Throughout the first six months of this year my health and fitness has really declined. With lecturing in five units at uni and part-time employment at the NTIS, along with trying to be at home for my family and keep my business running, I just haven't had time to look after myself. In fact, I've put on weight and am actually heavier than I've ever been.
Holly, my fiancé, has gone away for two weeks. That means I'm solely responsible for cooking, cleaning and looking after four children and a teenager on my own. It will be the longest I've had to do this for. But a disruption to many of your usual daily routines can be an opportune time to create new ones. So I'm going to spend the next two weeks putting into practice what I know about routines and habits to get back on track with my health and fitness.
Here we go...
DAY 1 – Monday, July 3rd
Alright... Day 1. I'm going for a 15 min run/walk around the block. I need to start with some walking because it's been a while since I've been for a non-stop run.
All done. It was easier and more enjoyable than I thought. The weather was really nice for 9am. That's because I didn't push myself. I've had to change that habit from sport. Fitness and exercise should be enjoyable. I walked at the start, once at about the 2k mark and again at the end in what was about a 3.5k loop. Muscular wise I felt fine. Probably because I've been doing the odd strength exercise demsonstrating exercises at the NTIS or playing with the kids. I felt like my weakness at about the 2/3 mark when I walked was because of my heart and lungs. They're not used to that continuous higher workload 😆 poor things. That's why I always like swimming 🏊🏼 to supplement any exercise regime.
For me, I've got my fortnightly massage appointment this afternoon. I was going to do some strength training but I hate doing anything physical after a massage so I'm going to have a stretch about mid afternoon before my appointment. The benefits of stretching for weight loss are great too. It's far too often forgotten.
DAY 2 – Tuesday, July 4th
I'm about to go for my run this morning. I'm going to take the anatomy of habit modification and use it to my advantage. Even though I'm starting a few levels up for what I would suggest someone new to exercise do, I'm still using the same system.
Today I'm going to start running earlier in my run. Yesterday I walked for about the first 500m. Today I'm going to walk for 250m. It's about continuing on what I've done and add just a touch to it. It's similar to the cessation of a habit.
I'm still going to let myself walk any time I feel like it to reduce the pressure I put on myself mentally, which should slightly grease the slide for tomorrow.
I was really surprised with my run this morning. I didn't have to walk once. That's not a comment that I'm so deadly. I just felt it and kept going because I was feeling good and enjoyed it. If I wasn't enjoying it, I would have walked. At this stage of the journey, my intention is to ensure I'm enjoying it as much as possible. I want to have a good experience.
I did what I set out to in the beginning and started running after about 250m. I did stop a bit before I intended though because my right knee started to hurt. The side of my thigh was tight I think and that's normal because this is new again for me. If I had've pushed it I might have got real tight or even worse hurt myself. I was near the end so I walked in (only about an extra 100m) and I feel good now for choosing to do that.
I'll post or maybe even Facebook Live my strength workout this afternoon. You can join me if you like and I'll offer suggestions for modifications if you ask.
Chest and upper back
10x Scapula Depressions
10x Dumbbell Pullovers
10x Bent Over Rows
10x Single Arm Supine Chest Press with Kettlebell
DAY 3 – Wednesday, July 5th
I forgot to post that I was about to go for a run before I left this morning. That's because I was on the phone to my partner, Holly, who is having surgery today. I ended up talking for the whole first half of the run and when I got off the phone, I was surprised at how far I'd gone without realising it.
I consider my sport running and when I'm in the routine, I love it as a form of physical activity. But I've never (ever) talked on the phone while I've run. I can't believe it. I think I'm going to recommend anyone who is new to exercise, who wants to walk or run, to talk on their phone to their best friend (if they have no one to go with them). Even though I was out of breath a bit, mentally (and even physically) it was so easy. I went so far without realising it.
I did have heavy lower legs though and I really noticed this when I got off the phone. I was prepared for that but, because I know after 2-3 days is when you feel it if you've been exercising at a sensible rate (not flogging yourself on day 1).
I felt really good though (maybe from talking to Holly) and ran the whole way quite easily. Tomorrow might be different because that's 3 days under my belt and this afternoon I'm doing a leg strength workout.
Leg Strength Workout:
3x10 Goblet Squats
3x10 SL RDL's
3x10 Suitcase Squats
3x10 DL Bridges
3x10 Reverse Lunges
3x10 KB Swings
DAY 4 – Thursday, July 6th
About to go for my run and as I expected, I'm feeling heavy, tired and a little sore. I'm going to copy what I did on day 1, which was to walk the first 500m or so. That's takes me to the top of a little hill from our house. I'm going to let myself walk whenever I feel like it today. I'm ok with it if I walk half. I actually considered not doing my run today and catching it up on Saturday (I was going to use the weekend to recover). I understand recovery is the most important part of fitness (it's where the results happen) and not running today would have been ok. I don't see that as being weak. But I want to keep adding action to create the habit.
