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Nine months into 2012 - fitness review

Sunday, October 07, 2012

So normally I would have done this on the 1st day of the month, but this month sprung itself on me before I was ready. So I scheduled it for today instead. Today was convenient in part because Friday and Saturday are my ST rest days, which meant I'd had more than 24 since my weight work on Thursday.

Nine months of 2012 are now in the past, nine months of consistent fitness work.

My 1 July 2012 update is here:
www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4950876


My 1 April 2012 update is here: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4815690


My original 1 January 2012 starting point is here (including comments on some of the measurements): www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=4648619


Height = 5' 7.75"
Weight = 200 pounds TO 175 pounds (25 pounds down)
Body Fat % = 42% or 27.89% TO 36% or 27.23%
BMI = 30.63 (Obese) TO 26.8 (Overweight)
BMR = 1641.325 TO 1532.575

Forehead = 23.75" TO 23.5
Neck = 15" TO 14
Shoulders = 44" TO 42.5'
Chest = 40.5" TO 39
Bust = 46.5" TO 43
Ribs / Strap = 38" TO 35.5
Bicep = 14" TO 13.5'
Forearm = 11.25" TO 10.5
Wrist = 6.75" TO 6.75
Waist at Navel = 40" TO 36.5
Hips = 48" TO 43
Seat = 46.5" TO 43
Thigh = 26" TO 23.75
Calf = 16.75 TO 15.5
Ankle = 9.5" TO 9.5


Fitness testing:

Resting Heart Rate = 61 bpm (machine) TO not measured (in bed) or 55/49 bpm (machine)
Target Heart Rate = 124 - 150 bpm
Blood Pressure = 115/75 TO 93/62 or 93/67
(I couldn't believe the first BP/HR reading, so I did it a second time - hence two numbers.)

(Using www.topendsports.com/testing/hometes
t.htm
for instructions and scaling)
Situps = 31 (Good) TO 35 (Excellent)
Modified Pushups = 4 (Below Average) TO 10 (Average)
Squats = 22 (Good) TO 50 (Excellent)
Step = 145 bpm (Very Poor)* TO 132 (Poor)
Vertical Jump = 8" (Below Average) TO 8.5 (Below Average)
Sit and Reach = +1" (Average) TO +0.5 (Average)

Aerobic fitness check:

Heart rate before walk = 90 bpm TO 60 bpm
Time for 1 mile brisk = 15:10 TO 14:09.9
Heart rate after 1 mile brisk = 127 bpm TO 120 bpm
Time for 2nd mile brisk = 14:45 TO 13:57.62
Heart rate after mile 2 = 140 bpm (original) TO 128 bpm
Time for 1 mile normal = 17:02 TO 15:24.59
Heart rate after 1 mile normal = 109 bpm TO 120 bpm


Comments:

Sit & reach is a flexibility thing, and I don't really have a good setup to measure it. I probably need to add more to my stretching to improve this.

Vertical jump is an explosive muscle thing. I actually didn't push hard on this one because between 4 miles of walking, the step test, and the hour on the recumbent bike, my first jump made me aware my knees didn't think it was a good idea. No pain, but it's the least of my fitness concerns at the moment - so I let it slide.

Step test ... I think I may have added one too many blocks under the step. It's supposed to be 12 inches, but may have done 14 inches instead. No big deal, but that would possibly explain the heart rate increase.

Walking -- last testing I did on a treadmill, so the HR measures are much more accurate, but the times are a little distorted (faster than I do on a slightly hilly trail). This time I did this out at the Los Gatos Creek trail.

The 3rd mile I thought I slowed down, but apparently nowhere near as much as I thought. emoticon The 4th mile was my cooldown, but even that was a snappy pace of 17:24.25 which let my HR get down to 72 bpm. My total time for those four miles was 61 minutes.

