Doing Strength Training at Home

Hello my dear readers, how are you? I hope you are well. I am going to share a story about my fitness progress. So, I have posted about health and fitness before and I always love to improve myself. I did manage to lose weight after giving birth to my son, mostly I have done it by doing cardio and choosing better food. I do lots of cardio types, from body combat, Muay Thai, aerobic, cycling, etc. 95 % of my exercise is cardio because I like it a lot, especially body combat.

Then I learn something new (at least for me it’s new). I learn about strength training. I mean I do know there are exercises like lifting weight. However, my judgment towards it is always superficial. Like many people, I think strength training is not good for women. It is going to make my body bulky and muscular like a man. I have joined a workout class that combines cardio and weights, I was doing it a couple of times and I notice that my arm become more toned. Instead of being happy, I was thinking “oh no, I am starting to be bulky”. Then I quit the class, it’s just so silly, I know.  

Earlier this year, I realize that I have got the wrong idea about strength training. I am curious about it so I learn more about it. It turns out, strength training is good for both men and women. It will not make women as muscular as men. Instead, it will help women’s bodies look leaner and toned. I decided to try strength training.

Regrettably, covid still around and I am still reluctant to go to the gym. Workout at home is the best option for now. Thus, I decided to hire an online coach, who will make a workout plan that caters to my needs, goals, and equipment available at home. Hiring an online coach is quite pricey, but I must say it’s worth it.

In the beginning, there are some kinds of the questioner that I have to fill in before starting the fitness program. The questions are asking about my health condition such as my height, my weight, how is my usual workout routine before taking the program, what are my goals (weight loss or gain muscle), is there any injury or health condition that can affect your workout.  Based on my answers, the coach sends me the fitness program through email in a pdf form. The fitness program is designed according to my need. There is a calculation about how much calorie intake I should eat in a day to reach my goal, the time frame to achieve it, training advice, training tips, and 4 months of fitness program (including the warm-up movement, all body workout, lower body workout, and upper body workout).

              I start the program on February 2021 up until now. I got to tell you when I first read about how much calories intake, I have to eat in a day to have a caloric deficit, I was so upset. It is rather low in calories. On the other hand, I learn that I have been overeating all this time. Before the program, I already doing what I thought was a “calorie deficit” by tracking my food with the app name “lose it”. Tracking calories with a mobile app is already the right step, however, I did not do it properly. For example, when I eat chicken or meat, I did not count it based on how many grams it is. I just put “1 chicken breast” without specific measurement, no matter the size of chicken breast I just going to count it the same amount.

The second mistake was reading the food nutrition label the wrong way. It is always written how many calories contain in one serving of food. The problem is I did not pay attention to how much is one serving. Such as when I eat yogurt that says 70 calories per serving, I thought it was low calories. Then I realize the 1 packaging of that yogurt contain 120 ml of product and the 1 serving the nutrition label of the yogurt refer to 70 ml of product. Which means the whole yogurt is actually 120 calories.

              Another mistake is whenever I do exercise, I count how many calories I burn with my smartwatch. In the “Lose it” app or any food tracking app there is an option where you can input your workout data. You put how many calories you burn during exercise (according to your smartwatch), then the app will recalculate your calorie intake of the day. Let say your daily calorie intake in a day is 1500 calories, and when you workout you burn 300 calories, the app will tell you, you can eat 1800 calories that day. As a result, you will think “since I exercise so hard today and burn lots of calories, I can eat whatever I want today”. Guess what? IT IS WRONG!

I am not supposed to eat more just because I exercise that day. I just have to eat the suggested calorie intake. That is exactly what I am doing for a couple of months before the fitness program and I wonder to myself why I haven’t made any progress.

              I don’t know whether you can see the difference in my picture below. The right side is my photo in 2018 when I do cardio all the time. The right side is me now after start doing strength training for 6 months.

I know hiring an online coach is not for everyone. I also think about it at first. Why don’t I just use youtube by watching videos on how to create your strength training workout routine. The thing is, it takes a lot of time to understand how it works. Like what kind of strength training movement will suit me, how many repetitions and sets should I do, how to lift a weight with the correct form, and many more questions. Especially for me who just try to get to know strength training. If I have to take time guessing the right workout plan for me without knowing whether it is the right one or not, then I will gradually lose my willpower and interest in it.

              Beside hiring a coach saves me a lot of time, I don’t have to understand the whole entire concept of building muscle mass beforehand. I can just start my training right away with coach instruction, plus if I don’t understand something I can just ask my coach. Considering hiring a fitness coach as an investment for your health and body. Even though you will spend money on it, you will get tremendous benefits for your body. Of course, you must execute the workout plan provided by your coach diligently. One of the downsides of it is you cannot expect your coach to motivate you, it all depends on your own intention. I personally never depend on other people to motivate me, so it is not a problem for me. I am not the type of person that needs a buddy to do exercise with. Simply because I think that I exercise for the sake of my health, not other people’s health. I am glad that I made the decision to sign up for the home workout program. I can see some results in my body after doing it for about 6 months now. It is not a drastic change but quite noticeable. My clothes fit better, my body becomes leaner and I lose about 3 kg.

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