FBK Winter Challenge
So to give you some background, you should know that I have been a regular at OrangeTheory for about a year. Well, except the few months in the middle of 2020 that they were closed. Anyway, around November, I started thinking about what I wanted to do. Given the rising number of cases in my area, I just wasn't sure I was comfortable with still going. So, I decided to put my OTF membership on pause and workout at home and by running. I'd previously (during summer lockdown) used the Peloton app, but wanted to see what else was out there.
I found Fit By Katy and decided to look into a little more. FBK regularly does 8 week challenges through the app that can be done coached or uncoached. The coached version runs $200 and the uncoached runs $100. Since I wasn't going to OTF for a while, I decided to give FBKs challenge a try, and even splurged on coach.
Reasons I thought this would be a good workout program for me:
Ability to switch between home workout and gym workout version. This meant that when I needed to get a quick workout in at lunch I could do that at home, and when I could go to the gym during non peak times when no one else is at the apartment gym I could.
Strength based workouts. While there was 60+ minutes of cardio that you were supposed to do each week, it's a strength based program. My DNA test (more on that in another post) revealed that strength training was super beneficial for me based on how my body stores fat. OTF is 2/3 cardio, which, isn't a bad thing, but I was excited for the chance to focus on strength for a bit.
Accountability. I liked the idea of having a coach who I would check in with each week. While I have a dietician through my health insurance, and she's great. She adjusts my macros, etc., but, I don't meet with her weekly, so I was excited for that.
So, I will say this: maybe I wasn't open enough with coach, maybe I wasn't clear enough, maybe I just didn't communicate well. Maybe it was me. My coach is great as a person to follow on Instagram (I've never met her in person, so I can't speak for that, but I assume she's great irl). She has some great content and reminders and advice.
I wanted to build strength (hence why I was doing the program), but I also wanted to lose some weight. I told my coach this. When she adjusted my macros, she upped my protein intake. I figured I'd give it a shot. The first three weeks I had a hard time hitting my protein and kept going over on my carbs and fat. But, I was losing weight. After four weeks, I finally started hitting my protein. That's when things went down hill. I stopped losing weight, and my weight actually went back up. I know it's going to flux from week to week depending on hormones, stress, sleep, water, etc. But still, I couldn't get any traction for the last four weeks. It was frustrating.
While yes, I did see a change from week one to week 8 when I look at my pictures, I'm the same weight. I know that the scale isn't everything and I shouldn't compare my progress to that of others, but it was hard to not be disappointed given how much effort I was putting in.
One thing I've also learned from working with my dietician is that because I have a high inflammatory response, I also need time to recover from exercise, so doing an exercise program that is 5 days a week wasn't exactly the the best thing for me. I need more time to rest and let myself recover. I don't think I realized how intense these workouts would be before I signed up. They weren't like back to back to back leg days, but still, my body needs to recover.
I think my biggest frustration was when I ended the program I decided I just wanted to go into maintenance calories to give myself a break from being at a deficit for a bit. While my coach then upped my carbs 5 grams, she gave me a lot more protein. Again. When I look at the FBK macro calculator, my coach essentially gave me recomp calories when I'd wanted to lose weight (which, again, maybe I wasn't clear enough on). I kinda felt like I paid $100 to have someone repeat my weekly recap back to them and tell me to "keep it up." Yes, I knew my coach would know if I didn't check in, and I'd decided to sign up, so I was going to finish, but if I were to do it again, I'd probably go uncoached.
However, if you're someone who is just starting out with macros or needs someone to check in with each week, or feel so lost you aren't even sure where to start, the coached option might be good.
I do appreciate that all of the coaches are professionals with various certifications and also are super active on Instagram, so one might do a quick how to on tracking batch cooking and another on correct form for a difficult move that week. There's also a huge Facebook group with all the women who signed up for that challenge (coached and uncoached), so it was neat to get to see everyone's progress and cheer each other on.
I did decide to go back to OrangeTheory a couple of days a week, and I'm (slower than outlined) working through the FBK Build a Booty program (very lower body focused) and love it.
So, if you've stumbled upon this because you are googling about the next challenge or because you're debating getting a coach for the next challenge, I hope this was helpful. I hope it gives you an idea of if the program would be a good fit for you. And most of all, I wish you the best in *your* health journey.