Getting back to circuit classes over the past few weeks has been an eye opener. I have been able to make some assessment of the impact of doing only body weight training for a few months because I can compare before and after. I also started work with a new trainer and going through a different pre-program assessment has been interesting too.
Mentally coming back to circuit class has been great, I have learnt how important the social contact side of my training is to me. That space where you laugh and joke around but then support each other is really key to motivation and positive thinking for me. The classes I go to have a great core client base who jolly each class along – but are actually pretty hardcore when we get down to exercise and can be a real inspiration to improve .
Physically, my body found this a challenge, because I have been working on low reps and high weight ratio for weeks and weeks. I can perform some moves with much better form over a short period of time e.g. press ups. However when asked to complete multiple sets of higher reps, I struggled-predictable really! I felt really stiff and awkward for the first few classes but am loosening up now. I was back to swinging 20kg for 30 secs really easily by the fourth class, there is definitely more power there. Where I really feel improvements is during activities such as V-sits or crunches as my abs and glutes have become stronger and activate faster. Double thrusters with 8kg were also improved, the left/right issue where my left side would fail quickly seems to have gone away so both sides performed pretty evenly. I’ll try bigger weights next week to see if I can lift more too.
The first session with my new trainer was interesting too. He owns the gym and runs some of the circuit training and also wrote some of my pre RKC training programs so we are not complete strangers. However this is the first time he has completed a proper diagnostic assessment on me. My weight, blood pressure and resting heart rate have all increased which is not good. This may be down to Christmas and pressure from my day job, but might also be a reflection of a different type of training. As I am no expert, I can’t really comment further. My hip flexors are a bit stiff too but lunges and ASLR has improved. I can now lower a straight leg to the floor without arching my back.
Our diet talk has re-motivated me as I was beginning to drift and introduce more carbs and caffeine back into my diet. The need to eat more protein is clearly important so I’m going to work on this. This should help weight and blood pressure. Plus I can start to run again, starting slowly and building up. All through our lovely summer and autumn running was banned, now we’re back to the cold and rain I’m back out there, I’ve missed a trick somewhere! A little running may really help both issues too.
The interesting choice I have open to me now is the opportunity to train for kettlebell sport. I’ve quietly wished I could compete for a long time but didn’t think this was an option for me due to my age. This trainer has placed this possibility before me for a second time and I know he has not suggested it lightly as he competes himself. I’m very tempted and flattered but more than a little nervous about the idea. My plan is to go to Birmingham next month and look at what I would be up against and then make a decision about whether to start training for a competition . Lot’s to think about…