Sunday, December 28, 2014

No Time To Wait...

I decided that 2015 needed to come early. After hitting a major lull and packing on some pounds, it all had to start now. Not January 1. Now.

My wonderful wife gave me a Fitbit One for Christmas, and it's probably tied for my top Christmas present received along with a shirt my kids gave me with hand drawn art on it (they're 7 and 4; I'll take it out this week and put a pic up), and I did get some great gifts this year from my family. The silent alarm is great. It's just the thing I need to get up and going without disturbing my wife too much since it's set for 3:10 AM.

Rundown for today:

Bent Over Two-Dumbbell Rows 12 - 12 - 24 @ 10 lbs

Underhand Lat-Pulls (modified pull-ups) 12 - 12 - 12 @ 70 lbs

Standing Barbell Curls 12 - 8 - 7 @ 33 lbs (bar apparently weighs ~ 13 pounds)

Dumbbell Alternate Bicep Curls 10 - 10 - 10 @ 12.5 lbs

Elliptical 21 minutes

For reference (you know, if anyone else besides me cares), here are links to my goals page to view and workout tracker.

2015 Goals

Workout Tracker

I'll probably add some additional goals later on. Miscellaneous stuff.

I did have a bit of a slow time getting out the door this morning. I got out of bed fine, just not so quick to leave. My plan is to BE at the gym by 3:40 - 45, changed and out on the floor by 3:50 and done by 4:40 so I have time to get to my desk. My shift starts at 5 AM, but I try to be there by 4:55 and get stuff like this done. :) I just need to make my lunch the night before more consistently. Nothing like trying to hunt for stuff in the fridge a little after 3 AM when you're not eating it for a while, and you're not particularly hungry at that moment. Nothing seems appealing.

The Fitbit app and site are great because they layout a bunch of goals (that you can modify) such as 10,000 steps in a day, 10 flights of stairs climbed, 30 active minutes, etc. And you can modify these, plus some of them have multiple tiers, like the stairs, after you hit 10, the site offers a badge (did someone say "achievements?"), and then shows your next badge can be earned by climbing 25 floors.

Challenges can be set up and sent to Fitbit friends. One of my friends in California, who also got a new Fitbit for Christmas sent out a "Weekend Warrior" challenge to see who can get the most steps on the weekend. There's 10 people in it (all invited by my friend from Cali), and I'm currently 5th. I do get a lot of steps in on Sundays though since the parking lot here at work is far, far away. The leader already has almost 30k steps, and it's only 6 AM on Sunday...

See you tomorrow.

Sunday, December 21, 2014

Ghosts of the Past...

So... even before 2015 begins, I have some goals I want to share, some may not be possible to complete by December 31, 2015, but there should be some significant progress made:

  • Ultimate Goal 1: 200 lbs or lower
    • Enter the 2015 Color Run for Salt Lake City (8/22/15) - Registration deadline: TBD
    • Enter the 2015 Dirty Dash (6/6/15) - Registration deadline: TBD
      • Hike to Timpanogos Cave
        • While I'm there, tour the cave. It's been 25+ years since I've been there.
      • Hike Dry Canyon again (somehow, I didn't hike anywhere in 2014 after going on a few in 2013)
    • Hit the gym on work days (seriously, how hard is this... I work 4 days a week. There's a gym where I work. No brainer, anyone?)
      • Stationary bike at home on weekdays off (Tuesdays / Fridays and this ties in to another goal below)
        • Take Saturdays off, unless working on any hiking or 5k goal above. (because there should always be one goal that's pretty much a 100% slam dunk).
      • Walk 10,000 steps per day (usually hit 7k + on work days. Walking the dog could get the job done, and would make my wife happy)
      • Get a Physical (because it's been a while)

  • Ultimate Goal 2: Embrace a new hobby
    • Read 30 books (we don't have a TV where the stationary bike is... books/kindle app will work)
      • Placeholder for list of books read in 2015
    • Study coaching for soccer and football (hey, I wonder if there's a book....also because...)
    • Begin process toward alternative teaching certificate (this is a long range goal, I still want to have my third sabbatical at eBay in 2018)
    • Volunteer (in conjunction with my wife's plans, together we'd like to teach our kids the value of helping those who are less fortunate than we are)
So, there we go. Bring it, 2015!

Sunday, November 2, 2014

That moment when...

Welcome back!

You, me, everybody... well, a few people anyway.

So next year's Spartan schedule was released about a week ago. I was checking for pre-registration options when I noticed something about Utah's race next year.

Utah is getting the Beast in 2015.

What now?

12 miles.

Double Ha.

I'm going to run the Dirty Dash instead. Maybe the Tough Mudder.

At least in 2015. I'm guessing that the races rotate (sprint, super, beast). I hope the Ultra Beast isn't coming here, lol. (full marathon). At least, not in 2016. :)

Today's breakdown:

Weight: 295.8 - definitely going in the wrong direction. Maybe it's because I haven't been hitting the gym regularly. Gee, what a thought. Also, need some significant changes in food consumption. Working on that.

I did hit the gym today, though. I almost talked myself out of it. Was woken up multiple times through the night. Cat. Dog. Whatever. Didn't feel like getting out of bed any earlier than was necessary to go to work (even with the time shift). These words kept running through my head:

So, I got up and get my stuff together, went to work, and hit the gym.

See you tomorrow.

Monday, September 29, 2014

Monday, Monday, Monday!

Typically Monday is the second work day of my ... well, week.

I work Sunday, Monday, off on Tuesday, back at work for Wednesday and Thursday, then off on Friday and Saturday. I work 10 hour shifts. I got into the gym at about 3:50 AM today, and won't leave work until 3:30. Basically, I'm present on my work site for 12 hours a day, 4 days a week. About an hour in the gym, 10 hours working, a half hour lunch, and the other half hour (almost) is basically walking to and from my car. It takes about 7 minutes to walk from my car to my desk, 3 minutes maybe to go from the car to the gym locker room. Our parking lot is way out there.

It was a good workout today, spent my time on the elliptical machine doing the "weight loss" work out which alternates from an incline of 1 (flat) and 4 resistance, to incline of 8 and 10 resistance. Since machines all vary, this means almost nothing to everybody else. :)

Did some work on my arms and chest and called it a day (in the gym) and headed back to the car to drop off my gym clothes bag and grabbed my lunch, then headed to my desk where I am now.

