You don’t need a bunch of expensive flashy equipment to have a decent home gym.
A few months ago Jason Calacanis started a flatblogging revolution. He challenged bloggers to work on their health and fitness, writing about it along the way. Well, I’ve been working out consistently for over a year now and haven written about it in awhile. Back on February of last year, I wrote about my weight nearly hitting 200. Today I’m just shy of 175 and have been there consistently for the past 4-6 months.
Getting fit has made me a lot healthier in many areas of life. My total cholesterol was 191 and my HDL was 39 a year ago. At my last check 2 weeks ago, those numbers were at 154 and 48. On Friday I had my body fat tested with the caliper pinch things. They took a measurement from my chest, abs, and thigh. I only have 8.5% body fat which was pretty surprised to find out. My mom bought me a new scale for Christmas which tests body fat and that thing is constantly giving me numbers in the 18% range, which just goes to show how horrible they are.
So how have I dropped over 20 pounds and turned to a healthy life style? What does my routine incorporate?
Probably the biggest factor has been the change in what I eat. I used to eat out all the time. Two double cheeseburgers, a small fry, and a 6 piece nugget from McDonald’s? Sure, that sounded like a good lunch to me.
I will usually have one (or a combination) of the following:
- Bowl of some type of whole-grain cereal.
- Waffles with low fat syrup.
- Bagel with cream cheese.
Almost always some type of fruit. Either 2 bananas, a couple of apples, pineapple. or cantelope.
Either a turkey sandwich, leftovers from a previous dinner, or breakfast style burritos that I make on my own.
Usuualy trail mix, granola, almonds, or walnuts.
I eat a lot of chicken and fish these days. I cook it several different ways to keep it from getting old. Once in awhile I’ll whip up some pork chops, steak, or some other type of beef meal.
This is usually where I cheat and eat something bad for me. Although I do try to eat some fruit at night as well.
Eating breakfast every morning and spreading food out throughout the day helps a lot. I try not to stuff myself during any one meal. You don’t have to be religious in your eating habits, you just have to realize what you are putting in your body. Eat something “fatty” once in awhile to keep yourself sane. I also use whey protein to get some of that extra muscle building power. I use it in smoothies (which I always have after weight lifting), milk, and oatmeal.
Two or three times a week I lift weights which usually includes bench press, curls, triceps skulls, close handed bench press, and dips. Sometimes I’ll do a few other movements. Ab work is done three times a week for about 10 minutes each time. You don’t need to kill yourself doing thousands of sit ups a day. Make sure to use good form in your movements and target all areas of your abs. Keep rest periods short and crank out the workout to get it over with.
I do cardio 5 or 6 times a week with one of two of those days being some type of high intensity interval training (HIIT). I run, bike, and use my elliptical machine. I’ve also started to do a little swimming in preparation for a couple of summer triathlons I’d like to do this year. I bought Total Immersion after several recommendations and reviews, so I’ve been slowing going through the drills learning correct form and how to swim. I’m not so good at the whole head under water and breathing part.
So there you have it…this is how I do it. What type of workouts do you like? Any tips you’ve found useful in your own quest to become healthy?
“Caring how much fat is burned during training makes as much sense as caring how much muscle is built during training.” The Afterburn Effect
Back in February, I made a decision to change my life. My weight was up to 199.5 pounds and I wasn’t happy. I had never tipped the scales at over 200 and didn’t plan on seeing if I could do it. I started exercising on a regular basis and eating completely different.
In a little over 3 months I lost 20 pounds. I continued to my routines and eventually my weight dropped as low as 173 pounds. Around the end of July and through August I was golfing more than ever, so my exercise routine fell off, but my weight stayed around 175 the whole time.
Two weeks ago my weight topped out at 197 pounds. Right then I knew it was time for some changes. I’d hit 195 before, but for some reason the 7 on the end affected me a lot more. It’s only 3 pounds away from 200, which I never hope to hit, even in my later years. I sure as hell didn’t want to hit 200 at 26!
I bought a Pro-Form Elliptical 130 XP last week as a first step. A great feature of the machine is it can be hooked up to a computer and linked up to an account on ifit.com. Right now I’m testing out the trial membership which allowed me to enter some information and I was given a workout program. With the elliptical connected to my computer the resistance is controlled by an audio cable and I get workout routines that are built to my fitness level. I’ve only used it twice so far, but I really like it.
I’ve also tried out some yoga and pilates routines that I
downloaded found on the Internet. For those that don’t know, both are workouts that focus a lot on breathing. From my limited knowledge, yoga focuses more on holding a stretching motion, while pilates incorporates more movement into the stretching. Both are very relaxing and can be done anywhere.
Everyone knows excercise by itself won’t do everything, so I’m also attempting to eat a little healthier. My goal is to get down to 180 pounds where I should be. I figure I should be able to do this by the end of March at the latest. I also want to feel better about the state of my body and gain more energy.
Wish me luck!