Archive for the ‘weight lifting’ Category

A picture says a 1,000 words (or in this case 40+ extra pounds).  Other than my obvious state of half-sleep (the picture was taken at 7 a.m.) my well-rounded cheeks and less-than-subtle second chin aren’t camera-shy.  It appears much of what used to be known as “my chin” is now lost in a round, full face.   A face that sits upon a neck that sits upon a slow, lethargic, weak body.  Wow, this sounds even worse typed out than it sounded as part of my internal monologue.  So as far as changing this less than flattering look it is important to begin with an adequate assessment of my current (not-so-)well-being.   Let’s just say that most categories leave plenty of room for improvement.  Some will be updated on Wednesday with more accurate numbers, but this is what I’ve got thus far. (more…)

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Over the last several months I’ve lost focus and struggled to stay on top of various issues in my life.  I thought that given the circumstances this would be a good time to return the accountability of regular (or at least semi-consistent) blogging.  A couple things you might read about on this blog over the next month or two:

(1) Getting back to a routine of disciplined exercise and nutrition.  Various injuries have frustrated me and caused me to ignore training; and when I ignore training it usually also ignore any semblance of healthy eating (I’m talking about you cookies and Pringles).

(2) Getting back in Ninja Warrior shape.  I was pretty close to my goal a year ago, but such is no longer the case.    My waist line has ballooned back up to 38.5 inches and my weight is around 192 (OUCH!).  My energy has flat-lined and my neck and shoulder are still hurting from a snow shoveling injury from February.  But over the last few weeks (and with the help of muscle relaxers) the pain is finally beginning to decline.

(3)  Getting back to eating healthy will be difficult as my budget is now tighter than it was before.  With a budget of $65/week for groceries I can’t afford as many Myoplex shakes and protein bars as I used to.  I will have to be more creative and plan my meals better.

I will start getting back on track when my feet hit the floor tomorrow.  Taking this day-by-day, week-by-week, I hope to get back to where I was a year ago…if not even further.

Outdoors

  • Jumping Jacks: 1 minute
  • Sledgehammer Drills: 1.5 minutes per arm
  • Grapevines: 1 minute
  • Tire Toss: 3 minutes
  • Sandbag Slam: 1 minute
  • Total Time: 9 minutes (no rest)

Indoors (it was too darn cold outside)

  • Jumping Jacks: 30
  • Push-ups: 7,7,7,6,6,6
  • Sit-ups: 10,8
  • 1-leg dead-lift: 10each
  • Lunges: 10each
  • Total Time: 10 minutes (minimal rest)

Shoulders hurt….but otherwise I feel ready for tomorrow’s lower body workout.

Since we had a beautiful 65 degree day here in NC, I decided to take advantage of it with an outdoor workout.  This was a tough one.  Coming on the heels of a tough indoor workout yesterday my body wasn’t very happy about this.  To make matters worse, my outdoor workouts are faster paced (with rest breaks kept down to 10-30 second between exercises….if that).  So they give me really good feed back on how good, or in this case poor, my aerobic conditioning is.

Exercise 1. Agility ladder,  Cycle 1- 3 Minutes/cycle 2- 2 minutes

Exercise 2. Sandbag Press, Cycle 1 – 2 minutes/Cycle 2 – 90 seconds

Exercise 3. Backward Tire Toss, Cycle 1 – 3 minutes/Cycle 2 – 3 minutes

 See minute mark 1:22

Exercise 4. Sprints with Cones, Cycle 1 – 90 seconds/Cycle 2 – 90 seconds

Exercise 5. Bear Crawl, Cycle 1 – 2 minutes/ Cycle 2 – NONE

I felt exhausted after this workout and my lower back was begging me not to do a third cycle.  In total I did about 20 minutes of exercise with 4 minutes rest between cycles.

(1) I’m back to 6 meals a day.  For an idea of my average day check out my meals from yesterday:

  • B/Fast: 3 eggs, 4 slices center cut low-fat bacon, 100% whole wheat toast
  • Snack: Apple (sliced up) with 2 tablespoons organic peanut butter
  • Lunch: London broil slices with mozzarella cheese, onions, garlic, cooked in 1 tablespoon coconut oil
  • Snack: 12-hour protein shake
  • Dinner: Curry chicken breast with carrots, rice, corn, cucumbers
  • Snack: Pistachios

*NOTE: all the above foods contained no added sugars or High Fructose Corn Syrup.