Speaking of lunch (and breakfast which I bring), here's the rundown:

Coffee (w/ creamer which I'm now measuring out to make sure I don't just absorb an extra hundred calories for almost nothing in return).
Muscle Milk (1 scoop of powder)
Cottage Cheese (1/2 cup - 2%)
Grapes (about 14 oz.)
Chicken Chipotle Flautas (lunch, 2 sticks)
Fruit Snacks (1 pouch - maybe)
Granola Bar (Peanut Sweet & Salty - Nature Valley)
Ritz Crackers (on standby in my desk drawer)

All of that comes out to about 1,257 calories. Not sure about dinner yet. Was going to make tacos (we bought like 5 pounds of hamburger at Costco, I sectioned it out and froze 4/5ths of it), but wife and daughter aren't thrilled about that, so I have to figure something else out.

Overall, I should stay under 2,000 calories today. The biggest challenge, probably, is keeping myself disciplined on my three off days and not mindlessly eat little things here and there that add up super fast. It's like Fighter Diet founder Pauline Nordin says (paraphrased), "It doesn't matter the work you do during the week if you're undoing it on the weekend."

Also, it isn't much, but between 2 weeks ago when I weighed in (293.8 lbs) and today (291.4 lbs) the scale is at least headed in the right direction.

Monday, September 15, 2014

The Two-Step...

Two days in a row? Might be something going on...

Hit the gym again this morning after getting to bed at a decent time. Getting up at three isn't easy if you're going to bed (sleep) after 10. I was pretty much out around nine last night, so I only did the snooze dance one time this morning.

Decided it was time to get back to the weights as I have not been on those in quite some time. Nothing big since I'd been away for far too long. A few sets with the bench press (95 lbs), shoulder press machine (uh, not very much, I'm shocked at how weak my shoulders are), and the triceps extension machine (again, WEAK!). After all of that, I hit the elliptical machine again for my 33 minutes. I went a little harder this time, getting my heart rate up into the 150s and burning around 400 calories (according to the machine - my Lose It app says around 600).

It's about consistency right? Time to find that rhythm and keep at it.

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Almost 5 months...

Somewhere along the way motivation wandered into a dark room and decided to stay for a while.

Now, I've gone to the gym here and there and just never got back on track.

Inspiration comes in different forms. Heroes. Best Friends. Striving for health. The list goes on and on. My wife is an inspiration for me to get back on track. Mostly out of fear of being totally left behind.

About nine months ago my wife was struggling with weight loss, like well, pretty much all of us. She'd been doing roller derby for about a year at that time and was still considering herself one of the "big girls." Those are the rare gals that somehow combine weight and speed to be formidable blockers and intense hitters. They kind of remind me of football players that line up in the trenches. You know the big guys, that look like couch potatoes (sometimes), and then totally shock you with their speed and quickness.

So, my wife began cutting her portions. A lot. Now, it kind of comes easier for her than others because when she eats, she pays a price. It (eating) makes her sick a lot of times. She has to eat, but sometimes it's a gauge of how sick she wants to tolerate that day. The weird thing is, nobody can figure out what's wrong. Doctors haven't figured out the trigger, and for all intents and purposes, the triggers are everything and nothing.

Some days she'll eat a salad and be fine, a couple of days later, she'll eat the same type of salad and wish she was dead because of the pain she's experiencing. Same for burgers, fish, dairy, bread, oh hell, I'll save some time and just say "everything."

In the last nine months, still doing roller derby, my wife has shed an amazing 65 pounds. Sixty-five! She's gotten to the point that she can push it really hard and compete with some of the jammers.

Even when I was hitting the gym consistently, I was seeing nothing happening. Granted, I sure didn't give it a year. Messing up that muscle (excuse coming) in my back/neck back in March just made me revert back to being only "slightly" active.

Food consumption changed only a little bit. Portion control was anything but. Probably more like "outta control." One of the problems is that I sit at a desk. Four days a week. 10 hours during those days. Work is interesting, if not repetitive. And I ALWAYS feel like eating something. I bring my breakfast and lunch to work. But always feel like there needs to be more. Juice and soda is free here. Talk about a fight every day. We do have coke zero, diet, etc. But you know how it is. Why get those when there's a cherry coke RIGHT THERE!?

So the transition needs to happen, instead of spooning out three tablespoons of cottage cheese, I need to measure it. Turns out I can easily get a full serving (half of a cup) from a heaping teaspoon. I made sure I came with just ONE serving of cottage cheese today. A couple of clementine oranges. Leftovers from dinner the other night (homemade beef-a-roni), and we'll see how it goes from there.

Spent about a 33 minutes on the elliptical machine this morning. Weight loss mode.

Inspiration comes in many forms. My inspiration is my wife and her toughness, consistency, and determination. Inspiration is knocking on the door where motivation is hiding and inviting it to come out to play.

Wednesday, April 16, 2014

It's been...

I'm finally back. Did you miss me?

It's been a rough month and a half. First my neck and back issue, and then, when I thought I was all set to go again, I had a rough bout with a head cold (still clearing out some sinus issues, but overall feel pretty normal).

So, here's the rundown for today:

Bent Over Dumbbell Row: 2 x 10 @ 12.5 lbs; 1 x 15 @ 12.5 lbs
Lat Pulls: 2 x 10 @ 70 lbs; 1 x 12 @ 70 lbs
Standing Barbell Curl: 3 x 10 @ 45 lbs
Dumbbell Alternate Bicep Curl: 3 x 10 @ 12.5 lbs

I also spent 10 minutes on the bike. Cardio is SO not my thing, but it needs to be done. I plan to work my way into it gradually, though.

It's good to be back.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

That's probably a setback...

This morning I seem to have hurt myself a little bit while doing my workout. On my second group of lifts, the side laterals, I pulled, or tweaked a muscle in my neck and right shoulder. That's probably not good. I can somewhat turn my head to the right, and almost not at all to the left. This could take a few days to feel better from. I'm not at all happy about this.

I don't know if it was because I had less sleep last night (thanks Daylight Saving Time!), or if I just wasn't warm enough yet. I'd finished my inclined presses okay, but on my second set of the side laterals, I just suddenly felt off and the muscle in my neck was not right. Or I pinched a nerve. Something.

Needless to say, today's workout was not up to snuff compared to normal.

Checked with my supervisor today (who is working his once-every-three-months weekend) who I know works out down at the gym, but he doesn't carry any Icy Hot or similar product. Called security to see if they have any hot packs or something (nope). So, I get to sit here and suffer today. I do have some ibuprofen to take the edge off. My neighbor has a heating pad at her desk, but she's pretty unhappy about people touching her stuff (which most of us are, so it's understandable).

