This blog will follow my progress as I take up my own 30 day beach body challenge. My aim is to stay lean while increasing my muscle tone. I will be using 5 of the products within the Herbalife range (www.herbalife.com). For breakfast I will be taking the FI Healthy meal, for post training I will take the 24 formula 1 sport shake, as part of my healthy snacks I will use the Herbalife formula 1 meal bars, for energy to help keep me going through busy days of personal training and to give me a boost to my own training sessions I will use N.R.G tablets (natures raw guarana) and for an alternative to tea I will be drinking a herbal beverage. I will aim to have a breakfast shake in the morning before work, a bar for mid-morning snack, my normal lunch which is often tuna with a small amount of pasta, a shake after my workout, nuts and fruits for snacks later in the day and a healthy evening meal. I will drink water with each meal and aim to do all this 5 days out of 7. For the weekends I will remain as strict as possible with the odd treat meal to keep me going! At the end of it I will post some before and after photos so everyone can see the results.
Started the day with my cookies and cream shake and I have to say it tasted good and filled me up nicely. After an hour of pt 7-8am I then had a 45 run with a client. I followed this with a meal bar to keep me going and help my body recover from the run with some good quality protein. After my usual lunch of tuna I hit the weights with training partner and fellow 30 day challenger Nick. We trained chest and biceps which included bench pressing, TRX fly, t-press ups with a sandbell and pull ups to name a few. A formula 1 sport shake after training and it was on with 5 hours of pt and classes. I snacked on fruit between clients and felt good although was ready for home by 9pm. Day 1 and so far so good.
This morning I mixed my shake with some porridge oats to give me some extra energy as I started work at 6am. Again I had my bar around 9am to keep me going. This afternoon Nick and I trained shoulders, triceps and abdominals with some drop sets of dumbbell shoulder press and upright rows along with TRX y-pulls and front raises. For triceps it was a circuit of TRX extensions, sandbell overhead extension with slam and tricep press ups. We finished with a tabata round for abs. Again a shake followed this and some more fruit to snack on before going home after another 4 hours of pt for some chicken and beans alongside a nice cup of herbal beverage which I am growing a liking for!
Once again a shake for breakfast along with the normal N.R.G tablet washed down with water. I am taking 1 tablet in the morning and then 1 about an hour before training. For lunch today it was scrambled egg, beans and spinach on wholemeal toast. This evening I took part with a group class I run that is based on MMA drills (mixed martial arts). Plenty of partner work involving grappling and focus pad work. We finished the session with the tough lion’s den. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3cb2zLO8E9o&list=UUVkhWkVymar7FigqSsPcjQA&index=10
This evening my wife made me a very nice sweet and sourchicken soup and I finished the evening with another protein shake which I felt was earned after this evenings session.k
Today I was very grateful for the convenience of the shakes as my alarm didn’t go off and I woke up at 6.42 and had to be at work for 7am! This morning I had one of my wife’s strawberry shakes which she is having as part of a healthy diet, this too was very tasty and filling. After a lunch of scrambled eggs, ham, tomatoes and spinach on wholemeal toast it was off to train. I did a light session of legs and back which consisted mainly of using the trx and sandbells. The sandbell is the latest piece of kit at the results studio and are already proving popular and effective. The session was light due to battling the effects of a cold! The session included exercises such as trx squat with single arm row, sandbell slams and trx bridges with sandbell pullovers. Today was my wifes birthday but I managed to resist the temptation of a glass of wine and stuck with water!
Today was a manic day, after a full morning of pt it was off to Loughborough university to teach my ultimate fighting fitness workout at the fitpro convention. A mixture of shakes , bars, fruit and water kept me going although by the end of the day I had hardly any voice left. This was mainly down to the cold taking grip and from shouting at nearly 30 people to push them through a tough mma style workout. I am hoping a nice herbal beverage will help soothe my throat along with a good piece of chicken.
