claire coleman – body blitz journey

Hi, my name is Claire; I’m one of the very lucky winners of the 12 week Body Blitz. I’m a mother to two young boys, my youngest being 16 weeks old. I’m sure like many mothers out there, finding time for yourself can be hard, especially finding the motivation and the energy to get exercising and to get fit. I’m the biggest I’ve ever been and I hate it. I used to be quite fit in my younger days, competed in a couple of Triathlons and loved it.

While scrolling through facebook, I saw the advert for the competition to win a 12 week Body Blitz with Go Girl Physique, so I took the first step and likes the page; I opened the competition page read through it and closed it again. A few days later I went back to it, proceeded to fill it in, and then deleted it. It was on my mind for a few days then finally I plucked up the courage to fill it in and send it. Not thinking anything of it as I’m sure many entered and the chances of winning were slim.
Then out of the blue on Christmas Eve while sitting in a cafe, I received a phone call from Lizelle, I could not believe it, caught me completely by suprise (I hope people around me heard how excited I was), she told me I was one of the finalists and she had a few more people to call and would get back to me later in the day, boy was it a long day I was soooo excited but yet I didn’t want to get my hopes all either. My phone rang at exactly 6.02pm and I jumped on the phone, it was Lizelle letting me know I was one of two to win!!! Enjoy the holidays, which I did, I ate well knowing all the indulgence was going to end, all for the better. I could not wait to start; I felt this was a great start to the New Year.
Tuesday 12th – First day, initial meeting.

Boy was I so nervous, I have never liked gyms, anytime I started at a gym, I felt like the unfittest, fattest person there and everyone would look at me, I always felt like a duck out of water and when you see all mega fit thin people there it was off putting and I hated it. Go Girl Physique was completely different. The staff we so welcoming and supportive. Everyone is friendly and the atmosphere is positive.

I had the warmed welcome from Lizelle and she introduced me to Alexis who was going to be my trainer. I was brought into a consultation room also joined by Carolyn another trainer, I was so anxious at first but so quickly Alexis and Carolyn put me at ease and made me feel comfortable and they were so supportive and most importantly non judgemental, they were there to help, they were so understanding. Then the dreaded scales and measuring, two things I dislike at the moment, weighing scales and mirrors. When I stood on the scales I didn’t get the shock I was expecting, it wasn’t as bad as I thought it would be, but yes it could be better. Straight away I had my goal in sight, it was achievable and yes I WILL ACHIEVE IT… I walked out of there with a spring in my step and I could not wait to get started.

First day of training came, I put on gym gear and felt awful but I just sucked it up and said this is not for long, in a few weeks I will feel comfortable in gym gear. I met Alexis and started on the treadmill, after 20 mins I was out of breath and felt a bit of a mess, I knew I was unfit but this was crazy, it was going to be a long road. Today we were working on chest and triceps, starting with press ups, I got down on the floor and thought I’ll collapse after one. The wonderful part about this programme is having someone there by your side pushing you to succeed, I managed my 3 sets of 12, all the other exercises were good, and then came the ab work, crunches!!! Since having my baby I have absolutely no muscle tone, anywhere, especially my abs, but they were the ones which needed work the most as I have a very weak lower back so need to strengthen my core most of all. 3 sets of 10 which I was very happy with. When the session finished I felt great, hurting but in a good way, my arms were shaking they were so weak. The sudden change to my diet had left me feeling quite hungry and craving all the carbs I’ve been eating but I kept busy and tried not to think about it, I knew this feeling will disappear soon enough.

Next day back in for a second session, I was aching from the previous day but I pushed through it. Today we worked on back and biceps, figuring out what weights suited me on the machines, Alexis has me sussed, she can tell straight away by my face if it’s not heavy enough, if it’s not she cranks up the weight.

Third day in a row, today I cycled into the gym, I haven’t been on my bike in a whole year but I’m giving this 100% and any opportunity I have to exercise I’m going to take it. Not the best day to cycle in because today was legs and calves day. Pushed hard on the treadmill for 30 minutes before starting work on my legs, I couldn’t push myself as hard as I wanted too because my knees are weak so need to build up my quads in order to support my knees. To finish off back to ab work on top of my now very sore abs, I pushed myself so hard. I have been doing the reverse plank as my back is weak it’s the safest until my back strengthens. On the first day I managed to hold for 30 seconds at a time, second day I could hold for 40 seconds, third day I could hold for 55 seconds, now that just showed how quickly you could see results and I was delighted. Alexis was so excited about this, she cannot wait to see the results at the end of the 12 weeks, either can I. She is wonderful, so positive; such a happy person to be around, making me push myself in such a positive way, she believes in me and knows I can do it, that alone gives me the determination to succeed which feel I will. All my cravings and hunger are gone, only after 5 days of eating well I feel so much better for it.

