Last Updated on February 28, 2020 by Michael Brockbank
Last week, I wanted to see if I could exceed 10,000 points on Exercise.com through weight training. And, I was successful! However, I still am not losing much fat thanks to my eating habits. And I’ve got to figure that part out.
Otherwise, I won’t meet my end-of-March goals of looking and feeling my best.
I can say that it’s a result of going through hyper stress as I look for a new home. But, that’s not the entire reason I am having an issue with eating lately. It’s a constant problem that I need to figure out.
Weight Training Progressing Well
One thing I am excited about over the past few weeks is how well the weight training has progressed. Not to sound vain, but I was quite impressed with myself the other day when looking in the mirror while at the rec center.
And although the process has taken a long time, there is such a profound difference between myself today and where I was in 2016. I’ll see if I can find some photos for a comparison.
Still, I’m glad that I am able to commit to this process. And not just because I want to go to the water park without embarrassing my kids. I feel good about myself and having more strength and stamina is greatly beneficial.
More Reps, More Total Weight
I started with heavier weights and lower reps as I wanted to add a bit of bulk. But, I wasn’t really working up a sweat.
I don’t just want muscles; I want to burn fat as well.
So recently, I’ve changed the strategy to do slightly lesser weight while increasing the reps. Just moving from 20 to 25 has made a huge difference in my workout routine.
And although the weight is lighter, the increase in reps actually helps me lift more in total. For instance, instead of doing 20 reps at 120 pounds on the machine ab crunch for a total of 7,200 lbs, I do 25 reps at 100 for a total of 7,500.
I know, it’s not a massive amount of weight. But, it’s an overall improvement.
Adding Muscle Mass
Since I began the journey to take weight training a bit more seriously, I’ve measured my biceps. At the start, they were 14 inches. Today, they are sitting at 14.75. And that’s quite exciting for me.
Another benefit I’ve noticed over the past month of lifting weights is how my chest and shoulders are far more solid than before.
Don’t get me wrong, I still have a long way to go before I can model for a firefighter calendar. But for me, it’s still quite impressive. Especially when you consider how flakey I am when it comes to fitness.
There’s a reason I still need to lose about 30 pounds of fat!
Experimenting with Weight Training to Find Weak Points
One element I love about weight training is that it helps me find weak points in my body. Then, I can start doing workouts to improve those aspects.
For instance, I recently sat on a machine chest press and was struggling to do 45 pounds at a total of 75 reps. However, by then, my shoulders felt like mush and my triceps didn’t have much umph left behind them.
Still, I have a baseline of what I need to work on and can start to improve.
Caloric Intake is Still a Joke
Now let’s move on to the most embarrassing part of my week…my eating habits. I am still having certain issues that I can’t seem to get my mind right about.
I do great starting the day right and burning more than I eat. However, I tend to fall apart quickly.
I’m starting to think I have some kind of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde complex. It almost seems like I am a completely different person after dinner. I care less about calorie intake and just don’t seem to really put in the effort to do better.
If I could just convince myself to go to bed at a reasonable time, I could easily cut out hundreds of calories worth of snacking.
Eating poorly doesn’t really do much for weight training or burning off fat. If you’re still eating far more than your body needs to function, it’s not good.
Getting Into the “Keeping it Green” Mentality
So when I say, “keeping it green,” it’s in reference to using MyFitnessPal and making sure I burn more calories than I consume. This is how I lost the vast majority of the past 80 pounds.
When I started, I worked hard to keep the calorie number green. Nowadays, I get into this mindset of, “Oh well, I’ll try again tomorrow.”
But when you say that every night, tomorrow really never comes.
I need to put more effort into seeing those numbers and working to keep them green. I need to set aside more time to get in some cardio and burning away the excess “me.”
My Focus for This Week
OK, so I can kind of call last week a success aside from eating a bit more than I should have. On the upside, I’m still adding muscle density. Now, I just need to keep that up while burning more calories.
