Archive for the ‘goals’ Category

In order to better understand where you are headed it often helps to see where you have been. Throughout this fitness journey I’ve been through a lot.  I went from my highest weight ever of 206lbs to my lowest weight in almost a decade of 166lbs.  I’ve grown stronger, improved my endurance, pushed through obstacles, and made quite a few mistakes.  Looking ahead I benefit from the knowledge that while I’ve grown a lot there is still a tremendous amount of room for improvement.

I have to begin training specifically for Ninja Warrior; I have to eat cleaner (less refined sugars and snacks); and I have to ramp up the intensity of my training sessions 100 percent!

But before we get into all that perhaps it would be helpful to see where I’ve been over the last year and a half.

I started out on February 8th, 2007 @ 206lbs and with a higher body fat percentage than I care to admit.

As disheartening as it was to see how I had let myself go, I was glad to have visual confirmation of my own failings when it came to living a healthy lifestyle.  How did I get there? For me it was two things- too much soda and NO portion control.  I look back and remember some meals where I had thirds on a full size 11 inch plate. (more…)

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Good news, bad news, boring news, sensational news- it’s all in thousands of newspapers published in print and online daily, weekly, and monthly.  But since you can’t read them all, whatever should the aspiring mind do?  Are there some guidelines that might guide you through the avalanche of news available at the local newsstand and on the information superhighway.

Furthermore, there is more to reading and learning than newspapers right?  Of course.  There are journals, websites, blogs, etc.  So allow me to introduce you to rule #1 of the 10 Weeks to an Intellectual Transformation program and how it applies to a broad range of sources- mostly by introducing you to a broad range of sources.

Rule #1. If you aren’t reading things that might get you on an FBI list you probably aren’t reading enough. (more…)

Well I will get to the stupidity last, first let us dispense with the information and maps.

It wasn’t a very promising morning.  For the first two to three hours of the day I was wedded to my toilet- if you know what I mean.  But after some Imodium and a serving of Pepto-Bismol I finally got my inner-rumbling in order and was able to walk around the house.  Unfortunately, my prime window for running between 8 and 9:30 a.m. had passed. It was already 10 a.m. before I even got my stuff together and stepped out of the house.  Thanks to the late start is was already 90 (according to weather.com “feels like 95”) degrees. It was a good thing that I left my shirt behind.  It was a good chance to work on my tan.

Keep the above information in mind, because it plays a large role in the events that would define my stupidity.  (more…)

I was dumping the compost bin outside the other day when an idea struck me.  Nope, it wasn’t a great opening sentence for my novel.  Nope, it wasn’t a replacement for oil that is both cheap and clean.  Instead, I thought to myself, “wouldn’t it be neat if I could do a split!?”  Of course I am forced to admit that at no point in my life have I ever been able to perform a split of any kind.  So what was I to do? (more…)

I was thinking about my goal of competing in Ninja Warrior, and came to a realization last weekend.  I realized that my workouts are still based on the same model I’ve used for years (i.e. heavy weights, low reps), and haven’t changed in any significant way to help me build a strength base tailored to Ninja Warrior.  I started changing that yesterday (Monday).

First of all I slowed down my movements considerably on my first set of each exercise.  Each movement was taken with deliberate speed of about 4 to 8 controlled seconds up and 6 -10 controlled seconds down.  Maintaining constant motion throughout without stopping.  The second (and final) set of each exercise was a static hold (the only exception was squats). I aimed for a 15 – 25 second hold in each exercise, with the exception of chin-ups where I held my body at the mid-point (arms bent at 90 degrees at the elbow) and held on for as long as I could.  Lastly, I performed the workout in supersets alternating between muscle groups (i.e. bench press and chin up, or squats and bent over rows).

The results?  Well, I left the gym feeling pretty energetic but could still feel how much I had put into the workout.  Furthermore, my next day soreness is negligible, which at least proves I didn’t over train.  I believe that next Friday I will do a similar workout to the one above, but thereafter I will alternate workouts between static and super slow workouts AND explosive fast paced workouts with lighter weights (I’ll explain that one next week).

Compete in a 5k race…and win it! Most likely this one– St. Mary Magdalene Monarch in Motion 5k. To keep track of my training check in on my new page “Couch to 5k Training.

Complete 100 sit-ups/100 push-ups consecutively and back to back…

Add two inches of flexibility to my stretching range…

280lb bench press on the biangular…

250lb free weight squat…

More to come

What is the difference? How did I know if I am body conscious or body obsessed? Well the line isn’t exactly engraved in stone, but there are some easy ways to figure out which camp you fit into. You’ll be happy to know that there are also a few easy ways to steer clear of body obsession while staying body conscious.

First, it is important to realize that obsession with just about anything is a negative since it leads to a myopic vision. That myopic vision can easily lead us to ignore risks, overvalue rewards, and- perhaps most detrimental- insist on unrealistic goals.

A Brief Example: When you see a fitness model in a magazine and you say “I want to look like that!” what do you mean? Do you want to look exactly like them- six pack and all- or do you just want to look fit and healthy. Do you want their body OR do you want that glow that seems to come with being fit no matter a person’s unique size or shape?

On the opposite end of the scale from body obsession is the “stick your head in the sand” ostrich approach which pretends that ignoring an unhealthy lifestyle will make everything okay. Neither obsession nor avoidance is a good policy, which is why I advocate the middle road of being body conscious.

How can you put this into practice in your own life? (more…)