As I mentioned to you, I’m back in the gym. About a year and a half ago, I joined a cheapie gym and while there was nothing wrong with it, it offered me little to no accountability. My husband and were accountability partners and we went from 4-5 days in our first year down to once a week to 1 to zero. We eventually just stopped going. This was clearly not how to get back in shape.
Not only that, but all we did there was the treadmill. I’m not a fan of machines and this gym had no classes. I later learned that treadmill exercise can speed up your heart but also can Back in October, my husband was driving by a shopping strip that’s very close to us – closer than that cheapie gym – and stopped by to talk. The gym is called SoldierFit and it’s amazing.
Well, ok, it’s really more like terrifying.
The premise is that for one solid hour of the class, you are doing a boot camp. You “fall out” into your unit (2 or 3 people) and you go through a circuit that is extremely grueling.
The first time I went, I thought I was going to die…most especially the first time. The cool thing about Soldier Fit is that you do go at your own pace, but you try to make it through everything you can. So far, we’ve had no more than 3 units so basically everyone cheers everyone one. Now, I’ve made it past 50 visits!
It’s the hardest workout I’ve ever done in my entire life.
Tuesday was my birthday and since this was my 2nd week at the gym, I decided that THIS starts a new year for me. And the theme of my new year is:
Literally, for anything outside of fighting for my kids, I’m not the bravest person who ever lived. I cannot even conceive of doing something like joining the military, so my hat is really off to those folks, especially at this time of year. (To all you veterans reading, or your spouses, thank you SO MUCH for your service! You’re Amazing!)
8 Tips For How To Get Back In Shape
There are, however, a few things you can do to help you stay on the ball rather than simply dying every time you get out on the matt. Here are my tips on how to get back in shape safely with a boot camp gym:
- Be careful with water. You’re required to bring water with you but it can get you into trouble. The first day, I almost threw up from gulping cold water. Even slowing down, though, didn’t help. I recommend lukewarm or cool water. Take teeny tiny sips, and swish them around. Don’t hit the water bottle too often, either, but when you do use extreme caution.
- Practice breathing. You’re totally dead if you don’t breathe right, and this can have consequences. The first night, I went home and did some breathing exercises: inhale for a count of 8, hold for 8, exhale for 8, start over. This is harder than you think if you’re out of practice breathing.
- Don’t be a hero. So on Wednesday, I did work that was OUT of my depth and really hurt myself. Just say no, even if 8 people are cheering you on. This is ok because it means you’ll be too embarrassed except to do this ONLY when you are truly, truly in trouble, not just sore or tired.
- Never miss warm up. Actually, at Soldier Fit, you’re not allowed to. If it’s painful, go at your own pace, but always try to push yourself too.
- Eat an hour before. You need high carbs and protein, like banana and peanut butter – BOOM! You’re golden.
- Eat when you get home. You need vegetables and protein STAT. I literally INHALED a half a bag of organic broccoli slaw, and then I mixed up a delicious meal with it. Having a Kombucha drink with that helped too.
- Deep heat shower when home. As soon as you’re done with that, I’d jump in the shower, just to soothe your muscles. I guess you can do a bath too, but the shower was better for me.
- Deal with muscle aches ASAP. The one thing I should have done better was to soothe my aching muscles with arnica treatments. I kept forgetting and waited, and I think that was a mistake. Go lather your pains in Arnicare as soon as you’re able.
- Buddy up. Doing this with my husband has been the BEST decision I ever made!
- Supplement properly. Take what you need to regain your health and repair your body.
This is how to get back in shape with a high-intensity program when you stopped working out for a long time. You can also start with a few weeks of cardio – running, jumping, etc., before you join a more intense gym, to get you started. I missed the gym today because there was some level of “not right” in my body today, and my workload is insane too.
One thing I can tell you is that this sort of intense workout is teaching me more about my body than I knew before: it’s actual limits (sadly, we do have them), and my actual abilities (far better than I thought).