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Switching-up my workouts 🏋️‍♀️

20 July 2022 (4 minute read)

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An AI generated anime-style image of a guy in a gym.

Starting to workout

I’ve worked out every day - pretty much - now since March 2020. The only days I’ve missed were because of illness (Covid), or another reason that made it physically (e.g. my dislocated shoulder) or logistically (e.g. during travel) impossible.

These workouts have pretty much always been “at home”, or wherever I happen to be staying at during the time. They started during the first wave of UK Covid lockdowns, in which I realised I was not getting the exercise I was previously used to when walking the 3 kilometres daily to work and back.

My brother happened to be living with me at the time, and he had recently got into using the Fitbod app to help guide his exercise. He recommended it to me, and - since I happened to have a pair of dumbells at home - I started giving it a go.

The app lets you configure your workout goals (e.g. muscle growth, toning, etc.), frequency, and duration. You can also provide it with the types of equipment you have available and any exercises you want to avoid (for example, lunges are hell for my knees, so I avoid these at all costs). Once setup, it creates a workout regime for you, targeting different muscle groups whilst respecting the muscle recovery. Depending on your goal, the app also automatically adjusts the intensity/weight/duration/reps of your exercises as it learns what your current limits are.

Fitbod keeps things varied, and so I ended up using it daily for over 18 months. I learned a lot about different types of exercises, and how these target the various areas of the body. When I was away from home and the weights, I configured workouts that would rely only on body weight or strap workouts.

On a personal level, I also noticed hugely positive changes in my body shape. My increased fitness also resulted in better sleep and a more positive daily existence. This all happened more quickly than I had anticipated, too, and I soon got to the point where my body felt like it was almost protesting its own laziness on those rare days I was unable to exercise.

Change of routine

When I dislocated my shoulder back in October 2021, I had to stop working out for a short while. Even though it was only a shoulder injury, my arm was in a sling which made any form of exercise virtually impossible. After a few weeks, I could lose the sling, but I still couldn’t really exercise it whilst things healed.

Fitbod didn’t have the capacity to understand shoulder injuries, and so ploughed on in reminding me to workout every day and suggesting now-impossible workouts. It was frustrating, so I uninstalled the app with the aim of re-downloading it at a later time.

I was soon able to introduce small exercises every day. For example, some core exercises and squats. I used my learning from all the types of workouts Fitbod had introduced me to in order to create my own balanced workouts that worked around my needs as my body got better.

During the weeks and months in which I recovered, I gradually built up my own workouts further, and I realised that I didn’t need Fitbod anymore. I had enough of my own momentum to ensure I kept up the daily routine, and I was able to choose the exercises and routines I enjoyed the most, whilst respecting my muscle recovery.

I’m not a serious weightlifter or gym-goer, but I’m now at the point where I am confident in selecting the workouts that are right for me, without needing to rely on being told what to do by an app. I take inspiration from friends who suggest new exercises, and I shake things up myself to keep things interesting. I still notice progress and I think I’m at the point now where I mainly just want to maintain my level of fitness and body shape.

A changed person? 🤔

If you had said - five years ago - that I would now be the type of person that enjoys and actively works out every day, I (along with my friends, family, and others that know me) would have laughed at you. It’s amazing how much I feel I have changed over the last two years.

This has also come with a greater understanding of my mental health and wellbeing, and how to help manage these aspects of myself. Altogether, I definitely feel that I am much better equipped to develop and adapt as life goes on. ✌️

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