Day 6 and 7 (weekend)
The aim for the weekend is to stay as strict as possible while enjoying the odd treat if I want one. This weekend I didnt stray from my healthy eating plan much at all with the biggest treat being a home cooked lamb curry that my wife Laura made me and even this was from a weight watches recipe! I also got in 2 training sessions. On Saturday it was a 20 minute blast after work which consisted of press ups, pull ups, lunges, tricep dips, barbell bicep curls and v-ups. I started with 2 reps of each and worked up in 2′s until I got to 10. On Sunday I was in the studio by 8am to get a sandbell session in before my morning client. Plenty of slamming and throwing exercises did the trick!
The first week is over and I am feeling good especially now the cold has gone! I am looking forward to week 2. Bring it on!
Today was very much the same as last monday, it started with a shake and then at 8am Iwas running with a client.Straight after I snacked on a bar before training chest and biceps. This involved barbell bench press, clap press ups, TRX bicep curls and underhand rows. Throughout a busy day of pt I snacked on nuts and raisens to keep me going and finished the day with chicken, veg and a small portion of rice.
Today I put myuself through a very similar circuit to what I made my 6am client do. It involved deadlifts, pull ups, dumbbell push presses, kettlebell single arm high pull, TRX tricep extension and tricep press ups. I finished the 45 minute session with some abdominal work. This evening I had a prawn salad and then treated myself to pudding. This was low fat natural yoghurt with melon and a splash of honey. Very nice it was to!
I was planning on having a rest day today but that didn’t happen in the end! After having a cancellation at 8am and a client at 9am I decided instead of wasting an hour I would put myself through a legs session. This involved bridges on the Swiss ball and TRX alongside VIPR lunges and Bosu squats. My legs certainly felt it by the end of the session. Tomorrow I will take a rest day (maybe)! Throughout the day I snacked on a fruit and nut mix and this evening I had a very nice Paella with plenty of fish and chicken. I also had another serving of natural yoghurt and fruit.
I had another cancellation this morning at 7am but instead of training I decided to have an extra hour in bed since I felt I had earned it! I did have a workout of sorts though as the high winds brought down an old tree in the front garden which I had to move from off the driveway and then break apart. That’s what you call functional training! After sorting the tree I treated myself to a piece of malt loaf (unbuttered of course).This afternoon I had a text from my 5pm client to say they were struggling to get out of work so a quick message to my training partner Nick and he came to the studio for the hour complete with shin guards and gloves. We had a great circuit session that involved bag work, ground and pound drills and body sparring. I was certainly looking forward to my shake after this workout! I think at this rate it will be a restful weekend.
Today I was certainly feeling the effects of the last few days training especially in the legs and abdominals. This evening though it was the MMA fitness class with the lads again. This is always a tough workout and tonight was no exception with one of the lads even saying it was the hardest yet. I have to admit it was certainly up there as a contender. The session involved 3×10 minute rounds of MMA based circuit training which included ground and pound drills, bag work, bodyweight exercises and some simple grappling drills. It is always hard work when you are trying to push someone off you or pin somebody down, it makes lifting barbells and dumbbells seem easy especially when I am the lightest one there! These are always my favourite type of sessions though as by the end of it you feel completely spent and know you have pushed yourself to your limit. The very tasty chicken breast that Laure had got in for this evening was certainly much appreciated.
Days 13 and 14 (weekend)
This weekend was a chance to let my hair down and have a good old blowout. It started well on Saturday with a high intensity circuit after work which Nick joined me for. The session involved 6 exercises, pull up/press up combo, dumbbell curl and press, Powerbag pushers down the studio, sledgehammer strikes onto tyre, dumbbell tricep press with pullover and ab wheel roll outs. Each exercise was performed for 40 seconds with a 10 second rest in between. At the end of the circuit we had a 1 minute rest and then went again, completing 4 rounds in total. The entire workout was done within 30 minutes and set me up nicely for an evening of eating and drinking! Saturday night was a “Come dine with me” special round at my friend’s house with 3 couples all making a dish each. I kept away from the beer but had a fair number of vodkas and at 5am felt it was time to call it a night. Sunday reminded me why I don’t do nights like this that often as I felt rough most of the day. As you can imagine Sunday was a full rest day from training although I was back to eating clean. I enjoyed Saturday night and the aim was always to be strict 5 days out of 7 but I am looking forward to tomorrow now to get back onto the plan and start the week with the usual morning run and afternoon weights session. 2 weeks in I am feeling very good (except for the hangover!) and already starting to notice the difference in my physique in terms of definition and slight increase in arm size.
