[If you need some context for this feature, read it here!] [Also apologies for the lateness. Assignment work yadda yadda.]
21.5% Body Fat
I’ve made the switch to calipers, and they’re giving a similar reading to last week’s results. Better yet, the percentage is even lower!
Still, it’s entirely possible that the first reading was way higher than it should have been. If you’re curious, I still did the body fat percentage check on the Boots scale. 24.6 percent. A 2.3 percent gain from last week. Normally I would have been discouraged by that result… but instead it served as a final confirmation that that method of measuring is indeed bullcrap.
I used the Jackson-Pollock method of fold measurements. Three folds; chest, abdominal, thigh. Results put into this calculator. Just to make sure I’m being precise, I’ll be faffing around with a tape measure for the next measurement.
You may notice that my first three days were largely cardio. That was partly to do with my schedule, and partly to do with the fact that I wanted to make sure my muscles weren’t exhausted for my first personal trainer session. Oh, did I mention I decided to do that yet? Yeah, that’s a thing now!
This is going incredibly well so far. My clothes that felt a little on the tight side are fitting much better. My chest is getting considerably flatter. It feels like there’s actually something there when I flex. I feel healthy. I feel more responsible. I also feel sore roughly half the time, but from what I gather that comes with the territory.
Oh, and from now on (as of 27th of April) I’m no longer having cereal and milk for breakfast. I’ll be going full-on Paleo from this point forward.
I’m wanting to make my runs a little more intense. After working a little on maintaining a consistent pace, I’m working on being able to maintain that pace in between bursts of speed.
This is where music comes in handy. It’s pretty easy to get into the habit of running to the tempo of a song, and I don’t think that’s a bad thing. I love to pick up speed when the music gets more intense. It’s pretty much the only time I listen to music that’s not in connection to a movie or TV.
As I’ve written about before, my musical taste skews on the more unusual side, but what works works.
[28/04: I bought Crypt of the Necrodancer a few days ago, and man that game is GOOD. I ended up buying the soundtrack along with it, and it makes for some good running times. Danny B is a legend!
The open swimming times may be ridiculous in this place, but hey… at least the pool doesn’t seem too popular. There were only five guys swimming when I got in, and one by the time I got out.
For the first ten minutes or so I just worked on holding my breath underwater. I used to be able to do a minute, easy. I can still do that, but it seems to take much more effort. And that’s just when I’m not moving. As for underwater lengths… I can do them consistently again! Hooray! Now I’ve got to work my way up to two consecutive underwater lengths, but… that might take a lot longer.
Next I tested the time it took me to swim lengths with the standard strokes.
Front crawl: 30 seconds
Breaststroke: 35 seconds
Backstroke: 40 seconds
Certainly room for improvement.
Next I wanted to see how long I could last swimming consecutive lengths with each stroke. I set a goal of ten lengths with the front crawl. That didn’t work out.
Front crawl: 3 lengths
Breaststroke: 5 lengths
Backstroke: 5 lengths
I could have gone further with the backstroke, but by the point I was just ready to leave. I finished up with an all-out length using my front crawl. 20 seconds. Nice.
Tomorrow will be the 22nd… the date that marks exactly two months before I leave for Australia. So I decided to arrange personal training! I’ll be meeting this guy at the gym tomorrow to discuss times and, of course, the price. I’m going to have a fair bit of time to spare pretty soon, so I figure I should try and get as much use as I can out of it.
Yup! Not much to say.
Well, except that today is the 22nd, precisely two months before I leave for Australia. Like I mentioned, I arranged my first session of personal training. I met with the guy at the entrance, and he took me to a gate to the side. It’s the kind of gate that becomes all but invisible to anyone but employees; big, grey, most of the way closed, and including a padlock.
We went through, and there was the track. Of course, I’ve seen it plenty of times, but it was built during my two-year absence from Colwyn Bay, and I guess I never connected two and two. Of course it’s not just for professional athletes.
We went past the track, and into another building. Inside the building? Another, much better gym than the one I’m used to. I got to have a little tour and introduction to all the different machines. Apparently this is the gym the local rugby team uses. Having a personal trainer puts me on the top level of membership, so I can use pretty much all of the facilities. Sweet.
It’s £75 per month… which would usually turn me off immediately, but since I have a solid deadline I can think of it as a £150 investment into a head start. I doubt I’ll regret it.
WEIGHT TRAINING (WITH PERSONAL TRAINER!)
Squats w/ Kettle Bells
This morning, I got up at 6:00. Haven’t done that in a while, but my first trainer session was at 8, and I was told I needed to stock up on protein beforehand. So I had turkey. Not my usual kind of breakfast, but that’s what was in the fridge.
I guess, other than my induction into the standard gym a few years back, I haven’t been with anyone else during workouts. As nice as it would be, I just don’t have any friends geographically close enough or otherwise suitable to be considered as a “workout buddy”. When I did weight training, I always worried about whether I was doing it “right”, and eventually, combined with good old fashioned laziness, that lead me to stop trying.
This personal trainer stuff is the perfect way to get me started on the right foot. This first session was mainly getting a feel for what I can handle, and getting the right posture for different exercises. This is my first time ever attempting any kind of barbell exercise, so… that sure was a thing. Even that bar alone is heavier than it looks. I was wobbling all over the place. I really need to work on free weights in general. I’m too used to the machines.
After the workout session, I went food shopping. I made a stop at Holland and Barrett to pick up… some whey protein! Never used this stuff before, but I discovered that my family had a blender lying around in storage, barely being used. My trainer mentioned that I should probably make a post-workout protein shake… so here it is!
It’s orange juice, frozen summer fruit… and frozen spinach. That last part may sound gross, but trust me, you can’t taste it. It was seriously the best smoothie I’ve ever had. Not a bad first try, if I do say so myself.
I tried something a little different today for my running routine! With the track now at my disposal, I decided that now is as good a time as any to focus on sprinting.
It ended up going like this: I sprinted the hundered meters, lightly jogged back around the track to the starting point, and set off on my next sprint. Rinse, repeat. Once again I employed music to get me in the right spirit.
You want a real rush? Three words. RULES OF NATURE. I cannot think of a more perfect song for this kind of exercise. The one minute warm up, the twenty-second burst, the intensity, even the lyrics seem suited to the activity. I used it for every single sprint, briefly switching to another song while I made it partway through my recovery lap.
Never thought I’d be down with a song that contains (sort of) screamo.
Today my muscles were in sore need (HA) of a rest. Since my day of rest is Sunday, I figured that I’d go for some swimming and take it relatively easy. Mistake. I didn’t consider the fact that it’s a Saturday. The pool was jam-packed. Most of the pool’s occupants were either children or those children’s parents. I did underwater swimming practice… as far as was possible. Then I went over into the two lanes reserved for people that wanted to do lengths. Ten lengths of breaststroke later, I was done.
I went over to the new gym to get more of a feel for the bench press, but my muscles are clearly still in recovery mode. A few shaky lifts later, I called it a day.