The Herald-Dispatch |


Finding Motivation to Get Fit
How I found motivation to lose weight, get in shape and help others to do the same.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009

Time Flies when the sun shines

Hey, guys, sorry for the delay, but in case you missed it, SPRING IS HERE!

Spring cleaning is something most people do because everyone else says they have to do it!  If you are like me and are trying to drop those extra pounds and shape up before bikini / trunk season then perhaps a little Spring cleaning is needed in your workout program.

For me, I'm cutting back on the weightlifting for a month, dropping to three core exercises and ramping up my cardio to burn off the excess flab without bulking up.  I'm doing this to help show off some of the muscle I believe I've added over the winter and to get rid of those last few pounds that keep dogging me.

My very favorite cardio exercise is something that is surprisingly easier on my knees than just about anything else I've tried:  running the bleachers at Midland.  For starters, they're not real high so I don't get completely exhausted before I get a little break.  They also are close to the weight room so what little weight work I do will just add to my overall toning and conditioning.

I will still do my dynamic warm up to get my body ready to perform.  Then I'll take to the steps.  The first thing I do is run four sets up, hitting every step as fast as I can.  When I get about two-thirds up and my legs feel like jello, I focus on my form and pump my arms as quickly as possible to squeeze out those last few steps.  I walk down the steps at an easy pace and once down I take about five seconds and hit it again.  On my next four sets I hit every other step which helps to simulate a sprinting stride.  Near the top I have to concentrate on driving my legs like pistons through each stride.  This will be my first week's workout and the goal is to add one extra set each week for the next six weeks.

The combination of a pre-run workout consisting of the three core lifts, the clean complex, squat, and deadlift will have taxed my legs hard before the run and then they'll be screaming afterwards.

Be sure to get plenty of fluids and fruits, especially bananas and other high potassium foods to reduce the possibility for cramping later on if you decide to give this workout a try.  It will quickly turn you into a fat burning machine!  But don't take my word for it!  Go for it!

Thursday, March 12, 2009

Sunshine time means GET OUTSIDE!!!

The past few days have been a teaser for what's to come and an excellent motivator to get back to work on getting in the best shape of my life!

I love to sweat when I workout.   Nothing gets me more excited about punishing my body than leaning forward and a stream of sweat pouring off my nose!  It's probably just a guy thing.  Or a me thing, but it's an outstanding motivator that gives me instant feedback that my metabolism is revved up!

I'm headed back into the weight room today after a two week break and I'm pretty sure I'll be huffing and puffing away as I try to get my body reacquainted with my workout.  I'll hit it pretty hard but not so hard that I hurt myself or make myself so sore that I have to skip my next scheduled workout which is now Saturday after softball practice.

Over the past two weeks I've taken the time to examine my fitness goals and make adjustments where needed.  I am setting a new weight goal of 189 pounds by April 1, 2009!  As it stands right now, that's seven pounds as I weighed in today at 196!  I believe I can do it but it's going to take a combination of lifting, cardio, and eating better to get it done!

I am committing myself to reaching this goal and I have 20 days to get it done!  As I've mentioned previously it always helps to have a partner when trying to get back in shape so feel free to drop me a comment.  Encourage me, tell me how you've gotten back in shape or how you plan to get back in shape.  I also plan to write a fresh article the day after each workout - so there should be at least three a week!

If you're like I was and really need to turn your physical fitness around!  Go for it!  See your doctor for a physical and take it one day at a time.  I wish you well and get started now!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Change is important to stay motivated

Hey, all!  One of the most boring things in the world is doing the same thing over and over and over and over again.  It's... boring!!!  And boring leads to disinterest which in the "getting in shape game" means quitting!!!  So let's change it up!

Every fall we start our girls off with some basic weight lifting exercises.  We do front squats, deadlifts and a clean complex.  These exercises are the fundamental building blocks for developing powerful, explosive muscle from the feet through the shoulders.  But after two months, we change our program and adjust the lifts.  The only lift we keep the same is the clean complex because it amounts to four exercises in one.

Doing the same old lifts in the same old order gets boring and the muscles become accustomed to the lift and don't grow or respond as well so we will change the order and even the type of lift.  We'll stop doing front squats for two months and do the leg press machine.  We'll cut out deadlifts and do pull downs.  And we add hammer curls and triceps presses.

By keeping the muscles guessing as to what lift is coming next they are forced to work in different ways.  Personally, I've had my best muscle gains after I've switched to a new lifting plan.  My muscles had to react to the new lifts and as a result I saw immediate benefit.

Now that softball season has arrived my lifting time will decrease but my cardio and condition will increase.  I'm hoping to drop from my current weight of 194 to 185 before we play our first game on March 18th.  If I stick to my six day plan I can do it.  I have all the motivation I need too, in that I am competing with an entire softball team and they won't let me take it easy!

Until next time!!!