Yesterday, I spoke about the benefits of green tea, and how it helped me in China (where I learnt about, and started partaking of this amazing beverage). If you missed that one, it's up on my blog HERE. And today, I'll continue in a similar vein. Enjoy!
As you all already know, I was posted in China a few years ago. My last posting was in the U.S., and while I used to work out regularly in the US, and continued to do so when I came to China, for some reason, I wasn't getting the results I desired. And at the time, I wasn't sure why - I trained hard, did many of the same exercises I teach NOW, but I simply wasn't getting the results I wanted. Now, part of the reason was that I didn't know what I know now about fitness and diet, but it wasn't the entire story, and I didn't know it back then. I was still getting stronger, and wasn't fat - but I was beginning to put on more weight around the midsection than I'd have wanted to, and my stamina wasn't quite up to the mark. And the worst part was, I didn't have a clue as to how to improve.
(Side note: Fast and Furious Fitness is a must read if you are in a similar situation)
Anyway, one hot balmy evening, my (then) girl-friend introduced me to a nearby hill, something I'd always known was there, but for whatever reason, had neglected to visit. It was quite a famous "landmark" in the area, and quite a high hill, so we decided to climb that hill. Now, to give you some sort of an idea of how tall that hill was, it took about 20 minutes to climb up at a decent clip, and about 10 minutes or so to get back down. There were various routes up the hill - some with stairs, and some without. Anyway, so I figured it was no big deal, and we started to climb. And I still remember that first climb - I thought I was strong and in pretty decent shape, but boy was I WRONG. . .that was a TOUGH, TOUGH climb! I must have downed about a gallon of water after the climb, managed to stumble home, and onto the couch, and that was that for the night.
The next day, I felt like a train ran over me. My body was sore all over - especially my thighs, which felt like they'd been reduced to a pulverized mass of jelly. My back was sore - and I hadn't even done any pull-ups the day before. And my forearms were feeling it as well, which to me was the most mystifying of all. How on earth could my entire body be sore from just climbing up a hill?
Well, to cut a long story short, a few days later, I started to climb this hill daily (as part of my regular routine). I'd come home from work, climb, and then do my bodyweight stuff. I'd climb no matter what the weather was like, no matter how I felt - in short, nothing short of an earthquake would stop me from getting my daily climb in. Folks used to look at me as if I was crazy when I used to start my SECOND walk up the hill (after climbing and descending it once) - but I soon got used to it (and so did they).
And what results did I get? Within a matter of weeks, I had dropped TWO whole waist sizes - something I'd never been able to do even as a teenager. My chest was broader, and I felt a new strength in my back - this without doing anything out of the ordinary for those parts. And despite not doing a single rope jump, or squat, or other movement for the legs, they became pillars of strength - my thighs in particular. My resting pulse dropped from around 90 to 70 in a matter of WEEKS, and I felt like a new man. And ALL of this can be attributed directly to the hill climb.
Anyhow, my point of saying this is not to blow my own bugle or boast about my achievements - but to show you the immense potential of training on hills. My own workout gives you an idea of what hill training can do for you. Imagine what climbing a hill daily, or even three times a week would do for YOU?
I miss that hill - and always will. I don't have hills right now where I live, but make do with what I have (stairs, inclined surfaces etc) - but nothing can quite mimic a real, steep hill. So if you are lucky enough to have hills around where you live, then incorporate them into your routine - and you'll be hooked once you see what you can achieve via this form of training!
Gotta run for now - hope you enjoyed this little "blast from the past"!
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PS#2: To learn more about training on hills, grab a copy of Fast and Furious Fitness HERE.
PS#3: Have a fantastic week ahead, and train hard!