this 3%BF translates into 2.6kg fat lost of ‘Wayne’s’ total body weight. We know that body fat is down 2.6kg but the scales only showed 0.3kg overall so we can assume that we managed to build some hard won muscle. It is a great result.
Monday – Drive home from Coral Bay but dragged myself to the gym that night. 4km treadmill run, quick upper body circuit – 15 Bench Press, 15 each side KB rotate, rack and press, 15 Deadlift with bent over rows, and 20 KB swings. 3 times through.
Tuesday – At the gym, lower body. Warm up then 10 x 30hard/30easy standing hill sprints on spin bike. Squats to low step (weighted), Low lunge hold with kickbacks (focus on good posture and stretching out ‘Wayne’s’ tight hip flexors), push ups, high step ups single leg with weights, single leg balance exercise. 15reps, 3 sets. Finished with another lot of spin bike sprints.
Wednesday – 4km walk around town. Fun Run training in the afternoon with the boys.
Thursday – Cyclone incoming and school cancelled so didn’t make it to class. Did a Jillian Michaels circuit class found on YouTube. It was a little hard on the body especially on the tiles in my living area, lol.
Friday – At gym, upper body focus. 15min bike warm up. Chest Press, Chest Flies, Leg Ext and Alternating lunges (weighted if able), Lat Pulldown and Shoulder Press. 10-15reps, 3 sets. Finished with 10 x 30hard/30easy on cross trainer.
Saturday – 20 km bike ride (Pyramid set: Increase level every 1min for 8 levels, 3min recovery ride, Increase level every 45sec for 8 levels, 3min recovery ride, increase level every 30secs for 8 levels, 3 min recovery ride. Finish final 7km steady pace, keeping at 90-100 RPM.) Followed by 3km treadmill run, steady pace.
Sunday – Yoga for Weight loss and Fun run training with the boys.
RESULTS: First weigh in for me….dah da daaah….1.5kg down and down 5%BF over the two weeks. Very excited about that considering my less than perfect food choices over the weekend away and, ahem, during Cyclone day at home. I have used 3 of my passes, eeek. Time to tighten up the belt. ‘Wayne’ didn’t have big improvements on the scale this week, back to starting weight but BF% is down a further 0.3%. So still making some body composition changes. She also admitted that she missed a couple of training days this week. We will sit down and review everything on Monday and step it up. To be honest I don’t really expect to see huge weight loss in the first two weeks with someone new to strength training as their body adapts, but I do expect to see a good loss on the scales in week 3 all things going to plan.