Back when I was fresh out of university (also annoyingly unemployed) my first proper fitness journey began. I joined a local gym. I had guidance from a warrior of a woman who gave me programmes that guaranteed I wouldn’t slack off. It helped immensely that every two weeks she would weigh and measure me and go into detail about what was happening to my body. I never started with the intention of being skinnier so my tailored workouts had the desired result of converting some fat to muscle while keeping me pretty much the same weight. I was in there four times a week while I also attended a level 5 FETAC business course in order to up my job prospects. I felt like I had a tiny bit of the Wonder Woman fantasy in my grasp.
After a year and a bit things started to fall apart. My trainer began to cancel appointments sporadically. Adding onto this, I managed to bag myself a job in retail. Although thankful for the job, my motivation suffered. I was never off the same days in a week and working shifts of 12 hours around Christmas really took it out of me. I tried to go in the evenings but found them far too busy and the atmosphere far too territorial. The nail on the coffin really was when my trainer left. After a while I bit the bullet and asked somebody else to help me but it just wasn’t the same. They didn’t go into half as much detail or put in as much effort as the other trainer. I had it far too good before!
Cut to now and I am long out of the gym scene. I am also (thankfully) a couple of months out of that awful retail job. Unfortunately I have swapped standing for 8 or 12 hours of the day doing physical work for sitting working and commuting for 11 hours. So, I decided a few weeks ago that something had to be done, even if it would only help me to readjust my energy levels. I took the knowledge I picked up while training and made up my own personal 5 week programme.
Like, do you even lift bro if you don’t announce it to the internet?
Day 1 – Ab-ocalypse:
The first day consisted of an ab programme that mimicked one I had previously. The layout of the workout it quite simple, 10 different exercises at 20 reps each. Then you repeat that four times to make that a grand total of only 800 reps. I will admit that two of the exercises I chose were two types of planks, so I’m not quite doing 800. I got all of my exercise choices from the extremely informative The Women’s Health Big Book of Exercises (Easons €27.99) which also comes in a Men’s Health format. I had my Excel spreadsheet printed out on the wall, ready for sweaty old me to tick off as I finished a set. For my first day back, I definitely set myself a challenge. I was lucky though, the ab cramps didn’t set in until two whole days later.
Day 2 – Actual Apocalypse
I’m no runner but for some reason I paid for the yearly subscription of Zombies, Run! (€27.49) on iOS (the base app is free). It was a very humid day so my aversion to running did not fare well. It was more of a “Zombies, walk really fast until you might do a little running.” Saying that, I had a great time with it. I began with the episode section of the app and found myself completely immersed in the story being relayed to me through my earphones. Hearing that I was picking up items every so often was also very effective in motivating me to carry on. I figured I might be sticking to the intervals of running for the foreseeable future so made the decision to turn on the zombie chases on my next venture. I set the mission for 30 minutes but had not ended up back home at the end so there was a few tweaks I had to make for the next run.
Track that made me walk fast and furious: Ann-Marie – Alarm
Day 3 – Zombies, Where?
I still hadn’t figured stuff out on my second outing with Zombies, Run!. I set up zombie chases but didn’t pay enough attention to the automatic frequency setting of 3 per hour which of course is terrible for a half hour episode. That meant I spent even more time walking just in case I would have to run away from a horde. It was quite comical really. I went from saving my energy to desperately trying to run sections with pedestrian crossings in case I got devoured while waiting for the lights to change. If anyone around knew what was going on in my head they would judge, harshly. It was an epic outing however, as I got caught in a torrential rain shower. There was no danger of zombies, but I did have to leap over drain covers so I wouldn’t slip and break my neck in real life. I have to give it to the zombie horde though, they showed up just as I stopped my session on the app.
Totally appropriate apocalypse track: Tinie Tempah – Girls Like ft. Zara Larsson
Day 4 – Buttercup, She’s the Toughest Fighter
For the final day of my programme I looked to one of my favourite websites, Darebee. It is a treasure trove of workouts, meal plans, exercise RPGs (yes you read that) and daily challenges. Best of all, most workouts are equipment free and inspired by everyone’s favourite figures in pop culture. You want to train like Goku? You can train like Goku. With much consideration I went for one of my favourites, Buttercup from the Powerpuff Girls. I really went for it and did the 7 sets which Darebee mark as the hardest difficulty for that workout. I can tell you, 350 knee strikes is no joke.
A Riot Grrrl Spotify playlist saved my life: Le Tigre – Deceptacon
T-Shirt of the Week