Monday, 23 June 2014

A Plum's guide to exercise boot camp

The days that Ed Sheeran decides to bring out new albums should be deemed as a national holiday. I'm not going to say much more than that, as I'm saving it for Friday, but once again the Sheeran has left me a crumpled mess with his musical genius. Is he actually capable of writing a bad song? The answer to that question is no... no he is not.

In other news, sorry I didn't do a Fancy Things Friday last week. Father, who normally resides in Ireland, surprised me by being in the country with a break in his day for lunch. As such, he came down to my area of work and we had dinner! Huzzah, free food!! As mentioned before, my lunchtime is usually the only time that I have to write these blogs. Especially now, as I'm spending all my evenings in the gym at the mo...

Did I mention that I've lost 6 pounds in 2 weeks? Hells yeah. The other day, I even tried the dress on again and I'm so close to fitting into that shizzle.

As exciting as it all sounds, I'm struggling to see it today. On Saturday, One-And-Only-Daniela and I managed to spend over 4 hours in the gym. In amongst that time, I met with my trainer (whom I shall simply call Trainer) who gave me a new regime and then offered to give both myself and One-And-Only-Daniela a half hour 'boot camp'.

Now, I've never taken part in a boot camp of any kind before. Mainly because it looks like hard work and a lot of people shouting at you whilst you sweat and cry and pray for the moment it is over. Some people respond well to that, although it's not exactly my idea of a good time. However, he sort of sprung it on us last minute, and we were positioned just outside a yoga class, so I know that he wouldn't be able to shout at us too loudly. As such, in some bizarre moment of insanity, I agreed to the torture.

Okay, now if you ever find yourself in a situation where you are signed up for a boot camp type session, let me explain to you a few tips on the survival of this, whilst also keeping some part of your dignity...

1. If a person asks you to do a certain exercise and you don't really understand what that exercise is, don't try and work it out for yourself... ask. 

So Trainer brings over little plastic steps and promptly announced that we were going to start the session with an exercise called 'Burpies.' I, not knowing what these were, immediately started to allow my imagination to run wild. Suddenly, I found myself getting excited that there was a possibility of losing weight and exercising just in the simple act of letting air escape my mouth. Now, I know that I am technically a lady and so society deems it impolite for me to do this, but let me tell you, I drink copious amounts of Pepsi Max, like stupid quantities. As such, the need to burp does tend to come to me frequently. Not only that, but it is such a satisfying feeling to burp sometimes, I can't help but enjoy it. I do tend to limit my work burps to a quiet ladylike release, and save all my awesome manly belches for alone time in my room.

All that being said, when the trainer suggested this, I immediately began to wonder why it was that this was going to be a boot camp. I was certainly going to sail through this first exercise with flying colours. I was just about to excuse myself to replace my bottle of water with a fizzy drink, so as add more oomph to the exercise and really sail forward as teacher's pet, when I spotted One-And-Only-Daniela groan and bend over to touch the step. I briefly wondered if this was a new method of burping that I hadn't heard of but suddenly realised that this wasn't the case as she jumped backwards, forwards, stood up straight and jumped on the step, then back down again.

It was at this point that I decided to ask Trainer to explain to me what a burpie was. He did, and let me tell you this, it is a little bit more strenuous than letting out a good belch.

2. Do NOT gloat/look smug about how well you are doing until you are aware of all the exercises you will be asked to do.

We did about 15 minutes of cardio type exercises to start off with. I have to admit, I lasted quite well with these, having spent almost every day doing cardio workouts for 2 1/2 weeks. I had the edge on One-And-Only-Daniela at this point. I tried not to gloat, and certainly didn't say anything out loud, mainly on account of the fact that an angry One-And-Only-Daniela terrifies me, and if we were to fight, she would totally win. Having said that, I couldn't help but allow a small smug smile on my face. Mainly because One-And-Only-Daniela is a hell of a lot thinner and generally fitter than I, so to deal with these exercises a little better than she could felt quite good.

Needless to say, One-And-Only-Daniela did notice the smug look on my face as I sailed through these exercises. She promptly asked if there would be mat work after that, and my face shortly lost its smugness. Now, I know what you're thinking, mat work sounds a hell of a lot easier. All that lying on the ground and stretching etc... maybe so, but let me tell you this, my abs and general stomach area is, quite simply, broken. It has ceased to work. One-And-Only-Daniela, on the other hand, does daily ab exercises and is the queen of these exercises. The last 15 minutes were all mat based.

