<— Day One recap
This time last week I was relaxing in a hot tub with my girlies, feeling absolutely shattered but drowning in endorphins from making it through a full day of relentlessly hard sessions.
|A well earnt soak…|
The day started with a hardcore 8am HIIT session – of course, in the pouring rain.
Because at Hillmotts, boys and girls, we laugh in the face of rain…
Day Two: Saturday
Doing a high intensity session on half a banana and a cup of green tea, however, was educating. A weekend at Hillmotts taught me a lot about food – the first lesson being that I don’t need to eat a full breakfast before exercising in the morning. Less is more and all that.
You’re probably thinking “Why not a full banana?”, and trust me, we all thought that too – apparently it’s just enough to get the metabolism working, and along with a mug of hot green tea, is all we needed to get us through the impending hour of doom that awaited us.
|Banana + HIIT = porridge reward!|
The HIIT session was a strength and cardio pyramid session, that went like this:
- 20 squats (or squat jumps if we wanted to work harder)
- 20 lunges
- 20 press ups
- run around the lake
- repeat – decreasing and then increasing repetitions in pyramid format – 18, 16, 14, 12 and back up to 20, with a run between each set.
This hurt. A lot. But was a really good workout, combining compound strength training with cardio intervals, so left us knackered, rain-soaked and well and truly ready for our porridge breakfast.
Kettlebells of doom
Next up was a choice between Pool PT or Kettlebells, and I chose Kettlebells as I wanted to work extra hard today (not that the Pool PT session was easy, as I found out on the Sunday!) The session was taken by one of the Chris’ in the adjoining lounge to our breakfast room. On the agenda was another pyramid session – but timed rather than increasing and decreasing reps. It went a bit like this:
- Double-handed swings
- Shoulder presses
- Single-handed swings
- Single arm rows
- Chest presses
- Full body loop
- Full circuit with 30 seconds each exercise, then 45 seconds and one minute, before moving back down.
This hurt more than you’ll ever know, but was a brilliant full body workout that left us feeling pretty epic/broken to say the least (delete as appropriate).
Can you believe that we were starting our third session of the day at 11am?! It’s probably a good idea to point out here that littered between the sessions were various snack breaks to fuel us up for the tasks ahead – peanut butter on rice cakes and hummous on Ryvita – so we weren’t expected to just carry on without sufficient energy boosts.
Boxercise was outside with Zak. We got into pairs and did a variety of exercises, featuring combination punches, running and other strength exercises. I felt quite at home during this session as we do a lot of boxing at bootcamp normally – it was still really hard, especially as we’d already done two mega sessions prior to this one, but I definitely felt more comfortable throwing punches than lifting kettlebells.
EAT CLEAN! EAT CLEAN!
After this we were so ready for lunch it was ridiculous. One of the great things about Hillmotts is the food, and the fact that the trainers do all the cooking too! I don’t know what I expected really, I may have had visions in my head of sweet little dinner ladies painstakingly slaving away in the kitchen while we were working hard outside.
Day Two lunch was quinoa and feta salad with wholemeal pitta, and was wolfed down by all in record time. After lunch we had an hour-long nutrition chat with Chris where he explained about clean eating and how if you want to change your body shape it starts with nutrition, not training. There’s a whole dissertation-sized blog post in what he told us, but the basic principles covered were as follows:
- You cannot out train a bad diet. To see results you must:
- Prioritise protein
- Reduce salt
- Reduce sugar
- Drink green tea (natural metabolism booster)
- Minimise caffeine
- Avoid processed foods – lots of hidden salts and sugars (especially cereal!)
He talked about structured food plans, carb cycling and recovery, and gave examples of the ideal breakfast, lunch and dinner, as well as a great clean protein smoothie. His ebook, titled 70% Kitchen, 30% Gym goes into much more detail and features a six-week eat-clean plan, which I’m starting soon so watch this space!
Walkies and wind down
After the nutrition chat it was time for a walk, or ‘active recovery’, as it was described on the day. This was an 8k walk around the surrounding villages, (featuring a stonker of a hill). It was a really nice opportunity to chat and get to know everyone as we’d not had much of a chance to talk properly throughout the two days (it’s a bit hard to get to know someone when you’re doing burpees, for instance).
We had a good couple of hours to kill after the walk before dinner, so went for a swim and sauna. Dinner was tuna with peppers, couscous and broccolli, and much like all the food we were given, not a morsel on anyone’s plate remained.
Me and the girlies went for a post-dinner hot tub session to ease our aching muscles and wind down, and then crawled into bed and died.
The end. (Of day two – click here to read Day 3!)
Exercise sessions completed: 4
Pain-induced groans let out: Several
Fun had and endorphin-level: Through the roof!