Posts Tagged ‘ace’

The Video Substitution

There has been a video substitution. One player has been forcefully ejected from the game; another player is taking his place.

I didn’t want to do this, but I knew early on that it might be a possibility. Several of my videos (some of which are still weeks away in the bracket) are available only on Netflix Watch Instantly. I know that their library changes regularly, so a workout that I have planned for game 27, for instance, may not be available by the time that roles around.

However, today’s change is occurring for a different reason.

I am ejecting a video workout for being dangerous.

Billy’s Ultimate Bootcamp, hosted by Billy Blanks of Tae Bo fame, is kicked out. If he had any other videos in the bracket (he does not), they would probably be ejected as well.

The video will be replaced, at Tina’s suggestion, by Yoga Booty Ballet.

So, why the change?

In the late 90s, along with every other fat person on the planet, I tried Tae Bo. This was before I had gotten into martial arts, before I knew much about exercise, and even really before I knew much about anatomy and physiology. I tried one of his workouts and I injured myself on the very first day. I injured myself so badly I had to go into physical therapy for a few weeks. Seriously.

My complaints with Billy Blanks’ videos?

They do not feature an appropriate warm-up. This in and of itself is not necessarily bad. Research shows that static stretching before a workout can actually be harmful. (Dynamic stretching is a different beast altogether and IS recommended pre-workout.)

The exception to the no-warm-up rule? Explosive moves. Explosive moves, when used in a workout, should be prefaced with dynamic (moving) stretches. A little marching or jogging in place. Some gentle punches. Slower movement versions of the explosive moves about to come.

So, what does Billy Blank’s workout (both the old Tae Bo and this BootCamp video) consist of? A few minutes of STATIC stretching, followed immediately by explosive moves.

That is an injury waiting to happen.

Fortunately, I know better. I had a trainer that taught me better. In pursuit of my ACE personal trainer certification (coming later this summer), I’ve educated myself. I’ve taken anatomy and physiology classes. And perhaps most importantly, I know my body.

If I were a teenager and not overweight, I probably wouldn’t worry about it as much. But I’m not. I’m a morbidly obese 33 year old. My body can do some amazing things, and there are even days where I consider myself an athlete. But at the same time – I know what I can and should do, and I know what I cannot and should not do.

For what it’s worth – this video falls into the should not video. I have the physical ability to do the explosive moves he was doing. I’m just not going to sacrifice my health for a workout. Ever.

So, Billy Blanks is removed from the bracket. His workout videos are no longer allowed here. I want to get healthy and fit and become an athlete, not show how tough I am.

Have you ever stopped doing a workout because you knew/suspect it would lead to injury?

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2012 Resolutions

I like New Years’ Resolutions. I always have liked them. Granted, the ones I’ve stuck to have been rare, but it’s a tradition. Every year, I make some, and I try to follow through on as many as I can.

Last year, I had a plan (which petered out in April) to follow up on my resolutions every month. I’m going to try that again this year. One difference between my 2011 and 2012 resolutions, however, is that I am going to try and make this year’s resolutions less number specific.

1. I am going to weigh less each month.

Last year, I gave a specific number I wanted to lose. Well, guess what. It didn’t work, and I finished the year weighing more than I did in January. I’m certainly not blaming that on the resolution. It was all my fault. My weight loss, for a variety of reasons, did not take priority in 2011.

I know that I will not reach goal weight in 2012. I have too much weight to lose. However, I want to make a dent in in it. Each month, I pledge to weigh less than I did the month before.

2. I am going to continue to eat clean.

My wife and I have been following our own version of “eating clean.” We are basically following an 90% clean / 10% not-clean approach, primarily because buying food that is 100% chemical, white flour, and white sugar-free is prohibitively expensive. Yes, eating healthy can be pricey, but we’ve found that lightening up JUST A BIT makes it affordable for us.

