I started Sunday instead of Monday. My first workout was chest and back and it was a great workout! With higher reps and more sets I use a little lighter weight but enough so that I’m having to work to get those last couple of reps out (failure is ideal). I was able to focus on the muscle group being worked and maintain good form.
The week of detox and primer was not a fun week. The diet got old fast. Going to the gym and not working hard was also challenging. I think that is one of the reasons why Sunday’s workout felt so good. I had missed that pumped feeling, the burn. I feel like this program is going to be incredibly transformational for me.
Before I began, I took some pics: front, profile, and back. I added a “stat” box to my training sheets and the photos. Every week I will take measurements and new photos and add those. I believe documentation such as this is a tremendously beneficial aid to stay focused, inspired, and motivated.
I was browsing through some of my photos that I took in November, then early January, and then just a month ago. The change is amazing!
Here’s the thing, my weight has not changed too much. I have had about a seven pound loss, but if you were to see my “before” pics compared to me now you would think that I had lost a bunch of weight. I have lost a lot of fat and I have gained a lot of muscle therefore the scale doesn’t change much. The measurements have. I log tape measurements as well as caliper measurements. Those have changed drastically in the last few months and obviously my overall appearance has as well.
The first phase of this program has me training four days and resting three. My “resting” days, however, will contain cardio, core work, yoga, and one “free” lifting day. Those are not part of the program but elements that I am adding. Ideally, I am supposed to be really resting but that sounds like no fun. 😉 These rest days are great opportunities for me to work on others areas as it is difficult to fit it all in during regular training days.
I am really excited about reaching new goals with this program and sharing my progress with you.
I finished the Mi40 program Friday. I had a couple of “free” days Friday and Saturday and was feeling it Sunday. It doesn’t take much indiscretion for me to feel less than optimal the following day. This is a good lesson and one to remember. Sunday I started a seven day detox following along with the Mi40X. I am also following the Mi40X primer before I begin Cory Gregory’s 16 Week Get Swole program. My husband is going to continue with the Mi40X.
The detox is a great way to re-set the gut to improve digestion and prepare it for the next phase so that I am benefiting from max nutrient absorption. I am consuming fresh greens, green super foods, lemon water, brown rice and lean protein; no dairy, no bread, no nut butters, no processed foods. My main protein sources are True Nutrition Pea Protein, eggs, tempeh, and locally sourced chicken. I consume a mostly vegetarian diet however I baked some chicken that we bought from a local farm and it was quite tasty so I chopped some up and added it to my salad for dinner. My husband had to find an alternative to his whey protein for the week and has been using Paleo Protein Egg White Protein.
The primer is designed to begin to teach the body and brain to re-wire current patterns of movement and replace them with the optimal ones for symmetrical growth and maximal muscle stimulus. I have adjusted my goals by decreasing my calories to a maintenance level and adjusted macros accordingly.
A note from the Mi40: Two weeks ago, due to lack of growth, I increased my calories by 400 per day, increased protein, and adjusted carbs and fats accordingly. This weekend I showed muscle growth and fat loss! This would indicate that I was previously in a maintenance state, which is not where I want to be right now. Ladies, if you want muscle growth, you must eat! You will lose some fat along the way but building muscle and shaping the body is the main focus at this time.
I am looking forward to a week of very clean eating. As we move into Spring, this is a perfect time to do a detox. I have also scheduled a massage at the end of the week. What a great way to wind down detox and prepare for Get Swole!
I strongly encourage you to take photos of yourself before you begin your fitness program. Like me, you may not want to. You will feel self-conscious or maybe ashamed. You will be very critical of your appearance and you may not want anyone else to take the photo. That’s OK. Take a selfie in the mirror. You’re not sharing this with anyone. It’s for you records. In a few weeks, take another and continue to as often as you’d like. But you should consider that you may want to share them after you’ve progressed so keep that in mind.
I didn’t want to take photos and I took some that I thought I would never share with anyone. After I saw some big changes, I shared them with my husband. He was amazed, as I was, with the progress. The photos are important because the changes happen gradually and you may not be aware of just how much you have transformed. They can be very inspiring, encouraging, and motivating.
I do not intend to share my photos from earlier. However, for my next program I will have some before and after shots and will likely share them here.
Suggestions for photos: take a frontal shot, a profile with arm up so you can get view of the backside too, and a back photo.
These tips target bodybuilding poses but they can be applied to whatever fitness goals you have.
Bodybuilding progress pictures
I just added the long story here. Short story is I dealt with some health issues over a year ago, became depressed and sedentary. As I began healing I vowed to never take my good health for granted again. Since I started bodyweight training three months ago, I have established a solid routine. I have missed only one workout and that was due to feeling ill. That is a pretty good record for me. I have a hard time switching gears. I’m slow to make changes. It’s when I’ve tried to make sudden, big changes that I have failed. Slow and steady works for me. I like to dip my toe into the water and slowly work the rest of me in. Some people dive in head first. That’s not me. I would jump out and say, “that was unpleasant and I’m not doing it again.”
I have an advantage though. My husband has been an inspiration. We both decided to make some health changes at the same time. He’s more of a dive-in kind of guy. He has embarked on a bodybuilding journey as well. He has studied and researched and shared so much helpful information with me. He has encouraged me, coached me, and pushed me (though gently because he knows I’ll resist if pushed too hard). We work together to help each other realize our visions. I buy and prepare the meals so I try to make what he needs to support his gains and goals. Fortunately, we are both on similar paths so it’s that much easier. On the weekends we are able to train together. It’s not easy for some couples to do this, as I have heard and witnessed. Egos get in the way and it’s not conducive to a supportive training atmosphere.
We are fortunate and perhaps our backgrounds contribute to that. He has trained in martial arts for about 30 years. He has coached many and he is excellent. I was a personal trainer for a short time and experienced the ego trips in the gym more than I care to recall. We understand the training mindset and the trainee mindset. We are not competing with each other, we are supporting each other. We want the other to succeed and will help as much as possible.
I have much to share with you and I would love to hear your stories and questions!
Hi. My name is Lisa and I’m a 40 something (pushing 50) year old woman who recently decided to bodybuild; not for competition, just for myself. Call it a bucket list item. I have many reasons for deciding to do this that will come out as we go along. If you’re a woman over 40 and are thinking you’re getting too old to start something like this, have no idea where to begin, know nothing about weight training, need some inspiration and encouragement, then I think you’ll enjoy this journey. Why not join me!
Focus on the Gains.