One of the most simplest yet most effective core exercise requires more willpower than it does strength (although that certainly helps, too). What am I talking about? The Plank, of course! When I train clients, I experience more people dropping out due to sheer loss of willpower rather than muscle fatigue. Because it’s hard to fatigue your core. Although some people do go until their muscles fail, which is something I absolutely admire. You can tell when this happens–the entire body will start to shake and they will fall on their face. Admirable. But go ahead, try a plank real quick, go as long as you can. Notice how you kind of get bored and your willpower muscle starts to fail? Let’s change that.
So I challenge you to try to do a plank every day for the rest of the year. Train your willpower (and your core), bat down your boredom and focus on strength and discipline. I believe and I know through experience that practicing the plank over and over is the true way to increasing your willpower enough to actually plank until muscle fatigue. Who’s with me?! Plank every day to stay hungry and fit!
Disclaimer: I would never suggest this “diet” to anyone else. For me, it was just a willpower test I’ve wanted to try. I am highly against crash or fad diets.
Second Disclaimer: This is kind of a long post, but only because it means a lot to me.
I did it. I did it! I did it! If you’re wondering why I’m seemingly raving mad right now, direct yourself to this post. If you don’t feel like reading the whole thing (even though it’s short), I’ll give you a little summary. I did a crazy thing of subjecting myself to 7 days of 560 caloric hell. The actors from Spartacus did this to get lean and in slave-gladiator-like shape for their show. It was a prescribed four water protein shakes a day. That’s it. For an entire week. And that was while they were at “Gladiator Camp” doing 4 hours of combat work each day. I unfortunately had no such camp to attend, so every other day I completed the hellish Spartacus Circuit (3 times over). And on the other days, I did other cardio and strength exercises.
So last Wednesday I forwent food, subsisting on only 4-5 protein shakes a day (water mixed with protein powder). If any of you know me, I am hungry most of the time. Why do you think we named this blog Hungry and Fit? I didn’t choose to do this to lose weight or lose inches (even though I am doing this contest), I did it for the sole sake of testing my willpower. And I did it. I didn’t touch any food for that entire week though I drooled and craved it constantly. I’m waiting for someone to send me my “Willpower Extraordinaire” plaque, but I guess it takes time to mail.
I am very proud of myself and happy I pushed through. Water, gum, and ice are the three material things that really helped me get through it. Oh, and video games. Thanks, nerdy side of myself, for helping me get lost in that while I wasn’t working out or working. More than those, Chris and friends really supported me. Chris was there for me every step of the way and my friends would text me each morning say, “Alana, still staying strong?!” I appreciated it more than they know. Because I was definitely an infinitely more grumpy person during that week. You can especially ask Chris, but also my workmates like Daisy or Kim too.
Again, I would not suggest this to anyone. After only consuming 560 calories a day, working out every day, and continuing an active-paced job, I lost ten pounds (I know my mum is yelling at me right now back home). Ten pounds in a week is NOT GOOD. Listen to me, I’m a trainer. That’s what you call a bad crash diet. Again, I want to reiterate, I did it for the willpower test, because for me, I think at the end of the day, if you don’t have your willpower, you don’t have anything. It was extremely rough the first few days–who am I kidding, it was rough for the entirety, but I started getting used to not consuming food. However, by the end, my body was pretty mad at me, making me a little sick and weak. Again–DON’T do this. I’m just sharing my achievement. It ended up de-motivating me for my contest because I was so miserable without food and feeling weak.
I’m showing you pictures of how my body slightly transformed, not as motivation, but to document how this affected me.
You can imagine how blissfully amazing this day of rebirth into food has been (if you think I’m being dramatic, blame my dad, he’s an actor). I had my meals planned days in advance (because what do you do when you can’t eat? You think about food!). I was in such a better mood than I had been all week and I was just happy because I did it. I accomplished something I had wanted to for a long time now. I’m all for celebration, but I’m still on track for this contest. And although today is a “cheat” day (you’ll get descriptions and pictures after this of my meals today), I’m going right back to strict eating of lean proteins, veggies, fruits, and complex carbohydrates to get to my “extremely fit” goal with Chris at my back as a coach.
