Update #1

One of the reasons for starting this blog was to document my journey in fitness.  Since I haven’t done that yet, I decided today would be my first update.

My lifting goals center around the following four lifts and are as follows:

  1. Trap Bar Dead-lift – one rep max of 300
  2. Floor Press – one rep max of 200 (I don’t have a bench yet)
  3. Bulgarian Split Squat – one rep max of two 52.5 dumbbells plus a 20 lb weighted vest
  4. Dumbbell Shoulder Press – one rep max of 52.5 lbs (my dumbbells max out at 52.5 lbs)

I started this journey in March and below is my personal best in March and my current personal best.

  1. Trap Bar Dead-lift – March 230 lbs; Currently 250 lbs
  2. Floor Press – March 145 lbs; Currently 170 lbs
  3. Bulgarian Split Squat – March 35 lb dumbbells; Currently 50 lb dumbbells
  4. Dumbbell Shoulder Press – March 40 lb dumbbells; Currently 50 lb dumbbells

Since I have been doing predominantly body-weight training for the last 10+ years I am pleased with my progress so far.  I know I have a long way to go to reach my goals but feel confident I will get there by next May.



Working Through Aches and Pains

The last few weeks of working out have been inconsistent at best due to my constantly dodgy lower back.  I can remember having pain in my lower back pop up since I was in high school.  I always just dealt with it until it went away.  It wasn’t until a few years ago that my boss at the time convinced me (or ordered me, it depends how you look at it) to go to the chiropractor.  After a week of very heavy snowfall and a lot of shoveling I couldn’t stand up straight and was having trouble walking.  After an adjustment or two I was feeling great and a believer in chiropractic care.

I also found that when I go consistently my migraine headaches are reduced in both intensity and frequency.  Unfortunately, I have not been going regularly these past few months and my headaches and back pain have been back.  Once again, just dealing with it was not working.  Over the past few weeks I have visited my chiropractor twice and my back is feeling much better.

During the last few weeks while my back has been at it’s worst, I tried to get some type of workout in each day.  I focused on lower intensity rides on the Schwinn Airdyne and rowing.  These really helped to loosen my back up.

Any time I have an injury, headache or an illness I always wonder if I should train.  Unless it is really bad most times I do.  This time it was especially frustrating because I have been making good progress lately, getting stronger and better conditioned each month.

I believe I dealt with the back pain very well and found a good balance.  Most days over those few weeks I concentrated on lower intensity conditioning.  This allowed me to continue working towards one of my goals while not causing further injury.  In fact, I believe it helped me heal quicker by helping to keep my back loose.  When I did feel well enough to lift I made sure to wear my weight belt (I don’t always wear it; although I should) and I really focused on my form.

As I get older I am more aware of the necessity of training smarter.  I wish I had learned it when I was younger!

My first blog post

A little about me and the reason behind this blog.  I have been working out in one form or another for the majority of my life.  For the most part it has been at home, although I did work out at a local commercial gym for a while during high school and at my college’s gym during my junior and senior years.  I have tried Soloflex, Bowflex and Total Gym.  In fact, I still own a Bowflex and a Total Gym.  I’ve tried Tae Bo, Charles Atlas Dynamic Tension workout, running, weightlifting, HIT, bodybuilding programs etc.  I’ve never been able to quite put it all together for some reason.  Currently I am training in my ever evolving garage gym and I love it.  I very much am enjoying having a garage gym.

Recently I explored the reasons behind why I am working out.  I decided the most important reason quite simply and the only one that really matters at this time in my life is to be around for a long time and be able to take care of my family. (I am 45 years old and my youngest child is 1.)  Once I determined the why I thought it would be wise to come up with some goals and I came up with the following list:

  1. To be as strong as I can be.  Since I have been doing predominantly body-weight exercises for a long time, I felt my strength could use improvement.  I switched from body-weight and Bowflex to all free weights for my strength exercises.  I have picked some core strength exercises and set goals.  (I will write more about those later.)
  2. To be as fit and well conditioned as I can be.  This one I feel is a bit vague so I have decided to use the Crossfit workout Murph as my measuring stick.  I have never done this workout as prescribed but have set my goal to perform it as prescribed next Memorial Day weekend and to hopefully have a somewhat respectable time.

Now for the reason behind the blog.  It’s simple, accountability.  I wanted to put myself out there a little bit with the intention of it providing me with motivation to not skip workouts, to give all I have during my workouts and to hopefully improve my diet and do better with my sleep.  I tend to burn the candle at both ends which is what I am doing right now while I type this blog.

I have a few things working  against me such as a large family (with two under three years old sleep sometimes is a battle), bad knees and a bad back to name a few.  But these are small issues which I feel can become no issue with a little bit of planning and discipline.

Thanks for joining me on my journey to getting as fit as I can.