The road to #SubEighty since September has been a start-stop-start affair. There have been really good periods of consistency, but also with a few gaps of inactivity and lack of motivation. I’m not out break records or fight for a UFC belt, I want to feel good about myself and get back to what I used to be like in my twenties. From this I hope to have more energy and flexibility and keep up with my daughter.
Last Sunday, I decided to commit to a full program in both running and HIIT sessions to help achieve my goal of weighing in under 80 kilos. I’m currently in the Heavyweight class for UFC/MMA; not that I will ever step into the octagon, but I do get a lot of inspiration from those fighters. If all goes well, my sub-eighty goal will see me in the Middleweight class. I haven’t set a date to achieve this target as that would be unreasonable. I do, however, have a couple of programs that have timelines to keep me going and on target.
Firstly, I have been employing 16:8 fasting to cut down on unnecessary consumption since September 2019. I’ve seen a huge reduction in my weight (over 7kg in six months) because of this and am enjoying the premise behind it. When you look back to early man, we never ate as much as we do these days. It was essentially get up, set out for the hunt which could take the best part of a day or more then eat with the collective, rest and the repeat the next day. I still feel breakfast is one of the best marketing campaigns ever conceived (by cereal companies) as such I’ve never really enjoyed breakfast and skipped it for the most part so that was easy to remove. I do miss having a good egg and bacon breakfast with the family but make up for that!
Six out of seven days I have a thermogenic drink from Double Tap by Redcon1 for breakfast – this helps with the morning workouts/runs and ties me over until 1 or 2pm. From here I usually have my first meal, scrambled eggs and spinach with the occasional piece of protein (chicken or ham). I then may have a fruit and/or yoghurt in the afternoon and then dinner with the family. Food intake is cut off at 9pm. Its been an easy transition and I don’t think I will go back to ‘normal’ eating habits. I sometimes have a coffee in the morning after my workout but I generally wait to have this with my 1pm ‘breakfast’. I’ve also stopped drinking beer, its been over 15 months now. I still drink alcohol; Cider is great (my favourite is Mercury Draught) and I still enjoy a nice scotch or a Kraken Rum! These are all of course taken in moderation 8)
In terms of my exercise, I mentioned a running program and HIIT sessions. This involves a 10 week 5k running program from Polar. I’m using a Polar M430 and the sessions are updated onto it so I can take the guess work out of what I need to do. I’ve missed two weeks where I haven’t done anything this year, but I will be looking to complete all 10 weeks as part of this program. There are about five run sessions per week with accompanying mobility, core and strength sessions as part of the program. I’ve found Strava to be a great companion with monthly challenges and notifications of personal records as well as seeing what friends are up to during this period of isolation. I replace the non running sessions from the Polar program with the HIIT program.
The HIIT sessions are coming from Chris Hemsworth’s Centr app (Android / iOS). I’ve been non-committal on this for some time and have only really jumped into it at the start of this year. This is actually an amazing app with everything from diet, recipes, meditation sessions as well as cardio, weights, HIIT sessions. I really only use the workouts but love the idea of a timed program, so I was really interested when they announced their first program, Centr 6. This is a 6 week workout program with minimal equipment; the majority being body weight exercises or needing only dumb bells focusing on 6 sets of exercises repeated 6 times over 6 days.
Each day is different, and there are beginner, intermediate and advanced levels you can follow all at once during the session. The only downside is that the exercises are repeated each week, I would have hoped for some alternates to spice things up. But the good thing is you memorise these and can push yourself to go faster, harder. I do hope future programs make it more appealing week to week – so far I have only been able to complete 3 of the 6 week program. This time I am sticking to the full 6 weeks though.
I was pretty sore on Friday, specially across the abs, but am feeling great today after my final run of the week 1 program. Tomorrow, I am looking to complete a Strava Challenge for the New York Road Runner Virtual 5k. I’d like break 30 mins, my last ‘race’ effort was 32 mins back on March 7, but we will see!