Saturday, March 7, 2015

Push Your Limits at Fitness First

Yesterday, I completed one of the most fun and most challenging physical events of my life that was organized by Fitness First at the Bonifacio High Street Activity Center in Global City Taguig. Basically half a day of grueling workout, or as I call it, "pushing your limits" and going beyond your boundary.

Remember, if it doesn't challenge you, it doesn't change you. Fitness is about challenging yourself and pushing your limits. It's not meant to be easy!


Six years ago, I gained a lot of weight, mostly from pregnancy. I was fat, sedentary, addicted to junk food, and couldn’t run a full 10 minutes without collapsing. Going to the gym wasn’t even on my mind.  It's not that I've been hiding from exercise. It just felt like I was in the Fitness Protection Program and was just plain lazy.
I thought that as a first time mom with pets, home-based jobs, etc, I just didn't have the time and energy to exercise or go to the gym. Until I challenged myself to put fitness first and see how it would affect my life. I tried to squeeze in my personal well being around my busy parenting life. I only did 3 things:
  • Work Out - I went to Fitness First 3 years ago and found myself enjoying all the group exercises like Body Jam, Body Pump, Body Combat, etc. I was able to reach my goal which is my pre-pregnancy weight plus a toned tummy. The stats are not obviously mind-blowing, but there’s one stat I’m more proud of than anything else: discipline. The discipline Fitness First has taught me really helps. 
  • Eat right - I fueled my body properly. It was a real challenge for me because I love to eat a lot. But then, I realized that I don't have to eat less, I just have to eat right. A healthy diet and lifestyle are the best weapons to prevent diseases. 
  • Sleep - I tried my best to stop making excuses, turning off the TV, giving up a few crappy TV shows, closing the laptop, and getting at least 7 hours of uninterrupted sleep. Sometimes the most productive thing you can do is sleep. In theory, a simple sneeze or belly laugh could trigger a stroke while lack of sleep could trigger heart attack in some instances. Still a bit skeptic? Read this.
Fitness cannot, and never will, happen overnight. I know for a fact that in this day and age, having a fit and fabulous body is hard to maintain, let alone achieve. Busy schedules and fast-paced lifestyles make it difficult for people to eat healthy and find time to exercise.

Fitness First, however, stands by the fact that exercise is essential to one’s health and that having a hectic lifestyle is no excuse not to get fit. That is why Fitness First created freestyle areas in their clubs which allow you to exercise and move with purpose. They focus on dynamic movement training, movements that will challenge one's muscles in multiple directions, combining as many muscle groups as possible to challenge you and get you moving in the way nature intended.


So here are the outdoor challenges that fall under what they've categorized as strength, endurance, flexibility, and speed. There was no way to fully prepare myself for these challenges because we were not informed.

The objective was to show how exercise can be incorporated in everyday tasks and without the need for exercise machines. Plus the fact that we have to complete the challenges without the need to be in workout clothes.  So I was wearing a skirt with my 3-inch heels. That's a first! Check out how fashionably dressed we were for these challenges;

These lovelies can show you how to stay fashionably fit while working out!
Photo credit: Rochelle Rivera of www.rochellerivera.com
So while there are many people who are much more badass at fitness than me, my 34-year-old self (real age) would have puked just thinking of these challenges, but my 28-year-old self (metabolic age according to the health check) says, “Bring 'em on!”

All these challenges were performed under the expert guidance of Fitness First Fitness Instructors. For every fitness challenge completed, each participant received a raffle entry for a chance to win free 3-month memberships. What’s more, free health checks were made available to all guests.


So let's begin with the Strength Challenge. It’s unlike any other kind of strength training, because you can’t just lift it up, it also includes intervals and bursts of strength. I still can't believe I was able to flip the 80-kg tire a few times in one minute.


It’s a total body workout, it’s grueling, and most of all.. extremely challenging! The entire body needs to be engaged when you flip the tire, which is perfect for improving over-all strength and conditioning.


At the Yoga Flow area, our flexibility was tested by doing a series of progressive Vinyasa poses and holding each pose for 30 seconds.

Vinyasa has both mental and physical benefits, synchronized breathing relaxes the mind and the movements significantly improve flexibility.


Speed and Agility Challenge. I was able to complete the Y-test and agility ladder drills for less than 30 seconds.  My motivation? Channing Tatum, waiting for me at the finish line. Seriously though, this is the most effective tool for training speed and improving footwork.


Last but not the least, I tried the Endurance Challenge and I was able to carry shopping bags with gradually increasing weights after every round, up until holding bags with 18 bottles each. For this challenge, being a mom and a well trained shopaholic was a big help, plus the motivation and expertise that the fully qualified Personal Trainers provide.


This type of weight training workout improves your ability to do everyday chores such as carrying a bag of groceries or lifting your young child.

 After hours of testing my physical limits. I was tired, out of breath, exhausted and sweaty. My quads are still on fire and too sore until now. ( Hello, DOMS, we meet again!) But the whole experience was so much fun.
With lovelies, Kath, Kaye, Rochelle,Jenny and Henry
I got the chance to see how I measured up against what an average person could accomplish. Fitness First encouraged me to push my limits, to try and exceed what my could normally endure. Also, I came to realize the importance of including exercise as part of regular routine and that exercise can be fun and can be done anytime without the need for exercise machines. Being healthy is all about having fun, and working out doesn't have to be a chore.

In this post, I shared how I finished the challenges, in hopes that you can become a fitness badass yourself. Because in the end, being a fitness badass isn’t about comparing or beating others, it’s about pushing your limits and challenging yourself in new and exciting ways, and in the process, finding a healthier version of yourself. And when you achieve it, Fitness First will help you push it a little further.

Always be willing to push your limits. It may be hard and scary ( trust me, I know ) but it is well worth it. I dreaded trying to go to the gym and do other types of workouts, but when I did, I loved the results. Heck, it helped me lose 45 pounds.

Thank you so much Fitness First and CAPRI Campaigns PR, Inc. for having me.
So whether you are planning to go to the gym to be fit and sexy or you're training for a marathon or the Zombie Apocalypse, try to understand how important it is to lose body fat and to keep in shape. For many this will seem difficult, but year after year I meet a lot of people who are new to working out and want to give it a go. If you’ve never tried Fitness First before, give it a try.

You may visit any Fitness First branch to learn more about Freestyle or go to their website at www.fitrnessfirst.com.ph

What will you challenge yourself to do this year? Are you ready take on any of these challenges? Leave me a message below, I’d love to hear about it.


 

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