Sam’s Fitness Journey – Week 8: The Importance of Rest

Week 8 of 12 – that's 1/3 of the way in and most definitely the longest I've ever gone without a McDonalds. It's funny, I was thinking about this the other day and that's actually how I would determine how healthy I've been…"it's been at least 3 weeks since I last had a Quarter Pounder". Back then that was my idea of a good job, but what I wouldn't pick on is the ridiculous amount of carbs I would have eaten, the lack of veg I had consumed and the endless amount of fizzy drinks I had downed. How I managed to get through each day is beyond me, but back then I didn't know any different and thought I was being "good".

Since working for Ultimate Performance, since reading and editing articles on nutrition and training, I've learned a lot.  But even more so this 12 week transformation is teaching me more than I ever could have imagined. I now realise how clueless I was.

Day 50 – Getting Stronger

I'll quite happily admit that before I started at UP, going to the gym would bore the life out of me. I've mentioned it before but the main reason for this was I really had no idea what I was doing, so I would resort to the usual cross-trainer, treadmill and maybe the odd cycle routine. Not so much fun for anyone that?! And for sure you'll get bored of it, very quickly.

So you hate the gym? But is it the gym you hate or is it what you're doing that you hate? Thanks to a lot of smart and well thought out training plans, I am now close to being stronger than I have ever been and being a gymnast back in the day meant I used to have some serious strength. That for me is an achievement in itself, it's something to smile about. Having a plan, progressing, lifting more, being pushed harder and actually seeing those physical changes means you have something to be happy about, something to motivate you and a reason to keep coming back.

Without UP and their personal trainers, there is no way I would be on day 50 and there is no way I would be seeing the results I'm seeing.. I would probably be eating ice cream.

Day 51 – Thrusting

Yes. Thrusting. Day 51 was leg day with a new lower body session created to make sure the areas that need the most work, get worked. The reason I wanted to bring up the 'thrusting' is down to one of the reasons I know a lot of the general population put off going to the gym…because they feel embarrassed.

So many people put off going to the gym because they feel they are being watched and judged and it's intimidating. So even if you did know what you needed to do to get into shape, it's too scary to go and do it. Can you imagine going into the gym and thrusting your way to success? I'll be honest and say I wouldn't have done.

The wonderful thing about having a UP personal trainer is that I know whatever they have me doing, there's a reason for it – it's going to get me results and because of their professionalism, I don't feel awkward or embarrassed. In fact, there's no room to focus on being embarrassed when you're being trained at UP, you're too focused on getting your ass kicked. Across the world, UP has over 110 personal trainers and I can safely say that I would trust each and every one of them because if you work for UP – you're the best of the best.

Day 55 – Resting

Losing weight, progressing in your training or even getting 'lean' is NEVER just about the time you spend in the gym. This is something I always used to rely on, how hard I trained or how often – I'd have a Chinese takeaway (my weakness) and my justification would be 'it's fine, I've just been training for 3 hours' but now I realise how wrong I was. Achieving the best results possible, looking the way you want to look and feeling 'awesome' is about the other 23 hours in your day, outside of the gym.

I wanted to talk about the importance of chilling out. UP has taught me that resting is just as important as my training and they know exactly how often I should be resting, they're not going to tell you, you need to train every day so you can pay them your life savings in return. In fact, the majority of those incredible results our clients achieve are only down to 3-4 training days a week and you've seen those results right?

I've had a few training sessions where I train by myself and follow my plan but today my trainer gave me a telling off. "You never time your rest periods", he said. And he was right, I was going by what I thought felt like 60 seconds (for example) and my approximate guess at 60 seconds turned out to be more like 3 minutes, so I wasn't getting the most out of my training. The training plans, the rest periods during your training and the rest days are calculated specifically for you and I have to say I love that they take care of this for me. I just turn up, follow the plan, eat the food and hey…I'm feeling pretty awesome.

So we're 8 weeks in now, 4 weeks to go and I'm on a mission. I'm up early for cardio, I'm up early to eat my breakfast, I'm training, working, dealing with life but do I feel tired and sluggish? No, no I do not :).

Until next time.


Social Media Manager at Ultimate Performance