Six weeks ago I began the GRIT Challenge hosted by one of my local gyms, Bladium Fitness. I started the challenge excited to incorporate Les Mills high-intensity GRIT classes into my workout routine while I trained to improve my half marathon race time. Check out my starting point here.
I began the challenge knowing that in order to succeed I would need to prioritize my nutrition and incorporate enough strength training to combat muscle loss from running. I also knew that dramatic results in only six weeks were very, very unlikely. Rather, this challenge would be a great way to try out new fitness classes and make some great beginning strides towards less body fat and the foundation for more lean muscle mass.
Having just finished the challenge, my body composition changed very minimally, as expected. However, my fitness level has definitely improved since introducing GRIT HIIT classes into my routine, and THAT’S what I’m excited about!
I call this challenge a victory because I had fun, I pushed myself out of my comfort zone (especially during the GRIT Competition I describe further down), and I made progress in what my body is capable of. While plyometrics still don’t come easy to me, I’ve made huge strides in my alternating jumping lunges, squat thrusters, and more.
I’m looking forward to continuing to incorporate more Les Mills GRIT classes into my routine and pairing them with lots and lots of resistance training.
At the beginning of this challenge, I couldn’t tuck jump to save my life. Near the end of the challenge, during the Bladium GRIT Competition, I did 20 in a row after already being completely exhausted.
So, what is this GRIT Competition, you ask?
A week and a half ago, I participated in the Bladium GRIT Competition, a relay-style team competition where several teams of four raced against each other to be the first to complete several different series of movements like sprints, burpees, overhead squats, and lots more. The winning team would win a whopping $500, so you bet there were lots of people excited to participate.
The competition was held at one of the indoor soccer fields at Bladium Fitness. We started with a quick warm-up, then began the first phase of the competition, burpees at every beep just to fatigue us from the beginning. The point of these weren’t to do more than anyone else, just to get us nice and tired before the real part of the competition began.
Each person had to go through a series of nine moves, 10 reps each, then tag the next person on the team who would do the exact same, until each person on the team went.
Here are the moves:
10x Plate Overhead Squat
10x Plate Row and Upright Row
10x Plate Lunge
10x Lateral Jumps Over Plate
10x Double Jack Pushups
10x Forward Long Jumps
10x Tuck Jumps
10x Backward Bear Crawl
10x Sprint Shuttle
Then we divided up those same nine moves so that each person owned 2 or 3 of them and had to do 20 reps this time. We could choose to go in any order and strategize to play to our individual strengths, though the whole team had to collectively complete 20 reps of each move.
I did the 20x Plate Row and Upright Row, plus 20x Tuck Jumps.
Each team had a coach to make sure everyone was doing the moves correctly and the full number of reps, and our amazing coach, Coach Liz, even endured some of the hardest parts of the competition with us. Almost everyone struggled through the Forward Long Jumps and Backward Bear Crawls, and whenever she saw fatigue set in among myself or one of my teammates, she got right in there with us and finished with us to completion. Thanks for the encouragement, Coach Liz!
When were neared the end of the competition, everyone on my team was drenched in sweat and completely exhausted. I was so tired and focused on doing my best physically, as well as supporting my teammates, that I paid zero attention to any of the other teams and their progress. I was in a blurry bubble of adrenaline and fatigue that, honestly, didn’t go away until many, many hours later.
When our last teammate finished her final sprint of the competition, total joy and a huge sense of accomplishment set in. We were DONE! We weren’t first to finish, but it sure felt good to know we gave it our all. I was especially proud that I pushed myself to do something that scared me (i.e. team competition).
We then cheered on the other teams who were still finishing up, took some group photos, and called it a night.
I definitely took a rest day after the competition, but I’ve jumped back into a few more GRIT classes this past week. I’m also already so excited to participate in the next GRIT Challenge and Competition next spring!
*Bladium Alameda sponsored this post. However, all opinions are my own!