Monday, July 30, 2012

Insanity Program - Fit Test #2 Results

Two weeks into the program and my progress has gone up in every category except one (which has stayed the same).  More importantly I am feeling better physically and dropping unwanted fat.  It's been a challenge to say the least, but the rewards are definitely outweighing the hardships!!!

Insanity Fit Test

Exercise Start Week 2
Switch Kicks 50 57
Power Jacks 37 45
Power Knees 70 75
Power Jumps 25 33
Globe Jumps 10 10
Suicide Jumps 12 15
Push-up Jacks 20 26
Low Plank Oblique 30 40

Sunday, July 29, 2012

Insanity Program - Week 2 Summary

     Two weeks down as of today!! It has been a rough two weeks, but I can definitely tell a difference already.  Not so much in the way I look, but more in the way I feel. As you can tell from the picture above I have dropped about 5 pounds since my initial weigh in.  More importantly I have dropped around 3% body fat.  That is the most important thing for me right now.  I will start checking my blood pressure this week at work to see how truly healthy I am getting as this is the most important part of my program.
     My diet has been going surprisingly well.  I do have cravings for comfort food on a regular basis and it's not helping that every time I turn on the television there are commercials for Wendy's Baconator and now 2 for $5 Arby Beef and Cheddars :).  My wife and I have been rewarding ourselves once a week with a night out at a restaurant for a "Cheat Meal". I thoroughly look forward to every Saturday night when I can indulge in one fat filled meal :).
     If you have been following my routine under the "Exercise" tab you may have noticed that the morning cardio has slipped by the way side.  After spending an hour in the gym followed by the intense workout of the Insanity program I don't have much energy left to get up early and jump on the elliptical before heading to work.  I would love to be tough and fight through that, but the truth is that after pushing through my afternoon workouts I feel pretty tired in the mornings. 
     As this pertains to hiking.....As I mentioned before most of us spend so much time trying to weed all the extra ounces out of our packs and forget about the extra rolls we carry on our body.  My ultimate goal on this front is to limit the extra amount of weight I carry once I am able to get back out on the trail.  I am not looking so much and the amount I weigh, but the unnecessary fat that I carry on my frame.  I would love to get that 23.5% number down to 10% by the fall.
     Back at tomorrow!!!!!!

Thursday, July 26, 2012

Adding Some Supplements To The Routine

Check out the "Exercise" tab on the home page to check out my workout routine and my diet plan.  I have been getting questions about what I have been doing and I have tried to put up a detailed daily synopsis.  I will continue to try and keep this up to date.

So here is where I become your guinea pig :).  It has been years since I have taken any type of supplement other than a One-A-Day vitamin so this is going to be new to me.  I usually try to eat a well balanced diet, but it is truly hard to get everything in during the day while trying to keep a protein/carbohydrate/fat/calorie diet.

I spent a while at the local GNC store today picking the brain of the very helpful clerk.  What I was looking for was something to assist my diet and workout plan to help me lose body fat.  Now remember I am doing this for health reasons so making sure that I'm not going to be taking a heavy dose of caffeine and strange chemicals is high on the priority list.  She directed me to the two products pictured above.

The Cellucor Super HD is designed as a fat burner.  It is to be taken twice a day - once before breakfast and again before lunch.  I am hoping that this will assist in getting my body fat % down to a healthier level.

The Ultra Mega Green - Men's (I also bought a box of the women's formula for my wife) is intended to provide the additional vitamins and minerals that my diet may be lacking from fruits and vegetables.  The clerk told me that it also was packed full of good digestive enzymes which would make up for a lack of fiber in my diet if there is any.

I will start taking the product suggested doses starting tomorrow and do a follow up in the coming weeks.  If I start to sprout strange objects from my body or lose appendages I will be sure to make note:).


Sunday, July 22, 2012

Insanity Program - Week 1 summary

     A whole week has now passed since my wife and I have started the Insanity Program.  All I can say is "Holy Cow".  This program is truly intense and has both of us feeling the burn.
     I have found that it is making me feel tired, but also invigorated as well.  My body is definitely adjusting to the severe cardio workouts that each session consists of.  Although the feeling is slightly different than the level and quality of shape that I was in while out hiking it does give me a sense of wanting more.
     My cardio in the morning has unfortunately drifted off a little in the first week.  I started the week off well, but by mid week I started having trouble sleeping and would not be able to make it out of bed in the morning to jump on the elliptical.  I hope to pick this portion back up on week two and stay true to the course that I have laid out for myself.
     The diet has been a little easier to adjust to than I thought.  After spending 3 weeks, after my return from the trail, gorging on ice cream, junk food and beer I thought I wouldn't be able to quit cold turkey.  Don't get me wrong there has been a lot of temptation.  My first week back at work has been filled with offers to go out to lunch (which I appreciate), seeing others come back with all that tasty fat filled foods and pot luck style dishes being set out around the lunch table making me want to cheat.  I have fortunately warded off the temptations and have only allowed myself one cheat meal a week.  I hope I can do as well this week as TV commercials such as the Wendy's Baconator seem to be everywhere.
     My gym workouts are going well.  I have lost a lot of strength since not picking up a weight in over 3 months, but I am not looking to set any world records.  I am strictly going to be healthy and at my age the joints don't appreciate trying to load the bars up with as much weight as I can push around.  It is however making it a little more difficult to perform some of the exercises in the Insanity Program.  After pre-fatiguing the muscles at the gym push ups, squats and jumps are a little difficult.  With that said I am pushing through with what I can.
     As for the physical/visual differences go I have noticed a little change already. It will take a few weeks for the body to get adjusted to the new workout program as well as diet so I'm not surprised by the numbers.  My weight has actually gone up a pound to 215.4, but that is due to gaining muscle mass which is heavier than fat.  The scale that I'm using supposedly measures body fat, but I don't hold a lot of faith in the accuracy of its readings.  It has fluctuated a bit over the course of the week from a loss of 2% body fat to a gain of 1%.  I can visually see a difference in my tone which is giving me confidence that I am losing fat (man boobs are shrinking :) ).
     On to WEEK 2!!!!!

