Tuesday, October 26, 2010
Monday, September 20, 2010
Insanity, which is produced by BeachBody Fitness (the same company that makes p90x) is a video series that incorporates Plyometrics, Yoga, Strength & Resistance, and a lot of Cadio. The workouts are led by Shaun T and are very intense but uses no weights or equipment. The workouts are on a series of 10 dvds each with a different focus and each that will challenge you in new ways. The entire program is designed to last 60 days (well 63 actually) and is designed to be challenging no matter what your fitness level is when you begin.
I have reviewed a couple of the workouts and will review a couple more as I go along, but I wanted to focus today on my first 2 weeks as a whole. At first I was very concerned about not being able to keep up physically, but there are constant reminders from Shaun T to take things at your own pace and to know your limits. Also it helps to see the athletic people on the screen have to stop and take breaks it makes me feel a little less guilty about taking my breaks.
The exercises that you do are challenging and will challenge your flexibility, your balance, your coordination, your strength, your cardiovascular fitness level and mostly your self determination. Each day presents a new challenge and leaves you completely spent. However after a few days you begin to notice around 45 minutes after your exercise your feeling of being completely spent is replaced by a feeling of invigoration.
I am proud to say I have gotten up early every morning and completed the required routine. Some mornings have been harder than others. I have learned a few things that I would like to share.
- Insanity is NO JOKE, It is difficult, but it can be done, and I do have what it takes to complete it.
- It is important to judge your performance against yourself not against anyone else, and it is important not to get discouraged if you can't do everything as well as the people on your screen just keep working as hard as you can.
- It is very important to make sure if you embark on an intense regimen like this that doesn't give your body a lot of time to recover that you are properly fortifying your body.
- It is important to eat the right foods loaded with the proper nutrients.
- It is equally important to adjust your calorie intake appropriately. you are burning a lot more calories and you need to make sure you are giving your body the fuel it needs to keep going.
- A good Multi-vitamin (or vitamin pack) is essential for any nutrients you may be missing in your food.
- Your body needs help recovering and you may need to use some supplements that contain protein and essential amino acids. There are some very good powders out there that combine all the needed ingredients and they don't actually taste horrible.
Wednesday, September 8, 2010
I posted a couple of days ago thanking every one for all their support, I would not have made it this far on my weight loss journey with out the support and accountability from all my friends. Today When I stepped on the scale I passed a very significant mile marker.
Today I feel like I am almost there... I have only 24 pounds left to lose... that's right
Please don't mistake this for bragging I still have a long way left to go... If I stop the journey now I will never reach my destination, but passing 75 pounds just feels so very significant to me. 24 More pounds to go... Stay with me just a little ways longer the journey is getting closer to a successful completion... just keep counting the mile markers... Only 24 more to count!!!
The workout starts with the infamous "warm up". As I have described before the warm up could be considered a workout by itself. In fact I can't think of too many workouts that you need a water break after the warm up. The "warm up" lasts 10 minutes and by the end I am already drenched with sweat and my heart is beginning to race. Thankfully, Shaun T then grants us a well needed 20 second water break.
After the water break it is time to go into about 5 minutes of stretching. I actually really enjoy the stretching even though I am nowhere near as flexible as the cardioholics on my screen, but I do like the change of pace and I do feel the results. Conversely proper stretching can help you no feel the results of a workout quite as severely. There was one very dark moment during the stretches a moment that brought fear and angst to me. As I am twisted and stretched in some funky position Shaun T asks someone " Are you as nervous about today as I am?" I thought to myself "well i wasn't, but now I am"
Shaun T and I both had good reason to be nervous, after the stretching Shaun announces to everyone that it is time for our LAST water break. I took a glance at the clock and saw there was right about 20 minutes to go and wondered what was in store for me next. It only took about 20 seconds for me to find out.
