How the hell did she win the muscle growth competition?

It’s really strange, but it looks like I just won the ”Oktoberfest” competition, our training race and health project at work. It was about gaining the most muscle mass (%) during October.

How the hell did that happen? You are probably asking. And so am I.

I will try to answer. I kind of enjoy winning, so I started off with a plan to carefully study muscle growth and diet, and go to the gym at least 4 times a week, to boost my muscles. I googled and I red. The first evening. Three visits at the gym and four portions of protein powder later, I gave up. I love competing, and I love winning. But time is my most limited resource, and doing what I love is simply higher prioritized.

What did happen during the competition, was that I got inspired, and foremost reminded of how good physical training makes me feel, and I managed to focus more on it.

I don’t get triggered by numbers and calculating grams, waist centimeters or bicep growth. It is a nice effect, if you can see a difference, which I usually cannot (the more I train, the fatter I look, its true) but it’s not my core goal and what pushes me forward in my training.

My goals: To be strong and healthy and have fun!

I want a overall healthy lifestyle. With a blend of life ingredients that makes the right balance for me, with diet, exercise, professional and personal development, love and social life. For my training, this is what drives me:

1. To be strong, healthy and live a long life (staying strong and healthy through life).

I want to to be mentally and physically strong and healthy. Training helps me in to improve in both.

I feel really good from physical activity and I like to get my pulse up. I actually enjoy it when my legs are almost burning from heavy training (though I don’t feel the same way about shoulders). I also like pushing myself, challenging my limits.

Its not only physically enjoyable but also mentally recharging. For me, training it is where I get my energy refill and mental relaxation after a long day. I am never as creative as 25 minutes into a running or spinning workout. I just wish it was easier to take notes while running.

I am also driven by fear. Since training brings me so much joy, I fear being physically limited one day (reminded by knee problems in the past, sadly forcing me to give up the art of Capoeira). I dont wish to become stiff and weak with back problems, from all the time I spend in front of a computer, so it is important for me to stay flexible.

2. To have fun

Training should be fun! For me, to invest the time into training, it has to bring me joy in itself. Music is one important ingredient. In the dance, it is of course the key thing. I like a blend of explosive and low intensity training. I also like to improve/develop skills and train hard at the same time.

Marital art and dance allows me to compete with myself, and improve body control and awareness, at the same time as it is social, hanging out with friends and meeting people that I otherwise would never have met. Spinning and running is my own time, when I can either get really exhausted, or just have a good thinking. Fresh air is desired for the latter. Climbing is also great since it combines training and social, but my climbing partners tend to get pregnant so its a found and lost project. 

I don’t enjoy gym training so much, but I do it sometimes anyway. Partly for health reasons, but most for trying to keep a good core stability and strength, which is necessary for reaching better results in my dance classes.

My October training:

1. Gym, lifting weights. Three times. Resulted in a horrible pain, in muscles I didn’t even know existed.
2. Dancing, I have been dancing more than ever in october. All together 19 hours. Not leaving so much room for other training.
3. Spinning, mostly ”cykel puls” at sats.
4. Power walking, spending time in the nature.

My tips:

Either the measuring method was faulty, or my philosophy for training actually works. Decide for yourself. Anyway, here are some tips.

1. Varied diet and training I don’t believe in a few weeks diet for a lasting result. I think eating ”healthy enough” and varied food is the key. I think the body feels better with varied training, with a blend of cardio and strength.  Do some sort of exercise at least four times a week. A long walk is enough. It doesn’t need to be harder than that as a start. You will feel the difference and want more.
2. Find what makes you tick – what is your passion? Training should be something you look forward to. Find out what you really enjoy doing. I have tried everything from handball and badminton, to climbing, martial arts and dancing, it takes a while to find how and what suits you the best.
3. Balance in life Ok, no one is perfect. I am still figuring this out.

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About Pernilla

Digital PR Strategist with a passion for communications, carnival samba, travelling and outdoor adventures. Aiming to make every day colorful!


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