Today’s workout marked the conclusion of my 9th week back in the Cleveland Ohio area and my 7th week of doing combined circuit strength training and cardiovascular exercise. On my return to the Cleveland area, I restarted my cardiovascular exercise part of my regimen at a much scaled back level of intensity and duration as to compare with today’s workout duration and intensity.
Starting out some 9 weeks ago after recovering from an injury, I was very cautious not to walk too much, too heavily or lift any weights with my lower body muscles as to not re-injure my left hip. What has transpired over the last 9 weeks has been somewhat of a rebirth not only of my health status; also my confidence and self esteem have shot off like a rocket from a launch pad.
On the weight machines, I have found myself abandoning my original plan of increasing weights across the board every 5 weeks. I have changed it to increasing the weight when I can comfortably do 12 repetitions on my first set.
I have found myself needing to up the cardio portion of my workouts in intensity and duration as I feel as if I had risen to the level that I had raised the bar to back sometime around week 4. With increased intensity and duration, I also had to increase my daily caloric intake to closely match my burn. The last thing I want to do is throw myself into conservation mode by exercising more than my nutritional intake will support as I did during the spring of 2009.
One encouraging thing about the cardiovascular exercise that I noticed Thursday and again today was that my exercise heart rate did not climb above 140 on the elliptical until I was in my 41st minute of exercise. My maximum is 149. I was at 131 at 10 minutes, 135 at 20 minutes, 139 at 30 minutes, 140 at 40 minutes and it climbed to a high of 145 at minute 44 until it dipped 141 to end my spin on the elliptical.
On the cross trainer, my rate bounced from 139 to 143 throughout the first 40 minutes then dropped to 135 for almost the last 5 minutes. This tells me that my body is responding to the cardiovascular exercise as I am tolerating it well and while I am working out 120 minutes every day, I do not plan on increasing the duration of my workouts, just the intensity.
I started the month of June with the theme “sixty” or sixty hours of exercise for the month. Had I been sedentary leading up to June, this would be a task that would set me up for failure for sure. Thing is, leading up to June 1, I had been working out 1 hour and 50 minutes per day 6 days per week, so the increase is only 10 minutes per day with an extra day thrown in. I think back to last year from January to June when it was commonplace for me to workout 3 ½ to 4 hours per day and while I know that my body responded to that intense pace, I don’t plan on returning to that pace…as two hours will be more than enough for what I want to accomplish. The thing that this “extra” activity did though was raise my caloric intake from a range of 2700-3100 to 3500-3900 calories per day.
The levels of my caloric intake are set by spark people after plugging in the numbers into my trackers. I haven’t arbitrarily set them so if they seem kind of high, be assured that the numbers are not just randomly picked out of the air, but are based on actual numbers and activities. One bright spot in this is that for every 10 pounds I lose, I can slash 100 calories from my daily totals.
My daily average caloric intake this week is 3325 calories for a total of 23279 this week. My exercise this week has burned 12505 calories or an average of 1787 a day, which leaves me with a total of 10,774 calories for the week or 1540 calories per day. Being as my weight is 254 starting the week, I have been running a calorie deficit of 1000 calories a day which should result in a 2 pound loss for the week (2540-1540=1000). 1000 calories x 7 days = 7000 calories and one pound = 3500 calories…so that is how I figure the two pound loss.
Like clockwork at the gym today, I got on the scale and it was no surprise to me that yes, indeed I did lose two pounds from last week. I have been very cautious to measure everything that I consume calorie wise and very locked in on my activity level along with the associated burn.
Why? Because I want this to work and I want to do it right…by the book! I want my plan to serve as a launching pad for others that are struggling with their plans to say, if he can do it, I can do it. It can be done. If you are determined, if you are focused and if you can discipline yourself to your goals…the sky is the limit.
I have been cautious while out and about, in the gym or when I’m at work as to not do anything contrary to good body form or mechanics as to not injure or re-injure myself. The bike rides in the park on Saturday or Sunday afternoons have been spectacular! Yes, I am Feeling good again and looking forward to each new day and its challenges!
If I can impart anything to anyone about making and sticking with a plan, use the tracking tools that are available in spark people. A lot of the foods that I have on my “favorites” list were not listed in the automatic search section of spark people. That meant that I had to manually enter them. Labels on products are particularly helpful, but even for things that I don’t have labels for, I’ll just run the search from my spark points page that uses Google and for the search query I’ll use “Nutrition Facts _____” and in the blank I will put the name of the food. A host of web sites will follow with all the information necessary to enter your foods into the trackers so you too can know exactly what you’re consuming and ultimately help you choose what to eat at any given time and make your plan successful.