Chicken for breakfast.
Literally, this was the first meal I had one day last week. So good! I chat about deadlifts, and cardio exercises. Oh, and I have some exciting news!
Hiya Sweaty Pals.. how’s things?
As much as I try to get an email out a week, sometimes things just get in the way. School holidays. My day job. An ADHD rabbit hole about something uselessly fascinating. I can get lost for hours there.
And I’ve been ruminating on this quite a bit, because while this is a free email, a lot of you do support my work with a paid subscription - thank you! And so if the inconsistency of emails I send is a bit annoying, please just message me back and let me know.
I’ve properly started my transition back to decent fitness, strength and nourishment, now - it took an age to get going, and so today I’m sharing the workout at the gym I did this week, a bit on breakfast with a challenge to try different things, and I found some old fitness plans from ages ago that are super quick to run through at home, if there’s joy for you to do that.
On with the show.
I called up my good friend Vicky at Victory Fitness on Monday night. I knew I’d struggle to get back into going to the gym if I didn’t have a trainer. So, I called Vicky and she is pretty much fully booked right now, but she was able to rearrange some things for me so I could see her for 30 minutes on Tuesday night.
Good thing I only booked 30 minutes, pals. Holy smokes, even though I got through Vicky’s prescribed exercises well enough, by the time I was on my last set of bench press, I was stuffed! Sweaty and stuffed!
Here’s what I did:
Leg press - about four sets of ten at various weights. The top weight being about 80kgs. I was pressing about 120/140kgs five months ago so a bit of work to get back to where I was pre-surgery.
Deadlifts - about four sets of ten at various weights. The top weight was 50kgs for six reps. I was lifting about 70-ish kgs, actually maybe even 80kgs for one rep prior to surgery, but the 50kgs for six wasn’t too bad and I probably could have increased. Given it was my first day back I didn’t want to push it too much.
Bench press - about four sets of ten at 30kgs. My top weight prior to surgery was only 42.5/45kgs for one rep, so I’m not that far off.
In addition to this I walked on the treadmill for approximately 90 seconds while waiting for Vicky to finish up with her client before me.
I’ve written about deadlifts before - how they are the woman in charge of pretty much all exercises (in my opinion), and if you want to have a go, we really want to focus on technique rather than weight. So start off with no weight at all, or if you need something in your hands, try a couple of cans or milk bottles.
This video here is of my deadlifting last year, and from the side on you can hopefully see the technique of a deadlift. Hinging at the hip is the crucial bit, as bending above that will only give you a sore back and no one wants that. If you get sore hips or sore anywhere else and you’re certain your technique is good, lessen the weight up and see if that pain goes away.
But here’s the deal with deadlifting. You don’t need to have access to a bar and plates like I’m using in the video above.
I’ve actually been lucky enough to have a second session with Vicky in the gym and instead of the bar I used a couple of kettlebells and practiced technique as well. Technique is far more important than weight. Nail that flat back and hip hinge and then you can start to increase your weights. And it was just as challenging moving through moves with not much of a break in between.
When I started this whole fitness thing off, I was very into boxing, and high intensity workouts. I trained at 9Round, and then F45 which to be fair had some intense weight sessions in, but not enough of a break in between sets for me, and so I moved onto a traditional gym with treadmills and rowers and big resistance machines - much better for me.
I remember my interview with City Fitness, and the guy there - can’t remember his name now, asked me what style of training I liked and if I were to train him what would I do. All I really knew very well at that point was how to utterly break someone with high intensity exercise. So that’s what I said I would do. Oh how the mighty HIIT has fallen now. Thinking back to that type of exercise that I used to do, and that I put my first few clients through was completely void of joy. I didn’t enjoy seeing my clients lie in a heap on the floor, and I’m certain they didn’t love it either.
So weights, then.
The reason I prioritise weight training is because of an obsession with wanting good mobility and strength as I age.
I want to be strong enough to lift groceries, and move about my house unaided. I want strong hips and knees for as long as possible. Sitting on the couch and not moving at all will not help my goal, so I must move in way that does.
Weight training also gives my heart a workout, and there is literally no one in the whole world who doesn’t require a healthier heart. And so if I can train with weights that helps me have strong bones and muscles as I age, and looks after my heart in one go, then that’s what I’m going to do.
I prioritise weight training over everything else and fortunately for me, I get a lot of joy out of it. Do you? Have you tried weight training? What do you think of it? How do you feel about trying it? I can help you if you’re not sure.
Cardio or high intensity exercise isn’t so terrible..
Just because I don’t prioritise cardio, that doesn’t mean it isn’t right for you or thousands of people who love it. Remember the joy in exercise? That pretty much rates higher that anything else. If you love an exercise, you’re more likely to do it more often than not. And that consistency is where the results will come from. Love HIIT? Have at it. All of it. Personally I love boxing. It is very high intensity cardio exercise, and I am a puddle on the floor after it. Once a week to my weight training of three times a week is the ratio I follow (when I’m at my usual training levels).
But also, I’m a busy Mum. I probably clock up 3,000 steps before I’ve even left home with all the running around I do. And in my book, that counts.
But if you do love cardio or faster exercises, feel free to try this one out. I found a whole bunch of these workouts way back when I used to really love training this way and if you do to, this wee retro is just for you. I’ll include another one when I email you next time.
Run through the list three times doing ten of each exercise or just do what you feel like.
The title of this email to you is ‘chicken for breakfast’ because last email to you I suggested eating whatever you felt like for breakfast. And earlier this week I had chicken for breakfast and it was great!
The cereal companies told us that breakfast should be cereal and the bread companies told us toast was best, and the dairy companies said yoghurt with fruit was ideal, and for me, I just like to eat whatever I feel like, but more often than not, it isn’t any of that stuff.
Don’t know about you, but after fasting all night, I’m really hungry in the morning. Eggs are a good option, but so is the left over chicken and veggies from dinner the night before. If you can stomach it, and you want it, have at it!
This pic below was from a breakfast after exercise yonks ago! I will have gotten home from a workout, probably didn’t have a lot of time, but a piece of toast with baby spinach, tomatoes, and egg was perfect.
I remember working with a client last year who was a regular jam on toast for breakfast kinda gal. It was all she had time for, it was all she could stomach, but it wasn’t keeping her full and by 9am she was hungry again and eating foods that made her feel gross. We tried upgrading her breakfast just a tiny bit each day and after a month had past she was just eating whatever she felt like as her first meal of the day and had never felt better. Eggs, leftovers.. she sent me a pic of veggie soup one very cold morning and I was thrilled for her.
If you’re not happy with how your eating, could you give this way a go? There are so many rules drummed into us as the best way to eat and aren’t you sick of it?
Let me know how you get on.
And I left the news right to the very end.
I’m writing a book. I have a wonderful coach and editor who will be helping me get it sorted over the next little while and I’m just stoked to be able to do this work. Want a cameo? Hit me up. It’s about fitness and food and not losing our minds over it, and if you’ve worked with me or you’d like to, and you’re happy to share your story, let me know.
Thanks for reading through my email - Fitness at any size. I really appreciate the time you give to me for this and I hope you get some value from it. If you have any questions you can reply directly to this email or if you’ve landed here from a link, email firstname.lastname@example.org. You can also follow me on Facebook here, Twitter here, and Instagram here, and here.
To subscribe to this email please click the orange button below and at the top of the page. I am grateful for your financial support of my work with a paid subscription.