Fitness 101.

Today when i was adding up my daily numbers of sets, reps and carry’s done i realised that i was one over my goal of completing 100 heavy carry sessions before the end of week 12 of my fitness project.  The 12 week mark is another critical point as its generally the point at which anyone who is trying hard should be seeing and feeling that their body is changing for the better.

I am so close now to the end of the 12th week marker that i thought it reasonable to do a round-up this week and then at the end of next week will be taking a short break as we will be away on our holiday. During week 12 i think i will hit the ketosis hard again : i have been backing off that a bit for the last 2 weeks as i have been having more carbohydrate to go with my harder training.

Numbers then :

My overall body weight is now down to 94kg and in old money that is just about 19 lbs down : my first major weight goal being 10kg or 22 lbs.  My weight bounces around quite a lot now depending on how much exercise i have done : it goes up after a hard one, days at work (up) etc and i only see the resultant drop when i am not at work and not exercising hard.  My waist measurement according to my everyday belt is in about 3 inches and seems to be sticking there at the moment : possibly with the increase in carbs . The crucial measurements that i haven’t taken because i haven’t got the kit is my percentage body fat : overall weight and weight loss being not as critical as lean mass and fat loss.   What the vast amount of people get wrong is to equate weight loss with fitness : if i lose weight but lose it as lean muscle then that’s a negative which is why i do hard resistance exercise.  Its likely that my lean mass is going up again slightly as parts of my upper body are thickening out again….upper arms, shoulders and chest.      I made a mistake at the start by not trying to get a body fat percentage measurement and by not taking some ‘before’ pictures.

Training : what is going well and what isn’t.    My exercise regime is heavily based on resistance exercise, bodyweight exercise, walking and hard physical work on the site here.  Breaking all that down a bit i now have.

1.Resistance exercise, free weights.  My main exercises are the deadlift and the overhhead press with the olympic bar + plates.  This week i took the deadlift up to 85kg for 5 sets of 5 which i was pleased with but is still objectively very light for the deadlift.  Its still below my bodyweight and my major goal with the deadlift is at least to get a bodyweight deadlift. I may well achieve that at about the 90kg mark as my own weight keeps coming down.   The overhead push press is still very weak but i have always been week in that plane.  The major lack in my free weights is a weighted squat of any kind.  Up until very recently the knee problem has stopped me from squatting at all but it is now something i must add back in because it is a crucial compound exercise .  Really the main lower body work is the weighted carry.

2.Load carry.  So i have just topped my goal of 100 heavy carry’s today with approximately 7,000 lbs of firewood retrieved and carried home.  Towards the latter part of the hundred i did more of them as longer carry’s : approximately 2 miles.  That has clearly been a beneficial part of my training but has rather replaced going for longer walks with a pack.  I don’t see any reason not to carry on doing a few carry’s to keep in practice but what i would rather do is try and find another ‘hundred’ challenge but in a different exercise.

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3.Bodyweight exercises.  I couple free weights moves with bodyweight training eg deadlift with press-ups and dips with overhead press.  I am really only using a total of 4 moves at present ie press-ups, dips, chins/pull-ups and squats.  Most of those i also utilise as my pre-shift workout as they can all be done without equipment.  My plan is to increase the amount of chins/pull-ups as once again that is the weak plane for me. What i should do here is to build a pull-up board or find some way of adding a pull-up bar to the deck where i train now and get into the habit of just doing a couple every time i walk under the bar.  In the next training period i want to add 2 more exercises : lunges and ‘get me ups’.

4.Physical work.  My exercise regime has coincided with a period of heavy work on site here.  Its difficult to quantify how much the work has added to my overall fitness but i certainly feel a bit wrecked at the end of some days.  That may tail off as projects get finished although right now there are so many projects i want to get done that the work will certainly be there during this autumn and winter.  Right now i am relishing the fact that the jobs are physically tough and that there must be some synergy between the ‘exercise’ and the work-as-exercise.

Goals.

My first bodyweight goal is 92.6 kg or 10 kg loss from starting.  My main goal is to get my bodyweight down to somewhere around 82 kg so a total loss of 20kg actual weight but that will include a large change in body composition with an expected gain in lean mass and a larger overall loss of fat.  Again : what i have failed to do is any fat percentage measurements so i don’t have any numbers as a guide.  One useful goal will be to specify abdominal fat loss in terms of girth : i have lost 3 inches already and i should be able to double that which would take me down to about 33″ which is acceptable.  I should be able to get down to a body fat percentage at around 16%.  Some of the exercises have had micro-goals for example getting 100 press-ups in a day : i can now do that before i start work in a morning !.   The importance for me now is to keep creating new challenges and goals.

So the primary goal is still fat loss as opposed to ‘weight’ loss which means continuing with resistance exercise and increasing the intensity as my developing fitness allows. My main weakness is that i tend to stick to exercises that i like doing rather than the ones i should be doing. I should for example be doing a lot more short intense runs and circuit training to push the lactate pathway which is always uncomfortable.

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