The Hardest Part is Starting

Day One – Tuesday 31st January 2012.

I always find that the hardest part of anything is actually starting, it seems to be something inherit inside us as human beings that we desire to change and be better but then we fall down so often when it come to following through.

After such a successful end to 2011 with my Get In Shape Challenge I have set my self the goal to try and replicate that effort throughout the entirety of 2012. I managed to get myself down to the weight of 77kg over the 13 week period of the Get in Shape Challenge and get down in waist size to comfortably being a 31 from a 34. I put on a decent a mount of lean muscle over that period and could easily bench more than my own body weight. After having a few months off I have put on a bit of weight, I am now 83.8kg and back out to a 33 waist – I reckon it’ll be possible for me to get this off pretty quick this time though and get back to smashing out some more PBs.

The first month of 2012 hasn’t been the greatest start, although to be fair I have had a strange knee injury where I was getting shooting pain through my leg radiating both ways from behind my knee throughout most of it so I haven’t been able to do any real exercise. It is really times like these that I am so grateful I have a very generous brother who is a physiotherapist.

Today’s gym session was the first one of the 2012 Healthy Life Campaign, my all encompassing goals and mission for the year 2012 across all areas of my life. I have gotten big on writing down my goals, I might actually do a post on some of the areas and goals I am striving to achieve by the end of 2012 in the next few weeks.

I am going to try and write a post every day on my sessions, I have decided for 2012 the Healthy Life Campaign Fitness part will be posted under the sub-category of Fitness Training 2012 (I know not too original but it makes it easy for people to understand what it’s all about). I am not sure what form these posts will take yet, some might be just a description of the exercises and the PBs that I hopefully will start to set whilst others might be more of a focus on reflections I have had at the gym or on the road doing my sessions as I have always found that the time I spend working out can be some of the most contemplative times I have. Whatever form the posts take I am hoping that if you read them and enjoy them that you’ll comment and share your thoughts and encouragement. My whole reason for doing this is to keep myself accountable to the training sessions (I am aiming for 6 per week with one day rest). I’d also love to hear any suggestions on good exercises or ways I could improve on my regime and fitness, after all, I am just a pretty basic guy and am not a professional sportsman or qualified personal trainer. One request that i would have though is that if you are going to comment on anything to please keep it positive and encouraging. One of my best mates, Mike Haydon look up his website later here, undertook a challenge during last year where he was experimenting with his sleep patterns. It was a very difficult task for him to stick to and he had lots of people telling him he was stupid and bucketing him for it. This challenge is going to be tough for me so I don’t want any negativity from people, basically follow the rule our mothers al taught us “if you don’t have anything nice to say, don’t say it at all”. 

With all that in mind let’s get back to the first session….

My alarm went off this morning at 5:30am, after quite a bit of thought to not do the session until later today I finally got dressed and headed off to the gym. A large part of the reason why I managed to do the session today was because of my wife, Melissa. I had told her that I really wanted to make today day one and get out of bed to do the session, when my alarm went off and I was deliberating going she gave me the filthiest look when I had said I wouldn’t go (probably because I had woken her up with my alarm) that it was the tipping point for me actually committing to the session.

I arrived at the gym just after 6:00am, I am gong to focus on my cardio fitness, especially aerobic,  over the next 4 to 6 weeks before getting back into my weights regime as well. I started on the treadmill with a light job for 5 minutes to warm up before going off to stretch for 10 minutes. Stretching this year is going to be an important part of every session I do, I have found I really have hit the age where my body can’t do what it used to when I was 18 years old (I am now 30).

Today’s session and the ones this week I have planned to be light to medium intensity, I just want to ease myself back into it without being too extreme…or so I thought. I got back on the treadmill and did 2.5 minutes on 7.5km/h, I then increased the speed to 10 km/h for 5 minutes and then up to 12.5km/h which I held it on for 12.5 minutes making the run a 20 minute run. By this point I was already feeling quite tired, my fitness levels from last November have significantly dropped (which I was aware of).

I headed onto the ergo for a light 5 minute row, I figured that I wasn’t going to try and push out a 10 minute or aim for the 2.5km mark as I have done before, it was supposed to be a light warmup session. I started the ergo and brought my stroke rate up to 33 strokes per minute and a 500m split hovering around the 2.04 minutes. I managed to hold this throughout the five minutes, although by the end my split had dropped to 2.10 minutes per 500m. My legs were absolutely burning by the end of this time, I had only a five minute ride to get through as well and my first session would be done.

I headed over to the cycles and began my slow ride with the effort on 6. I wasn’t going to try and go for any blistering times or massive distance, I just wanted to get through the five minutes without stopping. By the 2 minute mark my legs were dead, they felt like lead weights. I kept pushing and managed to get to the five minutes have ridden 2 km in that time with an average energy output of 128 watts.

As soon as I stopped cycling I felt physically ill, it’s been a long a time since I have trown up from a workout session but I seriously thought today was going to be the day. I headed off to the change rooms and straight to the toilets. I didn’t end up bringing anything up but I did have to rest on top of the toilet, just sitting for a good five minutes before picking up my things and heading home.

I am really happy with today’s session the big test will now be tomorrow morning and me being disciplined to get there again. I don’t know how I am going to go with tightness, I guess that’ll equally more stretching at the start of the session, but am looking forward to what the year will bring!

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