12kg in 8 weeks– Beginning


And so it begins!  I completely lost my diet and exercise mojo over winter.  Part of it was getting used to a new job and shift work, but mostly it was lack of motivation.

10 months ago my weight was at an all-time low of 91.4kg.  I had lost over 20kg since I was at my worst of 114kg a couple of years ago.  However, over winter I managed to put half of that weight back on.  I am pleased, though, that my weight appears to have levelled out half-way.  Putting half of it back on is definitely better than being back to where I started.  (note: this graph only shows the past year – not where I started)


I didn’t plan on starting another weight-loss program; I knew I had to get back into fitness but I prefer to do things at my own pace. But recently my gym issued a challenge I couldn’t refuse:


Lose 12kg in 8 weeks and you will receive a 12 month gym membership (worth $884).


It really appealed to the competitive streak in me, and losing 12kg would put me right back where I was at my prime.

Yesterday was the introduction and first weigh in. The program seems okay.  Lots of group activities and 4 included PT sessions.

For the next 8 weeks my days are as follows:
Monday:  Morning gym and weigh in,   (work in the evening)
Tuesday:  Morning gym, evening nutrition seminar.
Wednesday:  Morning rest, evening group fitness
Thursday:  Morning gym, evening group fitness
Friday: Noon group circuit, (work in the evening)
Saturday and Sunday:  (work all day), light jog in the evenings.

The program works on a points system and there are prizes for those with the most points.  You get points each time you attend the gym or a fitness class, weigh in on time and fill out food logs, and lose points for failing to weigh in, drinking alcohol or not attending sessions.

Getting back into healthy eating feels good.  It’s only been a couple of days but no cravings yet.  I’m having all bran with sultanas for breakfast, snacking on fruit and raw nuts during the day,  home made wholemeal bread with peanut for lunch,  sipping green tea and water throughout the day, and last night I had grilled fish cakes with broccoli and carrot for dinner.  Not a bad start if I do say so myself.

I also found this seemingly great product at the supermarket called Vita Sport Water Booster, which gives water a bit of flavour. It has an artificial sweetener so low in calories.  It has lots of B-vitamins but apparently that’s a bit of a have – most people have enough anyway.  But if it encourages me to drink more water at little expense, I’m all for it.

I did buy some diet coke and a packet of individually wrapped mini dark-chocolate pieces for when I get cravings, though.  I don’t expect to turn to them often;  they should last a few weeks.

12kg in 8 weeks is going to be a huge challenge but I’m going to give it my best shot.  Bring it on.  I feel so good being back on track.


5 day workout

I now have a different workout for each work day (I work weekends and week nights).  Mon, Wed and Fri are cardio days and Tue and Thu are resistance training.


Warm-up:  Rower.  500 meters warm, 500 meters sprint.

Treadmill 200m sprint
Hands-up burpees x 5
swiss-ball-jackknifeDeep squat jumps x 10
Clap press ups x 5
V sit ups x 10
[repeat superset 10 times]

Swiss ball jack-knives x 8  (pictured)
Swiss ball pelvic raises x10
Swiss ball up downs 12 (vid)
[repeat superset 5 times]



Warm-up:  any cardio 5 minutes

DBFlyBarbell squat and press
Barbell deadlift and shrug [30kg x 12 each x 3 sets]

Barbell chest press 30kg x 10
Dumbbell chest fly  6kg x 6  (pictured)
Barbell bent over row  30kg x 10
Dumbell Reverse fly  6kg x 6  [x 4 supersets]

Adductors and Abductors   x 12 each
Calf raises and Toe raises  x 12/20  [x 3 sets]

Assisted pull ups @ 2/3 bodyweight x 8
Assisted dips @ 1/3 bodyweight x 8
Cable tricep extensions 36kg x 12
Cable curls  36kg x 12   [x4 supersets]

5 minute cardio cooldown



lying-leg-raises-topWarm-up:  Skipping 5 minutes

Treadmill 3km

Water grinder 2min sprint, 45sec easy x5

Lying leg raises x 8 (pictured)
Medicine ball Russian twists x 10
Lying back extension (supermans) x 12  [set x5]

Elliptical 20 minutes



Skipping 10 min total

DB box step ups x20
corea15DB curl and press x12  [both at 10kg, 3 sets]

Cable hip flexion (pictured)
Cable hip extension  [3 x 12 each]

Shoulder rotation straight (little circles with dumbell) [3 x 12]

Deep squats x 12
Cable hip internal rotation x 10 ??
Cable hip external rotation x 10 ??  [x3]

Elliptical x 10min



tricepdipSpin bike  10 min

Tricep dips  x25  (pictured)
Burpees x25
V sit ups x25
Press ups x25
Treadmill 1km   [3 supersets]

My new gym program

Cardio Day

Treadmill:  5min@11, 1min@easy, 5min@10 with 5%incline, 1min@easy, 3min@9.