The start of week 3 and it was nice to get back onto the plan after the slightly mad weekend! Once again I started the day with my cookies and cream shake. I have got used to having a shake for breakfast and will certainly keep this up even after the 30 days are over. My first client at 7am has a K1 fight this coming Sunday so today instead of the usual high intensity circuit we did some flexibility and form rolling work to prepare his legs for the weekend. I joined in with some of the rolling and it was nice to give my legs some TLC (even though slightly painful in places!) after last week’s sessions. At 8am it was out for my normal Monday run followed by meal replacement bar to help with recovery. Dinner today was the usual tuna and pasta with some spinach before it was back to the studio for a workout before a full afternoon and evening of pt. Today’s session was chest, biceps and abdominals and involved such things as incline bench press, dumbbell chest press on stability ball, Powerbag deadlift to curl and Rip trainer rotations. A portion of Laura’s homemade weight watchers lamb curry ended the day.
This morning it was once again a 6am start but these seem to be getting easier, it must be the light mornings. At 9am I was outside on the local park in the sunshine with one of my clients to test out a new piece of kit. This time it was sprint work using a parachute to add that extra bit of resistance. Thanks to a good amount of wind and the inclusion of a Vipr circuit in between the sprints this turned out to be a tough workout. It also got me in the mood to try out the parachute myself so I brought it home with me and went out on the park and did a mixture of sprints, hill repeats and a little bit of tricep work as I did a superset of dips off a nearby bench along with tricep press ups. On a couple of the sprints when the wind really got up it felt like I was running in mud and was getting nowhere fast! I jogged home on jelly legs and had a shake followed an hour or so later by scrambled eggs, beans and spinach on wholemeal toast.
When I went back to work this afternoon I could already feel my legs starting to seize up, can’t wait to see how they are in the morning!
So I climbed out of bed gingerly this morning expecting the worst after yesterdays parachute sprints. Luckily my legs didn’t feel too bad although the 3 flights of stairs up to the studio this morning felt harder than they should have! As the day went on though, I felt my calves tightening up. After my 7am client I did a back, shoulders and core session which involved such things as bent over rows, resistance band rotations, back extensions on a stability ball, lateral raises from side plank and military press. After this it was home for a meal replacement bar followed by a nice walk with the dog. On my return I had scrambled eggs, spinach and a couple of sausages on wholemeal toast before I was off to teach my mid-day circuit class at David Lloyds. On my return home I had a sushi pot before a full afternoon and evening of pt. Snacking on fruit and nuts as well as having my protein shake kept my going and the evening was finished off with a small group trying out the soon to be released Burn 3. New exercises, new format, same result! Keep an eye out for the home workout DVD coming soon.
Due to my morning client rearranging his session to an evening slot it meant I had a space at 7am today so once again Nick joined me for a MMA style circuit complete with rounds of body sparring. My shoulders were very tight after yesterday’s session and my thighs and hips were still feeling the parachute sprints so I got into the studio slightly earlier and did some flexibility and foam rolling before the workout. I felt tired during the shadow boxing warm up and first few circuit rounds but once the kicks and punches began to fly I soon found some energy and by the end of the session some hefty blows had been landed by both of us. The circuits involved such things as bag work, ground and pound, grapple dummy slams, plank and Rip trainer rotations and were always finished off with a body sparring round. To end the session we combined the sparring with a few rounds of grappling and by the final bell Nick and I were both feeling the effects. I expect some aching muscles and the odd bruise tomorrow but it is always nice to have a war wound or two after a hard session! Once I had finished I got a bar down my neck as well as some nuts before my next client arrived. After a full morning of pt it was home for a shake and then dog walk before the usual lunch of tuna, pasta and spinach. After a 30 minute power nap it was back to work for a full afternoon and then home for some chicken and veg this evening.
