The Midpoint Check-in
It is time for another check-in. This check-in marks the end of day 15. Only 15 more days to go in my 30-day challenge to work out (and eat) like Chris Hemsworth. It is hard to believe that 15 days have already passed since I started this challenge.
2. Special Conditions for the Week
3. My Week at a Glance
4. Friday (Day 8)
5. Saturday (Day 9)
6. Sunday (Day 10)
7. Monday (Day 11)
8. Tuesday (Day 12)
9. Wednesday (Day 13)
10. Thursday (Day 14)
11. Friday (Day 15)
12. Takeaways from Week 2
13. Week 2 Results
14. The Plan for Next Week
As I started this week, I quickly found out that it was a deload week. My body was pretty torn up from the prior week so this was ok with me. The soreness from the first week of the challenge has faded over the week. Instead, it has been replaced with fatigue throughout my entire body. It caught me off guard how much I have had to push to get through the daily workouts this week. However, I can not argue with the results so far.
My Week at a Glance
I have been logging my daily activities since starting on this new fitness journey. There is quite a bit of variation in the routine from day to day across the weeks. I have regularly been averaging around 1/3 of my standard recommended daily calories each day. This has led to a sizeable increase in my appetite this week.
I also switched things up as mentioned in my previous check-in and spaced out meals more. Instead of 7 dinners for the week, I only prepared 4. This helped save some time on nights that I did not have to prepare a meal.
Friday (Day 8)
I started the day out with strength training. It worked a good mix of areas including my arms, core, legs and lower body. The exercises were all straight forward and ranged from dumbbell Romanian deadlifts to hammer curls. In the evening I had a dinner of Lemon & Garlic Fish with Broccolini Quinoa.
That was followed by my regularly scheduled evening weight training. This was taken from the routing Chris Hemsworth used to get in shape to play Thor. A link to that workout can be found in the first post in this series. This night I did the back workout (day 1) from this routine. I do not own a Hammer strength machine so when I reached the Hammer strength machine rows I swapped them out for one arm landmine rows.
I wrapped the night up with my daily meditation.
Saturday (Day 9)
HIIT and HIRT training greeted me as I started the day out. These routines completely burned my legs out and it was a struggle to push through. There was a bonus workout through the Centr app that I powered through after that. The bonus workout was largely punches and jabs. It gave my arms and shoulders a good burn and left me drained and ready for my post-workout shake to re-energize.
Dinner was a Sesame Chicken Stir Fry which turned out well. My wife helped do some chopping required for this dish. There was a lot of it. I am normally not able to eat Chinese dishes as they upset my stomach. This one both tasted good and did not cause any problems.
I decided to just do the meditation and took the evening as a rest day so that I could spend time with family.
Sunday (Day 10)
Sunday is a rest day on the Centr schedule. The foundation training is available and I did complete it later in the night. I also did the workout from my evening strength training routine. This one focused on the chest and was surprisingly easy to power through compared to the one the week before.
Monday (Day 11)
Back to the weight training featuring Torre Washington. This week turned out to be a deload week. That made this workout fairly easy. It covered my legs, lower body, shoulders, and upper body. Squats, plate front raises and lunges featured prominently in this workout.
Monday is also meatless on the Centr schedule. This meant a variety of dishes made with mostly vegetables and meat alternatives like tofu were on the menu. For dinner, I had a semi-spicy vegetable red curry with quinoa. This was followed by the evening weight training workout. Tonight's workout focused on shoulders and even though it was a deload week, it still was a tough session. My shoulders were still pretty fried from last week.
Tuesday (Day 12)
This day started much like the rest with a quick breakfast leading into my morning workout session. On this day I had a bonus workout available to do as well. I started with more weight training focused on my arms, back, chest and shoulders. It was a deload week so this was fairly easy to power through. I felt some burn from the last few reps of the final sets but nothing major. The point of this week is recovery while retaining muscle.
From there, I moved into the bonus workout for the morning. The bonus workout was functional training which, while difficult, is beneficial in ensuring that the muscle I am building is not just for show. This was a short session but still enough to leave me sweating rivers and push me to my limits. My entire past year and a half of training was solely weight training. The functional sessions are still new and push me outside of my comfort zone quickly.
I committed to a prior engagement this night so dinner ended up being leftovers from Monday night. As this commitment had physical activity involved and it went late into the night, I took the evening as one of the two rest days for the week.
Wednesday (Day 13)
As mentioned for Tuesday, functional sessions still push me outside my comfort zone quickly. This was no exception on this day as it featured the mother of all functional training sessions. A 46-minute long session led by Da Rulk. Anyone who has used the Centr app can attest to the fact that these functional sessions are no joke. I was sucking air by the time I got halfway into it and found that I needed frequent breaks to keep going. I imagine that this will improve as I become more used to the punishment these routines put my body through. For now, these are the toughest workouts in my schedule.
