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New ways to torture—sorry, I mean train me

The Weigh In

Today’s session would have new things in store for me but first it started with a weigh in and a quick check on how things were progressing. This far into it all, I guess it was only natural that things would begin to slow and become tougher, so this time around it was all a bit of a mixed bag: muscle mass was down (I still need to up the protein in my diet, and get used to making more of the weights more at the gym) while my body fat percentage was up (to be fair, a week away in Scotland eating little else besides fish and chips and cheeseboards probably hadn’t helped…)

image by kues1 / Freepik 

But elsewhere it was good news: weight and body stats were all still falling overall, some by quite some margin. In fact since we began all this, it turns out I’ve lost quite a bit of weight. So much so in fact that I was really genuinely surprised (as well as a bit disgusted, to be honest) by the total amount. I knew I’d been out of shape at the start of this, but had I really been that out of shape?


The total that I’d dropped in the past few months really shocked me, but it was also very encouraging—and it had all apparently given Chris a brilliant idea. Uh oh.


The New Idea

Chris, you see, keeps coming up with new ways to torture—sorry, I mean train me, and this week he had devised a neat little trick to demonstrate just how much weight I had lost so far. He handed me a zip-up vest resembling something like a cross between a lifejacket and a grey hoodie I used to wear when I was 8 that had the character off the 7Up adverts on it. Alas it was neither of those, but a weighted vest lined with 10 kilograms of metal.


10 kilos, Chris explained, was a bit short of the total amount of weight I’d lost since my first session with him, but as it was the maximum weight the vest could hold, it would have to do. While I put it on (blimey, 10 kilos is a lot), Chris explained that we were going to repeat the eighteen-part HIIT body circuit I had done in my very first session—only this time wearing the vest.


The Circuit

Chris’ HIIT body circuit comprises 18 different exercises—a mixture of crunches, burpees, planks, hip extensions and the like—each performed for 20 seconds with 20 seconds of jogging in between. This would be the third time we’d done it. I’d struggled to get through it the first time around, not least because I was hopelessly out of shape. And this time, I struggled my way through it again—not least because Chris’s weighted vest was lumbering me with all the same weight I’d been carrying when I first started his work outs.


12 minutes of exercise later, I was spent. Taking the vest off at the end was like stepping out of a swimming pool: everything just seemed lighter and easier compared to being held back and pushed down by weight and pressure. After a quick breather, we repeated the circuit, this time without any cumbersome weight vest in sight. Although it was still tough, compared to the first run through it was a breeze.


The Result

The session over, I was astonished by how badly out of shape I must have been thirteen weeks ago, and amazed at how easy (comparably) I was getting through this stuff now. Chris’s idea had worked—and crikey, it was an eye-opener!

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