Most importantly what I love about this gym is it is family friendly, my 2 year old is at daycare but I bring my baby with me, as I was on the treadmill Carolyn had great fun chatting to him and entertaining him, where else would you get that.
All in all a great start and cannot wait for the rest of the journey.

After finally recovering from week 1 it was time to get stuck into week 2.

All weekend my shoulders ached, they were only in shock from being worked, but by Monday all those aches were gone.
On Tuesday it was a short workout on shoulders, so that eased me back into things for the week, the exercises weren’t too hard yet I could feel the work my shoulders were doing. As I was pushed for time at the gym, I did my abs work at home, I did wonder whether I would slack and not put 100% into it but as soon as I got home, I got my mat out and started work. I could hear Alexis encouraging me so that pushed me harder to put all I had into it.
Wednesday I had a rest day and I didn’t hurt at all like I did last week such a relief but it must show my muscles have adapted quickly to being worked hard again.
Thursday was back to Chest/Triceps…

Today was an off day for me, my mind wasn’t focused on the gym, I went in hopped on the treadmill and I just didn’t want to be there, had so much on my mind of day to day things going on. I couldn’t focus on the job at hand, which I have now learned, if you go in there and your mind is elsewhere you will not give 100% so it will all be a wasted journey. When Alexis joined me I told her I wasn’t in the mood for this, she said it’s completely normal to have days like that. Within minutes she had me laughing and before long I was ready to workout.
I find doing push ups sooo difficult after a few I just collapsed to the floor and laughed, but Alexis has shown me an easier position yet still giving my muscles a good workout.
On Friday we did Back/Biceps

Again it was a good workout, because every day is working on a certain muscle groups it’s not the same workout every time you go in so keeps it interesting. To show the progress in 1 week, Alexis gave me a weight to use in the barbell bicep curl, I said “that’s lighter than last week” it was 2.5kg, with that she smiled, turned away, picked up a 5kg and replied with “the 2.5kg is what you used last week”!! I couldn’t believe it, the previous week I struggled with the 2.5kg and this week it was too light!!!
What will I be asking for in week 12!!!

Food has been so easy this week, I’m cooking in bulk, eating more or less the same thing but I like it, I’m not really into fancy stuff so I cook one pot wonders.. The cravings have totally gone and so has the hunger. I’ve discovered it is so easy to eat healthy and you can spruce it up if you want too..
All in all a good week, even though my car has broken down, having to borrow a car and juggle everyday life, I’m not in any way going to give up..

Bring on next week…

Week 3
Today was the first day of week 3, even though it was starting on a Friday as I have only been able to fit in 3 days a week.
My Cardio work is still on the treadmill for 30 minutes, as I’m not running yet, the incline I put as high as possible at speed of 6km/h for as long as possible to get the most out of the cardio work.
We started with the leg press which was manageable. It was tough going from there, we moved onto the Swiss ball wall squats 3×10 reps, Alexis joined me with the rest of the exercises which was great motivation, having someone beside you doing the same pushes you to give it your best, so with that is pushed myself to squat lower and lower.
I was not prepared for what was next, “Step ups” (sound easy), they were for the first rep, but by the time I got to the third I had to push hard. This involved stepping onto a box one foot at a time carrying 4kg’s, which doesn’t sound like much but when your stepping up onto a box about a foot high it does test you.
Then came the highlight of the workout, “Single leg deadlift” (my legs were dead after this!!)
As I started these, Lizelle smiled and said “you’ll hurt tomorrow”, I had done the first couple and thought “this isn’t too bad”.. I was eating my words by the end. I walked away like I was drunk.
I staggered onto the next exercise which I honestly thought no way I was going to manage but from somewhere I had a teeny weeny bit left in my legs to complete the leg workout.
Last leg exercise was calf raises which is a sure test of balance, balancing with only your toes and balls of your feet on a step while holding a bar in front of you for balance, raising yourself up and down. They were a nice one to end on.
The following day I WAS DRAGGING MY FEET!!! Going into the shop trying to walk normally was impossible, looking back it was funny, as my legs were not working properly.
I had 3 days to recover from the last session, and was fighting fit again ready for what was in store today. All the weights have been cranked up now.
To date I notice the biggest change in my upper body strength, to give you an idea of how far I’ve come in the past few weeks, my 2 year old is 16.5kg, before I started the 12 week body blitz I would have done well to be able to carry him, today while playing with him, I managed to lift him over my head with ease. I also have suffered for years with a weak back from years of wear and tear, before Christmas it was so weak I couldn’t lift a thing, now it is stronger than it has been since before I had kids, I cannot wait to see how strong it will be once the 12 weeks are up, but ongoing strengthening and maintaining it is a must, I can’t let it get as weak as it has been.

