Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Gaining Muscles and Friends in MetaFit T60

Not all thin or slim people are healthy. In a society that favors the look of stick-thin models, this is a hard concept to explain even to friends but I am always looking for ways to look and feel healthier.

Posing for our attendance picture with Coach Mike and Mommy Osie right after the workout.

When my bosses enrolled me in the MetaFit T60 class, I knew I was in for some crazy, hard training. They had told me a lot of stories about what exercises they did that I was mentally prepared for it already (or so I thought). At least, I was determined to really stick to it until the end.

Although I have a slim build, one of my biggest health goals has always been to gain more muscle definition. Not the bulky kind but just enough as evidence that I am healthy and strong. As I am under weight, the only way to gain healthy weight and the cuts I wanted was to eat more and get some exercise.

I had never really been attracted to going to the gym and using exercise equipment. I was more the "exercise-at-home" type. The group exercises I occasionally joined consisted mostly of yoga, pilates, belly dance and zumba and the only weights I have around are 3lbs dumb bells.

At MetaFit T60, working hard never seemed more real. MetaFit stands for Metabolic Fitness and consists of not just the HIIT (Hight Intensity Interval Training) workout routines but also advise on how to gain optimum nutrition while working out so you get the best results.

Our schedule was 3 times a week and we had to follow some diet changes. On the first day, I couldn't finish the cool down as I got a foot cramp. Another time, I felt my arms lose energy after lifting some weights so I decided to rest instead of pushing through and collapsing. I was wondering if I was too enthusiastic as this happened on the 1st week.

Here's an example of some of our exercise routines posted on Facebook by our classmate Vina.

April 27, 2015
WOD: Leg Day today 😊 Dynamic Stretch, Warm up of 4 sets of 20 slow squats and 20 fast push ups. Main Work Out: 3 rounds of 8 stations. 1st Stn: Burpees, 2nd Stn: MB Sumo Squats, 3rd Stn: MB Calf Raises, 4th Stn: KB Squats, 5th Stn: Sandbag Squats, 6th Stn: BB Deadlifts, 7th Stn: Lunges with Tire Press and 8th Stn: High Knees Sprint. Finisher Work-Out: 3 sets of FST (Planks and Toe touches with reaistance: KB or MB), Open leg stretch then breathing and diffuse!

April 20
It was extra challenging to work out tonight with the kind of hot weather that we are having this day and the past few days, but we made it thru! Key thing was to keep yourself hydrated all the time. Tonight was Leg Day 😊 WOD: Warm-up dynamic stretch then 4 min work-out routine (10 reps jumping jacks, squats, push-ups and lunges. 10 reps each continuous for 4 mins). Main Work-out: 1 round of 1 set of each of the 7 stations. 2nd round was 3 sets of each of the 7 stations. 3rd round was 1 set of 20 reps for each of the 7 stations. 1st Stn: MB Squats, 2nd Stn. KB High Knees, 3rd Stn: Tire Walking Lunges, 4th Stn: BB Power Snatch, 5th Stn: KB Farmer's walk for girls while guys carry 2 tires, 6th Stn: MB Side Wood Chops and 7th Stn: KB Alternating Swings. Then leg stretches and finisher work-out of abdominal exercises (full plank, elbow plank, side plank, basic crunch, toe touches, oblique plank pulses). Then breathing and diffuse!!! 😄 EXHAUSTING but I love it! 😍😊😉 #‎MetaFitT60

April 18
Had a good toning and metabollic work-out last night 😊 Last night's WOD (focus areas: Back muscles and Triceps): 1 round of 3 sets then 3 more rounds of 1 set (Total of 6 sets each station). 1st Stn: Resistance Band Rows, 2nd Stn: Wide Arm Pull-Ups, 3rd Stn: BB Rows, 4th Stn: KB Alternating Rows, 5th Stn: KB Rows and Deadlifts, 6th Stn: Reverse Narrow Pull-Ups. Finisher Work-Out: Plank, Tricep Dips, Diamond Push-Ups for 3 sets and various abdominal exercises (V-Ups, Crunches, Obliques). Cool down stretch then breathing and diffusing! Whew! 💪

I don't really understand some of the names of the exercises but compared to this workout, I would say that the buddies running on the thread mill in the gym are barely working out. This had all of us panting to catch our breath, straining our bodies, sweating like we got soaked in the rain, squeezing out the last of our energy (or so we thought), and even cursing ourselves (and in some cases, the coaches) for this punishment of a workout.

