Welcome to my 6-week program diary.
This diary logs my experience and development throughout the whole process of following the SHAPESHIFTER BODY REDESIGN program. Step into my shoes and get an idea of the ups and downs I experienced... and the eventual transformation I achieved. Looking back, it really wasn't hard at all - and I'm certainly enjoying the benefits now... there's no going back to that old body of mine any more.
There's a lot to read (49 posts), but if you don't feel like lugging through the whole 6 weeks, you can always just read the week evaluations, which give a summary of the highlights.
If you start the program yourself and have trouble with the exercises... just view my first attempts on video in my first week. Totally amateurish...totally laughable... totally embarrassing.
But everyone's got to start somewhere - and if I can improve so well, so fast, then so can you. I wish you lots of future pleasure.
As Shapeshifter puts it: usually, the best results come when you slow down
. And this whole week has been a "winding down" period - with only one
intensive workout scheduled on day 5. But it's funny - I've gotton so used to working out over the last 5 weeks, that "winding down" has felt just as difficult as "starting up".
Seriously! It feels as if the program ended a week ago - and this has been a long week. If I hadn't been doing the running sessions which I recently began (see blog
), I'd have the feeling that I hadn't done anything this week.
This is interesting and important in it's own right - it makes me realise just how much following the program, the exercises, the diet, has become a part of my life - I can't imagine not
working out, not
watching what I eat... I understand the Shapeshifter reasoning, that's why I've followed protocol, but I'm already missing it.
There's a gap in my life, and I've got to make some decisions... what now, what's the next step?
Well, I answer these and other questions in my "final program evaluation"
in the Shapeshifter-Review
section of this site... which I've called "The Truth"!
In this section I include my full analysis of the program, and include my final "After-photo" and an evaluation of my results. So don't miss that.
But now I've come to the end of my "Program Diary".
It's been an adventure that started what seems like ages ago. Funny how 6 weeks can pass so quickly yet seem so long. It's not the end of the adventure though... as I stop here, I continue further on my blog
. I'll see you there.
Well, here it is... the last day.
No workout as such - just a session of the "Regeneration" routine.
I've not written about this routine before, so now is a good moment to talk about it. The "Regen" session is a series of low-intensity mobility exercises and yoga-type routines, designed to accelerate recovery, prevent overtraining, and diminish the delayed onset of muscle-soreness people experience with intense exercise programs. It's a full-body flowing routine that restores your body to balance. Much like the cool-down exercises after each workout focus on the isolated muscles used in that workout - the "regen" focusses on the whole body in one session.
It takes a while to learn the session so that you can do it without having to follow the video (similar to the cardioflow routine in that respect), but once you've got the hang of it, it's quite simple - and you don't realise just how stiff you've been til you start doing this session.
It's a good break from the intensity of the strength and cardio exercises, and gives you a better feeling than if you just hang around on the 7th day of each week.
So that was it - the meals for the day follow the "good-carb" recommendations; and the Lifestyle section runs through a review of all the "digestive-health" topics of the last 6 weeks. Finally you're reminded to take your final measurements and "after-photo" so you can make the comparison with your start-physique.
In the next, and last post of this "Program Diary" I'll make an evaluation of this 6th week. Then comes the "full final evaluation" of the whole program experience - but I'll publish that in the Shapeshifter review section of this site.
One heavy workout yesterday, and today we're taking it easy again with the Cardioflow circuit. Actually that's not entirely true...
This circuit looks gentle enough, but after 5-10 minutes you start feeling how much it's really working your body. And that's what it's supposed to do... burn a boatload of fat! And the recommendation is 12 to 45 minutes of the circuit.
But it's the only workout today so I was able to keep it up for the full duration. Should have had some effect, coupled with the low-carb menu for the day.
One day left.....
The last 4 days have been a breeze - so much so that I don't feel I've exerted myself at all. It's felt like a holiday - seriously!
Today we're back on track and sweating again... and I love it.
Starting with a 10 minute session of Neuroboost: Concentric pushups, Jump-highs, and Ballistic Mountain climbers. Then straight on to the "Strength 1" workout at 100%. 5 minutes of warm-up followed by 6 rounds of:
Single Bound Lunge Right 45 seconds
Single Bound Lunge Left 45 seconds
Rocca Press 45 seconds
Quad Press 45 seconds
Hip Lift Right 45 seconds
Hip Lift Left 45 seconds
V-Up 45 seconds
Rest 1 minute
Oh and I did sweat, but I did keep up. And it's good to feel my muscles having to work again.
