Walking Activity 7.61 km | RunKeeper

Today I completed both my gym routine (weights) and a walk with the Manawatu Striders club.  Both went really well.

I can now manage 10,10,8  with the lateral raises  (working my way up to the 3×12 that my program specifies).

Smith machine squatsI’m still finding squats in the smith machine quite difficult.  I’m only doing 30kg which is significantly less than most people can do (my little brother does way more!).  I wonder if it’s something to do with my lordosis (excessively curved spine) and what I might be able to do about that…   It is getting my heart rate up a lot, which is the point after all.  I guess I’ll make small gains over time.

I recently decided I wanted to get into walking/running so made contact with Manawatu Striders.  They meet Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays.  At this stage I think I’ll go along on Tuesdays.

There was a good turn out at tonight’s meeting – about 20 people.  We went for a walk up Summerhill drive.  I was really surprised with how fast these mostly older people could walk!  I got talking to a nice lady and we ended up being at the back of the pack despite me thinking I was walking pretty fast.  Anyway it was a nice walk.  Could feel it in my glutes and lower back – but no pain, no gain, right?

Nice healthy dinner of tuna and vegetables tonight, with strawberries and yoghurt for dessert.

Walking Activity 7.61 km | RunKeeper.


My program: cardio and core day

Total time:  1 hour

3min @ 10k flat
3min @ 10k 5% incline
4x 1min intervals at 12k

Back extensions  3×12

Sideways hyperextensions  3×12 each side

Rowing machine  3x300m sprints

Medicine Ball fetch and retrieve (crunches)  x16
Bicycle crunches  x20
Swiss ball pelvic raise  x15
Swiss ball leg raises  x20
Prone bridge  40sec
[superset x2]

Water grinder  (upper body ergometer)  30sec sprint
Max push up hold
[superset x10]

Sunday: Weigh in

Previous Weight:  99.0kg
Current weigh: 97.4kg
Loss:  1.6kg

So I’m pretty pleased with that!  I thought I’d hit a plateau.  Nice to see things are ticking along smoothly and that my splurges on fish and chips this week didn’t do too much damage.  At this rate I might reach my (first) goal of 90kg in January or so…

imageToday was cardio day at the gym, and I got through most of it okay.  The water grinder, which is the last exercise in my program (and also one of the hardest), was out of action. I did jump on the cross trainer instead but by that stage I was exhausted… and because I was sweating like a pig, that told me an early finish was in order.

So I’m still working my way up to actually doing my program as specified… but I’m not far of it now.  This is my 3 attempt and I think I’ll have mastered it after 3 more.

Running Activity 4.61 km | RunKeeper

Running Activity 4.61 km | RunKeeper.

time:  34:21
calories:  464

Today was my day off the gym but I hate not doing anything so I went for a run instead.  Last week I jogged 5km non-stop for the first time, but I wasn’t able to do so today;  I think I’m feeling pretty fatigued.  I jogged for about 3km but then walked for most of the rest (stopping to buy milk on the way).

My right foot is still going numb at about the 4km mark, as it has on previous runs.  I have a leg-length deficiency;  my left leg is 1cm shorter than my right, and although I have a heel wedge in my left shoe, I think this deficiency might be the cause of my right foot numbness.  I’ll have to go see somebody about it.

Last night I was feeling a bit depressed and pigged out on fish and chips again…  sigh. This was after having a chicken burger and milkshake for lunch.  I always seem to turn to junk food when I’m feeling tired/drained.

Maybe I’m pushing it too hard?  But I’m not making much weight loss progress recently.  Gah.  It seems to be getting harder recently, not easier.

Workout Music

A couple of friends have asked for recommendations of good music to work out to.

My gym has a pretty good playlist (that includes a lot of the songs below) so I don’t usually take my iPod with me.

But here I’ve created a playlist of some songs that get me pumped for when I’m working out at home. You’ll probably know most of the songs here. It’s all upbeat dance stuff – great for cardio. Check it out – you mind find something new you like.

What songs get you pumped to work out? Let me know.

If you don’t like this widget, you can view the playlist here:

Friday Circuits

Every Friday at lunch time my gym offers a 1 hour circuits session.  Circuits reminds me of doing phys-ed at high school.  A group of about 10 of us went out onto the grass outside the gym where little exercise stations had been set up.  The idea is that 1 or 2 people start at each station, do the exercise for 2 minutes, then a whistle is blown and we rotate to the next station.

imageToday’s stations were:
Agility ladder  (pictured)
Sled drag (weighted)
Tyre flip  (pictured)
Stick wrestling (with a partner)
Running with weights
Tyre throwing

Apparently Debbie (trainer) has an army background, which explains why these exercises are a bit different.

Today was my second attempt at circuits and it was hard.  Hard is good, I guess.  Circuits combines both cardio and weight exercises so it didn’t take long for me to get my heart rate up and keep it up.

imageBut there are some things I don’t like about circuit training. The exercises are uncontrolled. By this I mean it’s not like using machines inside the gym that are specially designed to target a specific muscle, while not causing harm to any of your other muscles.  Doing circuits, you’re often using a lot of muscles at once, but often I was scared I was going to do some damage.  For example, in flinging tyres across the field I was worried I’d put my back out.  I also didn’t like getting my hands dirty flipping tractor tyres in the damp grass  (prissy, I know…)

imageMidway through we were asked to do fireman lifts (pictured) with a partner.  I’ve never attempted this before and I didn’t give it a go… don’t think I’m quite ready for that yet  (my back was already starting to hurt).

