Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Where should I start my exercise routine?

Where you want to!

Dr. Mercer is a professor here at BYU who just started exercising 8 years ago in his mid 20s I'm assuming and now he runs marathons. That was what he found fun and he did it!

That's pretty much the same way you need to be. If you get a ton of satisfaction out of certain types of exercise (even if you're not good at them) that's what you should do. It's fun and challenging as you learn something new, and gives you another reason to wake up in the morning. If you don't like what you're doing, it will become a chore and you'll give up.

One of my older brothers said there was a 56 year-old woman in one of his workout classes that couldn't even do a push-up when she started. I think Dr. Mercer and she are great examples of how far you can come regardless of when you start. You'll never be as good as an Olympian athlete in their prime, but you can still kick a lot of booty and never give up on yourself!

Monday, April 25, 2011

XKCD totally got it right!

It's funny XKCD made this comic about nerds exercising and it totally applies to nerds and how I feel now:


Why do I feel this way? I just went up a weight on my dumbell presses!

Other than that, last week's exercise review is pretty boring, I got all my goals done!

Thursday, April 21, 2011

The REAL way to lose weight:

Michael Phelps eats 12000 calories a day and has abs many people would kill for.

What does this mean?

It all comes down to calorie usage versus intake. If your body only uses 1000 calories but you eat 2000 a day, you're going to gain weight, vice versa and you'll starve to death (that's how many people have died in various prison camps).

For me, I realized that I feel tired and can sleep a lot more when I don't get enough calories. I even had that weird fatigue feeling I get when I'm fasting for a while before I realized what was going on. It's really strange eating normal sized meals and feeling like that.

If I eat too much, I usually have gas and feel "gunky" inside.

But i'm sure that you'll come up with your own way of telling. If you're starting a routine, It's okay to eat as much as you were before (or maybe even a LITTLE less if you were even eating too much). But be sure to listen to your body, it knows what's best for you and will tell you what's going on. Chances are that after a while your resting calorie usage will increase and you'll lose enough weight from the exercise that you won't have anything extra to burn if you were breaking even without exercise. When you hit that point, you'll need to start eating more.

I don't encourage losing weight by cutting calorie intake alone. I did that a lot before my mission and I think that it caused my body to disintegrate to a large extent. Exercise is really healthy and you'll feel better too.

Good Swimming Technique Tips:

First and foremost, don't trust any of the videos on youtube from expert village or livestong.com. The advice I've gotten from them seems to be in direct contradiction to what I've been taught in my classes.

Here is a good site that I found that discusses swimming technique. I got a lot of help from my swimming instructor this last semester with my strokes, and everything on this site seems to coincide well with what she's taught me when I need to review:


Also if you're just starting to use swimming as a work-out method, I recommend getting a kick board and a pull buoy if your gym doesn't provide them. Why? because they're a good way to practice the arms and kicks as separate pieces before combining them into the stroke. Trust me, it works and it's awesome.

Also in my case I can kick forever, so I'll do 20 minutes of kicking to start off my workout to ensure I'm getting in a good aerobics session along with practicing my stroke.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

This Week's Exercise Review:

The Good:

I managed to increase by at least 4 reps on all the weights I was doing. This is big because that means I'll hit my next weights sooner. Still not strong enough to move up yet in my opinion, but still good.

Actually, this kind of pain is the pain you hope for. It's the pain that screams "I'm sore!" Both my arms and abs are sore, so I totally did a great job yesterday with my ab circuit and my weights yesterday.

Recognition: A mission buddy saw me at the gym and told me I looked a lot better than the last time he saw me. Also a girl said I was one of the "bigger" boys in terms of muscles on my team for the relay during my swim class. It makes you feel better when others are seeing the results of your efforts.

The Bad:

I cut myself while swimming. This means I need to wait a while to heal before going again. It's a chunk of skin torn out of the side of one of my fingers. The cause? I recently cut my nails and I guess there was a jagged edge on the nail on my pinky, because that's the only thing I could trace to the site of the wound. Note to future self: If you cut your nails, be sure to file them, especially before going swimming.

