Thursday, April 25, 2019

It’s Spring

Training Update:

The earlier sunrise and warmer weather, have made getting out of bed and doing my training much easier. I have done all of my workouts as scheduled over the last two weeks and I’m feeling significantly stronger and more confident. As well, I am being much more meticulous in my eating to facilitate muscle growth.

I noticed this morning that my sprints seem to be getting stronger and faster and I am able to hold top speed noticeably longer.

I am maintaining a slight calorie deficit in order to get within easy striking distance of competitive bodybuilding body fat. Or, in other words, it’s almost swimsuit season. 

Competition update:

I have made no significant progress in identifying specific dates for competitions nor have I  joined USA Track and Field or joined any masters organizations. 

Tip of the Week:

If you want to significantly increase your happiness, learn to listen to and respond to the inner voice that you have inside. It takes some practice to learn to find that voice, and what it tells you may change over the course of a day or your lifetime, but it certainly pays off to listen.

Learn more by listening to our current podcast episode.

Thursday, April 4, 2019

Right Now, I'm Just a Little bit Embarrassed

Training update:

I am a bit embarrassed on two counts. First, I'm a bit embarrassed that it has been so long since I have posted. Not that there were a lot of readers of this blog, but I wanted to continue to write to motivate myself. Second, and probably driving the first, I have been very "hit and miss" in my training and completely ignoring any direct moves towards competition.  

Since last I posted, I have been working out in a dedicated fashion once or twice per week, I've been to the slopes to snowboard once or twice per week, and I'm doing some kind of other movement activity most of the other days of the week. So, my level of fitness is probably OK, not up to my high standards, but certainly it puts me in a position where I can quickly get back up to a competitive level. That said, and finding that this writing is actually motivating, I'm probably not too bad off and should not really be embarrassed. 

Competition update:

As alluded to above, I did not do any bodybuilding competitions in the late fall or early winter, nor did I do any snowboarding competitions, either freestyle or racing. The racing opportunities were rather limited, and they did not fall on days of the week or locations that were conducive for me. Had I been more motivated and focused I could have raised at least two or three times. That's the reality. I need to MoveOn from here and pick my competitions for the upcoming months. I am determined to get back on the bodybuilding stage this year, do at least one or two track meets, and do at least one snowboarding competition before the new year.

Tip of the week:

The tip of the week is to stay tuned for the new podcast that my wife and I are in the midst of producing right now. It is entitled "Just One Thing," and it covers just that, one thing that you can work on step by step to improve your life. We are focusing our broadcast on four areas that will be covered once per week over the course of a month. They are: improving your health and fitness, dealing with and managing stress, enhancing your relationships, and just becoming overall happier. My weekly tips here will likely be an abbreviated version of the topic we cover in our podcast. So, as I said, stay tuned.

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Re-boot: Reestablishing my Relationship with my Athletic Goals

Training Update::

In mid July, Lisa and I went to the Omega Institute for a six day mindfulness-based stress reduction seminar. In other words, we meditated all day, every day, for six days. The impact was profound. Although I have been meditating for 35 years, this one week of intensive activity, seemed to affect me more than all of the previous decades combined. 

When I returned from the seminar, I recognized that I needed to re-establish my relationship with my training and athletic goals. I needed to completely reexamine my motivations and ensure that they were consistent with who I am and how I aim to serve the world. I have been grappling with this now for four months.

When all is said and done, I have come full circle and have actually reembraced everything that I was already doing. At the same time, my motivation and thinking about what I am doing has totally changed and feels more grounded and purposeful. So, even though I have missed a lot of gym time, I am confident that I will get back on track more consistently than I have since I retired almost 2 years ago. 

Competition Update:

Because of the profound mental searching I was going through, the bodybuilding, track and field, and swimming competitions that I had planned for late summer and early fall were canceled. I now need to research and target new competition dates. Through all of this process, my diet has stayed very good, and I have continued to move consistently on a daily basis, albeitt not so much in the gym. Bottom line, it should not take me too long to get back to my competitive peak. 

Tip of the Week:

I have discovered, to my consternation, that reestablishing existing habits is just as difficult as establishing them in the first place. Prior to my retirement, I would habitually go to the gym every day immediately after work. I probably missed no more than two dozen workouts in 10 years. It was a firmly established habit. I did not have to think about getting to the gym and if I actually tried to talk myself into it, those were the days that I missed. 

Now that I am retired, and working out in the mornings, it is a think about it, talk myself into it, process every morning. Not only do I have to get myself to the gym, but I have to make myself get out of a nice, warm, comfortable bed a bit earlier than I would prefer. 

I am hopeful, that my reestablished goals and purpose for training will provide enough reward to help me re-establish those habits on which I depend. 

Thursday, July 5, 2018

Get Back on the Horse as Fast as You Can

Trainig Update:

My training is going well. I am getting to the gym three or four days per week and running, walking, biking, or swimming every day. I'd like to be getting to the gym five or six days a week, but just can't seem to manage it. I'm hoping that the volume of resistance training that I am getting is sufficient to meet my goals. 