Heart rates were from attempts to count pulse for 5 seconds and multiply by 12. Any longer and it slows down too much to be effective. I'll probably do this on the treadmill for the next one -or- get myself a heartrate monitor or pulse checking band of some sort.

Physical / injury comments:

My left foot seems to mostly be under control. It's not "perfect" by any means, but I continue to work on the stretches (left calf is still tighter / less flexible, but improved).

My left shoulder / upper arm is my "weakest link" when it comes to doing pushups, but other than a vague soreness, I've been able to keep strengthening it. The 10th pushup was achieved with pure grit and unwillingness to give up. I kept my form, but it was HARD. (When I do them for ST, I do three sets. For the fitness test, it is 1 set to exhaustion. So I figured I should have just enough left in the tank to push it.)

Otherwise, feeling really good physically.

======================

On a cute side note, I walked from the trail to the light rail station and was doing the squats at the bench while waiting. An "older" couple arrived. He asked me if I was exercising, I answered yes, and that was it for that moment. After I finished I overheard them talking and mentioning GU. Now, tomorrow is the Rock 'N' Roll emoticon in San Jose and in looking at the course map to decide where I wanted to play audience, I'd noticed that they had "GU" stations.

So I asked if they were racing tomorrow. Sure enough, she was planning to walk it - her fourth this year to earn a "Grand Slam". emoticon We talked until the train arrived. They were mentioning some of the states they've been to this year. I mentioned TIMOTHYNOHE (not by name - just someone on a website I frequent emoticon ) and his goal to run in each state.

Then she mentioned someone with a goal to run on every continent ... who ran one ... on Antarctica. emoticon I can't even begin to imagine. ( www.icemarathon.com/ ) We did have a bit of a laugh about how his wife would NOT go along to that one. She doesn't mind doing the tourist thing elsewhere, but said no way to ice and snow and no shopping.

I have no idea if I'll successfully spot her on the course, but I do plan to be out there hooting and cheering the runners and walkers! emoticon

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

GOOSIEMOON 10/11/2012 9:20AM

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SIZE8NOTSOMUCH 10/10/2012 4:22PM

    Good for you!!! Way to go.


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SERASARA 10/10/2012 1:52PM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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WALKINGCHICK 10/9/2012 8:09AM

    Great job, well done, and thanks for the inspiration and thoughts - they are really helpful.
emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PCASEY7 10/8/2012 11:25PM

    Great Job and blog! Congrats!

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CHUM48 10/8/2012 8:27PM

    Awesome!

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JAMER123 10/8/2012 8:07PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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DIANNEMT 10/8/2012 6:30PM

    Great!!

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IAMAGEMLOVER 10/8/2012 5:41PM

    emoticon

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FIT4MEIN2013 10/8/2012 4:07PM

    emoticon emoticon

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PATRICIAANN46 10/8/2012 2:42PM

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JUSGETTENBY42 10/8/2012 2:39PM

    emoticon

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IREN0169 10/8/2012 1:33PM

    emoticon This is awesome!

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LIVELYGIRL2 10/8/2012 1:13PM

  You are doing an incredible job. Can I say, WOW. Gee, that takes guts and determination. It is also good to meet people with passion.

I know there is plenty of exercise/ health buffs here in our area, but I don't have any that too committed in my circle of influence.It does take determination to live this way, when the ones around you don't, or do classes and clubs. ( which has costs/ )

Thanks again for sharing. This is why we love Spark! emoticon

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SHOAPIE 10/8/2012 11:06AM

    emoticon

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HEARTS116 10/8/2012 10:57AM

    emoticon ,,,

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WALLINMW 10/8/2012 10:33AM

  wow!

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FARIS71 10/8/2012 9:29AM

    That is awesome! Way to be showing a positive healthy example everywhere you go!

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DJSHIP46 10/8/2012 8:21AM

    emoticon emoticon

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NEWMOM20121 10/8/2012 8:21AM

    You are doing so well, great job.

