I’ve put off uploading this post for well over a week now. I’m not totally sure why. A part of me wasn’t sure I wanted to go through with it or if I would even succeed at it? A part of me wondered if it was relevant for this blog? But mostly, I wasn’t sure I was ready for the possible onslaught of abuse I would potentially receive. However, if you’re reading this now, I clearly pushed published and you’re about to go down a whole new journey with me.
Let’s start at the beginning, shall we? 2017 was a great year. We started blogging full time, we took a load of overseas trips and were constantly on the go. We ate everything from gyros to goat and I loved every moment. Unfortunately, that kind of lifestyle takes a serious effect on your health and in the end, it makes your pants shrink. No Bueno! By the end of 2017, having just come back from a month-long trip to the states and having eaten our way through Christmas and New Years, I was mega unhappy with the way I looked and was the heaviest I had been for a long time.
Now, I’ve never really been a massively out of shape guy – except maybe for a 2-year stint in London where I picked up 20 odd kilos – yep… 20! That’s about 44 pounds for my American readers. But I’ve also never really been in great shape, like in ripped and lean “Men’s Health guy” shape. I also realise that’s a very unrealistic view to have, I mean, how many “Mens Health” cover guys do you know out there? Not many right?
As I was saying, when 2017 came to a close, I took a long hard look at myself and decided that when I turn 40 this year, I want to be in the best shape of my life. Yep, I know most of you don’t realise I’m 40 (I get that a lot) but it’s a cold hard truth. I wanted to prove to myself that 40 wasn’t over the hill and I still had it in me. However, we all know how new years resolutions work right? They come loaded with good intentions that end up on a pile of unread books and home gym equipment. At least that’s how mine usually goes. I decided that the only way to make this work is to make myself accountable to more than just myself! Going on this journey solo will give me a thousand reasons to skip class, eat a pizza and eventually forget about the whole thing. But, now that it’s up here, I have you guys to answer to, and I expect you to hold me to it!
So, what’s the plan? Well, I’m not entirely sure just yet. One thing I know is that I want to keep it interesting, so I won’t be doing the same thing day in and day out till I hit my very loosely defined goal of “cover model shape”. What I want to do is try something new every month or 2 and then report back with before and after photos and measurements. This could be anything from CrossFit, to yoga, to boxing, I’ll take something on and train hard at it for the allocated time, then see what the results were. I’m hoping it gives me a good comparison and even better results. Talking about results, what exactly are my expectations? Well, it’s difficult to say what “best shape of my life is” really. All I know is that I bought a pair of Lacoste swimshorts that are really tight (pictured below) and I want to look good in those shorts come next summer! Not buff, not skinny, just good! Maybe great: )
I started the year with a very simple challenge, something that was easy to get back into after my massive hiatus, 100 push ups a day every day for 30 days. I had seen it on BuzzFeed and thought it would be a cool experiment…in fact, truth be told, it’s what gave me the idea for this whole series.
So if you watched the video, you will see that the rules are pretty simple. All you need to so is make sure you get your 100 push-ups out by the end of the day. You can do 1 set of 100 or 100 sets of 1, it doesn’t matter. I started off on 10 sets of 10 push-ups for the first week, it wasn’t easy, but I managed to get through it. From then on it just got easier and I picked it up to sets of 15 in week 2 and sets of 20 in week 3. Unfortunately, that’s when my age kicked in and my shoulder went bust. The repeated motion had put a strain on my left shoulder and became really painful so I dropped it back down to 10 sets of 10. Yes, I probably should have stopped (especially after the elbow pain started in the beginning of week 4) but as you will soon learn, I’m not very good at stopping something I start.
I do need to add that I didn’t do this exercise in isolation though. I went back to the gym and worked on a combination of cardio and push-ups with some pull-ups thrown in-between on a few days. Nothing crazy though and no set routines just some basic bodyweight work. On most days I would simply hit the treadmill for 5 min, jump off and do my 10 push-ups, then jump back on for 5 min and repeat. On average I was burning about 650cal per 1-hour session.
I also paid more attention to my diet, but again nothing extreme. I focussed on eating lean proteins with minimal carbs and a lot of vegetables. I stuck to full-fat dairy and got in a lot of good fats in avo’s, nuts and extra virgin olive oil. The one thing I didn’t touch was refined sugar and never added sugar to anything. The one thing I did not give up was my one glass of wine a night, and even a couple of beers when out with friends. I don’t want to completely stop my life just to look good, I desperately want to find a balance between enjoying life and enjoying how I feel.
Having been a sucker for the scale my whole life, I decided to not only measure my success by weight lost or gained, but also with a tape measure. My scale is also super fancy and takes a reading to give your body fat, Bone and muscle mass as well as water percentage. It’s also about 10 years old so the measurements may not be very accurate, I do think though that if I stick to the same device at least I’ll know if I’m up or down. We also did some basic measurements with a tape measure, but cant be sure that they were in exactly the correct place both times. I may need to splash out and go have my stuff measured professionally every month or 2 to track it properly. Either way, you can see the before and after measurements as well as pictures below.
So, the body shape difference isn’t massive. I’ve always struggled to build my chest and clearly 100 push ups a day made little difference. My stomach definitely went down, but I did drop 4kg’s from the consistent cardio I think, so that helped. Strangely enough, the most difference seems to be in my back. I think it was a combination of a slimmer waist, and broader shoulders from all the push-ups. I mean. it’s not a huge change, but it’s something to get started on.
I’m currently searching for my next exercise experiment. I have a few things in mind, but would love some suggestions to put on my list. If I can think of enough different things I’ll give everything a try for 4 weeks and report back monthly, otherwise you can expect an update every 2 months together with some progress reports on my Instagram stories. I’m also open to trying different ways of eating, and maybe a supplement or 2, but dont really want to go crazy with my diet so it’s not sustainable.
Okay. Stay Fit, and fancy.