I am restructuring my life to accomplish my fitness (NOT weight loss) goals. Sure, I will probably shed some pounds along the way but this plan is not centered on the goal of weight loss. Such plans usually end up being self-defeating and scale-focused to the point of unhealthy compulsion. My goal, with each passing month is to: have a better heart rate and lower BP, to run farther, to punch the heavy bag harder, to flip the tire more times in a single minute, (to acquire) and flip a heavier tire, to lift heavier weights, to feel more energized each morning, to push my body to the limit as often as I can and come back better for it. It won’t be easy–it never was. The first few weeks back are about as fun as working as circus janitor; it stinks, there aren’t many rewards, and you have to drag yourself through each work(day/out).
So how will I do it? What is my plan? I am mixing together a few elements from different plans to achieve my goals. Here they are based on objective:
- Exercise: I am building a foundation based on the Armstrong Pull-up Program. A fairly basic guide to improving pull up #s (since I stand at a miserable 1 complete, good form pull-up) with a healthy amount of push-ups and pull-ups five days a week with weekends off. I will be doing the program for about 8 weeks or until I hit 12 pull-ups–whichever comes first. In addition to that I will be hitting the gym two times a week for some traditional weightlifting with an emphasis on core strength to shore up my weak (and slightly misshapen) lower back. Lastly, once a week I will be using my outdoor gym for some non-traditional strength training (tire dragging, hitting pulling; slosh pipe lifts; sprint training; etc.).
- Nutrition: I am going to embrace I.F. (Intermittent Fasting) as part of my nutritional goals. For a description of I.F. check here, here, and here. The benefits? ”Intermittent fasting (IF) reduced oxidative stress, made the animals more resistant to acute stress in general, reduced blood pressure, reduced blood sugar, improved insulin sensitivity, reduced the incidence of cancer, diabetes, and heart disease, and improved cognitive ability.” (Link). I’ve added a little tweak to this that I’ve read about elsewhere (but can’t find the link, sorry). I will be doing a 20/4 fast. That means I will be fasting 20 hours on workout days and concentrating my food in the evening (including a protein shake shortly before and a a full meal after my workout). I will also be able to eat plenty of healthy food during my recovery phase the next day. So basically my nutritional intake will work on a 7-day cycle with 3 days spent engaged in 20-hour (food) fasts. Depending on how I feel or how quickly my health improves I might cut back to two or one per week. Regardless, this, to me, is the most fun part of the journey; tinkering with ideas and strategies and testing out new approaches to fitness. Beyond the manner of consuming calories, the type of calories consumed will change. I am going paleo, so I will be trying to stick with protein and veggies mostly.
Let’s see how this goes. My new journey starts tomorrow.