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MANDALORE 10/8/2012 8:17AM

    emoticon emoticon

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OFGREENGABLES 10/8/2012 8:11AM

    thank you for sharing your progress. keep up the good work!

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TREYONE 10/8/2012 7:43AM

  emoticon emoticon emoticon

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PENOWOK 10/8/2012 6:51AM

    That is sooo cool!! What a great story! But the best news is your wonderful improvements!! Keep up the amazing work!

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DNRAE1 10/8/2012 6:18AM

    Wow, now that is keeping track!!! Fantastic! You are doing phenomenally well! emoticon Antarctica? Nah! I don't mind cold, but that is beyond cold! emoticon

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GRAMPIAN 10/8/2012 5:59AM

  Well done.

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TRYINGHARD54 10/8/2012 5:47AM

    emoticon

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SUSANK16 10/8/2012 5:38AM

  Ice marathon - just when you think you have heard all the challenges.

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NCSUE0514 10/8/2012 5:08AM

    emoticon

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TDWANDD2MYK9 10/8/2012 2:35AM

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KING_SLAYER 10/7/2012 7:44PM

    Great blog, so much info. I am jealous of all of the track-able data that you have logged. I just started on a path to lose weight with no measuring of anything. I really wish I had done all of that when I started! Good for you, you're going to have lots of information to look back on when you've reached your goals.

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~ELLE~ 10/7/2012 2:15PM

    emoticon Congrats on your weight and inches lost!!! Great job!!! You are very inspiring!!!

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SPARKFRAN514 10/7/2012 12:01PM

    emoticon emoticon your blogs always inspire so many Spakers keep up the great job and blogs you as so close to the finish line emoticon

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ROXONA 10/7/2012 11:22AM

    Great improvements. Contratulations!!!
emoticon

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HEALTHY-SPARK 10/7/2012 9:58AM

    Wow this is awesome!!

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CIPHER1971 10/7/2012 9:43AM

    What amazing improvements - you are emoticon

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YESCURLYCAN 10/7/2012 4:45AM

  emoticon I love how thorough you are. Thanks for the home fitness tests link. I have been looking for something like that and right now I just test my planks, and the step test. Can't wait to see your read out at the end of this year Blue emoticon

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SHAMAYO 10/7/2012 1:54AM

    That Antartica thing is kooky! But sooo cool.

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30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 26

Saturday, October 06, 2012

( Questions from TANYAP71's blog: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5038746
)

26. Do you like to exercise alone, with a partner, in a small group, or in a large group? Why?

I'm most definitely a loner (and not just with respect to exercise).

Mentally, I tend to do one of two things:

1) Be in mental "trainer" mode, working out the inner voice that pushes me to do more (to be harder, better, faster, stronger) while working out the outer body. I know when I'm pushing as hard as I can and when I'm not. I might not know just how far I can push myself, but I do know when I'm not pushing enough.

2) Zone out. If it's a familiar activity and doesn't demand attention on form, I like to let my mind wander. Whether it's plotting a blog, pondering a goal and what I need to do to reach it, mentally editing a story, reading, or just singing along with a song, sometimes I use the hard physical workout time as lazy, relaxing mental time.

Neither of those is really workable with a second person, particularly one who isn't comfortable with long silences and minimal interaction.


The other reason I tend to work out alone is my pacing. If I'm ready to go, I'm going - I don't want to slow down and wait for someone. If I'm not ready to go, I'm finishing something - I don't want to be rushed. Finding someone I can compromise with enough to not feel like I'm delaying or hurrying my workout is a greater challenge to me than self-motivating and going alone.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKFRAN514 10/7/2012 12:06PM

    i do both go to a small group one day week a personal trainer 1 time week and the rest i do on my own sometimes on my own i find it a good time to write my blogs in my head emoticon

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ILOVEMALI 10/6/2012 11:46PM

    I enjoy walking with The Boy's sweetheart, because we walk at the same brisk pace. My husband likes to walk more leisurely, and grouses a little when I pick up the pace.

