Anyway, today on this cloudy and rainy Sunday, I am sharing my honest feelings and uploading "revealing" pictures of my body (don't worry it's not nudity ha ha) to help show how I have slowly begun to make progression with increasing my muscles on my body. Plus mention what's been happening since joining back in August last year.
Warning: Post contains pictures of vanity/ flexing and showing off ha ha. I took a couple pictures back in October after the haircut and a few in November.
Since last April when I wrote up "Why I Go To The Gym" post, I've been trying to religiously continue going to the Horsham Pavilions DC Leisure Centre in the park to continue my goal of becoming stronger, feeling good about myself and body and sometimes make new friends. And I have to say, now I see it for myself with the definition and slight bulk my body now possesses.
Sometimes (okay most of the time) I'm actually proud to look at myself in the mirror and see for myself that when I tense I can see the hard work has payed off with a year's determination and slow increase in weight.
So it just goes to show that people can change or move places and that when you sometimes make new friends at a gym, it's important to keep contact, I sorta still do but when I bump into people, I make the most of the time I have and try to plan with them a good time to someday catch up if possible.
The staff are all the same and are great people to chat to every time I visit and get to know them all outside of their work life. I haven't yet gone out or met them outside of the gym yet but maybe sometime I might go on a night out with them if they're cool with it. Mark, the other Mark, Richard, Thomas, Ami, Christian, Jordan and now Jonathon are all the best staff I know and trust to keep me on the right track, chat to and remind me that I'm doing fine (no matter how many times I over-question "Am I doing this right?!" haha.
I've even been going out on night Jog's around my neighbourhood on most evenings if I feel like it or can do it. I've been making slow progress since only doing 2 miles (3.54km) on the 13th October in just under 20 minutes. Since then I went up to 3 miles (5.30km) always between 24-27 minutes. I've been using the app MapMyRun which has helped create routes and keep a log of my records. I even went to the Horsham Park ParkRun with Richard from my college group days on Saturday 15th November which is 3.14 miles (5.06km) in just around 30ish minutes. After coming back with my Nike Air Max white trainers soaked and coated in mud, I went to SportsDirect and got some Tougher Running trainers that didn't have tiny holes in them for water to get in. These ones should be good for future muddy ParkRuns.
Like all goals, patience is a virtue and never giving up is the motivation. Honestly I feel a little disappointed in a way with the way I have slowly increased the weights on specific muscle groups like Chest, Biceps and Triceps. Having said that, I strongly believe it's because I don't see myself as attractive or strong looking enough (not to fill up my ego or anything) but it's like failing to see yourself as perfection (not finished) but you don't see your own hard work as satisfying yet. It's not like I'm saying "I am not happy with my progress so far!" I'm just... worried that it's not speeding up or I'm not pushing myself to go harder. I think it's due to the fear I have in my head that's clouding my judgement on maybe every 2-3 weeks after going twice a week, why not up the weight by 2kg on DumbBells or something. Having said that, it's not as easy as it sounds. What really p***es me off is that when I do up the weight on a particular exercise then the rest of the workout lags and becomes more tougher which should be good meaning I'm really working it, but thanks to the way I am, it just frustrates me that I can't continue doing my normal routine after making that small alteration for the better.
|Me with some mates in Greece back in 2011|
BUT, I am happy. I just have to be honest with you guys because I always have that doubt or awkward feeling about almost anything and without telling someone, I feel like I'm the only one worrying over this stupid melancholy feeling. And you can see obviously from the pictures and I know deep down that I am more stronger than I was a couple years ago. It may not be huge cause that takes time and patience (things I lack) sometimes I beat myself up (not physically) because I feel like I'm not going the distance or lack the motivation due to sleep or something. But that feeling disappears every time because when I'm there, I am doing something and I am now slowly beginning to up the weight on most things as I am getting stronger with almost every month or two. One thing I was worried about was that I have been doing Leg Raises since August and can only see 4 Abs. I was worried that I might be one of those people who's body only has 4 Ab muscles, but I can very faintly see and feel now that I have 2 more hiding and need more work done in order for them to become more visible and bigger. I have also been getting better and socialising more calmy but I don't look good with a red face and cheeks after tensing during an exercise, but it can't be helped. I enjoy chatting to the staff and I think they do too with me.
I have definitely made progress and I do see it when I am there, "in the zone", playing some heavy rock/ metal or serious music like Eminem or something.