Overall, it was nice to do something different, but it was difficult.  I will keep going along once a week or once a fortnight for some variation.  These sort of drills "toughen you up" but aren’t overly pleasant to do, because they push me a bit further than what I’m comfortable with.  I know being pushed hard is good, but I really dislike it when it gets to the point that I’m not enjoying it and it hurts.

Maybe I’ll harden up a bit and get used to it in the future.

I rewarded myself with a chicken burger and strawberry milkshake at the gym café afterward.  Good idea or bad idea?

My program: weights day

Because my main goal with weight training is to get my cardio level up, my weight-lifting exercises are often combined into “supersets”, which means doing one set of one exercise, quickly followed by one set of another exercise, before resting and repeating.  Exercises grouped together below indicate a superset.

Rowing machine 1000m

Smith Machine squats  12@30kg   (now 40kg)
Jump squats x10

Incline dumbbell chest press  3×12@10kg  (now 12.5kg)

Barbell bent over rows  3×12@20kg  (now 25kg)

Standing dumbbell shoulder press  30sec@7kg   (now 12x8kg)
Dumbbell lateral raises  30sec@4kg    (now 10x5kg)

Barbell bicep curls 21’s@15kg
Reverse barbell curls 10@15kg

Triceps pushdown  12@42kg
Standing dumbbell overhead triceps 10@8kg

These weights might seem low, but I’m not very strong at all and find this pretty hard. Of course, I’ll bump them up when I feel stronger.

Weights day 2 – getting easier

Today was the second day of going through my new weights program.  Every 3-4 months, I get reassessed by the gym team, go over my goals and am given a new program to do for the next few months.

This time I saw Sheree (trainer) for the first time, and either she has a lot of confidence in me, or she really wants to help with my weight loss, because this new program is hard!  A real step up from my last one.  In fact, I wasn’t able to finish it the first time…  today I just made it.

I’ll lay out my routines in the next post.  I have two programs that I do on alternate days – one for cardio and core exercises, and the other for weight training.  While I don’t have a desire to get buff  (would rather just be slimmer), it seems to be accepted that doing weights is a great method of burning fat.

The past week, I’ve actually been quite sore in the days following trying this new program for the first time.  So sore, in fact, I had to take a couple days off.

imageOn my cardio day,  it was back extensions that got me.  The program had specified 3 sets of 20, but there’s just no way I can do that much.  I’ve settled on 3×12 for now.  One of the gym-goers warned me that the first time he did back extensions, he felt very sore the next day; even though I was expecting it, I was a little surprised. The exercise doesn’t seem so hard when you are doing it.  Anyway, my back was really sore for a few days afterwards.

imageOn my weights day, the exercise I’m finding hardest is dumbbell lateral raises.  I’m doing this in combination with shoulder presses.  I’m only using 4kg in each arm, but hell, it’s difficult!  I’m supposed to do 30 seconds of each exercise, but I only seem to manage about 6 lateral raises at the moment.  The day after my first weights day, my shoulders were so sore I actually felt like crying at the gym.  I mentioned it to a trainer but just got told that "pain was good".  Hmmmph.

Thankfully, I’m not sore after today’s workout, though I might be tomorrow morning.  I’m actually feeling pretty good today… and productive.

Tonight’s dinner:  Green curry chicken with capsicum, peas and brown rice.


Name:  Geoff
Age:  27
Location:  Palmerston North, New Zealand
Height:  181cm
Starting weight:  114kg
Current weight:  99kg

Welcome to my fitness journal.  My primary motivation for losing weight and getting fit is to get on top of my depression – something I’ve experienced since I was 17.  However, it’s only been this past year that I have started to take exercise and looking after myself seriously.

The highest weight I’ve ever recorded was 114kg in November 2010.  At this time I was struggling with depression very much, ate insane amounts of junk food (lots of coke, chocolate, potato chips and fish&chips for dinner or lunch almost every day) and got very little exercise (if walking to the shops to buy more junk food counts!).

I hated the way I felt and looked; I was always breathing heavily, felt sluggish and I started to get heart palpitations and chest pains, usually after I’d eaten fish and chips.  This started to really concern me, and after seeing a doctor I discovered my blood pressure was alarmingly high for someone my age.  We monitored it for a few months but eventually I had to be put on blood pressure medication

My doctor prescribed me a green prescription which was introductory gym classes and lessons on healthy eating etc.  The best part about it was after the course had finished, I was able to join a great gym at a discounted rate.

I found the gym very hard at first and although I knew I wanted to lose weight, I really struggled with motivation.  I decided it would be easier (and less embarrassing) at first to workout at home on my Nintendo Wii  (EA Sports Active 1&2, Wii Fit Plus, etc).  I had some success with this, but it was very on/off.  Though I had joined a gym with the best of intentions, I hardly went in the first 6 months.

It was in June this year  (6 months ago) I started taking an antidepressant medication that changed my life.  I had already tried 5 different medications in the past, which were no help whatsoever, so I was completely stoked that this one started to work almost immediately.  It was like I was taking speed (I imagine); I was suddenly motivated and had lots of energy.

I started going to the gym 5 mornings a week and I no longer craved all the junk food I had been eating.  Seriously, I just didn’t need it any more.  I was amazed at how much this drug helped, and I felt somewhat validated; after years of low self esteem and self-doubt, this drug proved that I had a chemical imbalance that had been making my life extremely difficult.  And now I was able to manage that.

As you can see from the graph above, the weight started coming off immediately. Faster at first, but still at an okay rate today.  I’ve lost 15kg since this time last year, but most of it in the last 6 months.

This is only the beginning.  I want to go a lot further with this.

So much happens in a weight loss journey, and there are many aspects to consider.  I’ve started this blog so I can keep track of my progress and process all my thoughts to stay on top of things.  I hope it will keep me motivated to succeed.

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