The end is here. The 30 days for this challenge were not easy but they still flew by. I am happy to say that my 30-day challenge to work out (and eat) like Chris Hemsworth has been completed. If this is the first post in the series you are seeing, I would encourage to you start at the beginning of it all. Without further ado, let's dive into the final 8 days of the challenge.
2. Special Conditions for the Week
3. My Week at a Glance
4. Saturday (Day 23)
5. Sunday (Day 24)
6. Monday (Day 25)
7. Tuesday (Day 26)
8. Wednesday (Day 27)
9. Thursday (Day 28)
10. Friday (Day 29)
11. Saturday (Day 30)
12. Takeaways From the Final Week
13. Final Results
14. Where Do I Go From Here?
Special Conditions for the Week
This week had no special conditions at all. The only thing different was the addition of an extra day to reach day 30. It would not have made any sense to make a separate post just for the final day.
My Week at a Glance
This is a fairly busy week coming up. I may have some trouble fitting the night exercises into my day. I have still kept with the approach of keeping my meal prep down to about half the week so that I do not have to try and cook every night. That said, this is the final week of the challenge so I am starting to get excited to see the final results. I have taken pictures at intervals but have resisted the temptation to compare them. Because of that, even I don't know how the final comparison pictures will turn out. It is both exciting and scary at the same time.
Saturday (Day 23)
I have actually started looking forward to the Saturday workouts at this point. They are a break from the pure heavy lifting that I do most of the week. This Saturday, like all the previous ones started with a HIIT/HIRT workout by Luke Zocchi. I previewed the exercises for each cluster while eating breakfast. I do this so that I know what equipment I will need to plan for. There is not much time to be fumbling with barbells, dumbells or kettlebells while in the middle of these workouts. Well, I suppose I could pause the workout, but that breaks the momentum. Part of previewing is also determining the weight to use that will provide a good challenge for all the exercises. This preparation paid off again this Saturday as the workout included both barbell and dumbbell exercises.
I went straight from my primary workout into the bonus one by Michael Olajide Jr. As usual, this one had a heavy boxing focus with a lot of jabs. I am getting better at doing these now. They feel awkward though and I'm sure I don't get many points for style.
Lunch was a hit with my wife this time. I made Spinach & Artichoke Bruschetta.
It even surprised me just how good it was. Up until starting this program, I had barely touched artichokes. Even the previous recipes I had made using them were just ok to me. This one had just the right texture and was perfectly melted. I did have to use a few more slices of the tiny gluten-free bread but it still tasted great. My wife told me it was one of her favorite meals I had made so far.
Dinner did not get the same reception. I ended up making Baked Meatballs and being the only one eating them. More leftovers for me!
These were supposed to also have ciabatta with them but I opted for no bread at all due to my Celiac.
I followed dinner with my evening workout focusing on my back. The number of pull-ups I can do in one set is still abysmally low. It is one of the hardest exercises to perform for a reason though. I was able to power through the rest of the workout without much trouble though. I also figured out how to do Swiss ball hyperextensions which I had been skipping up until this point. I ended up wishing I had still skipped them. They do quite a number on your lower and mid-back!
With that my workouts were complete and I finished out another day with my daily meditation.
Sunday (Day 24)
A well earned rest day. I had not been allowing for a full day of rest in the past weeks due to the night workout. I decided to change that this time around as I have been starting to worry that I am not giving my body enough time to recover each week.
I did continue to follow my meal plan though and had another amazing lunch of Spinach & Artichoke Bruschetta. I was on my own again for dinner which was a Spicy Indian Chicken & Tomato Curry.
My wife steered clear because it was supposed to be spicy. Although it was a very good meal, I did not find it spicy at all which was a little disappointing. I have a high tolerance for spicy foods though so it is not entirely surprising.
I listened to the meditation podcast scheduled for the night to wrap up my rest day.
Monday (Day 25)
I pulled out all the stops on Monday for my next Torre Washington workout which was a full-body workout. This was the first of a new set of workouts by Torre so there was a little bit more fumbling around than usual between clusters. I needed to find alternate exercises for anything using a cable machine. This particular week I mostly tried to use resistance bands attached in a similar way to how the cable machine would be set up. This seemed to work but at the same time, I felt it was not as challenging.
Meatless Monday dinner this week featured a Kale & Cashew Pesto Pasta.
This did NOT turn out creamy like the picture in the recipe showed at all. I ended up with a very thick and gritty pesto. My wife was not able to eat it and opted to make something else. I found that if I added a little water it helped but was still a bit gritty. It tasted good, the texture was just not what I would have expected. I must have gone wrong somewhere making the pesto.
