Editor’s Note: I am currently going through the Farrell’s Extreme Bodyshaping 10-week program. I introduced my reasons previously, and this is part five in a 10 part series following me throughout the program.
I'm in my fourth week of the 10-week program here at Farrell's Extreme Bodyshaping, and I feel like I'm starting to round into form.
The kickboxing technique was very foreign to me to begin the classes. Some of the kicks we threw were awkward to a big man like myself, and the punching took time to realize it's not all about your arms. You have to work your whole body to throw a proper punch.
When I first started, I was hesitant to really commit to some of the moves simply because I wasn't comfortable doing them. As we've gone through more and more classes, I've been able to ramp up the intensity, which has only served to help me.
You don't need to have a background in any sort of boxing or martial arts to be able to get good at the stuff they are teaching. It's all fairly basic, which has been big for me since I was nervous about being able to execute the moves.
I'm also getting better in form at the resistance bands, which is allowing me to "band up" as they say, and move to the next challenging band. Aly has seen the same results as the workouts have progressed and we've gotten better at our form.
When I started, I rarely used anything except the yellow band, which are the lightest resistance. As we went to class on Saturday, which is a full body bands workout, I decided to try to do my workout without having to use a yellow band at all, only green, red and blue. It was tough at times, but I made it through and have mostly left the yellow bands in the rearview mirror. Although I still have the purple bands to look forward to! They are the highest resistance. I tried them with some curls, and I quickly decided to move back down to blue for now.
The funny thing about the class too is that Aly and I have both noticed significant gains in some of the most basic exercises. When we started, I couldn't do an actual pushup. I had to do them from my knees. My buddies razzed me a little bit, but were encouraging, as was everybody in the class. There's a reason I was there, and it was to improve on those numbers. In my most recent class, we had three sets of 20 pushups to do and they wanted us to do as many as we could from our toes before moving to our knees. I hadn't tried a regular push up since the orientation day, and I was thrilled to be able to do five before finishing out the rest of the sets on my knees.
I know five push ups seems easy for most people and child's play for some, but for me, it indicated how far I've come in just three weeks of class. Aly has had similar accomplishments. We regularly do leg lift exercises as part of our workouts, and when we started Aly couldn't do one. She just worked crunches while others did leg lifts. At our recent Saturday workout, Aly crushed a full set of 20 leg lifts. Again, that may seem easy and trivial to a lot of people, but for us it's been eye-opening what a little hard work can accomplish in a short period of time.
I'm seeing the gains in my strength. My flexibility has improved. I could barely do most of the warm up exercises when we started, and now I can do all of them. And I do still need my warm ups. The intense soreness and pain from the first couple weeks are gone, replaced by a more dull soreness that tells me I'm still putting in the work.
However, I have still avoided stepping on the scale. Nearly all nutrition and exercise programs encourage you to avoid frequent weigh ins, so I've avoided it as much as I could. I don't know if that's going to set me up for disappointment at the five week testing mark or a pleasant surprise. I just keep telling myself that no matter what happens when I do step on a scale, I'll know that I've put in the work in the gym and in the kitchen. In fact, I even had to turn down a piece of Grandpa Cheesecake this week when Paul, the owner, swung by with a piece to sample. Normally I would've just secretly hoped all of my co-workers weren't hungry and I'd get the whole piece for myself, but I politely declined and let them enjoy it. And if you've had Grandpa Cheesecake, you know how hard it is to turn down.
Aly had the same problem at work earlier this week. It was one of her co-worker’s birthdays and they had a caramel sundae cake in the office. She texted me a picture of it and said "Torture". Just the picture message for me was torture, so I can only imagine having it sitting next to me. But, she didn't have any and stuck to her guns. She knows we'll get to enjoy some sweets on Sunday!
So far, I've been happy with the results, and we are just three weeks in. It hasn't always been easy, but it's becoming more of a habit. I am getting used to drinking a lot of water. I'm getting used to eating six small meals a day. I'm getting used to not stopping for fast food for a quick meal. And I'm getting used to pushing myself physically to earn the results.
I don't know what the week five testing will bring. It's bringing me back to the feeling I had before orientation. I'm excited for it to get here so I can see my potential improvements, but I'm also nervous for it to be here because I don't know if my expectations will be too high. No matter the results, I'm going to keep pushing through the second half and keep my head up. The changes I made are already starting to pay off after three weeks, I can't imagine what it's going to be like after 10.