R7D47-9 – Picking Up The Pace (and a shocking statistic)

It’s funny how a little thing like a new heart rate monitor can affect your whole attitude and approach to your workouts. At some time we are all guilty of getting in a rut and forgetting that topping up your motivation is as important as topping your salad with avocado. Also, rewards play a really big part in the improvement process and I am not including taking days off or having a “cheat” meal as a reward. I am talking about something outside your usual activity, something tangible, something you can look at and which will remind you of how far you have come. For me, my new Suunto T6D is a constant reminder of what I have achieved. I have been thinking about a reward for myself ever since I hit the 60lbs markร‚ย and until a couple of weeks ago was at a loss, and not only that, I fell into the trap of thinking that I didn’t need a reward, I was fine without it, after all, I know what I have done. That’s just wrong. The whole reason for having a reward system is so that you can learn to accept the rewards of your hard work, psychologically if you don’t reward yourself you are actually subconsciously telling yourself that there is no reward for hard work.

Back to the point. The small device has caused me to stick steadfastly to my schedule this week. Not only because I am fascinated with my movescount.com results or my firstbeat analysis but also because I feel good about doing what I need to and even better about getting rewarded for it. So to end off the week I took Friday off, my legs and back were sore and I was feeling a bit tired, and knowing I would be working out all weekend and taking Monday off it seemed like it would be OK. Saturday for some bizarre reason I decided instead of doing Pure Cardio like I was supposed to I thought I would go for a run despite it being over 40 with the humidex. In reality I wanted to check out the GPS and the foot pod on my new watch so off I went. It wasn’t far, I think my total distance was only 3.6km and total time was 37 minutes with warm up and down and so on. But I was in my vibrams and the ground was so hot my feet were on fire, not to mention that I did the hills that I had done before Warrior Dash as a change which was easier since they have actually mowed that area since I did it last. I was happy with the run, and couldn’t wait to see my route all mapped out on Google Earth. It wasn’t until I had spent several minutes on the Suunto site and various forums that I discovered that although the watch uses GPS to log distance and speed, it doesn’t actually map your route. Apparently the points data is in the watch or the pod somewhere they just don’t choose to use it. I find that puzzling and a little annoying to be honest. I am happy that the reason I got the watch was for fitness not for distance or GPS enabled tracking. I don’t recall reading anywhere in the literature that you can’t map with the Suunto GPS unit. It almost seems ridiculous in fact that you can’t. I wonder if in the future they will be coming out with an updated GPS unit you can download from or add that functionality to the watch. Anyway, I was disappointed on 2 fronts, the foot pod didn’t seem to work either but that could be a dead battery. I am glad I got this used for cheap, if I had paid for the runners pack I would be packing it up and returning it! But, to be honest, I am really not interested in the GPS function or the foot pod. I got the watch for the thing it is best at, running the HR monitor.

Sunday I paid for the run. My back was sore, my legs ached and it took a good couple of hours until I felt anywhere like exercising. However, I sucked it up and decided to do the Back and Biceps workout I had skipped on Friday. I modified it a bit and took my 35lb dbs outside and did a circuit of 3 pullup types and 3 curl types.


Wide front pullups
double bicep curl
Reverse grip pullup (or deadlift grip)
French curl (or Hammer)
Narrow grip pullups
Single arm bicep concentration curls

The total came out to 95 reps for back, 95 for biceps.

My Shocking statistics…

In putting together my statistics today I added my latest body composition numbers and I was shocked to look back at where I started. At my heaviest back in 2008 (on my 1st wedding anniversary!) I was for all intents and purposes 295lbs at a whopping 30% fat. That meant I was approximately 200lbs of person and 100lbs of fat.

If I wasn’t disgusted enough at myself before I sure am now!

My latest numbers are a little more encouraging but still a little off base. I am down to approximately 18% fat at around 235lbs which means I am 195lbs of man and 44lbs of stored energy ๐Ÿ˜‰ Given those stats and knowing I should be about 12-15% fat, I should be aiming at a goal weight of around about 218lbs-224lbs. Just knowing that I am only about 15 lbs away from my goal weight is mindblowing! But realizing that I have lost around 56lbs of fat and only around 5lbs of lean mass is an incredible statistic. It shows that I am doing things right and not just becoming a smaller fatter person like so many people do.

For those who believe the numbers for the “average” male are lower, I grant, being 10% would be great but being 215lbs is just not realistic of a goal for me to set at this point. I have my mind set on being 225lbs by the end of the year and I think that may be a challenge to reach especially given that I am currently struggling with a plateau of 235lbs. But it is only the end of July, there is a lot of life left in this year and a lot of workouts to be done!



