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    I Tried Shawn Mendes' Workout And My Body Will Truly Never Be The Same

    My body is left in ~stitches~.

    Hey! I'm Ryan. I have a complicated relationship with my body.

    Was looking at recent pics & it’s crazy how coming out can really change your life. I came out in March & it’s given me a sense of pride, power, & purpose—things the ‘me’ on the left never felt. It makes you wanna be your best self. If you’re scared, just know things get better.

    I've always been extremely self-conscious and insecure when it comes to my appearance. Even when I was little, I remember my weight fluctuating every single year. I was always bullied and made fun of for being bigger, and being the tallest in every class definitely didn't help when it came to blending in. I was the kid at the pool parties who would wait until no one was looking to take my shirt off and jump in.

    In high school, I was able to keep my weight down because I was active — I played basketball, baseball, and tennis for the school. But once college came, I retired from sports and it seemed like my metabolism retired too. My diet started to consist more of alcohol and unhealthy food, and I had little to no knowledge about nutrition or working out.

    I was going through an endless cycle: My stress and anxiety made me gain weight, and gaining weight made me more anxious.

    Flash forward to March 2018. After being inspired by the movie Love, Simon, I worked up the courage to come out. I felt empowered and decided it was time to make my mental/physical health a priority. I wanted to find a fitness routine that worked for me and try healthier foods.

    So... last night I came out as gay to my parents and it went amazing. Honestly (and idc if it’s corny) I decided to do it after seeing #LoveSimon alone 3 days ago.

    One celeb I've always admired is Shawn Mendes — he's been open about his battles with anxiety and genuinely seems like a good person. Plus, he's in incredible shape. Like, wow:

    Last week, I saw this video of Shawn working out and it inspired me to want to try it for myself.

    So, I reached out to Shawn's coach and co-owner of LIFT - Corktown gym, Josh Adamson. He sent me one of Shawn's conditioning workouts, which is broken up into three different parts.

    Josh said he does strength training with Shawn four days a week and adds in a conditioning workout one to two days a week. For me, this was perfect because I was looking to try something that would combine strength training and cardio.

    Part one of the workout was the warm-up, which needed to be done three times in a row:

    Nicole Ench

    The first exercise was a 10-calorie row, which sounds easy, right? Well, it was harder than I thought, especially right off the bat.

    Ryan Schocket

    Each round took about 30 seconds. I recommend putting on a song that has a strong beat, and/or pretending you're Sandra Bullock in Bird Box rowing down the river to save the kids she semi-hated. (Difficulty: 5/10)

    The second exercise was 10 cossack Squats, which I definitely YouTubed beforehand because I had no clue what they were.

    Ryan Schocket

    I'm not the most flexible person, but these were pretty easy. (Difficulty: 3/10)

    The third exercise was 10 hip circle monster walks on each side, which wasn't too bad.

    Ryan Schocket

    I feel like these bands don't get enough credit! They're so simple, but I definitely felt it. #JusticeForWhateverTheseBandsAreCalled. (Difficulty: 6/10)

    Last up was eight half-kneeling dumbbell overhead press (each arm), which I liked as the last exercise in the warm-up.

    Ryan Schocket

    I liked that I had lighter exercises right before. Like, I wasn't dying by the time I got to the overheard press because the exercises before it weren't that treacherous. I felt pretty good after the first round, and I only had two more to go. (Difficulty: 7/10)

    Thoughts after the warm-up:

    Ryan Schocket

    The warm-up took me about eight minutes. It definitely got my heart rate going right out the gate because of the rower. I liked how the cardio was followed up by something lighter and slower, like the squats and monster walks, and then finished with the harder, muscle-building shoulder presses.

    The second part of the workout was METCON (aka metabolic conditioning), which involved rotating five stations for 30 minutes.

    Nicole Ench

    The first station was a 250-meter row, which — like the warm-up — was a great way to get my heart rate up.

    Ryan Schocket

    Like I said before, pretend you're Sandra Bullock when you row. This was definitely harder/longer than rowing for the warm-up, but I liked it because it gave me momentum to start the bulk of the workout. (Difficulty: 8/10)

    The second station was six devil's row, a move I'm certain Satan himself invented.

    Ryan Schocket

    It's a heinous combo of burpees and a kettle bell swing. HATE. (But also works a lot of your body!) (Difficulty: 11/10)

    The third station was a 60-meter medicine ball (100 lbs) carry, which made me feel like I was on some type of military mission.

    Ryan Schocket

    I didn't even know if I'd be able to lift 100 pounds, but I wanted to go for it for this workout. Also if you read this post and you're like, "Why does he have this stuff in his house?" it's because my brother is in the Army and has a lot of equipment. Just so you know! (Difficulty: 11/10)

    The fourth station was 30 jump lunges, which is easy for the most part — until you reach your third or fourth round of rotations.

    Ryan Schocket

    I'm pretty sure my form is a little messed up here because I was so tired. I remember doing like, five, thinking, "Oh, yes I got this," and then doing a few more and being like, "Fuck, my legs burn." (Difficulty: 8/10)

    The fifth station was 20 ring rows. Make sure you try and keep your body still as you do the arm exercise.

    Ryan Schocket

    I don't have rings hanging from the ceiling of my basement, but I used a resistance band to simulate. (Difficulty: 8.5/10)

    Thoughts after metcon:

    Ryan Schocket

    Thoughts after medcon: This portion of the workout, obviously, was hell. Thirty minutes of rotating exercises is hard, y'all. The rowing was fine — it got my heart rate going and was a good way to get my momentum going. But, the devil's press and the medicine ball walk — wow. That made my arms rubber and I dreaded that portion each time.

    The third and final part of the workout was SPEED/SPRINTS:

    Nicole Ench

    The last part seemed easier because it was just one exercise, but doing three sets of 15-second sprints on the assault bike was harder than it looked.

    Ryan Schocket /

    I try to workout once a day normally, and I LOVE ending my workout with the assault bike. It gives you this high and you really feel like you really pushed your body to its limit. So, ending this new workout with the assault bike was great.

    Thoughts about Assault Bike:

    Ryan Schocket

    Doing even, like, 10 seconds on an assault bike, you feel winded. These sprints were tough to end a workout, but you definitely end on a high note. (Difficulty: 9/10)

    Chris Ritter

    So, I'm definitely a creature of habit. I have a million specifications (only wear black because I'm insecure about body, won't step on scales, etc). I have my set routine, and I usually won't change it for 47 years. HOWEVER...this workout kicked my ass and I felt great after — even though I was exhausted. It only took about 50 minutes, and I honestly want to try and incorporate this into my workout routine to switch things up. One, because it mixes cardio and strength. Two, it's less than an hour. And three, to fulfill my dream of looking even 1% like King Shawn Mendes.

    For real though, doing this workout was an all-around positive experience. Obviously it didn't alleviate the insecurities I have about my body/appearance, but it definitely was a way to prove to myself that I can try new things and do things I'm scared to do.

    And just the act of writing this post was another way of being vulnerable and putting myself out there. A year ago, I never would've been secure enough to post pictures and GIFs of me and my body for everyone to see and comment on.

    I am proud of myself for doing this workout, I'm proud of myself for prioritizing my mental and physical health, and I'm proud of the progress I've made and will continue to make in the future.

    If you want to keep up with me and the rest of my journey, you can follow me on Instagram @RyanSchocket.

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