I would be SUPER skinny by now!
I haven’t written for nearly a month primarily because I haven’t really had much to say. I still have a few days left in May, but I don’t really expect to hit my original goal of losing five pounds this month. The reason is, I let an appointment for a medical physical get in the way of my weight loss. That is to say, I have been reminded that medical professionals do not receive any nutritional training during their tenure in school! I’ve only seen a one pound loss so far this month, and while it is possible to lose four pounds by the 31st, I’d say it’s not very likely.
Nor do I know that I’ve lost much in the way of inches. However, I can tell you that I haven’t given up on my quest to lose weight, and I’m working on a training plan for the next three months. I’ve been to the gym at least twice a week, with several days of at least 5,000 steps interspersed. It occurred to me this week that while I try to get to the gym three times a week, it’s not always possible for me to do so. It’s inevitable that once a week, I will have an appointment, or something else that comes up, on a scheduled gym day. Toward that end, I’ve started looking for alternative training sessions I can do at home without a huge capital investment.
While I completely agree that strength training is very important for weight loss, body composition and peace of mind, I am of the opinion that more than three times a week is probably too much, at least for me. I am a big believer in recovery days, but that doesn’t always mean a complete rest day. In fact, my research pretty much agrees with this – strength training for the “average” person doesn’t need to exceed three times a week. Two or three days a week, cardio is a nice alternative. Toward that end, I’m considering the following training schedule.
Monday – Strength training: squats, dumbbell lunges, standing heel raises, abs (a combination of obliques & crunches)
Tuesday – Cardio: zumba
Wednesday – Strength training: Barbell incline presses, one-arm dumbbell rows, seated dumbbell presses, alternate dumbbell curls, lying triceps presses
Thursday – Cardio: yoga
Friday – Strength training: squats, dumbbell lunges, seated calf raises, abs (reverse crunches & decline crunches)
Saturday – Optional Cardio: zumba
Sunday – Rest day
The following Monday will be an upperbody strength day – the training schedule will just roll on.
I know that there are a lot of people who believe cardio is dead, but I’m not one of them. I still think you need to get at least some cardio in a few times a week to increase endurance, build lung function and train the heart. Call me crazy, but I’m not giving it up – I’m no fan of cardio, but I do believe there are definite benefits to it. And when the zombie apocalypse happens, I won’t be food for them because I will have the endurance to get out of their way. We’ll see how well those who only strength train do when they figure out they can only hurl so many things at a zombie! 😉
Saturday is an optional rest day. If I don’t make it to the gym one day during the week, or if I’m just inclined to train, I will. If I don’t feel like it, or I’m too busy, I won’t.
My goal with this training schedule is to increase my overall strength, lose weight, and increase my cardiovascular capabilities – I want to be able to walk all five flights of stairs at the office without being too winded to talk at the top. As crazy as it may sound, for my cardio, I’m employing the Nintendo Wii, which has several “games” for training. I like feedback, and the video game platform gives me that. If there’s something I want to do down the line that isn’t offered on Wii, no worries – I also have a PS3 and an XBox 360 at my disposal. I’m just using the Wii because it’s currently not utilized by anyone in the house. 🙂 And I figure it might be fun to learn Zumba.
The other thing I really need to do is drink more water. I’m mostly concerned in this instance about being sure I’m ridding myself of the occasional transgression with sodium – last night I had pizza with my family, and this morning I can tell a definite difference in my body due to water retention. I’m sure I’m up a couple of pounds today but I know it’s just water, because even though I had pizza yesterday, it was well within my calorie allowance for the day. That’s another thing – I’m eating about 2,000 calories a day on this program. I believe that a big part of the reason why I didn’t lose much weight during May was because the PA that did my physical had me restricting so much to lose weight, I was below my BMR. Some folks can lose when they’re below BMR – I’m not one of them. My plan is to eat a net of no less than 1860 calories, which means that some days I could be eating at much as 2200 gross calories (my average training session burns about 300 calories).
I am going to give this a roll for three months and see how it goes. I know I need to lose weight, and as long as I’m creating a calorie deficit, I should do exactly that. Between the training schedule and my reduced calorie intake, I should see about a one pound per week loss. That will be 12 pounds in three months, and I’m good with that – it’s safe, attainable and sustainable. If I see a smaller loss, I will analyze my program based on other metrics – like inches lost, or strength gained. What I’m primarily looking for here is progress, in one form or another. Whatever happens, you won’t find me giving up.
I’m in this for the long haul.