My fitness journey at Hope Park Sports: Circuits convert

giphy.gifAfter a lovely, long, bank holiday weekend in the sunshine which involved lots of relaxing and very little exercise, I was actually quite glad to be back in circuits this week. For someone used to lazing around most evenings, I actually quite missed doing some exercise – I never thought I would say that! I think for me, I’m really beginning to notice a difference in how I feel and look, and now that I’ve seen what exercise a few times a week can do, I’m really keen to keep on top of it and keep working at improving myself.

I’ve now been to 4 circuits classes, and I really love them! I’m a total circuits convert. I love how the class sizes in Hope Park Sports aren’t massive, so it’s not overwhelming or crowded. I love the upbeat music to keep everyone’s spirits up. I love how everyone is there for themselves and no one is judging anyone. I love how each week some of the exercises change, so it doesn’t get repetitive or boring. I love how everyone encourages each other and wills each other to keep going when your body gets tired. Can you tell I love it?!

giphy.gifEach week I feel like I’m getting ever so slightly better at some of the exercises, which is a really nice boost for me and helps to keep me going when I’m feeling tired. In the first week, I could barely lift weights, but this week I managed to lift a 20kg bar! It may not sound like much, but I was so proud of myself for doing it! My aim next time is to try and lift it more than 3 times in the allocated time – but it’s a start. This week I also managed to stick at the tricep dips exercise a bit longer than I did in the first week, so I’m feeling really happy tonight.

My favourite exercises that we tend to do each week are:

  • Boxing for 10 punches each arm and then a sprint the length of the room (this exercise is particularly great if you want to release tension!)
  • Rowing on the hardest setting
  • Ropes (a long, heavy rope that we usually have to wiggle/thrash repeatedly with our arms – it’s knackering but I enjoy the mini breather from leg exercises)
  • Slam ball – throwing a heavy slam ball to the floor as hard as you can (again great if you’re feeling a bit angry)
  • Exercises with a kettle bell – I like these and find them a bit easier to use than weights or weight bars

Some exercises that I struggle with but want to get better at:

  • Anything that involves weightlifting – I’m just so weak that after a few reps, my arms shake!
  • Anything that involves squats – I get really bad quad burn with anything related to squats if I hold that position for longer than 10 seconds
  • Cycling standing up – again my quads really burn doing this exercise so I struggle to keep a continuous cycle for longer than 10/15 seconds

Hopefully with a bit more practise, I’ll get better at the exercises I’m currently a bit rubbish at. Speaking of practice, I’ve been taking a part of circuits home with me and doing a 5 minutes abs blast each night before bed. This involves 5 different exercises for a minute each, and totally stolen from the last part of Laura’s circuits class:

  • Russian Twists – legs crossed at the ankles, lifted off the ground, and twisting your arms from side to side
  • Ankle Touches – lie flat on your back with knees bent, touch your heels in turn with your fingers
  • Calf Touches – sit ups, but touching your left calf with your right arm, then right calf with left arm
  • Leg Raises – lie flat on your back, hands under your bum, legs straight and raise them high in the air then lower almost to the ground
  • Plank – lying face down, raise yourself onto your forearms and tip toes, keeping your body straight but low to the ground and hold that position

giphy.gifI’ve been on my new fitness/healthier eating mission for around 4 weeks now, and I can’t believe how much of a difference it’s already made. I’ve noticed my body shape is changing slightly, particularly around the middle where I wanted to tone up. I’ve never been a big fan of scales, but I did take the plunge over the weekend and weighed myself…and I’ve lost half a stone already! All down to circuits once a week, less than an hour in the gym once a week, and cutting down on snacking on crisps/chocolate, particularly at the weekend. In the past when I’ve tried to improve myself, I’ve always given up before I’ve really started, but this time round I’m determined to stick to it – and I’m actually really enjoying it!

giphy.gifA huge thank you has to go to Laura in Hope Park Sports for her encouragement, guidance and belief in me that I can actually do it, to my friend Nicole for starting me on this journey and keeping me company throughout, and to my friends in the office for encouraging me to keep going.

I’m off to get some well-deserved rest now after circuits. Tomorrow Laura is talking me through my fitness plan, I’m really excited to get started on it! In my next post I’ll let you know how my fitness plan is going.

As always, thanks so much for reading 🙂

Amy x


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