Toward the end of last year, I joined a gym with the purpose of building more lean muscle mass to better manage my blood glucose levels. Prior to joining this gym, I used to do workouts at home by myself. My workouts were mainly cardio with some light strength training exercises with dumbbells. Although I varied my workouts around from time to time, I got to the point where I felt like I wasn’t making any progress nor getting stronger. I was essentially just doing maintenance exercise and not challenging my body enough to force my muscles to grow, which led me to take the next step and join a gym to get some professional help from personal trainers.
As of today, I have been attending this gym for about a month and a half (3 times a week). I am happy to report that I have noticed much improvement already in strength and flexibility in this short period of time. The stretching routine I was given has been extremely helpful to get the flexibility back in the foot I had injured a while back. Although my foot had already healed, it always felt extremely stiff and as soon as tried to do any exercise that would challenge it a bit, it would complain. In addition, the stretching program I was given has also helped me release tension in other areas that are a bit tight for me, such as my hamstrings.
One particular area I have noticed much improvement in is my upper body strength and core strength. I had almost no upper body nor core strength when I started these workouts. Any exercise that involved my core, in particular, felt extremely strenuous initially. Although my core is still weak and has a long way to go, I have noticed significant improvement. Although my muscles don’t “seem” bigger yet, I am excited about the progress I have been making and love feeling stronger every day. I can now lift 15 pound dumbbells, a month ago I could only lift 7 pound dumbbells and they felt heavy. I have also been able to squat with a 30 pound weight while a month ago I could only squat with 14-15 pounds. This is definitely progress in my book!
In addition, we did measurements on Friday and the numbers definitely show some progress. My waist circumference has reduced by a ¼ inch and my body fat percentage has decreased by 2%. Doesn’t seem like much, but this is huge progress for me as when I was injured late last year I did end up gaining quite a bit of body fat and was starting to look “skinny fat”(yes, lots of people are skinny fat=appear slim but have very little muscle mass and are holding onto some fat around the belly area). This happened to me despite the fact that I was still exercising in any way I could, was still eating clean meals, cut a massive amount of calories from my diet, and cut carbs even further.
To be honest, I wasn’t expecting to have lost any body fat at all though as I have snuck in a few restaurant cheat meals during the month of January since I started these workouts. They’re still healthy clean foods though, just extra calories and carbs. I felt I have needed them to recharge though. I feel that as long as I stick to my exercise regime and my home made clean meals for most of the week, I should be fine.
We didn’t do measurements of arms and legs this time around as the trainer thinks there wouldn’t be much difference in a month and a half as building enough muscle to notice a difference takes some time. It’s good to know that I am headed in the right direction though, building more muscle and losing body fat %. I look forward to seeing where I am at in a couple of months after I have been at it for a while.
Among other things that have been going on in life, I convinced my husband to give the gym a go and I will be adding him as a partner to my workout sessions! I think it will be great for both of us to get healthy and fit together. Also, I feel it will help keep us more motivated on those days when we may not be feeling the gym. Looking forward to having a workout buddy! 🙂