I was not able to fit in my night workout this day due to other activities I had to attend to. I did finish the night with my daily meditation like usual though.
Tuesday (Day 26)
I started out with my almost daily Torre Washington workout. Today the focus was on my arms, back, chest and shoulders. The workout used a lot of cable machines so I had to improvise a good deal. Most of the exercises I did were with a resistance band set up to mimic the cable machine movements. Just like when I tried doing this on Monday, it seemed a little too easy using just a resistance band.
I can not say the same for Da Rulk's bonus workout for the day. It is amazing how a 10 minute Da Rulk bonus workout can bring me to my knees (literally) drowning in a pool of sweat. After pulling myself back together, I was able to stumble back into the real world to face the rest of the day.
My wife was gone this night so it was a chance to try out a new fish recipe. She is allergic so I do not generally prepare these types of meals when she is home. In this case, it was Salmon Tacos with Braised Greens... fish tacos. After making and eating it, I remembered I am not a huge fan of fish tacos. It was not bad at all. It just is not really my thing.
After dinner, I headed down to my home gym to crush another evening workout. Tonight was more work on my chest. This is an area that I have seen definite improvements since starting my challenge. I have seen improvements in my heavy/low rep bench presses and my endurance has been increasing on my lighter/high rep sets. I will likely need to start stepping those up a bit soon to keep them challenging.
With my workouts done, I finished up the day with my usual meditation.
Wednesday (Day 27)
Me, a 30 lb sandbag, Da Rulk, and a pool of sweat. That about sums up this morning.
For those who have been following along from the beginning, this is one tough workout. I can push a little further each week but it is still insanely difficult to complete the whole workout even with extra rests. Any other workout I've done since starting this challenge, I have been able to power through. The only other workouts that come close to this level of difficulty are the ones by Bobby. I figure maybe in a year or so these will feel easy. For now, it is a good mental and physical challenge just to try to complete more without rest each time.
The dinner of choice for the day was Chicken Korma with Broccolini. It seemed like so much more food in the picture of the recipe.
Maybe the bowl I put it in was just bigger than the one used in the recipe picture. Regardless of that, it was a very good meal. It surprises me that I have been able to eat broccoli and broccolini in these dishes lately. I have never been a fan but in these, I haven't minded them too much.
After wrapping up dinner I crushed my arm workout for the night. I was still feeling good after I got done so I even added in an extra one of the bonus boxing workouts from the Centr app.
Thursday (Day 28)
The extra bonus workout from the previous night was a horrible mistake. I woke up with a little extra soreness that I had to get rid of during my workout. I should note that I have had a tendency to be a little sore every morning. That disappears quickly most of the time once my workout has begun.
There was one of the new bonus Chris Hemsworth and Luke Zocchi workout available today since it was Thursday. As it was a bonus and did not mention that is should be done first or anything, I started the day out with my regular Torre Washington workout. Today's focus was on my back, chest, shoulders and upper body. I managed to power through the workout without any real difficulty once I got going. There were some cable machine exercises I had to figure out alternatives for again but I was growing accustomed to that now. There was also a new exercise that I found interesting. It is called a captain and is done by holding a weight plate in each hand. You then perform a reverse lunch while swinging the plate in the opposite hand up as if you were going to throw it horizontally. If you can picture it, it is essentially the move Captain America makes when he throws his shield. It was an interesting addition and actually a bit of fun to mix into the workout.
I had a commitment to attend to at night so the rest of the day was uneventful. It was a good day to get rid of some of my leftovers that were piling up. When I got back later at night I wrapped things up with my daily meditation.
Friday (Day 29)
The end of my 30 Day Chris Hemsworth Fitness Challenge is in sight! I started this morning out much like the others. After a mango passionfruit smoothie bowl to get some energy, I set out to tackle another Torre Washington workout. As a special treat for nearing the end of my challenge, the focus for today was my full body. It seemed like it would be a tough workout at the start but I ended up breezing through it. Some of the weights I was using started feeling like they may be too light. That is always a welcome feeling to indicate some progress is being made. You can't exactly measure how much you can lift with a scale so it is tougher to see sometimes. I had a Bobby Holland Hanton bonus workout waiting for me as well today but I ran out of time to crush it in the morning.
Instead, I took some time after lunch to power through the workout. I think the intent of these workouts is to do as much as you can in 20 minutes but I find it hard to stop in the middle. On this particular day, it took me a little over half an hour to get through all 5 sets. This felt a little faster than in past weeks. After finishing this workout it was back to work for the rest of the day.
