Monthly Archives: May 2012

Pounding Pavement

Photo by Shoecream (http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/File:Raised_pavement_marker.jpg)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Ok. Woke at 4:30 this AM, and thirty minutes later (plus a low carb Monster), I’m ready to¬†go pound some pavement.

THE WORKOUT:

Run 5 min in my “blue zone” (11-22 min/mile)
Run 20 min in my “green zone” (7:50-10:50 min/mile)
Run 5 min in the “blue”

Using Adidas’ micoach. Last run I scored a 98. Let’s see if I can get 100, this time.

Good morning!

UPDATE:

7:00am – Accomplished the run, but this time I scored a 93%. Not bad, but not what I wanted.

I ran 2.94mi in 32 min. My average pace, according to micoach, was 11:02. That includes a 5min warmup at about 11:30 min/mi (jog) pace and a 5 min cool down at a 16:00 min/mi pace (walk). The rest averaged about 9:30 min/mi pace. That’s atypical for me, as I generally run a 5K in under 30min with relative ease. Today was tough!

So what happened?

1. I did not drink enough water last night (remember my 70-min workout?)
2. I did not eat enough yesterday (total calories around 1600 – have to account for workouts)
3. I did not get enough sleep (4 hrs is not healthy; 2 days in a row is really not healthy)

How will I improve for tomorrow?

Do the opposite of all the above, and keep my head up. I still accomplished a lot, and I’ve dropped 3lbs since Monday (about 1lb per day). I had a healthy breakfast and I’m sticking to H2O for the rest of the day.

Great start to a Thursday!

Aj

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Today’s Workout – Modified

6:00PM – So my workout for today has to be modified. Fighting the clock still. Original plan was for three miles using the Adidas miCoach app, but I really need to blow off some steam.

So I’ve decided to go for a hard leg and back workout followed up with some amount of cardio. Not sure what, yet, but probably no more than 15 – 20 min.

I’ve got my Adipure toe shoes on, dinner is almost on the table (I’ll eat later, but the kids have to eat), and I just mixed a cup of Blue Raz Hyper FX (didn’t get much sleep last night–will have to talk about supplements at some point, I suppose).

In sticking with the theme that seems to have emerged, something is better than nothing. Here goes!

UPDATE

Start: 6:25 PM

WARMUP:
Jump Rope – 5 min

LEG WORKOUT:
Barbell Squats – 10, 8, 6, 4, 4, 10
Squat Thrust – 12, 8, 8, 12
Leg Extension – 8, 8, 8
Leg Curl – 12, 10, 8, 6, 12*
Dead Lift – 6, 6, 5 (a little superstitious)
Calf Raises – 14, 14, 14

* With these 12->6->12 sets, no rest between 12 and 10 or between 6 and 12. Between 10 and 8, rest 30-45 sec. Between 8 and 6, rest 1-2 min (modified B4L setup).

BACK WORKOUT:
Lat Pulldown – 12, 10, 8, 6, 12
Seated Row – 12, 10, 8, 6, 12

BICEPS WORKOUT:
Standing Dumbbell Curls – 8, 8, 8 **
Laying Incline Reverse DBell Curls – 10, 10, 10

** Increased weight by 5lbs each time

POST WEIGHTS CARDIO:
Jump Rope – 6 min
Farmer’s Walk – 4 min (2X 45lb plates)

– These last are super sets of one another. 3 min rope, straight to 2 min walk, rest for 30 sec, and do it again one more time)

Finish: 7:35 PM

So you can see I nixed the traditional cardio in favor of a rather intense 10 min of high tempo activity (working fast-twitch leg muscles after the big leg workout).

I also did very little back and biceps work, because I went quite heavy on the dead lifts. That is one of the toughest compound movements available in a gym.

All of that was accomplished in just 70 min. No TV. No reading or other relaxing. Home from work, cook dinner, kiss the kids, out the door and back in time for some chess with my son and to hear my daughter’s latest song. Mejor que nada? Better than I’d hoped!

Aj


Mantra: Something Is Better Than Nothing

This week I am struggling to find time to workout. I’ll spare you the bag of excuses, though, because they just don’t really work. There may not always be enough time in a day, but we have to find the time somewhere. Being crunched for it just forces us to look harder for other fitness opportunities.

My workout this week calls for running about three miles every day between Monday and Saturday plus 25 minutes of basic plyometrics on three separate days. By Tuesday, my schedule was jammed from sunrise to sunset. I did not workout on Tuesday, yet I still met all my fitness goals. How did I do that?

A train leaves from New York…

No. This is not a wickedly complex word problem from your 7th grade math book. On Saturday, I looked hard at the coming week and saw the challenges that lay ahead. Tuesday and Thursday would be the hardest, but Wednesday is also going to challenge me.

Knowing that, I ran three miles Saturday morning plus another three in the evening. And then I attacked my off day.

Sunday, for me, is typically a day of rest (traditional, I know). This Sunday, though, was an opportunity to care for the temple that is my body. Seeing the scheduling challenges that lay ahead, a gym workout on Sunday, no matter how modest, would help.

Mejor que nada…

So it’s now Wednesday morning. I missed yesterday, but I paid into the week earlier. I might miss another day tomorrow. Ok. That’s not great, but maybe tonight I’ll run four instead of three miles and perhaps throw in a quick back and bicep workout. Nothing big, but something more. We’ll see. My mantra: something is better than nothing.

