So, it’s been and gone – the first week of our new fitness challenge, or should I say fitness future.
It’s been an interesting week, one where Dena managed to do 5 of 6 days of the HIIT (High Intensity Interval Training) based on the PACE fitness regime that she set out to do (which I’ll get to further down the post) and where I did one day and felt it meaningless, unfulfilling and just generally boring.
You see I’ve realised that it’s not an aerobic fitness regime that I want, it’s a strength fitness regime that I need back in my life – regardless of what the PACE regime ‘could’ do for me, I just don’t ‘want’ to be doing any aerobics.
And thankfully I realised this after only putting myself through this new HIIT regime once – and thank god it was only once because DAG NAMMIT I forgot how much I hate aerobics.
I don’t mind running, but it’s marathon type running I enjoy, long distance and a reasonable pace – but I’ve read a fair amount of articles lately that point to this type of long distance, moderate paced running not being good for the body at all, and infact it’s shown to damage the body in the long term, quite badly too – so I need to read more up on the subject before I make a decision to do some again or forget about it all together.
But I really detest HIIT, I don’t know why, and it’s not because I can’t do it, because I can, but there’s just something about aerobic fitness stuff that I hate – so it’s a good job that I have always been a lean guy otherwise I’d be buggered!
Anyway – I’m currently working out the details of the strength exercises I’m going to do, but I do know that until we move into a house they are going to be just using my own body weight as the resistance.
I’ve decided to use the follow 5 core exercises to build back some muscle mass:
Overhead press or handstand press
As I said, I’m going to only use my own body weight to do each exercise, until I can get some money together to get some weights or come up with natural objects to use instead.
The only thing I will be using some weight for right away will be the overhead presses, which I will have to nab a big pallet from the farm yard, and this will be enough weight to do them for a few weeks until I can get my balance right in doing the handstand presses.
I’m currently reading a number of blogs based on using body weight for strength training and I thought I’d give the best two a quick mention before I move onto Dena’s exercise.
Al Kavadlo – Alkavadlo.com is something I have been looking for for a long while, strange how these things turn up!
Jim Bathurst – beastskills.com is an all together amazing website, full of exercises I’m aiming to be able to do within a few months!
If your looking for something a little different when it comes to exercise then taking a few minutes to explore those two will certainly put you on the right track.
So now onto Dena.
As I said above, Dena has started on the PACE fitness regime – and if your wondering, PACE stands for Progressively Accelerating Cardiopulmonary Exertion – yep, if your like me you are probably wonder progressively you what?!
Basically it means progressively adding more exertion to each stage of your aerobic workout.
To explain how it’s done what she did was, start off on Monday by walking for a minute at a brisk pace, then walking slower, than faster again and so on and so on for the full 12 minutes.
Then Tuesday she did the same thing, but on Wednesday she felt she could add a couple of jogs into the 12 minutes, which she also did for Thursday and then on Friday she added 2 jogs into the 12 minutes and a nearly full on run for a minute.
But this was too much because on Saturday she felt that her legs were too tired and she didn’t want to go do any exercise – which was a kind of a cop out, but I recommended she didn’t push herself too hard during the first week and should give it a miss, but 5 out of 6 days was a great start!!
The thing she has done in the past with new fitness regimes is push herself too hard, and then within a few weeks she has been too tired and given up all together.
So I’ve made sure that she takes it nice and slow and builds things up steadily rather than going full pelt.
As this isn’t a timed exercise plan, in that she wants to be at a certain goal within say 2 months, she doesn’t have to push herself too hard to begin with – it’s a gradual thing and the fitness and more importantly results will come later.
Taking into account she is so active during the day time with the work at the orchard, she doesn’t want to do herself an injury – so theres no need to push too hard during the first few weeks, nor are you supposed to on the PACE programme, the whole point is to ease yourself into it and slowly build up progress.
So onto the results – well as you can see from the above she has managed to go from walking briskly to a full on minute of running within a week, which I think is pretty damn good.
