I’ll be honest. The few months I spent in Thailand were great, it was a very rewarding experience for me and Alyona, but it also had a dark side.
To put it bluntly, I came back to Malta in the worst shape I ever recall being in. I had piled on a few kilograms and was feeling totally inflexible. The mirror spoke back to me very clearly: I had to get my ass off the chair and start training hard.
I’ve always been into sports and fitness, playing two or more football matches a week with my friends, as well as hitting the gym frequently, plus swimming in summer. Cycling was also part of the routine. With regards to food I’ve always been a healthy eater too, apart from binging on buffets every now and then (I love eating!).
So what happened in Thailand?
Well, having a scooter meant I did very little walking, the gym at our condo didn’t exactly have the best machines, and the only exercise I ended up doing was swimming at the condo’s pool. Evidently this wasn’t enough to keep me in good shape. The myriad Thai foods I tried probably didn’t help the cause either. Towards the end of my stay in Thailand, I was regularly on the receiving end of jokes about bellies.
Time to do something…
I hate feeling unhealthy, it really demotivates me. Moreover, I want to run at my weekly football matches, not lug my body around at a snail’s pace.
So as soon as I landed back in Malta, I got in touch with my good friend Andrew Farrugia, whom I’ve known since we were kids.
Andrew has always been an extremely dedicated athlete, competing as a sprinter (one of the best in Malta) before turning to body building a few years ago. He’s the type of guy who trains properly and gives health a priority in his life. Just the type I needed to help get me back on track.
Most importantly, Andrew is a clean bodybuilder who strongly opposes the use of steroids and other similar substances. Sometimes it’s really hard to tell where you can arrive because many of the big guys at the gym are taking some substance, which I definitely don’t want to do. All I want is to have a healthy diet and be strong and fit.
When I met Andrew, I declared that I wanted to get fit and that I would do anything he tells me to in order to make it. Which is why after my first week of training, I’m feeling like I’ve just been hit by a truck 🙂
So it’s been exactly one week since I’ve started training under Andrew’s guidance, and while practically my whole body aches, I already feel much better and am looking forward to the rest of my programme. A proper diet is also essential to achieving results at the gym.
Many people are not aware of this and just concentrate on lifting weights. But the body needs the proper fuel to grow. Andrew has therefore given me a low carb, high protein diet to start with. This will help me reduce the extra fat, while giving my body the necessary protein to recover and build muscle. Drinking lots of water every day is also part of the diet, I only drink water usually anyway so I just need to continue doing that.
I’m keeping track of my progress and I’ve set a time period of 2 months at the end of which I will show my results here on this blog.
Curiously, I just found out that fellow blogger Tom Ewer is also starting his own transformation program. He will be using the P90X system which is very famous, although it also has its fair share of critics. It will be interesting to compare our results. Like I said, I’m not using any publicly available training program, but Andrew’s custom programme, which is based on his own workouts.
I’m keeping a simple Excel sheet to track my measurements from week to week, and I will be sharing these on this blog every Monday.
For now, here’s a screenshot of the BMI test, which is not a totally accurate thing, but it does give a good indication of where one stands. In my case, I’m clearly overweight for my height, so my focus will be on losing the fat, improving my stamina and of course building some strength.
I started my training program on the 20th of April, and here are some other readings from my Excel tracking sheet after one week. The measurements are in centimetres. I’ll be updating this table every week and will post the results. Hopefully we’ll be seeing a change in the numbers.
|Week 0||Week 1|
There aren’t any big changes after one week of training, which was expected. My weight also remained stable, my cardio training was probably countered by a lavish dinner and lunch I had to celebrate my birthday. Together with Andrew, we agreed to increase intensity slowly since I’ve been away from the gym for almost a year. The body needs to be eased into new activity or else it will be much more prone to injury, which we obviously don’t want.
Together with cycling and strength training in the gym, I will also be doing my best to fit in a yoga session or two, since I find it very relaxing and also helps me improve my flexibility. At the moment I’ve got a niggling strain in my groin which is preventing me from playing football (I miss it immensely!), but I’m hoping that this will be gone soon and I’ll be back on the pitch with my friends. I find football to be an excellent cardio workout.
Ok, that’s it for today, stay tuned for my progress reports!