15 July 2017 · posted in life
A few months ago I got back into the Insta game and at first, it made me feel worse about myself. All those beautiful photographs of gorgeously lean women made me feel like I wasn't beautiful. The truth is: I'm not in shape at all, I'm not fit or strong and I have quite a few extra kilos to lose. I know that. But seeing all these gorgeous body confident women showing off their equally gorgeous wardrobes sent my body confidence even further downhill.
After a while it dawned on me though that they weren't the problem, I was. Granted, all those gorgeous ladies probably always were taller and leaner and fitter than I ever was, but to keep looking like that, they must be eating clean and putting in a lot of hard work. And how can I be full of jealousy and self pity if I'm not willing to put in the same amount of work? So instead of being discouraged by those beautiful photographs, I let them inspire me.
I started following more strong and fit women and the more I followed and looked at their photographs and progress, the more I realized that it was time for me to get to work too. So I went looking for a workout program to follow that included both cardio (which I really need to get rid of those extra kilos) and strength training (to finally give me some power and muscle tone). Lots of programs were really expensive and required a lot of materials to train, not what I was looking for. I looked at programs like Insanity and P90X but I really didn't feel like I could pull that of with my level of (non-)fitness yet. So I was about to give up and just start running again (which might work for a lot of people, but doesn't really do it for me so I always end up quitting after a few weeks) and then I found Seven, similar to Insanity and P90X in the sense that it's also a 12 exercise HIIT circuit training program, but it also includes some yoga, pilates and stretching on top of cardio and strength training if you want it. I've been using it to work out, at home, every day for 8 days now (don't laugh, it's more than I've ever done before!) and it has been fun, but very hard.
Starting to work out when you're an absolute coach potato is tough, but it really boosts my confidence every time I hear the instructor yell "That's it for today, go hit the shower!". Some days I just did one circuit of 7 minutes and wanted to stop after 4. Some days I did 30 minutes and could've done more but didn't want to force it. One day I was really sore (from lifting furniture) and I just did 7 minutes of stretching. Some exercises were really easy, some were exhausting and others were so hard that I had to either adjust them or rest half way through, even if you only have to do every exercise for 30 seconds (push ups anyone?). I wasn't significantly sore after each workout but I could feel that I used some muscles that had never been used before. I still need to learn to go all out though, put in everything I have and feel uncomfortable. It's a weird feeling, letting go of control and pushing yourself a little beyond your limits each time and I'm not very good at that yet.
So now what? Unsurprisingly I don't really feel or see a difference in my body yet (duh). What I do feel is just a tiny bit more confident in my body and a little happier. Why? Because maybe, if I stick with it this time, I can actually become strong(er) and fit(ter). And I'm actually excited about it! If you're interested in working out with Seven, below is a short review that will give you a better idea of what it is and how you can use it.
SEVEN WORKOUT APP REVIEW
· The monthly subscription only costs you €4.99, which is the cheapest personal trainer you will ever find.
· With the subscription come a ton of different style workouts (from stretching to yoga to HIIT cardio to HICT strength training) with different levels of difficulty and 3 pre-planned programs to either get fit, get strong or lose weight.
· All the exercises are body weight exercises: you wil only need a wall, a chair, a workout mat and some good shock resistant workout shoes.
· You can easily take your personal trainer app on the road!
· The workout instructor is completely customizable: male or female instructor image and 5 different instructor voices. I highly recommend the Drill Sergeant, he's super tough and hilarious!
· The virtual trainer image will show you how to do the exercises if you're new to working out. Believe me, you will need it.
· Seven is full of voice commands: your instructor will tell you what to do, when to do it and he or she will even count down with you. It really feels like an actual coach cheering you on.
· The app is basically a real life game. Finish workouts to make progress and get rewards. It really makes working out fun! Staying alive only requires one 7 minute workout every day!
· You can only access all workouts and programs if you have a monthly subscription. If you don't have a subscription, you start with one full body workout and every second month you stay with the app you unlock a new workout, which is really slow.
· You only have three lives, which means that if you skip more than 2 days in a month, you're dead and your progress resets.
· It's cleverly called Seven, to make you and me believe that getting in shape is easy and although one 7 minute workout a day is enough to not lose a life, I think you and me both know it will take a little more to get you the body you want. To get fit and strong you actually need to put in the work, preferably 4 or 5 circuits a day (28-35min) with a good balance of cardio and strength training in combination with good clean food (or so I've been told, I'm not an expert). Having said that: I think this can be done with Seven if do more circuits or a few different workouts every day.
· You can easily put workout music on in the backgroud. Seven will lower the volume of the music every time the instructor says something.
MY OVERALL OPINION
So, I think it's obvious that I'm a fan of Seven. I really feel, for the first time in my adult life, that I might have found the key to my fitness. I've tried a lot of fitness apps before (circuit apps, timer apps, running trainers, ...) but not one of them motivated me as much as Seven, and none of them explained what to do as well as Seven. Like I said, I'm not an expert, but I really think that Seven can help you achieve your body goals by giving you that extra push to workout every day, even if it's just for 7 minutes. Seven months for a fitness challenge is a really long time and I'm only 4% into the challenge right now, but everyone has to start somewhere to build healthy habits don't they? I'l keep you updated every few weeks!