August 2014 – My Fitness Progress Report

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On a monthly basis, you’ll get a report from me about my fitness progress and vital measurements, letting you stay in the loop on how I get maximum impact with minimal effort.

This is a way for me to keep track of my own progress, as well as a way to openly inspire and keep people in the know about how super fitness is achieved. I research what works and what not, by walking the walk, taking the lead and teach by doing. Not just by telling.

You’ll get in-depth insight of my fitness progress (or downfalls) towards any goal I set for myself. It may sound like my life revolve around fitness, but it’s not. As a busy dad I’m all about spending the least amount of time and effort to get the maximum fitness result.

Do you wonder why I do this? Why I care about publishing my own results online?

Well, keep in mind that my goal is to inspire and teach others about fitness and health. Now, how do people evaluate if an investment is good or not? Say, in the stock market? They look at the numbers shared by companies, and get an idea if to invest or not.

So, I asked myself: “How can I help my readers evaluate if what I advice them to do is good or not?”

I think the best way to convey that what I do is good for your health, is by showing how it works for me in these fitness reports. It’s only fair to do so, sharing this with you, if you are to consume content on my blog and follow my advice, so to speak; invest your time with me.

A lot of people today think having great fitness is only for a select few. While others seem to believe that they can turn around and get super fit in a couple of weeks, if they only jump on the secret loophole like ads often will have you believe. But none of these beliefs hold any truth.

Getting great health and fitness is not something you do overnight. There are no loophole discovered by Chinese scientists that will give you what you want tomorrow. And fitness isn’t only for a select lucky ones either, with good genes and insane work ethics. No, fitness is for everyone, also for busy dads over 35!

And that is big reason why this blog exists.

Fitness is a continues journey, where steady effort over time will let you arrive to your goal. There are many routes to any given destiny, and with me you can find out if bodyweight workouts and clean eating can bring super health and fitness. I’m sharing the how and the results in these reports. Sounds good, huh?

Believe me, I fail all the time. But through consistent effort and by always keeping my eyes on target, I manage to stay on track, closing in the gap between me and my goals a little bit more every day. So will you when you do things right! Check out my fitness resource page to find what I use to do things right.

Now, Here Is The Report For August

(Which Really Is A Report For The Last 8 Months)

Yes! The first fitness progress report is finally here! I’ve been looking forward to this for a long time. You see, ever since I decided to turn my life around I’ve worked towards the day where I can reach out and inspire other people to also do what I do. And it’s finally time to do it! :)

First, let me bring you up to date, and do a recap of what’s happened since I said enough is enough last Christmas.

It was a change that I had seen coming in the horizon for quite some time…

Spending the first 35 years of my life eating a typical western diet finally caught up with me. I had let myself go for too long, and I couldn’t live this lifestyle anymore. Too little muscle mass. Too high fat percentage. Too poor flexibility. And too low on energy.

I felt trapped in a body that couldn’t perform. I was very unhappy with life!

Sure, I have had periods in my timeline where I’ve pulled myself together and been in a reasonable good shape, but it never lasted. Heck, I graduated to be a sergeant at Homeland Security when I was pretty young, which demanded of me to be very fit, but when I resigned and went back to a civilian life, the fitness went away – fast.

I’ve also been a competitive cyclist in my mid twenties, but as much as I trained, I never got the fitness I really wanted. And when I determined that I no longer wanted to spend those crazy amounts of hours and money on my bike, and left the sport – my fitness went away.

Since then I’ve had periods where I’ve followed seriously effective fitness programs, only to get some sort of injury (mostly in my back), forcing me to quit and then see my fitness fade away again.

Fitness never came easy to me. I’ve always been a skinny guy. Gaining muscle has always been a big struggle, and my stamina has never been off the charts, so to speak. It seems that my body is highly prone to injuries, always having had something that have held me back.

At fourteen I had to quit my biggest passion ever, Karate, because my knees caved in. They couldn’t handle the workload, and I was seriously injured for years, still feeling the pain sometimes.

Sure, I could continue to blame various injuries and so on. But instead, at 35 years old, I’ve drawn a line in the sand, yelled enough is enough, and taken full responsibility for my health. I’ve started to pursue crazy fitness goals no matter what obstacles I’ve had in the past or will have in the future!

Yup, since last Christmas I’ve changed my life completely around, and this time it’s lasting.

Both small and big lifehacks have surprisingly easy been included into my lifestyle. These are pretty much very subtle changes, that over time have been established as positive habits. Yes, habits. I don’t spend energy or time to think about doing or not doing these biohacks and lifehacks. No, they are habits by now and I just do them. Hence, it ensures my fitness everyday!

So, the last eight months have been a steady increase of fitness and health, enabling me to live life like it was meant to be lived, with energy and strength to both work hard and play hard. I’ve slowly built myself up, with one goal in mind – to get a better performing body.

And these are the benefits I now hope to inspire and teach other to also get.

Eight months back I could barely do 1 pull-up. I managed to do 23 pushups, but I had to do them on my knees! I almost fainted after doing 10 high jumps, and my legs felt like they where about to break after every jump.

My strength was real bad. I had no endurance. And my energy was nowhere to be seen. Heck, I was unable to perform 100% like how a man is supposed to perform. In anything. At work. In sports. Or with his spouse.

