By way of introduction; my name is Sara (@SaraDMalm), born and raised in a suburb to Stockholm, Sweden, before I moved to London aged 18, and have lived here for just over six years.
As a child I was absolutely useless at anything that involved physical activity, which in combination with a terrible relationship with food as a teenager, wasn’t the best start.
I was one of those periodic gym-goers from 16 to 21, but when I got my first sedentary job three years ago I had to start taking my physical exercising a bit more seriously.
I first started using Hella as a pre-trainer in December 2013 and found that it was particularly helpful in quickly getting me focused in the gym after nine hours sat down at a desk, and have been a fan ever since.
At the start of February this year, I embarked on my first ‘fitness challenge’, after a joke with a friend went a bit further than I had anticipated…
I had been to the gym, done a core workout, and as a joke, I wrote #Abs4April in a message to him. But then he started saying it back, and suddenly it became a challenge. One that I had to win.
So Abs4April it is.
The joke-turned-competition kicked off at the start of February, which gave me 12 weeks to transform a sort-of-flat, but kinda mushy mid-section, into a stomach with at least some definition – and do it better than my mate.
We have agreed that the ‘worst’ abs results pays for dinner at London meat-Mecca Hawksmoor, and considering that I’m competing against a gains-obsessed former rugby player, I literally cannot afford to lose this…
For the past few years, I have been in the gym two to five days a week, but to say that there was any other reason for me to go than “I want to look good naked” would be an outright lie. Previously, my workouts had mainly consisted of 20-40 minutes of cardio and lighter weights, but in order to build muscle I have had to step up my game.
I don’t train for longer, but I train better.
Now, I start my session with a short warmup, before moving on to weights and core work. Although I focus on one muscle group per session, I make sure I fit in one other at least every 15 minutes (for example, after 15 minutes of core, I do a set of light-weight goblet squats). After around 45 minutes, I finishing the session with 10-15 minute HIIT crosstrainer and five-ten minutes intervals on a bike.
I am no personal trainer – I spend my days at a desk and the only exercise I get at work is taking the lift to the canteen for coffee – which is worth noting. But despite my sedentary lifestyle, the results came along within a few weeks…