So, for the next couple of days, I might just be on the treadmill or elliptical while the issue with my neck heals up.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

It's not all about exercise...

I'm still working on dropping weight. I have 15 months until the 2015 Spartan Race in Utah, and it's going to be take a LOT of work to get there. (My father-in-law thinks I can make the 2014 race. To that I say ha ha!).

I've started a better balanced meal plan over the last several days, and my wife and I have been doing more of the "outer circle" for shopping. We still have bread and pasta, but we're pushing for less bleached out items, and I've been making a stronger effort to bring veggies w/ my lunch to balance out the fruit. It's easy to throw in a banana or apple, but then your carbs (sugars, not fiber) end up way out of balance with everything else.

For example, today I packed 100 cal yogurt, a bagel thin (110) w/ laughing cow wedge (35), carrots, an apple, a cutie orange, two pieces of beef jerky, some reduced fat cheez-its, and leftovers from dinner last night. The dinner last night was actually really high in fat (it's made with prosciutto, a lot of Parmesan cheese and cream, so there you go), but portion control is a big thing.

I remember feeling particularly hungry when I got prepared to make dinner, but I still only had one serving and didn't over eat. Sure, when I made the protein shakes last night and filled our travel bottles (we re-use 8 oz. Ensure bottles for easier grab and go), I drank the rest of what didn't fit, but that stopped me from having a bowl of cereal before bed (something I haven't done in weeks, and it used to be a REGULAR, every night kind of thing).

I broke "code" today and stepped on the scale before my workout (usually only weigh in on Sundays), and found I'd dropped 1.8 pounds since last Sunday (sure, I'm still 292.6, but progress is progress).

Anyway, thanks for reading my additional run on...

See image...

Yup, learned the hard way that leg presses aren't even close to the same thing as squats. Ha. I knew that, but wow, it's like I never used my legs before yesterday, jeez.

Today was a return to biceps and the back:

Lat Pulls 2 x 10 @ 80 lbs
        1 x 12 @ 80 lbs

Bent Over Dumbbell Row    2 x 10 @ 15 lbs
                                   1 x 15 @ 15 lbs

Back Extensions 3 x 10
Concentration Curls 3 x 10 @ 15 lbs
Preacher Curls    1 x 8 @ 50 lbs
                   2 x 8 @ 45 lbs

I liked the change up in the exercises from "Day 1." The routine still worked the same muscle groups, but in different ways. Keep the workouts interesting I guess, and the body from adapting too fast.

So, I expect to be in 100% pain tomorrow, and somehow pull off an active rest day with 26 - 32 minutes of cardio.




Wednesday, March 5, 2014

Leg day, Leg Day, LEG DAY!

My legs think they're dying. I'm pretty sure they're not, but they maintain that they indeed are.

Let's show you why:

Squats: 2 x 10 @ 45 lbs (yes, that's the bar - but even squatting with just my body weight is a workout).
            1 x 20

Squats are not my friend; I feel off balance and very unsteady. I'm glad I'm by myself when I am in the gym, because I do a lot of feet shuffling getting in place to where I feel comfortable starting my dip. However, I'm also happy that I actually executed squats, and didn't fall on my butt.

Dumbbell Lunges: 2 x 7 w/ 12.5 lbs dumbbells

Also not my favorite. Upper body weight makes it difficult to maintain the proper stance to execute these safely. I try, but once I get out of balance, that's usually the end. I don't need to hurt a knee or anything.

Leg Curls: 2 x 10 @ 80 lbs
                 1 x 20 @ 80 lbs

Stiff-Legged Barbell Deadlift: 2 x 10 @ 45 lbs
                                             1 x 20 @ 45 lbs

Another new workout for me, so again I only used the bar to make sure I was working the set properly. Watching myself is not fun either. But, I did something new today, so that's a good thing.

Standing Calf Raises: 3 x 10 (feel the burn!)

Crunches: 3 x 10 (was so tired by this time, lol).

Was supposed to do lying leg raises, too. But after doing crunches, my body said "yeah right," and I managed to do just one.

Me tomorrow:

When I was walking through the lunchroom on the way to my desk, one of the security guards that passes through the gym sometimes when I'm still in there, came through at the same time and asked if I was on my way to work out and I told him I was done for the day and he told me that I was doing a good job with that lately. It's nice to be noticed for something positive like that.

My legs were trembling when I was filling up my water jug (72 oz... more like water tub); just standing there and I feel small muscle twitches in my quads.

It's time to stagger to the breakroom (or as they call it here, the refill station) and get some more coffee. Until tomorrow!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Better than nothing...

Today was difficult to get up and get into the gym. I'd skipped the last two days at work, was dealing with some issues with my house that the weather had decided to show me, and just flat out didn't have the motivation to work out yesterday.

It could have easily slid into another day, or week, or month. I really didn't want that to happen, so last night I made sure I had my meals ready for today at work, got up at 3:30 and got dressed, grabbed my lunch bag and headed right out the door.

Here's where I picked up today:

Bench Press: 3 x 10 @ 105 lbs

Incline Flyes: 3 x 10 @ 12.5 lbs

Seated Dumbbell Press: 3 x 10 @ 12.5 lbs

Dumbbell Side Laterals: 3 x 10 @ 10 lbs

Triceps Extention: 3 x 10 @ 12.5 lbs

Bench Dips: 1 x 6

Yeah, my bench dips are laughable, and so are my dumbbell weights, but part of building strength is getting that stability in check. I don't always feel the most stable lifting the free weights, so I'm working on those to become more comfortable with my abilities.

I really had to fight with myself on the Bench and Incline this morning. I guess something I did working on the house over the weekend strained my right pectoral muscle, so it was definitely complaining as I lifted. It didn't have any kind of searing or sharp pain, so I felt okay to keep lifting, but it definitely made itself heard while I was working.

While my chest, shoulders, and triceps are complaining a bit right now, that's probably nothing compared to what my legs and back are going to be doing on Wednesday when I hit them for the first time in about two weeks.

It's good to be back to work.

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Hitting reset

This last week has been a bit rough. Motivation can be difficult to find sometimes. It's when you start to think that gets you into trouble.

Pauline (Fighter Diet) Nordin said it well in a tweet not long ago when asked what to do when you have trouble with motivation in that you "don't think. Go on autopilot" - basically, get going, get the workout done. Think later.

I would go find the tweet to get the quote completely right, but she tweets/retweets so much that it'll take ages to track down.

