Finally, we reached both a rest day, and the end of week one. And not a moment too soon. I had a much needed lie in this morning, but woke up with my legs in absolute agony. I tend to suffer quite badly from DOMS, but this week, while there have been some aches and soreness, it’s been the perversely pleasant kind, that lets you know you’ve worked hard without causing any real trouble or discomfort. This, on the other hand, while definitely not the work exercise-induced ache I’ve ever had, was the sort that makes it very difficult to sit down, stand up, or bend down. There’s clearly something about Autumn’s leg workouts, as I had the exact same reaction after ALO’s leg day. Ouch!
I turned, half in gratitude and half in trepidation, to today’s semi-official workout, Roll and Release. I say semi-official, because it contributes to the 80 day count, and today’s the only day it officially appears. But the idea is to do it whenever you feel the need. Going forward, both skipping it on rest days and adding it in during the week seem to be acceptable, in a programme that’s otherwise very prescriptive.
After 6 solid days of fairly intense workouts, the last thing many people would want to do is load up yet another routine. But the emphasis here – unlike some supposedly active recovery videos, which seem unnecessarily active – really is on recovery.
The format is simple. It’s 19 minutes long. A quick warmup – the same one as for the rest of the week, which caught me slightly by surprise. A few extended stretches at the end. And inbetween, forming the bulk of the session, lots and lots of foam rolling. I’ve you’ve ever tried foam rolling before, there’ll be nothing here that comes as a particular surprise, but it was well-structured, well-explained and very efficient and effective.
If you haven’t tried it before, I wholeheartedly recommend it. But a word of warning. Don’t expect something akin to a gentle stretching session or a relaxing massage. First, the need to support yourself on the roller puts a surprising demand on your arms and core, particularly if they are already tired. But secondly, and more importantly, rolling sore, tight muscles is at best intense and uncomfortable, at worst, genuinely painful. And on my quads in particular, it definitely fell into the second camp for me today. I was literally whimpering. And also sweating to a strange degree, which I once read is a notable side effect of foam rolling that shows you really need it and you’re doing it right. So that was good, I suppose.
As soon as roll and release was over, I sneakily went straight into Stretch and Release, which is nominally next Sunday’s “workout” but which is similarly designed to be done whenever you think it might be helpful. And I knew I had to deploy every weapon in my arsenal if my legs were going to be in any condition to do Total Body Core again on Monday. I’ll talk more about that one next week, in the proper time and place, but it’s basically straightforward and very welcome stretching, as opposed to the complex yoga that sometimes makes its way into rest day workouts.
Once they were both over, I had a long, long soak in a bath full of epsom salts, as per Autumn’s recommendation. Something about the combination worked. My legs are still achy, and I’d be amazed if they are 100% fine by tomorrow, but they feel a lot better. Time is at a premium for me, but I’m going to try to make time for one or both of the recovery workouts over the course of the week if I possibly can.
On the nutrition side, things went relatively well, though unlike yesterday, when the workout, my driving lesson, and dinner out gave some structure to the day, most of today involved lazing round the house, alternated with chores, which, combined with getting up late, left me unsure what to eat when. I didn’t eat anything I shouldn’t, but I didn’t have all my boxes either. Probably fine as I was consuming far fewer calories than on a normal day (where there’d be a workout, a walk to work, and some activity during the working day) but something to watch on future weekends. I did make an amazing and healthy omelette for breakfast though (spinach, peppers, chilli, black beans and a blue box of Parmesan) so I was happy with that.
And that’s week one over and done with. I’m really pleased with how well I’ve stuck to it and how much I’ve enjoyed it. No astonishing changes yet – I wouldn’t expect them after a week – but I’d say I’m already, at the margins, looking a little less bloated and a little more toned. I really, really hope I can keep this up.
If you don’t currently have access to BOD, you can get a year’s subscription, a month’s supply of Shakeology, and all the accessories you need for 80 Day Obsession for just £180 here
If you’re already a Beachbody on Demand customer, you can get everything you need for 80 Day Obsession (workout calendar, resistance bands, strength sliders, portion fix containers) with Shakeology here, with performance supplements here, or with both here.
There are a variety of different combinations of BOD access, 80 Day Obsession accessories, Shakeology and performance supplements available. Do drop me a line if you’re not sure which is right for you or if you’d like more information about this programme or anything else.