Exercise first…then work out
The scenario: I went to my hometown of Port Glasgow in Scotland for a month. Within a throwing distance was a fish & chip shop, pubs, cake and pastry shops, butchers that sold pies containing more fat than a ducks bum and dessert shops that sold double thick cream. I was buying so much Double Thick Cream I started to ask for it by DTC. DTC would go perfectly with meringues, ice cream topped with chocolate + caramel sauce, even my morning cereal. Oh yeah, on top of that there was the weekly scotch festivities and nightly drinks with the happy word of slainte being toasted every evening.
Wasn’t it Oscar Wilde who said “I can resist everything except temptation.” Decadent was in full force for that month and I did not hold back one bit when tempted.
When I came back, admittedly I was very happy, but in the process of all this happiness gained a lardy one pack and made even a simple venture like going upstairs making me out of breath.
This was not good: I was a trainer and needed to get back into shape more pronto than fast. A plan that made sense without sending my body and brain into shock had to implemented.
So the plan went something like this.
The first two weeks/
I would workout 1x per week and exercise 2-6 x per week. Please note, and the point of this whole post is there is a difference between working out and exercising. Working out is like the first slider in our web page or image below. Working out changes your body composition quickly and creates a stress response that needs recovering from. Exercising on the other hand is really not that hard and is actually quite kind to the body. Exercise might be a simple bike ride to work, a long walk, a mini circuit involving bodyweight exercises, even a swim. In other words things you feel you can do every day as they add only limited stress to the body while establishing new good habits.
Even though I am a self admitted lightweight I also cut alcoholic intake to weekends instead of my Scottish habit which was every day starting at lunch time.
Added another workout day, cut an exercise day and started to dial in breakfasts(making them healthier.) I have a fondness for simple breakfasts including fruit, toast, and Greek yogurt.
During this week added a third workout day and removed another exercise day. I cut weekend alcohol exclusively to scotch as my beverage of choice (tough life, eh). Also – even though it felt like I was back at school – created a routine where every day would make my own lunch that always included a very large salad. No exceptions. My dinners are usually always pretty light so didn’t need much adjustments. However, snacks had to change. Gone were treats replaced with apples and a daily protein shake.
By the end of the month
I was exercising 3x per week + working out out 3x per week, enjoying a great breakfast, lunches were sorted and eating a decent dinner became normal.. As a result, I was feeling smashing and well on the way to athleticism TLA style. The entire process was the opposite of a crash diet. Instead progress was gradual, sustainable and except for daily lunch making, didn’t feel too much of a struggle.
Remember, we are all athletes. When you have been out the exercise game and want to get back (regardless of your level) it just takes a plan of action to get there that does not involve a mentality of sacrifice, sacrifice, sacrifice and pain, pain, more pain.
Instead coaching, consistent workouts and exercise with a plan of gradual stress are key.
Fancying becoming a TLA client. Let me know.
Slainte Mhath! (cheers and to good health)