Disclaimer: The person in the cover image is not me!
I have successfully completed the #100DaysOfFitness challenge and it feels so great! It is a big deal for me since I suck at self-motivation when it comes to physical exercise. Making myself publically accountable for the workout was a great way to get me up from the chair and go to the gym.
It all started one day when after 2 months of gap I went to the gym again. You see, this was not the first time I tried to add exercise into my life. For the past 1 year, I was in an on-and-off relationship with the gym 😅. I always found excuses to skip the gym.
Then, I read somewhere about the #100DaysOfX challenge. I thought let’s give it a try, this seems like a great way to challenge myself! And hence I started.
I used Twitter to post my progress and hold myself accountable. I started on the 12th of November 2018. You can follow the journey here.
My goal from this challenge was to make it a habit to workout for 30-45 mins/day, 5-6 times a week. The goal was not to lose weight or gain muscle (though I actively tracked it). Also, gaining some strength was a priority of me instead of just focussing on the cardio.
I chose to workout in evenings since I am not a morning person and it would be tough for me to get up early and go to the gym. I wanted this to be as smooth as possible. Also, for me, mornings are very calm and I would prefer to study or code rather than sweating in the gym.
To track how many calories I was actually burning I got a Xiaomi fitness tracker (MI band 3). It did the job and counted calories almost accurately and worked pretty well for me. Also, it was cheap.
I had a gym membership before (of six months, 😝). Guess how many days I went to the gym? Turns out, the process of getting into the gym clothes and then going to the gym, which was at around 15 mins walk from my apartment, was way too much to ask from me.
To overcome this, I joined the gym in my society. There were no trainers and less equipment in this gym but I realized the trainers in the professional gym hardly had time for me after my 2 weeks in the gym. As for the equipment, they were enough for me. Once I am in my gym clothes, it took me less than a minute to get to the gym. So no more excuses!
Again, this was not a part of my goal. I made absolutely no changes to my diet, though later I realized that I am automatically eating less junk now because now I know the calories I would need to burn to compensate for that.
I wake up at ~7.30 AM (on a good day), drink my coffee while checking my emails and going through the phone. After that first coffee of the day and a great sleep, I feel energized to do something productive. So I would spend the next two hours working on a side project or solve questions on Leetcode/Codechef (depends on the mood).
At around 11 AM I would get up and get ready for work. I get to work by 11.45 AM and would stay there till 5.30 PM. After that, I come back to my apartment and change into my Gym clothes and enjoy some YouTube/ Netflix along with coffee.
I would work out from 6 to 7 PM. More on the workout later. From 7.30 PM to 9 PM I usually have meetings which I attend from home. For me, 7 PM is too early to have dinner so I chug on a protein shake which keeps me full until dinner.
After which I usually study/work on a side project/Netflix till 12 AM and then go to bed.
I knew I had to make it fun otherwise I would not be able to make it till 100 Days! And also, I (used to) hate running or walking or moving 😂. So choosing a workout plan which was fun was very important for me.
I stuck to a simple workout with more focus on the compound movements such as Deadlifts and Bench Press. This was my day-wise routine:
- Monday- Chest and Triceps
- Tuesday- Back
- Wednesday- Cardio and Abs
- Thursday- Biceps
- Friday- Shoulders
- Saturday- Legs
I watched some YouTube videos to customize each day’s workout based on the equipment I had. Then just followed it for 100 Days without changing much. My main focus was to progressively overload the weights for each of the workouts. Also, I made sure I was using the correct form since there was no trainer.
This challenge changed me! Not only physically but mentally as well.
👉 Some of the direct effects:
- I can now do 25 Pushups in one set😅. I know that’s not much, but when I started this number was 3. I was weak.
- The same goes for almost every other exercise. I managed to get at least 5-6 times better in terms of weight or the reps.
- I lost around 500 grams(lol) of body fat and converted it to muscles. My overall weight thus remained constant. Again this is not much but I am happy that I did not have to make any major changes to my diet.
- I feel stronger now 💪.
👉 Apart from these, there were some indirect effects.
- I don’t feel sleepy all the time.
- After the workout, I expected myself to be tired and exhausted. But to my surprise, after the first week, after workout hours were my most productive hours! My concentration was on a whole another level.
- I was eating healthy even though I did not plan for it. When I calculated how much I have to run for that KitKat I ate yesterday, I immediately stopped eating stuff I knew I wouldn’t be able to burn. I am lazy and would try to avoid extra workout at all costs.
- I am more confident now.
- I enjoy the workout and no longer see it as a thing I have to do every day. It has become a part of my life and it feels great.
- I managed to get a 4 star rating on codechef. (My highest yet!)
Just keep going. No matter what, just keep pushing. You might miss 2 days in a row or 3 days in a row. But make sure you workout as soon as you get a chance. Even if you don’t have a lot of time, just go to the gym and do it for 20 mins. Initially what’s important is that you are consistent and are making efforts to push yourself.
Don’t bother about the diet and doing all the complex exercises. Start with the basics, make it a habit and then improve over time. If you are not making progress then don’t lose hope.
I still feel like if I would have trained with a professional trainer at a gym and followed a strict diet I would have seen better results. But then I know its not practical for me to follow the diet or the workout for more than a month (I gave it a try once, didn’t end well).
Just do what works for you. Can’t do it in the evenings? Wake up half an hour earlier and hit the gym. Don’t have time for it in the morning and evening? Go at midnight. Can’t find a gym nearby? Go for a run. Just start.
Hope this was helpful. I don’t want to bore you with my body measurements 😅.
Here’s a photo of me after the challenge. I got up from the chair and took this photo for this article so please ignore the hair and my messy room 😝.