Hey friends. Today, I’m sharing my latest fitness progress update. If you’ve been following me on Instagram, you know I love hitting the weights and I’ve been training at Oakfit with owner and founder Ron Incerta. While I do love taking classes, I’m most comfortable in the gym and love lifting heavy. Up until recently, I have been training on my own. In June, Ron reached out to me and invited me to train with him. The journey has been so rewarding in so many ways.
A bit of back story
I grew up playing sports and enjoyed being active and outdoors. In college, I played intramural soccer, volleyball, and flag football. I wouldn’t say I was fit, but blessed with a great metabolism. However sports was how I got my body moving. It took a few years for me to find my rhythm in fitness. I was one of those girls that walked on a treadmill for 30 mins and did abs and thought that was a good workout. I just didn’t know any better. Right after college, I got a personal trainer and a HUGE reality check. At 5’0ft and 115 pounds, I was considered borderline obese with 29% body fat. My eating habits were catching up to me.
I enjoyed having a personal trainer and learning how to do things on my own. It instilled a good foundation and work ethic when it came to working out. Eventually, I strayed from the monotony of gym workouts and started taking group fitness classes. I did it all – spin, yoga, HIIT, pilates, barre, bootcamp, kickboxing, and other interesting fusions.
Eventually, I hit a plateau. While I could keep up in almost any 60 minute cardio class, I no longer felt strong and I stopped seeing changes in my body. My goal then was to burn calories and clock in a workout rather than progressing in my workouts. I stopped seeing the type of progress I wanted and found myself craving a different type of challenge.
After finding my way back to the gym and re-learned how to get comfortable in the weight room. I was challenging myself to reach personal records in bench press, deadlifts and squats. I loved how it felt to lift heavy, but still struggled with how to reach my goals without hurting myself. My livelihood is based on my ability to move. I’ve experienced injuries from over training, improperly training, incorrect form, accidents, and an old ACL surgery on my left knee (from football) that I knew would be a ticking time bomb if I didn’t address it now. I was afraid to push forward knowing there were weaknesses and imbalances due to an old injury.
Enter into my life. Ron Incerta…
When Ron decided to take me under his wing and offer to help me, I had no idea it would be a collaboration that would turn into a pretty amazing friendship. Having the opportunity to train with Ron is a blessing, because he is super knowledgeable and would answer all my questions and challenges. Trust me, I asked “but why?” A LOT.
I was thrilled that I could share strength and conditioning from a female perspective, from a proactive post-injury perspective, and from an educational stand point. I wanted to reach women, like myself, that were craving a more purposeful and intentional workout in the gym and hope they might learn something from our workouts and feel empowered to push themselves. In addition to all of that, I feel I found out more about myself through training, learned to love my body more and had so much fun along the way.
In June, Ron took my measurements. It was what I expected. I had always hovered in the mid 20s for body fat, but also felt proud that I was able to get my own body fat down 2 percent on my own. This would serve as a benchmark and I was interested to see where I would be in a few months.
Weight: 110.4 lbs
Body Fat %: 23.4%
Lean mass: 84.6 lbs
In September, he sprang a measurement test on me. I was SO nervous. Even though I KNOW better, I was hung up on the number on the scale. I had weighed myself that morning and at 112.6lbs, I felt frustrated thinking it was probably because I hadn’t been eating as clean. By no means did I feel fat or anything, but I thought maybe the two pound weight gain meant that I had lost progress or was overeating.
Here are the numbers for September:
Weight: 112.6 lbs
Body Fat %: 21.1%
Lean mass: 88.8 lbs
MIND BLOWN. Even though I gained two pounds, I LOST 2.3% body fat and GAINED 4.2 pounds of lean body mass. The number on the scale reflects total body weight and I had to check myself and all those negative thoughts. I felt proud. My coach was proud of me! It was such a great feeling seeing those numbers and recognizing that I have been working hard. It was also interesting realizing that tracking progress also goes beyond numbers too and how you feel about your body and your relationship with your body is just as important.
Here are a few of the things I learned in the past 3 months:
Train with intention and purpose
Personally, I felt I was past working out for stress relief or happy endorphins. I wanted to train to reach measurable goals like new PRs in benchpress, deadlifts and squats. I also wanted to train to ensure my body would be healthy for the future, because I couldn’t afford to have injuries. My purpose for training was to BE strong and fit, not just look it.
Recognizing that I am getting older, I didn’t want to train my body into the ground and ignore issues. Instead, I wanted to train with purpose. We did some remedial work and targeted all of my weaknesses while also building strength. I absolutely loved learning the WHY behind each exercise and workout. I asked questions like “Why should women workout forearms? Why should women do benchpresses? What is the point of this exercise or that exercise?” Fully understanding what I was doing kept it interesting for me. I didn’t want this to be a transactional experience, I also wanted to learn.
Measure progress with the right metrics
From tracking how heavy your lifting in each session to a comprehensive assessment of your body fat, these are all great numbers to track over time to look at together. Again, I knew the number on the scale doesn’t say much without the right context, but it still got to me before my last assessment. Here’s a reminder that the scale is TOTAL body weight. I believe a lot of people get hung up on staying within a certain number on the scale, but you definitely need a whole lot more metrics to measure your entire progress. I would rather be heavier if it meant that I was stronger and healthier.
Don’t obsess over metrics either
Aside from numbers, I asked myself, “Do I feel strong? Do I feel fit?”. The answer was definitely yes. Body positivity was a huge thing for me before I started training with Ron. I didn’t want to just look fit, I wanted to feel confident in my body and I also wanted to feel strong. More importantly, I wanted to love and accept my body, skin rolls and all. I talked about letting go of my insecurities and embracing it all here. During this process, I had several a-ha moments where I realized that this fitness journey is just that. A journey. It isn’t just about numbers, it’s also about how you feel about your body and keeping those negative thoughts in check.
Thanks for reading and following my journey. I so appreciate the time it took to get through this novel. It’s been empowering to share my takeaways and actually see results after training with Ron for a few months. It was a learning experience that goes beyond physical aesthetics and more about being physically and mentally strong. I finally feel the best I’ve ever felt about myself and you can’t beat that. Can’t wait to see how I will progress next and to share more about my experience. Definitely follow along my Instagram and keep up with my training there! I’ll check in again soon.