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Archive for the Category "fitness"

Mens Health Urbanathlon Sydney 2012 Apr 22

I entered into this as part of the team from my gym, wasn’t sure if I could do it, but what the hell. Nothing ventured nothing gained!

The guys at the gym held weekly training sessions for it, but unfortunately due to holidays and then the house settling I just didn’t have time to get to them, so the nervousness was going up. Got even higher as while i was still getting in three training sessions a week during the house move i had stopped running as just not enough time.

Had to be up by 5:30am to get in there in time to register, pick up my kit and be in the chute. Got really nervous on the train and almost bailed as my confidence dropped, then I started to think that I’ve been faced with some really big and serious challenges in the last 5 years and gotten through them all successfully so “what the feck” was I getting worried about with this. If I come in last, but finish then I’ve still won. That pushed all the doubt out the window.

After that it was just turn up and get processed, bib, timer, drop bag and wait my waves turn. I was in the third batch of my wave and just started at my own pace. Was at the back and fairly much stayed there in that batch, then had the next wave who left a minute behind us start passing. Just pushed on, and after everything warmed up the pace picked up to probably my normal beach pace of about 1Km in 6 mins.

The first obstacle challenge was the stairs. Now after months of doing the stairs outside the gym these were actually a doddle and I was really happy at the top when people were suffering abit already! Next was 10kg sandbag carry for 500 metres around the observatory. Again after doing the training bag which is 15kgs at the gym up the stairs, running around a relatively flat circuit with it was also good. Oh sorry the first challenge was actually the tire run, which was so simple (possible my photo might appear on this one as I was almost walzing it to get into the tyres!). The 4th challenge was tarzan swing and the one I was dreading.

Think most people has issues with this one as the bars were so slippery. They appeared to let you get as far as you could then move on. Jog on. The cargo next climb over a container was probably the only one they didn’t plan well. It was great, but I suspect next year they will have two of them to allow people to move over it quickly without have to stop and wait in batches. A nice thing at this point was that I had about 5 mins wait and recovered completely when it was my time to go up. Used the brain here and went for an edge position so had better tension!!

Jog on up via Darling harbour, then the up and under challenge. This was really interesting as all the guys were doing macho jump swings over (very impressive to watch), i was going for minimizing effort so was doing more of a sit and swing over. The interesting bit was being normal hight but with good flexibility i was able to do the unders in a smooth easy motion while the jump guys couldn’t so a the end of it we all ended up equal!!

Jog on, at it was 7km mark, knew then i could complete this as was feeling good. The crawl under netting was really fun and jog on. More stairs, but was still good. The 100 metre sprint i left to the really fit people, i had my pace going so no drama there.

Next it was all over barriers, again used my sit and swing technique. a guy who had great technique came from behind me, but oddly i passed him latter as he was buggered from it. I then thought that was the last challenge so i was set. The last one stumped me.

It was a like a skateboard curved ram that you had to run up and then grap the top and pull yourself over. I almost baulked as alot of people were having issues. (the guys at the top were helping the girls). but i gave it a go, just hit it high speed then grabbed. What surprised and thrilled me was that all the work the boys have been doing on my upper body strength just swung into action and I was easily able to pull myself up and over. No one really noticed my yelp of surprise that i had done it first time!!!

The steep ramp down was easy, then it was just jog on to the finish line, could possibly have picked up the pace, but just jogged on and crossed the finish line!!!

One very happy chappy for doing it! I not only started it but finished it and the only rest breaks were one stop for traffic and a wait for the rope climb, that personally to me is also a great result. After grabby some gaterade to re-hydrate it was wait for bag pickup. Another little surprise was that my recover was so quick! I had also noticed along the way that there were alot of people passing me, but were gasping for air, while my pace was just keep going. I felt like i could do it again if needed (with dry socks).

It was a awesome feeling to have done it. I’ve run 10km before on the beach, but not in shoes or mixed terrain so this was a great change and result.

I really thank my main personal trainer Trent for all the work he has done in getting me to this shape, (my other trainer is Greg who picks up sessions when Trent is away), both these guys are awesome and have really changed my life and body. They both said I would have no problem doing this challenge. As this is my first they definately had the inside edge on what is required to complete something like this and so glad the faith they had in me to do it has been well placed.

Feel on top of the world at the moment!

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Thanks for the support Feb 13

 Thanks so much for all the great inspiration.  It's really working.  Into month four now of the lifestyle update and it's becoming ingrained abit now.