I’ll post about this in more detail in early January, but we’ve been doing it for a week, and the results have already been amazing. We’ve seen our weight drop (I’ve already lost what I gained in Vegas), we have tons of energy, and my physical cravings for junk food has been reduced to the lowest level I can EVER remember it being.

3. I am going to significantly increase my fitness without a gym membership.

As Tina and I are still paying off credit card debt, student loan debt, car payments, and a mortgage, we try to save money where we can. We’re not crazy savers. We don’t do extreme couponing (for the simple fact that you can’t buy healthy food with coupons) and we don’t deprive ourselves (we did just get back from Vegas, paid for by smartly saving money and finding amazing travel deals), but we do want to save money. We want to get out of the neighborhood we currently live in, sell this house, and buy a nicer, bigger house with land out in the country. Our goal is to do that in the next two years.

As a result, we realized we’ve been paying a healthy chunk of money toward gym memberships, and frankly, I honestly no longer believe it is necessary. I only have to look at people like Steve Kamb at Nerd Fitness who maintained a very high level of fitness while climbing. I look at the military, who certainly don’t work out in gyms (at least in Basic), and I don’t think anybody would deny that they are crazy fit. It can be done without a gym, and we are going to do it.

Yes, I am aware that saying I am going to significantly increase my fitness is purposefully vague. However, here is my list of the things I plan to be able to do when I am writing up my 2013 resolutions in a year.

I want to be able to do 100 regular push –ups (no knees, in other words) without stopping.
I want to be able to do 200 squats without stopping.
I want to be able to do an all-day hike at Mammoth Cave National Park this fall.

I desperately want to include a running goal, but my body has shown me that I MUST be lighter before I can begin running or even jogging. However, I can hike. Mammoth Cave National Park (less than thirty minutes away) has many all-day hiking trails. I don’t know which one I’ll do. I’m thinking Sal Hollow, which is eleven miles. It’s designated as advanced terrain, but I’ve known people who have done it who said that it is designated as advanced because you have to cross a few creeks. I grew up on a farm with a creek that runs through it. Creeks are no problem.

4. On my food blog, I am going to create a different pizza each week for my 52 Weeks of Pizza Project.

I don’t talk about it much here because I don’t post there as often as I’d like (although now that Tina and I are eating clean and cooking much more, I expect to post more often), but I also have a new food blog called Stellar Eats.

We LOVE pizza, and fortunately, it is a very versatile food that can be eaten clean. While in Las Vegas, we were at a shop that had a cookbook all about pizzas. I didn’t get it, but it did make me decide to do this. For the next year, we are going to cook a different pizza every week. Each pizza will be chemical and preservative free and 100% real food. I’ll post the links to the pizzas here on my main blog, too, but I’m really excited about this one. We love pizza and we love cooking. Win win.

5. I am going to obtain my ACE Personal Fitness Certification this year.

Last year, I failed by seven points. I have until August to retake the examination for a reduce fee. Even though I am completing the coursework for my second Master’s Degree, I am also going to take time each week to study for this exam, too. By fall, I will be a certified Personal Trainer.

6. I am going to write at least 10,000 words of fiction per month.

I love to write, but I seldom take the time to do it. I’ve got a young adult novel I am working on, and I want to finish it this year. I don’t know if I’ll look for an agent or self-publish or just enjoy it because it’s done, but regardless, I want to finish this year.

That’s it. A very short list for 2012. I’m certainly going to accomplish other things, but this is what I want to make happen.

Did you make resolutions?

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A Seven Points Weigh-In

Weigh-in info is below, but first… the story of my personal trainer test!

After I announced my plans to take the ACE Personal Trainer test, I suddenly became much more nervous.

My initial fear was that I would be the only fat guy in the room.

FYI - searching for "only fat guy in the room" on Google Images with SafeSearch to No brings up a surprising amount of porn

I can only say, I received so much support and well wishes from so many of you, I truly feel blessed.

So I kept going through my course materials. I studied muscles and insertion points, nutrition guidelines, professional roles and responsibilities of personal trainers, and so much more.

