This blog follows my journey as I look to get fit – building up my strength and losing some fat – as I try to improve my health in general.
I won’t lie, my second week in the gym, where I lifted weights for the first time since I joined, was very painful. I felt like I’d taken it fairly easy, lifting less weight than I was capable of as I looked to ease my way gradually into it all. Despite this, I faced a lot of soreness, which unsurprisingly put me off going back to the gym each day.
I’m glad I didn’t actually skip any days though. Of course, if you have an injury you should rest, but I was just sore from having not exercised much for so long, rather than carrying an injury. I pushed through and kept on track with my program.
Same old same old
My second football match at the weekend went exactly as the first one had (outstandingly badly), but this didn’t worry me as I knew I would be capable of much better performances after some training. I knew my stamina needed work still, but I wanted to focus on building up the strength in my muscles first, primarily my legs.
I also knew that lifting weights can burn more fat in less time than cardio does, and because I wanted to lose excess weight as soon as possible, it made more sense for me to prioritise weights over cardio.
Before I knew it, week three came along and I carried on with the same strategy I’d had for week two – warm up on the treadmills, lift fairly light weights, then cool down and head off home.
Each morning, I still ached rather a lot. I had hoped my body might have become more used to exercise again by now, but alas not yet, unfortunately.
During my second week, I realised I needed to alter my eating habits in order to make the most of my time in the gym, and act as the building blocks as I looked to build muscle and shed fat.
Of course this won’t result in sudden, drastic changes to my body – nor will just one week of lifting weights – but I have felt more energetic throughout this week, and I don’t find myself feeling bloated at the gym, which is a plus I hadn’t really expected.
I feel more committed to getting fit and healthy, as I know (with time) I am starting to add proper, balanced meals to my exercise, which is a first for me.
It definitely goes to show that diet is highly important in following a healthy lifestyle, and making real progress in the gym.
Monotony, music and mates
I definitely succumbed to boredom this week, however. I didn’t enjoy each day very much, finding it pretty monotonous. I brought my wireless headphones along on Tuesday, so that I could at least listen to my music instead of the constant drone of feet on treadmills, and the (unnecessarily) loud grunting by people lifting big weights.
I felt a noticeable difference in my performances when I had my headphones, compared to last week when I didn’t have them, so I highly recommend them to gym-goers. Of course, normal headphones will work fine too, but I found wireless ones to be incredibly convenient as it meant I could leave my phone to the side while I exercised.
Looking around in the gym, I noticed that quite a number of people appeared to have gone together, in pairs or small groups. What struck me was how much happier than me they were, laughing and joking as they worked out. I don’t think I’ve smiled once since I signed up to the gym.
This made me reconsider my gym sessions, because even though my main purpose of signing up was to get fit, it shouldn’t make me that unhappy. Consequently I decided to try and find myself a partner to help make the gym sessions more fun, as well as helping someone else to work on getting fit.
Thankfully, I found a willing volunteer from my office. One of our developers – who is definitely a contender for the world’s biggest fan of pizza – agreed to join me. He would openly admit he’s very unfit, and had never done much in the way of sport growing up, so we were at quite polar opposites if truth be told.
When I asked him about coming with me, I found that he had the one thing that’s needed, however. Dedication. He was so positive about the progress he wanted to make, it didn’t matter if he wasn’t particularly strong or fit to begin with. He had a really strong desire to shift the fat and end up with, in his words, a “ripped bod”. I’m now looking forward to next week more than I would if I was going alone, again.
Do you go on your own to the gym, or do you go with a friend? What positives and negatives do you find from this?