Case Study: Setting Up a 12-Week Fitness Plan

In a day or two over 12 weeks, I’ll turn 44. I figured that getting fit and trim would be a great birthday present to myself. So, this would be a great time to conduct a 12-week experiment regarding if I can lose the rest of my weight.

I can’t really call myself a failure because I haven’t put back on the 80 pounds I’ve lost so far. However, it is disappointing that I haven’t done better during the global pandemic.

After this case study, whether it turns out good or bad, I’ll write up the results. Who knows…maybe I can help someone else who is in a similar situation as myself.

What Are My Goals?

Obviously, my ultimate goal is to get down to a reasonable weight. But, I don’t simply want to slim down. I kind of like having muscles, but I don’t want to Hulk out.

I am going to change up my actual focus. Instead of just losing fat, I want my body-fat percentage to be within athletic levels. This means I am aiming at 13% or lower.

Will I turn myself into a professional sports star? Absolutely not. But, I am eager to see how much fitness will affect my golf game. Plus, I think it would be nice to be able to not feel self-conscious every time I get into a pool.

I mean, I haven’t taken my tank top off to swim in more than 20 years…outside of the bathtub, that is.

And, I would love to see if I can turn myself into a candidate for a firefighter calendar. Though, I wonder if they make those for writers as I am not a firefighter.

That’s an idea, “World’s Sexiest Authors Calendar” for charity.

Finally, I want to see if I can do this without putting myself on overly restrictive diets. They simply do not work for me. I want to see if I can do this just by cutting out the sheer amount of junk I eat in any given day.

My Starting Weight: 223.6 at 32.0% BF

Renpho Scale Start WeightOK, so to start this 12-week adventure, I weighed myself this morning using a Renpho biometric scale. According to the numbers, I am sitting at 223.6 pounds with a 32.0% body fat percentage.

As you can see, I am a far cry from the 13% minimum I want to reach by my birthday.

The hard part is getting motivated from the hotel. Right now, I am staying at the Hampton Inn without access to a pool or the weight room – thanks to the current pandemic.

This means I need to find something I can do that will help me gamify the next 12 weeks. Well, at least until I get into the new house, which should be in the next few weeks.

Right now, I have my dumbbells, leg weights, yoga mat and a Bodyblade my friend gave me.

Also, keep in mind I kind of gorged myself last night. So, I am almost certain I’m going to drop three pounds in the next two days.

What Does My 12-Week Plan Entail?

In a nutshell, my plan is based mostly around burning more than I eat. It’s an obvious plan, but I know it’s one that works. After all, it’s how I lost the first 80 pounds and have kept it off.

But what will that look like, exactly? What do I need to lose the remaining weight and “Magic Mike” myself?

My Overall Diet for 12 Weeks

As I said before, I don’t like restrictive diets at all. It’s bad enough that I have to survive off pepperoni slices and cheese because I am limited in the hotel.

However, I do have a problem with overeating, especially at night.

Keeping Calories in the Green

When I talk about keeping the calories green, I mean maintaining goals I set in MyFitnessPal. It’s a free app you can use to track food intake. And because I have mine connected to my Fitbit, I can also see how many calories I burn.

The intake is subtracted from the burn registered by the Fitbit Charge 3. This means if I want to have an extra snack, I’ll need to be physical enough to “pay” for the food.

And yes, this is the basis of how I’ve lost all of my weight. In the first five or six weeks back in the day, I lost 20 pounds by focusing on keeping the intake down using MyFitnessPal and Fitbit together.

Right now, the goal in MyFitnessPal is set to 600 per day. But, this is offset through physical activity recorded by the Fitbit. In reality, if I do a lot of physical activity in the day, I usually wind up eating just under 2,000 calories.

This is my Net 600 Diet that I’ve done in the past, and I’ve found it to work exceptionally well for me.

I set it to 600 because this makes me get up and move about if I want to afford to eat lunch or have snacks. So if I want dinner, I need to get a bit physical.

Usually, if I maintain this diet, I wind up losing about half a pound per day. This is because I’ll burn twice as much as I eat, which usually runs around 1700 calories-ish more.

That’s part of this case study, actually. I am recording the difference between intake and output to see how many calories I need to burn on average to lose one pound.

Fewer Carbs in General

One of the things I need to work on is reducing the carb intake just a bit. It’s not all about counting calories for the next 12 weeks. Sure, I’ll need glucose to do some of the exercises I am planning. But, I need nutritional foods more.

This means fewer runs to Walmart for chocolate and far less sugar. As I am stuck in the hotel at the moment, this probably won’t be all that difficult to achieve.

However, I’ll need to be mindful of this once I get into the new house. After all, I love cooking pasta.

Since I don’t have access to a weight room and I usually spend an insane amount of time at my computer, I really don’t need the excess energy from glucose. I just need to make sure I keep my blood sugar levels up.

