Return To The Circuit

Post By @IPAOfficer

It has been a while since I last published a blog but I am back. I wrote in my last post how I had started my journey and managed to bin off a shed load of weight in my first week. Some of that weight was excess water which is usual when you first start and I have had a really naughty two weeks however I am still 6 pounds lighter than I was when I started so I am happy.

I write this blog sat in my armchair as yesterday I made an aggressive return to circuit training and this morning my body has that aching feeling you get after a heavy workout so today I am taking it easy. I do like this feeling as I feel as if I have worked for it and know that my body will be better for it.

Last Friday I was sat at my desk in the office losing my mind over my workload. I had an outburst of bad language and I heard laughing coming from behind me. It was a colleague who works on the response team. “Stop moaning. I haven’t seen you in the gym for two weeks. Get your arse in there on Monday as you are circuit training with me” he says. I laughed at him and told him that I will be there but I am sticking to my usual weights and cardio.

So Monday arrives and I walk into the gym to find my mate and three colleagues waiting. They had already done 9.7 on the bleep test as a warm up so I was pleased I was late. I still maintained that I was sticking to my usual workout as I had not been training for a while but no! I gave in to four colleagues insisting I get on the mat and do the circuit.

Then it is explained what the workout involved and I nearly died. On the board there was a list of ten exercises. We started by running two lengths of the bleep test route then did thirty seconds of exercise one. Then it was run another two lengths of the bleep test route before going straight back into exercise one immediately followed by exercise two. After that it was running again followed by exercise one, two and three and so on.

The last time I did any training like this was when I was in the T.A and given that length of time and the fact I hadn’t been in a gym for two weeks it didn’t take long before I started to struggle. At exercise five I was pouring with sweat and starting to feel tired, very tired. As a group we took a one minute break as two others who were also new to this were flagging too. Having got back into it I finally crashed out at exercise seven.

The circuit had beaten me but I was not ready to give up yet. I got on the bike and struggled through a twenty minute fat burn cycle. Now my face was like a river and my T shirt absolutely wringing wet. It was time to stop and get ready for work. Although absolutely battered I felt good.

If you want a good solid workout this style of training is very good as it works all of your body muscles. I won’t lie it is HARD work but very rewarding! I have committed to this style of training at least once a week as I still like lifting weights.

Another decision that I have made this week is to get back on the rugby field. Watch this space.



Supplementation basics – Protein Powder! 

Supplementation – Protein Powder
I’ve been taking protein powder on and off for about 14 years now, and I’ve heard it all – “isn’t that basically steroids?”, “but your not going to the gym at the moment”, “it all comes out in your urine anyway” and the classic “I wouldn’t do protein powder as I don’t want to get huge”. 

Say the last one to any body builder or athlete and when they finish laughing they will probably explain that supplementation will only work in that way when combined with correct nutrition and a workout programme focusing on hypertrophy (muscle growth).

Firstly to dispel a few myths – protein powder doesn’t make your grow muscles (on its own) you’re not going to look like Arnold if you take protein powder, just as you wouldn’t grow his muscles if you ate a lot of steak and chicken. 

It won’t make you look manly if you are a woman! It doesn’t contain testosterone and will not alter your hormones.

It IS as much use when losing weight as it is when gaining it! There are plenty of “diet protein powders” on the market, some containing other fat loss ingredients such as CLA or green tea extract. You may have noticed that even Slim Fast has cottoned on to the protein buzz and now advertises itself as a high protein drink – or protein shake. You don’t even need to be going to the gym and lifting weights to get results from it, just don’t think that adding it to your diet instead of using it as a meal or snack replacement will help as it still contains calories!

Protein is probably the most important macro of any healthy diet, with most diets from Paleo to Atkins and The Abs Diet to the Lean in 15 suggest a marked increase in protein consumption and reduced fat or carbs. Protein powder is a simple and easy way to get that increase without having to be eating tuna from the can 3 times a day whilst also keeping your other macros at the correct levels.

It really doesn’t come out in your urine! In fact if you’ve ever had your pee tested in a hospital they tend to get very concerned if there is protein present! Your body will naturally filter out stuff it doesn’t want, need or your taking too much of to an extent anyway, so anything you eat or drink you will never get the full benefits of. 

Protein helps repair muscles. Your body needs protein particularly after exercise to help repair the muscles. If you are weight lifting your body you will often suffer from delayed often muscle soreness and protein powder plays a big part in helping reduce this. 

Another big advantage of the protein shake on a diet is that it comes in some delicious flavours, and can help curb your cravings for chocolate and other sweets by giving you a chocolate milkshake taste without the full calories! 

If your not already taking a protein shake as part of your diet, I would highly recommend it. Regardless of your end goal be it weight loss, or muscle gains it will help support them. For those who struggle to eat a breakfast within an hour of waking it’s a great way of getting the metabolism fired up. 

If you have any concerns with the legality of supplements, or job policy the simple rule of thumb is that if you can buy it off the shelf in a store or a reputable website it’s likely to be legal. If it’s ok for tested athletes it should be ok for police officers. There should be nothing in protein powders for sale in the UK that should be any cause for concern. But if your taking one with additives I would advise checking your force policy. Better to be safe than sorry!