R7D23 – The Hills

Standing all day yesterday at my new upright desk made my legs tired. I knew when I got home that I was going to have to go and run somewhere to get my running muscles back into shape before Warrior Dash. So after a quick rest on the couch and once the baby was in bed I ventured out to the large hill just by my house and beat the snot out of myself for half an hour. I haven’t run in a long time and as anyone who knows me can attest I hate running more than anything. Sprints and hills are different though, it’s more of a test of will and courage than the dishonour of jogging. So I blasted up and down this large grassy hill for what seemed like an eternity making sure my heart rate was at least as high as when I do Insanity workouts. I have to admit, as far as “running” goes it was OK, at least it’s something I can see myself doing again. It was a sub for chest and back, but realistically it was actually a rest week workout. I will maybe squeeze some of the original workouts in here too, transforming a rest week into a cardio week. I can count running as a bona fide skill since Crossfit requires some short distance (usually 100-400m) runs as part of certain WODs.

The plan, as it was, looked like this:

3รƒโ€”3 Clean and Press Ladders Plus Dice Roll Snatches
Core Synergistics
3รƒโ€”3 Clean and Press Ladders Plus Dice Roll Snatches
Cardio Recovery
Core Synergistics
Cardio Core and Balance
Yoga X

I think the revised plan will look like:

Monday: Off, coaching
Tuesday: Hills and Sprints
Wednesday: WOD with gymnastics girls
Thursday: Cardio Recovery
Friday: Core Synergistics
Saturday: RKC
Sunday: RKC

I have also FINALLY updated the links on the right to reflect the P90X content page which outlines all the exercises in all the P90X DVDs. There are not really any explanations of the moves, those are found all over the internet but just the names. Check it out!


G-Day 4 – 5K Run for Charity

Share the outdoors with your kids. They will thank you for it (even if they are 40 before they do...)

Share the outdoors with your kids. They will thank you for it (even if they are 40 before they do…)


Rather than spend my time alone in the basement, I took the opportunity to go on the 30th Annual Howl On The Hill 5k run with my wife and some kids from her Fit Kids class. I am sad to say there wasn’t much running to be done but spending time with kids and in the cool autumn air was a great experience. It brought back many memories of being a kid out hiking with my Dad in the Yorkshire Moors complaining about how far it was to the next Youth Hostel. In those days we did 15 miles a day at age 12, these kids were complaining about a 5k walk on suburban streets. Can’t blame them, of course, they are products of their environment and I think all kids are, to some degree, wired to whinge a lot of the time. However, they will grow up with their own pleasant memories and as I get older I realize just how lucky I was as a child not to live in a big city and to have parents who cared about and loved my sister and me enough to truck us out to the countryside and make us carry our own backpacks from Youth Hostel to Youth Hostel where we had to help in the cooking, cleaning and general upkeep of the hostel once we got there. Life wasn’t hard by any means and looking back on it I really really loved those weekends away and although I seem to have lost my point along the way here, those memories of my childhood exercising with my Dad are some of the best that I have. Maybe as a surrogate point here we should agree that although fitness and weight loss are incredibly personal things, they are also things that you can share with your kids and maybe give them some memories like I have of times out in the open country with their parents just having fun.

Tony is a great motivator and an awesome specimen but spending time with him instead of your kids is not the idea. The point is to do what you can with him to make sure you are able to do the other fun stuff with them.

Balance, I am a fan…

I Ran (G-Day 2 – Plyo Substitute)

Knee pain? Hip pain? Low back pain while running? Check your ITB.

Knee pain? Hip pain? Low back pain while running? Check your ITB.

As I was preparing to go down to the basement to do Plyo with Tony, the ever modest, humble Tony, I recalled something he says during the Plyo workout. “You should see me play hoops after doing this for a couple of months… Unbelievable”. Well, I wondered just what he could have meant by unbelievable and if there was an equivalent level of disbelief that I could test for myself. So I decided that I would go for a jog. Now, those who know me are familiar with my stature and know at first sight that although my body is designed for many things, running is not one of them. The last time I ran with any regularity was after I graduated University and was still playing club rugby for the Oakville Crusaders. That was many many years ago and also many many pounds ago. When I was playing last I weighed about 210lbs. I currently weigh in at about 255lbs, mostly due to a big push during the late ’90s when I gained about 40lbs of muscle over the course of about 2 years while trying to make a living as a personal trainer. Anyway, the point being that running is in my far distant past. I have tried over the last few years since my back surgery to run so that I could drop some weight but my runs were more of a walk with some really fast walking mixed in. I would call it jogging but that would probably be an insult to joggers everywhere. I developed shin splints, my tight hip/ITB tore at my knee joints and the whole experience was awful.

Needless to say, my expectations were low and as the rain lightly fell on my face I started out into the darkness to see if my 3 month affair with Tony had been worth it. With my iPod on and thoughts of Tony berating his minions I forged ahead, expecting the usual sad performance. However, I am happy to report that I completed approximately 2.25 miles only stopping at the 3 major intersections to stretch my ITB. Other than that, I RAN THE WHOLE WAY!!!! Unbelievable doesn’t even cover my feeling after I was done and even though the elusive “runner’s high” was nowhere to be found, I was definitely impressed with myself and can say without any uncertainty that P90X was the ONLY reason I was able to do what I did. I know it may not seem like much, but one man’s 2.25 mile jog is another man’s 350lb bench press.

So colour me tickled, I was very happy with myself. That was, of course, until I tried to get out of bed the next day.

Tony, I hate him, but I love him…