So, today I hit the reset button. Packed a fairly clean breakfast / lunch, I think. Salad w/ a roasted chicken breast (separate); apple, two cutie oranges, protein drink powder, greek yogurt, and a thin bagel w/ laughing cow spreadable cheese. Coffee and water to drink for the day. - sugar content is still too high, will need to adjust shopping and lunch packing to include more carrots / celery / radishes, etc. over fruit to keep the sugar/carb levels much lower.

Hit the gym this morning with a repeat of last Wednesday's workout - tried pushing it:

Bent Over Two-Dumbbell Row: 2 x 12 (15 lbs); 1 x 30 (failure - also at 15 lbs)

Lat pulls: 1 x 10; 1 x 7 (100 lbs); 1 x 5 (90 lbs); 1 x 10 (80 lbs) - next time I think I'll stick with 90, so I'm not dropping down so quick.

Standing Barbell Curl: 2 x 12 (45 lbs); 1 x 11

Dumbbell Alternate Bicep Curl: 2 x 10 (15 lbs); 1 x 9 - this felt much better than the 12.5 I did last time. Really had to fight at the end. I got 10 with my left arm but couldn't quite get a full curl out of my right, so I didn't count it as 10 this time.

So, I felt the work in my arms for sure, especially when I had to go back to change. :)

Now, I haven't worked on legs for over a week now. According to my schedule on the 12 week program, that's going to fall on Saturday, when I'm off of work. I will need to suck it up and head into the work gym (wonder if Saturdays are as abandoned as Sundays... or does the custodial crew clean it out on Saturdays too? guess we'll find the answer to that this weekend). But, looking at it, it should be a challenging workout. Squats, I want to be your friend, but you keep me off balance.

Anyway, that's the recap for today. Back to work.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Push it better...

Changing my shirt was probably the hardest thing I've had to do today, post-workout. Hitting arms, but different parts, a second day in a row really put the burn into them.

First up was the Bench Press: 3 x 10 @ 105 pounds. Now, the way it's supposed to work is to do 10 -12 reps in the first two sets and then lift until muscle failure on the third. I struggled so much with the 10th rep on the third set that I knew the next one would fail and probably pin me to the bench. Since I'm the only one there at 4:12 AM, I knew better than to hope the cleaning lady in the women's locker room could help me. So 10 was it. Maybe next time I can get 11 out of my bench press on the last set. :)

The rest as follows:

Incline flyes: 1 x 10 @ 12.5 lbs dumbbells; 1 x 10 @ 15 lbs; 1 x 16 @ 15 lbs

Seated dumbbell press: 3 x 10 @ 15 lbs.

Dumbbell side laterals: 2 x 10 @ 10 lbs; 1 x 7 @ 10 lbs (seriously. weak. shoulders.)

Triceps extension (laying on my back on the bench with dumbbells, not a machine): 1 x 10 @ 12.5 lbs; 1 x 10 @ 15 lbs; 1 x 9 @15 lbs. So close to getting that full 10 on the last set, but couldn't get my arms quite back to starting position, so I didn't count it.

Last night I asked my wife to indulge me and feel my arms when flexed just to see what she thought. I was pleased at her surprised reaction to how solid they're starting to feel after about a month. Now that I'm on a tougher routine for the next 12 weeks, I'm looking forward to the progress again around this time next month.

One last exercise I was supposed to do was Bench Dips. One, I didn't really have a proper place to put my feet other than the floor (no prop up spot around, and I didn't see any aerobic steps) and two, after what I had just done above, trying to make my triceps and shoulders lower and push up my 294 pound frame was honestly asking too much. I'd just end up sitting on the floor and possibly having to pick up an overturned bench behind me for my trouble. I know my limits. Usually.

Tomorrow is an active rest day. So, I'll either spend some time on our little used stationary bike at home, or hit some Kinect cardio exercises on Your Shape, or maybe even break out my Jillian Michaels Fitness Adventure game. We recently added a new (used) couch to our living room, so workout space in there may be a little tricky.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

Shaking things up...

Getting back into the swing of things after another long weekend. Over the last 5 days I only worked one of those (Sunday) because of the holiday. And, I actually skipped the gym that day. Bad me!

Last night, I decided that I needed to change things up to work specific muscle groups and build smarter while looking for a way to lose weight. I'm hoping this has been a good find:

So, today was Day 1 (Back/Biceps Workout) and here's the breakdown on the exercises and what I did:

Bent Over Two-Dumbbell Row: 2 x 12 (15 lbs); 1 x 16 (failure - also at 15 lbs)

Underhand Pullups (yeah, I can't do these, so I did Lat pulls instead): 2 x 10 (80 lbs); 1 x 14

Standing Barbell Curl: 2 x 10 (45 lbs); 1 x 11

Dumbbell Alternate Bicep Curl: 2 x 10 (12.5 lbs); 1 x 19

Cardio comes later in the form of my 30 minute walk .... hoping the weather is okay, but forecasts are not looking good.

This workout was good, it left my chest alone, and didn't do a lot with my triceps (I looked ahead, that's tomorrow, but no cardio). My biceps felt like they were swollen to double their size when I was done lifting though, it was kind of a weird feeling. I guess that's what muscle concentration is all about.

Thanks to my friend Elaine for pointing me to the site; I'm hoping it really helps with getting my training in the right direction.

Now, I just need to work on that kitchen stuff. That site has a lot of good suggestion for nutrition, so I sent it to my wife, too. Hopefully help with shopping / meal planning / weight loss.

Thursday, February 13, 2014

One month, part two...

Today's comparison is today's leg workout vs. one month ago when I started for the first time.


Leg Press:
1 set; 10 x 260 lbs
2 sets; 10 x 300 lbs

Leg Curls:
1 set; 10 x 50 lbs
2 sets; 10 x 70 lbs

Leg Extension:
1 set; 10 x 50 lbs
2 sets; 10 x 70 lbs

You can see that I was feeling things out, and trying low weights and then heavier weights that I felt more comfortable with, but still made me work.


Leg Press:
2 sets; 15 x 360 lbs

Leg Curls:
2 sets; 15 x 110 lbs

Leg Extension:
2 sets; 15 x 100 lbs

Still doing 30 reps, but condensed into two sets instead of three. Reps 11-15 really kick in the burn. I do them in the same order as listed above, when I got done with the second set on the press this morning, I almost failed to stand up from the machine. My quads locked up and almost didn't respond when I tried to walk. By the time I got done with my leg extensions, I was all jell-o.