Habits are improving all over the place.  I love going to the gym now as its just so enjoyable.  It does not hurt now that the results are becoming more and more obvious.

The news today on my blood pressure has made me really happy as its now down to the level where no medication is required.  When I first started it was at such a level that immediate medication would be normally called for.  Next test is my cholesterol, if that has come down it will be even better.

Overall it's just going so well.  Today we did a full cardio workout with heart monitor to work on keep my heart rate above 130.  First goal was to get it up to 155 on the treadmill.  Bloody Trent has gotten me fit enough that it was just sitting on 132 and not moving up.  The machine kept pushing the incline and speed up, but 132 it stayed.  Had to get to 12 on the incline before we even got near the target.

Next rowing machine again with heart monitor.  Row 250 meter hard, then rest until heartbeat is back to 130, or a minute.  Do five sets.  First set heartbeat won 1 sec before the minute!

It was great feedback to see just how fast my recovery time is now.  Trent is really happy with the progress I have made!

And did I mention I now fit and L size shirt.  My work clothes are now super baggy and really looking bad.  Will keep them for a while yet as its hiding the work in progress.  My old work shirts feel like tents now.  So stunning!

How the hell did that bit get sore? Feb 09

Have been trying the last 10 days to squeeze in abit of running between the gym sessions!  The esplanade in Cronulla has got to be one of the most pleasant of runs, (verified even when raining).  The plan was good, the achilles tendon not so good!

Seems somewhere in the last few years I've changed shape (wow, rocket scientist needed here to figure that out) and pronate when running.  opps.  

Trent had me stretching it a few different ways, and with a weekend away in wine country (again opps on the diet) I thought we had it cracked.  Alas not, next run on Tuesday (5.3km – wohoo) it was not happy.  So next session we did some really deep stretching with the roller.  Well one of them has you all folded up origami style and roll onto your hip!

I nearly hit the roof it was so painful, and the switch of the left side did have me yelping.  The really interesting bit is that I hadn't felt anything there before, no pain, no twinge.  But trust me it was damn sore.

Just done the stretches for Thursday and still sore, but amazingly afterwards everything feels abit looser and relaxed.  squeaky freaky!

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Time to trade in your Personal Trainer – I think not Jan 25

So it's now 3.x months in with the personal trainer at Activ8 and the rest of the team.  Time for a review I guess as well, since well my assessment on Wednesday to see if I'm as crap as fit as I was when i came back from the US.

Easy answer, not likely.  Didn't hurt I took out the full package and that was not cheap.  But then again when I lived in Japan and had to do all my first cancer the chemo stuff left me 8K USD out of pocket.  There was a huge refund, but it comes down to how much do you spend on your health.

My totally easy answer is as much as it takes.  Why because you can have huge amounts of money stashed aside for the things you want, but how can you spend any of it if you health is crap.

Even easier answer, every dollar/cent spent on your health is a good dollar.  It breaks down to even easier.  If you can't walk somewhere to see/do something, then your healthy is wrong.  I know.  I've had an underlying issue with Arthritis for so long it stopped me from many things.  Feck the cancer, this was actually the weekly issue.

Since working with my Trent (My PT from Activ8) i'm on the least amount, basically nil amount of arthritic  drugs ever. I still maintain a daily intake of some non medical druges, the best i have found is Procasmine from USANA.  Not cheap, and i won't advocate for them, but it seems to work for me.  I also know that losing a few kilo's and working all my joints in the right order is the best thing ever.

And that is why you need a PT.  An expert in how to work your body.  Its possible you can get crap ones, but lucky for me I didn't. 

He has me working out on some exercise and doesn't go off to answer some FB message or other, I can see him checking every move I make and looking from all angles to make sure I'm doing it correctly.  Ps.  his counting along with mind is Shite.  We just work it out that somewhere between it all it was a good effort!  And yes I work in banking but at 7 am my brain is not working.

So, do you get a personal trainer. My easy answer is yes.  If you hate going to the gym and been given a circuit to do, then get bored.  Chop and change.  Get a PT, they make it so much more interesting.  I never know what is going to hit me each time and I fecking love it. 

Photo's to come, but looking so much better for it.

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Not my best week Jan 20

Well gym wise anyhow.  I think the best description for Monday morning was running on a full tank of empty!  Everything just seemed so damn hard  Greg was great at trying to keep the motivation up, but it was obvious, batteries were flat.

