Journey to Gymnastics Part 9: Diet Breakthrough!

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This month I’ve been predominantly trying out short high intensity work outs. These are great if you’re stuck for time (this month has been a busy one) yet don’t compromise on results.

I’ve been taking various calisthenic type exercises and doing 20 reps of each with no rest time. I’ll do one, two or three sets depending on how much I ache from the previous day and how much time I have.

An example workout:

20 V sits
20 press ups
20 supermans (supermen?)
20 crunches
20 squats (with little weights)

I mix up the exercises depending on which muscles I feel I need to work.

handstand-walking

As well as the high intensity workouts, I’ve been working on handstand walking! This really helps to improve shoulder and back muscles; which are very important for gymnastics.
My control has improved greatly and it works those muscles as well as being fun and a little bit impressive. Huzzah!

chin-up

When I started my fitness journey I couldn’t even do one pull up!
I’ve been doing press ups and negative pull ups in order to increase the muscles needed for regular ones. A negative pull up is when you jump to a pull up position and then slowly lower yourself down. It works all the right muscles but means you don’t need the strength to pull yourself up.
Now, I can do 3 pull ups! Although this doesn’t sound like a lot, it’s much easier to improve when that basic skill is accomplished. I can do sets of 3 in order to build up strength in those muscles and hopefully I’ll be knocking out sets of 10 in no time (let’s hope, haha).

I’m still doing bridge drills every day. These include falling back into a bridge from standing and using the wall to walk your hands down and back up again. Come on back flexibility, it’s almost there!

FOOD

I feel I have totally nailed this, finally! I’ve had very few treats this month. I’ve had smoothies everyday for breakfast and pretty much every meal has been a plant based whole food one. I’ve even been snacking on raw veggies (celery and carrot sticks are my new best friend!).

I had a fluey virus thing at the beginning of the month and I think that kick started this food epiphany. While I was ill I was craving basic raw fruit and veg, and after eating it I felt so much better. Food is fuel and if you put in the good stuff, it’s going to help you immensely.

To summarise, I’m at the point where I’m now eating a healthy plant based predominantly whole food diet every day (with the odd slice of cake as a treat). I still don’t want to be restrictive, so I’m not banning any foods, but I’m concentrating on choosing the good options over the bad.

Here’s a typical day of food for me:

Breakfast: Smoothie with banana, kale, frozen berries, pumpkin seeds, protein powder and almond milk

Snack: Celery and carrot sticks

Lunch: Jacket potato with tofu or humous/avocado and salad

Snack: Protein or nut bar

Dinner: Bean chilli with brown rice and avocado

I made some nutty granola bar type things as well so I’ve been having them as the odd snack. I feel better knowing what ingredients are going in there; it’s easier to keep them healthy that way.

nut-bars2

These are made from almonds, oats, dates, maple syrup, peanut butter and cacao nibs.
I didn’t make up the recipe but if you want to check it out, I used this one.

They’re completely yummy and as the main ingredients are oats and almonds, they’re filling and full of protein. All hail the nut bars!

Overall, I am progressing but quite slowly. I’m okay with that though. My fitness journey is for health and enjoyment reasons so I’m not expecting super quick results. I prioritise my work but make sure I have time to fit in workouts alongside. And I’m still determined to nail that backward walkover!

What are your current fitness goals?

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You might like: Journey to Gymnastics 1 and 8

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