This week we have asked the girls to tell us a bit about the how. A lot of people see the product of the hard work that we put in without seeing any of the fun and effort that goes into it! One thing that we hear a lot when we show people pictures or videos is “I don’t know how you do it!”
Hopefully today’s entries will give everyone a bit of an insight into just how much (or little!) we commit, what we do, when we do it and how we feel about the training in the run up to the competition.
To prepare for the competition, I train up to 3/4 days a week, 3 hours each day at the studio, however, I have to fit it around my working hours so I plan out when and what I am doing each week to keep track of my time. My training definitely gets tougher for a competition and it is a lot stricter, and strength based, however I don't like the bruises and bumps after training sessions but it shows the dedication to learning and improving. I intend to improve my back flexibility so this will mean not only working on strength but working on various stretches to train my back flexibility.
So for my PT training program Zorena asked me to prioritise the following; fat lose, strength gains, flexibility gains and muscular gains so that she could customise my workouts and macros to suit what I wanted to achieve. I decided on the following order; lose fat, muscular gain/gain flexibility and then strength gains. Zorena very kindly has put together my training schedule which includes Upper and Lower workouts, high and low intensity cardio and metcon training. This will run along side my regular classes and teaching at the studio and my day job. This week, to kick start things off, I will starting with some metcon sessions and then my full training program will start as of Monday. Sometimes trying to fit everything into what feels like such a short week can be difficult, but having Zorena and Emily there for support and to make me go helps. At the moment my calories are quite close to my maintenance levels so my energy levels are still high which always helps. I was given the option to choose this week of having high carbs, low fat or low carbs, high fat. I went for the high carbs, low fat option as Lauren on low carbs struggles (before I started the initial plan with Zorena, she got me to do a food diary where we found out pretty much my entire diet was carbs, so whenever I get the choice its always carbs!) I’m going to take my first progress photo this week, so that I can hopefully see the changes as seeing myself everyday sometimes makes things harder to notice.
So this week was my first proper week back in the gym with my new training program. I felt quite good after my warm up metcon sessions over the weekend and was a good way to break my body back in to training again. Going to the gym now for me have become quite normal and I don’t feel as intimidated as I did when I first started going, whether that’s because I know more and understand more about what I’m doing or that I don’t care about anyone else when I’m there because what I’m doing is for me and no one else. Every day other than Tuesday I have some form or training, whether it’s at the studio or gym and if there are no classes running or a class gets cancelled I have a gym workout set in place to do instead so either way I should get some form of training. With work and training it’s good that I have a 24hr gym to go to as otherwise I don’t think I’d manage to fit everything in. My training has increased since I found out that I was through to the Solent finals, but only a little as I was doing a training program before (again sorted out for me by Zorena) as she has helped me lose and keep off 2 stone and completely change my body shape from last year. Emily and I are hoping to combine some of our workouts in the gym to hopefully help each other, well I’m making sure Emily goes! :)
I've tried the gym before and it hasn't gone well - lack of willpower, goals, knowledge etc.- so I try to get most of my training through instructor led classes. Just over a year ago I joined Southampton Aerial Arts School. At this point I was quite (read: quite a lot) unfit and really wanted to change to help both my physical and mental state. I started with a pole session a week and soon built it up to 2 pole classes, 1 hoop class, a kettlebells and abs class and a stretch class (sounds daunting, I know, but it conveniently fits into 2 evenings a week!). I love these classes. The instructors are brilliant, the students are lovely and, importantly, there's a lot of emphasis placed on conditioning and strength training that you don't get at all schools. Not only does this enable safe progression to new tricks, but also makes a huge improvement to overall fitness. If you told me this time last year that I'd be deadlift into anything on pole or hoop within a few months I would have laughed at you. But here I am a year on deadlifting into straddle and pike on hoop and shoulder mounts and inverts on pole. Thanks SAAS! The kettlebells and abs classes are hard work but a lot of fun and provide additional strength training along with some much needed (and much dreaded) cardio!
Outside of the studio I climb or boulder at least once a week; I’m clearly not very good at keeping both feet on the ground! I’ve been climbing for about a year and a half and find it’s a really fun way to improve strength and agility. It also has a nice problem-solving element that the programmer in me really likes. I still get the occasional mental block/panic about certain routes that go over platforms or have large dynamic moves/large potential swings on fall but this is gradually getting better.
In the lead up to the Solent competition I will keep most of my training the same but also add in Body Conditioning at SAAS once a week and increase my flexibility training. I'll also be doing as many hoop practice sessions as I can!
So the news has finally sunk in and I am eager to get going with my new challenges the I've set myself. It seems to be a fine line between juggling work, time to train and holidays at the moment as I've just celebrated my birthday. Trying to stay focused and keep my healthy eating going! It helps i have been doing the 22 day press up challenge so that gives me a boost each day! As much as I am literally loving summer but looking forward to it cooling down a little so the hard work can get into full swing once again!
In terms of everyday training it feels like I don’t do very much, until I list all my classes! I do something most evenings and even on days off I still try and make sure I’m not completely static! I do 2/3 hours of hoop, 2/3 hours of pole, kettlebells/abs, stretch and occasionally bodysculpt. On days away from the studio I will usually either go for a walk or do some yoga/wiifit type activity just so I’m not a total potato!
Training for the comp has started, although it seems a long way off right now! I have gone back to attempting to eat clean... Which is not really happening that well at the moment but I did manage to resist the yummy cheese straws on offer at work! In the weeks coming up to the competition I will be doing as much time at the studio as possible and sticking to my PT plan like a good girl!
I don’t generally struggle to find the time to train because I don’t have a lot of other commitments in my life and I’ve recently relocated my workplace so everything fitness-related is a little bit closer together. Finding the motivation to actually do it is the problem! My main problem is that I’m a coaster... If I can get away with putting in half the effort and getting a passable result then I will. I need constant harassment to get my ass in gear before I will actually commit to anything, letalone exercise!
This next week is going to be challenging for me to maintain any kind of fitness because the studio is closed. Knowing what I’m like I asked Z to write me a mini gym plan like the ones that her and Lauren use and I’m going to try hard to stick to that, although I know I’m not as confident as they are when it comes to stomping into the boys only section of the gym to pick up weights so whether or not I actually man up and do the workouts is yet to be seen... I might just walk into the gym and walk straight back out again!
UPDATE: It’s now Thursday, four days into the studio-free fortnight and I have been to the gym every day! Lauren and Zorena have made sure that I don’t wuss out of the workouts and today I even went in by myself to do some cardio! I still don’t feel comfortable though... Especially not in the weights area!
Staff and students of Julie's Dance Studio, based in Sholing, Southampton.