Journey to Gymnastics 4: First month progress!

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I’ve completed the first month of my fitness journey, huzzah! Here’s a little update about what I’ve been doing (and eating!).

I’m going to take progress photos every month or so, in order to see any physical changes. Within this first month I’ve noticed more definition in my back muscles and I can feel that my shoulders have got stronger. I think I’ve lost a little bit of belly fat as well!
Although I’m not doing this in order to look better, it’s something that goes hand in hand with fitness and it’s good to notice any changes; it shows that all the hard work is paying off.

I’m currently working out 3 times a week and doing stretches (mainly splits and bridges) 4 or 5 times a week. I had a go at these lifts to see if I could manage them and to see how much work is ahead of me!

frog-lift

I think is actually a yoga position but I find it’s a good thing to do in order to warm up for the more difficult lifts. It’s a good one for balance and core strength.

pike-lift

Eventually I hope to be able to continue the pike lift into a handstand! For now, I can only hold it for about 2 seconds, but even that is progress. I couldn’t do it at all at the beginning of this journey!

straddle-lift

The straddle lift also will end up continuing into a handstand. I find this easier than the pike one, but still a way to go!

After a couple of weeks of work outs, I had a go on the apparatus for the first time in 15 years! I went in there knowing full well that everything would be terrifying so my aim was to go for it and not think too much. Gymnastics definitely requires mental strength as well as physical. I wanted to try a cartwheel on the beam and see if I could still manage to get onto the bar. Here’s how I got on…

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I got my handstand back! I really benefitted from having space (and mats) to give it a good go. My house is very small and cramped so it made all the difference. I can hold it for a few seconds and walk about on my hands. I’m so pleased with that at this stage!

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I practised a cartwheel on the floor beam and then I managed to stick it on the big beam! There was a big squishy mat underneath though so my aim now is to manage it on a normal beam with standard mats underneath.

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I managed to get onto the low bar, jump and catch the high bar. I really wanted to still be able to do this, so was pretty chuffed. Although it took m a while to find the courage to jump and catch! I don’t know why it all seems so scary but I guess it’s much harder and more risky when you’re a full grown adult!

Goals that I want to reach before Christmas:

1  Backbend to bridge
2  Bridge kick over (this is a massive milestone as this leads to so many other skills)
3  Cartwheel on the high beam with no big mats!
4  Squat on bars, catch the top bar
5  Straddle over on the vault

Food:

I’m been trying to eat clean, again not really strictly but it does make so much difference to my muscle definition.

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The third sausage wouldn’t fit in the wrap!

A typical day’s food:

Breakfast: Smoothie consisting of 1 banana, 1 cup spinach, 1/8 cup almonds, 1/8 cup chia seeds, 1/8 cup hemp protein powder, almond milk.

Lunch: Wholemeal tortilla wrap with vegan ham, chicken or sausages, spinach, avocado, cucumber, tomato, humous, soy cheese.

Snack: Protein bar (Trek or Clif), another smoothie, or a bowl of porridge.

Dinner: Vegan chicken fillets/pieces or tofu, wholemeal rice with broccoli OR bean chilli with rice OR soy sausages with sweet potato mash and grilled mushrooms.

If I get hungry in between I snack on almonds, apples or peanut butter on wholemeal toast.

I’ve managed to get past the eating out barrier as well. I found these options at a couple of cafes that I regularly go to. The left is smashed avocado on superfood toast and the right one is coconut dairy free yoghurt with fruit and granola. Nom!

I can see little improvements which are keeping me going. My abs are slowly coming back and I feel like my splits are getting there, overall I’m seeing more flexibility. I’m excited to get back on the apparatus now I’ve overcome the first scary hurdles!

Overall, I’m really pleased with how the first month has gone. Bring on the next one!

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You might like: Journey to Gymnastics Part 3

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