I took two practice tests on Friday, and I failed the first and barely passed the second. They also showed me something very important. Regardless of passing or failing, I had a LOT more studying to do before I felt comfortable presenting myself as a personal trainer.

On Saturday morning, Tina dropped me off at the testing site. I was the only fat guy in the room. I was also the only guy in the room. There were TWO people testing, me and a young lady who looked fit enough to have been a personal trainer. However, this was a testing center for any proctored test. She may have been taking the ACE PT test or the GRE or any other number of things. So my biggest fear was completely pointless.

How often is that the case? How often do we end up afraid of things that aren’t even real fears?

So, I took the test. I’m a fast tester; I always have been. I’m also one of the lucky people who does not suffer from test anxiety. No matter what the test is, the day of, I’m usually calm as a cucumber. Same thing here.

How did I do?

I failed by seven points.

I’m truly not upset. I’ll be honest – as I was taking the test, I really felt pretty good about it. I expected to see a score in the low 500s, barely passing. BUt oh well. Even if I had passed, I would have felt the need to study more to truly feel like I knew the material well enough to fully train someone.

Is it sour grapes?

Maybe a little. But I’m actually quite pleased to know that the ACE PT test is this tough. Honestly, it was one of the toughest tests I have ever taken. My game plan is to continue studying, and I’m going to take it next year.

Next year, I’ll be thinner. No wish crap. I will be. Period.

This week, therefore, is a Seven Points Weigh-In.

No, not a Seven Pounds weigh-in.

Most depressing movie ever...

August 15, 2011
367.7
Change from Last Week = -2.1 pounds
Change from Highest = -35.1 pounds

Yay! I lost two pounds! Woo hoo!

The semester starts two weeks from today, and I can’t wait! I spent the day at a New Faculty Orientation. The highlight of my day was when Big Red (WKU’s mascot) took the mike. (If you aren’t from WKU, you should know that Big Red never talks. Ever.) It was funnier if you were there.

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Mojo?

Have you ever suddenly realized that you haven’t even looked at your blog in about two weeks?

Yeah, me too.

Gotta get my mojo back. I have to run from zombies in what is quickly becoming just a few weeks.

Lost it. Don’t know where it went.

Weight is stable. That’s good, right? Hovering around the 372 mark.

Not rising. Not dropping either, though.

Will weigh in very briefly tomorrow.

I think I might have found my mojo, but I don’t want to jinx it.

I found it on my wife’s blog. She wants to lose weight, too. She doesn’t have nearly as much to lose as me.

I can’t help but feel responsible. I know that I am frequently her stumbling block.

I want us to have a healthy family together, and to do that, I’ve got to put down the chips and get back in the gym.

Wanna know something real funny?

I’m taking the test to become a personal trainer on August 13th. Seriously. I’ll certainly let you know how it goes!

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January Resolutions Update

2011 is shaping up to be a good year. I made some big resolutions, and rather than make them and just hope they were accomplished by December 31, 2011, I decided to break them up into small, manageable goals. Every month, I plan to report on how I’ve done and set goals for the next month.

So how have I done? The bold is my resolution and below it is what I wanted to accomplish in January.

One quick note – a lot of bloggers (present company included) make a big deal about labeling everything as a failure or a success. I’m not going to curse myself with the word Fail for those goals I did not accomplish as I had planned. I will therefore have successes and Not Yets.

Lose 120 pounds.
January’s Goal: To get below 350
The verdict: Not yet. I’m not going to beat myself up, though. I weigh 358 right now. I weighed 364.2 when the year started. That is six pounds. Is it amazing? Nah, it’s okay. But what is amazing is that even if my weight loss doesn’t increase, I will still weigh 72 pounds less on January 1, 2012, and THAT is amazing.
February’s Goal: To get below 352

Bench press 180 pounds.
January’s Goal: Increase bench press to 140.
The verdict: Not yet. When I got my eye infection, I got grounded from the gym, and I didn’t put the time in on my bench press early in the month like I should have. I am still benching 135.
February’s Goal: Increase bench press to 140.

