The last health report I did was from October 2018. 2018 people!!
As is usual with these things, when the reports stop it usually means it didn’t go well.
My weight continues to be something I struggle with. I eat when I am stressed and work was plain and simple exhausting me. And the end of the day I was just mentally beat. So I started eating more. This remained reasonable as long as I kept swimming. But having the mental energy to go swimming was also running out …
I just didn’t have the willpower to swim for 2 km on end. In a last ditch effort I started to reduce how much I swam in the -futile -hopes of keeping the habit of going 3 times a week. I wanted to keep the habit in the hopes that the mental dip would be temporary and after a month or two I could bounce right back to the full 2km.
Well that didn’t help. Swimming dropped to zero. The weight kept stacking up and with the heigher weight the push ups became harder so those stopped as well.
Exercise was down to zero and I was eating all the time.
How bad did it get? 120 kg bad.
Somewhere around the end of 2019 I did restart swimming. Knowing I am going to do exercises usually helps to eat less as well (because swimming when you are all bloated isn’t very fun). It was slow going but I enjoyed it again and slowly training my way back to the full 2 km. Then the lockdown due to Covid happened. The week they closed everything was THE week I was going to do my first 2 km again.
Being pissed off was an understatement! By the time the swimming pool re-opened (under very ridiculuse Covid measure as well) I knew I would have to restart all over again. And I just couldn’t. Especially with all the uncertainty of a possible new closing.
I wanted something I had 100% full control over. Because if I was dependant on our government making smart decisions I could wait a long time.
Luckily I already had moved my exercise bench from my parents home to my home before the lockdown. And the plan had always been to start fitness once my swimming was a strong habit again. So I just decided to flipped the sequence and start with the fitness.
I started with the fitness on 21st June of 2020. To keep me honest and being able to track my progress I decided to pay for an anual subscription fot the Jefit App.
I started low (because it had been a long time since I did this) and didn’t progress a whole lot until september. Did had two reasons, I had to get into the habit of regular exercise. Being 120 kg does not help with this. 120 kg is already a lot of weight to get moving .. I also lacked some weights to start adding in a gradual way. And since the start of this pandemic exercise equipment is hard to get because everybody started exercising from home. As a little side note, i would not invest in any stock from gym compagnies. With people having all the equipment they need at home I can see their membership numbers not really rebounding after Covid.
The gap in the picture below is our 10 day holiday in Portugal. And you do see chart starting to go up after that holiday because I finally received my weights ordered back in August.
I did make a stupid mistake between June and September: in the abscence of the necessary weights I could have increased my repetitions! It was only when I started modifying the weight in the app that I actually realised I could also modify the reps! STUPID (afbeelding).
So as of October I started adding something (either a bit of weight or some extra reps) to 1 or 2 exercises.
It might not be all that much fitness I do, but I do I have now been doing it consistently since the 21st June, which brings me to 9 months at the moment!
Add it all up and total numbers start to be impressive:
Could I have pushed myself more in the fitness department? Probably. But I like my current approach and seem to be able to keep doing it. And that in itself is a big win for me.
The only thing I didn’t like with my exercise regime was that I didn’t make a lot of progress with my sit-ups. The orignal plan only had once a week 3 x 8 crunches. This was a bit low to make any decent progress. So I added crunches to another day as well. This helped but progress was still low. I used to do A LOT OF crunches when I was young and miss those days. Enter greasing the groove.
Greasing the groove
A co-worker mentioned greasing the groove as a way to make some serious progress in a specific exercise. It basically comes down to doing a lot of reps but spread out over the day and only at around 50% of your maximum. I like this approach, I have never been fan of the ‘No pain, no gain’ school of fitness. In general I like to avoid pain (self inflicted or not) as much as possible in my life.
Since I had slowly worked my way up to 3 x 20 reps of crunches twice a week I decided to start with 10 crunches 8 times a day, for 6 days a week. Sunday is rest day, except for a one time crunch session to determine my new max.
So I went from 3 times x 20 reps x 2 days a week = 120 crunches per week.
To 8 times x 10 reps x 6 days a week = 480 crunches per week.
Add in the Sunday where I determine my maximum reps I can do I did 500 sit ups in my first week of greasing the groove.
This week my regime is 8 times x 16 reps x 6 days a week = 768 crunches, add in the Sunday and I have reached 800 crunches this week.
My goal here? Well, remember how I used to do A LOT OF crunches when I was17 years old? A lot was 300 sit-ups, 5 days a week. I want to reach that goal once more! Actually, way back I did 3 x 100 crunches. I want to at least get back to 50 reps each and every hour. That would bring me to 2 400 crunches per week. This seems like a crazy amount of crunches but this is only trippling my current level and it would mean 2 minutes of exercise every hour. I can do 2 mins of exercise per hour!
Once I reach 1 500 crunches per week I will add a kettlebell exercise to my greasing the groove regime. And once my weight is back below 100 kg also push ups. Speaking of weight loss, enter cardio.
Ok, so I have been doing fitness 4 times a week for the last 9 months.
The last three weeks I have started doing a lot of crunches.
How is my weight doing you might ask.
Holding steady at 120 kg …
So I went from a fat, out of shape sloth to a fat, kind of in shape sloth. But still fat. You know when I did lose some Kg’s? The 10 day holdiay in Protugal where we either biked or walked some distance every day (the girlfriend has this annoying habit of finding all these cool things to see on our holiday which usually involve walking). So yes, if I want to have any hope of actualy loosing weight I need to add in a cardio exercise.
I do not like walking (go ahead, ask me how much I enjoy our holidays …).
I do not like biking.
I do like swimming but Covid + our stupid politicians kinda sucked all the fun out of that one.
I also wanted something I could do in my house since our politicians seem to enjoy locking us up on random occasions.
Enter rowing! I remember liking it when I went to a gym back in my student years.
SO I bought a rowing machine. Financials details here.
It is slow going because cardio has been a while (March of 2020 actually) and rowing seems to use some muscles I haven’t used in a looong time. Next week will be my third week of rowing. I am at only 8 minutes for the moment. But the goal is to build this up to my level of swimming. 2 km of swimming took me about one hour. So I have a long way to go here.
Interim goal is reaching 15 minutes.
With so many things out off our control at the moment I do find it very soothing to know that all of this is in my complete control. All I need to do is go to our utility room and start exercising. Bad weather or a worldwide pandemic … nothing can interfere with me doing my exercises! Adding a rep, some weight, some extra crunches or extra time to my rowing, it can not be stopped!