Do you face time challenges when it comes to scheduling and making workouts? Give my mantra a try. It’s free and sans copyright. Feel free to share your own motivating mantra or stories of how you’ve overcome workout deficiencies.

In the meantime, find some motivation and just get moving!

Aj


I’m Overweight! When Did That Happen?

Have you ever looked at yourself in the mirror and said, “I’m not that overweight,” only to then step on the scale and realize you have hit your highest weight in months or even years? If so, you are not alone. Trust me.

Despite having been a military physical training leader since 2003, it took me seven years to reach my ideal body weight. At about five foot ten (and a half), that is somewhere between 165 and 175lbs depending on how much muscle I happen to be carrying.

All those years I had been maintaining a “healthy” 190lb physique. I participated in a weekly physical fitness program, though I rarely lifted weights and tended to eat and drink whatever I felt like putting into my body. I was also a long-time cigarette smoker (quit after 16 years).

For a military PT leader, that’s not exactly the picture of health.

I needed to lose weight, but like so many overweight Americans, I wanted to lose it fast. I tried “fat burners,” fad diets, trendy workouts…you name it, I tried it. Finally I figured it out. Eat less, eat well, and let out my inner athlete.

Fall seven times, stand up eight. ~ Japanese Proverb

Yes. I had an epiphany, but that didn’t mean I was forever in the clear. Over the past year, my fitness focus shifted from cardio and overall strength conditioning to increasing muscle size and strength. I made an amatuer’s mistake.

Building and sustaining muscle mass requires an increase in caloric intake. Like any smart person would, I satisfied my body’s need for additional calories by eating more food. Unfortunately, the energy sources I sought out were often low-quality foods high in calories, fat and carbohydrates.

Oops…

In less than 10 months, I went from an optimal 175lbs to a whopping 189lbs. Talk about going full circle–almost. Fortunately, I caught it. I was able to reflect on where I was just a year ago. I have taken immediate action. It won’t be easy (good results rarely come with ease), but I look forward to the challenge and with sharing the experience as part of this blog.

Immediate Gratification: An Inconvenient Truth

I tend to be a very results-oriented individual. I’ve worked on projects that have spanned years, sometimes picking up somewhere in the middle only to hand it off before completion. That takes discipline, patience and vision. Why should losing weight be any different? It isn’t.

It’s very easy to over-indulge in high-calorie foods and beverages, and it’s just as easy to sabotage hard work–I am good example of that. The important thing is to pay attention to what you’re doing (or not doing) and to then do something with that information.

– You scarf down a fast food meal deal because you forgot to go grocery shopping.
– You call in a late-night pizza because the chinese food you ate three hours earlier has left you feeling hungry again.
– You skip a week of working out because you’re just too busy.
– You gulp down a large, sugar-laden cola at the theater. It came with free refills and a large tub of “buttered” popcorn (also refillable for free).
– You skip another week of working out because you’re still too busy.
– You throw back beer after beer while catching up on past episodes of Biggest Loser on Netflix.
– You skip on another month of working out because your gym membership expired and you’re waiting for the weather to warm up/cool down to make an outdoor workout easier to “get into.”

We all know it takes months of healthy eating and exercise to achieve sustainable weight loss. We also know that it takes just one double bacon cheeseburger with large fries and a milkshake to destroy a week’s worth of hard work. We know these truths, yet we continue to largely ignore them. Why?

Because they are inconvenient.

That is why so many of us struggle when it comes to pleasing our senses; particularly when it comes to food, exercise and weight management. One’s desire to lose body fat is usually driven by what we see with our eyes. A fatter version of yourself staring back at you in the mirror. A pair of jeans that used to be your “fat” pants but now serve as your favorite pants (you kept them as a reminder). A scale that must surely be broken, but if it really is right…

No one expects to see immediate, positive results when it comes to fat loss, but everyone wants to.

“Like sands through the hourglass, so are the days of our lives.”

As it moves across the sky from east to west, the sun’s position relative to the horizon gives us a pretty good idea as to what time it is. That’s because those are changes we can easily and readily observe. But what if it took months just to go from noon to mid-day? It would be really hard to get a gauge on time, right? — And so it is with fat loss.

America is fat and getting fatter each day. It is a very sad reality. What can be done?

With each passing day of habitual inactivity and overeating, the road to recovery gets longer. And rather than being given more time to recover, our lives are being ever shortened by the effects of gravity, cellular breakdown, environmental hazards, and, of course, our lifestyles.

Sadly, more and more overweight parents are raising overweight children. This is one of the most evil realities of immediate gratification. Kids who grow up obese never know what its like to not be obese. This is, pardon the pun, a big problem and probably deserving of its own post.

The point is that our days are not unlimited. If you’re fat (this next part is key) and want to do something about it, you must begin immediately. Do not wait. It can start with your next meal, with abstaining from that high-calorie snack just before bed, with deciding to go out for a walk after dinner, with seeing your physician to get on a healthy living program…with becoming part of the growing community of healthy-living Americans out there.

In Closing…Finally!

This initial post is admittedly quite long. Future posts will surely be shorter and more focused on a particular subject. The purpose here was to establish with everyone how I view fitness and healthy living in general. I am concerned. As a military member, I am especially concerned as more and more young American men and women are being turned away from service due to obesity. I want to be part of the solution, and if you’re still reading this, you probably do, too.

With that, I invite anyone with a positive spirit to participate in this blog. Leave a comment, or share a link to your own blog or other health and wellness website.

Warmest Regards,
Aj