I have started to use branched chain amino acids throughout my workouts and, although it may be a strong placebo affect, it seems as though my energy levels and work capacity has improved. 

I am also continuing to work on my sprint starts and they seem to be getting a little better; a little less awkward.

Competition update

I am a little less confident that I am going to be prepared for the pro bodybuilding contest on August 4. I am leaner than I have been since I retired 18 months ago, but I don't know that I can get into true contest shape by the appointed date.

I'm still planning on doing the Maryland senior games in mid August, but have not made the move to actually enter at this point. I need to get to a local track and actually practice some of the distances I have ear marked and practice jumps on a sandpit.

Tip of the week:

Accept that you are never going to be perfect. Continue to work as hard as you can, but be patient with yourself when you don't meet the mark. Just get back on the proverbial horse and try to do better the next hour and the next day. Most importantly, when you do falter, don't give in to the "what the hell "phenomenon and just give up. How quickly you can get back on track with exercise, eating correctly, or getting sufficient rest is more important than whether or not you periodically falter.

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Track and Swim Meets Identified

Training Update:

Training went well this week and I completed all of my scheduled workouts, except for Tuesday morning.  Look at "The Tip of the Week" to see what transpired. My diet was on-point and I continued to reduce body fat without sacrificing any, strength, energy, or lean mass.

Looking towards some track competition, I did a few sprint starts after my run on Monday.  It has been quite a while since injuries have allowed be to attempt such a rapid acceleration, so it felt a bit awkward.  The only way to go is up.

Competition Update:

I have picked out both a track meet and swim meet to target. The Maryland Senior games are holding their track meet, here locally, on 18 August and I aim to do both a couple of sprints and jumps.  As well, the games will be holding their swim meet, nearby, in early September.  It gives me the whole Summer to prepare.

Tip of the Week:

Did not make it to the gym Tuesday morning, so resorted to my "If, Then" strategy. If I don't make it to
the gym, then I will take a long bike ride.. If the weather does not allow cycling, then I will take an
extra long walk. 

I recommend "If, Then" strategies for both working out and sticking to your nutritional plans. If I can' 
break away for lunch, then I will eat mixed nuts and an apple, for example. 

Have plans and actually practice them periodically so that they become second nature. No one is 
perfect, but having a plan keeps you from faltering too badly and staying on track.

Wednesday, May 9, 2018

On Track for Summer Competition

Training update:

The last month or two has produced some good results. I am getting into the gym on a regular basis and my eating has been on point, at least 95% of the time. I am slowly dropping a bit of the excess body fat that I had accumulated over the past year and I'm now sitting at about 7 1/2%. My foam rolling, self massage, and mobility work are paying off. Most of the nagging injuries I have experienced over the past several years seem to be dissipating noticeably. More than anything, that puts me in a positive mood.

Competition update:

At the moment, I am looking at doing a bodybuilding contest in early August, and am on track. As well, I will be joining USA Track and Field and will be looking at one or two masters track meets over the next 3 to 4 months. 

If I am feeling particularly ambitious, I will be joining USA Swimming and will be looking to do one or two swim meets, probably near the end of the summer, when I have had a chance to accumulate some outdoor swimming technique sessions.

Tip of the week:

One of the things that I always recommend to my health coaching clients is to increase vegetable consumption. Ideally, I'd like to see folks eat 2 cups of vegetables with each meal and trying to ensure that there is a lot of variability in the vegetables they use. 

To that end, for myself, I have recently been adding more chopped vegetables into my morning post-workout eggs. I started about six months ago adding a handful of spinach to my scrambled eggs and have recently been adding a half a cup of chopped mushrooms and onions. It not only makes the breakfast tastier, but much healthier with additional micro nutrients. Constant, small improvements are the best way to continuously improve your health and fitness. Relentless but forgiving is the mantra I use for myself.

Monday, September 25, 2017

Back on Track and Making Progress.

As my title indicates, I am back on track and making progress. My dietary habits have been rock solid for the last five weeks and I have been getting regularly back into the gym albeit with a little break after my trip to Ohio.

In addition I have been getting in a lot of bike riding and walks as part of my overall weight management strategy. 

My sprints, that I do after my long runs, have been going very well with both my range of motion in my stride and my stride cadence being quite good. I am optimistic about competing in some track and field at the very latest next spring and possibly an indoor meet or two this coming winter. 

I have been somewhat optimistic about competing in a bodybuilding event or two in November, but I'm not quite sure but I am on target for doing something that soon. I probably could make weight, but would likely do so at the expense of my training intensity and quality.

Competition leanness can be obtained with a calorie deficit that does not negatively impact training quality, but it is a slow process and I am not sure if you can be obtained by early November. I will do a reassessment on the last weekend of October.