Weekly column by fitness expert Adam Wright for the Waterford News & Star, in association with Kingfisher Fitness Club
THIS one got a few people thinking (and has helped a few people make some progress) since I posted it online. Let’s see what you think.
I was reading about “75 HARD” during the week (75 hard is a 75 day challenge based on nutrition, exercise and self-improvement. It is very tough and is supposed to be failed and retried over and over until you complete it in one go, that’s the badge of honour, actually managing to complete it). You can google it yourself if you’re interested but I thought it was a bit much as a starting point so I began thinking about my own version that might be a more reasonable place to start for the types of people I work with. This is what I came up with… For five weeks:
35 days… you could do that right? Do you have to give up alcohol to be healthy? Absolutely not… but… I would suggest the calories in alcohol, the calories in the food they eat while under the influence of alcohol or when they’re recovering from the effects of alcohol and the days spent inactive as a result of alcohol are holding a lot of people back from achieving their fitness or fat loss goals.
One or less times eating out/takeaway per week. Eating out being any meal or snack where food is prepared for you, ready to eat, and you exchange money for it. So takeaway, but also restaurant, deli, cafe.
Two litres of water
Two litres of water per day. A glass before AND a glass with each meal will pretty much cover this. Zero calories drinks would also be acceptable just be aware of caffeine content.
Three strength training sessions
Three or more strength training sessions per week. Do cardio sessions as well if you want but I’m talking specifically about something to help build and maintain healthy muscle mass here. Something that will result in you being able to lift heavier things in future.
Four portions of protein
Four or more portions of lean protein per day. A portion being 20-30 grams of protein (100g of chicken contains around 27g of protein). Meat, fish, poultry, eggs, high protein dairy, tofu, legumes.
Five servings of fruit and/ or veg
5 servings of fruit and/or veg per day. A serving being about the size of a regular takeaway coffee cup. So a cup of peas or whatever, or a medium fruit.
Six days that include a walk. 20 minutes or more. Make it 20 minutes or more average if the weather goes against you some days.
Seven hours sleep
Seven or more hours of sleep per night (average). If you wear a sleep tracking device this will be easier to keep an eye on (although questionably accurate). Another way to do it would be seven hours sleep opportunity per night. In bed, trying to sleep (not looking at a screen, or even a book), seven plus hours before you need to be up.
You could start with all of them. Or you could start with one or some of them, and get through 35 days. Then maybe go again but with more. Eventual goal to get through 35 days adhering to all of them. Or not… maybe just take note of the ones that would trip you up as something to pay more attention to. Or make up your own. 0, 3 and 6 would be easy for me. 1 and 5 would be much tougher. The other would be middling.
I didn’t even write this with the thought that anyone would actually do it but some people did and it’s been helping them somewhat. Focusing them on getting specific things done. Helping them see where they might be falling down (realising they eat way more than they thought for example).
What do you think? What would be hardest for you? Is there anything else you’d add? I don’t drink so I know the first one wouldn’t even phase me so maybe I’d add in something about reading or meditating for eight or more minutes a day.