This wasn’t even close to my cheat day before the Spartacus Hell Week (in terms of bad food), but it was cheat enough for me because it was real, beautiful FOOD. Let’s look at the menu.
For Breakfast: Dot’s Diner
I really tried slowly eating, but you can’t understand my excitement and happiness. I ate most of it, but not the whole biscuit. Stomach felt funky for a few hours, but it just needs to get used to solids again.
For Lunch: Snarf’s
The mouth-watering in this situation happened to be ridiculous. Again, tried to take my time.
For Dinner: Korea House
I wasn’t going to (or supposed to) have any thick dairy like milk or ice cream, but we were served it by our favorite Korean chef and we always put respect, honor, and morals before anything else.
All in all, I’m glad I did it. I’m proud of myself. But I will never do it again. I only wish to inspire people to try to reach higher and higher, because you never know what you’re capable of. Wish me luck on the rest of my 5 weeks til the end of the contest! Going to be on an eating plan of tuna, beans, rice, vegetables, grapefruit, banana, fish and oatmeal! Use your willpower to stay hungry and fit!
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If you read my post yesterday, you’ll know that I’m doing a contest to transform myself (from fit to extremely fit) and see how strong and lean I can make my body. I started off with a 10-day cleanse, a cheat day, and now Hell Week begins. Again, here is my bodyspace. This is when I need the most support. When the days look bleak and I’m not looking forward to much at all. When my stomach begins eating itself.
I’m not a fan of fad diets. And this isn’t a fad diet, it’s getting my body to a certain point where I can then maintain it for the next 5 weeks or so with lean proteins, veggies, and complex carbohydrates. But even before I knew about this contest, I wanted to do this challenge. I wanted it primarily for the ultimate willpower test. Now you’re probably screaming, “What ‘diet’ are you talking about!” Check this video out, don’t worry, it’s only 2-3 minutes long and it’s a lot of fun.
My “diet” is based on the actors who trained for Spartacus: Blood and Sand, the Starz series, the original series with the late Andy Whitfield. 4 water-protein shakes a day. That’s it. And that was all the while doing 4 hours of “Gladiator Camp”–which I would love to do, but it’s damn tough. To get lean and mean. I got my protein powder from tigerfitness.com (Machine Whey Powder) which Chris recommended as one of the best protein powders, especially for this task (and similar to what they used). So this is what I’m doing: four or five (alternating each day) protein shakes, which is just protein powder and water. That’s it. For seven days.
I just completed Day 1 and it feels like a century. 4 water protein shakes spaced roughly four hours apart. The first five hours and last five hours were the toughest. However, I was able to complete a 1.64 mile trail run with a dog and a 1.5 hour arms workout. Not bad, but again, it was rough and miserable. Any food sounds good. I use water and gum to curb my constant hunger. This is a willpower test and I can do it. I know I can. I want to see how far I can push myself. Like I said, I wanted to do this before I even knew about the contest just to test my willpower.
So here I go, eating like Spartacus and also training somewhat like him (doing Spartacus workouts). I’m looking at 4-5 water protein shakes a day for the next 6 days. Every smell and glance of food will tempt me, but I will stay strong. This will keep me hungry and fit!
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You’ll get stronger. Sometimes it’s tough to keep going, day after day, with workouts, with progress, with fighting towards your goal. We know. Many times we’ve gotten knocked down, but we push ourselves back up. We understand how tough it is to keep all that fight going, but let me tell you, it is worth it. Don’t give up.
A question I would always ask is, “What’s going to happen if I keep going?” It is a question I would often ask during workouts with friends I would lead. A way to keep them (and I) going. When our lungs are burning, our legs are aching, and our muscles are screaming at us to stop. But what if we keep going? We get stronger. Hard work, persistence, willpower always pays off.
So when you’re on the last leg of your run, when you’re on the second to last rep of that squat press, or just have one more lap of swimming to complete–think of this question:
What will happen if you keep going? You will get stronger.
Cheers! And as always, stay hungry and fit!