Sunday, February 27, 2011

Weekly Update 2/27

What a crazy week! What a great week! I did what I thought was a small interview that would air once on Monday my local ABC affiliate. what I did not know is that not only would the station air the story multiple times and that with 17,000+ recommendations and over 10,000 likes my little journey would somehow become Facebook's Story of the Week. Thanks to all this attention I have had over 400 new people following along with the facebook group and thousands upon thousands of page views here on the blog.  The support has been overwhelming. Thanks to everyone who has given me support in person or on the computer. Thanks to WLOX for helping me tell my story  
For those who are new to the blog each week I try to take a few minutes to update my progress the previous week and to give preview of what to expect in the upcoming week. 

This was not the most successful week in terms of achieving the goals I laid out last week, There were however some very good results to pass along as well.

I had planned to make 3 runs this week leading up to my race but in fact did not complete any. I don'tactually have any great excuses for not running other than busy week at work and preparation for the race. While I was disappointed in myself for not reaching my goal I was still very proud of my performance in yesterday's 23rd Annual Arbor Day 5k with proceeds going to Disability Connection. I had a great time and beat the goal I had set for myself. I posted a full report yesterday. I definitely plan to run again!

As fas as Insanity goes I posted some very encouraging results on my 4th Fit Test and had some very good workouts this week. In the interest of full disclosure, since I pride myself on always being honest with those supporting me, I did skip Friday's workout in order to prepare for yesterday's race.  With One week to go I hope skipping this day does not disqualify me from "completing" the program.

As I evaluate my progress through the first 2 months of the year I am please to say that at the end of this week I will have accomplished 3 of the 5 New Years Resolutions. I will post a blog later in the week on what to expect next and how I plan to achieve the other 2  resolutions. 

Also this week I will post reviews of 2 more Insanity workouts Max Recovery & Core Cardio & Balance.

This should be an exciting week ahead as i focus on completing Insanity and hopefully still get a couple of runs in so i don't lose any progress.

Monday- Max Interval Plyo
Tuesday- Max Cardio Conditioning & Cardio Abs
Wednesday- Max Interval Circuit
Thursday- Core Cardio & Blanace
Friday- Max Interval Plyo
Saturday- Max Cardio Conditioning & Cardio Abs
Sunday- Final Fit Test!

As always Thanks to anyone who may be reading.

Saturday, February 26, 2011

My First 5k

Well after much ado, the big day finally arrived today. As most of you probably know one of my fitness resolutions this year was to run in a 5k race and today I did just that. I must say I enjoyed it far more than I thought I would. First I want to give a big thanks to Kim & Bruce Gaughft for coming out today and running with me and I also want to say a big thanks to the Gulf Coast Running Club and Disability Connections for hosting the event and for raising money for a good cause.
I have trained for this event for nearly 2 months now... probably not as consistently as I should have but I have made it a point to train as I wanted to have a good race time. The training prepared me to run distance better than I thought I would, what it did not prepare me for was the event as a whole.

If you have never participated in a running race let me tell you it is not what I expected. I don't know what i expected, but let me tell you about some of the sights and sounds and then offer a few tips to anyone who has never ran a race before.

I got to the event an hour before the race and had time to walk around, loosen up and mostly people watch. There was so much to see. There were men women and children of all ages. There were people who had clearly showed up to support the charity and had no care whatsoever about what kind of time they put up. There were others like myself who were challenging themselves and were there to for the run. There was a third group that seemed to love the social aspect of the race. Finally there was the group I found most interesting and entertaining. This was the competitive group, they showed up early and were running warm up sprints, there were wearing shoes that matched their shorts, or they were running shirtless. It was amazing to me how carefree some people seemed about the race and how serious others seemed.

As far as the race goes... I finished! I beat my goal of 30 Minutes! So it was great! Here are the official results. I finished 130 out of 244 but I am pleased with that.

I will now offer 5 tips that I have learned for anyone who wants to test themselves by running their first 5k.

1. Invest in a good pair of running shoes. running is not an expensive exercise to undertake but it is important to make sure you have a good pair of shoes to keep from hurting your feet.