The next 15 Minutes were non stop cardio... 15 different exercise moves each for a solid minute and each without any rest in between. It is only 15 minutes is what someone reading this may be thinking... That's what I thought too... WRONG! AT the end of the 15 Minutes even Shaun T was laying on the ground. I will not try to lie I had to take a couple of breathers during this my cardiovascular fitness is not where it needs to be yet... but it is getting better
Some of the moves I had to do I had njot heard of before and some were hybrids and combinations of various other moves. The 15 moves are:
- Suicide (side to side touching the floor)
- Switch kicks (saw these during the fit test they are killer)
- Wide football sprints
- Stance Jacks ( I still lack coordination and this move proves it)
- Pedal (two lunges, then sprint, followed by 2 more lunges, etc)
- Hooks and Jump rope (8 hook punches, several high jumps, 8 punches etc)
- Power jacks (like jumping jacks, but you go deep in a wide lunge)
- Level 2 drills (these are ridiculous 8 push ups followed by 8 run lunges, repeat)
- Frog Jumps (just exactly what they sound like)
- Power Knees (another repeat offender from the fit test)
- Mountain Climbers ( These were actually maybe my favorite)
- Ski Down (jump side to side as if skiing)
- Scissor Runs (darn coordination again makes these harder than they should be)
- Suicide Jumps (squat down, jump back to a push up, stand up again)
- Push up jacks (push ups mixed with Jumping jacks. as you push down you jack your feet apart, as you push back up you bring your feet back together. How to make 2 perfectly good exercises one demon of an exercise)
I am linking another review of this same workout I hope you will check it out here.
Thanks to everyone for their support I wlill have another blog up soon about today's weigh-in... GOOD NEWS!
Tuesday, September 7, 2010
I confess that to say this, today I got up to complete Day 2 Of Insanity only to discover I did not have Disk 2 Plyometric Cardio Circuit. As much as I hate to get out of sequence I thought it would be even worse to put off the exercise so I decided to go to day 3 Cardio Power & Resistance.
I knew after Yesterday's fit test I was in for a battle this morning, but I was looking forward to it. This workout was crazy.
You start out with a "warm up" that is harder than some exercise routines I have tried. After about 10 minutes of dripping with sweat and starting to breath hard you realize you are just getting started as you move into stretching. After the stretching Shaun is gracious enough to give us a 30 second break before beginning the first phase. Let me say this Shaun T is a great exercise leader as he is always encouraging and coaching, yet at the same time he makes you want to "dig deeper"
Phase 1 just about wiped me out. Phase 1 was 4 exercises the included Power Jumps, Hit The Floors. V-Push ups & belt Kicks. After 30 seconds of each one back to back we get a 30 second water break we repeat the process 3 times.
At this point I was looking for somewhere to hide, but Shaun T Kept pushing me and I know if I don't push myself I won't achieve the results I desire. So I moved on to Phase 2... not sure I really wanted to I was pretty gassed at this point...
Phase 2 of the exercises includes Hurdle Jumps, Globe Jumps, Moving Push-ups (yes Moving Push-ups!), and Floor Sprints The people at Fitness Destination describe this phase:
"The jump movements are as hard as they sound, Moving Push-ups make an already awesome exercise even more difficult, and by the time you get to Floor Sprints, it’s more like “floor walks,” because you can barely even hold yourself up off the floor, let alone do any actual sprinting"
I felt that was a pretty accurate description.. after repeating 3 times like we did in Phase 1 Shaun tells us we have one exercise to go, what he doesn't tell you is that the one exercise to go may kill you...we conclude our routine with 3 sets of 8 hop squats followed immediately by eight push ups... as I lumbered through the final stretches and tried to catch my breath and wait for my heart rate to return to something resembling normal I was somewhat proud I made it through this day... it was intense... but I am actually looking forward to tomorrow... maybe...
That wraps up day 2... only 58 more days!!
Does it work? Ask me in 2 weeks when i do my next fit test or let's see what the results look like as we go....
Monday, September 6, 2010
- Switch Kicks – standing up straight and alternately kicking each leg out in front as high as you can.
- Squat Jacks – jumping jacks, only in Squat Jacks you go down into a full squat at the end of every repetition.
- Power Knees – standing up straight with your hands interlaced overhead, and then bringing 1 knee up at an angle across your body as many times as you can.
- Power Jumps – down into a full squat and then leaping up into the air as far as you can.
- Globe Jumps – one hop back, one hop to the right, one hop forward, and one hop to the left equals 1 repetition.
