12-Week Fitness Challenge – Let’s Try This One. More. Time.

12 week fitness challenge start
12 Mar

Last Updated on March 12, 2023 by Michael Brockbank

Here we go, my eighth iteration of trying a 12-week fitness challenge. The last one kind of ended in epic fashion thanks to a myriad of extenuating circumstances. So, can I finish it this time around?

I would love to. But like Sam brought up in the last episode of the podcast, what kind of guardrails am I using to keep myself on the path this time around? Because the things I’ve been doing lately just aren’t working as well as they used to.

What’s the Goal This Time Around?

Essentially, I have the same goals as I always have. I want to get down to an ideal weight while having the physique of a toned running back. Or, I suppose I could just say, I want to see if I can Magic Mike myself, which is something I say quite often.

The goals do not necessarily hold me back from finishing a challenge, though. It’s mostly my own mindset and how I get into the mindset of not caring. Then, I get frustrated with myself because I do care…when my mind isn’t stressed to its limits.

Losing 40 Pounds in 12 Weeks?

One of my ultimate goals is to reach 200 pounds. The problem is that I don’t know if that’ll actually happen. I am six-foot and kind of a big guy, to begin with. Still, I wouldn’t mind seeing how far I can go down in a healthy manner. I mean, I’m not going to turn myself into an anorexic just because I want to be a certain weight.

I’m sure I’ll wind up changing my end-game goals once I get under 210 pounds.

In any case, that’s the tentative goal: losing 40 pounds in 12 weeks. According to data I’ve recorded in the past, it should be theoretically possible without causing injury to myself or being on some starvation diet.

Improving Fitness to Cross Colorado on a Bike

The whole reason why I created this website was to help inspire me to lose weight, get healthy, and cross the entire state of Colorado on a bicycle. Coming from someone who has led a sedentary life over the past 25 years, this will be a bit of a feat.

I’ve never really put much thought into health and fitness in my younger years. I simply existed.

Now, I highly doubt that I’ll be able to cross Colorado this year. But after I lose the weight, I want to shift focus to training for the ride. The goal is to ride 280+ miles in three days. And right now, that’s just not going to happen. But I think I can handle it in the spring of 2024.

Getting Under 20% Body Fat

I’m sure that once I get below 210 pounds, I’ll probably shift focus to getting under 20% body fat. According to the average male, an “athletic” body type is between 6 and 13%. Now, coming from a desk jockey who spends an incredible amount of time at his desk, this is going to be a major milestone – if it’s even possible.

In order to appear athletic, I need to be athletic. And that’s kind of hard to do when you’re hammering out on the keyboard 16 hours per day.

That’s another one of the driving points of why I want to finish a 12-week fitness challenge overall. Can a desk jockey create the body of an athletic person without actually being involved in a ton of training or sports?

Doing it All with Gamification and Net 600

I’ve demonstrated how easy it is to rack up the cardio playing games on the Kinect, Oculus, or using the Body Blade. So, I’m going to stick with the routines of gamifying cardio as much as possible. Not to mention that I would seriously like to play more golf this spring.

Secondly, I know my Net 600 calorie diet works exceptionally well for me to burn fat without sacrificing the foods I enjoy. It merely comes down to portion control and staying active. What usually sidetracks me through these challenges is how I get the “fuck-its.”

That’s perhaps one of the biggest hurdles for so many people, actually. It’s often difficult to address various stress triggers and eating disorders. But if you want to succeed, you gotta find healthy ways to adapt. Otherwise, you’ll run eight iterations of a 12-week fitness challenge without getting any closer to your goals.

Lower the Carb Count

I’m not technically aiming for a low-carb diet with this challenge. However, I do tend to eat heavier foods than I really should if I want to meet my goals. Not to mention that I sometimes say I’ll do more exercise to burn the food when I actually don’t.

At the beginning of this challenge, I’m going to simply aim for fewer than 200g of carbs throughout the day. Remember, I’m increasing my physical activity every day, which means I should be able to burn those carbs relatively well.

Perhaps I’ll aim closer to 150 g per day. I know that if I can keep the carb count low, I’ll lose a great deal of weight rather quickly. I just don’t want to deny myself some of the things I like to eat. I just need to reel it back some.

Minimum Average of 70,000 Steps Per Week

Over the past few years, I’ve found that averaging more than 10k steps per day helps shred through the weight relatively fast. So, I’m going to still focus on getting around 70,000 steps per week at the minimum.

This way, I’m not overly upset with myself if I have a single day of slacking off with 4,000 steps. Besides, there are some days when I’ll easily grind out more than 14,000.

To get these steps, it’s a combination of various physical activities, such as playing the Oculus and walking around the backyard or at the gym three times per week. There are a lot of things I do throughout the day that helps add to the step count.

Getting to the Gym More Often

Now that it’s warming up a bit and I have a decent plan in place for going to the gym on Mondays, Wednesdays, and Fridays, I have no excuses not to go. And if I want to reach some of my physical goals, I need to get back to going to the gym on a regular basis.

I don’t just want to lose weight. I want to see if I can break some personal lifting records.

