Last year’s gym challenge | The results

weightlifting for women aged 50+ with adidas

With all the excitement over my new book I nearly forgot to tell you about how I got on in my gym challenge last year.

If you haven’t heard about this before, this is my yearly personal challenge in which I attempt to go to the gym 150 times. That’s three times a week for 50 weeks of the year, with two weeks off for good behaviour. See? It’s not so much when you break it down, but over all it adds up to a lot.

weightlifting for women aged 50+ with adidas

The idea behind it is that aiming to get fit is too vague a goal to be meaningful. But put a number on it and you’ve got something concrete to aim at. And then getting fit is just a byproduct of the journey towards the magic number (whatever your number might be).

I explain a little more about it here:

2021 was kind of interesting for the challenge, since the gyms were shut until the middle of April. During those early months of the year I took up the Yoga With Adriene 30 day January challenge. That turned out to be a year long love, and I ended up doing 20 minutes of yoga most mornings. And now that 2022 has rolled around, I’m currently doing Adriene’s latest January yoga journey.

Then in February I did some at home weights workouts with Caroline Girvan. Man, she’s hardcore. Don’t get me wrong, I like that she’s hardcore, but it’s too much for me to be an every day thing.

In March I tried something new by jogging around the local park, and finally finished the Zombies, Run! app 6 years after I first downloaded it.

Then in April the gym finally reopened and the challenge was ON.

And this is where it ended up:

I made it! With a few days to spare as well. Very pleased to have come out of lockdown with my fitness intact.

It was really fun to be able to celebrate my 53rd birthday in December by running 5.3k and doing 53 push ups, though it did make my face go an alarming shade of purple.

Going into 2022, I’m nowhere near being able to deadlift what I could before the unpleasantness started, so I’d like to work on that. Last year I mostly focused on abs and arms. The arm work is really all about wanting to keep my arms strong so I don’t get RSI. Yoga stretching helps a lot with that too. As somebody who spends a lot of time using a keyboard, avoiding RSI if I can is a priority.

So I think from here on in I’ll go to the gym slightly less (since hopefully it won’t be closing again), still aiming for 150 across the year. I can afford to be a bit more mindful about it now and take more rest days. I’m sticking with strength training, mixed up with the occasional bit of treadmill running. But running’s not really my thing. Lifting weights continues to be way more interesting. I like interesting, it keeps you awake to life.

And if you’re on a gym or fitness or any other kind of challenge, good luck my friend. Here’s to whatever journey this year turns out to be!

You can read about previous years’ fitness challenges here.