They say if you want to succeed in life, you should surround yourself with like-minded people. In my life, I have two of them: my mom, who I nicknamed Benjamin Buttons because of her seeming agelessness, and my fiance, who I originally got in contact with to be my trainer. When they get together, it’s like a house on fire. They can spend hours on discussions about finance, investments, veganism and fitness, which leads to me learning new and interesting facts that I can apply to my life.
Recently, my mom decided to issue a family-wide challenge: let’s develop a four-week fitness program, eating a plant-based diet and measuring our results. The fiance developed the functional routine, with five days on and two days rest. My mom is an epic sharer of new recipes, so we’ve not been without inspiration for the challenge. For reference, my mom is 56 years old, works out nearly daily and can run faster and longer than I can. My fiance is 31, a former high school and college basketball and track and field star who has become serious about incorporating a plant-based diet in his life.
Unsurprisingly, since I’ve been known as the “tardy one” since childhood, I’m just getting on the boat with the exercise regimen. I started with legs – a killer – and will continue tomorrow with the upper body.
With a schedule that currently includes yoga training, working in the studio and a regular 40 hour workweek, I know I’ll be working on:
- Consistency in meal-planning. This is also a challenge for my fiance, who likes to be able to eat immediately when he’s hungry, rather than cook for every meal. We’ve managed to stay on task with our diets by keeping a supply of easy-to-cook vegetables, knowing the best proteins that work for our nutritional need and keeping snacks and splurges like takeout and candy to a minimum.
- Not making excuses. I’m good for talking myself out of a workout, especially since I’m not a morning person and when I get in for the night, I mostly want to veg out in sweatpants. The good part about living with an accountability partner is that when I get home, I have someone to remind me about the workout. It’s hard to skip a sweat session when your partner is already lacing up their shoes.
- Tracking results. I gave up on scales years ago (I think they give you a complex) and I judge my physique by how well my clothes fit. Clearly, I’m not a results-driven exerciser. With my mom focusing on results, I’ll have to do better about taking an accurate assessment of my caloric intake, how I look and feel and writing down results.
Here is the killer leg workout I did today, to get you started. Lift as heavy as you can while maintaining form and not overexerting your body. All exercises are four (4) sets of 12, unless it is indicated otherwise.
- Hamstring Curls
- Walking Lunges
- Calf Raises – four (4) sets of 25
I’ll update with more workouts, plus news of any results that I notice.