- Suicide Jumps - from a standing position down into a plank position, then back to standing and then leap straight into the air.
- Push Up Jacks – regular push ups, only you spread your feet wide apart and then bring them back together on every single repetition
- Low Plank Obliques – from a plank position, keep your upper body totally still while alternatively bringing each knee up as close to your shoulders as possible.
Saturday, September 4, 2010
Thursday, September 2, 2010
Thursday, August 26, 2010
Tuesday, June 8, 2010
Sunday, May 9, 2010
Monday, April 26, 2010
One of my friends, Ron Aultman suggested that there may be some interest in seeing exactly what I am eating and how I am exercising on a daily basis. It was with this suggestion that I decided this week's blog entry would be just that. I have chronicled what I have eaten and what exercises I have done.
Monday April 19, 2010
5:30 AM- I made it up on time and I begin my day with a pretty intense workout. I currently follow a circuit training routine. For those not familiar circuit training is a combination of cardio and strength training. It is a program designed to move quickly from one exercise to another with very limited rest. This is an ideal fat burning routine because of the elements of both cardio and strength training. There are many variations of circuit training, the one I follow is listed below.
1. Pushups 12-15 reps
2. Shoulder Press (using light weight dumbbells) 12-15 reps
3. Body weight squats 12-15 reps
4. Bicep curls (using light weight dumbbells) 12-15 reps
5. Body weight squats 12-15 reps
6. Walking Lunges (these bad boys are tough) about 5 minutes
7. Chair dips (these are great for toning the backs of your arms) 12-15 reps
8. Standard Lunges 12-15 reps with each leg
9. Crunches as many reps as possible (40 reps on Monday)
The key is to go through this routine with very limited rest. After completing the circuit you then take about 5 minutes to cool down and then do it again. In about 2 weeks I hope to be ready to complete 3 full circuits right now I am doing 2. The 2 circuits I did burned about 320 calories.
After completing my workout I settled in for a bowl of Lucky Charms (150 Calories)
About 10:00 I get a little hungry and decide on a snack size Snicker Bar (90 Calories)
12:00 time for lunch, I walk about .25 a mile (burning about 40 calories) to my Kiwanis Club meeting and I enjoyed:
grilled chicken breast (about 175 Calories)
vegetable rice medley (about 200 calories)
steamed cabbage (25)
Green Peas & carrots (135)
Total for Lunch 535 Calories
Had a good friend in town and we enjoyed an excellent dinner from The Shed
½ Rack BBQ Ribs (about 650)
BBQ Baked Beans (150)
Southern Gold Draft Beer (about 150)
Total for dinner About (950)
Total for the day 1725 Calories Not bad when my goal is to stay below 2000.
Doing the Math for Monday I burned approximately 2860 calories and ate 1725 this is a calorie deficit of 1135 calories.
Tuesday April 20, 2010
No workout to start Tuesday
1 Bowl of Pops Cereal (150)
Mid Morning Snack:
FiberOne Bar (140)
Vitamin Water (50)
Marie Calendar’s Frozen Pasta Dinner (450)
Zataran’s Jambalaya with Conecuh Sausage 400
Garlic Bread (about 200)
32oz Sweet Tea (200)
Total for Tuesday 1590
Walked 1 mile Tuesday afternoon Burning about 120 Calories
Total Burned for Tuesday 2620 total consumed 1590 Total deficit 1030.
Wednesday April 21, 2010
5:45 SO I wasn’t as quick to get out of bed today but I did complete my 2 circuits About 320 Calories Burned.
Quaker Instant Oatmeal maple & Brown Sugar (160)
2 Slices Sara Lee 100% Whole Wheat Toast (140)
Mid Morning Snack
FiberOne Bar (140)
Smoothie King Caribbean Way Smoothie (395)
Nachos with beef cheese & Salsa (460)
32oz Sweet Tea (200)
Total For Wednesday 1810
Total Burned for Tuesday 2820 total consumed 1810 total deficit 1010.
