In August I ran in a 5K Warrior Dash with my 2 sons, John and James. You can read the complete story here in a published newspaper column. It was a hoot!
Check out my glowing testimonial about DigiFit, the fitness app I use on my iPhone 6 for all of my Beach Body workouts.
In April 2012, weighing in the mid-150s and in good cardiovascular condition but with no muscle tone to speak of, I began Tony Horton’s P90X. I had been doing some light weight training at the gym where I am a member but nothing could have prepared me for what I was about to embark upon. The first month was grueling. I awoke every morning with stiff and painful muscles in literally every part of my body. But somewhere around day 65 or so, I started seeing results. I finished the program and took a few weeks off to rest – and then I started the program all over again… and again for the third time. This past June I took two weeks off for my annual hike through the Peruvian Andes. Upon my return, I began P90X2, finished that and then went back and started P90X again – for the fourth time. I am now in the 7th week and loving it. Meeting with the gang on DVD every morning has become a regular part if my day. They have become my workout buddies. Mondays usually involves an hour of chest and back exercises – push ups and pull ups – of every variety (see the schedule above) until you’re so dizzy you’re almost blind. But the results on this soon-to-be 59-year old are satisfactory although admittedly the transformation has been slow to come about. The old Nike ad reminds me “There is no finish line.” And the importance of establishing a daily exercise regime has become a priority in my life. Check out my recent newspaper column, Confused about your weight? Ask a personal trainer, that appeared in North Jersey’s Sunday, December 15 Suburban Trends.
My column published yesterday in North Jersey Media Group’s Suburban Trends deals with the topic of standing up – literally. You can be in the best shape of your life, “killing yourself” by exercising strenuously every day but if you sit at a desk for more than 6 hours, you are literally killing yourself. For me the solution was that I sold my big, comfy executive desk and bought a stand up desk. You may just need to get up and move around more. But do something other than sit around and vegetate like a couch potato.
When I’m coasting during a week of “rest” from the normal daily weight training regimen, I’ll still go to the gym and spend anywhere from 30 minutes to an hour on an elliptical trainer. As long as there’s something interesting to watch on one of the overhead TVs, I could go on and on. But not all ellipticals are created equal. In our gym, the standard elliptical machine rarely gets my heart rate out of the 120s. I barely break a sweat despite pushing the setting up to 15/20 and choosing a challenging program. So I have given up wasting my time on a standard elliptical and instead have started cardio workouts on something more challenging, like the Precor EFX 5761. Check out the results I logged today using my MIO Alpha heart rate monitor watch synched to DigiFit. You can see from the graph of my heart rate the two “mountains” I climbed in this challenging program. And it was a good calorie burn too.
It was back on June 24 that I began my journey through P90X-2. As a 3-time graduate of P90X, I thought I knew what to expect but the “2” program was completely different. Lots of different moves, many off balance. Different types of stretching. Longer warm-ups, three phases, weeks long that were completely different from each other. And almost every exercise involving the core. This is week one of rest. I’ll take another, possibly two until resuming my own program – a mixture of the original P90X with its traditional stretching and heavier emphasis on weight training – and P90X2, taking from that program what I liked. But get ready! P90X-3 is coming in December!
While out on my road bike yesterday I had lots of time while pedaling through a hilly, 18-mile course to ponder the question, why do I exercise? For me that answer is multi-faceted: For longevity, a better quality of life, to look better, to improve my strength, endurance and flexibility, to have more energy especially for my young, 9 and 11-year old daughters. But there’s more. I have been faithfully dedicating myself to this regimen of exercise for so long that it has actually become something I enjoy for itself. In other words the means has become the end. But not completely. Once a year I spend 2 weeks trekking through the Andes Mountains in Peru working side-by-side with indigenous Quechua missionaries in the work of New Testament distribution. As you may imagine, trekking from one Quechua village to another in the Peruvian Andes requires great endurance and cardio-vascular capacity. So my exercise regimen indeed has a spiritual component. I recently uploaded a short, 11-minute video of our trek through the Cordillera de Huayhuash last June. You may view it by clicking this link.