Tuesday, April 30, 2013

INSANITY - Day 23 - Cardio Power and Resistance

Yeah, today was a good solid morning. Power & Resistance and 2.09 miles. Did it by myself today, but really went hard for 767 calories burned total. I was worried going in that I would be by myself and have a down morning, but pushed through. One thing I have found is that pushing hard in the warmup makes a huge difference for me. Not waiting until the 3rd set to get 'up', but trying to push that into the end of the 1st round instead makes the whole workout better.

On the down side, I'm getting my blood drawn at a health fair this morning, so I've had to fast for the last 12 hours and I am ready to EAT!!!!


Went to the Health Fair. Got my blood drawn for a comprehensive test, BP (good), hearing (good), grip test (tech said I had the high score for the day), body fat % (woot). Very happy that I've been using my home body fat calipers wrong. They had an electronic fat % scale and it put me about 5% lower than my calipers. That made my day.

Day 23 Fitness Stats

Cardio Power and Resistance

Average HR:132
Max HR:172

2.09 miles - treadmill

Average HR:147
Max HR:159

Stats taken with Polar Ft7 Heart Rate Monitor Watch (Google Affiliate Ad)

Monday, April 29, 2013

INSANITY - Day 22: Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs

Ah! Today felt much better. Got into it a lot faster, HR was up after the first round of the warmup.

I had a whole crew with me today. My son and 3 others. I find that I do work harder when there are others there. Keeps me accountable to pushing and working hard. I fear we will lose the others when we hit month 2, since they have been hit and miss and are only 1 week in. They are not ready yet for it (I'm not ready and this is week 4!)

Anyhow, 610 cals for the morning is pretty good. This is much more where I want to be rather than in a funk.

Day #22 Fitness Stats

Pure Cardio

Average HR:140
Max HR:168

Cardio Abs

Average HR:116
Max HR:170

Stats taken with Polar Ft7 Heart Rate Monitor Watch (Google Affiliate Ad)

Sunday, April 28, 2013

INSANITY - Day 21: REST! and 3 week stats!

3 weeks down! This was a tough week. I really felt like I hit a brick wall and didn't feel like I made much progress. This was the first week in the last 16 that my weight went up instead of down. Could be muscle, but still not real happy about it. I am so close to getting to a major double duty milestone. 179 lbs is not only into the next '10' bracket, but it is also the breaking point for the 'healthy' BMI range for my height. I know these charts are only a guideline, but psychologically, knowing that I am on average, not in the OVERWEIGHT category anymore would be awesome. Getting out of the OBESE category was a major boost for me back a few months ago and I've been hovering just about this one for 3 weeks now, just 5 pounds away.

But I'll keep pushing through. Last regular week of month 1 starts Monday. Then recovery week and the dreaded MONTH 2! My plan after insanity is to go back to some more running. March was a 100 mile month and April probably won't break 60 miles.

Here are my stats after 3 weeks:

Weight: 183.6lbs
Body Fat (caliper): %20.2
BMI: 26.1

Overall Changes:
Weight: - 2.6lbs
Neck: -0.5in
Chest: - 0.75in
Waist (at Navel): - 0.5in
Hips: -0.5in   ( -0.5 change this week )
Thigh: 0 (+ 0.5 change this week, but I think last week may have been a bad reading)

Saturday, April 27, 2013

INSANITY - Day 20: Plyometric Cardio Circuit

Felt a little better today. Plyo circuit is a good workout, now that I've done it a bunch of times, I know what's coming. I still die after a couple of level 1 drills and through the ski abs and in-and-outs.  But other than that, I stay up with the video pretty well. I think after the kids go down for a nap this afternoon, I'll hop on the treadmill for a little run.

