Since I've started working out, I've tried a whole range of workout plans. Every single one was different, they all helped me and showed my progress in different areas but unfortunately, I never found myself going past 8 weeks on any plans.
For the last 4 weeks I've been on a workout plan called "Strong Is The New Sexy" made by David Costa. I've been determined to finish this one, and considering I was already interested in using more weights in my workouts and also learning new ways to challenge myself, the last 6 weeks have gone by quite smoothly (with the except of the one week that I got the flu).
I'll put up two post about my experience with "Strong Is The New Sexy". The second will be uploaded at the end of the 12 weeks with my full experience and complete progress but for now, let's share my details at the start of this program and how I've felt about the first 4 weeks of the plan.
There are two versions available - a gym version and a home version. I am doing the home version since I have my own equipment (and also because gyms in Singapore are generally not affordable to me). Of course, the gym version will require you to use the machines and equipment at a gym, and the home version still requires you to have certain items such as dumbbells, benches, exercise balls etc. So it does require some investment on your part of either a gym membership or some home equipment regardless of which version of the plan you wish to purchase.
Now for the actual plan:
Strong Is The New Sexy involves about 3-4 days of strength based workouts which are all provided and one day of cardio per week where you can do whatever you prefer (I opted for HIIT workouts from the "Train With Tanya" app by Tanya Poppet a.k.a @Achieving_Balance )
The plan includes everything from workouts and recipes - which I did not use as I don't do my own cooking and I am a vegan, although many of the recipes are already vegan and the other can be swapped out easily to be made into vegan recipes.
It also included information on what bodybuilding is and what the plan has in store for you.
My favourite part of the whole guide is actually the 3 pages of fitness misconceptions. That's one part I think many people need to read, re-read and read once again before starting any plan.
Previews of the meal plan and fitness misconceptions page:
The workout section of the plan is separated into 4 parts;
Week 1 and 2 - Global Physical Conditioning
Week 3 and 4 - involves Specific Physical Conditioning
Week 5 to 8 - Specific Muscle Building
Week 9 to 12 - HIIT Et Cross Training
I'll go into more details about the actual workout and how I felt with the different sections in the next post (once I finish the plan). But now that I've done the first 4 weeks of training, what do I think?
I love it.
Considering the workouts I've been doing prior to SITNS, what I want to achieve and that I like to challenge myself, the first 4 weeks of this plan was perfect. Everything was new, it challenged me enough that I loved the doms the next day and foam rolling meant a whole new thing.
Everything was more intense, it encouraged me to do better (form over speed) and made me appreciate the new form of training. I'm so used to plans that focused on doing as many sets within a certain amount of time and that sometimes "the more sets you do the better" but that has made me sometimes worry too much about the numbers and less about whether what I'm doing was performed with the right form. SITNS is not time based at all. We get a fixed number of reps and sets and that's definitely made me feel better than trying to rush through a workout.
A lot of what I did previous was also strength mixed in with more cardio based movements so you get an "all around" workout or burned more calories than if you stuck to purely strength on a particular day. But what I realised from this plan was that it was structured better, so my form stayed consistent throughout the workout because I wasn't too tired from doing high intensity movements every second exercise in every workout, and that also cut out on the rest time I took between exercises.
One thing I really enjoy in the plan was that the exercises in the plan are explained in a section before the workout and also includes links to youtube videos to teach you what they exercises look like. How good is that?
Frankly I don't learn well from reading how a move is meant to be performed, I like being able to see it. Of course the best option would be to have someone tell me after if I'm doing it right but this is the next best thing.
So this was amazing for me rather than having to waste time looking up how to do some of the exercises myself.
I know for many of you, you might want something easier. Many people prefer workout videos over an e-book and many want exercises they already know how to perform rather than having to learn new ones.
Even if that sounds like you, take a little step outside of your comfort zone. I was used to 2kg weights and tons of cardio way back when, and I despised strength training. But look at me now, I'm the complete opposite and I love every moment of it!
If you want a little preview of this plan - you know, try before you buy!
You can get a preview on their website at http://strongisthenewsexy.es
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