I was never really able to play with my kids, which is so sad that it still hurts just thinking about it. Kicking a ball around or jumping on the trampoline with them in the garden was just too much for me!

After having cleaned up my diet and worked out consistently the last eight months, I’m now experiencing a fitness level that let me dream up new and exciting goals beyond “just getting in shape”. I can crank out 52 strict push-ups in 100 seconds now. Not on my knees! And I have all day energy, enough to work all day and still play with my kids in the afternoon.

Sure, I’ve had setbacks during these months. I don’t display the most awesome six-pack abs that I’d like to. I’ve still not gained the amount of muscle mass that I’d like. I still lack speed and flexibility.

But, I’m on my way to getting there. And I’m in no hurry. I can’t be in a hurry. I understand that it will take time to build my fragile body to the level of fitness that I have envisioned for myself.

Yup, I’ve got long term goals beyond my month to month goals, and that is about getting as close as possible to the Marvel super hero look and feel. Hey, maybe I can use my newfound fitness to fight evil villains! Ha ha! :) Yeah, I’m still a geek and no amount of workouts or protein shakes will ever change that!

Ok, back to being serious. For my workouts these eight months, I’ve been  focusing on nothing but bodyweight exercises. It has proven to work for me, and I’ll be doing this for the next three months as well.

For my diet, I’ve mostly followed a liberal approach where I’m eating raw clean food without strict rules of any kind. And NO counting of calories! My experience (and backed by science) shows that complicated diets don’t work long term. So I’m avoiding anything complicated in my diet.

I’ve tested various supplements and found that none of them work as good as natural herbs, greens, fruits and grains. Though, one thing I’ve probably would have a hard time letting go off would be my herbal protein shakes. When in lack of time, or when in lack of energy, meal replacements like those can really save the day.

Each month I’ll build upon the previous month’s successes and failures, setting new goals for myself according to the progress of current goals. Thus far my goals have been somewhat general, like wanting to gain muscle, lose fat, get energy and be able to play with my kids.

Now, I’m about to get way more specific. September will be about flexibility. I want to be able to do the split again like I used to when I was younger and trained Karate. That would be so cool! I started to focus more on stretching last month, and I’ve gone from dead stiff to almost nailing the split! I really think the last inch will be reached by the end of September.

My lower back will need a lot of focus. I’ve always had a stiff lower back and also a long history of lower back pain. When bending over to stretch my lower back, gluteus and hamstrings, I actually have big trouble in touching my toes. By the end of the month, I hope to have my whole palm touching the floor.

One or two times per month I seem to throw my back out, feeling great pain in my lower back. It really messes up my workouts. I’ve tried so many different things to deal with it, but for September I’ve started a new “get rid of back pain program” and you’ll get everything about it in the next fitness progress report.

As far as strength goes, I can do eight strict pull-ups in a row and 52 pushups before my arms give out under me. I hope to increase to 10 pull-ups by next month and do a couple more pushups than I did this month in the MAX all out test.

Increased strength means more muscle mass, thus I am gonna gain weight, which previously mentioned doesn’t come easy to me. Weighing in at 76.9 kg right now, I am still too thin and lean for my own taste. In time I aim to weigh just above 80 kg (176 pounds) with a maximum of 10 percent fat.

Below you can see my current vital measurements. Those will be updated every month with increases and decreases in parentheses.

Vital Measurements (August 2014)

Weight: 76,9 kg or 170 pounds (-1 kg since Christmas)

Fat Percentage: 13,4% (-3.2% since Christmas, down from 16.6%)

Strength & Endurance

Strict push-ups: 52 (+37 since Christmas)

Strict pull-ups (no kipping): 8 (+7 since Christmas)

200 meter offroad run: 44 seconds

800 meter offroad run: 05:04 (minutes:seconds)

I don’t have any previous numbers to compare my endurance with, but a couple of months before Christmas last year I participated in a popular run together with some colleges from work.

It was a 2K run and I ran it in 14 minutes and 45 seconds. I think I finished dead last out of thousands of people. Some of them overweight women. Some of them senior citizens. Some of them elementary school kids.

I was shocked and embarrassed! It was part of the big wake up call I needed. The change I had seen in the horizon was closing in on me and it was time to meet it face to face.

Workouts And Nutrition Used

Freeletics (for building strenght, endurance and losing fat).

Eat Stop Eat (for losing fat and growing muscle).

Eating For Energy (for energy, recovery and regeneration).

Herbal Protein Shake And Supplements (as nutritional “insurance”).

Lessons Learned & Closing Thoughts

I always look forward to see what I can achieve around the next corner. The next month. But, I never let that take away my focus of the present moment. It’s all about the things I do right now in this instant. Today. Not tomorrow. Today!

Smart, hard effort pays off. There are no short-cuts, but there are certain hacks that can become habits, which makes it pretty easily obtainable for just about anyone who wants to get fit. Heck, if I can do it, than I bet anyone else can.

To uncover your own six-pack abs and get the fitness you want, let me show you more on how I got back the energy I had as a child. I think I can give you the perfect nudge in the right direction. Just enter your email below to subscribe to my newsletter. You’ll get insider information that can yield high impact fitness results with minimal effort.

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