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Fitness Lifestyle

What I Learnt In A 4-Week Fitness Challenge

My immediate reactions when I’m under stress are to plan for every outcome relentlessly and to binge eat. When my state asked us to work from home where possible to stop the spread of COVID-19, I knew that I would be quickly developing an intimate relationship with my fridge. I decided that I needed a plan for how I would head off this bad habit before it got out of control. Much Instagram inspiration convinced me that while I was at home in relative isolation it would be the perfect time to do a fitness challenge.

I signed up for Real Life Health and Fitness’s 4-week Body Blast (this is not a sponsored post). Tyler from RLHF is famous for his no BS insta-rants and for crafting some of the best peaches in the UK. I won’t be talking too much about the logistics of the program, that’s Tyler’s IP, but here is what I learned over the four weeks:

Spend time choosing your trainer and program!

There are so many options out there for online trainers so doing your research is unbelievably important. The last thing you want to do is drop serious cash on advice from an Instagram influencer who got a BBL and thinks that qualifies them to write a 21-day program.

I went with Tyler from Real Life Health and Fitness’s online program for two reasons.

The first is that RLHF already had online programs before COVID-19, this wasn’t a rushed program that they threw together to appease their client base or to profit from the lockdown, this was a considered program that had been trialled and perfected through other online clients.

The second is that Tyler is not f*cking around! You pay serious money for his programs, and he expects you to commit to them fully – both the fitness and nutrition portions. The RLHF socials are a mix of inspirational before and afters, free workouts and nutritional advice, and some iconic rants. In every one of the posts the team are consistent with their messaging, hard work is the only thing that will get you where you want to go.

Sign up with a buddy

Brother-sister pre-workout Zoom chats

I have a younger brother; he is super fit and has loved exercising his whole life. We do not have this in common. I told him I was doing this challenge, and like the legend he is, he joined me via zoom for every single session and did the workouts with me (sorry, Tyler – I know this is cheeky).

This extra layer of accountability was a game-changer. I found myself making a conscious effort to do every single workout because I knew Matt would know I’d missed one, and I wasn’t going to be shamed by my baby-brother.

Stop measuring your results on a scale

At the start of the program, you take a heap of measurements of yourself, take before pics, write down goals, do a fitness test and start to track your weight.

Throughout the program, I found myself ignoring any other metric for success and getting increasingly frustrated by the lack of movement on the scale. Despite the fact that I was sneaking sour patch lollies and skiving off in the high knees rounds, I felt like I should have made more weightloss progress and was being a big baby about it (I’m rolling my eyes at myself too).

It wasn’t until my trainer pointed out other progress that I had made that I realised how much I was invalidating my efforts by focussing solely on my weight, and I started to measure my progress more on the fitness test results.

I ended up weighing more in my after picture, but you can see the progress I made in four weeks. I had signed up for a fitness program but was treating it like a weightloss program.

I do not eat enough protein

The volume of protein required on the nutrition plan was an absolute shock; I had been a contented homeowner in carb-city and the transition was rough.

RLHF provide cookbooks when you start the program, and it made a big difference to be still able to eat tacos or make pancakes and feel completely guilt-free.

Since finishing the challenge, I’ve surprised myself with how many of the meals I’ve continued to make. This program gave me opportunities to understand what my body needed and why, so that I could make better choices for myself moving forward.

Overall

I had a fantastic experience doing this program. It was a great distraction and an excellent way to feel a sense of control over my life during a period of uncertainty. Despite how sore I was every damn day, I learnt a lot about myself. I developed better eating habits, became so much stronger and even got to chat with my brother four times a week.

This post isn’t sponsored. I paid for this program myself. I just want to reiterate that Tyler and the Real Life team were absolute champions, I would highly recommend looking into their programs and the fantastic work they did with NHS workers over the UK lockdown period!

Want more? Click here for Ten Of Our Fave Fitness Pieces To Up Your Fitness Game and here for Three Inspiring Tips For Exercising Indoors.

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