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ILOVEMALI 10/6/2012 11:46PM

    I enjoy walking with The Boy's sweetheart, because we walk at the same brisk pace. My husband likes to walk more leisurely, and grouses a little when I pick up the pace.

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SKINNIESOMEDAY 10/6/2012 12:34PM

    I too prefer to go alone ! That way there's no depending on someone else to get it done and I'm pretty impatient and so I just take off on my own !

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RG_DFW 10/6/2012 10:49AM

    I really prefer going it alone..

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 10/6/2012 10:47AM

    I loved having a walking buddy. But I do my workouts alone now. The joke around here is I wore out all my walking buddies. emoticon

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SBNORMAL 10/6/2012 6:21AM

  I love the feel of exer
cise doing and afterwards.

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CIPHER1971 10/6/2012 3:52AM

    I zone out and use exercise time as mental free wheel time too, although I tend to exercise alone because I can't talk when I am exercising.

Have a great day

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30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 25

Friday, October 05, 2012

( Questions from TANYAP71's blog: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5038746
)

25. Is there any form of fitness/exercise that you tried and gave up? Is there any form of fitness/exercise that you would like to try?

Well, I tried Yoga one time a few months back and decided it wasn't for me at this time. Not sure that means I gave it up, as I tried it just to see what it was like.

I also tried Zumba one time. Not sure if it was the instructor or just the group class "don't have a clue what I'm supposed to do next beat" issue, but I also chose not to follow up on that - even slipping out of the class in the first 15 minutes.

I recently tried a cycling (spin) class. I might throw that in again here and there. emoticon Of all things to currently dissuade me from doing more , SP's tracker has to be off somewhere. 60 minutes of Stationary Bike over 15 mph gives me 857 calories burned, while 60 minutes of Indoor Cycling gives me 560. emoticon I ~KNOW~ I'm not doing 190 calories less work in that class, but if I do it I have to do other things to meet my calories burned settings.

There are also particular weight machines that I've tried or used and eventually quit using. One of those was a seated leg extension. I quit using that machine and moved to a seated leg press (squats with weight but on an incline) and saw a lot more improvement in my knees and upper leg strength.


I would eventually like to try some of the other group classes that I see running while I work out - some just to see how well/poorly I'd do, others to see if it would be a fun variation. I keep planning to try out the ergometer, but have put it off because I want to be sure of my tendons in my shoulder and elbow.

Not exactly "fitness", but I do eventually want to get back into hiking and to expand from that to full-scale backpacking / camping. Maybe if I have the chance someday, trying out snow-boarding.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

KRZYKAT3 10/6/2012 9:19PM

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TIMOTHYNOHE 10/5/2012 10:30PM

    YOga did nothing for me.

Zumba was a mess. I was the mess. I play music, but I just could not get the rhythm.

Spinning! I loved spinning.

Hiking is definitely fitness.

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MNJONES2 10/5/2012 8:04PM

    I loved my Group Active class but the gym cancelled it. rats!

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MUSOLF6 10/5/2012 6:00PM

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EVWINGS 10/5/2012 5:32PM

    It seems you are at least trying new things. i admire you for that!!

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30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 24

Friday, October 05, 2012

( Questions from TANYAP71's blog: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5038746
)

24. When did you incorporate fitness goals into your healthy lifestyle? (Before starting to lose weight, during weight loss, after goal weight, etc.)

I started off my weight loss through Spark People with fitness goals. In fact, my original "Program" was more focused on walking every day and a minimum amount than it was on how many pounds I could or would lose a week/month.

I added Strength Training within the first month, knowing that simply walking would never be enough to get fit ... because I'd never stopped walking no matter how heavy I was. (It's how I was a relatively fit fat person.)

