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I don’t think my journey will ever end.

There once was a girl who thought she knew it all about how to get an Instagram worthy body. That girl was an idiot and the fairy godmothers and fathers from Warrior Training Chester showed her the real ropes of being fit and healthy.

So just like that the 8 week challenge is over. It’s flown bit I won’t lie, it’s been a bit of a bumpy rollercoaster – nothing worth having comes easy. I want to give a full overview of my experience in the hope that I can inspire someone to start their journey. If this challenge seems daunting to you, you can just dip a toe in the water – head down to one of their many classes or drop a PT a message and get some advice or a session booked in.

Pre-Warrior

This was me pre-challenge – I would go the gym twice a week and eat what I thought was healthy – no carbs, a touch of starvation and complete binges leading to a slump in mental motivation. I loved the buzz of working out and the feeling of getting fitter and stronger but felt I wasn’t getting the most out of my routine and I was at a plateau. I was incredibly nervous and apprehensive about joining the challenge, thinking it would be super intense and take over my life. I worried most about the type of people who would be doing this with me. Were they going to be athletes who could run for miles? I need not have worried as I mention in my initial write up here.

During

This is me during the challenge – It took some getting used to, the number of workouts I was committing to and more-so the balancing of my new diet and calorie intake. I can totally see why people give up but honestly, it did get easier.

The Warrior team are so relaxed and friendly and as funny anecdotes peppered the conversation, I felt like I was in more of a supportive group of individuals all striving for the same end goal. I learnt so much as well, no fake and fad diets, just truth and hard work.

I took the first couple of weeks as testing the water (read more here), not punishing myself if I went over on my carbs or missed a workout because it’s important to get the balance and listen to your body. By the two week mark I was there and I was hitting the gym three times a week minimum. By the halfway point (week four – check it out here) I was going 4-5 times a week. I could see more tone and definition in my body. I was upping my weights and learning more about different training techniques: lighter weights and loads, reps and going in heavy and hard to push those muscles. I dropped 4 pounds by the halfway point (which is a lot from me) but it all depends on your build and goals. As my social life took a bit of a dive I became a bit obsessed as I wanted to get the best results. It’s only short term and I wanted to make sure I made the most of the challenge. By now every man and his dog knew I was on the challenge and the open communication meant I didn’t feel isolated. The benefits of this is all about your control and choosing what fits within your plan; put it this way, on a Friday evening I could have a gin & tonic, I organised my day right! By the 7th week I wasn’t ready for it to be over and the intense waterdrop saw a new challenge. I’m still not 100% sure I did it right but you can only try!

Post-Warrior

Me right now – erm where do I go from here? Well for starters I’m having a big blow out this weekend. Life is a balance and I bloody deserve it! I worked my ass off so a cheat day is well deserved. A couple of days rest and some time enjoying good food with my family and friends before restoring balance to my lifestyle. I’ve integrated this routine and I’ll continue with it in moderation of course.

How to get involved

So these guys have just released a new option for the 8-week challenge…unlimited classes! Damn, if only I was a month later! All details on how to sign up can be found here. Prices start from £29 a week including classes, nutrition and support.

Things I’ve learnt

Probably for me the biggest myths busted are:

Carbs are not evil.

Pretty much all those fad diets out there are a load of bull.

Dieting is super expensive.

I also learnt all about my body noticing its changes and appreciating how it evolved when I put the effort in. I’m more in tune with my muscles knowing how and when to push myself but also listening when it needs a rest. Finally, that working out means I can sweat away my stresses and check out of reality for an hour at a time where I won’t look at my phone and can disconnect from life and focus purely on one objective.

What I would change.

I would probably read my ebook more often than I did so I wouldn’t miss my carb refeed days. I also got confused as did a few other members on the waterdrop, so I would like some more notice on how I can do it effectively. I also understand that for a lot of people 8 weeks is a long ass time so maybe a shorter version of this (open to it being more intense for results) but it could be easier to factor into your life.

A quick Q&A

1, What was it that made you want to change and take the leap onto our 8-week challenge?

I was at a bit of a junction where I felt like my diet was holding me back from progressing and getting the most out of my training. I was going to the gym about 3 times a week but not getting as toned as I wanted.

2, What was your first impression of the course on your induction?

I was expecting a meal plan but was so happy when I found out we had the flexibility to choose our own foods, especially as I’m GF and vegetarian.

3, Did you have any worries and concerns about how you would manage the challenge? Did that change at any time?

I was worried about sticking to the diet if it was super intense but as it was so flexible it was more trial and error. I was lucky working from home which meant I had a lot of options around when I could go to classes.

4, When did you start to notice changes in your appearance, fitness and confidence?

By the halfway point I was like, wow these leggings are a bit looser! I could fit back into old jeans. It was when I felt confident reaching for heavier dumbbells I realised I was getting fitter, stronger and overcoming being self-conscious, especially working out.

5, What is it about the training you enjoy most?

I enjoy switching off from reality for an hour. I can’t scroll through my phone or get distracted. I like meeting all the different types of people who go to the gym and finding common ground.

6, What did you like about the nutrition plan?

How adaptable it was – it means I can continue on after the challenge because I actually learned what’s in my food and I’m not mindlessly following a repetitive meal plan.

7, How is the 8 week challenge different to any plan or diet you have tried before?

It’s not a fad. It’s about proper nutrition; not cutting out major food groups or starving yourself. It’s feeding your body for working out.

8, What have you learnt over the course of the 8 weeks and how has your life changed?

That I can fit a workout in because of it’s just an hour of my day and in the grand scheme of things it’s keeping the motivation up – 1 hour out of 24 is nothing really.

9, What would you say to anyone thinking about starting the 8 week challenge?
Plan it in your diary and sign yourself up. Everyone is so friendly and the facebook group is super supportive.