Matt FitKno cable fly

There was a fleeting moment, as I forced the barbell up for eight repetitions of an overhead press during a barbell complex that I thought to myself: ‘I’ve had enough’. I was worn out, exhausted by just over two hours of an ambitions HIIT workout designed to have just such an impact. I contemplated skipping the last two sets of this knackering exercise and calling it a day. But, considering I had come this far (I hadn’t expected to), giving up at such a stage would have been cheating myself of a brilliant achievement. I fought on…

As I sat watch Isobel play at a party the previous afternoon, I decided to plan my Sunday morning workout—with the emphasis being on cardio and high intensity exercises. Maybe I was a little too ambitious, but if you’ve learnt anything from my blog it should be that I never set foot in a gym to take it easy. It took me just under two and a half hours, constantly moving from one exercise to another, I felt sick a few times, but I didn’t skip anything. I did the whole lot and walking out afterwards, I felt brilliant because of it.

Treadmill:                                                 10 mins at 12kph
Russian Twist with 10kg med ball:       2 x 40 reps
Rowing:                                                     10 mins
Woodchopper:                                        2 x 12 reps each side with 50kg weight
Incline treadmill side steps:                  5 mins at maximum incline
Sit ups with 20kg weight:                      3 x 12 reps
Rowing:                                                    5 mins
Leg and hip raises:                                 2 x 12 reps
Treadmill:                                                 5 mins at 15kph
Press ups:                                                3 x 12 reps
Treadmill:                                                5 mins at maximum incline
Barbell complex:                                    3 x 8 reps with 20kg*

*Straight-leg dead lifts bent over row, upright row, bicep curl, front squats, back squats, overhead press.

There wasn’t much opportunity to rest for the remainder of the day though, I had a few jobs to do at home before taking Isobel to the park in the afternoon to ride her bike. The evening was spent working late into the night catching up on writing blog posts and putting pictures on the website. There is never a quiet moment and I love it like that!

Outside Bar Old Wembley AmsterdamMonday morning, I woke after having one of those dreams that are freakishly real. I opened my eyes and lay staring up at the ceiling, convinced that I had just returned from Amsterdam, without finding time to visit any of my friends or the Old Wembley bar. The dream I had was so real, where I was too busy with work that I didn’t have the time to go out or to the gym in Amsterdam. I think it speaks volumes about my obsession with the place that I have dreams like this! What followed was a busy day at work, but no gym afterwards as I enjoyed a recovery day. I took the opportunity to visit the solarium after work and top up my vitamin D, which is really helping me through the winter season!

I was taking a shower before work on Tuesday when Isobel dashed into the bathroom, telling me that something had fallen down in her bedroom—she seemed very apologetic, so I guessed straight away that whatever had fallen down hadn’t done so without her assistance. It turns out it was the curtain tie back; the same one I had asked her not to swing on yesterday (and in doing so reminding myself of my dad who used to say the same things to me when I was Isobel’s age). Maggie was angrier than I was, it’s out the wall now and will maybe serve as a reminder to her that she can’t just swing from anything she likes!

Traffic Jam

My drive to work was more torturous than ever, taking just over two hours, thanks to numerous roadworks and accidents along the way. It took almost an hour to travel the first 10 miles, perhaps I should have taken the decision to work from home by that point, but I stuck with it and made in to the office just before 10:00. By the time I got to the gym in the evening, I wasn’t really in the mood—but persevered anyway. Tonight, was a lot easier than Sunday, working my legs for 90 minutes before heading home for an early night.

I travelled to London on Wednesday morning, meeting Katie, a colleague there to collect furniture for our new London office. Annoyingly, Katie and I both got there for the pre-arranged time of 10:30, only to discover the van we needed wasn’t turning up until 12:00. A delightful lunch at IKEA of all places of smoked salmon salad and a salmon fillet with mashed potato and creamed cabbage brightened up what was a very intense day. It was past 21:30 by the time I arrived home and I went straight to bed, too exhausted to even make a light supper.

I was very tired throughout Thursday, with watery eyes and a severe lack of energy—but still managed to summon the motivation to go to the gym in the evening, working on a monster upper body session. I’ve never really used the cable machine for anything other than the woodchopper, but tonight I incorporated two variation of the cable chest fly into my workout—one pulling up, with the pulley set low, and the other pulling down with the pulley set slightly higher than my shoulders. Both worked a treat and activated both the upper and lower fibres of my pectoral muscles. Despite feeling mentally tired, my body responded well tonight and I had a great workout.

Fitbit Ionic fitness tracker smart watch on its box

Friday was another productive day working from home—without spending time driving in and out of the office I was able to concentrate my time on creating content for some updates to our website. I was thrilled to receive my replacement Fitbit Ionic, without which I have felt lost for the past week or so. The package contained just the watch, with no strap or charger, so I needed to find the other bits before I could set it up and use it. I was relieved to discover it paired with my Huawei Mate 20 Pro a lot faster than my old Fitbit, which sometimes would take four or five attempts, including restarting both phone and watch. It’s been weird not looking back to see how many steps I’ve taken each day, or how I’ve been sleeping!

Later in the day I headed to the gym for the same HIIT workout previously endured on Sunday. Tonight, it was a lot harder and I thought I should have developed a ‘light’ version. After just under two hours I decided to end the workout without doing the barbell complex. I was thoroughly worn out and just didn’t have the energy—whilst I was totally disappointed not to complete the workout, sometimes you have to listen to your body!

On Saturday I enjoyed a real treat of a lie in, getting up at 08:30 (my constant wake time has drifted quite a bit), which is about as late as I’ve gotten up over the past few years. I had some aches in my lower back since Friday and wanted to get as much rest and recovery as I could, although later in the day the real reason behind this would become obvious.

Matt FitKno 93.4kg

I was thrilled to see that I have dropped even more weight, coming in at 93.4kg when I stepped on the scales this morning. All my hard work is paying off, maybe not as quickly I would like—but that’s the way it is. After another kid’s birthday party (they are coming thick and fast now, with one or two every week), it was another night working late uploading pictures to the blog section of FitKno. I’ve prioritised creating written content so far and used holding pictures rather than the artwork I will eventually use. Now it’s getting closer to the launch date, I am working through the blog posts and adding pictures. I’m so pleased how FitKno is looking, when I started on this journey I had a vision of how I wanted the website to look, minimalist with clean branding—seeing it come to life in the manner I had imagined makes me feel brilliant.

Although what was considerably less brilliant about Saturday night was the twinges of discomfort that appeared in my throat as the evening drew on. What started out as a mere smarting just after dinner progressed to the stage where I accepted a full-on sore throat was virtually unavoidable. Would a good night’s sleep pay dividends and allow me to go to the gym on Sunday, or would I finally succumb to the cold I’d managed to dodge so far this winter?

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