The Gym – Satan’s Second Home

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Not much of the athletic type, the only way you’ll get me running is in the opposite direction from you if you start going into a long-winded spiel about the weather or how you’re deeply madly in love with your cousin twice removed for that matter.

With that being said, I think my wispy body has been in desperate need of a bit of toning up, my mind continuously screaming out for a hit of dopamine, the kind only garnered after you’ve expelled every drop of blood, sweat and tears out of every orifice in thine very body. In other words – exercised.

With the intrinsic pep talk echoing in my ear one evening after I found myself binging my way into a diabetic coma, I decided to finally muster up the courage to face the embarrassment and shame of my noodle arms shaking under the tremendous pressure of a 5 lb dumbbell, (heaven forbid I tried deadlifts). I remember that first night as if it was yesterday (really it was a week ago but who’s counting), entering the gym felt more like entering an amphitheatre full of lions. Men built like bison, muscles bulging through their over-washed teeny weeny v-neck vest tops. I couldn’t place a bet on which would be first to rip, their crop tops or the vein in their thick thick necks from the gargantuan amount of strain which could have only surmounted in weight to easily 102.5 of my very self. A double take at that weight-lifting carry on was enough to have me retreat as any gym newbie does, by scuttling to the corner of the gym and onto a treadmill. From which I’m reaching for the oxygen tank like a chain smoker on death’s door, after all of 10 mins on the thing. I’ve gotten better though in my 5 days of attendance so far. I no longer use the treadmill, I attend the classes, which is the best solution if you’re like me and don’t have a clue how to use any of the gym equipment and don’t feel like losing a limb in the process of trying to use a weight machine only to find out it has a second calling as a modern day guillotine. If you don’t believe me watch the move – Final Destination 3, I’ll say no more on that front.

So far I’ve done yoga, and a spin class, which tallying it up now sounds pretty lame, but considering the most exercise I ever did prior to a week ago was holding the door open for a tailgater in my apartment block, then I’m doing quite well, don’t you think?

Next up is barre and Afrobeats, the dancer truly truly lost within me will be be buzzing for these. I better bring my sweatbands. Wish me luck………….

How Important Is Your Health?

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The answers is yes, if you don’t have a screw loose, but if this is the answer then why do so many of us struggle to keep the gym routine in check, or even have one to begin with?

How often should you really go to the gym?

It’s  a shame to say it but yes, I skip leg day! And every other day that involves strenuous exercise! Although the truth must be told, when I’m in the mood to willingly work up a sweat I do ask myself the same questions -‘ how often do I need to go’ and ‘at what time of the day is best?’

Let’s have science pull their weight on this one:

How often do I need to go?

The obvious response here would be to say ‘how fit do you want to be?’ But there’s more to it than that, studies have shown that it takes approximately 2 weeks of inactivity to start to lose your cardio fitness and 3 weeks to start losing muscle strength.

So with all this inactivity making your Summer body fade in a heartbeat, what really is the minimum amount of exercise us lazy sods can get away with to still maintain that body of a Greek God? Well, the general consensus seems to be at approx 2 – 3 days a week. With 41 per cent of Britons aged 40-60 failing to walk for even ten minutes a month according to the independent even this seems like a stretch! The report also states that training 3 times a week is a good aim to have when your goal is to stay fit and healthy, and not necessarily to become Dwayne ‘The Rock’ Johnson.

What time of the day is best to workout?

There’s this idea that working out in the morning on an empty stomach will boost energy levels and promote weight loss, others believe an evening session will be more beneficial at it gives time for your body to naturally warm up throughout the day and so be ready for the routine come evening.

Once I heard about these two theories it made me even more torn on which is best to choose. This video below gives alot of great variables and actually mentions how muscle growth is slightly increased on a consistent evening workout as oppose to that during  the morning.

But I think the best answer is the following – “the best time to work out is the time you’re most likely to work out.” The words of Chris Jordan, an exercise physiologist who created the Johnson & Johnson 7 minute workout

And to add to that – doing any sort of activity being low, moderate or high is still better than doing none, if not for physical health then mental health in my opinion.

Tough Mudder – Let The Torture Continue

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I’m back, fingers are well and truly rested, unlike my body which is still covered in bruises and scratches from that fateful day. Anyhow, onto the next obstacle, eh?

Obstacle 7: Prepare To Drown

As if crawling through a tunnel the width of a straw wasn’t unbearable enough in the last obstacle, we now had to fully submerge ourselves in murky water and swim under 4 consecutive horizontal pipes. They certainly weren’t conservative with the width of these I can tell you that. Trying to weakly swim under each one felt like an eternity, another millisecond longer and I would’ve needed scuba gear or a lawyer for suing purposes!

~ ~~jog jog jog about half a mile ~~~

Obstacle 8: Is Your Log Bigger Than Mine?

It was time to buddy up and start doing a bit of slave labour in the form of hauling a big mighty fallen oak trunk up a hilly field. Working in threes worked well, I was at the back and was substantially shorter than the other two. Result = a log as light as a feather.

~~~walk walk walk about half a mile~~~

Obstacle 9: The Devil’s Beard

A rather cute term for what looks like a fisherman’s net sprawled across the side of the hill. All you had to do was crawl under it to the top, quite a fun little exercise in baking degree heat.

~~~walk walk walk about half a mile~~~

Obstacle 10: The Wall Of No Return

If there was anywhere on the course to croak it at, here was the obstacle you could atleast leave us with your head held high. For this was no match for man, woman nor beast. The wooden wall dominated the mountain top, grown men fell from its neck-breaking heights,  at such an altitude I swear I could hear someone scream they’d just burst an eardrum. It’s safe to say this obstacle had me by my metaphorical balls. No Fosbury Flop was getting me over this beast let me assure you. So deforming someone else’s skull worked the trick as I catapulted my wispy body from the springboard of a rather frustrated looking chap. Who I’m forever grateful too. If you’re reading this now I thank you and would be partially willing to donate to your gofundme hair transplant campaign thanks to my srambling footwork on your head now leaving your once thick luscious locks without an owner.

~~walk walk crawl about half a mile weep ~

Obstacle 11: The Playground

Bringing us all back to the swings and roundabouts days, here we were faced with clambering up a meshwork of rope lattices in a rather ungainly manner. It paid off if you have big feet in this one, they’re less likely to fall through the gaps in the lattices and secondly good for kicking off the sloths of the challenge so you could get two feet back on solid ground as quickly as possible. (NB: I do not endorse (intense)  violence)).

~~~weep weep sprint to the Goddamn finish~

Obstacle 12: The End Is Nigh

I could almost smell the sweaty bodied finish line as I tripped into a trench full of murky scummy water, only to baptismally arise to see a non-grip slope which needed more than someone’s head to lunge off  to get to the tippy top of. So what’s the alternative – 2 heads! Thank God my brain was still functioning by this stage of the course and my team managed to form a human pyramid and not a human centipede. And with this we clambered to the top of the ledge with enough time to take in the chaos that had just unfolded!

**P.S. I think I missed one obstacle out, sorry blame the concussion. Look our for pictures in the coming weeks of the event, I’ll be uploading soon!

So I think the moral of the story is if you’d like a few battle scars and a lifetime of trauma jam-packed into 90 minutes then take on Tough Mudder!