(2) My Workouts are up and running again.   I am sticking with a simple formula of 30 minute workouts based around three two exercise supersets of ten minutes each with a rest of 3 minutes between each.  I go all out for ten minutes, from one exercise to the next and back again until time runs out.  For example, Wednesday’s workout:

  • Superset 1: Goblet Squats (reps descending from 10 to 1)/Push Press (reps descending from 10 to 1)
  • Superset 2: Push-ups (10 reps per set/7 sets)/ Side-to-side knee movement (8 reps per side/7 sets)
  • Superset 3: Chin-ups (1 set as many reps as possible, remaining 6 sets 10-30 second negatives)/ Skull crushers on kitchen bench (seven sets of 5 reps).

(3) I’ve scheduled more “fun exercise” into my daily routine.  30 minutes on the trampoline with my daughter.

(4) I’ve instituted a level of financial discipline which should carry over to my nutritional intake and exercise routines.  Our new grocery budget of $65/week (a considerable drop) has done wonders to cut the excess snacks from my cart.

I am looking forward to seeing what I can accomplish before the first day of class on January 19th.

I ache ALL over.  My legs hurt (especially thanks to those one-legged squats), my shoulders hurt (thanks to push presses), and my core huts thanks to pretty much every exercises I did yesterday.  Oddly enough, otherwise I feel great.   I have plenty of energy, my guts doesn’t quite feel as annoying (even though its only slightly less noticeable visually), and even when I wince with pain when I stand up or shift in my seat it is a good reminder of a workout that went better than expected.

I am not going to push myself too hard as I get back into the swing of things.  For the next three weeks I will stick to about 3 days of heavy training per week with one day off between workouts (and one day day off period each week).

But today is anything but a “day off.”  I almost titled this post something like “first day off,” but i deleted that title.  I deleted it for a reason.  There are no day offs in fitness.  While I won’t be lifting any weights today (with the possible exception of tossing my daughter around) I am working very hard on my nutritional intake.     Today’s meals include:

  • Breakfast: 12-hour Elite Protein Shake
  • Snack: Protein Bar with an Apple
  • Lunch: 2 slices of whole wheat toast with roast beef, turkey breast, lettuce, tomato, spicy mustard, and spinach.
  • Snack: walnuts, unsweetened shredded coconut, and dark chocolate.
  • Dinner:  Function at church, so I have no clue what will be offered.   This will be my first real challenge.
  • Before Bed: 12-hour elite protein shake with milled flax seed
  • ***NOTE: Water is consumed in large quantities throughout the day with and between meals.

I am definitely looking forward to tomorrow’s meals.  I bought a bunch of turkey drumsticks and I will be putting them in the rotisserie with some herbs and spices.

It has come to this.  The metaphorical tornado that is my life swept through over the last couple of months and now I have to assess the damage caused by stress, apathy, inactivity, distraction, and gluttony.  I hate doing this, always have, but it is essential to starting over.  It’s hard to climb out of the hole when you don’t know how far down you are (not to mention which way is up).   It would be far easier to sulk and stew where I am, ignore the depths to which I’ve descended, and find comfort in a blissful ignorance of my current condition.  After all, if I am unaware of how much I weigh now or how many inches I’ve added to my waist then I can’t have any depressing thoughts about how much ground I’ve lost over the last few months.  Well, I can have those thoughts, but as long as they aren’t confirmed by the scale and the tape, I can push them to the side and ignore them with much more ease.

No longer though.  This morning I braved the tape and the scale.  The knowledge I gained wasn’t pretty, but it was essential.  I have returned to a 37 inch waist and about 188.5 lbs.  This is still far better than the 209 or so lbs I started out at, but a far cry from my best weight of 166 lbs.  I did some chin-ups only to find I lost some, but luckily not a lot, of my upper body strength (down from 7 chin-ups to about 4).

But my workout for today isn’t going to be fun, nor will it be easy.  I designed it to be part fitness assessment, part penance for my previous apathy.  Perhaps it will be a cathartic exercise (pun intended).   (more…)