Summer 2014: My Super Strength Challenge

In the last 4 weeks since the Skye half marathon, I’ve increased the amount of strength training I’ve been doing, and I’ve changed what I eat.

It’s still far from ideal, but I’m eating a large breakfast of berries and Greek yoghurt (so I’m stuffed for HOURS!), then home prepared chicken salad for lunch and I’ve been trying to eat well most of the time (apart for the odd ice cream… oops).

I have to say, I don’t think my food has been quite right (I’ve been craving sugar in the evenings) – but with a few tweaks here and there, should sort that – more protein throughout the day specifically.

I’ve been running 3-4 times a week and strength training 1-2 times a week. Weighing myself daily in my Withings Wifi scales, I’ve been aiming to lose body fat, and here’s the results:

18/6 – 128.5, 26.5%, 34lbs fat
73.5% lean mass, 94.5 lbm

20/7 – 128.9, 24.2%, 31lbs fat
76.8% lean mass, 98.9 lbm

So that’s down -3lbs fat, and up +4.4lbs lbm in 4 weeks.

An increase in overall weight by 0.4lbs.

If you look at my weight graph over the last month, it’s not too impressive. Up, down, up. :-/

It’s the body fat % chart, and the downwards trend line on that, that looks good. It’s not always the number on the scale that’s important, but the fat and lean mass / body composition. 🙂

So even though my good could have been better, and my training has been kind of on and off. I’ve still managed to shift 3lbs of fat, and gain over 4lbs of lean body mass!

Now for the next phase:

SUPER STRENGTH CHALLENGE
I’ve got around 10 weeks til we go to San Diego on holiday and I’m bridesmaid at my friends wedding just before that. So now is a good time to get into good shape.

I’ll do it by eating well, and focussing on strength training with running ticking over in the background. I’ll do my training in 4 weeks blocks and reassess after each.

If I’m honest, the last 4 weeks, although I’ve got results, I’ve kind if been playing at it, and haven’t really been focussing that much. I’ve been a bit lazy and had a few extra rest days, and a few extra ice creams and food I didn’t need.

STRENGTH TRAINING
Now it’s time to up the strength work, for the next 4 weeks and see what happens. Compound movements, intense hard workouts, weights getting progressively heavier.

Strength will be simple 3 times a week (unless I’m sore!) and running will happen alongside it. This next week will be a little bit different as I have the TR24 at the end of it…

…apart from that, I’ll aim to strength train Monday, Wednesday, Friday. Cardio on Tuesdays, Thursdays and either Saturday or Sunday. Rest either sat or sun.

Here are my strength workouts I’ll do:

Monday: at home workout

Wednesday: in gym (or at home) workout

Friday: at home workout

Or I might swap that one for a high intensity circuits workout of:

And I might do a gym strength workout like Lift It instead of one of my own workouts.

NUTRITION
The plan for my food will be to stock up on protein through out the day and drink plenty of water too. Carbs before / after a workout.

Plenty of colourful nutritious food. If in doubt, I’ll think natural foods instead of processed foods. Again, this weekend will be a bit out, with travelling and camping, but I’ll do my best to make good choices and be as prepared as I can be.

Here’s what I’ll be eating:

Pre workout: Banana hard gainer protein shake. (Or half a banana).

Breakfast: Berries, nuts, Total breakfast & Greek yoghurt. Black coffee.
(Or scrambled eggs etc).

Lunch: Chicken (or fish) salad box with a hard boiled egg, cucumber, tomato, flaked almond, extra virgin olive oil dressing.

Dinner: one of:
Soup and salad.
Meat / fish and veg.
Eggs.
Chilli mince with whole meal rice.
Baked sweet potato with tuna.

Snacks: (2-3 max a day).
11am, 3pm (& 5pm if exercising in the evening).
Red grapes and cheese.
Banana protein shake.
Hard boiled egg.
Banana (before exercise).
Low fat cottage cheese on oat cakes.
9 bar.
Nuts.
Green tea (after dinner rather than ICE CREAM!)
Occasional couple squares of dark chocolate after dinner if I’m really craving it!

I’ve ditched my lattes and my mars bars, and am aiming to have good healthy choices instead. Food prep will be the cornerstone of me sticking to it – so I’m prepared and not tempted to eat crap in work. And I’ll make good choices if out for dinner too.

SLEEP
I’ll so be aiming to get at least 8 hours sleep a night. So with a wake up time of 6am, that means a strict in bed rule of 930pm… and in the land of nod by 10pm, fingers crossed.

I’ve been struggling with this lately, and although I’ve been getting to sleep ok, and sleeping ok, I’m probably not getting enough sleep and am feeling it. (And catching up at the weekends!)

It might sound a bit restrictive, but I know if I don’t get enough sleep, getting up is hard, so I need to nail my sleep too.

Strength, food and sleep. 3 things to focus on for the next 4 weeks. Let’s see how I go and what the results are. 🙂 I wonder if I’ll stay the same, if my body fat will reduce or not. If my weight will go down or not?

I’ll continue to weigh myself daily, just as a measure and to make my pretty pink graphs above go on for longer. 😉 Body fat % and body fat loss, will be the focus (not weight).

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