2. Properly Train for about several weeks prior to the race Runners World offers this 5 Week Plan. If you don't think that is enough time Couch 2 5k has a great 9 week program.

3. Set a goal for yourself. Whether the goal is to finish or whether you set a time goal make sure to realistically challenge yourself.

4. Don't be ultra-competitive. Remember you are not running against the other people but you are running to Challenge yourself. If you start out too fast you will not finish as strongly as you hope. Also never be afraid to walk. plenty of people will walk at least some of the race

5. Have fun. The crowd was very friendly and even though I came in 130th there were probably 30 runners who had finished before me standing at the finish line cheering for the runners who were still coming in.

For many more tips here are some insights from Runners World.

Thursday, February 24, 2011

Welcome & Introduction

I am not sure how a local television interview gets attention from all over the world, but as I look at the little feedjit tool on the side of the blog I am humbled to see page views from India, Saudi Arabia, United Kingdom, Australia, and many others from all over the world. My tiny little blog is suddenly getting a lot of attention. The last time I posted I only had 7 people following me, now Blogspot is telling me I have 26.

With so much new activity I wanted to take a moment to welcome everyone and introduce myself and my journey.

My story is not a complicated one I am an average 36 year old man with a beautiful wife and 2 gorgeous daughters. A little more than a year ago I embarked on a quest to change my life. I had gradually become an obese 300lb man who did not have a lot of energy and did not have a lot of drive.

I will not bore you with all the details at this time; most of them are available in some of my earlier blogs, I will just say this I wanted to change my life I wanted to lose weight but I did not want a quick fix or some fad diet. I want to lose weight, get fit and live healthy.

I know myself well enough to know I needed support and I also needed accountability that is why i began the Facebook group and that is why I began this blog.

Thanks to a lot of will power and a lot of support from my people on here and on Facebook I have now lost 103lbs with no gimmicks, no tricks, and no surgeries. I have achieved what I have through moving more and eating less.

I have discovered there are no easy buttons in weight loss. There is only hard work and determination but the results are so tangible and so rewarding!

I was was sedentary, now I strive to be as active as possible. I am completing the Insanity exercise program and I will be running my first 5k this weekend. This quest for me is not just about losing weight it is about being healthy and staying healthy

Welcome to the blog.  I try to post regular updates on here I hope you enjoy it.

Tuesday, February 22, 2011

Insanity Review: Max Interval Plyo

As I have been going through this ridiculous exercise routine I have been trying to give the occasional review of what exactly the regimen is like. For anyone who may not know Insanity is a video series that lasts for 60 days and has several different routines each day that focus on a new way to torture I mean sculpt your body. It is rigorous, it is tough but it yields amazing results. Below is a review forthe workout I just completed. 

 The entire workout is 55 minutes.  The warm up is almost Identical to Max Interval circuit; it consists of 3 rounds and lasts about 10 minutes.  The first two rounds are about 4 minutes each, and the last round is approximately 2 minutes.  The last round has the same exercises as the first two, you just perform a faster/shorter duration.  The last round is as fast as you can go.  The exercises are:
  • Jog
  • Jumping Jacks – Arms Up
  • 123 Heisman
  • Jump Rope S-S
  • High Knees – Arms Out
  • Switch Kicks
  • Hit the Floor
  • S-S Floor Hops
At the end of the warm up you get a 30 second water break.  The water break is followed by a good deep stretch, which lasts just under 5 minutes.  This is followed by another 30 second water break, and then the madness begins in full.
The main part of the workout is approximately 39 minutes in length, and is broken into 3 different  4 exercise circuits. There is a lot of jumping and a lot of pushups this workout is intense cardio and a lot of strength training.
The first set of exercises consists of 3 rounds. Each round has 4 different exercises. Each exercise lasts about 45 seconds. Between each round you get a 30 second water break.
  • Switch Jumps- these seem easy as you start you simply start from the squat position, leap into the air and land back into the squat position facing the other direction.
  • Squat Push Ups- These are extremely tough you start in a squat position and fall to the floor where you catch yourself in push-up position and push yourself back to squat position.
  • Wide In – Out Abs- This is very similar to the In-Outs we are used to only this time you
  • Power Jumps- These are all too familiar these have been around since the first Fit Test and are still No Fun
After the 3rd Circuit there is a one minute bonus move called One-Legged V Push Ups- these are very challenging and really work your shoulders.
Take a 30 second water break.
The second set of exercises is completed in the same manner as the first set, however, the exercises are different and each lasts about 45 seconds.
  • Pogo- You stand on one foot, bend down touch the floor and then leap into the air, never letting the other foot touch the ground.
  • Power Push Ups- from standard push up position you push yourself up and bring your feet in to a point that you are almost standing and touch the floor… repeat   
  • Globe Twists – similar to the infamous Globe Jumps, only as you land you touch the right foot with the left hand and vice versa.
  • Level 3 Drills – This is a challenging exercise, from plank position there are 16 pushups followed by 16 floor sprints and repeat. These are extremely hard especially the 2nd and 3rd time through the circuit.
After the 3rd circuit we again have a one minute bonus move called Power Lunges/Hop Squats- there is a deep lung to each side followed by 2 hop squats and repeat. These are no fun they really work the quadriceps and the glutes. fortunately it is not another push up

