Category: fitness

The Rise and Grind Workout

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One of my goals when I started this site back in March was I wanted to be a fitness blog as well as a geek culture/commentary/review site.  I wanted to help people, and inspire them to be the best versions of themselves as possible, and I’ve gotten away from that from the most part.  Not in my personal life however, and if you were to follow me on Instagram, you’d be able to see my workout posts, 4 days a week, and a lot more randomness/awesomeness.

A month ago though, I was doing a different routine, 5 days a week, this was comprised of:

  1. Monday=Chest Day
  2. Tuesday=Back, shoulders, bis and tris
  3. Wednesday=Core day
  4. Thursday=Leg Day
  5. Friday=3 mile run, or circuit training, depending on which one I felt more like doing.

This is the routine I’ve gotten accustomed to since trading in my run for gym workouts after it got way too hot outside for me to even think about running without having to wake up at some godforasaken zero dark thirty type hour.  I used to do that when I started getting myself in shape, but my life had changed since then, I could sleep at night, and often do, peacefully.   So, I needed to switch it up, and the gym was the best thing for me to do.

But, that routine got stale after a while, and I wasn’t really getting anywhere with it, not really anyway, so I asked for suggestions for a new workout to fill the Friday slot.  And thankfully one of my former Navy friends, Eryn, offered up a suggestion for a new routine for me.  It seemed like a good routine, so I tried it out.   And after about three weeks of doing this routine, I’ve lost four pounds already, and have gained a lot more endurance than I ever had doing the old routine.  I’ve taken to calling this my Rise and Grind workout, because it gets me motivated first thing in the morning, post breakfast, and I want to share that routine with you here today, so hopefully someone else can be inspired by it.    I’ll leave it as she left it to me, just the parts to work on, and let you decide what you want to to do for your own routine, as what I do for me, might not work for everyone,and it’s more so what you’re working on than what you actually do that really counts, as long as you keep up with it and give it your maximum effort.

Rise and Grind Workout

  1. Monday= Chest, Triceps, Shoulders, HITT, Core
  2. Tuesday=Quads, HITT, Core
  3. Wednesday=Rest Day
  4. Thursday=Hamstrings, Glutes, Core
  5. Friday=Back, Biceps, Shoulders, Core

 

The HITT part really kicked my ass the first week, couldn’t even go three rounds as was suggested, but I kept up with it, and now I can do the three rounds just fine, and ready to hit the other stuff that needs to be done as well after.   If it gets any easier I’m going to have to switch it up to something else.

Also, what helps me out a lot in my fitness journey is the UA Record app, that keeps track of my workouts and how many calories I burn.  It ties in as well with the MyFitness app, where I keep a track of my calories and water intake.    Hopefully this will inspire some of you to get out there and start your own routine.  I always say if it works for me, than anyone can do it.  It’s the keeping with it, your commitment to the process that will really show you who you are.    And, trust me on this one though, if you do this routine, I highly advise keeping that rest day in there.  It might be really tempting to try to just throw something else in there, a run or something, but after the first two days of this routine, if you’re doing it right, you’ll feel that need for the rest day, and you’ll still get results, as long as you stay committed to your goals and trust in the process and you’ll get there.

 

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The Scale

 

I realized earlier today that when I started this site about 6 months ago or so, I’d started out with a purpose, and that was in part, to be a fitness guide, part of what my Instagram account is dedicated to is my fitness progress, and I’d been neglecting to give out fitness advice and/or motivation here.   So, I realized that I should write about something, that could hopefully help somebody out there.  I’m no licensed fitness expert, but there is one thing that I am qualified to tell you as a human being.    But first you need to do some things, step one.  Go get your scale out, right now.  I’ll wait.    Okay, you have it out, now, stand on it, take off your shoes of course, get down to about as close as you can in your situation right now to remove any excess weight from your person.   Now, you’ve done that?  Okay, now go stand on it, and look at those numbers that are on that screen right now.     Okay, you’ve done that, and now, that you know what you weigh, you can do one of two things with it, you can use it as a motivation to press on and get closer to your goal.  Or, you can just disregard the number it tells you, and go about your life.

Not what you thought you were going to hear, was it?  Well, the reason for that is, I’ve come to the realization as of late, that the numbers on the scale don’t really matter, as long as you’re happy with where you are.  If you aren’t, then there’s things you can do to get there, but if you are, then just keep exercising for your own benefit, for fun and stress relief, not for anyone else’s.

When I started this site, and then even before that, when I started my workout routine, it was all borne from heartache, and pain.  I’ve mentioned this before, if you’re a long time reader.  All I had was my mission, which was to lose as much weight possible.  Not that I was truly like fat, fat.  Kind of puffy maybe.

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Me circa December, 2015.

I’ve already told that part of the story before, so I won’t here, but in any case, I had my mission and I was dedicated to the cause, eating a chicken breast every night, limiting what I eat, and working out 5-6 times a week.  My best weight was when I’d cut down to 200 pounds even a month into this routine.

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Will the real Slim Shady please stand up?