I've been taught to do 2 Sets on everything and if I can do a minimum of 8 Reps then that's good, if I can do 10-12 Reps then I should up the weight a little! My program consists of the following techniques and how much weight I have now gone up to:
On a Mon/ Tues (First Day) at the gym - 22kg DumbBells for Chest Press (12 Reps,10 Reps), 16kg DumbBells for Chest Flyes (10 Reps, 10 Reps), 25kg for Tricep Extension (10 Reps, 10 Reps), 16kg DumbBells for Shoulder Press (12 Reps, 9 Reps), 30kg Bar for Close-Grip Bench (10 Reps, 10 Reps), 6kg DumbBells for Alternate Side Raises (10 Reps, 10 Reps) and 25kg Bar for Skull Crushers (12 Reps, 12 Reps). Sometimes doing a Skin The Cat near the beginning on a Monday if I'm up to it. I haven't done a Muscle Up in a while and should try it again sometime, it certainly affected me in a painful good way.
And on Thurs/ Fri (Second Day) at the gym - 65kg for Back Extension (12 Reps,10 Reps), 70kg for Seated-Row (12 Reps V Grip, 10 Reps Wide Grip), 25kg Bar for Bicep-Curl (12 Reps, 12 Reps) I used to do 21s with the same bar and do 7 Reps top, 7 Reps bottom and then 7 Reps whole curl, 12kg DumbBells for Seated Bicep Curl (12 Reps, 12 Reps barely), 12kg DumbBells for Hammer Curl, Sit Ups (50 Reps), Leg Raises (40 Reps), 100kg for Leg Press (12 Reps, 12 Reps) and if I have time at the end I do 20kg Sand Bag for Squats. Oh and on both days, I do my stretches before and after every session and warm up by doing 45 Press Ups and either 30 Squats or 40 Leg Raises!
Sometimes I have to skip an exercise if I came in late, the gym is too crowded or I want to hurry up and go relax in the Health Suite. It actually bothers me badly if I have to miss out or wait for my turn on an exercise because I like to follow routines and I just have to grit my teeth or swallow the grief if I must ignore an exercise, but hey, at least I still have other things to work on?!
Outside of this post, I've been pretty busy last couple days since watching Interstellar, I went with Mills, Cathy and Henny to Crawley Cineworld on Wednesday 19th to watch the Triple-Bill of The Hunger Games Trilogy from 7.20pm till I think it was 2.40am Thursday 20th morning. It was special re-watching the first one and Catching Fire, but Mockingjay Part 1 was very dramatic and quite emotional and seemed just as good as the books (yep this is the only series where I have read the books before watching the films *sigh* why didn' I do this with Harry Potter and The Lord Of The Rings haha). I may even write up some film reviews next year as Mockingjay Part 2 comes out November next year. I highly recommend these films and watching the latest one in cinemas. Also on a more fun and awesome note, every Friday from November 21st until December 19th, I now have off as I need to use my holiday from work (aren't I just a lucky Bas***d?! haha), and this Saturday, went out and started Christmas Shopping for some people. Got a lot more to do as well as think up a Christmas List which might just consist of one thing - A Macbook Pro 15" as I want to start next year with getting back into IT and start doing more creative things like learning to use Adobe shop, Dreamweaver and use some HTML and CSS software's and start re-learning from my college notes and help make me regain my knowledge and love for IT and someday use those skills in a special job. So far the Mac is looking at £1400 to £2000... that's gonna take a large chunk out of my savings, but it's gonna be worth it. I've also been getting to grips with Instagram and have been enjoying the attention I've been receiving with most of the pictures I've been uploading since Comic-Con.
So it's been quite the year of Gym work. I am so proud of myself overall and can't believe the progress I have made so far despite the doubts and comments I say. People say to me "It does take time and some people just take longer, but at least your still coming here and doing something!" I sometimes can't be arsed or am suffering from an illness and just get a rest on a weekday evening instead of panicking if dinner will be done in time and I can give myself roughly 30 mins before heading there. I wonder what my body will look like in another year? I may even end up in a relationship? Who knows what events are waiting for me next year and to help continue making life awesome? But this post proves that determination, patience, self-motivation and never giving up are what help you reach your goal no matter how slowly it may take. I'm at the right Gym and with the right people to help make my sessions really worth it and all this long work does pay off, eventually.