Only 12 more minutes to go, and only 4 more exercises. This last circuit is a little different we only go through the exercises one time and the exercises are done for varying times.
  • Side Push Ups – yep more push-ups this time from a side position. The unusual position make for a real challenge- we complete 15 for each side
  • Kickstand Touch the Floor- these seem relatively easy for someone who has coordination one leg goes from bent to kicked out as you make a small jump then you return to the original position and touch the floor. Repeat several times on each side
  • 8 Power Knees/4 Diamond Jumps- this is a combo move combining 2 moves we have done in previous exercises.
  • Balance Push Ups- yep the final exercise is in fact another variation of the old faithful push-up this time when you come up you lift your right arm and right leg straight out. The repeat with the left arm. A full set of 12 is completed. 
Finally time for a cool down and some stretching. Wow this was tough tonight and I was a little disappointed in my performance.  All in all Still Finished the workout and still burned 608 Calories.. so not too bad...

Fit Test 4

Here are the results of yesterday's fit Test. as you can tell I am making good progress. I did want to point out that as I was in the middle of Globe Jumps my 18 month old had woken up and was wanting her morning time with Daddy. So it is possible that number could have been higher. I feel like I have made some solid progress. I have only 2 weeks left in the program. So after 2 more grueling weeks I will have a final Fit Test.

Round 2                  Day 1      Day 15      Day 36     Day 50
Switch Kicks             74            100            112         115
Power Jacks             45             58               58           60
Power Knees            54             62               69           71
Power Jump              35             42               46           48
Globe Jump               11             12               12           12
Suicide Jumps            20             21               23           25
Pushup Jacks             25             31               36           41
Low plank Obliques   45             56               60           66

That is all for Now thanks to anyone who may be reading.

Sunday, February 20, 2011

Week in Review 2/20

As I do each week I like to take some time to reflect on the week that has just passed and also set some goals for the week that is about to start. As with any week there were certainly some ups and some downs.

To start with I was hoping to have 3 good runs this week and that simply did not happen.I was also hoping to continue top improve with Insanity and I feel very upbeat that I did make progress in this regard.

As far as the progress for Insanity goes, the workouts are becoming a little more manageable for me and I feel I am taking less and less breaks. I have been using my heart rate monitor and I am amazed at how many calories I am burning with each workout. As an example of this progress, on Monday I completed The Insanity workout Max Cardio Conditioning and it was brutal, but I made it through and I felt better about it than I did the previous week. (I did a full review of this workout on Tuesday's Blog.) I had to complete the same workout again on Friday this time following it up with Cardio Abs. Not only do I feel I performed the workout better on Friday, but I was also able to complete the Ab workout afterward something I would not have been able to do last week.

