Se7en’s Blog: I Have Made it through the Intermediate Level

Se7en’s Blog: I Have Made it through the Intermediate Level

It’s been a while since I blogged here, I have been really rather busy working out. After completing eight weeks of the Beginner Level of the Healthy Weight Programme I launched straight into the Intermediate Level Programme. I cannot believe that it has been eight weeks since I started the Intermediate Level, but my log book can’t lie. I have to say that at the end of the Beginner Course I was thrilled that I was moving again, after really not enough exercise at all for years, while I parented small children. Then I began the Intermediate program and I have to say that I was a little overwhelmed… I knew I was feeling great and on top of the world compared to where I had been, but classes were hard, the early mornings were dark and insert every lame excuse here. 

Difference between SSISA Healthy Weight Beginner and Intermediate 

The big difference between the two levels is that in the first level, while you have a dedicated biokineticist through all your workouts three days a week. It is fantastic… you literally have to show up and everything is made as easy as possible for you. I didn’t realise it at the time, but in fact short of exercising for you, they do everything for you in the Beginner Course.

In the intermediate Level you have two classes a week, and you are encouraged to attend the gym at least two other days a week. Again, you have a dedicated biokineticist at all the Intermediate Level classes, who by this stage knows each of us really well… what we can do and what we can’t do, who needs special exercises and who needs alternatives. It can’t be an easy job looking after all of us, but this team is amazing. The workouts are challenging, but not impossible and always fun. There is a great and encouraging class and nothing would make me miss a day. 

Learning to exercise on my own

It was having to attend gym the other two days of the week, on my own without my class, that seemed insurmountable at the start of the course. I looked at all the classes available on the schedule and really didn’t think I was able to attend any of them… I was moving but hardly athletic… Spinning? Gasp. Pilates? Yikes. Keep Fit? Maybe. So many wonderful classes to choose from and much as I might like to join one or two of them, all of them would require me to significantly up my game. I had signed up for the programme, I was fully committed and decided to make a plan… I wouldn’t join a class immediately; I would work on my fitness instead.

I started by doing the Super Circuit on days I didn’t have gym class. I had been taught how to use all the weight machines and in-between machines there are step-ups. So weight machine, step ups, weight machine, step ups, and so on… get started, keep going and eventually you get to the end of the circuit. I don’t love step ups, but each time I do them I know they are making my next hike easier so I was happy to do them, and a couple of weeks later they are really not a problem. 



I was getting stronger all the time but still had no speed or stamina, just plodding my way along through each workout. Each time I went to gym I added a little more cardio to my workout… I started with three machines for three minutes each. Cycling (my worst), treadmill and the rowing machine, which I have always loved. I noticed that in our classes we often started with cycling and I honestly dreaded it, so that’s where I began working harder… cycling a little longer each time, and upping the intensity. Whenever we do something in class that I absolutely can’t do… hello bicycle crunches or sideway step ups on the ledge… then those are things that I add to the workouts on my off days. 

So a funny thing happened over the past eight weeks… from being overwhelmed by my off days I have come to love them. I now treat myself to a mini triathlon, nothing like the real thing trust me(!): cycle 5km, run/walk on the treadmill 2km, and then row one or two more km. Then I do the weights of the super circuit and a few other weight machines that I have discovered on the way. And that’s it… free to go home, knowing that I have done a good workout and ready for class the next day. 



Group classes keep you pushing harder

I have to say there is nothing like a class to push you harder, nothing like that brilliant feeling when you have actually done it. So class days are great, I am always in a little (if not a lot, thank you Claudia) of pain afterwards, and always feel like I should be conquering the world after them. My off days have really picked up and I actually enjoy challenging myself and trying new things. Possibly the most surprising thing about the Intermediate level is just how much fitter I am now than I was at the start of it all. I still cringe when I hear words like burpees and push ups, but I can totally do them and actually without dying. This is getting easier, I am way ahead of where I began, but it doesn’t ever feel easier because the fitter you get the harder you work.

Living a new healthy lifestyle

Would I recommend that folk join the Intermediate Level after the Beginner Level? Absolutely. I definitely still need the structure of the classes to push me onwards and upwards. And I need the connection with athletes that have similar goals to mine. Overall I love it. Turns out the dark wintry mornings are not a problem, because gym gets me up and out the door and ready for the day before the sun rises.

I have lost weight, not masses but consistently each week the scale is a little lower. I have lost tons of centimetres, I don’t have any gym clothes that actually fit and I am on the lookout for an affordable brand of gear that fits plus size moms, who really love working out. I am much fitter than I was before I began, not to mention I can do things I never thought I would ever be able to do. Honestly, now that I have begun this journey, and it really took just the first step, I never want to go back to where I was.

The feeling of wellness and the great day that follows a fantastic work out makes it all totally worth it.



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