Day #20 Fitness Stats

Plyometric Cardio Circuit

Average HR:131
Max HR:167

Stats taken with Polar Ft7 Heart Rate Monitor Watch (Google Affiliate Ad)

Friday, April 26, 2013

INSANITY - Day 19 - Cardio Power and Resistance

I had no gas in the tank today and felt like I weighed 500 lbs. Looking at my numbers, I burned a lot less calories today than the last time I did this same workout. I'm just in a slump right now. I will just keep doing my best until I can get out of it.

Day 19 Fitness Stats

Cardio Power and Resistance

Average HR:116
Max HR:214 (this is a glitch)

1.5 mile - treadmill

Average HR:135
Max HR:154

Stats taken with Polar Ft7 Heart Rate Monitor Watch (Google Affiliate Ad)

Thursday, April 25, 2013

INSANITY - Day 18: Cardio Recovery

Today was kind of meh. Felt like I was just going through the motions. I've plateaued just a few pounds above a major milestone and that is bumming me out. I realize it's not just about weight and I'm building muscle, but ugh. I'm trying to stay off the scale for the rest of the week till sunday when I do my measurements. I'd been weighing every day for the last 100 days, but I think I need to take a break from obsessing over the number. Because when it doesn't move much for a couple weeks, or goes up a little I get discouraged and start getting off the nutrition plan trying to 'cut back' on calories.
I'm hoping this isn't an indication of the rest of my day.

Day #18 Fitness Stats

Cardio Recovery

Average HR:79
Max HR:98

1 mile - treadmill

Average HR:129
Max HR:151

Stats taken with Polar Ft7 Heart Rate Monitor Watch (Google Affiliate Ad)

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

INSANITY - Day 17: Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs

Another good day today. Had no time for a run afterwards, but still got in a good workout! Not much to report, probably gonna be sore.

Day #17 Fitness Stats

Pure Cardio

Average HR:141
Max HR:170

Cardio Abs

Average HR:114
Max HR:171

Stats taken with Polar Ft7 Heart Rate Monitor Watch (Google Affiliate Ad)

Tuesday, April 23, 2013

Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor and Watch

I was given a Polar FT7 heart rate monitor and watch for my birthday this year and in just a couple weeks, I don't want to exercise without it. It is easy to set up, and the chest strap and monitor are comfortable. It's got a clear display. One really cool thing is that both our home treadmill and the treadmills at the gym are Polar compatible, so the treadmill display and computer constantly are being updated with my heartrate. Which seems to be helping more accurately show my calorie burn (which is lower than it shows without the HR). It's interesting to see that the machines have been overestimating my calorie burn.

I wear the watch and strap during my Insanity workouts and it's great.

You should check it out!

INSANITY - Day 16: Plyometric Cardio Circuit

Today I had a friend who generally works out at the gym about the same time as me show up at the with his son and asked if they could join us for our 'warm up' I said sure (with a little inward grin knowing what the warmup entails). Now having a second adult in the room really made me push harder for whatever reason (probably didn't want to look bad in front of my friend) So yeah, all around dug deeper and pushed harder. Awesome workout.

Followed up with a 1.5 mile treadmill run at 14m 45s.

Day #16 Fitness Stats

Plyometric Cardio Circuit

Average HR:149
Max HR:171

Stats taken with Polar Ft7 Heart Rate Monitor Watch (Google Affiliate Ad)

Monday, April 22, 2013

INSANITY - Day 15: Fit Test #2

Fit Test #2 was really good! I made some great gains from last time.

Fit Test #2

ExerciseFit Test 1Fit Test 2% Change
Switch Kicks 56 84 +50%
Power Jacks 46 55 +19%
Power Knees 75 100+33%
Power Jumps 27 47 +74%
Globe Jumps 8 12 +50%
Suicide Jumps 12 18 +50%
Push-Up Jacks 22 36 +63%
Low Plank Oblique 24 30 +25%
Average Change +%45

Day #15 Fitness Stats

Average HR:119
Max HR:175

Stats taken with Polar Ft7 Heart Rate Monitor Watch (Google Affiliate Ad)

Sunday, April 21, 2013

INSANITY - Day 14: REST! and 2 week stats!