Thursday April 22, 2010
No Workout on Thursday
Lucky Charms (150)
FiberOne Bar (140)
Smoothie King Muscle Punch Smoothie (365)
Open faced BBQ Sandwich (360 Calories) (this was wheat toast with BBQ pork and shredded chese)
Green Beans (40)
20 oz Sweet Tea (150)
After dinner snack:
Kashi TLC Bar (110)
Total for Wednesday 1275
Total Burned for Thursday 2500 Total Consumed 1275 Total deficit 1225
Friday April 23, 2010
6:00am Yes I am even later getting started but I did get in both circuits and increased my crunches to 45.
Turkey Bacon & Cheese Omelet (300)
Char grilled Chicken Sandwich from Chick Fil-A (300)
Chick Fil-A Waffle Fries (380)
Chili & Lime Almonds (150)
Hunt Brothers Loaded Pizza (735)
Total for Friday 1865
Total Burned 2820 Total consumed 1865 Total deficit 955
Saturday April 24, 2010
Had a little bit of a stomach bug and didn’t eat much
Subway Steak egg white and cheese muffin melt (170)
Granola Bar (100)
Granola Bar (100)
2 Slices of toast with butter & Jelly (240)
Total for Saturday (610)
Did a lot of laying around so not sure I burned a lot of calories but didn’t consume many either.
Sunday April 25, 2010
Normally I do some walking on Sunday, but I am still recovering a little bit from Saturday’s Bug
Fiber One Bar (140)
Grilled Cheese Sandwich (250)
20 oz sweet tea (150)
Pizza Rolls (200)
Chicken Alfredo with Bow tie pasta (about 500)
Total for Sunday 1490
Total burned for Sunday around 2500 Total consumed 1490 total deficit 1010
As you have already read from what I have written I am not on a restrictive diet. What I am doing is making sure I keep my daily calorie deficit at least at 500. Look back to the 3rd truth of weight loss for further explanation of how this all works.
I am drinking several glasses and bottles of water daily I just did not include this since water has no calories. I also want to mention that my Saturday calorie intake is not typical nor recommended, i was sick and didn't want to put too much on my stomach.
I hope Ron was right, I hope someone out there found this interesting. As always thanks so much for anyone who might be reading I appreciate your support. Don’t forget all the standard disclaimers apply.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
What image comes to mind with the mere mention of the word exercise?
Does your mind immediately revert back to videos featuring leg warmers and dance music? Or do you think of images of the former linebacker hanging out in the gym grunting and telling stories of his former glory. Maybe you think of the guy who walks around the office in the shirt that is too tight trying to show off that barbed wire tattoo wrapped around his bicep.
Perhaps it is none of those images you think of when you think of exercise, perhaps like me the first thing you think about when you think of exercise is the long list of excuses you can take shelter in to avoid the struggle. Let's see how many I can think of without trying:
- Don't have time to exercise
- Can't afford the equipment
- Don't know what exercises to do
- Don't know which exercises really work
- Exercise is HARD
- Soreness after exercise
- Exercise is boring
I am sure there are many many more.
C'mon it is no secret exercise has so many benefits for your life, it is not a new revelation that through exercise we can not only look better, but feel better and live longer; but it is not easy, and it takes consistency.
Anyone who tells you how fun and easy it is to work hard and swim in a pool of your own sweat is either lying or delusional.
Here is a little secret, you CAN lose weight without exercise. However, if you want to be healthy and look your best you SHOULD mix exercise with your smarter food choices. There are many reasons why to mix in some exercise but one of the simplest and most fundamental is that exercise burns calories. As we discussed in previous blogs to lose weight you must burn more calories than you take in, therefore exercise is a very important component to any weight loss plan.
There is so much information available on the topic of exercise that it would be silly for me to try to cover it all here. I do have a couple of ideas in mind for future blogs on various exercise related topics but I want to spend some time discussing my own struggle with exercise and how I am dealing with some of the excuses listed above.
The only way to gain the health and life changing benefits of exercise is to exercise. This is a fact I have known for a very long time. When I was in high school not only was I on the wrestling team, but I also lifted weights on a daily basis and even belonged to a gym, but I was never one of those guys who lived at the gym or loved to exercise. As soon as wrestling season ended my senior year I pretty much quit exercising and began finding other things to do with my time.
