Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Week 3/4: It's a Bust!

Yeah, this has not been a good week on the fitness front.
Diet hasn't been bad, but the fitness part has been pretty non-existent.

I could have managed some exercise time, but just didn't.  I'm not really a get up and exercise person when it comes to an early morning routine and that's what this week needed. I'll have to find another way on similar days in the future.

Fortunately, retirement is only 94 days away and scheduling exercise time will be less of an issue!

I am going to have to find that good rhythm of the right time of day and the right amount of days per week to make this exercise/fitness thing really work. Although I really don't want to wait until February to get started, I expect all will be re-adjusted when I hit that date on the calendar.

I know that this week will pass and next week will start anew. We have plenty on the schedule for the rest of the week and for the weekend so I'll just resign myself to a poor ending to October and work on picking up in November with a fresh start!

No worries.
Life is good.

John <><

Monday, October 20, 2014

Week 2 of the exercise routine...

So week one wasn't quite as expected--not a complete failure, but not quite as planned, either.

I realize that part of that has to do with the simple fact that I'm not going to be that guy that has to get it done. I'm actually pleased with four days on the weight machine (instead of the planned six). Although I'm not as happy with the fewer days walking, I'm still not upset about it.

I see it as having done four more days of weights than I did in previous weeks and getting in a couple of days of yoga along with that. All-in-all, it is still a matter of time more than motivation. I'm going to make some adjustments this week, M/W/F strength days (legs/back, arms/shoulders, chest/back) and T/Th circuit training days and a little ab work every day. I'll leave Saturday as an off day or make up day should life get in the way during the week and keep Sunday as a light day for walking, running or other light cardio.

I haven't been back to a yoga class with Chris (and need to go) but have used yoga as a way of stretching and strengthening at the end of several sessions. I am continuing to get more limber and increasing my range of motion while strengthening my core. I'm considering substituting some of the weight machine exercises for simple body weight exercises. I like the idea of simplicity and realize that the machine does isolate muscle groups rather than using the more natural body systems for overall balance and motion. It's just a matter of convenience, space and weight that makes the machine attractive.

I realize that I am fortunate to have the in home equipment that I have, but also realize that the gym and gym equipment is not necessary to be in good physical condition. I am more than willing to trade a day of activity (like the three hours of yard work on Saturday) for a day of "working out" at the gym or at home.

It's Monday morning.
Time to get this week started!

Be well,
John <><

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

Good Workout Habits...

It's relatively early for me after a late night at work. I managed two complete sleep cycles (just over 3 hours) before waking up and not being able to fall back to sleep. Instead of laying awake in bed, I decided to get up when Chris left for work in order to get this day started.

I started with a good sized, high protein breakfast--three poached eggs, black beans, rice, pork--530 cal.
And coffee, which should go without saying.
I'll have a protein shake after my morning workout.

I'm on Day 2 of my new workout plan, so it's circuit training/yoga day. I'm going with a little bit more intense workout than my first circuit and expect that I'll be making adjustments to all of my workouts for a little while. It's going to be strength training on Mon/Wed/Fri, circuit training Tues/Thurs/Sat and just a long walk or maybe a run/walk on Sunday. I still plan on getting in a daily walk, run or ride (although I'm still not really running yet).

With Sunday being a easy day to get in a workout, I may switch up a little and make Thursday my easy day. Of course, after January (and retirement), everyday will be a good day for a workout!

Last June I managed to push my weight down to 197 pounds, but settled in on the high side of 200. In the past few months, it's been creeping up to around 205. I'm now on a mission to push it back down to around 190 so that my fluctuations will stay below 195.

I've said it before and I'll say it again, I'm not going to be a fitness fanatic and I don't plan on any high intensity P90X kind of workouts. When it comes right down to it, I'm pretty old school. As a matter of fact, when my brother saw my workout plan, he commented that it was old school. Yeah, so am I.

I think that the new stuff isn't as new as its promoters make it out to be. The P90X muscle confusion method was used in the Vic Tanny/Bally Health Clubs circuit training of THIRTY years ago. It's not revolutionary. It's not new. It's just more intense.
And it is good marketing that targets an audience that wants it all and wants it NOW.

I'm taking on exercise the same way I took on diet.
I want something that is sustainable.
I want to be able to continue with my exercise program for the long haul. I don't want to do something that will cause me to burnout or cause any kind of injury or exercise stopping muscle strain.

Are you doing anything for your health?
A little walk?
Taking the stairs?
Skipping the sugary snack?
Swapping out your soda (even diet soda) for water or maybe green tea?

Just get started.
Even if you're moving slowly, you're still lapping everybody sitting on the couch!

John <><

Monday, October 6, 2014

Workout Time

Life happens and little things have their impact in some unexpected ways.

Last week I decided that it was time to get rid of my beater car and get something more reliable before the winter sets in. Besides, I'll need a different vehicle as I transition towards retirement at the end of January. As it turned out, it was Chris that got the new car and I took her car.

I know--what does getting a new car have to do with Healthy Living?

Well, the new car is a little bit longer than my old car and wouldn't fit into the garage without moving the old weight machine out of the way. I've been putting off moving that beast back into the basement where I might actually get some use out of it since I've been back to semi-regular exercising. So Chris' new car was my motivation.

Over the weekend, I bought some interlocking rubberized flooring squares, dis-assembled the machine, cleaned it up, moved it from the garage to the basement, re-assembled it and now it is ready for use!

I don't plan on lifting to bulk up at all. I do plan on using it more for circuit training, moving from one muscle group to another (upper body to lower body, pushing to pulling, you get the idea) and getting a relatively quick, but effective workout.

In a previous life (30 years ago) I worked at a Bally Health Club and circuit training was a pretty big thing for the time pressed club member -- 10 exercise stations, 1 minute each, 30 seconds to move to the next station and set the weight, twice through the circuit made for a 30 minute workout. Since I don't have to wait on anybody or to move from one station to the next, I'm just going to move quickly from one exercise to the next and take advantage of the cardio effect of no in-between rest period.

I'm certain there will be weight adjustments and exercise changes as I get things worked out, but for starters, here is my plan.

3X per week
10 minute warm up on the stationary bike.

1 minute each exercise, push hard for the rep count, 2X

bench press (chest, arms)
leg extensions (quads)
butterfly (chest)
Roman chair knee raises (abs, hips, back)
squats (legs, glutes, back)
seated press (shoulders, arms)
curls (biceps)
tricep pulldowns (triceps)
lat pulldowns (lats, arms)
crunches (abs)

That's 30 minutes.
Depending on the available time, a 30 minute walk or run to wrap it up.

Here goes...

John <><