My wife was gone for the evening as I was making another fish-based meal. It was Friday after all. I did not get a picture of it but this time around, I was making Herbed Fish Cakes with Green Beans. Think potato pancakes with fish mixed into them. It took a long time for me to prep this meal for some reason. I also ended up getting the whole house smelling of fish which was not good. The meal was very good though and I was glad to have tried it out.
I did not get a chance to do a night workout because of how long it took to make dinner. I did wrap up the day with my usual meditation though. Tomorrow would be the final day of the challenge.
Saturday (Day 30)
The final day was here. It seemed like the past 30 days had passed in an instant. As this was Saturday, it meant a HIIT/HIRT workout with Luke. I have gotten fairly used to these workouts now so I was able to complete it without much trouble. There was also a bonus workout by Michael Olajide Jr to complete. I flailed about doing jabs for this workout. I am 90% sure I have the form correct, but still feel awkward while doing these punches and jabs.
The rest of the day was uneventful and dinner was leftovers. They had started piling up a bit so I needed to eat some. After dinner, I did the Chris Hemsworth/Luke Zocchi bonus workout that I had missed due to time constraints earlier in the week. The workout was tough, but I think the previous one was tougher. It still was enough to work up quite a sweat by the time I was done.
In order to celebrate the last set of my last workout in the challenge, I recorded the final set from start to finish.
With this workout completed, I did my nightly meditation and wrapped up my 30-day challenge to workout like Chris Hemsworth. I have been taking pictures along the way and can see changes in the mirror but I have not done a comparison photo since the first check-in. It is almost time to see how effective my training has been.
Takeaways from the Week
This week went smooth for the most part. I found that I was running out of time in the morning to get the bonus workout done. This was causing some interference with my night workouts as I had to double up at night. Food prep has also been a struggle still. Meals that say they should take 30 minutes to make are taking me 3 times that. I am still not sure how to make that process faster.
Final Results for the 30 Day Challenge
So this is the moment that everyone has been waiting for. The final result of my 30 Day challenge. Was I able to duplicate the results seen by Erik Conover? If not, why were my results different? Here we go.
First, to recap, here are my starting measurements.
Height: 5' 8"
Weight: 157.2 lbs
Body Fat: 17.7%
When I checked my measurements the morning after my 30-day challenge ended, these were the results.
Weight: 152.8 lbs
Body Fat: 16.7%
So in 30 days, I had lost about 4.4 lbs and 1% body fat. I had expected my weight to actually go up from muscle gain but the reduction in body fat was a welcome sight. I had been eating around 2500 calories on average so I may have been a little low still compared to my activity.
Here are the comparison pictures from start to finish. I did not gain all of the muscle I would have liked to during this time but I definitely broke through my plateau and made visible progress.
Here is the final front comparison. I apologize for the difference in distance in these images. I am not entirely sure how that even happened since they were taken from the same location.
And this is the final comparison from the side.
Again, a lot of progress was made and there is some more definition but I did not gain all the muscle I was hoping to.
In all, I am very happy with the progress that has been made. I did not see exactly the same results that were seen by Erik Conover but I definitely did see results. I have a suspicion that part of the reason I was not gaining as much muscle was due to diet. He said he was eating around 3500 calories a day which is about 1000 more than I was averaging. I may have just not been providing enough fuel for the same kind of muscle growth. At the same time, I did still see some toning and improvement in overall body composition.
That said, my conclusion is that by following this program you will have results. They may not be as drastic and defined, but they will be there. If you stick to the program that is. The supplemental workouts I have been doing at night will push those results out faster. However, I believe that even using just the Centr app, you will end up with the same results over time.
I am not a professional athlete. I am not a bodybuilder. I have proven that with this program and a bit of dedication, you can start to get results you can see within 30 days. If you don't do any form of fitness training, or even if you do, you owe it to yourself to take a look at the Centr app (and potentially the strength training workouts I was supplementing with). Your fitness journey starts with a single step and this program supercharges those steps.
Where do I go from here?
I will be continuing to follow the Centr program along with the supplemental workouts. Things will be mostly the same as they have been for the first 30 days doing this challenge. The key difference will be that I will relax on the cheat meals and sugar restrictions. I will not go overboard on this though and will still try to keep the cheat meals close to the meals I would normally have on my meal plan. I have not decided yet, but I may post quick updates on my progress periodically as well. The first of those would be at 60 and 90 days into the program. Just because I completed the challenge does not mean I can stop. My fitness journey will likely continue through the rest of my life. Now I have a better idea of what will actually work though.