Last weekend marked the end of a 6-week challenge that I participated in with my favorite HIIT studio, The Fit Mill. I collaborated with the studio as the health coach for the challenge, and was a participant as well. We’re all a work in progress, and I had goals that I was striving to reach at the same time that I was supporting the participants in reaching their own.
The premise? A 6-week “Transformation” challenge to kick off 2016 in high gear. The rules were that participants had to workout at The Fit Mill 4 days each week, and then the studio and I provided goals, recommendations, tips, recipes, and support throughout the challenge. Pre-challenge and post-challenge evaluations were held to take measurements and gage fitness levels on a variety of exercises. The goals were totally up to the participant, and mine were to reduce my body fat, increase my strength, and shed a couple of pounds.
Photo via The Fit Mill // taken during an event last month at the gym
Since I already usually workout 6 days a week and eat a healthy plant-based diet full of whole foods, the only way for me to change my body is kick up my workouts into high gear and tighten up my diet. I was pretty strict in making sure that my macros and calories were consistently right where I wanted them to be – particularly with balancing out carbs and fat and making sure I ate enough protein.
One of my go-to post-workout small meals
I also reduced the amount of treats I had, so there was less wine and dessert in my life. I definitely still had them (no way I would totally give up either!), but they were more calculated and planned into my diet.
A go-to treat of mine: Halo Top protein ice cream. Tastes awesome & has 240 calories + 24 grams of protein in a whole pint!
Besides doing 4 HIIT workouts a week, I also did some kickboxing, hiking, yoga, and cycling with my new bike trainer. I was a workout maniac – even more than usual! – and I did a lot of 2-a-days. I usually do short yoga sessions most mornings, so I kicked my morning movement up a notch. I added in high-intensity moves, lengthened my AM sessions a bit, and made sure to get a good burn in first thing in my day, along with my nighttime sweat sessions.
I’ll further elaborate on this in another post soon, but last year I decided to drop some weight. At the time, I was within a healthy weight range and lead a very active life, but I decided that aesthetically, I didn’t like where I was at. So, I worked to get to the lower end of my healthy weight range. Over a substantial period of time, maybe 6 months, I dropped about 8 pounds. Going into the challenge, I wanted to shed another 3-5 pounds, build muscle mass and reduce body fat. Having a Beets BLU Smart Scale helped me gage where I was at throughout the challenge and served as a great tool.
First, I got all of my measurements taken. I knew that I felt leaner and had worked hard, but I was a bit surprised at how much my measurements reflected that.
Measurements. The biggest changes were both my body fat, which I reduced 4%, and my hips, where I lost 4 inches. The body fat analyzer at the gym measures me a bit higher than my Smart Scale. My body fat is currently in the high 19% range on my at-home scale, and at the gym, my body fat measurements went from 25% to 21%, which is a huge change!
I also lost a bit everywhere else, including 2 inches in my thigh, 1 1/2 inches in my waist, 3/4 inch in my chest, and 1/2 inch in my arm. I measured my muscle mass at home with my scale throughout the challenge, and increased it from 35.7% to 36.1%. That doesn’t sound like a lot, but increasing muscle mass takes time and I was satisfied with any increase. I mentioned in my recent Smart Scale review that I had a goal to push into the 36% range, so I’ll take that progress!
I’ve never done a fitness challenge where every area gets measured, and it was pretty awesome to see my hard work pay off with the results of lost inches all around.