Ariel's YP Get Fit Blog: Week three - Seeing the gains

Ariel's YP Get Fit Blog: Week three - Seeing the gains

Throughout September, reporter Ariel will train at Coastal Fitness Performance Training, lifting weights and focusing on strength training and conditioning. Check in with Ariel's blog posts every Wednesday for an update on how much she's lifting.


I'm not nearly as scared of the neatly stacked piles of weights as I was two weeks ago!
I'm not nearly as scared of the neatly stacked piles of weights as I was two weeks ago!
Photo: Ariel Conant/SCMP

With my new "can do" attitude, I was more than ready to tackle week three at Coastal Fitness Performance Training

Things were getting easier. It was easier for me to wake up early in the morning to get to the gym. It was easier for me to go through the routines Sophie had set out for me. It was easier to pick up heavier weights.

But easier still doesn't mean easy!

Sophie still made sure I was pushing myself to the max every single time. But the main thing I was starting to discover was how much FUN it could be! 

On Monday I was back in the gym at 6am, before the sun was even up. But this time I felt ready for it. Sophie seemed to sense my new enthusiasm, and stepped up the difficulty level, ending the regular weight sets with a brutal set of rounds including weighted sit-ups, fast cycling, and kettlebell swings.

Kettlebell swings look fun, but they're harder than they seem!
Photo: Ariel Conant

But this week I was determined. I was halfway through my month of training, and now I had some goals in mind. Now I was easily lifting weights that I had struggled to even get off the ground during my first week. I was amazed with the progress I was making, and I was determined to get the most from it.

And by far my biggest progress came on Wednesday when I upped my deadlifts to 50kg!

50kg Romanian Deadlifts, got to keep correct form with a straight back!
Photo: Ariel Conant

That's basically the weight of some of our other reporters at Young Post! I was quite proud of my achievement, and spent the next few days showing off my "guns" (my not-quite-impressive-yet arm muscles) to everyone in the office. 

And my gains didn't stop there. For most of my exercises I was already more than doubling the weights I had struggled with just two weeks before. With the help of Sophie, I was able to pile on the heavy weights for everything from overhead presses to back extensions.

The most fun exercise is the back extensions (with a 12.5kg dumbbell)
Photo: Ariel Conant

There's nothing more motivating than seeing those weight numbers increase like that. It makes you push harder, and aim for bigger and better numbers. Even on days when you can't see much change in the mirror, those weight numbers let you know just how much stronger you've become. They help you see and feel the difference, and even though it's only been three weeks, I feel a million times stronger (ok, about 3 times stronger according to my numbers, but still!). 

Now that my form is down and the movements are coming more naturally (no more creaking knees or aching unused muscles!) it's down to a numbers game between me and the weights.


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