Renaissance Periodization | Aging to Perfection With RP Renaissance Periodization Renaissance Periodization | Aging to Perfection With RP

Aging to Perfection With RP

by Crystal Zarbatany | Feb 17, 2018

I never thought I would be in the best shape of my life in my 50s. 

To back up, I first purchased the RP templates after falling off the fitness wagon for more than a year and a half. After this break, neither my body nor mind were in a good place, and I needed to do something about it.  

To back way up, I had originally begun my fitness journey later in life, at the age of 44. I was a stay at home mom, and the youngest of my three girls were getting ready to start Kindergarten. This meant that I would finally have some free “me” time, aka, gym time.

Once school started, I would drop my daughter off and head to the local YMCA to cross a workout off my list. But, once I got there, I never had a solid plan. I would go on the treadmill for cardio, then find my way to the weight room with all the machines. The leg machines were always first, then I'd move on to whatever else was available. After a few weeks of this routine, I ventured out into the free weight room and joined two other members for a workout. They introduced me to some heavy deadlifts and squats, and I was hooked. At this beginning stage of my journey, I wasn’t focusing on nutrition, because I figured two hours in the gym allowed me to eat whatever I wanted. Boy, was I wrong. Even while working out, that way of thinking caught up to me, causing me to put on 12 more pounds in one year. This was weighing heavily on me - literally as well as figuratively - so, at 179lbs, I knew it was time to do something different. 

A neighborhood friend had been doing a diet called The Zone, and a fitness regimen, Crossfit.  I didn't know too much about either, but I was intrigued by her physique and discipline about both. 

For starters, I asked if she would help me with nutrition. After 2 months following The Zone Diet, I had lost 6lbs. I was starting to feel better about myself and realized I needed the strength component for total fitness. I then asked her about trying Crossfit.

It was hard to imagine myself doing those type of workouts at my age, plus I hated running (still do), and had never done one single pull up or push up in my life. She encouraged me to just show up and she would help me with the rest. After much hesitation, I did just that. We started with the basics right out of her garage gym, but over time we mutually agreed that I was ready for a true Crossfit gym. 

I went to my first class at the age of 45. I was so nervous and worried about being the oldest person there. I will never forget my first workout. It was called Kelly and had all of the components that were sure to kill me: runs, box jumps and wall balls. Cardio much?!

I was never an athlete, so this type of training was all new to me. I remember running around the building thinking I was never going to live to tell about this day. As I finished the last rep, I fell to the ground and could barely breathe. I looked up and people were all around, cheering and clapping because I had finished - aka survived - the workout.  This was just the beginning...

With my newfound fitness and diet in place, I lost a total of 30 pounds over the course of eighteen months. I was ecstatic. My family quickly became part of the “Crossfit Community.” I continued to Crossfit, and occasionally, my husband and daughters would drop in for a Saturday class. By this time, I had found an interest in a new diet, Paleo.  Everyone in the gym was doing it, so I jumped in with both feet. I still had pounds to lose, and I thought this diet would help me achieve the rest of my weight loss goals. It did for a while, but we soon realized it wasn't really sustainable for our family's lifestyle.

My weight had highs and lows over the next four years and began to creep back up. Life happened! In this time, I had suffered an injury, and, more importantly, the passing of my father. I had zero motivation at this point, but yet I was 49 years old and the BIG 5-OH was dancing around in the back of my mind. Around this time, one of my previous coaches had mentioned The RP Diet to me, and spoke very highly of its success rate.  After contemplating the idea for a few months, I decided to to give it a whirl. I finally bought the RP templates in February 2016.

I spent the month of March looking over them, mentally preparing myself for the first day I'd start.  April 6th was that day.  I took my first "before" picture and cried, then the journey began.  I had one goal in mind at the time: to get fit by my 50th birthday! I had my work cut out for me, but I was ready. I set aside an hour each morning to do something active. Short workouts, walking my dog, and sometimes pulling a weighted sled through the neighborhood were on my to do list. Whatever it took: “just move!”, I told myself. After the first two weeks, I was already seeing results. I took a second picture to compare and was very excited about what I saw. This further solidified that intelligent nutrition and strength training were a powerful combination. This old body was responding, and I was indeed losing weight.  As the weeks went by, I became more confident in my strength, and slowly started to increase my garage gym workouts. I picked up the barbell for the first time in more than a year. All was right in the world! 

July 1st, I completed my first 12 week cut with RP.  It was all new to me, and I made some mistakes along the way, but I could not have been happier with the results. I lost 12 pounds and was feeling healthy again. Maintenance was next, but I knew I needed a workout plan in place for my next cut in September. It was crunch time: I was on a 90 day countdown to the milestone birthday.  I had heard about RP's Female Physique Templates. After talking with a few ladies in a Facebook group, they convinced me to purchase them. BEST. DECISION. EVER! I started the Physique Templates in conjunction with my next round of cutting.  I could not believe what I was seeing and feeling.  Not only was I losing weight, but I was getting stronger. How was that possible?  My body composition was changing weekly. My legs were getting defined. My arms finally had shape to them, and the layer of fat in my midsection was slowly finding its way out the door ! Everything I had read about RP was happening. I kept telling my husband, "I can't believe it, I really can't believe it!"

November came and BOOM! I was in the best shape of my life on my 50th birthday!  I actually did it! I celebrated with my family and friends, big time.  

The months leading up to this were not always easy, and there were days when it was really challenging and tears were shed. The scale played mind games and sent mixed messages. I would question it and vent to the RP Facebook group often. “Trust the process”, they said (easier said than done).  That's when I had to remember my why. It was time to put my head down and just grind. 

I used the RP Diet Templates for 18 months, doing it on my own, and lost a total of 17 pounds! Because of that success, I have since started 1:1 coaching, to help assist with my master’s weightlifting goals. I recently celebrated my 51st birthday in better shape and feeling stronger than I did on my 50th. Say what?!

As a result of my fitness achievements, my confidence has increased tenfold, and I feel like I've learned the most invaluable lesson of all: DISCIPLINE, CONSISTENCY and finding the right program to guide me are the trifecta I’d been searching for!

 If I could offer any advice at all, it would be this: don't wait! You are never too old and it’s never too soon to start looking and feeling your best. Set a goal, make a plan, get your family and friends involved in what you're doing and ask for support. #findyourtribe 

This is not a quick fix nor easy street, but it most definitely works! One day at a time. Trial and Error. Progress, not perfection. 

I absolutely love RP, and the support of their Facebook groups are second to none!  Now at the ripe ol’ age of 51 (I turn 52 this fall), I can say they truly changed my life! I have big goals, both short and long-term. I am and will continue to, rely on what I've learned to achieve them. Now, I truly believe that anything is possible if you can dream it.