Eat 52 new vegetarian dishes over the course of the year.
January’s Goal: Report on all four January dishes and plan out all four of February’s.
The verdict: Success! I ate Black Bean and Corn Quesadillas, Savory Sweet Potato Chips, Spicy Brussels Sprouts, and Roasted Asparagus. I have my vegetarians dishes planned for February as well.
February’s Goal: Report on all four February dishes and plan out all four of March’s.

Become an ACE certified personal trainer with at least two clients by year’s end.
January’s Goal: Study through Chapter Four of ACE’s Essentials of Exercise Science for Fitness Professionals textbook.
The verdict: Not yet. When I made this goal, I’ll admit to having only skimmed the book. I suspected this textbook (a good thick textbook, too) would have twenty or so chapters. Nope, only five. Five chapters of about 100 pages each it seems. But I did do some work, albeit not as much as I planned. I have to get cracking, though. My testing certificate expires in August!
February’s Goal: Study through Chapter Two of ACE’s Essentials of Exercise Science for Fitness Professionals textbook.

Complete (and edit) that young adult novel that keeps popping up in my brain.
January’s Goal: Write at least 12,000 words on the tentatively titled Athena Institute.
The verdict: Not yet. However, I made some headway, and I’m grateful for that. I may have not written 12,000 words, but I did write 3,648.
February’s Goal: Write 8,000 more words on my young adult novel.

Attempt to have my watercolor paintings put up in the gallery at the local library.
January’s Goal: Come up with theme for series and paint at least seven paintings in said series.
The verdict: Not yet. But wow, that was ambitious. I have decided on my theme, which is going to be Fitness and Weight Loss. I have not yet painted a single painting, however.
February’s Goal: Paint at least two paintings in my series.

Create an online store to sell my photographs, space paintings, and watercolor paintings (and other arty things, including light-up wine bottles).
January’s Goal: Open store.
The verdict: Not yet. I picked out some photographs to sell, and I’ve rounded up some wine bottles, and I’ve even started the process of making my store, but I haven’t actually put anything into it yet.
February’s Goal: Open store.

Build my first ever snowman.
January’s Goal: If there is a snow in January (and there better be), build a snowman. Complete with scarf and carrot nose.
The verdict: Not yet. We had a few tiny snows, but nothing more than two inches or so.
February’s Goal: Make a snowman, even if it is a tiny snowman.

Send 100 letters out through The Mail Project.
January’s Goal: Send out eight letters.
The verdict: Not yet. I mailed out one letter.
February’s Goal: Mail out fifteen letters, eight for February and seven that I missed in January.

Take Tina to Las Vegas after she graduates.
January’s Goal: Put aside $100 to help pay for trip.
The verdict: Back burnered, at least for a while. Tina and I have quite a bit of credit card debt. Far more than I am comfortable having. We will have paid off one credit card entirely here in the next few weeks, but we still have one to go. I can’t in good conscience go on a vacation when I have bad debt. I still hope to take Tina to Vegas before the year is over (maybe over Christmas break this year), but I have to take care of our bad debt first.
February’s Goal: Put this one on the back burner until May 2011 when I re-evaluate our finances.

Visit at least one more National Park.

January’s Goal: See above, in saving up for Vegas trip.
The verdict: Ditto. Not yet.
February’s Goal: Reference the Vegas trip.

Begin work on my doctorate.
January’s Goal: Successful start classes this Spring semester, which begins January 24th.
The verdict: Not yet. The online class I had hoped to take ended up not happening through the fault of no one. It just didn’t make. It looks like any post-graduate work will have to wait until summer at the soonest.
February’s Goal: Back burnered until May 2011.

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Weigh-Ins
12-31-13 - 412.0
1-3-14 - 407.0 (-5.0 pounds total)