12 WEEKS LATER: CHIN-UP CENTRAL
I can do it! After 12 weeks of training for only a half an hour per week with Dishan, the fitness training guru at Human@Ease, I can do, not only one, but two unassisted chin-ups! That is hanging from a dead weight and pulling myself all the way up.
That and a slew of other improvements in my physical composition and life in general.
You asked for them: the dreaded before and afters photos. As I explained in my original article, we weren’t aiming for anything dramatic in my appearance, but I do look pretty buff if I do say so myself! And I feel great, too. I have more energy, I feel stronger, I get great sleep and after a workout I feel like I can do anything.
The “I can do anything” feeling combined with my general stubbornness made me foolishly lift an 80lb bag of ice up two flights of stairs and I was pretty hurting for a few days in my lower back area, but I survived. I can also squat my boyfriend with no pain and only gain and now carrying my bicycle up to my third floor apartment is a piece of cake.
Aside from chin-up ability and looking like a super hero, the goals were that I maintain my body weight and maintain my body fat but gain lean body mass. So build muscles basically!
My weight stayed the same: 120lbs
I went from 17.4% to 16% body fat.
My lean body mass went from 99lb of my weight to 101lbs. Meaning more of my weight is lean weight. Meaning my metabolism is faster. (In my mind that means I can eat more!)
The change in my measurements is interesting, too and have made me more proportional.
I gained 1/4 inch around my neck, 1/2 inch around my biceps, and 1/2 inch around my chest.
I lost a 1/4 inch around my thighs and 1/2 inch from my hips!
I can now fit into some of those jeans I was hoping to one day fit into again (with a little less agony.) And a funny thing happened when I brought a few dresses into the tailor to get the tops taken in: they fit!
When I started I could do 1 push-up and 10 negatives. (a negative is starting at the top and lowering down). Now I can 13 push-ups. These are not your regular push-ups. Try doing them super slow, not using momentum and lowering down almost to the floor. It sucks and Dishan puts a little pillow you can stuff you face into (or as I like to do, take a nap on.)
With the chin-ups I could do 1 assisted and 6 negatives. Now I can do 3 unassisted, 2 assisted and 6 negatives. They are so hard! But you feel so good afterwards.
Honestly, aside from this workout I have done nothing else. I am usually a jogger, but haven’t been doing that and my diet has not changed at all. I eat pretty healthy but growing up in a Sicilian home, I devour bread and pasta and have a hard time turning down sweets. So, nothing has changed except this 1/2 hour of an intense butt kicking workout.
It has really helped me in other ways as well. I have more energy so I can do more. Being able to get through a work-out and get better inspires me to improve in other areas of my life, like to be more organized and take on challenges that seem impossible. When I started a chin-up was impossible and now it is a reality. These little accomplishments in life are big values that improve self-esteem, motivation and help me believe in myself. It isn’t just a workout.
31 Nassau Ave