After a month, I feel stronger. Not like super strong or anything, but I feel that my legs are handling moving my weight around better, I can pick up my son easier (he's three, so it's not like he's super light or anything). Things are moving in the right direction I think. Now it's time to start stacking more on top of what I've been doing, and just keep working toward amazing advancement.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

One month...

A little comparison today:


Bench press - 10 x 95 lbs x 3 sets

Arm curl - 10 x 65 lbs; 10 x 55 lbs; 10 x 45 lbs

Lat pulls  - 10 x 80 lbs x 3 sets

Shoulder press - 10 x 50 lbs; 8 x 40 lbs, 10 x 30 lbs

Now, fast forward to one month later...


Bench press - 10 x 105 lbs x 3 sets

Arm curl - 10 x 50 lbs x 3 sets

Lat pulls  - 10 x 90 lbs x 3 sets

Shoulder press - 10 x 30 lbs x 3 sets

Arm Extensions - 10 x 90 lbs x 3 sets (these weren't part of the first day, but I started at three sets of 10 at 70 lbs.)

So, a little improvement, and you don't see any shifting down anymore like I did for the first couple of weeks. Now it's just to continue to work and improve.

That's it for today. Month two has begun.

Monday, February 10, 2014

So, THIS is pain...

(4:47 AM) Right now, I'm at my desk at work, at the start of this post, I'm about 15 minutes removed from finishing my leg workout, and they are still screaming, not burning, but screaming at me (okay, they're just burning). I hit some personal bests today. Maybe I could have done more, but walking was still a priority after being finished.

Here you go:


Leg curl: 15 x 110 lbs x 2; 10 x 130* lbs 
Leg press: 15 x 360 lbs x 2; 10 x 400* lbs 
Leg extension: 15 x 100 lbs x 2; 10 x 120* lbs

* New max weight

Oh. My. God. My legs are barely functional at this moment. - Need coffee and to catch up with work people.

(5: 41 AM) So, I did the 2 sets of 15 (to get my 30 reps total in) and then upped the weights by 2 plates on each machine. 40 pounds for the press and 20 each for the curls and extension machines. I was going to aim for 5 of each, and just. kept. going.

My legs are ways ahead of my arms. I have to remember I'm not going to see big improvements like this with my arms as fast. It does give me encouragement, though. I'm tapping into potential I've never seen before now and I'm excited where it'll take me.

This is just the beginning.

Sunday, February 9, 2014

Keep moving forward...

Having kids affords you the opportunity sometimes to sit and watch movies that you might not get around to as an adult. For example, I'd never seen "The Incredibles" until I put it on for my kids to watch. Same with the movie today's subject is quoted from. "Meet the Robinsons" is one I'd seen previews from, and laughed myself silly at the T-Rex shown during the clip. Having seen the movie a few times now with the little ones, I caught the quote at the end of it, that I really think can be applied to a lot of things in life. And with working out, I think it can be important:

“Around here, however, we don’t look backwards for very long. We keep moving forward, opening up new doors and doing new things… and curiosity keeps leading us down new paths.” 
–Walt Disney 
Don't look at your past failures as a reason for giving up, or not trying. Learn from the mistakes, and keep going. Try new things. There's not any one thing that works for everybody, and what works for a lot of other people might not work for you. Your search could be a long one to find that niche that suddenly breaks down the barriers for you.

For my wife, it was getting into roller derby. Sure, she could be doing more skating, cardio during the week like she wants to do, but there's at least one, often two, days a week where she's out there killing herself on the track to get better, stronger, tougher.

You have to admire that.

There aren't a lot of people that would go out there and just get wrecked, bruised, and smacked around on purpose for the sake of a workout. Sure, they're all a little crazy, but better to be crazy than lazy.

Weigh-in: 294.2 (+0.6)

Bench press - 10 x 105 lbs x 2 (up 5 pounds)
Arm curl - 10 x 50 lbs x 2  (up 5 pounds)
Lat pulls  - 10 x 90 lbs x 2
Shoulder press - 10 x 30 lbs x 2
Arm extension -  10 x 70 lbs x 2

Another rough Sunday (seriously, I should keep my drinking to Friday nights, I don't do anything on Saturday mornings); but again, I was here, I worked, and I even increased the weight in a couple of lifts. I also did a quick set with the dumbbells. I don't know what the exercise is called, but I took the 10 lbs and lifted them straight out to the sides to kill my shoulders just a little more.

So, we'll see tomorrow if I have a workout partner. A guy I know at work was heading out at the same time as I was on Thursday and we walked through the gym to get to the same section of the parking lot where we were both parked. And the conversation turned to working out there. I mentioned that I'd started lifting last month and he said that he should be getting in there more; so we kind of agreed to work out together in the mornings we work the same day. We'll see if he shows. :) Doesn't matter to me. I'll be there around 4 AM like I am every Monday. Leg day!!!

Let's go!

Thursday, February 6, 2014

Snooze is not your friend...

Getting out of bed this morning was tough. I guess I was just a little extra tired this morning. Still, I got up and started my day at the gym working on my legs. Today felt harder that's for sure. But no shortcuts, or putting the brakes on after two sets of each.

In fact, check this out:

Leg curl: 10 x 100 lbs x 2; 10 x 110 lbs
Leg press: 10 x 360 lbs x 3
Leg extension: 10 x 100 lbs x 3

On the leg curls, I decided after my second set at 100 pounds it wasn't working me hard enough. Funny what adding just ten pounds will do to make your hamstrings burn a bit more.

Even after I was at my desk this morning, my quads kept burning for about 20 minutes longer. The leg press machine has a limit of 500 pounds; I want to hit that some day. I can manage 360 pounds right now, but at 20 pound incremental increases, I don't think it's going to be any time soon. But I'm working on it.

Next Wednesday (arms!) I'll hit one month since I starting hitting the weights here at work. It's been great so far, and my arms feel actually solid. It's going to be a while before they show definition because of the layer(s) of fat over them, but I'm pretty pleased with the progress I'm feeling there.

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

When life hands you lemons...

It's been a seriously rough week. A lot of things going on in life that has made doing the normal things a release instead of being routine. Trying to keep a grip on the sense of normalcy, I guess.

On that note, getting into the gym is important, as it can be at least a good stress release. Nothing like hitting the weights to banish the invisible weight on one's shoulders sometimes.

