Getting fit

Following on from my last post about Goal setting, this post is about my fitness goals and how I aim to achieve them.

I think the fittest I have ever been was probably when I was around 16 and 17. I’d lost a lot of weight (from the age of 12 onwards I’ve always weighed roughly 13 stone!) and was strong, playing and training for rugby 4 times a week (school and club). I’d also been swimming twice a week a year or two earlier. I felt great, fast and strong and pumped but it was also at this age that drinking and smoking crept into my life. The rugby continued for a couple more years but slowly petered out of my life as going out and having a girlfriend took over (shouldn’t have been an excuse to drop rugby really). My fitness has never been the same since. Yes I hated having to do shuttle runs and sprint training but I think it was only by pushing myself (or being pushed) as hard as possible that I really got fit.

So the plan – who has to be fit in life to really succeed? Answer: Soldiers. I read about the British Army Fitness a few years ago and for a short while I followed it. Until it got to a Wednesday sprint training day, and I’d left it too late so it was dark. And raining. Then I went out on the Friday after school, so no training then. And it all just petered into nothing. That’s basically me and fitness in one, BUT no more!

I don’t want to just be fit either, I’d like to get stronger too. My first year at Uni I was experimenting with a routine called Stronglifts 5×5, basically a beginner strength training programme using only barbells. I loved it, it was awesome getting under a bar and heavy weights and I felt great. I used to go three times a week with a friend, we’d motivate each other and I saw some real gains. At one point I was dead lifting 120kg and squatting my body weight, 80kg. But again that suffered due to him dropping out of Uni and my lack of motivation once I saw gains (this is something I suffer from in everything).

So for strength training I have found a programme called SimpleFit. I will save myself the cost of a gym membership and it’s something I can do at home or at Uni or wherever – no more excuses that I haven’t got the equipment or its raining! It is very simple, just three exercises. Pull ups, press ups and squats, perfect! I’ve always loved squats since Stronglifts and I could really do with getting good at the press ups and pull ups (See my Goals for 1st June!).

I will do the cardio part of the Army Fitness programme followed by the strength training with SimpleFit. This gives me 3x per week of cardio/resistance and a lazy sunday cycle ride or swim. Now just to stick with it for 6 months…

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