Fitness Diary, Week 20 of 52

I always get a sense of accomplishment whenever I complete something, and I’ve realized that it doesn’t have to be a race to give me that finish line feeling. Last week was the first time the Nike Training Club app actually showed me that I’d finished a training plan.

Nike Training Club

The previous times I’d completed a training plan using the NTC app, there seemed to be no way I could look back and see how many workouts I’d completed of those assigned. It was like the app had just restarted by itself and lost all my progress. So it was really nice to see that I’d checked off all but two assigned sessions in the past six weeks. Yay for consistency!

This training plan had a lot of push-ups, which I always grudgingly did (OK, they were “baby” pushups on the knees so I could complete the sessions). I always thought the progress was negligible because I always felt like rubbish while doing them. But then, give a body enough stimulus over six weeks and something is bound to happen.

Each time I start a training plan with the NTC app, it runs a benchmark session with an assigned number of reps for particular movements, like squats, jumps, and push-ups. I did the same Lean Fit training plan sometime last year, and for the benchmark I had a previous personal record of 5 minutes and 9 seconds.

This year, my first Lean Fit benchmark session had me off my previous record by 47 seconds. Halfway through the program, I went 27 seconds faster than that first benchmark session. So I thought that by the third benchmark session I would be close to my old record, maybe hopefully break it by a few seconds.

Instead, this is how I went.

Nike Training Club Lean Fit benchmark

I shaved off more than a minute from the second benchmark time, and approximately 45 seconds from my previous record last year. Of course, I was hugely pleased — and also amazed at how much this human body can change and improve under the right training conditions.

Notably, the improvements were incremental but built on each other to produce a tangible difference. I didn’t develop the ability to do a full-body push-up overnight. It was something this program trained me for by strengthening my core, arms, and chest through other exercises. And then suddenly last week, I was able to do five push-ups without going onto my knees.

I think I see the light at the end of the tunnel, figuratively speaking. I’d kind of given up hoping I could come back to the sports I love. Heck yeah, seeing this improvement was empowering for me — especially since for a time I always got sick when I trained harder. This time around, I’ve gone months without getting the sniffles and my body’s shown itself capable of building into something better. I’m doing something consistently right, and this encourages me to keep going.

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