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  • Writer's pictureDan Brown

My Fitness Rebound: Weights & Walking!

Learning to drive in my thirties, and a lockdown away from my boat took me from being one of the most active people I know, to being the heaviest and least active I had ever been in my life... not anymore!

After 3 months. I had very little muscle, but had dropped the extra weight.

During 2021 I had repeatedly told myself that I would get into the best shape I had ever been in... and repeatedly failed to do so! My knees were starting to hurt when I would walk, (after such an active life I imagine they have a certain amount of unavoidable wear and tear) and I thought that my recent change from "very slim" to "average" might be playing a role.

Then, I had a free trial subscription to Apple fitness, which saw me bouncing around trying to follow the onscreen workout instructions, with all the grace and co-ordination of a deer on ice! The real problem for me though, was that I found myself barely able to keep up, even in 10 minute workouts. Not only did this hurt my ego, but it also opened my eyes to how inactive and unfit I had become. Only a couple of years previous, long cycling commutes would book end my days working at a super market, and I would not even bat an eyelid, and then often I'd go out for a walk later on in the evenings too!

6 Months in, the muscle definition was starting to show

This was all the motivation I needed. I went from Apple fitness, to "Ring Fit Adventure" on the Nintendo Switch, which made me realise just how neglected my upper body was. After having two hernias in my early twenties, I was always scared of straining myself and having any more problems! This eventually led me to purchase some light weights to start training my upper body.

I never had any thoughts of gaining loads of muscle and becoming huge... and I didn't! As time went on I found myself getting more equipment and setting it up at my girlfriend's house, transporting weights between the boat and my mum's house and steadily finding a rhythm of regular weight lifting.

It had only taken a few months of increased walking and exercise, along with a more moderate diet, for me to lose most of the excess weight. The added strain of weight lifting did start to show signs of an impact on my skinny frame within a couple of months, but I was starting with such minimal muscle, all it did was probably take me up to an average level of muscle!

The reintroduction of regular, big, mountain walking has done wonders for both mind and body!

Then during the 3-6 month period there emerged a clear difference in my before and after photos. Believe it or not, even with such small muscles as in the above picture, I actually had stretch marks on my arms! It was during this period, whilst seeing the rapid changes, that I got a little bit carried away.

Although I still had no thoughts of becoming huge, I did get some more complex weight lifting equipment... luckily though before I had gone too overboard, I realised a simple fact. That to keep gaining muscle would end up making me heavier than when I had initially wanted to lose weight! Even more importantly than that, I realised that the sheer disruption to my life, (extremely controlled diet, ever more intense, heavy workout sessions, strain on joints etc) was not worth the minimal rewards of being able to look at a giant bicep in the mirror!

Over a year in, with the effects of Christmas... good lighting just about shows my minor muscles!

As I found a comfortable, easy to maintain level of fitness, I settled in a new much healthier routine. I sold off almost all my equipment apart from my dumbbells and a weightlifting bench, and to be honest I have never looked back! For the past year or so, I have not had any major fluctuations in weight, I've maintained a modest level of muscle and found my stamina reach a higher level than ever before.

During this time I have also returned to a fantastic hobby, proper big mountain walking! I still have concerns about the longevity of my knees after taking so much punishment over the years already, but getting out and sometimes spending 8 hours walking over multiple mountaintops has got to be one of the most rewarding things I've ever been a part of.

In conclusion, I have to say that for me personally the introduction of weight lifting, even at my minor level, has been a huge boost and asset in my life. Not only has it been a lesson in consistency, patience and slow developments leading to final results, but it has also helped me toughen up mentally a little more. Getting the weights out and pushing myself, whether I feel like it or not. Doing something that is tiring and physically painful to my muscles, regardless of any excuses I can think of, has boosted my morale and given me an example of previous success when I find other minor obstacles in life that I would tend to panic and worry about.

Anyway, I will leave you in peace now!

Thank you very much for reading my friends.

Keep it boat worthy,

Keep it interesting,



(Want to help me out? Please take a look at my boat life books HERE, and my YouTube Channel HERE)

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