What Exercises Am I Focusing On?

Me Today
Me on 04/27/2020 – 223.6 lbs @ 32% Body Fat

This case study on myself is more fixed on intake versus output. Which means I am more focused on burning more than I eat. However, I do want to add a bit of definition to various areas.

For one thing, I’ve never seen myself with a washboard stomach. I think that would be kind of neat, actually.

Pick Six

Every week, I am going to pick six different exercises. Then, I will do one set of each exercise three times per day. This is because I really don’t have time to put in a full 45-minute workout.

However, I can do one set for about 10 minutes several times per day to help break up the monotony of sitting in front of my computer.

This is another part of the case study: to see if exercising three times per day for short bursts makes a difference. And I will record every exercise at the end of the 12-week stretch.

Breaking Records

Part of keeping myself motivated is gamifying fitness. Unfortunately, I didn’t bring my Xbox Kinect to the hotel. So, I need to focus more on beating personal records.

I find this kind of thing fun, and I look forward to seeing if I can shatter some numbers. For me, it’s all about self-improvement. And keeping track of my personal bests in Exercise.com helps me achieve this.

Besides, I have several records from 2014 that I know I can annihilate now.

Improving My Core

In reality, I don’t look all that bad – from the waist down or the nipples up. It’s my core that is having a severe lack of attention. And I was doing really well at the gym on the crunch machine before this coronavirus thing happened.

Still, I need to work on my core if I want to drop the weight in 12 weeks. It’s perhaps my biggest weak point right now, which means a lot of my exercise planning is going to center around my abs and back.

Besides, I can feel the solid muscle of my abs underneath this layer of fat. I would love to see what’s under. Not to boast, but I think I might already have the makings of a decent six-pack.

But I won’t know until I get this beer cozy off of me.

Weekly Updates on YouTube for 12 Weeks

One of the things I want to get back into is uploading videos to YouTube. I’ve been slacking a lot lately in just about everything. And I still believe social sharing offers a layer of accountability I wouldn’t have otherwise.

And that’s really what it boils down to…accountability. In reality, you’re not accountable to anyone but yourself when trying to lose weight. So it’s incredibly easy to talk yourself out of things.

But when you’re in the public eye, you get a sense of letting people down if you don’t perform well. Which is why I haven’t made a video in so long.

Why Not More Often?

Unfortunately, the hotel makes it difficult to upload on a regular basis. It can take up to five hours from start to finish to create, edit and upload a 7 to 10-minute video. In fact, I spent six hours total on an 18-minute video for WriterSanctuary.

Needless to say, the upload speed here at the hotel is less than ideal. I’m thankful the live streams still work without issue. But it makes uploading on a daily basis kind of crappy.

I would do one every night and talk about my triumphs and failures throughout the day, but then it wouldn’t get published until midnight…which is when I should be sleeping.

Once I get into a permanent home, though, I’ll see if I can do daily updates.

Using the Bodyblade

I am in the middle of another case study using the Bodyblade. This is a workout device that uses balance and movement to define muscles and burn calories. In this case study, I am recording how many calories you can burn while using the device.

A friend of mine gave it to me because she just couldn’t get into using the Bodyblade. But so far, the results have been shocking.

In fact, I plan on making a video about my experience next week.

As I am doing this three times per day, it’ll help break up the monotony of workouts. And, I find it kind of fun. Once you see the video, you’ll understand the enjoyment I get out of this thing.

Thank you, Julie.

A Whole Lot of Motivation and Determination

And lastly, I’ll need a lot of determination and motivation to keep this 12-week plan up. This is especially true as I am a stress eater. Being without an actual home, not seeing my kids and shipping out my cats has done a number on my mental health recently.

In reality, I’m also tired of coming up with challenges and fitness plans that wind up going nowhere after the first week. I really want this one to work, especially since it’ll end on my birthday.

I would love to celebrate both turning 44 and achieving my fitness goals on the same day.

But, do I love the idea enough to maintain the above plan? To be honest, I have no idea. I don’t have the best track record when it comes to maintaining these case studies and challenges.

Let’s Get to Work on My 12-Week Plan

So there you have it, a basic outline of the next 12 weeks. Now, I’m not sure if this plan is going to work or what the outcome will be. This is why it’s called a “case study.”

The most important aspect of this experiment, though, is making sure I can keep my calories green. Perhaps I’ll set a point goal when recording the workouts in Exercise.com.

Let’s see what happens and try to end on my birthday looking better than I ever have in my entire life. I’ve never seen myself as an adult under 205 pounds.

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Michael Brockbank

Since 2015, Michael has put in the effort to lose more than 80 pounds by gamifying fitness and eating proper portion sizes. He conducts extensive research into various health and fitness products to provide the best answers possible according to his own experience and knowledge.

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