Monday, July 16, 2012

I must be Insane to have started this!!!

Day 1 of workout program....
     I will be posting my workout routines and daily diets under the exercise tab for anyone interested in following along with my program (I am not a dietitian so please only take this as what I have designed for myself).
     First let me start by saying this little endeavor was a lot to bite off coming from riding the couch for the past 3 weeks.  Hitting the elliptical at 6:30 this morning was tough enough, but to then follow it with work, a gym workout, doing yard work and then doing the Insanity Fit Test tore me up!!!
     My diet was actually the easiest thing I did today.  Although my coworkers had plenty of goodies to offer I resisted the temptation and stayed true to my somewhat bland diet.  I don't think this will get hard for a couple days, but I'm sure it won't be long before I start to get cravings for ice cream and my favorite....white cheddar popcorn!!!
     The reason that I am doing this is not for vanity or to get a rock hard beach body (though it would be a nice bi product :) ).  The real reason is so I can lose some unwanted fat which will ultimately lower the amount of weight I have to carry over mountains once I can return to hiking.  I know most of us spend countless hours trying to figure out how to wean every unnecessary ounce out of our packs to get the lowest base weight possible, but what about all that extra fat that we carry on our bodies?  I know it takes a toll on me!!!  Another important reason for me is to feel cardiovascularly healthy.  After spending months on the trail I can't begin to state how much better I felt and how much more invigorated I felt towards life in general.  I want to keep that feeling going and being healthy and active seems to play a big part in that.
     Day 1 down and 59 more to go !!!!


Sunday, July 15, 2012

Day before the Insanity Begins.... here is where I will post the corny pictures that they tell you to take before you start your journey down the road to Insanity.  As I said before, no shirtless pics :), but Guinness will work.  I will try to take the consecutive pictures wearing the same outfit so there is a good reference point to go from.
     As I mentioned before I am doing this program in addition to a cardio session and a weight training regimen. I will also be posting my daily diet and watered down workout routine under the "Exercise" tab on the home page.

Check out that body fat :)  Way too much ice cream and beer since I've been back!!

Saturday, July 14, 2012

Insanity or just Insane?

     Due to my recent injuries and the couch miles quickly piling up I will need to turn to a new form of excitement in my life.  My wife wanted to get the Insanity workout series and wanted me to do it with her for motivation (I think it's more to torture me and get a good laugh while doing it though:) ).  Although my workout style usually revolves around using weights in the gym and hiking for cardio/endurance training this was something I really didn't see myself doing.  To be a good husband I agreed to be her inspirational partner and use this as a way to get myself into good shape for the fall hiking season.
     First....don't look for embarrassing pictures of me shirtless!! :)  I will document my journey through this endeavor on this site so others can see if this is for them, if it really works, how true I can be and so friends and family can get a good laugh at my expense. :)

Friday, July 13, 2012

Sad end to my AT adventure....

     I apologize for taking so long to add this post.  It was hard to come to grips with the idea that my adventure had come to a close and adding this post was the dot under the exclamation point.
     Due to an unfortunate injury I was no longer able to press on.  I would have continued on the stress fracture as long as I could have, but ultimately a partial tear in my Achilles tendon was the final blow.  I have been instructed to stay out of strenuous activity (ie. hiking) for approximately 3 months to allow the tendon to heal.
     I hope I did not disappoint anyone by not being able to complete my journey. I feel like the trip was a huge success and unfortunate circumstances limited the length, but not the sustenance of what I have gained from embarking on such a wonderful adventure.  I have made new friends, seen wonderful places and had experiences that will forever have changed my life.
     My only regrets will not being able to be outdoors for longer as well as not seeing the New England States.  Having been back now for a couple weeks it is truly hard not being in the woods from sun up until sun down.  The simplicity of the trail has really made me realize how little one needs to be happy.  I wish I would have been able to see the remaining states. I have never ventured up the northern seaboard and would have loved to walk through them and experience everything they have to offer.
     On a more positive note I have completed a huge section of the Appalachian Trail and the rest will be there for me when I am able to return.  I have no plans on starting over from Springer to say I have completed a "Thru Hike".  This trip has always been and always will be about the journey.  I may someday either pick up where I left off and complete the rest or finish it off it small sections as time permits.
     I am not done with hiking!!!! I will be back out there soon enough!!! In a few months my body should be healed and I should be back at my weekend adventuring around the southern states. I still have to finish the rest of the Benton Mackaye Trail as well as hike the Foothills Trail.  I'm sure I will be back on the AT for sections with some old friends as well as some new.
     Now that I have some time on my hands I will be putting together gear reviews, learned experiences and answering questions that anyone may have.
     As always.....keep hiking, have fun and live life to its fullest!!!

Happy Trails and stay tuned!