On Tuesday when I got up for my first scheduled run I spent the time instead looking for my lost dog; who thankfully showed up later in the day. I am very grateful because not only is he a loyal family pet but also my confidant and my occasional running buddy.

The next day I had scheduled myself to run was Thursday and honestly that may have been the worst run I have had since I began running. From the beginning, I lingered in my bed longer than I should have, then I could not find my ear buds so I had no music. Once I finally did start my run I was having to avoid spots on the track where someone allowed their animal to do his "business".   After only about a 1.5 Miles with limited time I called it a run... probably a good thing as I was keeping a very poor pace.

Saturday finally offered me a chance for redemption for Thursday's poor performance. It also offered me a challenge and an opportunity to see what kind of progress I was making. The Picture above is the Biloxi/Ocean Springs Bridge The 1.7 Mile structure that connects the two lovely coastal cities. AS you can tell it has a steep incline but it also has a beautiful view and a great running/walking lane that many love to take advantage of.  A few weeks ago I tried to run this bridge and 48 Minues and a lot of walking later I learned I was not ready. Yesterday, I completed the entire 3.5 Miles with very little walking in right at 35 minutes. I was under 10 minutes per mile until the end. I was proud of myself and relieved by my progress. This run might have been the first time I have felt "runners high". It was also gave me some encouragement headed into next weeks race.

Another notable event this week was on Wednesday when I taped an Interview with the local TV station regarding my weight loss. This is scheduled to run Tomorrow during the 6pm News.

Overall it was a good week with good physical progress. I am looking forward to another challenging week to come. I am getting very close to completing 2 more of my 2011 resolutions. Next Saturday will be my first 5k race and I only have 2 weeks left of Insanity.  So with that in mind here is the schedule for the coming week:

Sunday (today) I plan to get in a short run, maybe 2 miles just to keep the engine running

Monday I have my next fit test for Insanity (I will post the results) and I have Max Interval Circuit (I think the hardest workout)

Tuesday I plan to run 3 miles but at a relatively slow pace.
I also have Max Interval Plyo ( I will post a review of this workout this week another monster of a workout).

Wednesday Max Cardio Conditioning & Cardio Abs

Thursday I plan to run 2 miles and it is Max Recovery for Insanity (not as easy as it sounds)

Friday Max interval Circuit again

Saturday RACE DAY!!!
Also Core Cardio & Balance.

Should be an interesting week I will certainly pass along how the TV interview Played out as well as how I do on race day and any other noteworthy events that may occur.

As always thanks to anyone who may be following along 

Thursday, February 17, 2011

The Ultimate Recovery Drink

I was proud to say I made it through the first month of Insanity without any post workout supplements or shakes. I Was drinking plenty of water eating a lot of protein and taking a multi vitamin and I was doing just fine.

All that changed last week when I begin month 2 and the Max workouts. After completing the first workout I commented to more than one person that only my legs, arms, chest, shoulders, and Abs were hurting, everything else felt fine. I knew based on the way I felt I would be no good at all for day 2 unless I somehow recovered and quickly.  With Insanity you don’t get a couple of days to recover you have another workout the very next day.

At lunch that day I set out to find something to put into my body to help it recover. I went to my local GNC and I looked at all there specialty products many with very high price tags. I read all about the BCAAs and the L-Glutamine, and the proper blend of carbs to proteins and there are some technical scientific things that make my head hurt. Of course I also wanted to be very careful with how many calories I consumed.

The more research I did the more I kept finding one common suggestion and quite frankly it surprised me. Not only did it seem too easy it also seemed to refreshing and too cheap. I could get an entire  weeks supply for only $3.00. I kept reading article after article about how one of the yummiest drinks ever was actually the best post workout drink in the world. Good old Chocolate Milk.

I have posted several of the links below but I was skeptical… very skeptical. 

Since it was a Tuesday and I didn’t get paid until Friday I decided to take a very low risk chance and I picked up a half gallon of the chocolaty goodness thinking to myself well, if it doesn’t work I will have 2 very happy little girls. 

I have drank about 8 ounces of the chocolate milk after my workout for each of the last 8 nights and to my very pleasant surprise I have not experienced any more of the performance robbing fatigue or soreness I did after the first day of the Max routines.