But we haven’t done a weigh in or measure as yet today, simply because we forgot!
So we’re doing a weigh in for her tomorrow morning, so I’ll put up the starting stats for her aswell as me and then her end of week stats too, not sure I’ll bother with mine as I haven’t done any exericse this week, I’ll probably start afresh from this Monday.
I’ve told her not to expect much change if any within the first few weeks, and if she does lose a pound or two of weight then great, but she could put weight on, simply because she could be building muscle mass from the walking/running and as muscle weighs twice as much as fat, she shouldn’t be surprised to see her weight go up for a few weeks.
What should happen is that during the first few weeks, even if she does put weight on, she should see her waist, hips, thighs etc lose an inch or two – again it’s not a guarantee as everybody’s body reacts differently, and she may find that the weight and inches don’t start to shift for a few weeks at least.
But if all the other peoples results who have done the PACE regime are anything to go by, the end of next week she could see some decent results but we’ll see, not getting over enthusiastic just yet!
Something I haven’t mentioned is our eating plan during this new fitness regime.
Well, I’ve not mentioned it deliberately, simply because we eat pretty healthy anyway, but also because I initially didn’t want us to change our current eating habits to see if the new exercises would have the effect we wanted them to.
I’ve this week come across a number of blogs which talk about a ‘Paleo’ way of eating.
As far as I can tell it is basically cutting out pretty much all grains, legumes (e.g. beans and peanuts), dairy products, salt, refined sugar and processed oils.
It is apparently how our ancestral hunter-gatherers used to eat – which if you think about it has had the most effect on how our bodies have evolved.
And it all makes sense to me as I doubt very much that many health problems from the over consumption of certain foods were around until agriculture popped up it’s ugly head about 10,000 or so years ago – and our eating habits changed to include a lot of grains, and since then a copious amount of health problems have popped up in the human body.
Coincidence? Perhaps not.
Like I said, we eat pretty healthy anyway, and if I was to take a guess I would say that we eat 80% healthy foods and 20% crappy foods – which we’ve found to be a pretty good balance, it keeps our bodies healthy and our junk food habit satiated.
And because of that I don’t see us cutting out the dairy and following the Paleo way of eating like some hardcore people do, mainly because we both love the taste so much, and so far neither of us have seen any negative effects from eating dairy either.
Plus I see us not cutting our grains so much again because we like the occassional bit of rice or potatos.
Update: Just read this interesting post over on thehealthyskeptic.org – Food fascism and the 80/20 rule
So although we’re not going to be hardcore Paleo eaters, I do think there is something to reducing the amount of grains we eat substantially and increasing the amount of goods fats we eat.
Anyhoo I’m not going to talk about it much more as I’m still reading lots of information on it, but we are going to give eating more like the Paleo way a go for a while and see where we get.
Incase you want to read up on eating the Paleo way here are a couple of the blogs/websites I have been reading this week.
Mark Sisson – Marks Daily Apple, he seems to be a bit of an icon in the Paleo world so I’ve been reading a lot of the stuff on his blog, not sure I’ll ever jump in full on like he has but none-the-less there is a lot of really good info on his website we are incorporating into our eating habits straight away.
Kurt G Harris – PaNu, this website is full of technical info on why the Paleo way of eating is the best way for our human bodies, but he also puts up a decent amount of info that isn’t too technical, which is what I need to understand things and what I’ve been reading mostly this week!
Richard Nikoley – Free the Animal, this guy is really off the cuff, he says it as he see’s it and doesn’t give a shit what other people think of him, from what I’ve been reading this week a lot of hardcore Paleo people disagree with a lot of what he says and does, which is great because I like a good read, and afterall – if we were all the same it would be a boring world!
So there we are, an enlightening first week of our new fitness regime, one that turned into an introspective look at our eating habits too.
More for me to talk about on the blog me thinks!
Until next time…