This morning I certainly felt the effects of the last few days of training especially in my calves. Not sure if this was still from the hill/parachute sprints or from trying to kick Nick yesterday! After 3 hours of pt which included a run with a client, Nick once again joined me this morning for a chest and arms workout. This session involved plenty of TRX work including chest presses and flyes as well as bicep curls. We also did a good partner drill with the Sandbells. This involved throwing the bell between us from a kneeling position; once you had thrown it off your chest you immediately dropped down and performed 1 press up before exploding back up to a kneeling position ready for your partner to throw it back. We worked for a minute with a minutes rest in between and completed 3 rounds. This certainly got the heart rate up as well as nicely taxing the chest. After the workout it was the usual sports shake for recovery followed an hour or so later by the normal lunch of tuna. This afternoon at work I snacked on some fruit and nuts before returning home for some chicken, veg and small portion of rice.
Day: 20 and 21 (Weekend)
This weekend was a full rest from training since I had a very busy day Saturday of pt and classes and Sunday was a nice relaxing family day. Once again I was out Saturday night at friends for food and some drinks and while I had a few beers it wasn’t the 5am finish of last week. On saying that though I was still up at 5am as I set my alarm to get up to watch the main event of UFC 159! Sunday was a full day off from work and a nice time was had with the family. We went to a local pub for our evening meal which does very nice home cooked food. Normally I would treat myself to something like a mixed grill or a steak which always comes with homemade chips but on this occasion I went for fish with a beetroot salad. I am glad I did as it was lovely. I feel ready to face the last week and give it everything over the next 7 days.
Monday started with the normal 8am run with my client and this was followed by a 9am back and shoulders session which Nick joined me for. He has been working just as hard over the last 3 weeks and is looking good for it. The workout involved bent over rows, pull ups, barbell press and upright rows to name a few. For lunch today Laura was home and she made me some of her healthy style pizzas. For this she uses wholemeal pitas for the base and tops them with peppers, salad, olives etc and they are very nice. A hour or so later I got my protein via my sports shake before it was off to work for a full afternoon and evening of pt and classes. I got home around 9pm and my chicken and salad dinner was waiting for me. Laura is good to me!
Today was once again the early start with a 6am client. I am not sure if it is the guarana tablets, the cleaner diet or the fact it is lighter in the morning but these early starts are getting easier. After a full morning of pt I had scrambled eggs on wholemeal toast complete with spinach and a couple of slices of ham for my lunch. This evening I did a workout with Nick that focused on chest, biceps and core. We once again did the Sandbell chest throw and press up combo only this time instead of resting for a minute between sets we held the plank. By the 3rd set my chest was pumped and my abs felt tight! The rest of the workout featured such things as Sandbell rotational chest presses, TRX single arm bicep curl and resistance band curls. A sports shake followed straight after before finishing the evening’s pt. When I got home I had a omelette with ham and peppers which was very nice, washed down with a cup of herbal beverage.
Today was a double header of sessions. This morning I had a gap between clients so I did a 40 minute legs and triceps session which included TRX squats, multi-directional Vipr lunges, Floor Bridge with dumbbell tricep extensions and resistance band pull downs. After the mornings training and pt it was off to David Lloyds to teach my circuit class. It was great that one of the class asked what I had been doing recently since I was looking better. Something must be working! After the class it was a Sushi pot for lunch and then back to the studio for 2 more pt sessions and 2 classes. One of these classes was the MMA class so this was session number 2 of the day. Once again it was tough with the 5 of us doing 6×5 minute rounds with 1 minutes rest in between. The class involved a mixture of bag and pad work as well as some tough grappling drills with a stability ball. Who would of thought that lying on your back holding onto a ball while your partner tries to grapple it away from you would be so demanding! After this a quick sports shake before teaching another group class although this time I didn’t join in before it was home for some chicken, spinach and small portion of pasta to help replenish my energy.