2 weeks down and enjoying a rest day! Went clothes shopping for the first time in a while yesterday at Kohls. Bought 32-32 jeans for the first time in about 15 years as a comparison, last summer, I had some 36-32 jeans that were a little too tight.

Went on a 7 mile run this afternoon and felt really good!
Runtastic Link => http://t.co/jj0JHV0Aka

Here are my stats after 2 weeks:

Weight: 182.8lbs
Body Fat (caliper): 23.2%
BMI: 26

Weight: - 3.4lbs
Neck: -0.5in
Chest: - 0.75in
Waist (at Navel): - 0.5in
Hips: same
Thigh: -0.5in

Also I picked up this Accumeasure set from Amazon.  It comes with a nice tape measure that clips to make a circle. It makes measuring yourself a lot easier. Also the BF% calipers work well.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

INSANITY - Day 13: Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs

Today was the first time doing both Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs together. I wasn't sure what to expect with Cardio abs. I was happy there are no situps or crunches. But C sit exercises and lots of plank. Holy cow what a burn. I have a ways to go before I'll make it through that video without stopping! Felt good overall. Looking forward to comparing my 2 week stats tomorrow and doing the fit test again monday to see what kind of progress I've made in 2 weeks!

Day #13 Fitness Stats

Pure Cardio and Cardio Abs

Average HR:121
Max HR:165

Stats taken with Polar Ft7 Heart Rate Monitor Watch (Google Affiliate Ad)

Friday, April 19, 2013

INSANITY - Day 12: Cardio Power and Resistance

Today was kind of meh. Low energy. ugh, not much to say about it. Getting used to this routine. Still pretty tough though. Ran 2 miles afterwards at 9:45 minute mile pace average.

Day #12 Fitness Stats

Cardio Power and Resistance

Average HR:133
Max HR:167

Stats taken with Polar Ft7 Heart Rate Monitor Watch (Google Affiliate Ad)

Thursday, April 18, 2013

INSANITY - Day 11: Cardio Recovery

Cardio recovery is a good day. I was starting to feel some soreness last night and a day of slow movements and stretching is just what I needed. Afterwards, I did a nice slow 12 minute mile to keep my HR up for a while longer.

Day #11 Fitness Stats

Cardio Recovery

Average HR:80
Max HR:110

Stats taken with Polar Ft7 Heart Rate Monitor Watch (Google Affiliate Ad)

Wednesday, April 17, 2013

INSANITY - Day 10: Plyometric Cardio Circuit

This was the 3rd time through plyo cardio circuit and it went well. I really held on until close to the end of the circuits. There is a section with 'Level 1 Drills' where you put your arms up, go down to the floor jump back to plank, do 4 pushups, then do plank run for 8 count, then jump back in, then stand up and restart. It wipes me out! I'll get there. I just need to get my core and arms stronger. Followed the workout with a 10 minute mile on the treadmill.

Day #10 Fitness Stats

Plyometric Cardio Circuit

Average HR:136
Max HR:170

Stats taken with Polar Ft7 Heart Rate Monitor Watch (Google Affiliate Ad)

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

INSANITY - Day 9: Pure Cardio

Today was certainly better than the last time not this workout. Didn't reall fall off until just about the end. Felt super good. Also did an 8:35 minute mile on the treadmill afterwards!

Day 9 Fitness Stats

Pure Cardio

my sensor slid down and stopped tracking part way through this workout, so I don't have good numbers on it. But comparing it with last time when my sensor was fine, I'm estimating about 475 cals burned ( for the purposes of myFitnessPal )

Monday, April 15, 2013

INSANITY - Day 8 - Cardio Power and Resistance

I did Cardio Power and Resistance for the 2nd time today. I felt a little stronger, because I was able to push just a little harder on the cardio end and keep up with the workout a little longer.