Epic Fail:
Realizing I had been doing the freestyle wrong for the last 11 months, even AFTER my instructor taught me the right way. I started doing it the right way, and then went back to my bad habits. That's epic fail.

YES! I managed to get in both my weight sessions, 4 sessions of aerobic exercise and both my ab circuit sessions!

I'm starting to get addicted to swimming. I went a couple more times than normal this week. This is something I'm going to have to watch to make sure it doesn't get in the way of my other priorities.

What was starting a routine like?

O don't remind me. It was a well worth it after the first few months. First I'll talk about why it was hard, then why it was worth it.

When I started exercising in May, I had no clue what I was in for. Apparently my body didn't seem used to burning energy, so I felt tired a lot. That was both a blessing and a curse. Sometimes I can focus better tired, but if I lose enough coherency, my ability to reason and solve problems may be hampered, which is all but crippling as a CS major. But overall I would have to say I fared better than when i didn't exercise. I found out that when I could focus fine, I focused better. Eventually my body got used to it and it wasn't too bad, but it took a lot more will power to do my routine the first few months than after.

Also, finding the motivation to push yourself to your limit is harder at first. If you don't, you won't progress. It was something that took a while to learn. But you have to be careful too, if you push yourself too hard, then you may injure yourself and not be able to keep going. It requires a lot of self-honesty in addition to motivation.

O yeah then there's the whole other people factor. When I was at the gym, they all seemed stronger than me. When I was at the pool, it felt like they all could go longer than me and had better technique. To be honest, I'm probably still average at best, but you really can't let your self-esteem get injured because of what other people think or because you don't think you're as good as they are. Most of the other swimmers looked like they were in better shape too, which was somewhat of a double-whammy to my self-esteem when I went to the pool. But that's just it. Your self-esteem shouldn't be based on whether you're "better" than someone else.

There's two problems with this:

1. Someone will always be better than you at whatever it is you perceive at as one of your own strengths or weaknesses
2. You will be limited by others. If you always try to be better than someone else, you'll stop after you're just better than them, but if you always try to improve, regardless of whether you're better or not, you'll keep moving forward.

Then the REAL weird thing was I didn't seem to lose any weight those first few months either and I didn't feel like I was stronger, sometimes I couldn't handle as much weight as before. I almost gave up.

I THINK that my muscles seeming weaker was because my muscles weren't done recovering from the last time, so I WAS making progess, but it didn't seem like it. One of my friends even said "wanna feel stronger? don't sleep or exercise for a week!" because he could do more weight after that. I had a similar experience when I missed a week. This just means keep at it, you're still getting somewhere even if it doesn't seem like it, just keep pushing yourself to the limit (but also get enough protein, your body needs it to recover).

O yeah. I also forgot to stretch. That made things hard sometimes.

But then, a few months later something amazing happened, the weight finally started to melt. My self-esteem starting going up too. The minute increases in strength paled in comparison to the better moods/less stress. If you're thinking about starting a program just remember: It may be hard, just push through it.

Monday, April 11, 2011

This week's exercise review

I guess this is a few days late, but last week's progress on my exercise schedule is really important to me.

I'm starting to get addicted to swimming. If I swim long enough I get some of the strangest sensations and when I'm done I feel supercharged. That's kind of new for me. It used to just give stress relief, not any kind of high.

I'm almost ready to push 35 pounds per arm on my dumbbell presses and still hacking away at progression on a 20 pound weight for dumbell flies and a 25 wieght for supinating bicep curls. I also started with a 60 on my "burnout" phase where I do preacher curls with a bar using gradually decreasing weight sizes.

FLIPPY TURNS! This is probably the biggest deal. I can actually do a flippy turn now (still not perfectly and still not 100% success rate to attempts, but it's still exciting!)

Something kind of cool is I'm approaching my year mark since I started exercising. Since then I've lost 20 lbs., have better posture, higher self-esteem and can eat more without gaining. Ironically enough my goal for next year is to GAIN weight but in the form of muscle. We'll see if I succeed. And to all my friends thinking about exercising, DO IT! And NEVER GIVE UP! It gets better the longer you try, starting is the hard part (especially the first few months).