You know that feeling when you get into bed after a big night out and the room is spinning? You squeeze your eyelids together and take long, slow and deep breaths. And you try to remain as still as possible because every movement you make – no matter how minor – takes you a little bit closer to being sick.

I felt like that for the best part of an hour today, but booze wasn’t to blame. Nick Mitchell was.

It actually wasn’t lifting weights that got me punch-drunk, although that wasn’t easy after such a long time out of the gym. It was the prowler. And all it took was four there-and-back sets to have me flat on my back trying to draw as much oxygen as possible into my lungs, while simultaneously trying to keep my breakfast in my stomach.

It’s all my own fault. This was my first session with Nick in nearly three years and my physique has changed considerably since the last time he trained me, down to a combination of the long hours involved in launching a new fitness magazine and a haphazard approach to how often I train and how well I eat. If I am honest I have not trained consistently hard or eaten consistently well since he got me into cover model shape back in May 2012.

The sad reality is that an extended period out of gym will result in a loss of strength, a loss of cardiovascular conditioning, and an accumulation of fat where you least want it.

And three years of inaction means I’m pretty much back to square one, or even square minus five when you factor in that I’m older and that I work longer hours than ever before.

The one advantage I have is that I know how tough it’s going to be. I am mentally prepared for what I am in for, whereas last time every session came as a shock. It’s going to be hard, it’s going to be tough, but I’ve done it once, so I can do it again, right? Right?

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