Day 8 Fitness Stats

Cardio Power and Resistance

Average HR:135
Max HR:170

Stats taken with Polar Ft7 Heart Rate Monitor Watch (Google Affiliate Ad)

Saturday, April 13, 2013

INSANITY - Day 6: Plyometric Cardio Circuit & Day 7: REST!!!!

Week 1 is done and tomorrow is a rest day! We were back to Plyo Cardio Circuit today. I think it went better than tuesday for sure. One cool thing is that I actually made it through the warm up cycle without having to stop. So that is an accomplishment for me. I lost 1.2 pounds this week taking me down to an even 185. I need to get some calipers so I can measure body fat. Not sure if my weight loss was offset by any new muscle or not. I'm certainly ready for week #2. 

Day #6 Fitness Stats

Plyometric Cardio Circuit

Average HR:#135
Max HR:#164

Stats taken with Polar Ft7 Heart Rate Monitor Watch (Google Affiliate Ad)

Friday, April 12, 2013

INSANITY - Day 5: Pure Cardio

Pure Cardio today, lived up to it's name. I hung in there for most of the workout and only had to drop out a few times. Started with standard INSANITY warmup (which is a great warmup!) Stretching, then about 15 minutes of 1 minute exercises, then cool down. Left me dripping.

I felt so good afterwards I ran an 8:46 minute mile on the treadmill before leaving the gym.

Day #5 Fitness Stats

Pure Cardio

Average HR:137
Max HR:165

Stats taken with Polar Ft7 Heart Rate Monitor Watch (Google Affiliate Ad)

Thursday, April 11, 2013

INSANITY - Day 4: Cardio Recovery

Day 4 of INSANITY is Cardio Recovery. I thought this was probably a clever irony and that it was going to be just as crazy as the last 2 days, but no, it was actually recovery. Slow reps of deep squats and lunges (plenty of burn!), plank work, stretching. Not a cardio workout at all. I took off my HRM about 1/2 way through because of this. Nice to have a 'day off' while still doing some work.

I did a slow 12 minute mile afterwards to match the feel of the workout.

Day #4 Fitness Stats

Cardio Recovery

Average HR:N/A
Max HR:N/A

Wednesday, April 10, 2013

INSANITY - Day 3: Cardio Power and Resistance

Day 3 is done. 5:00am arrived as usual with Noah and I at the Annex. Cardio Power and Resistance starts with the same warm up and keeps a circuit feel. Lots of upper body (arms, chest, shoulders), core and jumping today. It felt good. I told Noah that one thing I'm working on is keeping my core tight during the movements. That is tough, but getting better already, I can see how it makes a major difference. I cooled off with a 9min 45 sec mile on the treadmill for good measure. 

Day 3 Fitness Stats

Cardio Power and Resistance

Average HR:132
Max HR:164

Stats taken with Polar Ft7 Heart Rate Monitor Watch (Google Affiliate Ad)

Tuesday, April 09, 2013

INSANITY - Day 2: Plyometric Cardio Circuit

Today was the first 'real' day of INSANITY. Noah and I got to the gym (known as the Annex) at 5:00am ready to go. We popped in the Plyometric Cardio Circuit DVD and dove in.

 The DVD starts with the same warmup as the fit test and after going through the half dozen or so movements I was expecting to start, nope. Do those again...faster. Then again faster! Oh yeah. I had heard the warmup really got you going. After that, several minutes of nice streching preceded the 'circuits'. What a great workout. I must admit I did not keep up 100%, but think I at least managed 85%-%90. Also my strength gave out on me before my endurance did, which means all the running has really paid off. I think I'll be able to get a lot out of the program because I'm not panting like a dog after 5 minutes.  42 minutes later we finished the routine and I was pumped.

I felt so good that I had to jump on the treadmill for a mile to cool down.

 I am amped about this program. Can't wait for day 3.

Day 2 Fitness Stats

Plyometric Cardio Circuit

Average HR:131
Max HR:166

Stats taken with Polar Ft7 Heart Rate Monitor Watch (Google Affiliate Ad)

Monday, April 08, 2013

New fun Games for my Birthday!

