...and when performance is measured...

Thursday, September 27, 2007

My First Blog Entry

So this is what blogging is all about. Wow. And to think my first blog entry is to discuss my expanding gut and double chin. Exciting.

So, fellas, I like to work out. That is not my problem. My big problem is the dieting part. How are you guys avoiding the sweets, the soda, etc?

Yoga anyone?

Today was supposed to be my first attempt at yoga. I've always shied away from that kind of stuff so it was pretty new to me. I manned up, if that's what you'd call it, and popped the P90X yoga dvd in this morning.

The first thing that bugged me was the time it was going to take. On the P90X workouts, every one has a type of timer bar at the bottom that shows your progress and how many minutes you have left. The yoga workout was going to take 90 minutes. I just didn't have that much time. Maybe 75. So, I decided I'd cut it short if needed.

The dude then tried to get me going with such basic positions as lying dog and some kind of soldier something. I gave it a shot. It was really, really tough for me. I think that's mostly because I'm about as flexible as a telephone pole. I'm the kid that never really could touch his toes. So the moves these cats were busting out were not happening for me. Yet, anyway. I know I'd have to build to that, but I'm a long way away.

After about 15 minutes of about a 60% effort on my part, I sat on my couch and started thinking if I could be doing something better with my time. I then decided to scratch Yoga X and run. I had about 45 minutes left. Another thing that tempted me was the womens world cup soccer game that was just starting - US v. Brazil. That way I could run on the treadmill and watch the match. So running it was.

It's the first time I've run in weeks - maybe almost a month. I was pretty worried that all the gains I had made from the training I was doing in July and August would be gone. I'm glad to say I was wrong. I pounded out a little over four miles and felt great along the way. I've got to think it was good for me. I may just change the regular P90X routine a bit and replace Yoga and Kenpo Karate (I don't think I'll be able to do 60 minutes of air punches and kicks) with running or the elliptical machine. That'll add more cardio and hopefully help me lean up a bit.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Yes, my cajones are large.

I just posted pictures of myself on the internet. In my underwear.
Scroll down if you'd like to see them.

No Plyometrics today, dangit

I took my P90X stuff to work yesterday in an effort to "back them up." I succeeded, by the way, so if any of you would like to volunteer to keep a backup copy at your house, then I would appreciate it. I ended up leaving the dvds at work. I was bummed. I was looking forward to my first plyometrics session. I'm sure it would have kicked my butt, but I'm ready for that. So, instead of the tricky plyometrics, I did 30 hard minutes on the elliptical. That may have to stop, as every time I shoved the right arm forward my right shoulder popped, and I couldn't get the dang thing to shut up.

I'm still a little sore from yesterday's push up and pull up marathon. Not sure what tomorrow brings, but I'm ready to give it a try.

I also went to the health food store and bought some supplements yesterday. I bought a big 'ol tub of the nitro tech creatine. Little did I know it says there are only 30 servings in each tub. I think it was like 50 bucks. The P90X program asks you to take a "recovery drink" after each morning session, so I'm going to use this. I'll use it at half strength, I think, because two scoops of the stuff is just too much. Its like a very strong fruit punch. I also bought a 36 pack of Myoplex Deluxe. What makes it so deluxe, I'm not sure. I'm going to drink myoplex shakes every morning throughout the program. I figure it will be a good way to start the day.

Monday, September 24, 2007

My Goals

Long Term Goals:
- less than 10% body fat
- 10+ consecutive pull-ups
- 50+ consecutive push-ups
- 17.75" neck (+ 1")
- 16.25" calves (+1")
- 34" pant size
- Drop size of gut (as measured over love handles and belly-button)

- I think I can get under 10% body fat at around 185 pounds. I'll know better after I'm tested.
- I haven't been able to do double digit pull-ups since high school body conditioning.
- When I weighed a buck fitty.
- Of course, I don't think I tried doing pull-ups in the decade between 1994 and 2005.
- About a year and a half ago, after lifting for 6 months, I could do 6 pull-ups.
- I could do 50 consecutive push-ups in college.
- A year and a half ago, I stalled out at just under 40.
- Despite its presence on many a list, Santa never did bring me the upper-body strength.
- Oh well, better pec-less than feckless ... sighs Jenny.
- My neck currently measures 16.75" over the pointiest part of my Adams Apple.
- Left calf (not pumped) = 15" Right calf (not pumped) = 15.25"
- To better fit my hips, butt, and thighs, I tend to wear pants 1-2" bigger than my waist.
- I want to comfortably wear size 34 pants.
- As for the measurement of my gut, I don't have point of reference to aim for. Just smaller.

Three Month Goals:
- Minus 3% body fat
- 6 consecutive pull-ups
- 35 consecutive push-ups
- Add half an inch to neck.
- Add half an inch to (unpumped) calves.
- Weigh less than 200 pounds.
- Look better.

- I'm copying Ben on his -1% body fat each month.
- I can do 2 pull-ups right now.
- I don't know how many push-ups I can do.
- I could test myself this second, but that sounds way too hard.
- I don't know how much muscle weight I can expect to gain by lifting.
- Which is why I'm more concerned about losing body fat than getting under 200 pounds.
- I start physical therapy for my Achilles tendinitis this week, so calf workouts may wait.