Right around that time as well, I met someone new, fell in love, and while I wasn’t neglecting the workouts, I still hit the gym the same amount of times as I was, I was living life more, and eating all types of good things that aren’t necessarily healthy.   And the scale reflected these changes.  It bothered me at first but then it hit me, I was happy, I had a beautiful woman who loves me for who I am, and thinks I’m hot, so what does it matter what the scale says.  Even still, I’ve been working out this whole time, so while the scale is telling me that I’m only a pound off of where I started at at 214, this time it’s a totally different reasoning for that weight, more muscle than fat, maybe a little fat, but my 34’s still fit the same, so I’m not too far off.    Plus, I feel great, so , pardon the language here but Fuck what a scale tells you.  It can’t measure your happiness, or  how someone else sees you.

 

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Me, last weekend.

The point is, don’t let the numbers on the scale be your determining factor in your self esteem.  The scale only tells you one part of the story, it’s up to you to fill in the rest of it.  And for you to decide where you go next.

Training Season

 

It’s 4:30 am, and my alarm buzzes me somewhat awake after about 4 hours or so of sleep.  My eyes slowly begin to focus, and I lay there in the dark, not quite ready to move just yet.  For a moment, my mind begins to wander,tempting me with thoughts of  “Remember the days before we started doing this?  There’s no earthly need to get up this early, we don’t even have class til 9:30 this morning, that’s another 4 hours we could be sleeping.”

Yet, that is not the life I lead anymore, of sleeping in.  Not during the week at least.  I had to be up that insanely early during my past in the Navy, but that was when I was on their time, so that was forced “motivation”.  No this is something completely different.   This is all about me.

Sure, I could work out at any other time during the day, or evening even.  I used to do that, sporadic workouts a few times a week here or there, maybe I’d even get a week or two in where I hit up my apartment complex’s gym 3 times a week (Chest, back/shoulders, and arm day)  and then I’d eat whatever I want and I was content in that, complacent with that even.

It wasn’t until recently, when I had that wild hair to truly improve myself, to really be the best version of me possible, and not just saying that, that I changed things.  I have a mental montage of some of this (Previously, on Mike’s Life) before I force myself out of the comfort zone that is my bed at this ungodly hour.

I strip down, then hop on the scale in my bathroom, 212, a nice improvement from the 219 I was at the previous day.  My metabolism is weird like that now, the Monday after my cheat day Saturday I always seem to go up like 6 pounds, but then after getting back into the routine of my diet I fall back down to the more comfortable weight level I’m at.   I admit I’d probably have better results if I stuck to my diet on a 7 day basis, but being that I’m doing this for no one but myself, I can afford to go up a few for a day, and work on it even harder the next week.

 

Finishing up, I get my workout clothes out of the laundry basket, fresh and clean for the only brief time that statement will be 100% accurate this week.  Old Navy gym shorts, and the Spider-Man shirt I wore yesterday, red and blue is my look for today’s session too, I can dig it.

I stretch my legs, calves getting ready for today’s run, pumping myself up by remembering how far I’ve gotten already in this journey, from barely pacing a mile, to the now 2 mile standard I set for myself, this time adding in some ankle rotations to the warm up, so as to further prepare myself, it’s not the same quick and easy jog it was before.

Now that I’m ready, I leave my room, and get my running shoes on.  These grey and red Reeboks have been with me a few years now, since my last great adventure in the Navy.  They’ve walked the ancient steps of the Coliseum in Rome, been all up and down the bars in American Alley in Souda Bay, Crete, and seen their fair share of laps around the ship during my free time whilst still at sea.   And now they’ve seen the most action they ever have, in these past few months.

I feed the cats, crank up the music, and leave the house.  I like running this time of morning, as I can start my run as soon as I cross the street, no need to wait for traffic to let me pass, as there’s no traffic at 5:00 am.

I start running, more of a slow jogging pace to warm myself up that first mile.  I’m not trying to beat any time today, it’s all about the distance.   Three songs in, or 8 minutes later I’m a mile into the run, at the corner of the sidewalk where Rosemont turns into Holland, the parking lot of the Wal-Mart Supermarket.   Calves are killing me so I take a bit of  a break, stretching them out, and catching my breath for a minute, before getting past the Taco Bell, and kicking it up again another notch.   21 Pilots, Heavydirtysoul is the soundtrack for this next round.

 

I’m on autopilot by round 2, speeding up just a bit now that I’m warmed up, I have to walk again another two songs later.  I think I’m going to take a break for a bit, but then another song comes on ‘Metalingus’ by Alter Bridge, and my body’s like, “You’ve got this”, and my mind says “Fuck it”, and hit the ground running again.

By this point I’m around the corner of Lynnhaven, ready to hit that home stretch coming up sooner than I’d like.  I take a quick walking break for a few minutes, until I see that despite all this I’ve only run 1.6 miles.  I need to get another .4 miles in to keep my streak going.  I’m not exhausted but not running at 100%  but I push myself to get as much of this running as possible.

I’m at the home stretch now, now getting a little tired, this breakfast only after the workout thing works for me but still kills me by this point in my session.  I put on the training theme from the movie ‘Creed’ for that last bit of motivation.  I hit the ground running as fast as I can as hard as I can for that home stretch, it’s like 4 minutes of hell for my body, but as I hit the corner of Rosemont/Buckner as that song hits it’s climax I’m finished for now.  I check my stats on the Google Fit App, 2.2 miles.  I did it.  Like I said I would.    This part of the workout is done, and now I’m ready for round 2, at the gym.