Off Season: Carry Heavy Things

If you've gone from 0 to 100% in the gym ever in your life, your body the first week wants to know what the heck you're thinking and proceeds to make you hate that you even thought this was a good idea. Week two, you still feel those muscles you forgot you had whether it's the one calf muscle that refuses to go up the stairs or the bottom of your bicep towards the elbow that laughs at your efforts to straighten your arm out. Then at week three, your body realizes that you're committed and that the muscles were designed to do this. Sore feels different than it did, you begin to increase a bit of weight now that you're familiar with the exercises, and a bit more motivated because you made it this far. What do they say about forming new habits? 21 days of continued effort? I'm getting there. 

One new thing I'm doing during this renewed effort in the gym is to write down details about my daily workouts. How much weight I did, and how fast or how many reps I did on certain workouts. I've never really focused on tracking that kind of data in the past and wanted to measure progress this go around. I don't really have much ego when it comes to how much I lift compared to others or how fast I can do workouts. I've never been remotely close to the strongest, fastest, best at anything athletically and have let go of the pride associated with trying to measure up to others in the gym. I'm an aging guy with a dad bod and weak muscles. I'm cool with that. I am happy with the commitment to show up, do my best by engaging fully into the process, and to carry heavy things however far my trainer tells me to. 

The workouts I'm doing are for the most part the same each day I'm in the gym, each week. The only different thing I do is the "finisher," which is a high intensity exercise designed to get the heart rate up, put in a big effort, and see how ones fitness is improving. One of the funnest finishers this week was pushing a weighted sled 15 yards or so, jog back to the start line, and then pull the sled back to the start with the attached battle rope. The goal is to do that as many times as possible within an 8-minute time cap. I did this workout once last week and then repeated it a week later with a 2-rep improvement. 

Weight loss is a big component of this training for me as well. Since the beginning of the year, I've been tracking my daily calorie intake via MyFitnessPal app with a calorie goal. I've lost weight in the past, kind of fumble around with what kind of nutrition that works best for me, and am trying to do my best to stick to the plan. I've been 90% successful at that so far and am glad to see some progress. Making nutritional changes are difficult for me because it's challenging to change mental patterns around food choices. Weight loss is a long game kind of thing that doesn't show immediate rewards without extreme changes in diet and without those little changes that spark motivation, it's easy to be 90% good with the diet and 10% terrible when you need to be a bit closer to 100%. I meet with the Nutritionist next week to map out a plan and get on a more rounded and focused plan. 

Most of all, it's exciting to see other Fort Wayne cyclists and Team NL members getting started on the program. Hopefully in a couple of weeks, we'll be 5-6 athletes strong and be able to get some group workouts going. Check out the program details and come get started with me.