Working out is just what I do, now. It’s gone far beyond just being a newly-established habit. After 2 years of mostly-consistent efforts, I can’t really exclaim any sort of exuberant “I’m still going strong!” By now, it’s just a matter-of-fact part of my life. I have still skipped workouts for short periods (work/school exhaustion, illness, depression), so my progress in these reports always feels a little hindered by that; I sometimes wonder how much further ahead I might be if I didn’t suffer from these bouts of having to play catch-up. Still, though, as my weight gain attests to, below, I’m still movin’ along just fine.
For this report, I did something a little different, too. I made a video! OMG! I’ll still list my current routine (in less detail, save for the cardio which isn’t covered in the video), but if you are really that interested in what I do to improve my health, watch my grand production. It’s 30 minutes, and I cut what I could, but this is as much for me as it is for anyone else — think of it as a documentary, not just a regular movie… that’ll help. I wanted to be able to look back at this and not just see samples of each exercise that I had done in the past, but really see how well (or poorly) I moved throughout an entire set. This video serves as a great visual marker of my current fitness abilities, and that’s its goal, but I tried to make it a little entertaining, too 🙂 .
After 2 years of exercise…
…this is what I look like:
…this is what I weigh:
142 lbs (a gain of 10 stinkin’ lbs. in 6 months!)
…this is what I use:
Pull-up and monkey bars at nearby park, my body’s weight, a long rope, a jump rope, a tennis ball, and my own two feet.
…this is what I do (and what I can do, as of this week):
So, I’m up at 6am, and I grab a nutritional supplement drink before I exercise. I alternate between 2 different routines, with no days off.
Day 1 – Cardio – I started doing Tabata intervals of my own design, using movements that I have learned about over the years (burpees, jumping jacks, spider walks, lumber jacks, etc.), and as of right now I have decided to alternate every few months between that (short, intense) and jogging (long, endurance-focused). Right now, I am still really trying to get my form under control for my jogging, as I’ve had a couple of days where my left knee was sore enough that I had to stop. My lungs can keep me going, at a slow pace, for about 20 minutes, but after watching myself on video (recorded it after my workout, so I could see myself), today I upped my pace and speed and I only lasted about 9 minutes. I feel a lot better today, though, so I think it’s going well.
Day 2 – Bodyweight – Walk ~15 minutes to nearby park to do body-weight workout routine. I started doing 2 sets of each exercise group (upper-body, lower-body, core) and then jump rope in-between each of these groups.
As of today, I do… (I’m not counting them, this time.. they’re in the video)
– Wide-grip pull-ups
– Tuck squats [found at strengthunbound.com]
– Hanging leg raises
– Loose-grip pull-ups
– Pistol squats
– Hanging leg raises
– Jump rope, 1-hop, medium then to quick speed (~30 seconds)
– Bar dips
– Single-leg bridge lifts
– Hanging oblique raises/corkscrew twist
– Overhead triceps extensions w/rope
– Some hamstring thing I came up with (twerk-ish)
– Side plank with dip
– Jump rope, backwards, medium speed (~30 seconds)
– Inverted row w/rope
– Wide-legged sumo squat
– Back extensions
– Inverted row again
– Shallow squats
– Jump rope, single-leg in-place skips (~30 seconds)
– Pull-up Shrugs
– Walking lunges
– Jog backwards
– Hindu pushups
– Standing calf raises on bench-edge
– Grip practice with tennis ball while walking home
…this is what I’m proud to have accomplished:
Honestly, I don’t really feel as if I’ve accomplished anything special since my last report. I’m actually most intrigued by my weight gain. I think I padded on a little extra body fat this winter, but it wasn’t much… so gaining 10 pounds in 6 months is quite a feat for me. This is very much due to the fact that I’ve jumped up to doing 2 sets of just about every type of movement. So, I’m now less than 10 pounds away from the most I’ve ever weighed, and unlike then, this is all lean muscle. That’s kinda fun 🙂 .
Also, until I saw the video, I always felt as if I was leaning too far forward during my dips — and I’m glad to see that my senses were off on that.
…this is where I’d like to be for the next progress report:
Speaking of the video, it was actually phenomenally beneficial to me. Granted, some of the angles don’t really portray my movement in the best light, so it seems as if I’m not doing as much as I am, but I have learned so much from being able to watch my form on exercises. Some things are already fantastic, like my pull-ups or inverted rows, but I saw a lot of little ways that I can improve just about every other exercise. I was nursing my left knee a little during my single-leg squats, but I am very aware that my left leg is still not as flexible as my right, and I want to keep working on that.
Really, though, by next report I’d love to have just pushed myself really hard in every aspect. I sort of hit a plateau of comfort, which is why I jumped to doing 2 sets, but I know that there are more complicated progressions that I can move towards (like with my planche goals), and I hope to be able to prattle off a list of accomplishments next time!
And there we have it. Comments and questions are very welcome (especially if you’ve watched the video and ESPECIALLY from you, Sahara), and I hope you’re taking care of YOURself, too – because if I can do it, so can you 🙂 .