Here are pictures of us doing the actual workouts taken by Coach Jim Saret which were posted on our Facebook group page.

Butch, who took our attendance pictures, lifting the barbell as fast as he can.

Me, barely holding on to the stability ball after the nth round.

Lifting 2 kettle bells at the same time, but I could only lift one.

Doing mountain climbers before lifting barbells.

This is harder than it looks.

Feeling the burn in their arms with more kettle bell action.

Finally, some stretching routines to ease tired muscles after the intense workout.

Just looking at the grueling things we had to do (and the pictures were just mostly for the arm workouts!) would make any body think we were crazy for punishing ourselves. But after you go through the workout, you would think its crazy not to try it because the endorphin high really feels worth it. You feel physically tired but really, really good after a work out which makes me look forward to the next workout again (and dread it at the same time).

What did I get from all this? A healthier mind and body and much, much more.

Terrific support group and friends

I gained new friends in the form of passionate team mates who encouraged each other. We laughed each other's aches off so we could continue doing our best and giving our all into every workout. I was glad to have found friends who are as crazy (or maybe crazier) about fitness as I am. They have become my role models for continuing with my fitness goals even after T60.

Attendance picture after workout.

Guidance from the best coaches

We had the best coaches guiding us. Coaches who were professionals in their own field and knew what they were talking about and had the experience, track record (and even pictures) to show it. They mentally conditioned us during workouts so that we could push our selves beyond our limits. Many times, I was about to give up but Coach Mike's pep talk and Mommy Osie's assistance and constant encouragement helped me get through.

Me and Vina with Coach Mike.

A victorious smile for me and a hearty one from Coach Mike.

Me and Joyce with Mommy Osie.

Coach Mike and Mommy Osie with some of the girls.

Self-confidence, strength and healthy habits

I never thought I would be able to lift weights as heavy as 10 kilos on each arm but I was able to and I lifted even heavier ones as well. I still can't lift a truck tire while doing a lunge or a sandbag that weighs 20 kilos. I hated the kettle bells and the medicine ball whenever it was part of a routine which they always were. But I gained the confidence to lift them anyway and just do my very best.

I loved having to make a wave on the ropes or trying to lift myself up for the umpteenth time on the hand bar. I also loved lifting the barbells and I just loved the cool downs even if I wasn't flexible enough to do them properly or elegantly.

I dreaded most of all the start of every workout: the 4 Minute Workout, but I endured and even if I couldn't do the full pushup for 10 counts, at least I was able to do 3-4 for each round. No pain, no gain was the name of the game and I'm glad I survived.

We want to kill the coach sometimes for punishing us but we love him too much.

We were supposed to pose for a serious, angry look but not everyone got the memo it seems, not even Coach Jim.

We still had energy after the workout to do a beauty pageant contestant pose.

Getting real results

The best part of Metafit T60 was getting actual results. I know that 3 times a week would not be enough to get the cuts I wanted but I definitely grew some muscles or rather burned away a lot of fat so that I could finally see my muscles, particularly in my arms.

Don't forget to eat your fruit right after the workout.

I was so proud of them I could't help but show them off. I didn't believe it at first. I thought it was just a trick of the night light but Coach Jim Saret himself pointed out that I had gained some muscle and so did Coach Mike. Even Mommy Osie told me that I had become stronger as I was able to lift the barbell more easily. I was so happy I could cry but I opted to sweat more instead. Just like Coach Mike said, focus is important to reach our goals.

Later on, I learned that most of my classmates had joined Metafit T30 before going on to T60. I told my bosses they had enrolled me in the wrong class but I'm glad I gained this experience anyway. I was not able to join my classmates on the last day but I am looking forward to the next cycle of MetaFit and experience the same passion and camaraderie I enjoyed in T60.



Photo Credits:
Post-workout pictures taken by Butch Maceda.
Actual workout pictures taken by Coach Jim Saret.
All pictures taken from the MetaFit T60 Facebook group.

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