I am not a certified trainer, however every year I create a new plan and make gains and strides to complete those goals. Using this system, I have learned how my body works better than any personal trainer could ever build a personalized plan for me. After all, physical fitness has its roots in science, and science is all about testing until you find what works for you.
So, how do I do this. The first thing is to make a goal. What do I want to accomplish for the year? Some years, it is run faster and farther. Other years, it is to regain lost strength from youth. Regardless, it always starts the same by writing it down. Writing it down allows me to take in to account what I need to do and hold myself responsible for my actions.
The next step is taking responsibility for my first step. I can come up with every excuse out there to not make my goals, but at the end of the day, it falls on me to follow through. Every plan needs to be researched and supported. Research is the third step and consists of finding the science behind completing goals. Most of my fitness goals usually revolve around dropping the winter 10 at first.
I know that my body reacts differently to foods now that I am older. I have had to experiment on my food intake and type to get the results that I want. That means looking at how to maintain energy, health and strength via what I eat. It also means controlling inflammation while allowing the body to heal with proper nutrients. For me, I use a modified ketogenic system with a higher protein intake, high green vegetable intake, one cheat day a week, a time schedule of food consumption, and meal preparation.
By changing my diet, I also change my body composition and decrease bloating during exercise. It also helps keep me satisfied, but not full. This takes pressure off my lungs allowing me to breathe easier during running and high output training. Meal preparation makes eating easier when my food during the day is prepped and ready to go. The time schedule allows me to eat smaller and more frequent meals during certain hours throughout the day. For the first month, I will eat 12 hours and fast for 12. During the second month, it will be 10 hours eating and 14 hours fasting. Finally, for the third month, I will try to maintain 8 hours eating and 16 hours fasting. All meals contain about 40% fat, 50% protein and 10% carbohydrate. Even though I use a keto system, I still consume some carbs in the form of berries, vegetables, and nuts.
Workouts are very simple and concentrate on the macro to the micro. Regardless of what I want to accomplish, I start with the basics. If I want to run faster and farther, it must start with a running program. One example is establishing the distance that I want to make my “standard run”. For me, the standard run is generally 3 miles once spring starts. I will run that distance and get my time and average mile splits. Then, the next run will concentrate on sprints and trying to condition myself for the 1/8 mile, ¼ mile and ½ mile as fast as I can. From there, my next run will be one for distance beyond the 3-mile mark, generally 5 miles. I will follow this program for 3 weeks and reassess progress and make small changes as time passes. Small changes would be increasing the amount of times that I do the three sprints. Instead of a total of 3 miles, I would then add an extra ½ mile of sprints at different distances. I may even concentrate on running 1 mile as fast as possible, then taking a 5-minute rest. Then continue doing that workout until I run a designated distance.
With strength and power, I concentrate on basic exercises. I stick with the bench press, squat, deadlift, pull-ups, push-ups, variables of presses, burpees, and finally core work. Those make up the macro of my plan. The micro is made up of should stretches, rubber band work, cables, box jumps, lunges, and weighted carries. Lastly, as the weather warms, it is also a time to concentrate workouts on being outdoors. It’s a great time to get on the bike for low impact workouts to burn calories in a more regular way. I live close to where I work, so I can ride the bike to work regularly. When taking the dogs for a walk, it’s a perfect time to throw a ruck on and get to walking. The ruck is also great for using a push mower to get stronger.
In this article, the one thing that is missing is build your base and do it slowly. Don’t jump off the ledge until you test the waters. Stretch, drink plenty of water, and rest as needed. My biggest learning experiences are getting injured for not warming up, dehydration, and going too big or too far too fast. These are the reasons why the military and law enforcement academies always have a minimum starting point for training. They need to build the physical capabilities slowly, but in a demanding way. By doing this, the person is building physical capabilities and self-esteem. High Risk Training will have some articles throughout 2018 on fitness that can hopefully motivate you to take responsibility for your future. For tomorrow’s unknown…