It Begins

This morning was my first morning of P90X, a 12 week process that will surely be tough on me, but rewarding, for sure.

I think the hardest part of this 12 week process is going to be waking up at 5:00 every morning. I woke up early all summer long, but now that the nights are cool and the mornings are darker, it just seems harder to get out of bed. That snooze button is so tempting. But I did it. This morning, anyway.

I took it easy and slow. The first workout is a back and chest set, featuring loads and loads of different types of push ups and pull ups. You are supposed to use a pull up bar, but I don't have a place to put one, really, so I'm using my bowflex. It's a good thing, too, because I'm sure I couldn't do more than a few pull ups right now anyway, and the bowflex allows me to adjust the weight.

By the end of the 50+ minute push up/pull up barrage, I could hardly eke out 2 rep sets of push ups. I definitely have a long way to go. I look forward to seeing progress in the push up department.

Today was also an ab day. After the first dvd, I put in the Ab Ripper dvd. This one is 15 minutes of straight ab death. Every type of ab exercise you can imagine. I sucked. Most of the time I was done well before the guys on tv were even half way through their sets. I guess that's part of earning a 6 pack. Loads of pain.

I'm exited to see the other routines. After working through them all once I'll know what to expect and week 2 I'll be better prepared.

Friday, September 21, 2007

D Day Approaches

The day is nigh at hand.

Since returning home from my elk hunt a few weeks ago, I've slipped back into a sedentary lifestyle. It's scary how fast and how easy it's happened. Whereas before I would jump out of bed when my alarm clock buzzed in the morning, I'm finding myself hitting the snooze a bunch of times and wishing it would just go away. I don't think I've really exerted myself once since my return. This P90X thing is really going to be a rude awakening for me.

I'm kind of scared, really. I'm trying to drive up my gumption to the point that I have no doubt that I'll quit, but I'm not there yet. I tried body for life a few times but never made it the whole 12 weeks. That's a long time. I'm counting on some hidden inner fortitude to pull me through it.

I'm weighing in at around 176 now. Still down quite a bit and a good starting point for me. I wouldn't be surprised to see my weight go up a bit as I start the program. One of my fitness goals is to drop my body fat percentage, based on what my bathroom scale tells me. Right now, I'm pretty consistently at 16% right when I wake up in the morning. That will be my baseline. I'm not sure it's right, but it gives me some way of measuring my performance. I want to drop that by 1% a month, to get to where my morning weigh in body fat percentage is 13%. I think that's a reasonable goal.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

What Have I Got to Lose?

Sleep, weight, pounds of blubber, fatigue, dental caries, fatty plaques clogging the inner lumen of my internal carotid artery. What do I have to lose? That's not really the question my friends. The quetstion is "What do I have to gain?" Muscle mass, endogenous endorphin levels, self-discipline, my HDL level, self-confidence, and a winning smile. September the 24th, a normal Monday for most, a day that will change the rest of my, and our lives, for me. May we each go forward with conviction, and may we each star on a daytime talkshow to proclaim the journey one day.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

Yes, I'll take the physical challenge.

Well, I'm on the brink of what I know will be a very challenging and rewarding 12 week process. I'm looking for some real physical body changes to try and reverse the years I've spent drinking soda and sitting behind a computer monitor all day. This whole thing started in January when I saw the scale inching toward the 200 pound mark, a barrier I had no intent of ever breaking. I hit 196 at one point - a good 20 pounds heavier than I probably should be. My main motivation for getting back into shape, or close to "shape", anyway, was that hunting season was approaching, and I wanted to be able to hoof the mountains of Colorado without overheating or exploding or something dramatic.

After getting down to 186, Bryan Hamblin suggested a 10 pound challenge on the skutch website. I was all over it, since I had already been doing it at a slower pace. Over the last few months, with the help of friends, I've dropped my weight down to around 175. That's included a lot of running, some diet changes (no soda, for one) and some weight lifting.

I felt great on my elk hunt, and the exercise paid off. I had been doing a lot of cardio work to get ready for the hikes and hadn't spent a lot of time on the weights. Now that I've dropped off a lot of the fat pounds, I'm ready to rip up a little. I'm still skinny and somewhat soft, so I could use a good ripping. I've chosen to follow a 12 week program called P90X. It looks like its going to be tough. It requires a lot of time, a lot of effort, and a lot of sacrifice. It involves 75 minutes of hard workouts 6 days a week, with an accompanying diet plan.

My end goal is to be able to look at my before pictures and my after pictures and see a real, noticeable, difference. I want to feel stronger and more fit. I really want to be in the best shape of my life 12 weeks from now. I'm 31 years old, and although that's not over the hill by any means, I have never been in prime physical shape. I want to get there and know what it is all about. Hopefully it will spark something in me that brings a desire to stay in better shape for the rest of my life. I feel so much better when I'm working out and eating right - more energy and fewer headaches. I'm ready to make a go of this.

I now commit to 12 weeks of body and mind changing disciplines, starting this Monday, the 24th of September. By Christmas, I hope to have made a change for the better, not only in my body, but my willingness and resolve to stick to a plan.