So... I walked the first 600m and then started running 🏃🏻😳😬 It felt like I had a 30kg pack on!!! The first 20m was the hardest but I ran for just under a kilometre and then walked probably about 100m. I wanted to change my playlist from rap to dance and it takes mental toughness to do that while running.
Mental toughness is something you can run out of during the day and I didn't feel like I had a lot this morning.
I put on a song I really like at the moment, https://itun.es/au/eTDecb?i=1108466614, and that got me going really well. Music is so powerful and such a great motivator. I was running downhill from about halfway through the song (that loop I've been doing, whether it's one way or the other, is uphill towards the start and downhill towards the end) so that helped.
I put on another song I like at the moment, https://itun.es/au/2uzVfb?i=1170052509; it was a bit fast but spurred me on and I didn't want to stop running. I actually felt so good towards the end that I picked up the pace for the last 150m and finished feeling really proud and happy.
Four down. When you look back after having not done it for so long, it feels like a real accomplishment.
Biceps & Triceps Strength Workout:
1. Bicep Curls
3. Hammer Curls
4. S/A Tricep Push Ups
5. EZ Bar Curls w/ DB's
6. Supine Tricep Extension
DAY 5 – Friday, July 7th
The final run for the week! 😬😃
I started running at the end of the street, which is about 200m and I ran the whole way. I felt extremely heavy in the beginning and like my hamstrings were going to snap 😅 That's just the DOMS from the strength workout on Wednesday. They loosened up and by the 2k mark I was in a good rhythm.
I decided to play my song, Drinkee, towards the end of the run this time, when I knew I had about 4 minutes left. It worked a treat because I got real excited and finished off pretty strong. I ran a fair bit harder for the last 500m.
As you can see, I got 20:00 minutes to the second. I realised I was a chance of finishing under 20 minutes towards the end of the run, when I was about to stop and walk in, which would have been about 100m out. I decided to run a bit more and walked only the last 20m. Even that 20m walk was pretty quick because I wanted to go through the gate under 20 😂
I contemplated throughout the week changing my route up but I decided against it because I wanted to let my mind and body familiarise with this route. If I had've keep it guessing too much, it would have become harder. Variety is important though so now that I've done 5 runs around this route, I'll run a different route next week.
Leg Power Workout
3x10 O/H Squats
3x10 Bulgarian Split Squats
3x10 Box Jumps
3x10 Calf Raises
3x10 Split Squat Jumps
DAY 6 – Saturday, July 8th
DAY 7 – Sunday, July 9th
DAY 8 – Monday, July 10th
Alright, let's do this! Time to go for a run again.
Even after only a week, it's starting to feel a bit like a routine. Although, it would still be easy to not go and slip out of it.
I'm changing my route slightly this morning and I think this way will be a little longer. I'll still take the same direction in the beginning but at about a third of the way I'm going to go in the opposite direction and do a loop that way back to my house.
I'm not sure if I'm excited or dreading this run. The full moon has wreaked havoc on my life for the past 3 nights. I'm trying to get energy but life has been tough over these last 3 nights.
I'll set the goal to walk this morning and any running is a bonus.
So that run was longer as I thought. One km longer.
I walked for the first 800m and was over walking by that stage so I started to run. As I said pre-run, I was willing to walk as much as I wanted to get back into it. I believe it's important to take a step back to start the second week. So essentially, 5 steps forward, 1 step back in order to develop a strong foundation.
I didn't feel the need (or want) to walk again though and I ran the whole way home. It took a bit of self control to stop myself from speeding up when I played a suggested playlist from Apple Music titled, Essential Motivational Songs, https://itunes.apple.com/…/idpl.72c2346eb4e4475eb24b9a06d4d…. I felt like I needed to throw a couple air punches like Rocky as if I was in training for an upcoming title fight 😂
The new route was a bit uncomfortable mentally. That's just because it's new and I didn't know what to expect. Familiarity builds confidence. I'm going to do what I did last week and commit to running it every day this week so my mind and body become familiar with it. I reckon it'll start feeling familiar after Wednesday.
Chest & Back Strength Workout:
3x10 Scapula Depressions
3x15 Push Ups
3x15 Horizontal Rows
3x10 Pullovers (12kg KB)
3x10 Back Fly's (5kgs DBs)
3x10 1/2 Hundu Push Ups
DAY 9 – Tuesday, July 11th
This morning's run... 🏃🏻
4 mins off of yesterday. That wasn't the plan. I never intended to try and run any faster but I ran the whole way and never felt like stopping. At about the 3km mark I did start to feel a bit heavy but it wasn't too bad. I focussed on other things and it wasn't an issue.
Have you heard of the marshmallow experiment in psychology? If not, I might do a Facebook Live in my Facebook group to explain it.