Today I mixed up my normal routine by having a chocolate flavoured shake for breakfast instead of cookies and cream! I wanted to test out as many flavours as possible of the meal replacement shakes. I have to say that while the chocolate one taste nice and again mixes well in my Herbalife smart shaker, the cookies and cream flavour is still my favourite. After this it was off to work for a normal morning of pt which included a nice run in the sun at 9am. At 11am I came home and had my bar and then an hour or so later had my normal tuna lunch. I was going to take a rest from training today since I could certainly feel the effects of the double header yesterday especially in my glutes from the mornings leg session and back from the striking and grappling, but instead I decided to train this afternoon as tomorrow is shaping up to be busy so will rest then. I did a back and shoulders session before my afternoons pt started which included barbell clean and press, Sandbell rows to press and dumbbell renegade rows to name a few. After training it was back out into the sunshine as I took a client onto the football pitches for a session which included cone drills, parachute sprints and a challenging Vipr sequence. It is nice to be able to work and enjoy the weather at the same time!
Today was a full rest from training due to a very busy day of pt and because my body was feeling the effects of the last few days. I could certainly feel my shoulders this morning while I was holding the focus pads for my clients. I am looking forward to taking my after photos over the next couple of days; I am certainly feeling better in myself and have noticed the difference in terms of improved muscle tone and reduced body fat. I aim to finish the 30 days with a short 30 minute weights circuit tomorrow after work and then I am planning to get up early on Sunday to film Burn 3 before my morning client. Finishing the challenge with a bang!
Day: 27 and 28 (weekend)
So it was my last weekend of the challenge and I decided I would take my after pictures on Saturday since Nick was around to be my cameraman again. We had one final workout after I had finished work on Saturday which was a circuit session that focused on upper body and core. We did 3 circuits with each one being made up of 4 exercises. Each exercise was performed for 40 seconds and we had a 10 second rest in between. We completed the 4 exercises 3 times through before resting. We did a back, chest and arms focused circuit with each one including one core based movement, so for example the back one was burpee to jump pull up, TRX rows, Dumbbell renegade rows and kneeling Sandbell crunch slams. Once again the session was short but intense, being completed in around 40 minutes.
Below are my before and after photos so hopefully you can see the results, I have also included my conclusion of my 30 day challenge and what I think of the Herbalife supplement.
The main reason for doing this challenge was to try out the Herbalife range as if I was going to become a distributor for them I wanted to make sure the products were of high quality and did what they claimed. I am a firm believer in not recommending anything I have not tried myself. While my diet is pretty good anyway on a whole I wanted to make it that much cleaner and this challenge gave me that opportunity. For example for breakfast I will often find myself starting the day with a high carb option such as porridge or cereal. Sometimes the porridge is mixed with a scoop of protein powder but more often it is not. The meal replacement shakes offered a perfect balance of carbs/protein/essential fats in a quick and convenient way. While to start with I was a little unsure about stating the day with a shake instead of food I can honestly say the shakes filled me and I didn’t experience any mid-day slump. Also compared to many other shakes I have tried in the past (and that is many!) these are some of the best tasting, especially the cookies and cream. Laura and I will both continue to use the shakes for breakfast moving forwards.
By using the supplements I found it kept me focused on staying strict through the week, I had the mentality of why use these products and then eat rubbish. There was none of the occasional cereal bars that I sometimes would find myself snacking on for example. Instead I had nuts/fruit or the f1 meal replacement bars. These were very nice and with the small coating of chocolate on them it made you feel like you were having a treat! I drank lots more water which even though I recommend to all my clients it is something I didn’t do enough of normally going for fruit juice or squash. I also cut out cups of tea which again I didn’t drink much of but did like the occasional cup in the evening. I used the Herbalife herbal beverage which at first I wasn’t sure of but by the end of the 30 days had grown a liking for. I think regular tea with milk 1 sugar may be a thing of the past!
I would say that these small changes in diet and the supplements were the key to my results instead of any major changes to my training. I would normally train 4-5x per week with maybe 1-2 runs with clients anyway. Most of my sessions would be high intensity training, 30-40 minutes in length. I may have added a few extra sessions here or there and a few more were done with Nick who helped to push me but apart from this it has been a normal month training wise.
Now that the 30 days are over I am going to continue with what I have been doing since I have enjoyed it and the few changes I have made to my diet are easy to sustain. In fact my next order of supplements has already been made. In the coming weeks I also plan to try out some of the other products within the Herbalife range in particular their “Rebuild strength” which is a high protein post workout shake and some of their protein bars. I look forward to seeing more results in the future.
If you would like information on getting started on your own Beach Body plan then please contact me.