Week 4
As my days have been all over the place and my weeks have been starting towards the end of the week and I had only been able to fit in 3 days a week, I have fallen behind the others so needed to play catch up. So while I was doing my Cardio, Alexis had a word with me and told me I was jumping straight to Week 4 Day 3 to be on the same week as everyone else.
The dreaded push ups!! Why are they sooo difficult? Please tell me I’m not the only one who struggles with them, so, 3×10 reps did not happen, all I managed was 2×10 and 1×5 on my knees (Lots of work to do).
Oh I almost forgot, as the session had started, Alexis ran and said follow me (I thought there was an emergency), nope, we were joining Lizelles Step Class when they were ending with their AB workout, Alexis said she likes to mix it up so it was a break from doing our AB workout, it was fun, it was for about 15 minutes. Lizelle helped me with my crunches as I was using my head and neck more than I should be, I should be letting my Abs do all the work, very simple point but very effective as I’m now getting more out of my crunches not just a tired neck, so thank you Lizelle.

Week 4 Continue…
Today I was including the Step machine into my cardio workout, so after doing 20 minutes on the treadmill on the highest incline at 6km, I moved on to the step machine, the aim is to go as fast as you can, yet another exercise I need to work on, if I managed a minute at a time I was doing well, I pushed as hard as I could but my legs couldn’t do it, I know it’s not an excuse, but I gave it all I had, to the point my teeth were getting tingly so I thought, maybe time to hop down, drink some water and get back to it again next day. Something I will work on. As I told Alexis, I will give everything I have got, I will not stop because I can’t be bothered, I will stop if my body can’t do anymore. It’s a case of pushing through the pain knowing the results are worth it.

With Week 5 and 6 around the corner, as ever, stay focused, push hard and enjoy the ride!!

So, started the week on a very positive note, Monday morning got straight out of bed, put on my gym gear, said good morning to kids and husband “I’m off for a bike ride, breakfast is in the kitchen”, had a glass of water, put on hi-vis jacket helmet and gloves and off I went.
Started out Seadown Road after what felt like a while, I thought I’ll head back now, checked the time; I had only been cycling for 10 MINUTES!!!! I thought, ok I need to stop thinking and just cycle which I did.
I took in the scenery, and then came across the sign for Shearers Quarters 3km ahead, that was my goal if possible to cycle to there, 3km was not too bad. Within a few minutes I was there, great, turned around and headed for home.
The wind was against me the whole way home which made the cycle much harder. Once I got home I checked the time, it took me 50 minutes which I was happy with. I went straight inside and with my 2 year old climbing all over me, I managed to do 100 crunches straight!!
When I arrives at the gym, Alexis called me into the office for a weigh in (I DIDN’T GET TO SEE)
Onto the treadmill for my cardio, from now on I have to run, something I have never been uncomfortable doing as I feel so awkward and think I must look hideous, worry I’m going to break it or better still, loose my footing smack my head off the edge and loose some teeth (all seen in slow motion by other gym goers). No choice today, had to get over my fear.
Week 5 & 6 is a new programme, as I have learned from the past 2 programmes, they get harder quickly. First exercise was the Grip Pull Up (Holding handles hanging from the ceiling and with your body weight pulling yourself up) First set of 10 were ok, the 2nd and 3rd I had to stop at 7 for a quick rest and carry on. Between each rep I had to do a rep of One Arm DB Row with 7kg moving from 5kg previous week.
The next few exercises were not too bad, weights moving up from previous week which is a great progression, feeling so much stronger now.
I wasn’t taking the day off today, once Hubby was home from work I was straight out the door to the pool. When I was swimming very regularly I was doing 50 lengths in 30 minutes, I’m a bit away from that at the moment so I thought I’d see where I’m at, fitness wise.
I went flat out and kept going until I felt I had to stop, I managed to do 25 lengths nonstop in 15 minutes, I was well happy with that. I had a little rest and finished with another 15 in 10 minutes.
After today I was ACHING!! I still had another 2 days in a row to do, straight home to soak in an Epsom salts bath.
Luckily today didn’t involve my legs because they were hurting. All the exercises were manageable today, the only thing I struggled with was the dreaded Wide Press Ups, and I have to do them on my knees. A new one today was the Chest Press Machine.
Even though it is Saturday and hoping hubby would have the kids while I was at gym, that would be too easy, of course he had to work so off I trotted to gym with my 2 year old and baby (baby is fine), anxiety set in quite quickly about how long my 2 year old would stay in play area, I was pleasantly surprised, it was his first time there. I managed to get a whole workout done (I had to do my AB work at home)
All in all a great week but this week HURT HURT HURT!!! So happy Sunday was my day of rest, Positive Pain…..