In addition to everything else, I love to play a good a good board/strategy game. So here are 2 games that I got from my awesome wife and kids for my birthday. Star Fluxx and the Expansion "Inns and Cathedrals" for Carcassonne.


Star Fluxx is a stand alone card game, based on the Fluxx (Google Affiliate Ad) card game. But instead of common items, it uses Sci-Fi tropes as the theme. We played it and it's really fun and has some good dynamics that set it apart from the original. It's gonna get played a bunch I'm sure.

Inns and Cathedrals is an expansion pack for Rio Grande's Carcassonne (Google Affiliate Ad) which adds a coulpe new dynamics to the original game (which you need in order to use this pack). It made the game a bit more cutthroat. It was fun. It also makes it so that you can play 6 players instead of 5, which is always nice for game night. Carcassonne is a great game because it takes a little strategy, but even my 8 year old can play it and enjoy himself.

Let the INSANITY Begin!

I received 2 health related items for my birthday.  Polar FT7 Heart Rate Monitor (Google Affiliate Ad) (which I will review in another post) and the INSANITY workout from Beachbody. So my oldest son and I hit the Gym at 5:00am this morning, popped in the first DVD. The first day of INSANITY is a 'Fit Test' which is a series of 8 exercises that you perform individually for 1 minute each as fast as you can. Then you record how many repetitions you did. Through the 9 week program, you do this test every 2 weeks , then at the end to see what kind of progress you are making. Here are this morning's stats:

Switch Kicks56 per leg
Power Jacks46
Power Knees75
Globe Jumps8
Suicide Jumps12
Push Up Jacks22
Low Plank Oblique24 per leg

I've committed not only to complete the program in the allotted time, but also to follow (to the best of my ability) the Nutritional guide provided with the DVDs. You first Calculate your caloric needs using the Harris Benedict Equation (which has been around for almost 100 years) and then adjusting the result to your specific goals (weight loss, weight gain, maintain weight) against the program. I myself will be upping my calorie intake quite a bit from the calorie restricted diet that has helped me lose my first 50 pounds. The guide then gives you a plan for how what to eat, how much to eat and when to eat it. In reviews of INSANITY that I have read, most people who talk about getting great results from this program followed the nutrition plan. Those that did not, did not see as good results. So I might as well do what I'm told! Since I've been eating a calorie restricted diet for the last 3 months, I'm ramping up to my calories over the first week adding a little more each day.

I am really excited to be doing this program and I'll keep you posted on how it's going.

edit: Here is my starting photo

Friday, April 05, 2013

My Weekly Workout

After hitting a plateau about a month ago, I added in weight training to my running. My current workout schedule looks like this:

DayWeight TrainingCardio
  • Incline Dumbbell Bench Press
  • Flat Barbell Bench Press
  • Incline Dumbbell Flyes
  • Cable Crossovers
  • Close Grip Bench Press
  • Overhead Rope Extensions
  • Reverse Pushdowns
  • Captains Chair Leg Raises
    (Straight and Twisting)
  • Crunch Machine
  • Dorsal Raise with Weighted Ball
Jog/Run 3.5 Miles
  • Wide Grip Pullup
  • Lat Pulldown
  • Seated Cable Row
  • Bent Over Barbell Row
  • Standing Barbell Curl
  • Alternate Dumbbell Curl
  • Hammer Curl
  • See Monday
Jog/Run 3.5 Miles
WednesdayJog/Run 5-6.2 Miles
  • Overhead Press
  • Dumbell Lateral Raises
  • Bent Over Reverse Crossovers
  • Plate Shrugs
  • See Monday
Jog/Run 3.5 Miles
  • Barbell Squat
  • Leg Extension Machine
  • Stiff Leg Deadlift
  • Leg Curl Machine
  • Standing Dumbbell Calf Raises
Jog/Run 2 Miles Warmup
SaturdayJog/Run 5-6 Miles

I try to hit the gym around 5:00am and be done by 6:15am on weekdays and sleep in a little longer on Saturday. I find I am in a much better mood when I've worked out and get a good start on the day!