Some people truly love to exercise, they practically live for it, I have never been one of those guys. I probably understand how exercise affects the body and which exercise works which muscles better than a lot of people, but I still don’t really enjoy the process. My dislike for exercise may be just as responsible for my immense weight gain as my love for food.
Sometimes like paying bills or scrubbing toilets, we have to do things we just really don’t enjoy. I knew this was true in December when I made this commitment but I wasn’t looking forward to it.
A few years back, I took up running in the mornings, this lasted for about 3 days until I developed shin splits, if you have ever had shin splits you know they are very painful, but if you get shin splits and you already don’t like exercise it makes it even easier to not continue.
Last year in a fluke accident at work, I fell and broke my ankle, this made for an exhausting few months of hobbling around on crutches and going through physical therapy to regain full use of my ankle.
For the first few couple of months I was not very consistent with my exercising and I can almost go down the list of excuses listed above. I live too far from a health club or gym. Financially I can’t afford to join a gym or buy any fancy equipment. I didn’t want to do anything that would cause any more damage to my ankle. The excuses could go on and on.
I did have a plan, I set my alarm clock every morning to get up at 5:30 and began exercising. I picked a few different exercise routines to try. I mentioned consistent earlier, I was very consistent with hitting the snooze button and curling up under the covers and simply not getting up in time for exercise. Have you ever noticed how comfortable your bed is at 5:30 and how much more enjoyable it seems to stay in bed than to get up and work out.
I was making myself do some small things, like park a little farther away from the office and take the stairs instead of the elevator, but small things have only small benefits and I knew to achieve the results I wanted I needed to find a way to exercise that I truly enjoyed and make myself accountable like I had with food.
There are some great programs available. Most gyms will help you get started on a good program for your goals. If you can afford it a personal trainer can be a wonderful advisor to make sure you are doing the right things. If you can’t afford a gym membership or a personal trainer there are still some excellent options available to you Couch to 5k is a great running program that is designed to help beginners be able to run a 5k in just 9weeks for more information here is a link http://www.c25k.com/
If you don’t really want to go to the gym and you are not really into running the key is to find something you enjoy doing. Kayaking, hiking, swimming, biking and many other fun activities are excellent forms of exercise that will improve heart health and burn calories. The important key is to find something you like to do so you don’t get bored.
Another thing that has really helped me is to find a partner to exercise with. This not only helps keep me accountable to make sure I am doing what I am supposed to do, but also keeps my routine from getting too boring because I have someone to share it with, thank you Reagan.
One last point, exercise is not easy. You will be sore the next day after you exercise for the first time, this is normal. Your body is reacting to the new challenge you have issued to it, this soreness will not persist with each workout. Give it a couple of days, and keep moving and the soreness will ease up. Make sure each time before you engage in any exercise routine you stretching well and doing a light intensity warm up.
One of the worst things a beginner can do is to pick something too hard you will tire out too fast and you won’t want to do it again. Keeping this in mind when finding your niche. If you enjoy cycling don’t try to be Lance Armstrong the first time out. The same thing is true with running, if you have not made a habit of running on a regular basis don’t sign up for a 5k and think it will be a breeze. Work your way slowly into your routine but keep pushing yourself to get better.
Exercise is just like any other aspect of weight loss first we must make a commitment then we must hold our self accountable and finally we must set realistic short term goals. The other thing in my opinion is just like when making smarter choices regarding food making smarter choices regarding exercise can make all the difference in the world when it comes to whether or not we can succeed.
Exercise can be the accelerant that ignites the fat burning fire or it can be the road block that completely shuts down the weight loss journey. If we pick the right exercise for us and select a good path that we can follow the results will be remarkable.
For the past month I have made the additional commitment and improved my consistency with my workouts and I believe the scale has recognized this.
If you needed further proof that I don’t really enjoy exercise and that it is something I tend to put off just look at the date on this blog and keep in mind I usually have these up Monday morning.
Thanks to anyone who may be reading and possibly enjoying. I appreciate all of your support as I continue along the weight loss journey and I truly hope some of my experiences are helping some of you.
Next MONDAY by special request the blog will focus on a week in my life, we will discuss exactly what I am eating and what exercises I am doing.
Tomorrow is Weigh–in Wednesday getting close to the half way point!