I'm really feeling like I'm getting back into it and it almost feels like a habit. I wake up and I feel like I want to run.
Do you know how long it takes to create a habit? Leave your answer in the comments.
Leg Power Workout:
3x20 Split Squat Jumps
3x10 Box Jumps
3x10 JG Glute Bridges
3x10 Squats w/ Horizontal Press
3x10 Broad Jumps
3x10 S/L Romanian Deadlifts
10x Hanging Leg Raises
30x Oblique V-Ups
50x Russian Twists
DAY 10 – Wednesday, July 12th
Ahrrr...😞time for a run. I'm feeling really tired and sore this morning. I really don't want to go. Today is my rest day from the strength exercises but I wanted to run every weekday. I'm going to go for a walk because I know that will make me feel better, more awake, more alive and reduce the soreness. I know I'll run at some point but I'm going to tell myself I'll walk for as long as I like because I don't want to put too much pressure on myself and lose the motivation. I need to keep this enjoyable.
I walked for 850m to start this morning -- the longest I've walked for in any of these runs. I only got going because I didn't want to regret not running by the end.
It was a physical struggle the whole way. Mentally, I was pretty tired but it wasn't a mental struggle in a weird way. I remember telling myself to put one foot in front of the other at about the 2.5km mark -- not because I wanted to stop -- more because on each step I felt quite unco from the DOMS of the last 2 days.
I kept reminding myself that I had permission to stop if I wanted to but in an uncanny way, I didn't want to stop because with every step I took, I felt like I loosened up just that little bit more.
While I was quite sore physically, I felt really strong, particularly towards the end when I loosened up a bit. I think the way I set myself up in week one has been a massive reason I'm still going and feeling like I'm doing so well.
I ran all the way in to home and while I'm still a bit sore, tight and tired, I feel much, much better than I did before.
DAY 11 – Thursday, July 13th
As I was changing brain waves this morning (waking up) 😜 I was in a bargaining phase trying to convince myself I didn't have to go for a run.
Once I finally woke up, I'd convinced myself I didn't have to go, and I didn't even feel guilty about it.
A funny thing happened.
My mindset shifted.
As soon as I got out of bed, I actually wanted to go.
So here I go 🏃🏻
Only 2 more runs!
Here's this mornings run 🏃🏻
I walked the first 600m and when I started running, my knees felt like what I imagine them to feel like at 80 😳 They warmed up though and all was good 😊
At the 2.5km mark it stared getting tough (really weird that it's been a similar story at that point every day this week on this route). Today it was mostly my hip flexors that were heavy. I considered walking but I thought I'd try something else instead.
Instead of walking, I thought I'd put on a real upbeat song that I like and see how I felt. I chose this one, https://itun.es/au/C9fSG?i=548429680.
It worked a treat. Not only did I feel good and want to keep running, I got a spring to my step and started running tall again. I felt inspired.
I followed that up with another good, upbeat song I enjoy, https://itun.es/au/TBel7?i=992757591. By then I was less than a km from home and I was in an inspired frame of mind to finish off running.
One more run to go!
Biceps & Triceps Strength Workout:
3x10 Biceps Curls
3x15 Dips (on a box)
3x10 Hammer curls
3x10 S/A Tricep Push Ups
3x10 EZ Curls
3x10 Supine Tricep Extensions
DAY 12 – Friday, July 14th
The final run! 🏃🏻
Did pretty good on this one. My lower back and glutes were real heavy and a little tight from the 2k mark (about the same spot as every other day this week).
The strength I've developed over the past 2 weeks meant I felt strong enough to keep running and the cardiovascular fitness I've got now allowed me to actually pick up the pace in the final 600m with relative ease. I'm feeling really, REALLY good with myself! 😊
I'm in a good spot to cope with whatever I want to do physically now.
I just want to thank all the people in my Facebook group for their support and accountability in this challenge. If you'd like to join my free Facebook group, go to Jacob Andreae's Online Personal Training.
If you'd like to know how you too can use the power of routines and habits to get on track with your fitness or change the way you eat, sign up at Jacob Andreae Training.
We. Are. Done!
✅ 4 leg workouts
✅ 2 chest & back workouts
✅ 2 bicep & tricep workouts
✅ 1 massage
✅ 5 days to creating a habit using the Tiny Habit Framework
I'm so very grateful for every person in my Facebook group. I initially created it for this 2-week challenge but I'll be continuing to use it to provide free advice, support & motivation and you are free to join at anytime.
If you would like your own personalised plan, go to Jacob Andreae Training to get started.
It's important to understand human movement but creating routines & habits (that last) is all about psychology.
PS. Now that this challenge has finished, I will still be continuing with a heap of free content and keeping you posted with my fitness journey over in the Facebook group. Go here to join.
For now, thanks for reading!
If you could achieve ANYTHING in the next 2 weeks, what would it be?
Thanks for checking this out!
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