Educogym Day 1:
OUCH. I'm in body shock!
Let's kick off with the diet plan first. As mentioned, my 12-day programme requires a high-protein and high-fat diet, designed to rid the body of sugar (which is the first thing muscles use for fuel). The ratios are carefully calculated so that I have enough protein to keep me full (and stop me passing out!) and plenty of fat for my muscles to burn, rather than the muscles eating away at themselves. It's weird to think that eating fat makes you thin, but I understand the science so I'm trusting it. I also completely trust Zana Morris, the crazy Irish trainer who runs the Educogym centre in Harley Street. She rabbits on about fat, protein, growth hormones etc, and I believe every word she says. Her confidence is inspiring, as are the smoking hot bodies of her gym staff and the 'before and after' client photos plastered all over the gym. She knows every answer to every one of my nerdy questions. Totally my kinda gal.
Breakfast is 2 poached organic eggs, 2 rashers of streaky bacon and 45g of walnuts. Within an hour I'm feeling nauseous and very full, which I accept as part of the process. Lunch is a small packet of smoked salmon with 85g of cream cheese (imagine a little less than half an average tub). All these combos are in my instruction guide (I'm not making it up!).
My first gym session is mind-boggling. It's just 15minutes long, but blimey it's a hard 15 minutes. Today we've focused on legs, including 3 reps of 10 squats pushing a heavy shoulder weight upwards from a crouched position. Go back and read that again. OUCH! Do you know how hard that is? We finish with various ab crunches on the floor then it's all over. And here's what's strange: I have been dragged through many 90min personal training sessions before, after which my body has felt like it's was beaten up by a giant Duracell bunny thwacking me with a dumbbell. This is how I'm feeling right now. I am exhausted. My quads are still throbbing (3 hours after my session) and I have an all-over burn. I walked out of the gym feeling like a baby giraffe taking its first steps: shaky, weak and on the brink of tears! After just 15 minutes! I'm amazed, confused, aching and curious. And not at all hungry.
Educogym Day 2:
I literally fall out of bed. My quads are so sore from the shock of yesterday's squats that they buckle the minute I stand up! It's fine: I recognise this pain. Six months ago I did a personal training programme and this was exactly how I felt after the first session. I'm still baffled how 15mins at Educogym has the same impact. My session today focused on chest and back muscles, which I really enjoyed: I spend quite a few hours of the day hunched at my computer or on my motorbike and often get that sharp pain between my shoulder blades, so anything to stretch out the tension feels amazing. It's fun to see Zana and her team - they see around 80 clients every day yet most already know my name and no one seems stressed or hassled. Today there was another client in at the same time but we worked on different machines (she was doing legs: I could hear her groans!)
The diet is absolutely manageable. I'm nerdishly weighing a few things out, like nuts or meat, to make sure I'm doing it right but I reckon in a couple of days I'll get the hang of it. For instance, last night at dinner I had half a duck breast (skin on! woohoo!) with green salad, a mustard and walnut oil vinaigrette and half a small avocado.. I'm feeling good (although I a bit sniffly/coldy this morning), happy and energised, without any hunger pangs, post-meal sugary cravings, afternoon slumps or my usual computer-eyes headache. Bring on tomorrow!