Today's rundown:


Bench press - 10 x 100 lbs x 2
Arm curl - 10 x 45 lbs x 2
Lat pulls  - 10 x 90 lbs x 2
Shoulder press - 10 x 30 lbs x 2
Arm extension -  10 x 70 lbs x 2

While I did say getting into the gym helps, I was still just having difficulty keeping up with my normal sets. I was so wiped after getting through two sets of each, I decided that I should stop there before I hurt myself. It still felt good though. Even if it wasn't my best this time, I was still there working.

Monday, February 3, 2014

My legs!

I am so wiped right now courtesy of your friendly neighborhood leg day.

Here's the damage right up front:


Leg curl: 10 x 100 lbs x 3
Leg press: 10 x 360 lbs x 3
Leg extension: 10 x 100 lbs x 3

If you've followed along, you'll see that I've gone up from a previous high of 90 pounds on the leg extension to 100 pounds, and I did manage to hit all three sets in full. I couldn't walk for a few minutes afterwards, but I. Got. It. Done. I also increased the max weight on the leg press from 340 pounds to 360 and hit all of those sets in full, as well.

I just made coffee in the break room about ten minutes ago, and now I'm afraid to stand up to go get some after sitting here long enough to log into my computer, log in and start updating. :) I'm sure I'll manage somehow.

My wife and I are working together to start eating better. We haven't been horrible, but we definitely have our struggles, and there are certain weaknesses we share when it comes to food. We're trying to reduce carbs quite a bit and only get our sugars from raw fruit, and want to start doing something a little more like shopping the "outer circle" at the store and avoid pre-packaged and processed foods as much as possible.

My friend Elaine clued me in to yesterday, so I'm going to be checking into all of the information there and hopefully find some good workout tips, and eating / meal planning tips to go along with that.

I'm pretty happy with where my lifting is and is going, and it's time to start incorporating a lot more sense into my eating habits and be able to excel there, as that will aid in my weight loss. Let's face it, the lifting and walking hasn't done a lot to start bringing down the weight, so it's up to what I do in the kitchen to start making some progress. I'm not going to be able to lumber around the spartan course if I'm still this heavy. June 2015 sounds pretty far away, but it'll sure get here before we know it.

Sunday, February 2, 2014

Keep. Digging...

As usual, Sunday mornings are my greatest enemy (this would be called "Monday" by most of you). Just coming off of a two day weekend. Some drinks may have been consumed with friends. Along with a frightening amount of poutine, and yet, I got up this morning, got ready for work, assembled my lunch and headed on out.

Got to work, and I swear my brain was trying to find every excuse known to man to skip out, "Look, the gym is dark. Maybe it's closed for cleaning." (It wasn't closed, the shades were down, which is not normal at 4 AM); "You're running late, you can't get a full workout in." (I did).

Today was arms. And in the workout summary below, you might notice something a little different than normal:

Weigh-in: 293.6 ( -0.8 )

Bench press - 10 x 100 lbs x 3
Arm curl - 10 x 45 lbs x 3
Lat pulls  - 10 x 80 lbs x 3
Shoulder press - 10 x 30 lbs x 3
Arm extension - 10 x 80 lbs x 2; 10 x 70 lbs

With the exception of the arm extensions (newer workout compared to the others), there were no weight changes on the other lifts. When I hit that 10th rep on the third set on the bench press, I couldn't help but give a fist pump. On Wednesday I made it to eight on the third set, so getting all 30 reps across the three sets was a big deal to me.

If I can get the arm extension to three sets at 80 pounds, and do it again the following time, I think it'll finally be time to start increasing. I started lifting on January 12, and have finally hit a groove I think. I don't even really think, "Ugh, I have to go to the gym" in the mornings. I get up and just go, I don't even make a conscious thought like, "Time to go to the gym," it's just part of my work day now.

And that feels pretty damn good.

Thursday, January 30, 2014

Ha, forgotten title

Today's update brought to you by the letters: U R G and H - put those together and you hear the sounds I was making unfiltered because the music was off in the gym this morning for no known reason.

Stats will appear below:


Weigh in: N/A

Leg curl: 10 x 100 lbs x 3
Leg press: 10 x 340 lbs x 3
Leg extension: 10 x 90 lbs x 3

Treadmill: 15 mins @ 2.5 mph w/ 1.5% incline

Was woken up way early this morning, but that worked out to a solid workout, and getting in some treadmill time, which is good because it's been a bit colder the last few days. Not East coast cold, but cold for walking around outside for a while.

Legs don't feel as painful as they usually do on leg day, so I probably needed to go heavier, but I'm happy with how much I lifted today. I need to build my confidence to do squats. I fell off-balance when I'm doing them, and I don't have a spotter, so there's that. Maybe I should try with just the bar, or there's another machine that you can do multiple exercises with and it does show a squat as one of them.

Anyway, just a quick update.

Wednesday, January 29, 2014

Names have been changed...

This morning I ran into the unfortunate situation where for one moment, I was sure I wouldn't be able to remove my shirt after my workout.

It was awesome.

I did manage to lift my, what, 4 oz shirt?, over my head and change for work, which I'm sure my co-workers appreciate, and I take that as a good sign that I worked pretty hard. Much better than I did on hangover Sunday earlier this week. And my phone is dry and working again, so I was able to track everything as normal.

Deets go here:


No weigh-in until Sunday

Bench press - 10 x 100 lbs x 2; 8 x 100 lbs
Arm curl - 10 x 45 lbs x 3
Lat pulls  - 10 x 80 lbs x 3
Shoulder press - 10 x 40 lbs; 10 x 30 lbs; 10 x 20 lbs
Arm extension - 10 x 80 lbs; 10 x 70 lbs x 2

I also went back and looked at the sets of weights I did my first day which was about four weeks ago. Not a ton of improvement. Still been finding that range where I can complete all three sets at 10 reps each without dropping weight from one set to the next. Clearly my shoulders do not take well to staying at the same weight, and it was really (sadly) tough to push it up the last two reps at just 20 lbs. They're super weak. Never thought my shoulders were so sad.

However, the other weights are stabilizing to hitting all the marks, so in a few weeks here, I expect to be moving up.

Monday, January 27, 2014

Today was leg day...

...and that's probably all I need to say about that.

Since losing my phone the other night (water), I don't have it with me when I'm in the gym and keeping track of what I'm lifting as I go. Today I thought I was doing 10 lbs more on the leg curls than last time out, and it turned out that I was doing 20 lbs LESS. Sigh. Probably a good thing, because my quads have locked up into total pain signal pandemonium every time I have to stand up.

Sunday, January 26, 2014

Motivation is fickle

This morning was rough. It's probably a miracle that I went to the gym at all, let alone lifted anything. It's been a small comedy of errors since last night, and I wanted nothing more than to skip the gym and do nothing else for the day other than just work and go home.

