This day has been quite a personal landmark. First of all. I’ve now been consistent in a fitness regime for 3 weeks without getting bored, which is a really big deal for me. Secondly, with today’s bodyweight training session, I’ve completed the introductory part of Cycle 1 in Mark Laurens’ Body By You program, i.e. playtime’s over. And thirdly, I came upon my first obstacle as far as strength is concerned.
I really like how BBY is structured: you only do 5 exercises at a time, one per category, each of which contain 25 progressively harder exercises. It’s not that there are 25 different exercises, but rather variations of maybe 10 exercises in each category, adding difficulty either by holding the “hard” part of the exercise, or modifying the center of gravity. It’s set up in a really clever and systematic way.
In Cycle 1, if you get stuck in an exercise, you repeat that exercise in the next workout until you can complete all the reps and sets required. Today, I couldn’t complete the pulling exercise (a one-arm let me in, with legs bent at a 45-degree angle and added pauses at the end) and had to catch my breath for a few seconds to finish the sets. Even so, I did notice an improvement compared to my last workout (same exercise, without the pauses) as my wrists didn’t complain this time. So, there’s definite, though subtle, progress going on.
This may seem like a minor thing, but I can’t stress enough how important it is for me to see my body getting stronger in this way. I’ve only ever worked out with dumbbells and gym machines in the past, working with very low weights and getting injured and disappointed in the process, so being able to “handle my body” like this feels incredibly empowering. I’d only got an inkling of this feeling in Yoga (e.g. being able to hold Down Dog or Low Chaturanga), but when I do this kind of training, where the very purpose of the session is to build muscular strength, it’s even more intense.
At the moment, I’m experiencing the so-called newbie-effect, where my body is making progress in some, if not all, areas in every single workout. I’m sure this is bound to peter out eventually, especially considering the size of my body, but for now I’m willing to allow myself to bask in hard-earned endorphins 🙂