This isn’t to mention how lifting weights actually improves a lot of things I want to do. For example, by putting as much effort into the machine fly and lat pulldowns as I do, I’ve added more than 20 yards to my drive in golf while improving accuracy.

What Kind of Guardrails and Motivators am I Using?

So, this 12-week fitness challenge is quite similar to all of the ones in the past. But what kind of guardrails and motivators am I going to implement to keep me on task?

If I don’t get a good flow going, I’m just going to crap out after three weeks as I have in the past.

Making the Journey a Big Ordeal

I still think that making my weight loss journey a big deal will help fuel motivation. It’s how I built momentum in my career, and I’m currently on track to write more than 1.5 million words this year.

If I can figure out how to get that same mentality into health and fitness as I do as a writer, I’m sure that I would be unstoppable. The hardest part is trying to figure out what that would look like.

What kind of fun, end-game element can I implement that’ll continue to drive my excitement for the long term? One thing I thought about was having my friend wax my chest and back at the end once I hit my goal weight live on the podcast. Or, maybe just do a live video for the YouTube channel.

The point is making health and fitness a big ordeal that can help keep you motivated for longer than a few days. Motivators can change rapidly depending on circumstances. So, what can you do that can keep your mind focused on your goals for the duration of your own challenge?

Getting More Serious About Crossing Colorado

I spent the money to revamp the website, and I’m putting more time into polishing up the content. I would like to turn Crossing Colorado into something more than just a blog of my experiences. One of the things I love to do most is helping others in their journey, whether it’s for a writing career or health and fitness.

Not a lot of people are going to take someone seriously who can’t follow his own advice.

That’s what happens when you’re dealing with a variety of mental health issues. It’s not always the glamorous lifestyle where everything is sunshine and rainbows. A lot of us have extreme difficulties that prevent us from reaching certain goals.

Nonetheless, I would like to turn Crossing Colorado into something more.

Daily Shorts on YouTube – If I Remember

I brought up how I wanted to do daily shorts for the YouTube channel regarding my process. The hardest part for me is remembering to do them. I have no problem making a video. In fact, a large portion of my week is spent in front of a camera.

The plan is to use my 8:45 pm alarm to make my Sleepytime Tea (so I can sleep for a change) and make my update Short. The funny thing is that Shorts don’t take long to make and don’t require nearly as much to edit. I just simply forget to make them at night.

Still, I am going to push myself to do so every night for the next 12 weeks. That, in itself, is perhaps the greatest challenge of all for me.

Weekly Blog Updates

I was doing well with the weekly blog updates, as I was scheduling them immediately after my Buy Me a Coffee member’s content. So, I have no doubt I can keep up with that throughout this next fitness challenge.

I’m going to spend a bit of time today planning out the template so I remember to share specific points each week to help keep it uniform. This time around, I’ll take snapshots of the week from the 12-week fitness challenge spreadsheet and go over my triumphs and failures.

I’m also going to delete the older weekly updates from the blog. I have a few plans of how I am going to lay all this out on a page, and the other updates might confuse anyone searching for them.

Bi-Weekly Photo Updates

Starting today, I am keeping track of bi-weekly photo comparison updates. However, I am fairly sure that you won’t see all that much of a difference until about week four or six. Still, photos are a great indicator of progress and often work better than the scale.

That’s because scales can easily give you a false impression of your actual weight loss. For one thing, muscle is denser than fat. So, if you’re adding muscle at the same rate as losing fat, the scale won’t move despite your body having visible progress.

I just need to find a decent background and a good place to stand in my house where we can do the one-to-one slider comparison.

Getting More Active on Social Media – If I Remember

Another thing I need to work on is getting more active on social media. This is especially true for all of the other brands that I’m trying to develop. The hard part is figuring out what to post. It’s not like I live in a fancy house or drive a nice car.

I would like to get into the habit of daily updates to Crossing Colorado’s Instagram. But, again, it all comes down to remembering.

This time around, I think I am going to add posts to my daily schedule in Asana. Perhaps that’ll help me remember that I need a pic, even if it’s something corny, such as a picture of my lunch that day.

Regularly Calling Out Will Smith…

Will Smith once promoted a series on YouTube about losing 20 pounds in 20 weeks. The entire approach kind of triggered me a bit. For one thing, it’s much easier for people who were once healthy to lose weight without nearly as much effort as someone who has lived their lives as a larger person.

Secondly, he spent all this time and money with personal trainers and still couldn’t finish the damn video series? Come on now, that’s a pound per week. I can lose that just by cutting out a few coffees.

Anyway, I was debating on calling out Will Smith each week on YouTube. You can “@” someone (mention) within the title and they’ll get a notification. Do I think Will Smith will actually give a rat’s ass? No. But I’ll find it fun and amusing to do so.

Starting at 240.8 lbs @ 34.2% Body Fat

So, there we have it. I’m starting the next 12-week fitness challenge today at 240.8 pounds and 34.2% body fat. Can I lose 40 pounds in 12 weeks? Perhaps if I can figure out a way to keep myself motivated, it’s a strong possibility.

In the end, it’s mostly about whether I can excise some motivation and willpower. I’m feeling pretty good…let’s see if this can happen.

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