Last night my phone took a bath.

So I had a couple of drinks, which never helps with motivation, you just wake up sluggish and not wanting to move, much.

My weigh in this morning put me at 294.4, which means I'm UP 2.2 lbs since my last weigh in on Wednesday. I realize that weighing in every day is probably not the best, so I might look at doing a weekly weigh in on Sunday mornings. This could be good or bad, since Sunday is when I return from my two day weekend (I'm also off on Tuesdays), and depending on how I eat on the weekend could be a factor.

I ripped a nail really good when I removed the "lockjaw" from the curl bar. Almost tore it in half, so that hurt and yes, I need to keep my nails trimmed better. Had to wait until I was at my desk to fix it.

So, it's just a bunch of stupid, little, insignificant bits and pieces that affected my motivation today. I'm without a phone for who knows how long. I'll see if it's working when I get home from work today (trying the rice technique to dry it out internally), and if not, decide what to do from there.


Anyway, here's my workout tracker for today.

Thursday, January 23, 2014

I think we're alone now...

Odd start to the day, when I got to the gym, there was a cleaning lady in the men's showers scrubbing them down (I still smell cleaning detergent); so I had to duck into the handicap stall to change. When I was done, she was still cleaning the bathroom area, so I went into the last shower stall to change back to my work/street clothes. It was weird.

Today was the legs:

Weigh in: N/A (because the scale is out in the open within the locker room, and somehow a t-shirt and boxers didn't seem appropriate)

Leg curl: 10 x 100 lbs x 3
Leg press: 10 x 340 lbs x 3
Leg extension: 10 x 80 lbs x 3

Treadmill - 10 min, 3mph, 1.5% grade

So, the treadmill was new, mostly because I finished the weights early enough that I had some time for extra walking. I still plan to do my usual lunch break walk. I might start dropping the weights a bit on the curl and extension machines and working on the legs individually, too.

Tomorrow and Saturday I'm off from work, so I plan to take our golden retriever out for a 30 min walk. Just need to keep up the discipline and work on crunches and supermans, and maybe get in some Kinect time with the Your Shape game or something.

Right now, my legs are wiped and my triceps, shoulders, and chest are all enjoying that comfortable pain (instead of searing) one has the day after a good workout.

Wednesday, January 22, 2014

Vacation is over...

Woke up at 3:30 with a pounding headache, and was out the door at 3:40 with my gym bag and lunch. I was at work, changed and walking out on the gym floor at 4:01.

Weigh in: 292.2

Somehow down 0.2 since last weigh in, which has to be a miracle considering I wasn't that disciplined during my five days off from work, I wasn't BAD, just wasn't watching everything real carefully.

Today's damage:

Bench press - 10 x 115 lbs; 7 x 115 lbs; 10 x 95 lbs

Arm curl - 10 x 55 lbs x 2; 10 x 45 lbs

Lat pulls  - 10 x 80 lbs x 3

Shoulder press - 10 x 50 lbs; 5 x 40 lbs; 5 x 30 lbs

Arm extension - 10 x 70 lbs x 3

Headache: gone. (with a little help from ibuprofen)

In other words, arms are destroyed, and I can hardly lift my coffee cup to drink. In fact, it's surprising how much effort it takes to keep my arms where they are right now to type. :)

I'm eating a Chobani Flips right now as part of my breakfast. It's banana with dark chocolate pieces and "honey roasted salted almonds" (slices) - they should simply rename them "burnt almonds."

Anyway, that's the update for today.

Thursday, January 16, 2014

You go, Glenn Coco...

Walking. We all generally do it. Sometimes an average day will see you walk about 5,000 steps just meandering around. Sure, you might sit down and be off of your feet for a while, but for most of us, walking is pretty natural and has been since we were around one.

So, why is it when you buckle down and just walk for 30 minutes, at a decent pace that gets you to about 3 MPH, do your legs start acting like this?


Good grief. It's just 30 minutes. But man does it take a toll on you. So far.

I fully expect that by the end of the month (yeah, only a little over two weeks), that I should be able to take the 30 minute walk and it barely singe my calves. The burn yesterday was intense. And when I came back into the building, I swear I could hear the elevators whispering, "Psst. Come over here. I'll give you a ride."

I took the stairs instead.

Yeah, I was breathing heavy by the time I got back to my desk. Comes out to about 28 minutes of constant moving. I'm hoping that before long, I can actually push the walk to 3 times around the building and still be back inside of the 30 minute window. My other option is to ask for 45 min lunches starting in April, but where's the challenge in that?

Today's workout was on the legs, and there was a bit of improvement. The last set on the leg press and extension really tested my resolve.

Weigh in: 292.4

Leg curl: 10 x 80 lbs x 2, 10 x 100 lbs (up 30 lbs max from last workout)
Leg press: 10 x 340 lbs x 3 (up 40 lbs)
Leg extension: 10 x 80 lbs x 3 (up 10 lbs)

Overall, it was a good workout and looking forward to giving my calves some time to burn later today. :)

Wednesday, January 15, 2014


Whew! Back on the arms today. Pushed harder on the bench press, but couldn't finish that last set. It's good to see I'm finding a rhythm and not dropping weight from one set to the next as much as I did on Sunday when I was in last for arms. Just need to hit three solid sets of the same weight, and then start increasing. I might look into getting some lifting gloves, I really hate how the weight and machine grips make my hands feel. Maybe a reward for consistency at the end of January.

My right arm is definitely weaker than my left. When doing the arm curls and shoulder press, I feel the strength go out of the right side a rep or two before the left. Might need to work on some dumbbells to even those out a bit.

Today's stats:

Weigh in: 292.4 -- up 1.2 lbs; figure it's more due to natural fluctuation, but something to keep an eye on.

Bench press - 10 x 105 lbs x 2; 8 x 105 lbs
Arm curl - 10 x 55 lbs x 2: 10 x 45
Lat pulls  - 10 x 80 lbs x 3
Shoulder press - 10 x 50 lbs; 6 x 50 lbs; 8 x 40 lbs

My four day work week is going to require more discipline at home on the three off days. Yesterday, I really didn't do anything. That's bad. Need to develop a routine for those days as well. I'm going to have several days off close together with the holiday on Monday, so I need to find a way to keep busy.

Monday, January 13, 2014

No Mercy...

