I’m Spencer, and throughout the last few years I’ve completed a bunch of different fitness projects for BuzzFeed.
This time, I wanted to try something that scared the hell out of me: training like a professional athlete for 50 days.
Aside from eating and training like a professional athlete, I also had a separate goal of completing 100 workouts in those 50 days, since most professional athletes train twice a day.
When I trained like a professional gymnast, I alternated between these two conditioning workouts. The first was for my upper body, and the second was for my lower body.
I also completed a morning warm-up during that gymnastics challenge. This was going to be the inspiration for some of my new recovery workouts.
In addition to my gymnastics workouts, I also copied ones from when I trained like a professional model. These additional workouts would help prevent the challenge from getting monotonous and boring.
Meal-prepping was going to be a huge lifesaver. My mornings and nights were going to be spent at the gym, so I wouldn’t have the time or energy to cook new meals every single day.
I tried to eat at least 3,000 calories each day. This was super important for me because I’d be working out a lot more than usual.
Here’s what a typical day’s worth of food would look like:
I was nervous and excited to get started, but it quickly dawned on me how overwhelming and exhausting this project would be. This was going to be a complete lifestyle change.
I’d done enough fitness challenges to know that my body would be sore during the first few days, but I was so unprepared for just how sore I’d actually be. Everything hurt.
I also underestimated how packed the gym would be at night. It was actually kind of discouraging and made working out a lot harder.
The second week of the challenge was the hardest. I was so physically and emotionally drained, and that seriously impacted the little motivation I had left to work out.
The easiest way to combat my low motivation was to switch things up by taking group fitness classes and working out with friends.
I also reminded myself that it’s totally possible to complete some great workouts without even being inside a gym.
I wanted to see how much stronger I’d actually gotten, so I set out to do 100 pull-ups as fast as possible. Somehow I broke my record by five minutes!
I also started following random yoga flows on YouTube so I could do some at-home recovery workouts. I’m a beginner when it comes to yoga, but no one was going to judge me in my apartment.
By the end of Week Three, it really hit me how unrealistic this challenge is. Completing 100 workouts in 50 days is something only professional athletes and top fitness trainers do, and I’m neither of those things.
I definitely built up my endurance over the last month, so I wanted to test my progress by taking back-to-back fitness classes. I was even able to survive the torture without needing an inhaler.
It was surprisingly easy to keep up with my 3,000-calorie goal. I ate whenever my body was hungry, and I didn’t deprive myself of any cravings.
I wasn’t off to the best start with Week Five. I was sick throughout one night and knew I’d have to skip my morning workout.
Event though Week Five didn’t start off the best, I ended it on a high note: I finally did my first muscle-up!
There were days when I truly did not want to be in the gym. When that happened, I’d put time limits on my workouts.
I usually saved my bigger and longer workouts for weekend mornings. That’s when the gym was almost completely empty.
I really struggled during the final week of the challenge because I wanted to finish strong and push myself extra hard, but I also knew that I had to do what was healthy.
The challenge was almost over, so I wanted to test my strength and endurance one last time by trying to beat my personal record with pull-ups again.
I completed my 100th workout on the final day of the challenge. This was a full-circle moment for me because it was also the four-year anniversary of when I first started my fitness journey.
If you want to keep up with the rest of my fitness journey and BuzzFeed challenges, you can follow me on Instagram @SpencerAlthouse.