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Auckland, New Zealand
Smurf sized geeky person with a penchant for IT, gaming, music and books. Half of industrial duo 'the craze jones'. Loves data, learning new things, teaching new things and being enthusiastic.

Thursday, 1 May 2014

20 Week Challenge

The 20 week challenge started on the 28th April 2014, so hopefully it's goodbye wobbly bits.

I'm planning to blog progress on a weekly basis to make sure I stay on track with this. I will also make my exercise schedule available so that anyone who wants it can download it and join in with the madness.

My goals for this 20 week challenge period are:

  • Get my weight down to 70kg
  • Shrink my boobs (please boobs, shrink)
  • Get rid of any back flab
  • Get slimmer upper arms 

My longer term goals are:

  • Get my weight down to 55kg
  • Get back into my size 8 brushed cotton jeans because they are seriously comfy 

I've already lost a ton of weight, down from 105kg to 73kg in 2010, but then a few years ago this insane nagging, constant hunger took over and my weight went up a little. It now fluctuates between 81kg and 85kg. My GP and I now have this monster hunger under control with high doses of ranitidine, and since further upping the dose of ranitidine two weeks ago I've lost 4kg and am no longer distracted by an ever present gnawing pain in my oesophagus. Throughout this hunger period I have been working out at the gym and walking 5-12km per day because I quite like being fit and healthy, but now it's time for phase two of the weight loss and getting hot and sexy. Whoop!

Last night my REPs certified PT, Melinda Rhodes, came over to do my starting assessment. I am that nerd who enjoys gym assessments way more than normal gym stuff, it was loads of fun.

My starting stats:
  • Weight: 81.6kg
  • Body fat % using calipers: Melinda had issues getting any fat on my waist - whoop! This is good news for my heart, I don't store fat around my waist. My arms and hips were a different story though. So lots of work to do there. Just waiting to get the calculated results back from Melinda.
  • Resting heart rate: Resting heart rate was higher than normal at 73bpm as I'd just been rushing around, feeding dogs and was generally stressed from my drive home taking 1hr 45 mins instead of 45 mins.
  • Heart rate recovery: 3 mins of stepping in time to music on a very high step - seriously, that thing is designed for giants, not smurfs. Heart rate at end was 151bpm. After 1 minute it was 129bpm. So not a bad recovery but it could be better.
  • Pushups in 1 minute: 30 (full ones, not the girl ones).
  • Situps in 1 minute: 27 (full sit ups, from flat to fully upright each time).
  • Squats in 1 minute: 30 (deep squats, had to squat and touch bum on the step behind me).
  • Balance tests: I can stand on one leg all day and after a few minutes we decided static balance tests were a bit easy, so we switched to some dynamic balance tests. These are a lot harder and I definitely need to work on improvement in this area. You stand on one leg, raise one leg behind you whilst raising your hands in the air and leaning forward, then stand upright again, but you can't put your hands or foot on the ground. It's a pendulum type motion. I managed three on each leg before wobbling and putting down a foot. Then it was balancing squats on the wobble board - easy peasy again.
All in all, not too bad but there are definite areas for improvement.

My goals for the next 2 weeks:
  • Pick up rowing machine on Sat morning from Elite Fitness.
  • Set up an interval training schedule for the rower, planning to use a combination of HIIT and Tabata Methods.
  • Do daily interval training on the rower.
  • Keep working on push-ups, situps, squats and those pesky dynamic balance pendulum things.
  • Lose another 2kg by 14th May.
Two days a week I only eat a max of 500 calories, on these days I eat hard boiled eggs, meal replacement shakes and veggies; the other five days I eat what I like, which for me is usually soup, tomatoes and more eggs. This method is easier than a diet as you're not actually dieting. This is a lifestyle change and a pretty easy one at that. It's how I used to eat until my late 20s and I was always very slim, full of energy and had no health issues. It was hard to restart eating like this when "The Hunger" was present but now that's been resolved it's proving quite easy to drop back into this way of eating. Seems that research now shows that I wasn't an anorexic exercise junky but was simply eating the right way for the human body to work at its best.

Fixed Interval High Intensity Interval Training
Fixed interval HIIT. Row high intensity intervals at about 85-95% of maximum intensity alternated with low intensity intervals to recover. Adjust the length of the intervals to the level of fitness. A beginning rower can start with high intensity intervals of 30 seconds and recovery periods of 1.5 to 2 minutes, and repeat this for about 10 minutes.

What is the Tabata Method?
The Tabata method involves performing 8 – 10 sets of 20 seconds very high intensity exercise separated with 10 second recovery periods giving a total training time = 4 – 5 minutes. The caveat of the Tabata Method is that all the intervals have to be done at 100% intensity – an absolute flat out effort. You have to strive to perform as much work in each 20 second interval as possible and try to maintain that work rate for the 8 – 10 sets.

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