Wednesday was a right off with a long night of work before and more work, didn't even make it.  So all excited and ready for a good showing this morning!  Well if exciting is considered stopping to catch your breath in between not puking then wohoo smashing success.  

For some reason the body was not willing, and the mind was taking far to much feedback from the body as well.  The boys were tried, but it was like the spark plugs were dirty!

Oh well, it happens.  Did have some good news on my seeing my shadow, (yes i know, odd thing to be looking for), it was sans belly.  Very surprising.  Spent a good few minutes doing shadow shapes to see if it was hiding around the corner!

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Curing Sore Muscles. Jan 11

First day back at the gym was great (was a birthday after all), but found that the next day I sore muscles that felt well and truly abused.  Sitting down at my desk became a whole new concept of careful!   

Was hoping a full day and good nights sleep would put it all right (since that normally does the trick.).  Not to be.  Woke up this morning still feeling the abused muscles.  Not to be deterred was off for another session.  Now this is where it go interesting.  Trents cure was to just make a whole new (and I am sure some entirely new) set of muscles hurt.  Theory being that the new ones would hurt enough that the old ones would be ignored.

Small flaw in his otherwise brillant plan!  Half the session today was using the same old tired out, let me rest muscles.  So no rest for the wicked either way!   Hardest cardio session by far!  He seems to think the training wheels have come off now and we have to do abit more than warm ups!  

Also has a funny idea about running machines where you run with the motor turned off!  I know energy prices in Oz are going up, but really that was abit rediculous, and it certainly made the legs work even harder!!

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The humiliation continues. Dec 16

Actually to be very fair to the guys they have never once made us feel silly!  or FAT!!!

On Wednesday I actually ran up all 7 flights of stairs and was so happy with myself.  Friday its feel like i have a flat tyre (not just a spare tire).  Trent did make me feel a smidge better by conceding that this set was hard.  Kettle Swings, into 200metre rowing (hard), times 5.

Got there in the end and kicked that rower down to under 150 in the last set!  Had to proceed to get new set of lungs after as this set no longer processing oxygen.

Another great workout thou!

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Big old week Dec 15

Been a big week!  Did a 13 km walk Saturday, then 8 km Monday and a  few more during the week.    Trent has also been upping the intensity this week as well.  My face  has changed again this week.  Will be interested to see Donna's  comments when I come home!   

The gym is down 7 flights of stairs from road down to the water (so  the view is lovely when you are there).  The boys use those stairs  ruthlessly.  My first week was go up the stairs quickly.  I got to the  top and gasped like a fish it was so upsetting.    Well Wednesday was run up the first fight, walk back down (all the way  down I was told when I only when down one flight! ).  

Then run up two  flights walk back down! Repeat until all 7 flights are done.  Well I  ran up the full seven at the end of it.  Hurt my legs like hell but I  am so damn pleased with myself for doing it.  Made it very clear the  progress so far.    And last joint flare up was first week of October!  That's almost two  and a half months of no arthritis.  Not going to stop the supplements,  but between them and using the body its all working.   

The fun bit will be next weigh in.  Sorta bracing myself it won't be much as there is a lot of transform going on from fat to muscle, cos lets face it there was a lot of fat, and not much muscle.

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Trying to knock me off my perch Dec 07

Awesome day today at the gym. Cardio with weights.  Was doing great until the interval rowing, when it all started to go abit, then a lot wrong, as the cold from last week said 'hello big boy' again.   Finished that set and between gasping for breath had to concentrate on not throwing up as my stomach when into over drive.  Had to rush outside twice with fear the breakfast banana was going to come back.     I did mention to Trent that it can't be the best advertisement in the world having someone standing at your front door hireling breakfast in there gym clothes.   He was just grinning like a chesire cat and kindly offered a bucket!   Still awesome feeling after doing it again. 

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The burn goes on Nov 23

Well after a missed session on Monday I was looking forward to today's session.  As usual it did not disappoint.  Trent is brilliant at switching up and changing the sessions around.


Today's involved a whole new muscle set that I am sure will be felt upon the morning (update from the future – definitely feeling it when sitting down)   The last bit of cardio row 20sec full bore, rest 10sec sounds easy, it is not!  Had to go looking for my breath afterwards as it had gone on an independent search for oxygen.   The piece de resistanc of Trent's routines and the only constant is the stairs back up to your car!  Good five stories worth.  The day I can do a session and go back up those stairs and not look like a physical wreck I will be happy, 

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