Category Archives: exercise

Training Update

It’s been a week since my last post. I REALLY need to jog more often. My goal is every other day, but it seems to have slipped to once or twice per week.

Well I attempted a run yesterday. I was off to a really good pace, but just kind of lost interest half way through and stopped short. I really could have pushed on, but I had a little too much on my mind and I kind of felt fatigued in my right hip. I’m a mental case when it comes to distractions during my jogs.

Well the fatigue might have been due to starting up P90X on Thursday! I’m not following the plan as they have it outlined yet. Rather I’m going to run through each DVD once or twice to see what they are all about, see where I stack up, and do some trial and error before committing to it full time. I like to know what to expect when following along on a tape or DVD. This is especially true when it will come to the band movements. I’d rather go through it once or twice to not only get my body ready, but also to know what I need to do equipment wise.

I did the Kempo DVD. I kept up well, but my kicking form was lacking. I’m glad it’s form I have to work on rather than cardio. I feel I’m in good cardio shape as to not have that be an obstacle for this or for other training efforts (resistance / HIIT, etc). Back to going through the DVDs a few times first… I’d like to have perfect form throughout before starting the program up fully.

It’s a nice day today. I hope to get a good solid 3 miles in. If I consistently break 30 minutes, I’m going to try to up the distance. Ideally I’d like to maintain a cardio workout for 30-40 minutes. Maybe instead of focusing on distance, I’ll do 40 minute runs.

Last 2 Runs – Goal Met

Just a quick update on my 5K training progress. I was able to run more frequently–close to every other day. I’ve been shaving time off my 3 mile runs. On Saturday, I ran at a pace of 10:08 per mile. Today, I ran a little over 3 miles at a 9:55 pace per mile–TADA!!!

I finally have everything down. These two runs were close to effortless the entire way. No pains, no distractions, steady pace.

I haven’t yet started up my resistance training or my P90X (which arrived in the mail last Thursday). I’m going to use up every last non-freezing day jogging outside. I want to maintain this momentum. When it gets too cold, I’ll hit P90X and indoor training.

I haven’t lost any more weight. Not a surprise since I’ve been slacking on the diet. Though I’ve been slacking, I haven’t been eating anything terrible. Just more than I should if I want to lose. I wonder though if eating more is giving me the energy to make my runs more productive. If that’s the case, I’d rather continue progress on cardio rather than lose more weight. I might keep things at this status quo as long as I’m jogging every other day.

Matt’s Sensible Exercise Plan

To compliment Matt’s Sensible Diet Plan.

I’ve learned a lot through my trials with personal productivity. I used to be terribly unorganized until I discovered Getting Things Done. I’m not going to get into it in detail (there’s more here), but one thing I’ve become very disciplined at is being keenly aware of friction, which causes breakdowns in systems.

At this stage of my life, I have to be sure any diet plan, exercise plan, or any other personal betterment plan is without friction that could serve as a impediment to continuation. I used to be able to work out hard, diet extremely, but I don’t even want to go down those roads now. It has to be simply, not too time consuming, and practical.

So far my Sensible Diet Plan is working out like a charm. More details are in the link above. Basically I’m not denying myself anything at all. I’m just making much better choices. And eating less. It’s called mindful eating. And it’s paid off . It’s no sacrifice at all. And not hard work (will power or effort).

I do use one meal replacement supplement though. I’ve been using the original Myoplex for breakfast during weekday mornings (with skim milk) and on run days (with water) as my meal before my run. On my run days, I split my lunch in two and get solid food in at about 4pm (the other half is eaten at noon). Since I run at night, I had digestion (burping) issues when trying to eat a solid meal before my runs–even over 2 hours before. This made it difficult to time a good meal. I figured a meal replacement is the healthiest and easiest option. Also, besides eggs, a healthy protein rich breakfast is challenging to find.

The Myoplex is the one thing I’ve strayed from the original plan of “no special food or extra money.” But it’s healthy and I have no other good options right now. Ideally at some point I’ll work in some natural options instead (if they are not too much work).

That said, my exercise plan is going to follow a similar laid back approach. No more “no pain, no gain” machismo. Instead, whatever I do will be better than nothing. Much better than nothing.

I’m going to have to figure out something to do indoors during the cold winter months as a substitute for C25K (cardio). Other than that, my plan can all be done from the comfort of my living room. I should note that at one point in my life I swore off ever exercising in the house in favor of a well equipped gym. Now it’s the complete opposite. You see, getting to and from the gym and the money spent (and the entire gym culture that I’ve grown tired of) serve as friction.

So here it is. My Sensible Exercise Program:

  • Cardio (3x a week): Jog 30 minutes.
  • Chest (3x a week): 100 pushup program.
  • Abs (3x a week): 200 situp program.
  • Legs (3x a week): 200 squat program.
  • Biceps (1x a week): Bodylastic band curls.
  • Triceps (1x a week): Bodylastic band tricep extensions.
  • Shoulders (1x a week): Bodylastic band shoulder press.
  • Upper Back (1x a week): Bodylastic band rows (I need to look into a chinup bar!).
  • Lower Back (1x a week): Don’t know what they are called, they are like reverse situps.