Spin bike:  [ 1min@easy, 1min@medium, 1min@hard, 15 push ups. ] x4

Elliptical:  10min@14

Abdominals superset:   [x2]
  Swiss ball rollouts x 12
  Ankle touches x 15(each)
  Reverse crunch x 15
  Partial crunch x 15
  Swiss ball plank @40sec

Treadmill: 1km in best time.


Weights Day

Bike:  5-10min warm-up

Smith Machine Squat  x 10 (holding last rep 10 seconds)  [x4]

Dumbbell Chest Press:  4×15@15kg
Cable Row:  4×15@42kg

Pec Deck:  4×15@20kg
Straight Arm Pulldown:  4×15@36kg

Cable Upright Row:  3×15@36kg
Tricep Pulldown (rope):  3×10@42kg

Alternate front/lateral raises:  3×12@6kg
Barbell Biceps Curl:  3×10@20kg

Cortisol vs. endorphins

More weight loss for me recorded today :)  A few days ago I was 94.4kg and today I’m 93.7kg. That means I’m almost under 200 pounds. I just seem to love getting on the scales lately.  And I find converting the amount to pounds, or calculating my new BMI (28.6) adds to my enjoyment of the results.

Today I want to post about cortisol. My understanding is pretty basic; it’s the chemical in your body that is produced when you worry, stress or are anxious. I am usually a pretty anxious person – especially in social situations – so it’s fair to say that I would often have a lot of cortisol in my system.  And this isn’t good for the body.

When you exercise you release endorphins – the feel good chemicals that make you more relaxed and carefree.

imagesNow this is probably an incredibly lame, over-simplified analogy but let’s think about it like Pacman.  We go about our lives with anxiety (ghosts) chasing us.  So what’s the answer?  Exercise (the corner pellets).  When we do good feelings are released, we become more powerful over the anxiety (ghosts), and with our new endorphins we have the power to reduce or eliminate it (them)!

Lame analogy aside, this is what happens to me.  When I walk into the gym, I usually feel anxious.  If I have to walk past one of the trainers, I might meekly say hi but I don’t have the confidence to stay around and talk.  After my workout, though, it’s a completely different story.  I’m quite happy standing around at the desk talking with them.

I wish I could have that feeling all the time…  but I think in general I am a bit more relaxed these days because of the exercise.  They say that joining a gym improves your confidence.  Well, I don’t think it’s just because you look better.  I think it really does make you feel better;  I think it’s great for your biochemistry.  And I think people underestimate how our biochemistry affects our moods.  If you’ve never experienced depression or anxiety, I guess you haven’t needed to think about it.

My sleeping pattern sucks at the moment and I’m sleeping past noon, but tomorrow I’m determined to go to circuit training at the gym at noon.  Wish me luck (getting up!)

23 1/2 Hours – Awesome video!



Zacarito-SmoothieGym has been going really well past couple of days. Back into it in full force now.

I bought myself a blender recently because I was inspired by my brother.  He’s on a raw fruit and veg only diet.  I’m not gonna go that extreme, but I definitely want to start eating a lot more fruit and smoothies seem a great way to do it.  Once I’m a bit more comfortable with blending basic fruits I might try and work some vegetables into the smoothies too.

My program: cardio and core day

Total time:  1 hour

3min @ 10k flat
3min @ 10k 5% incline
4x 1min intervals at 12k

Back extensions  3×12

Sideways hyperextensions  3×12 each side

Rowing machine  3x300m sprints

Medicine Ball fetch and retrieve (crunches)  x16
Bicycle crunches  x20
Swiss ball pelvic raise  x15
Swiss ball leg raises  x20
Prone bridge  40sec
[superset x2]

Water grinder  (upper body ergometer)  30sec sprint
Max push up hold
[superset x10]

Workout Music

A couple of friends have asked for recommendations of good music to work out to.

My gym has a pretty good playlist (that includes a lot of the songs below) so I don’t usually take my iPod with me.

But here I’ve created a playlist of some songs that get me pumped for when I’m working out at home. You’ll probably know most of the songs here. It’s all upbeat dance stuff – great for cardio. Check it out – you mind find something new you like.

What songs get you pumped to work out? Let me know.

If you don’t like this widget, you can view the playlist here:

My program: weights day

Because my main goal with weight training is to get my cardio level up, my weight-lifting exercises are often combined into “supersets”, which means doing one set of one exercise, quickly followed by one set of another exercise, before resting and repeating.  Exercises grouped together below indicate a superset.

Rowing machine 1000m

Smith Machine squats  12@30kg   (now 40kg)
Jump squats x10

Incline dumbbell chest press  3×12@10kg  (now 12.5kg)

Barbell bent over rows  3×12@20kg  (now 25kg)

Standing dumbbell shoulder press  30sec@7kg   (now 12x8kg)
Dumbbell lateral raises  30sec@4kg    (now 10x5kg)

Barbell bicep curls 21’s@15kg
Reverse barbell curls 10@15kg

Triceps pushdown  12@42kg
Standing dumbbell overhead triceps 10@8kg

These weights might seem low, but I’m not very strong at all and find this pretty hard. Of course, I’ll bump them up when I feel stronger.

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