It’s 1 October, which means the Sworkit September challenge is over. So did I stick to it? Yes! Over the 30 days of September, I did the 30 challenge workouts. Even the dreaded cardio ones. In this post I promised to check in again at the end of challenge, so here goes.
What is the Sworkit September challenge?
Every month the Sworkit team puts together a month’s worth of exercise routines. The challenge is to see if you can do their chosen exercise on that day and if you can stick with it for a whole month. It means you do exercises you may not normally choose for yourself – in my case I always pick strength exercises over cardio – so this is a good way to mix things up.
Did I stick to my plan for the September challenge?
Yes. I (reluctantly) did the cardio workouts and I (happily) added dumb bells and resistance bands wherever possible.
On the days where I had a yoga class at a funky location, I did that day’s workout the previous or following day. I had three “funky location” yoga classes during September: the first at the 36th floor Sky Garden of 20 Fenchurch building (read about it, and see the beautiful photos here), the second a yoga class surrounded by Toy Cockapoo puppies!! Yes puppies! (Read about it here.) The third yoga class was in the atrium of the Design Museum London before the doors opened to the public (read about it here).
Did it make a difference?
Yes it did. I lost half an inch around my hips and 1.3 kg since 1 September!! My waist stayed the same. The weight loss is the biggest surprise. Before the September Challenge I was averaging 0.1 kg per week loss and for September that increased to 0.3 kg per week. I do have to mention though that since July I have been doing 16/8 intermittent fasting and for the most part sticking to 1200 calories in the 8 hour feeding window, so the losses may not be 100% due to the daily exercises and/or including cardio. Whatever the reason, there was an increased weight loss and I’m definitely not complaining. Then again, it was a Sworkit Trainer who suggested I look at my diet, so I can still credit Sworkit. (By the way, the “Ask A Trainer” feature is really great for any kind of fitness and nutrition question!)
Will I do a Sworkit Challenge again?
No. But yes. Let me explain.
I don’t think I will do a monthly challenge again, but I do want to exercise daily and I like the idea of having a month’s worth of exercises already pre-chosen. It was nice logging on to Sworkit in the morning and immediately knowing exactly what workout I had to do that day. Before, I tended to go for the same handful of familiar exercises because I only have a limited amount of time in the mornings and can’t spend additional time scrolling through all the collections to find one that looks like something I can/want to do. I also missed doing the dumb bell or resistance loop workouts.
Sworkit Challenge Pros:
- Once you’ve done it a few times, it’s actually not that difficult to do a workout every day (in fact, keeping up the daily habit is easier that taking a day’s break and then having to get into it again).
- I like knowing in advance what exercise I have to do that day.
- I lost weight quicker whilst doing the challenge than when I did things my way e.g. only a little cardio and only doing 4 workouts a week
Sworkit Challenge Cons:
- I want to have the freedom to pick the exercises that target my problem areas.
- I like to incorporate equipment.
My workaround for this is to make my own monthly calendar of workouts! It’s easy to print a blank calendar from Excel and then just populate it with a good mix of upper body, lower body, full body and stretching exercises from the Sworkit collections.
Once a month I will spend a bit of time going through all the Sworkit collections to find the ones I want to do and the ones that are good for me (Like cardio. Sigh). I’ll be sensible about it, but I’m also going to throw a few curve balls by doing Sports Conditioning workouts. Surfing, Softball (I think I might be a natural at this. Note my Softball reference in the previous sentence) and Figure Skating sound particularly fun and obscure.
The September Sworkit Challenge was a success. Over 30 days, I did 30 workouts and I feel better for it! It also inspired me to make my own monthly calendar of workouts and I’ll continue to work out daily.