That’s all folks. It won’t be rigid. A week might be 7 days, it might be 10. It might be more. Just as long as the movements for each body part are done in a reasonable amount of time, it’ll be “much better than nothing.” I figure each will be 45 minutes max.

I’m going to look into P90X’s Plyometrics, Stretching, and maybe Yoga DVDs. I don’t want the entire program. The plyometrics would serve as a substitute for cardio in the dead of winter. The other two for some much needed flexibility.

My long term plan with cardio is to get into HIIT (high intensity interval training) at some point, although I’m going to dial down the “high” quite a bit. At my cardio level riight now and with winter approaching, this might have to wait until Spring.

In addition to health nutrition, here is a simpliar look at my exercise program and from a high level overall health view:

  • Cardio: Jogging (must find indoor substitutes).
  • Resistance: Bands and pushups, situps, and squats. Maybe chinup bar.
  • Flexibility: Need P90X Yoga and Stretching DVDs.

Another Cold

Man o man. This is my third cold since August. That’s after going over a year and a half without getting sick at all. There’s no doubt in my mind that it’s from my weight loss efforts. This is a pretty weak cold though. I was on top of it (extra hydration, sleep, vitamins, food). This also means putting jogging on hold until I’m all better. I may be able to go tomorrow, but I’ll have to wait and see.

Workout Music

Since I’ve been jogging longer distances/times, I had to finally break down and get some real workout music. I got tired of what I had. I need the right BPM and the right kind of motivation. Years ago some Metallica would get me pumped up for a workout, but not anymore. Actually it does the opposite for me now. I like fast but upbeat/positive music. I went with a techno type album. We’ll see if I like it during my next run.

10 Pounds, It was nice knowing ya

I stuck to my plan of not weighing myself often during my weight loss/fitness/overall health endeavor.

“Buck conventional knowledge and advice” is my new motto. So after waiting 2 weeks, I weighed in and lost over 5 more pounds from where I had been up until that point, which was down 5 pounds. I didn’t have to fight the urge to weigh myself more often. I just didn’t get into that habit.

I started this on 7/27. A little over a month in and I’m down 10 pounds overall. And it’s stating to become noticeable. I had to skip a whole week of jogging due to a cold too… I have been far from “perfect” with my eating, rather I’m a lot better with my eating. It could not be happier.

My easygoing plan is paying off bigtime. No guilt. No real sacrifices. No real pain (I’m bucking the “no pain no gain” motto). Just better choices.

Matt’s Sensible Diet Plan

Along with starting the Couch to 5k running plan, for the last week I’ve been focusing on my diet. My goal is to lose 35 pounds. And I will. I don’t know how long it’ll take, and I don’t care. I’m going to do the simple eat right and exercise. Nothing wild.

There is the age old saying “losing weight is easy, I’ve done it a hundred times.” Count me in as one of those. I have no problem losing weight when I focus on it. It’s maintaining it that’s key. And I think maybe the key to maintaining it is not to get too crazy. Rather do small changes that become not a matter of effort, rather a matter of habit.

What’s my different approach this time? It’s what I’m going to call my “but it’s much better than” philosophy. I’m not going to be a maniac with my eating; rather I’m going to choose items that are better than what I would “normally” have—even if they are not perfect.

So for example, 2 scrambled eggs on white toast with ketchup is not great, but it’s much better than 4 Eggo waffles with syrup. It’s also easy to make, inexpensive, and filling enough to get me to lunch without feeling too hungry. Same applies for [fill in the blank]. You get the idea.

But, even with this philosophy, I’m still going to limit my calories until I reach my goal. I can easily eat 3 scrambled eggs on a roll with bacon. See?

In a nutshell, my program consists of:

1) Exercise – Couch to 5K
2) Diet – Calorie Restriction and “but it’s much better than” philosophy
3) Nutritional Supplementation – Multi Vitamins, Omega 3s, and Extra Vitamin D.

I also want to accomplish this without joining a gym. Besides the nutritional supplements (which I take regardless of if I’m on a diet or not), I’d like to spend no extra money (special food, exercise equipment, gym memberships, etc.).

Once I’m well on my way to my goal, I’m going to incorporate some resistance training—which might require some investment in some equipment. I’m thinking rubber bands, but we’ll wait and see.

Couch to 5K

I’m going to give this running program a shot. It’s for people like me who need to get in shape.

The program progresses through week phases in order to build up to 5K.

I was never a long distance runner, so 5k is a perfect goal for me. 5k is actually the furthest I ever ran. I got terribly out of shape and am psyched to get back on the saddle. I’m even more psyched that there is an app for the G1 that has alarms to tell you when to jog or walk in the different phases.

Unfortunately it’s about to thunderstorm any minute now, so I’ll have to start tomorrow.