The meal tonight was one I picked out as it would be suitable for my whole family. Tonight I made Swedish meatballs with sweet potato mash.... a lot of them. I was sticking to my new plan of only 4 dinners for the week so I needed leftovers to cover the nights I was not cooking. I made enough to cover 3 extra meals. It was worth it.
After that amazing meal, I went into my evening weight training workout. Tonight focused entirely on my arms. It was slightly less intense since this was a deload week, but it still provided a good burn by the time I was done. I also found that my forearms presented an obvious weakness in my strength as wrist curls were still very hard to complete even with it being a deload week.
Thursday (Day 14)
It was a bit rough waking up this morning. This led to a slightly later start than usual. This was also the first day of the bonus workouts with Chris Hemsworth and Luke Zocchi. My morning workout consisted of more deload weight training focused on my chest, shoulders and upper body. This was followed up by a bonus workout that featured several bodyweight and dumbbell based exercises. I am truthfully not sure how to classify the bonus workout as it is not fully functional but at the same time, it is not weight training. It is somewhere in the middle. It was also supposed to be done quickly. There were 5 sets of 9 exercises to complete and the time it should have taken was 20 minutes. I only got halfway through in the 20 minutes before having to stop and get my son ready for school.
Dinner was leftover Swedish meatballs which were just as good reheated as they were the first time. This was followed up by the bonus Chris and Luke workout. Luckily, it was a rest day from my weight training so I could put my full effort into it. The workout prominently featured kettlebells and managed to fry my legs by the end. It was a workout that was dubbed the devil's workout. 6 sets of 6 exercises doing 6 reps. By the end of the final rep, my legs did not even have the strength to return to a standing position. It was one of those workouts that I just knew I would feel the next day.
Friday (Day 15)
I woke up feeling the results of the devil's workout the night before. It was not as bad as I thought it would be but still was present. I had a quick breakfast of a protein-loaded strawberry smoothie and set to work on my morning workout. This morning featured another weight training session by Torre Washington that focused on my core, legs, lower and upper body. It was still a deload week so the session was mostly uneventful and I got through it easily.
As it was Friday, I went with fish again for dinner. The meal of choice was Dukkah salmon with bok choy. I will start by saying that I don't understand what the bok choy contributed to this dish. I tried to eat the salmon with some of the bok choy but it seemed more awkward to do so. Eating it alone didn't quite seem right either. In the end, most of the bok choy just ended up going uneaten. That was not a big deal though as the rest of the meal was plenty filling.
I finished up my workout sessions by focusing on my back. This was still a deload week so it was slightly easier but still provided plenty of challenge. The challenge came primarily in the pull-ups and sheer quantity of push-ups in the routine. I still struggle a bit with pull-ups so they take a bit to do. The pushups are not as bad but I was still doing 3 sets of 20 of them. The weekend was coming up though and it was the last day between check-ins so I powered through.
Takeaways from the Week
I found a few takeaways from my progress on the challenge this week.
First and foremost, picking fewer meals to prepare for the week and making enough of those meals to provide leftovers proved to be a good choice. This did cause some extra cooking time in some instances due to the sheer quantity being made. However, regaining time on the nights that I didn't have to cook was a good thing.
I also found that it does not feel like I get near enough rest at night. The workouts have started feeling tougher because of this. This is something that will need to be monitored more.
Final Results of the Week
I have been feeling some forward progress at this point. A measurement of my arms on day 10 showed that they had grown by .25 inch. This was after at least 6 months or more of no progress. My stomach has still proven to be stubborn to shed it's fat. However, my weight and body fat percentage have been steadily been decreasing. My only worry here is that my weight is going down as well. I may need to consider boosting my calorie intake with more protein-rich foods.
Overall I am very happy with my progress so far. My arms have become much more defined. My stomach, while still bigger than I would like also has more muscle present. I am overall feeling stronger than I have ever before. My wife also approves of the changes so far which is a definite plus. I am not going to post pictures of the progress for this week yet. You will need to wait until a later check-in or potentially the final reveal to see the progress.
The next 7 days
In the next 7 days, I will continue with making leftovers to eliminate some of the cooking. I will be off of deload when Monday rolls around and back to regular workouts again. I will continue to power through the next week. I am excited to see what progress will come in this week and beyond as I get back to the regular workouts.
Check back in next week for the next update!
Related: Starting down a new path on my fitness journey | Trying Chris Hemsworth's Fitness Routine, 30 Day Chris Hemsworth Fitness Challenge - Week 1 Checkin, 30 Day Chris Hemsworth Fitness Challenge - Week 3 Check-in