Slimmer Fit

Dedication. Commitment. Focus. Effort. These are all things I need to focus on, and not just to reach the finish line at a Tough Mudder event. I’m getting married next year, and the qualities listed above are four out of hundreds of things I need to work on in order to be a better partner for my wife-to-be.

Getting in shape and becoming healthy are also on my list, and not just because I want to look good in wedding pictures (I’ll admit, it’s a nice bonus). By taking steps toward a healthier me now, I could be adding years onto my life. My dad died at 51, his dad at 59. I’m 27, and I don’t feel like my life’s halfway over. I want to give as many years as I can to my future wife and, hopefully, my future kids; the best way to do that is to start now.

Squats: A Love/Hate Relationship

Yesterday was my first day in the gym in a long time. The program I’m doing calls for squats every day. I love squats. I also hate squats. 

I love squats because they work the full body, including all the little stabilizer muscles that nobody ever thinks about. I do ass-to-grass squats to make sure I’m developing not just my quadriceps, but my hamstrings, glutes, and hips as well. I also feel like a real badass when I get down with all that weight and bring it right back up. 

I hate squats because I definitely feel that I’ve done them the next day, and even the day after. When I take an extended break from working out, squats remind me how bad an idea that was by making my body feel like Jell-O. Additionally, the only two times I’ve ever been hurt in the gym were while I was squatting. Those injuries were related to poor form, but it’s something I remember each time I get under the bar. The only thing worse than getting sidelined by laziness is getting sidelined by preventable injury.

Hopefully, my love of the squat will eclipse my hate of the pain and weariness that comes with it. Restarting this journey hasn’t been the easiest decision, physically or mentally, but it has to get done. In addition to completing a Tough Mudder, I have a new target in my crosshairs–one I’ll talk more about on Friday. 

Back in Business

It’s been quite a while, but I’m back on the blog. Things I have lined up include a look at my training schedule, analyzing what I eat, the occasional personal post, and shout outs to things/people/blogs that motivate/inspire/otherwise affect what I write here.

You’ve been neglected, dwindling readership. No longer. 

Tumble Dry

I’ve been busy posting on Tumblr, and not here. My bad, folks.

I’ve done a gym switch, and I’m back to strength training after a bout with injury and laziness. That’s all you’ve missed, really. I’ll be sure to start posting workouts and other stuff here as well as Tumblr.

Full Measure

In efforts to change things up a bit, I’m going to be part of a training group from October 1st until December 21st. The idea is to increase accountability in order to accomplish short-term goals. Pretty nifty. I won’t write about anyone else’s progress–it’s a secret group of sorts, and I don’t want to put anyone else’s personal information out in public–but I’ll update you on what progress I make.

Part of the group ‘requires’ that we take our measurements. Because I’m a guy, two thoughts instantly came to mind:

1.) I’ll just measure my waist.
2.) Wait, I shouldn’t have to measure my waist–my pant size will tell me everything I need to know!

I still stand by the first bit (because fuck it, that’s why) but the second bit didn’t hold up for very long. The reason I thought it should be simple is because men’s pants are supposedly sized very simply (waist circumference x inseam). I noticed, however, that although all of my pants are listed the same size, each pair fits differently. So I broke down, got a measuring tape, and took my waist measurement. The result was more than a bit shocking.

My waist measured 52 inches. Fifty fucking two. I checked, and double-checked, and read to make sure I measured using the correct method. Yep, I did. That’s no good, but it wasn’t the worst part. My pants? Totally a size 42. That’s a difference of ten inches, for the mathematically impaired. Goddammit.

Lots of shit needs to change, and there’s plenty to rant about. For now, though, I’m just focusing on the work. Mud on, Mudder Lovers.

Eating Better, Feeling Better

Early morning. One cup of coffee and a banana for breakfast. Sounds small because it is. But it’s enough to stop my stomach from rumbling, which is all I need in the morning. I should probably eat more, but it’s difficult.

That last sentence is actually a theme running through each of my days. As funny as it sounds, I don’t think I’m eating enough. I think it’s a leftover sentiment from the days when I would eat too much garbage food. Each item had a boatload of calories and guilt attached. Now, with the better, real food that I’m eating, I struggle to eat as much as I need. I keep hearing Little Voice saying things like, “You’re eating again?!” Even when it’s a stick of celery or something.

What a twat that guy is.

Fact is, eating healthy (in my mind) means eating real food, and eating enough to sustain myself. If that means eating more frequently, then fine. It’s not like I’m hitting the drive-thru six times a day. (Six times? Even at Taco Bell, that would be expensive.)

I’ve been looking at the search terms people use when they land on this blog. As you might expect, most of them are looking for ‘tough mudder training’ or a workout that will help them get into TM shape. Understandable, but I doubt that this will ever turn into that. This is just me documenting my progress toward a goal, and the thoughts/feelings that go along with that progress. From time to time, I may post a workout on here, but it would be more of an interest of mine than a prescription for you.

Enough for now. I think I’ve convinced myself to have a snack.

Workout Gear: Reebok Realflex Transition

Obnoxiously bright, but what the hell.

I got a lot of questions about the shoes I picked up yesterday. Never thought that so many people on the Internet would care about what’s on my feet, and to be honest I feel kind of dirty. Nevertheless, I aim to please, so here’s your info.

They are Reebok Realflex Transition shoes (take a peek at ‘em here, or search for them). I went with the Frenchy Blue/Sunrock/White color combo, although the Gravel/Flat Gray/Maximum Orange might have been more Tough Mudder-y of me. I found a good deal for them on Finish Line’s website, but because I range anywhere from a size 13 to size 15, I never have confidence buying online. Hoping to snag a pair in person, I made my way over to Dick’s on my lunch break. They did have a size 13, which fit like a glove (thankfully), but they wanted about $30 more for them, so I walked out of that piece and called the Finish Line store at the Fayette Mall to see if they might have the shoe in my size and color. They did, and they were able to do an online price match–something Dick’s wasn’t able to do for a competitor–so Finish Line got the business. As I walked out of the store, I could feel the presence of my mom, sister, and girlfriend congratulating me on my $30 savings. Thanks, ladies.What makes this shoe a great training shoe? From a technical standpoint, I don’t know. The television ads and website promos will list the features, adornments, upgrades, and all other sorts of shit for hours on end. In all of that, I’m sure there’s something that makes them objectively. I’m just not knowledgeable enough (about either shoes or running) to tell you what that is. I can, however, say what it is I like about them. They’re light on my feet, and they provide excellent support. My old shoes felt squishy, and every step I took made me feel like I was unstable. My first run in the Realflex shoes was last night, and I noticed an immediate difference. Part of that might be because they’re new shoes, part of that might be because I’ve lost twenty pounds since the last time I was actually running, and part of that might be because I was running outside instead of inside. Again, I don’t know what exactly was at work. I just know that it felt different, and it felt much better.

I’ll say that, when it comes to gear, I don’t know much. I just do my research, weed out the good stuff from the bullshit, and go with what I feel will work best for me. With that in mind, remember that no matter what I say about any piece of equipment on here, it’s just my opinion. What works for me may not work for you. Read up, try things out, go with your gut, and do some trial and error. You’ll end up not only with equipment you love, but with the knowledge you gained along the way.