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May 23, 2019
Steve, our Marketing & Communications Officer, has joined our latest fitness and weightloss course Choose To Lose, to learn more about one of our most popular classes and hopefully feel the benefits for himself.
Here’s the second instalment of his blog…
Another week, another round of Choose To Lose, and more fun in the increasingly warm sun!
After a dull and chilly Monday morning, our arrival brought a significant rise in temperature. But it was most welcome, as we ploughed our way through a mini-bootcamp. A circuit of eight different exercises, from burpees to battle-ropes and a weights-laden ‘farmers walk’, each endured for 45 seconds with a 15-second breather in between. Repeated four times.
Of course it gets harder as you go through the second, third and fourth circuits – even with a two-minute rest between each circuit – but the thought of how much I’d have struggled to complete this even last week was telling.
Wednesday again took us out into the sun, and an even tougher version of our circuit from 48-hours ago. Two repetitions of two eight-station circuits with a jog up and down the adjacent stairs in between. 32 separate 45-second exercises which leave every muscle in your body aching.
There is, of course, method behind the madness, as course leader James explained: “The circuit breakdown includes upper-body, lower-body, full-body and cardio-based exercises, because in Choose To Lose we use all four to track progress.
“In terms of a weight-loss goal, the idea would be to get as many muscle groups moving at the same time as possible. With our time commitments, that gives you the best bang for your buck with your movement.”
Each exercise is also deliberately placed within the circuit rota to either target or rest specific muscles – with some obvious comparisons to be drawn between different circuits and familiar chores. “When we split upper and lower-body we can over-fatigue some muscles that have previously been worked in the station before, or we can allow them to rest and then blitz the other ones.
“My philosophy for general development is to get someone strong as opposed to just skinnier. There are functional things which carry over into everyday life: carrying shopping bags from your car to your door is essentially the same as a farmers’ carry. There’s also the ability to move better – a lot of people come in saying they’ve got aches in their back or knees, and that’s normally because the muscles supporting that part of their body haven’t been used in a while.
“Therefore, by building that base strength and being able to split it between upper and lower body, we can maximise the output we get from those muscles.”
James promises to steadily increase the workload throughout the 10 weeks, to keep pushing us close to our limits.
“Today we had a 3-1 work-to-rest ratio, 45 seconds of work and a 15-second rest. We’d usually start the course with a 1:1 ratio, 30 seconds on and 30 seconds off, to see where everybody is at. Then as we progress, we can either add weights, like barbells or kettlebells or a sled, or we increase that work-to-rest ratio, so we can maximise each person’s progress.”
I lost a modest couple of pounds in the first week, but can already feel my waistline tightening, and an extra notch on my belt being used, as my muscles strengthen. Onwards and, for my weight, downwards.
PS: catch-up on week one here.