Fitness Update (July 2011)…

A number of things to report on the fitness front…

I’ve switched some of my cardio sessions on the elliptical from regular interval training to Tabata Protocol. A little over 2 months ago Dominic Brooks pointed this out to me. I gave it a try then, but I wasn’t fit enough to cope with it. Now it is just a complete nightmare, rather than impossible. 🙂 So general fitness is going really well. There are the obvious ups and downs, but I feel really good about things and I don’t find the gym daunting now. I know I’m going to survive.

I’ve backed off the weight training a bit. There are a couple of reasons for this. First, I was putting on too much muscle. I used to do weights as a kid and I guess the whole muscle memory thing is true. The tubby meat-head thing is not a look I’m interested in. Second, shifting a lot of weight was starting to aggravate my joints. I’ve had operations on my left elbow and knee and both of them have been playing up for a couple of days after doing heavy lifting. Those two factors combined seemed like pretty clear signals that weight training is no longer the right thing for me.

To replace the absent weight training I’ve been doing some circuit training, mostly using functional training exercises. It feels pretty good and isn’t freaking out my joints so far. I’m not a gym-class type of guy, but I figured I need some technique coaching, so yesterday evening I went to a kettlebells class. The bruises on my arms and shoulders this morning would suggest my technique is not quite right, but I’ve already learned a bunch of stuff, so that’s good. Two visits to the gym yesterday was not a great idea, but I’m glad I got off my ass and made it to the kettlebells class. It would have been very easy to leave it for next week. 🙂

As part of the functional training I’ve also started to do handstands again. I used to be pretty good at them, thanks to the yoga, but as I got heavier they got a bit scary and my center of gravity shifted somewhat. Now I’m hitting them pretty well and walking on my hands pretty comfortably. I can even pull out a few half-handstand-pushups on a good day. I was in the dance studio practicing handstands and someone asked me if I was a gymnast, which cracked me up. Is there a gymnastics for fatties competition I can enter?

I’ll be in Australia next month and I feel the need to manage some people’s (Chris Muir and Connor McDonald) expectations.

  • If you last saw me about 5 months ago, I will look like I’ve lost quite a bit of weight.
  • If you last saw me about 2 year ago, you will think I look about the same.
  • If you last saw me 3+ years ago, you will probably think I’ve gained some weight.
Based on that, you should not be expecting to see “the new svelte” version of me Connor. 🙂

Still another 30 years and 30 pounds to go… 🙂



Getting Fit: Another Update…

It’s a little over a month since I joined the gym. In that time I’ve had 4 days off, so it’s been pretty full on. I had my weekly personal training session today and I’m staggered with my current level of fitness compared to where I started. The trainer is pure evil and he really put me though it today, but I did way more than I thought was possible.

The daily interval training has worked wonders for my recovery time. Towards the end of the today’s session I finished one circuit, puked and was ready to start again in a minute. Pretty phenomenal by my standards.

The weight is coming off very slowly now. It’s hard not to fixate about the scales, but I am aware that I’ve put on a lot of muscle in this month, so the scales are not a very good indication of what’s going on. Even so, it’s kinda tough when people ask how much weight you’ve lost and you tell them you’ve killed yourself in the gym for a month and only lost 7 pounds.

So the journey continues. There is still a very long way to go, but I’m still moving in the right direction so that’s good news.

I’m hoping to speak at the InSync11 conference in Australia in a couple of months. It would be nice if I can drop a some more weight before then. It would certainly make the economy class seats feel a little better. 🙂