My physical fitness is actually the biggest motivation in all that I do. If I plateau'd and never lost another pound of fat, I would still be pushing to get stronger and more capable. I don't have to be at some goal weight to push for a full military pushup, for example.


emoticon

On a side note, I did a little two arm flex emoticon in the mirror at the gym today and was actually surprised at how much muscular definition I could see across my shoulders. That was pretty cool. (The light angle and my posture was also weird, making some of my ribs and my collar bone look really prominent. emoticon)

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKFRAN514 10/5/2012 2:37PM

    emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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SPARKFRAN514 10/5/2012 2:09PM

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GOING-STRONG 10/5/2012 10:51AM

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SHERIO5 10/5/2012 10:19AM

    Woo-hoo!

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CRYSTLE4HIMTX12 10/5/2012 6:19AM

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EVWINGS 10/5/2012 1:53AM

    Good job,my friend. You have certainly done well. I call my upper arms my bat wings!!

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30 Day Blog Challenge: Day 23

Wednesday, October 03, 2012

( Questions from TANYAP71's blog: www.sparkpeople.com/mypage_public_jo
urnal_individual.asp?blog_id=5038746
)

23. What are your current fitness goals?

One that I talk about here and there is to be able to do a full military pushup. emoticon I'm definitely making slow and steady progress on that one, from barely being able to eke out one or two pushups using the back of a bench and otherwise wall pushups to being able to do a little over twenty modified pushups (no more than 6-9 per set).

Another one is to maintain or even increase my LBM (lean body mass). I am using the Body Fat % that my scale emoticon comes up with (a Tanita) which means it may not be wholly accurate. It is at least a consistent measure, even if some things I've read mention it mostly judges lower body and can be up to 10% off in either direction.

When I first started out 16 Sep 2011, I weighed in at 250.5 and 49% Body Fat -- or not quite 128 pounds of LBM. Today I weighed in at 174.5 and 35% Body Fat -- or a little over 113 pounds of LBM. If that's even vaguely accurate, that means that 15 pounds of the 76 I've lost, or about 1/5th of my weight loss, has been LBM.

On the plus side, 10 pounds of that were lost before I joined the gym in January 2012, and only 5 pounds have been lost since, with it more recently seeming to stabilize. As I come closer and closer to whatever my maintenance weight will eventually be, I really want to have it increase. Cutting back on my cardio on weight days is one step in the process of this goal. All the nutrition tracking I do also ties into this - such as getting calcium for bones (as well as magnesium and vitamin D / sunshine). Can't build LBM without the proper building blocks.

Another longer-term fitness goal I have is to rework my weight routines to be more efficient and effective - and easier to track ongoing progress when I swap exercises. Dropping the cardio time way down will be followed by redesigning my routine for an Arms day and a Legs day, I think. (I will say that the current routine HAS worked well -- strengthening up my bones, joints, tendons, and ligaments, as much if not more than the muscles.)

I'm still reading up on a lot of stuff right now, so it's not 100% decided, but I do want to advance from my current routine. Sometimes that can be a real information overload, with no two studies, sites, coaches, or trainers in full agreement. The best direction seems to be self-experimentation with various methods.

  
  Member Comments About This Blog Post:

SPARKFRAN514 10/5/2012 2:07PM

    you are amazing and inspire so many sparker's and I am at the head the list..
like your goal of the push up me I am working on the planks
enjoy your week end have not head you talk about Roller coasters lately emoticon

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ROCKETGIRL229 10/4/2012 10:46AM

    Congratulations on reaching your goals and most of all - your determination. Best of luck to you!!! emoticon

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SHERIO5 10/4/2012 10:06AM

    Listening to your body and personalizing your workouts sounds like the perfect plan. Your research is admirable!

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1EMMA2011 10/3/2012 6:47PM

    Great analysis - totally makes sense to me...Thank you for this incredible inspiration. emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon emoticon

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RODGRODMEDFLOD 10/3/2012 3:06PM

    Wow, some tough goals. Congratulations on the success so far!

emoticon

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