Nutrition wise, it's a "moderate-carb" day again... time to enjoy some rice and fruit.
I took a leaf through the "lifestyle" modules - one really good quote from today's article: "Fear prevents us from becoming the strongest version of ourselves. It’s probably the number one enemy to human potential."
And another: “Everything can be taken from a person but one thing: the last of human freedoms – to choose one’s attitude in any given set of circumstances…to choose one’s own way.”
Well... onto my last week in this 6-week program. Officially it's a winding-down week, but I'm more inclined to make it a booster week. I feel like I'm only just starting, and I certainly don't want to wind down... I want to rev-it-up.
The reason I've bunched these four days is that there's not a lot new to say about them. Days 1 and 3 workouts are "strength-1" at 70% - which is pretty easy to do now. Days 2 and 4 are taken up with 20 minutes of cardioflow - again, nothing new or strenuous. The meals are low-carb and slow-carb... same old same old. Just a matter of running through the motions.
The program gets a boost again after this... a sprint to the end. End? I don't want it to end!
My final review will be next week of course, but I just want to share my transformation up to this stage. Remember this image from my Bio-page...
...that was my state at the beginning of the program next to an image which showed how I'd like to look in 6 weeks. Well I took another picture a few days ago, in the same pose as "my ideal", and here's the result.....
not bad heh? I must admit I'm really pretty close, and I can see clearly what still needs to be worked on. I´m actually quite proud of myself - that´s a damn good physique for a 53 year old, even if I do say so myself... I´m certainly not ashamed of it anymore.
Can you imagine the excitement I´m feeling right now? A kind of " If I can do this, I can do anything" feeling. This is going to be a great year, a great life...
Well... okay... I´m hyped - up, so lets get stuck in to the final few days, and see what that brings.
It's obvious that this week was a mile-stone week for me. It already seems a lot longer than 5 weeks ago that I started with the program - full of excitement, but curious about my ability and motivation to stick with it.
I've had some ups and downs, some stops and starts, some doubts... but I stuck with it. And it's now, at the end of the fifth week, that I can honestly say I'm finally into it. I understand the nutrition and can adapt it for my own goals without feeling tied completely and dependently on the Shapeshifter mealplan.
And I'm not struggling with the exercises anymore - I've attained a level of strength and endurance which allows me to follow the workouts effectively - I focus now on the intensity of my training instead of on whether I'm doing the exercises right or not.
And I've seen results - performance results that I'm already able to use to my advantage in other physical activities.
But the most important transformation I've made during this week, is a lifestyle one. I don't have to fight my old behavior-patterns in order to motivate myself to work out. I have developed a new pattern that welcomes exercise into my daily lifestyle. And I'll never have to struggle to make that first step again, or that New-Year's resolution to finally start exercising, finally do something about the belly-fat. I started, I stuck with it, and now it's an automated part of my life.
Now the future of my body, my health and fitness, and all my physical dreams and goals, is really starting to feel within my reach. And that is exciting.
Day 6 was pretty uneventful. I just followed the cardioflow routine, which is becoming easier and more flowing - I do this as part of the "stack" workout, so the extra practise is paying off. Nutrition was "moderate carb", so I enjoyed some extra fruit in my diet.On the Shapeshifter front, day 7 was also uneventful. I did a morning session of the "regeneration" routine, which is a long but relaxed yoga-type stretching routine. Still nice to loosen this stiff old body.
I did the follow-up "neuroboost" routine later in the evening. And I relaxed a little on the diet because it's good-carb day. Chance for a little rice with my chicken and veggies and salad.
I ran out of my protein-powder a little while back, but finally got round to buying some more... so I've been drinking that as my snack during the day.
I also bought some "creatine" powder - This is one of the extra supplements Shapeshifter recommends. It's supposed to increase the endurance power of the muscles so you can work longer and more effectively - all this having a positive and speedier effect on the muscle-building process.
