- Before Slendertone: 161.5 pounds (73.2kg), 30.5-inch (77.5cm) waistline and 2 mins 31 secs plank endurance
- After Slendertone: 147 pounds (66.7kg), 30.5-inch (77.5cm) waistline and 3 mins 37 secs plank endurance
- Results in 6 weeks: -14.5 pounds (-5.5kg) and 1 minute 6 seconds improved plank endurance
After losing a massive 22.5 pounds (10.2kg) and 4 inches (10cm) off my waist following Slendertone’s beginners programme, I want to see how much further I can go with the 6-week intermediate toning plan. With Christmas, cold weather and other excuses for dropping the pace fast-approaching, this is going to me a much tougher challenge than the first programme.
This week, I was invited to St James’s Place to meet Queen Victoria and Prince Andrew, however the only downside to my 1.5-stone weight loss meant that it looked like I had borrowed my dad’s suit (a bit of a fail on my behalf).
In-between all of this madness, I still managed 3 workouts and 6 Slendertone sessions, clocking 69.4 F.I.T. points. The new programme is more intense, but I’m confident I can reach a new personal best.
My 30-minute early-morning routine this week included push-ups variations, bicycles, ankle touches, mountain climbers, planks and scissor kicks (one minute per exercise with one-minute rest between each).
For winter, my meals have been heartier. Breakfast is either chicken, scrambled egg whites with chilli or a bowl of porridge and berries. While lunches have included salads and burrito bowls, I did have a fantastic dinner this week: sashimi and sushi followed by lamb shank curry, Korean BBQ chicken and pad Thai.
In the beginners programme I achieved the first six pack of my life. My aim for the intermediate plan is to maintain the six pack and begin to build the magic V. This means plenty of push-ups and protein but I need to be careful not to end up with my tummy ‘tyre’ all over again.
With the busy advertising season upon us I am currently out 6 days each week with clients, making it difficult to find the time to exercise and maintain a sensible diet. I still managed 4 workouts and used my Connect abs belt 10 times, achieving a score of 71.4 F.I.T. points. Hopefully, this counterbalanced it.
The temperature dropped this week so to surprise my body I trained outside and added some cardio into the mix. I completed 3x 10-minute rounds of intense exercises (5 exercises for one-minute each, with one minute of rest in-between each), which included triceps dips, push-up variations, mountain climbers and rainbows. In-between each round of 5 exercises, I did 2x 10-minute runs with intervals. These exhausting sessions took a full 30 minutes each.
To compensate for less healthy evening meals with clients, my wife has helped me prepare low-carb lunches, like fajitas with gem lettuce leaves instead of a wrap. My breakfasts are also high in protein.
In short, if I’m not careful, too many dinners with clients (2,000 calories each) will undo my workouts (1,000 calories burnt a time), and that stone and a half (10.2kg) I lost could very quickly return again.
The first signs of overdoing it or age catching up with me emerged this week with my right hamstring started to tighten. I exercised hard to compensate for some lovely dinners and evenings out, but I’m now conscious of this tightness during warm-ups and require some extra stretching during the warm down.
That said, it didn’t stop me exercising 5 times this week and using my Slendertone abs belt 5 times as well, scoring 57 F.I.T. points. I cherish my 30-minute morning workouts and hour-long sessions to the extent that I find my off-days slightly empty. In a working week when every day is varied, this routine is something that I look forward to.
Monday and Wednesday consisted off chest, arms and abdominal muscle exercises, Tuesday was leg day, while Friday and Saturday were full-body workouts.
A white collar boxing bout and the ATP World Tour Finals were great fun, but not for my health plan. My wife, however, has been making me some wonderfully healthy lunches from vegetable chillies to shepherd’s pie. I’ve also been picking healthy cheat meals when eating out, like steak tartar without chips in the steakhouse.
While there was not miracle progression this week, I feel that I am continuing to move forward. This is important, because if you are not moving forward it is very easy to start tracking backwards again.
I hit my highest score ever this week: 69 F.I.T. points, which is 12 more than last week. I also worked out for a total of 5 hours and as a result I’m feeling on top of the world.
My routines were more challenging this week to continue ‘shocking’ my body into improvement. On Monday and Wednesday, I worked chest, arms and abs, but added some endurance. I started at one press up and one jumping jack, working my way up to 10 reps and back down again.
Instead of doing one-minute press-up holds, I did 3 minutes with a 30 second break in-between each (ouch!).
On Tuesday, I also upped my leg game with one hour of snap jumps, knee to standing squats, pulsing squats, burpees, switch jumps and a 100-second wall sit to finish. Thursday and Friday were full body workouts, while Saturday and Sunday was spent chilling out.
To help stretch out the tightness in my hamstrings, I added a pair of yoga classes to my exercise plan.
To mix up my diet I tried a week of high protein breakfasts, veggie lunches and low carb suppers. The main disappointment, though, was my snacking on canapés at parties and chocolate throughout the afternoons. With only 2 weeks to go, I really want to push on with a stronger core and chest and not get beaten by the festive season.
Despite the season’s festive and celebratory activities my training has still been consistent this week, although I only scored a rather feeble 39.1 F.I.T. points because I had to replace my gel pads. There is a good lesson here: always have a spare set of gel pads ready just in case so that you do not miss any toning sessions.
To counter all of the boozing and bad dieting, I’ve started taking clients to boxercise and spin classes, which allows me to network and work out simultaneously. In the morning, I’ve also been jogging and doing floor exercises at 7am (Thursday and Friday). These floor workouts included:
- Press-up and jumping jack ladder (start with one rep each, work up to 10 and back down)
- 50 knee press-ups
- 10 wide press-ups, 10 normal press-ups and 10 narrow press-ups
- 20 scissor kicks, 50 mountain climbers and 20 burpees
- 3 sets of 10 pulsing squats
- Tricep dip and burpee ladder (start with one rep each, work up to 10 and back down)
For December, my diet is not as bad as it could be, but maintaining high levels of exercise is making a big difference. It’s also easy because I’m really enjoying getting up for training and kicking my day off in style. By 8am, I’m already hitting those personal targets. It then makes eating a meaty breakfast or some porridge more enjoyable because I feel like I’ve earned it.
As we come to the close of my second consecutive toning programme (having previously completed the beginners programme), I can report that I achieved 322.4 F.I.T. points in 6 weeks (my target was 143.3). This week alone, despite suffering from an obligatory winter cold, I still managed 2 workouts with reduced cardio and 2 spin classes, scoring 37.4 points against a target of 33.1 and below my BP of c.70.
My results have improved over the last 6 weeks without holding back from most festive joys, which proves that it’s all about balancing training with nutrition. 30 minutes to one hour of exercise every day is really easy to do, especially if you do it as soon as you get up. You will be buzzing for the rest of the day and miss it on your rest days.
And yes, the underground is still my favourite time to use my abs belt because I can seamlessly fit a 30-minute toning session into my morning and evening commutes.
When people start flooding gyms more than pubs in the New Year, I have every confidence that my results will continue to improve so that I’m in good shape for Coachella (a summer music festival in California) and the rest of the year too.