This week was what seemed like a short week as I was at the gym 4 days in a row, so it seemed like I got all the workouts out of the way. But boy was it a hot week.
Monday was a rest day as I was at the gym Saturday; it seems I do need 2 days rest in a row before heading into the next week as you will find out why.
Started off nice and steady on the treadmill, got up to a good pace and ran faster than my usual jog, I’m trying to push myself more and more each time. My weights have stayed the same as previous week except with the Wide Grip Seated Row that has gone from 23kg to 27kg. All was going well until I decided to let the baby out on the floor while I was doing my AB work so he could have a kick about, and of course he decided to have an explosion in his nappy which seeped out onto his clothes, rushed to the toilets to change him. Nappy changed and of course, as I thought nothing would happen in the space of 2 hours, I just packed nappies no change of clothes, embarrassing.. So, out I walked back into the gym with a half naked baby with a sunhat on (as that was the only clothing in his bag), all I could do was laugh. Good job it was a hot day!
As this was the first day bringing both kids to gym, we did Chest work today as it was the shortest day, I struggled to do anything on the treadmill, I could barely run, I asked Carolyn what was going on with me because yesterday I was ok, she said it happens but also the fact it was soooo hot, she suggested to slow it down a bit and when I couldn’t jog to walk in-between which I did so at least I was doing some work.
I got to meet Paula the other Body Blitz winner which was nice we had a quick chat about how we were getting on and she’s loving it, she’s doing so well and seems to be enjoying it, a few laughs we’re had which makes all this process so much better.
As far as the workout goes, again the weights stayed the same as last week except the DB Incline Bench Press has gone up a kilo to 6kg and the Chest Press Machine has gone up to 27kg.
I’m struggling with a few exercises and I find it’s mainly leg work, even though on the Leg Press I have gone from 36kg in week 1 to 73kg in week 6, I couldn’t believe it. My legs seem strong in some areas but when it comes to doing Jump Squat On Step my legs get so tired so quickly but I guess it is work in progress.
Last workout day for the week, it was a good one, working hard but everyone in a great mood and having a laugh, I think a little bit of competitiveness was coming out between Lizelle and Carolyn. The Tricep Dips (chair) I struggled so much at the beginning with this I could just about manage to do 3×10 but now I’m finding it so much easier and it’s not hurting like it used too, shows how quickly you get stronger, it seems like one week you find something very difficult and the next week it’s so much easier.
Last exercise of the week was the Lying Tricep Extension-Plate, I was using 5kg, Lizelle looked at me and said “That’s too light”, Alexis went off and got me 10kg, OK then 10kg it is…….
Now that was ending the week on a high!

Saturday Rest Day
Saturday was a rest day, I needed it, I was tired but Sunday was a different story, I woke up pretty tired not in the mood to do much and Hubby said “Let’s go for a walk”, now why didn’t I leave it at that?
Nooo, my response was “OK, you walk with the kids and I’ll run”.
We drove to Centennial, I was dropped off at the Gleniti side entrance, I ran the whole way to the other end (the Quarry road end) without stopping, as I got to the little bridge I thought, I’ll walk from here up the hill to the car park, but as I got to the bridge I kept going, al I heard was Alexis saying “GO GO GO”, to my surprise I ran up that hill. I was delighted with myself, especially when I was talking to a woman at the other end to tell me that it was 5km from one entrance to the other, thrilled with what I had done, we decided to drive the distance to clock exactly how far it was..
2.8km NOT 5km, deflated for a little while but I thought, that was the first time I had been out for a run in well over a year, so not bad for my first try. Pretty good end to the week.