I’ve been reading a number of health and fitness blogs since November last year, and I’ve decided that now is the time to get myself fit again.
Not that I am unfit, far from it, I work at an Apple orchard 5 days a week for 8 hrs each day, planting, picking, digging, pruning – all these things keep me fit, but I want to go further, I want to get my muscle mass back.
I’ve been interested in health and fitness since I met Dena – coincidentally or not the day we met I had just started a fitness regime I put together using some of Bruce Lee’s techniques in his book ‘The Art of Expressing the Human Body‘.
I had brought myself a small weights bench and some free weights and there began my 13 year affair with exercise – since that day I’ve tried numerous different regimes, always looking for the next thing to keep myself fit and healthy – but always staying away from mainstream advice as I never liked the one size fits all approach, instead I stuck with alternative and niche exercise advice.
Since being at the Apple orchard though I’ve taken more of a natural approach to fitness, and by this I mean that I haven’t done any physical exercise outside of what I do during the job.
My thinking has been that I would let my body adapt and change to the physical demands from the job naturally, and not do any extra exercise outside of it, so that I could see what shape my body would get into.
And it’s been an interesting couple of years, my body hasn’t changed that much in shape, but the main thing has been that I have lost about half a stone in muscle mass.
My overall shape has stayed pretty much the same, but I have definitely lost muscle mass, which I can see in the smaller compat muscles I now have.
It makes sense really considering that I do a very small amount of heavy lifting but a hell of a lot of endurance exercises like digging, picking, pruning etc.
All the jobs at the orchard job require long term energy and little short term strength, so it would make sense that my body would shed muscle mass and instead I now have muscle endurance.
I’m happy that I can work for hours on end doing something that tires most people out with a few minutes, however, I now want to get back my muscle mass.
I know of a number of exercises that I could do to get that muscle mass back, but having limited space in the caravan, using free weights or body weight to do resistance exercises is really out of the question.
I’ve looked at joining the gym, but I detest the vanity of a gym – everyone staring at themselves in mirrors, checking out the next person etc, it’s all far too vain for my liking and I try to stay away from gym’s as much as I can.
So I’ve been looking for different ways to exercise and I came across a post over on a blog called ‘180 Degree Health’ by a guy called Matt Stone – it was about a High Intensity Interval Training technique that I had never heard of before.
I like what Matt writes about because it’s things that the main stream don’t always mention and he backs what he writes up by linking to research to prove his theories.
I also like what he wrote in the first post over on his other blog ‘180 Degree Metabolism’…
I believe that metabolism and energy regulation in the human body, not only determine the cosmetic appearance of our bodies, but has profound links to glucose metabolism disorders, degenerative disease, and pretty much anything you can think of.
Having read what I have over the years, my belief is along the same lines as his above, that a lot of our health problems can be linked to our metabolism and energy regulation in the body, and that the type of food you put into the body (or don’t in some cases) and the exercise you complete all obviously have a massive effect.
I’ve never been into going too deep with my interest in health and fitness as I start to get confuzzled pretty easily with all the big words that get banded about – I like to keep it simple and it’s seen me right over the years!
Anyway, I’ve gone off track a little….
Having read Matt’s blog post on this new exercise technique called PACE, I researched a bit more about it, read up as much as I could, and it all seems pretty damn good, and more importantly quite convincing that it works.
I’ve always believed that High Intensity Interval Training was the best way to exercise to lose fat, but I never realised that it could build muscle mass too.
I’m not quite sure how it builds muscle mass as I can’t quite get my head around the technical information on the technique, but I like what I have read on it so far, and it’s persuaded me to give it a try.
I’ve been looking for something like this for a while, something that will take me a short amount of time to complete and something that will build muscle mass.
The guy behind PACE is called Dr Al Sears, and it seems he causes a bit of controversy with his techniques within the main stream health and fitness world, but to me as long as he has people showing real benefits of his techniques then I am all for them, regardless of what the main stream think.
So as of Monday this week me and Dena are conducting about 10-12 minutes of HIIT in the morning and seeing where it gets us.
We’re going to do it for 6 days a week and then take a day off.
We’re sticking to our normal healthy eating, we’re not adding in any special foods or supplements outside of what we already eat – although we are eating more of everything after reading more about overfeeding to raise our body temperatures over on Matt Stones blog 180 Metabolism.
It involves increasing the amount of food you eat, so that when ever you are hungry you eat, and try to eat healthy whole foods, and this should raise your body temperature and get/keep you healthy.
Apparently the body should be at 98.6F to stay fit and healthy and be able to operate as it should, however, when it is below this it can cause all sorts of health problems, including weight loss and weight gain amongst the various symptoms.
So with this in mind, a week ago we upped our whole carbohydrate intake (wholemeal bread, corn, rice etc) but apart from that we’ve left the consumption of everything else the same.
And we’ve been eating whenever we have felt hungry and eating until we feel satiated – even the junk food we have been eating we have eaten until we were full rather than limiting the amount of everything we ate because we felt we should do.
I’d definitely recommend reading more on his blog about eating like this because there is certainly something to it.
So there we go, that’s what we’re doing fitness wise for the next few months – it will be interesting to see how this new type of exercise and eating changes our bodies.
Dena wants to lost between 10-14lbs as she has excess fat she wants to get rid of that hasn’t shifted since we’ve been working at the orchard, and I want to put some muscle mass back on.
I’ll be putting up a weekly post on how things are going as I’m keeping a spreadsheet of what we are doing, daily body temperatures, body size, eating plan etc, and I thought it would be nice to share it with everyone.
I’ll put the first post up in a few days with our starting stats and body temps etc and then I’ll post every Sunday with updates on it all.
Until then feel free to go check out the links above on Matt Stones blogs, I highly recommend them!!
Until next time…