One-And-Only-Daniela jumped down, all excited about what was to come, and I simply threw a withered look at Trainer and warned him that this would not go well for me. He threw me an encouraging smile, and said that he was sure it wouldn't be as bad as that... he was proved wrong.

3. When you are having a session one-to-one or two-to-one, there is no chance of hiding in the back of the class during the boot camp and pretending you're doing the exercises, whilst really having a little nap every time Trainer turns their back on you. 

Trainer was generally nice to me throughout this whole ab workout. There was a little bit of "Come on Lisa! How are you going to fit into that dress if you don't do the exercises?" and "Stop being a wuss and start working, Daniela's doing it!" But generally, he recognised that my physique wasn't quite on par with One-And-Only-Daniela's and so deviated towards helping me out a little bit more.

Looking back, I didn't totally suck on the exercises as a whole. I generally managed to do the excruciating 3 sets of 15 of crunches, double crunches, side twists and others, however, it was the last exercise that broke me.

Basically he gave us both a round bag each that we had to hug to ourselves  whilst laying on the floor (so far, so good). From this position, we then had to hoist ourselves up to a sitting position and back down again... 15 times... x3... ahem.

To say I struggled with this task would be an understatement. In actual fact after he yelled 'go' at us, One-And-Only-Daniela was up and back down again before I had managed to work out how to move a single muscle. It was as if my entire body had ceased to work. My brain was sending signals down to the rest of me to move, but my head appeared to be the only thing that knew how to comply. It wasn't that it hurt so I didn't want to do it, no... I couldn't physically do it. My body just said no.

Trainer tried to help. He placed his feet over mine to keep my bottom half levered down, but nothing would happen. On top of this, he tried (and failed) to keep a straight face as my own face strained and scrunched and contorted in my attempts to simply sit up. Eventually, he leaned forward and held onto my arm, pulling me up into a sitting position... even with this, the whole thing still hurt like a sonofabitch. But I managed it... probably about 3 times... all with his help pulling me up.

After One-And-Only-Daniela had finished her 15 and I had done my highly impressive 3, Trainer threw me a withered look and shook his head sadly.

"Looks like I'm going to have to get you the Pink Bag." He said, taking away the 'grown up' bag from me. He came back with a much smaller bag, all cute and pink, and weighing half the amount the previous one had.

A small part of me wanted to feel ashamed, especially as One-And-Only-Daniela was now laughing heartily at me and muttering something about how I now had the wimpy 'girly' bag, however I was too knackered to care and just wanted the whole experience to be over. At least with this one, I would have a fighting chance of keeping up with One-And-Only-Daniela... I had never been so wrong. All that this meant was that the ridicule and disbelief over my non-functioning body just got bigger.

I laid back down and attempted to sit up once more. Once more, my body laughed heartily at the notion, incidentally causing the rest of me to go into a state of hysteria where I now couldn't stop laughing at the ridiculousness of not being able to do this very simple task. Once again, Trainer had to stand on my feet and pull me up to sitting position. He attempted at one point to let go midway up, but my body just simply fell backwards in defeat. It was around this point that he looked down at me with a look of sheer dismay.

"This is completely ridiculous. How are you not able to sit up? Everyone can sit up on their own, babies can sit up on their own."

"I told you my abs were broken!" I responded. "They have been cushioned underneath a nice blanket of fat for so long, they've become lethargic and lazy."

One-And-Only-Daniela by this point, was probably on her 5th set of 15 and laughing my struggled attempts. Once the whole ordeal was over, she asked to borrow the pink bag, as she wanted to see what I struggled with. She took it and did another 15 easily.

"Lisa! It's like holding air!"

"My abs are broken!" I shouted, once again. Why was no one listening to me when I said that?

Guys, I think you can all safely guess that I hurt a lot today. I hurt a lot yesterday and still went to the gym. Although we both only lasted about an hour and a half that time. I slept for 13 hours on Saturday night, and still felt as if I hadn't slept in a week at the gym on Sunday. But it's starting to show on me now, which is awesome. 4 1/2 weeks to go... maybe by that point I'll be able to sit up without any help at all... it's the dream.

Peace out my lovelies

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