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Fitness & Health

01st Aug 2018

Total Transformation: Week Three

This week Reuben discusses the ego in the weight room and eating beef at 5:30am

Reuben Pinder

I miss cereal

I really do. I miss the delight of a sugary, milky bowl of pleasure in the morning. The realisation, at 5:30am, that I have a choice between a mountain of egg or a bowl of beef, instead of a mountain of jam-covered toast and a bowl of coco pops, is becoming tiresome.

However, I am getting my chocolatey fix from the Chocotrients shake that accompanies my savoury breakfast. So, at least there’s that. It’s not exactly Nesquik, but it is immeasurably more beneficial.

And while I sometimes dread eating breakfast, I can take the solace in the fact that my appetite has grown to be able to digest 250g of red meat before 6am. That is significant progress given my struggles in week one.

Food aside, progress is steadily continuing. This week, I have increased the weight that I am lifting on the leg press to 59kg, as well as on the tricep pull down to 14.7kg. Other machines in the day to day gym that I use do not have the perfect weight to push me to the maximum, so I settle on a doable weight and aim to perfect the technique, which is just as important as lifting heavy.

In the grand scheme of things, that’s obviously still a light load to lift. The whole point of this programme is that I will end up lifting something near double these weights, and we’re still in the early stages. But one problem for a lot of people, mostly men, my size when they enter the weight room is the insecurity of lifting an 8kg dumbbell next to someone lifting 25kg in each hand.

And that’s completely understandable. There is a lot of ego in the gym; men surrounded by other men, all trying to make themselves bigger, for a variety of reasons but let’s be honest, mostly vain ones. That is fine too, we all want to look good, but there remains an air of intimidation in the gym room that can put off skinny guys from joining.

That’s something I’ve had to learn to block out and forget about. I remind myself that the only person I’m competing with is myself from last week. The good thing is, the light dumbbells are nearly always available for use. So, every cloud.

I’ve also started paying more attention to what I listen to during my workouts. The right song can get you over the line on that twelfth rep when your arms are starting to give up. The selection of ‘workout’ playlists on Apple Music simplify the task of finding something massively. Sometimes, I’ll be in the mood for some 80s bangers to psyche me up. Others, the hip-hop workout playlist is the way to go. It all depends on my mood.

Now, if you’ll excuse me, I have to go and work out. Today I think we’ll go with Rock Workout.