I chose not to use this throughout this program - wanting to see what my body can achieve all on its own. But the last week is coming up and I find it interesting to see if I experience anything by using it. That'll be in week 7, so I'll let you know.
The "eventful" part of my day, came outside the Shapeshifter program... I went running with a friend of mine. He's been running for years, I've just started. How that went, you can read on my blog.
One last thing...
There are three elements to the Shapeshifter program to follow each day, and they are:
1 - Workout
2 - Diet
3 - Lifestyle
This last area I've pretty much ignored. I've been deep into self-awareness and self-development for ages now, and there was nothing new for me in these sections. However, today's lifestyle topic was about healthy digestion, and this was something new for me. Every 7th day, the Lifestyle element discusses a different part of the digestion system, and it was fascinating to learn about this again (long long time since school biology lessons). So I read all the articles from week 1 to now.
Knowing a little more about what happens with your food from the moment it goes into your body to the moment it comes out, really gives you another relationship to your body and the stuff you feed it on. It's also important to understand that a good-functioning digestion system is as vital to your health and fitness as any workout or diet you could follow.
Always good to learn something new!
Stormy outside so I spent the whole day inside. Gave me the time to really relax and focus on my meals... eating slowly, chewing well, right mealtimes, enough water...
It was a moderate-carb day, so I could enjoy some fruit in the diet.
I only did my workout in the evening - around 7pm. Back to the Strength-1 routine, with the single-leg squats, rocca-press, quad-press, leg-lifts and v-ups.
I was curious... after my level advancement in the last workouts, I wondered if I could keep up with the "follow-along video" from Shapeshifter. I'd never actually tried this because I was focussing so much on the exercises and the clock. I've been managing around 18 to 20 reps of most of the exercises in the 45 seconds alloted to each of them. Then I watched the video and saw how Ryan was coping - turns out he was doing the movements slower than me with an average of 16 reps - of course his performance was controlled and smooth, but he only did one round for the video. Emulating his performance on my first round was easy - only when I got to round 3 and 4 did I feel myself tiring and taking short pauzes during the reps.
But I'm happy with my level and performance - not quite the expert, but on the first round I can certainly look the part.
Another Fasting day, and another session of Stack workout...
I've been doing this workout at level 3 the last 2 sessions, but limiting it to 5 rounds. Today I went the whole hog and did a full 10 rounds - unthinkable a couple of weeks ago. It wasn't easy, but I'm on a sprint to the finish and I'm pushing myself harder than I've done in the past.
No result without action. I'm as guilty as the next person to want something for nothing. Wanting my body to look and feel great, but without wanting to put too much effort into it. I read somewhere about getting results from exercising - the writer talked of "...exercising like a man". Well I've been exercising like a wimp. Now, with the end in sight, I'm finally realizing what I need to be doing, what I could have been doing... and I'm wondering what my results would have been had I put more effort in all through the program.
But hey!!! it isn't the end is it? Even after the 6 weeks is up, I can start again, do another 6 weeks - and this time "...like a man". In fact, it's never the end. And that's what I'm most thankful for - I'm tasting the benefits, and I can well imagine where I'll be and how I'll look and feel in, say, 6 months. And I'm looking forward to that. I actually wake up in the mornings now, looking forward to working out. How's that for a transformation?
I've revised my goals now too. I believe ít's too late to realistically expect to put on any considerable muscle mass in this last 10 days - my own fault for not following the nutrition plan strictly enough. But I got to thinking...
What's most important to me at this moment? The answer is to lose as much bodyfat as I can. Let's get rid of that first. The bulking can come later. I've always had a lean build, and I really like that "lean and ripped" look (...surfers... Brad Pitt in Fight Club!). I should focus on achieving this transformation first - it suits my body, and my desires, and it suits my needs for all the activities I want to experience in the near future. I figure I can enjoy this "physique" for a while, then later, focus my attention and efforts on "pumping up" to achieve the "DanielCraig/Bond look". I've got the time... there's no hurry.
Having made this decision has given another boost to my motivation, and a definite goal to focus on. There are so many "stunning physiques" I could desire, but I can't have them all at the same time. Now I know what I want, and it's not so far away.
So now I intend to do all my workouts at full effort and top level - I'm really not a beginner anymore... I feel like a Shapeshifter.