Thursday, April 04, 2013


Every once and a while, a website comes along that changes the way the you go about your daily life. Gmail, Facebook, Twitter just to name a few. myfitnesspal found it's way into my daily routine very easily. One stumbling block of keeping a food diary has always been knowing how many calories something is, what the serving size is, and keeping the information in a way that is useful and convenient. myfitnesspal does all that. At it's core is the food diary. You define up to 6 'meals' a day that you want to track and when you eat something you choose a meal and click add. A quick search of the very large database and generally you can find what you are looking for. If not, you can always just quick add calories if you have a guess. The site has good mobile apps that really make it easy to use. A barcode scanner in the mobile apps lets you enter packaged food by scanning it's barcode, it rarely cannot find what I'm looking for. MFP then helps you keep track of calorie intake. It also hooks up to several fitness apps like Endomondo, Runtastic, Fitbit and others to help you keep track of burned calories. The site lets you track measurements for weight and body size (or any arbitrary numeric measurement). There is then some basic reporting features on this data. That is probably one of the areas the site needs the most work, but it does seem pretty new still. The site has some social features and an active user forum, best of all, it's free. 

I would highly recommend that if you are wanting to do a food diary, to check out myfitnesspal,  it has helped me stay focused on my goals for over 80 days now and still going strong.

Wednesday, April 03, 2013

A New Start and a Recap of the Last Year

This blog has gone through a bunch of changes over the last few years. Generally reflecting the things that I am focusing on at the time. For the foreseeable future, I will be focusing on something new:  In the summer of 2012 I realized that I was not only getting overweight, but I had crossed a line. I had seen on weight charts that I was 'obese' but just said "oh, those charts are broken, I'm fine" Then I saw this photo of myself and knew I had been lying to myself and I had to do something. ( by the way, that's my youngest son with me in the photo)

July 2012 at 235lbs
It was late in the summer that I decided what I was going to do to try to make a difference in my life. I purchased my first pair of running shoes and hit the local high school track. I knew if I spent some money on the process, it would help me stick to it.

 My first time out, I could not jog around the track one time without stopping, 1/4 mile, slow jog was too much for me. It took a while to build up. 6 weeks later I participated in a fundraiser 5K for my kid's preschool and ran it in 34 min 55seconds. Not too shabby, I was down to just under 230lbs and felt pretty good. I managed to twist my ankle soon after and by December it had gotten cold outside and I stopped running to let my ankle heal.

In January, my wife and I bought a treadmill, and I hit it pretty hard. I put in 4 to 5 runs a week on it averaging 5K distance each time. I also signed up for myFitnessPal and Runtastic to log my activity. One thing I did not do in the fall was change the way I ate. So I drastically cut my eating and kept close tabs on it. In 2 weeks I dropped 10lbs, and after 4 weeks, I was down 20lbs. Then the circuit board on our treadmill died. As an employee at Greenville College, I have access to our sports training facility.  So I started going there in the mornings before work. In February, I ran 66 miles total.

At the beginning of March, I weighed in at 198lbs. The first time had been under 200 for about 15 years. I ran 111 miles that month (including a 59 minute 10K on the treadmill) and added weight training into my fitness routine.

Today, April 3rd 2013 I weighed in at 188lbs.

April 3rd, 2013 - 188lbs

I've still got a ways to go until I reach my ultimate fitness goals which are ever evolving, but I'm going to be blogging about them right here, I've been working hard for over 80 days now and I need all the motivation and accountability I can get. I'll talk more about some specifics about the tools I'm using, the routine I've put together, my goals and such in future posts. I just needed to post this backstory to give context for my future posts.

If you are on myFitnessPal, feel free to friend me, my username is johnnyGizmo of all things.