Of course the low fat version is a better choice and the low fat organic version is even better than that but it has been my conclusion to this point that when you consider price taste and performance Chocolate Milk is the Ultimate Recovery Drink!!

There is a lot more research available... But I would recommend giving it a try, really if it doesn't work you are only out $3

Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Insanity Max Cardio Conditioing

I wanted to take a few minutes to review the workout I did last night hopefully everyone would get a good feeling for exactly what it is like... here goes...

Insanity Review: Max Cardio Conditioning
The entire workout is 48 minutes. Once the main workout begins, it’s a non-stop workout until the end. 
The warm up is almost the same as the other Max workouts with a variation in the 3rd round. The first 2 rounds you gradually increase your pace. The exercises for the first 2 rounds are:
  • Jog
  • Jumping Jacks – Arms Up
  • Jump Rope S-S
  • High Knees – Arms Out
  • Switch Kicks
  • Hit the Floor
  • S-S Floor Hops
The last round of the warm up is about 1 and a half minutes and actually a variation on the warm up from the previous month.  The exercises are:
  • Sprint
  • Jumping Jacks
  • Heisman
  • 123 Heisman
  • High Knees
At the end of the warm up it is time for the standard water break followed by a good stretch, another 30 second water break, and then the workout starts.
The main part of the workout is just under 30 minutes with no scheduled breaks until the last move of the main workout.  Each move lasts approximately 1 minute.  The exercises are:
  • High Low Jab with Squat- this one consists of jumping into the air throwing a punch landing in squat position then throwing another punch; repeat for 30 seconds for each side minute
  • Football Runs- we called these up/downs when I used to play football- you sprint and then you leap onto the ground and then right back up into sprints
  • 8 Ball Shots with Squat-  you simulate basketball jump shots eight times then you hop four times to reposition yourself then do it again
  • Right and Left Kicks These are one of the easier exercises you simply kick your right leg for 1 minute then your left… sounds easy, but it works on you
  • Diamond Jumps – leap into the air touch hands above your head touch feet together at same time repeat for one minute
  • In-Out Push Up Jacks  4 in-outs 4 push-up jacks repeat
  • Suicide Jumps- these are all too familiar you jump to the ground then back up… repeat and repeat
  • High Knee/Low/Floor Sprints run with high knees for an 8 count then run with quick small steps for an eight count then floor sprints from plank position for an 8 count  
  • Ski Abs – an old favorite from plank position bring knees to right shoulder than to left
  • Kick Step Back 1st Recovery Exercise the recovery exercises are toned down a bit your heart rate is still elevated but you are not at the same level as the other exercises. The Kick Step Back  is a front kick followed by stepping back and touching the floor repeat for one minute alternating legs
  • Squat Twists (2nd Recovery Exercise) hop into a squat position and touch the right foot with the left hand repeat alternating sides
  • Over the River Hops (Last Recovery Exercise)- this is simply a hop back and forth from left to right while swinging your arms.
  • Attack – Facing sideways throw 2 open handed strikes turn 180 degrees and throw strikes with other hand
  • Power Knees – another old favorite this one comes right from the fit test 1 minute each side
  • Ski Down Hookssimulate down hill skiing hoping about six inches from side to side while throwing hook punches with alternating arms
  • Belt Kicks- this actually is one of my favorites from the first month it is a kick then a squat then a kick from the other leg
  • Forward Back Suicides wide feet run forward about 3 steps touch the ground run backward about 3 steps touch the ground
  • Push Up Abs as you do a standard push-up you bring your knee to your shoulder
  • Plank Punches- from the push-up or plank position you throw a punch with your right hand then your left rotate hands
  • 8 Jump Ropes/8 Hop Squats- simulate jump rope  lifting legs high 8 times then hop into squat position eight times
  • Squat Speed Bag in squat position and hold it for one minute and move your hands like you are punching a speed bag 
There is a cool down stretch that lasts about 4 minutes the finally……mercifully 48 minutes and 618 calories later we are done.