So this next week for weight training and eating, I’ll try to focus on:
Continue Competing with Myself…and My Son
I have two motivators when it comes to heading out to the rec center: 1) working against myself, and 2) my son.
I’ve added gamification to the weight training by keeping an eye on personal records and total-weight-lifted. For example, I lifted 31,750 pounds last time. I’m going to see if I can do even just a few pounds more today.
Keeping track of what I can do is incredibly helpful for me. It helps drive motivation to improve and makes me want to do better.
When I was excited about breaking my record of push-ups by doing 20, one of my sons laughed. Then I said to him, “Hey, before, I struggled to do eight.”
Then, there’s the prospect of competing with my other son. He is still working to lose weight so he can join the Air Force. And right now, he’s losing it faster than I.
Then again, his metabolism is also much faster.
I’m still lifting more than he is, but not by much. I know that he’ll eventually pass me if he continues weight training. But I need to prove to him, as well as myself, that I can do this!
Quit Snacking Late at Night
Ahh, my Achilles Heal…late-night snacking. I’ve got to figure out a way to curb this part of my lifestyle. I know where the fault lies and how to change. But for some reason, I can’t commit after 8 pm.
I’m really going to work hard to go to sleep at a reasonable time. For one thing, I miss sleeping and can really use some more. Secondly, I rack up the calories quickly after 9:30 pm.
If I can keep my mind occupied or do something that keeps me away from the kitchen, that would be ideal. I know I keep saying it, and maybe I should actually put in the effort to commit.
Setting Up Calorie Burn Study for Colorado Plays
One thing that helped me last year was doing the calorie burn studies for this blog while playing the Xbox Kinect. And since Google has burned this blog to the ground thanks to algorithm changes, I’m moving the gaming aspect of fitness to Colorado Plays.
So, I want new data to write blog posts. Because of this, I’ll need to play the games and track the calorie burn using the Fitbit Charge 3. It was a great way to keep my mind into fitness.
Not to mention that I was starting to look really good last March.
Setting Up Calorie Burn Study for Crossing Colorado
Even though this blog is a mere shadow of its former self, I’ll still do calorie burn studies for fun. Personally, I tend to geek out a bit with my spreadsheets, tracking how much I can burn doing dishes or taking a hot bath.
Currently, I am working on a sheet to demonstrate what house chores are the best for losing weight. It’s kind of a silly, fun, but data-driven sheet that I’m working on. As soon as I have a bit more data, I’ll post the results on a page.
The premise behind all of this, though, is to keep my mind focused on fitness. If geeking out with a spreadsheet works for you, then so be it. But you need to find something that keeps your head in the game.
On days when I get more “steps” according to my Fitbit, the better I feel overall. Steps are recording when I do virtually any physical activity. Even though a lot of them aren’t technically steps, it does demonstrate how active I am.
Adding more steps will come easily if I maintain the idea of collecting more game-play data, though. So, this one should be easily achievable.
That is, as long as I keep myself serious about the process.
Create a Set Workout Schedule for the Gym
And lastly, I think I want to work on some kind of workout schedule for the rec center. I’ve been trying to go every other day, which doesn’t always work.
I found a fun plugin for the blog that lets me post my schedule and what I plan to do. I’m debating on adding it to see if that helps me stay motivated. Using the general public to keep me focused is still something I believe in.
I just haven’t been the most social in terms of Crossing Colorado.
Maybe putting more attention into the blog, Instagram and YouTube can still work to my advantage. Then again, I would need to make sure I have the time for all of that.
I’m barely keeping up with WriterSanctuary at the moment.
I Know I Can Do This!
I still have a lot of work to do. I have just over 4 weeks until the end of March and I really haven’t made that much of a difference according to body fat percentage.
But instead of looking at what I can do in terms of weight training by then, I should be more worried about today. What can I do today to improve my life?
If I can answer that, then the rest of the days will fall into place.