Feeling a bit better today. Guess it was either just a quick cold, or I managed to sweat it out yesterday. After my workout yesterday, when my lunch break hit, I went outside and walked for just under 30 minutes hitting about 3,250 steps. My calves were not happy about it.


Today my workout consisted of the following:

Weigh in: 291.2 (t-shirt, boxers)

Leg curl: 10 x 50 lbs; 10 x 70 lbs x 2
Leg press: 10 x 260 lbs; 10 x 300 lbs x 2
Leg extension: 10 x 50 lbs; 10 x 70 lbs x 2

Just to note about the weigh in - yesterday I had on my shoes and my workout shorts so that accounts for a main difference in the weight. Just need to remember to weigh myself the same way each time.

My quads are burning today... no mercy is right.

It's not being overdone, I know that much. They feel good in a hurting kind of way.

Tomorrow I'll need to find a way to work on my core at home. Since I'm not here at work, I won't be in the gym.

Sunday, January 12, 2014

Strike Hard...

I seem to have woken up with a bit of a cold this morning. Runny nose, sneezing, the whole bit.

Still went to the gym this morning. I committed to myself that today would begin a new regiment of lifting combined with cardio. Now unless I get to work at 3:45 AM, the cardio and lifting don't happen in the same trip. I got to the gym at work this morning at 4:10 and did the following:

Weigh in: 295.4

Bench press - 10 x 95 lbs x 3 sets

Arm curl - 10 x 65 lbs; 10 x 55 lbs; 10 x 45 lbs

Lat pulls  - 10 x 80 lbs x 3 sets

Shoulder press - 10 x 50 lbs; 8 x 40 lbs, 10 x 30 lbs

I left the gym at 4:43, and was at my desk at 4:50. Yes, it takes about seven minutes to get from the gym to my desk, partly because I walked back out to my car and put my gym clothes in it, and also because the gym is on one end of the small building, and I work at the opposite end of the large building here.

I'm not proud of the weigh in number. Cardio, as light as it was, was not getting anything done. I have to build some muscle to start burning fat while I'm up working. I plan to walk around a bit today. I can eat at my desk, so I can spend the 30 minutes I'm required to clock out for lunch walking. That'll get me through the cardio part of my day.

I work 4 days a week, so my plans are to repeat above workout on Sundays, legs on Mondays, core on Wednesdays, and treadmill and/or elliptical time on Thursdays. I may also do a little bit of work with the free weights on Wednesdays. Depends on what exercises I can do for core with the equipment available in our little gym.

I think I can still hit my target of signing up to participate (I almost said "compete" - LOL) in a 5k by the end of May. Note that means "sign up" - or commit (pay fees and fill out registration) by May 31.

I think that's it for now.

Sunday, January 5, 2014

Strike First...

Taking on Elaine’s challenge to create goals, update and share. Here we go.

The last two are not exercise related, really, but are part of overall goals for personal balance. These are outside of general things like spending time with my family, etc.

  1. Lose 50 lbs
    1. I want to lose more, but let’s put a number to reach first and go from there
  2. Enter my first 5 k race by May 31st.
    1. Utah is abundant with 5k, half marathon races. There are a few marquee ones I would like to check out (the Color Run, Dirty Dash, and more), but the first point is actually getting into one (and finishing it).
  3. Determine max lift weights and increase by 25%
    1. I’ll have to update this one when I get into the gym and test these, but examples I’m going for are:
      1. Bench press
      2. Squat
      3. Arm curls 10 x 20 lbs + bar (25?) - 1/5/14
      4. Lat pulls 10 x 100 lbs - 1/5/14
      5. Deadlift
      6. Leg extension 10 x 100 lbs - 1/5/14
      7. Military Press 8 x 40 lbs + bar (45?) - 1/5/14
      8. Shoulder Press 8 x 60 lbs - 1/5/14
        1. Almost forgot - find these maximums by Sunday, Jan 12, 2014 (actually forgot today was Thursday, Elaine told me to take a week to find maximums).
  4. Finish 82 games this year
    1. This will put me at 250 complete games (xbox 360 w/ all achievements attained)
    2. At least 40 are from backlog and at least a year old (ties in with my gamer website)
  5. Raise $500 for Extra Life in 2014
    1. Registration starts Jan. 3, 2014. Plenty of time to start raising money.

You can see that #3 is the primary wait to achieve the first two, by building muscle, I can (hopefully) burn more fat, and get to where I'm slimming down while getting stronger. There's a lot of work to do here.

At the gym at work, I stepped on the scale with shoes, jeans and a t-shirt on and was sitting right at 296 pounds.

While I'll try to update progress on these goals as they happen, another way to view them is go check them out on my public Google Drive page.

Thursday, January 2, 2014

January, 2. Because...

I've noticed over the years that people have become increasingly negative over the concept of New Year's Resolutions. It's (mostly) for good reason, too. It's a ridiculous concept to think that you can put a new calendar on the wall and become a new person over night. People come up with all kinds of different lists, but typical common ones you see everywhere are:

Get fit / lose weight.

Quit smoking.

Volunteer more.

Keep a journal.

and so on, and on, and on.

These are all well and good resolutions, and who knows, this might be the year you actually keep at least one of them. New Year's Resolutions have become either a list of jokes, or a gym full of people on January 1 that looks abandoned by Valentine's Day.

My friend Elaine recently put up her 2014 "goals" - and I like that. She's got a different mindset about how to approach her lifestyle change. One, she started months ago hitting the gym and doing a whole lot more than just cardio. She's deadlifting, working out the shoulders, legs, etc. She has the whole routine mapped out, and for 2014 has set goals. Not resolutions, but goals. In her words,

"Goals are measurable. If you don’t reach them you can say you got 80% there and you will do better next time."
Based on that mindset, I think there can be real progress. I'm not going to get anywhere just walking around for 30 minutes a day. You have to build muscle. I have no idea what I can do in the gym. It's not a lot, except my legs... I think I can leg press over 500 lbs maybe 600, but that doesn't get me anywhere. It's time to build arms, shoulders, chest, calves, etc. I'm never going to get past the first obstacle in the Spartan Race unless I'm actually strong enough to propel my body through them.

This is one of Elaine's actual goals - "At least one pull up with a wide grip from a dead hang." Oh yeah a pull up, something I could never do. I weigh almost 300 pounds. But check this out, "December 2013 status: I can lat pull down 100 lbs for 6 reps. That needs to go to 130 lbs before attempting a pull up." - See... there's a total structure here. She knows what she can lift, and what she needs to get to before her arms will be capable of lifting her body weight.

It's time to reassess some structure here, I think.